Browsing articles from "November, 2014"

Hong Kong Police Push Back Pro-Democracy Protesters

Nov 30, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Hong Kong Police Push Back Pro-Democracy Protesters

Pro-democracy protesters set up a new roadblock close to the chief executive office in Hong Kong late Sunday.i
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Pro-democracy protesters set up a new roadblock close to the chief executive office in Hong Kong late Sunday.

Tyrone Siu/Reuters/Landov


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Pro-democracy protesters set up a new roadblock close to the chief executive office in Hong Kong late Sunday.

Pro-democracy protesters set up a new roadblock close to the chief executive office in Hong Kong late Sunday.

Tyrone Siu/Reuters/Landov

In Hong Kong, thousands of pro-democracy protesters wearing hard hats and masks clashed with police as they attempted to storm the office of the territory’s leader, who they have repeatedly demanded step down.

Chanting “Surround government headquarters!” and “Open the road!” students marched toward buildings in Admiralty, next to Hong Kong’s central business district, according to Reuters.

The news agency said that “scores of protesters with wooden shields and metal barricades charged police as officers warned them to retreat. Police, who have been accused of using excessive force, struck demonstrators with batons in a bid to push them back.”

NPR’s Frank Langfitt, reporting from Hong Kong, says that protesters “surged forward against lines of cops, banging the aluminum walls of a construction site as they went.

“They seized a major road downtown to cut off access to the government complex,” Frank says. “But police counterattacked, swinging batons, firing pepper spray, detaining protesters and re-taking the road.”

The South China Morning Post reports that the protesters “thronged around government headquarters and Tamar Park and began trying to breach police lines at various points.”

The English-language daily said: “Two key areas of violence — some of which left protesters bloodied and requiring first aid treatment by makeshift medics as police used pepper spray and baton charges to repel attempts breach their lines — were Lung Wo Road and the walkways connecting Harcourt Road to government headquarters.”

The SCMP reported that “fresh trouble” also flared at a student protest site in Mong Kok on the other side of the harbor in Kowloon, where police and protesters briefly clashed.

The protests, which have gone on for more than two months, are aimed at forcing unpopular Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down and for Beijing to fulfill its promise of open elections for his successor.

While many in the former British colony initially supported the student-led protests, frustration has set in amid no sign of government concessions.

KCRW Presents: Caribou

Nov 30, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on KCRW Presents: Caribou

Dan Snaith, a.k.a. Caribou, has moved freely between musical aesthetics on each of his previous records, but on his fifth studio release, Our Love, he’s fine-tuned and settled into a warmer, more personal approach.

On his third visit to KCRW, Snaith performed songs off his newest and perhaps best album to date, including the captivating title track.

SET LIST
  • “Our Love”

Watch Caribou’s full Morning Becomes Eclectic session at KCRW.com.

Ferguson Largely Peaceful After Officer’s Decision To Quit

Nov 30, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Ferguson Largely Peaceful After Officer’s Decision To Quit

A man is arrested by police after kneeling in the street during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday.i
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A man is arrested by police after kneeling in the street during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday.

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A man is arrested by police after kneeling in the street during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday.

A man is arrested by police after kneeling in the street during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday.

Jeff Roberson/AP

A few hundred people protested overnight in Ferguson, Mo., but there were initial reports of few arrests by police hours after officer Darren Wilson’s resignation was made public.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch says that “outside the Ferguson police department, about 150 to 200 protesters gathered to chant and wave signs and flags. At about 8:45 p.m., they marched South on South Florissant Road.” The newspaper says one arrest was made after a man threw a bottle at police.

St. Louis Public Radio live blogged the evening’s marches and protests here.

In Portland, Ore., police made 10 arrests in a demonstration related to events in Ferguson.

As we reported on Saturday, Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, has announced through his attorney that he will resign from the city’s force, days after a grand jury decided against indicting him in the killing.

In his resignation letter, Wilson said his quitting the force “will allow the community to heal.

“It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me,” he wrote.

Wilson had been on administrative leave since the Aug. 9 shooting.

The Associated Press says that Ferguson officials were planning to address Wilson’s resignation at a news briefing today.

Meanwhile, the parents of Brown were preparing to attend a church service today where the Rev. Al Sharpton was expected to preach.

Police In Cairo Disperse Anti-Mubarak Protests

Nov 30, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Police In Cairo Disperse Anti-Mubarak Protests

Anti-Mubarak protesters shout slogans against the government and military on Saturday, after murder charges against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were dismissed.i
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Anti-Mubarak protesters shout slogans against the government and military on Saturday, after murder charges against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were dismissed.

Ambr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters/Landov


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Ambr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters/Landov

Anti-Mubarak protesters shout slogans against the government and military on Saturday, after murder charges against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were dismissed.

Anti-Mubarak protesters shout slogans against the government and military on Saturday, after murder charges against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were dismissed.

Ambr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters/Landov

At least two people were reportedly killed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and 15 others wounded as police sought to disperse a rally to protest a court’s decision to drop murder charges against former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak.

