links for 2010-12-22

  • The State Department announced on December 17 the launch of the Palestine Information Communications Technology Capacity Building Initiative (PITI). PITI is a collaborative project between the State Department, USAID, Partners for a New Beginning, Cisco, Google, HP, Intel, Medcor and Salesforce.com. The project is designed to “enhance Palestinian economic capacity in the information communications technology (ICT) sector by facilitating partnerships between Palestinian ICT companies and U.S. multinational companies, particularly those with operations in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, and the broader Middle East.”

    Included in the current round of aid:*Cisco will invest $5 million in a venture capital fund for Palestinian startups.
    *Google is investing $2 million which will include contributions to the same VC fund and to the local operations of NGO Mercy Corps.

  • "The two men — both devout Muslims — were enraged when they found out [Afshan] Azad was dating a Hindu boy. The brother admitted to coaxing his father while in her room saying, “Sort out your daughter! She’s a slag,” and eventually threatening, “Just kill her!” before she escaped through the window.

    Tabloids pinpointed the event as an attempted “honor killing,” claiming the men thought she’d disgraced her family. But after the initial court date this week, Azad’s brother was released on bail and father was found not guilty as long as they both promised to act “peaceably” toward her and not contact her."

  • *eyeroll* This quote is French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld. – LDP "We were accused of being racist [after painting white model Laura Stone black for a feature], which was totally untrue, since I once did an entire issue on a black model [Liya Kebede in May 2002]."
  • "'The Scriptures have the greatest impact when you hear it in your mother tongue. So this translation to Creole is affirming the Jamaican speaker's language, and it is very, very powerful,' said the Rev. Courtney Stewart, general secretary of the Bible Society of the West Indies.

    Last week, a local radio station broadcast the patois renditions of Luke every morning, and its Nativity story translation is popping up at Christmas parties. Members of a church in Spanish Town, just west of Kingston, have even started to memorize it."

  • "In legal and political contexts, then, 'indigenous' has to be understood as a complex term that is conditional on current circumstance, not as an absolute and unchanging descriptor for a state of being. It specifically recognises that a people or tribe has become marginalised within the dominant society thanks to a history of conquest, colonisation, and/or absorption into a nation state. As the sociologist and anthropologist Mathias Guenther puts it: 'Indigenous is a term applied to people–-and by the people to themselves–who are engaged in an often desperate struggle for political rights, for land, for a place and space within a modern nation's economy and society.' This is why there is frequently a dual emphasis on a group's describing itself as indigenous, and its acceptance as such by other indigenous groups."