Category Archives: Culture

65 Leading Writers Call on Trump to Halt Visa Ban

NEW YORK—Sixty of the most prominent names in literature have sent a joint letter with PEN America to President Donald Trump today, urging him not to impose a new immigration ban that would affect the ability of artists, writers, and thinkers to travel to the United States. Continue reading

China Detains Thousands With Grievances as Year of Rooster Begins

Petitioners in Beijing (faces obscured) hold a banner demanding government intervention in their cases

Petitioners in Beijing (faces obscured) hold a banner demanding government intervention in their cases, Jan. 30 2017. Photo sent by Wu Jixin

Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained thousands of people who converged there to highlight grievances against government officials in their hometowns, sending them off to start the Year of the Rooster in a detention center. Continue reading

Writers on the 2016 US Election: Shenaz Patel

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Shenaz Patel is a Mauritian writer and a 2016 resident of the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa.

As islanders, we know how attentive we have to be to signs when a cyclone approaches.

Will I dare say it aloud? But then, everything about “politically correct” seems thrown to the dogs these days. And perhaps the core of the problem is we’ve had an overdose of political correctness, which has drugged the capacity to see, and hear, and feel. Continue reading

Writers on the 2016 US Election: Adriana Ramirez

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Adriana Ramirez, Mexican-Colombian nonfiction writer, storyteller, performance poet.

The strongest feeling I had on November 9th was indifference. Continue reading

Writers on the 2016 US Election: Bina Shah

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Bina Shah, columnist for the New York Times and SampsoniaWay.org

Coming to middle America as a woman who had spent eleven years on the East Coast of America but also fifteen years living in Pakistan, the divides were more obvious to me than if I’d spent all my life living in, say, New York City. Continue reading

Czech president accused of scrapping Holocaust survivor medal due to Dalai Lama

By Robert Muller | PRAGUE

Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. September 21, 2016.   REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Czech Republic’s President Milos Zeman addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

PRAGUE Czech President Milos Zeman has decided against awarding a state medal to a Holocaust survivor after the man’s nephew, a Czech government minister, met exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama against the president’s wishes, the minister said on Friday. Continue reading

China Gives Police Powers to Monitor Social Media Friends, Chat Groups

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From Oct. 1, Chinese police will be empowered to use information from a person’s social media contacts list, including friends circles on popular smartphone chat apps, as evidence in criminal investigations. Public Domain

He told RFA in an interview on Friday that he expects the new rules to be used to police speech, rather than to support investigations into criminal actions. Continue reading

No Official Memorial For Chairman Mao, 40 Years After Death

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A woman stands in front of a giant portrait of Mao Zedong at the gate of the Forbidden City in Beijing on Sept. 9, 2016, the 40th anniversary of the death of Communist China’s founding father. AFP

Forty years after his death at the age of 82, late supreme leader Mao Zedong still presents a political dilemma to the ruling Chinese Communist Party. Continue reading