The independent Daily News Egypt says “thousands” of people gathered in the square, which just three years ago was the venue of massive anti-government protests that forced Mubarak’s resignation. It said two people were killed by security forces. The BBC put Saturday’s crowd at 2,000 and reported one death.

Daily News Egypt says:

“Riot police and military personnel aboard armoured personnel carriers sealed off the square itself in the early stages of the demonstrations. …

“Security forces eventually dispersed Saturday’s demonstrations with water cannons and teargas, with many protesters arrested.”

The newspaper says the two people killed, one aged 24 and the other 29, were allegedly shot multiple times by security forces.

As we reported on Saturday, charges of murder related to a bloody crackdown on the Arab Spring protests that had been leveled against the 86-year-old Mubarak were dismissed on appeal.

The Market For Low-End Smartphones Is Looking Up

Nov 29, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on The Market For Low-End Smartphones Is Looking Up

The Moto G became a success for Motorola and challenged what low-cost Android phones could be.i
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The Moto G became a success for Motorola and challenged what low-cost Android phones could be.

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


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The Moto G became a success for Motorola and challenged what low-cost Android phones could be.

The Moto G became a success for Motorola and challenged what low-cost Android phones could be.

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Around this time every year, retailers gird their loins and prepare to slash prices for the holiday shopping season. For many stores, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are opportunities to clear old stock (at a mild loss) and trigger a surge of spending that carries on well into December. Deals on toys, televisions and tablets are meant to pull you into stores, where you’re likely to splurge on other things like towels … or perhaps a new cellphone.

Depending on when and where you look this week you’ll be able to snag a new flagship class phone for as little as a penny if you’re willing to sign a 2-year contract. There are a few contract-free devices being discounted this weekend, but the bulk of them aren’t exactly the amazing “doorbusters” they’re being advertised as. They’re throwaway phones meant for short-term use. That’s not a knock against the cheap phone market, however. In fact, some of the most interesting developments in cellphone tech are focused on the so-called “low end.”

Once upon a time when you walked into a store looking to buy a new cell phone, you were presented with three options. High-end devices like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line were cutting edge, but expensive. Mid-range phones like HTC’s Desire series were cheaper, but not nearly as powerful. Low-end phones were the most affordable, but also the most technologically limited of the bunch. Their processors were slower, their screens were less crisp, and their build quality often left much to be, well, desired.

Looking at the market today, many things are the same. High-end phones are still pricey and aspirational while the midrange is still middling. Cheap smartphones, however, are in a state of disruption. Bargain-basement gadgets are giving way to bigger, better devices that are just as affordable. Manufacturers like Microsoft, Motorola and OnePlus are redefining what an affordable cellphone can do, and demanding that we put the term “low end” to rest.

Nokia's Lumia 635 is the follow-up to the wildly successful 520 series, one of the most popular and affordable Windows phones.

The New Low End

Before it was officially acquired by Microsoft, Nokia released the Lumia 520, 521 and 525 handsets that quickly became the most popular Windows phones in the world. A sub-$100 price point and fairly smooth everyday use made the series ideal for first-time smartphone users. Since then, Microsoft has rolled out more cheap models that feature significant hardware upgrades, while maintaining ridiculously low price points. Entry-level Lumias demonstrated what companies could accomplish by building software meant to run on simpler, cheaper hardware.

For the most part, the low-end smartphone market is dominated by Android. With Windows Phone 8, however, Microsoft targeted one of Android’s biggest weaknesses — performance. As powerful and customizable as Android is, it has a track record of poor performance on phones with lower specs. Windows Phone may not be as popular as Android, but it’s a relatively standardized platform — meaning that using one Windows Phone feels like using nearly every Windows phone.

Rather than treating the low end as an afterthought, Microsoft began the trend of treating it as an opportunity to provide all consumers with a compelling experience.

A man uses a mobile phone in front of a Telenor ad for cheap sim cards in Yangon, Myanmar. Cheap mobile technology has ignited an Internet revolution in the once-isolated nation.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the new Amazon Fire phone June 18 in Seattle.

Not long after Microsoft’s foray into the new “low end,” Motorola followed suit with the Moto G, a $180 off-contract phone meant to perform like a flagship. Similar to the Lumias, the Moto G became a record success for Motorola and challenged what low-cost Android phones could be.

The rising quality of smartphones priced under $200 is making them more attractive to the average consumer, but the low end is being redefined from above as well.

Redefining The Flagship

There’s nothing technically low-end about the OnePlus One except for its price. At $299 off contract, OnePlus’s “flagship killer” is more expensive than most of Microsoft’s Lumias or the Moto G. Compared to the iPhone 6 ($649), the LG G3 ($699), and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ($949), however, the OnePlus One is ludicrously priced. The OnePlus One features the same high-end components as its competitors, but has opted for a different kind of business model, which OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei likens to that of a startup.

“In building our company, we wanted to challenge the status quo,” Pei explained in an interview. “By selling directly to consumers and utilizing social media and our online community to create interest, we were able to put a lot more value back into the device itself.”

OnePlus's One phone manages to provide a high-end experience at a relatively low price point.

OnePlus’s One phone manages to provide a high-end experience at a relatively low price point.

OnePlus


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OnePlus

Unlike most other phones, the OnePlus One can only be bought online after receiving an invitation from the company or a friend who’s purchased the phone. The system does the double duty of generating buzz around the device and allowing OnePlus to maintain a careful, cost-effective balance between supply and demand. Pei says OnePlus’ focus isn’t necessarily on its competition. It’s on how people are purchasing their phones.

“Increasingly, people are starting to understand the true cost of signing a contract, and we want to make it easier to purchase a high-end device without having to give a large portion of money to a middleman,” Pei said. “We’re here to show everyone what’s possible once you step outside of the traditional rules of the smartphone market.”

The traditional rules of the smartphone market are what burned Amazon’s ill-fated Kindle Fire Phone earlier this year and drove the company to discount the phone to a more reasonable $199 off-contract price. Today more Americans are buying smartphones under $200, and the market is responding.

ARM, the company that designs most of the world’s cellphone processors, projects that by 2018 1 billion low-end smartphones will ship compared to 250 million high-end devices. What those devices will look like exactly is unclear, but it’s obvious that the low-end market that we knew is evolving into something bigger, stronger and cheaper than ever.

Charles Pulliam-Moore is an intern at NPR’s Code Switch who has a not-so-secret passion for mobile gadgetry. He tweets about tech, culture and the occasional pocket monster @CharlesPulliam.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand Dies At 80

Nov 29, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand Dies At 80

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand (right) with Mexican author and Nobel Prize winner for literature, Ocatavio Paz, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in 1995. Strand has died of cancer at age 80.i
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Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand (right) with Mexican author and Nobel Prize winner for literature, Ocatavio Paz, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in 1995. Strand has died of cancer at age 80.

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Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand (right) with Mexican author and Nobel Prize winner for literature, Ocatavio Paz, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in 1995. Strand has died of cancer at age 80.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand (right) with Mexican author and Nobel Prize winner for literature, Ocatavio Paz, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in 1995. Strand has died of cancer at age 80.

Joe Cavareta/AP

Mark Strand, a former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner whose verse is recognized for its wit and introspection, has died at age 80 from cancer, according to his daughter and a close family friend.

Strand, born in Canada and raised in the United States, was named poet laureate in 1990, won the Bollingen Prize three years later and the Pulitzer for Poetry in 1999 for his collection Blizzard of One. A review of the collection says: “Strand’s poems occupy a place that exists between abstraction and the sensuous particulars of experience. It is a place created by a voice that moves with unerring ease between the commonplace and the sublime.”

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From 2:50: Strand on making a living as a poet.

Fresh Air Weekend: A Bob Hope Bio, Christmas Albums And An Accordionist

Nov 29, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Fresh Air Weekend: A Bob Hope Bio, Christmas Albums And An Accordionist

Richard Zoglin's new book, Hope, is a biography of the comedian Bob Hope. Here, Hope performs for servicemen at Munda Airstrip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, in 1944.i
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Richard Zoglin’s new book, Hope, is a biography of the comedian Bob Hope. Here, Hope performs for servicemen at Munda Airstrip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, in 1944.

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Richard Zoglin's new book, Hope, is a biography of the comedian Bob Hope. Here, Hope performs for servicemen at Munda Airstrip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, in 1944.

Richard Zoglin’s new book, Hope, is a biography of the comedian Bob Hope. Here, Hope performs for servicemen at Munda Airstrip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, in 1944.

U.S. Army/AP

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Rise And Fall Of Comedian Bob Hope: Hope was a comedy trailblazer, but in his twilight years he alienated younger audiences with his political views. “He had, unfortunately, stuck around too long,” says Hope biographer Richard Zoglin.

Four Holiday Goodies, Including ‘Christmas At Downton Abbey’: It’s not too early to be releasing Christmas albums, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has been listening to a lot of them.

Accordionist Interprets French Waltz Tradition In ‘Musette Explosion’: Will Holshouser has played all kinds of music on the accordion, including Cajun, avant garde jazz and indie rock. He joins Fresh Air’s Terry Gross in her studio to play features from his new album.

You can listen to the original interviews here:

Few Arrests In Ferguson Amid Largely Peaceful Protests

Nov 29, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Few Arrests In Ferguson Amid Largely Peaceful Protests

Police and Missouri National Guardsmen stand guard as protesters gather in front of Ferguson Police Department on Friday. Authorities made 15 arrests amid largely peaceful protests.i
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Police and Missouri National Guardsmen stand guard as protesters gather in front of Ferguson Police Department on Friday. Authorities made 15 arrests amid largely peaceful protests.

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Police and Missouri National Guardsmen stand guard as protesters gather in front of Ferguson Police Department on Friday. Authorities made 15 arrests amid largely peaceful protests.

Police and Missouri National Guardsmen stand guard as protesters gather in front of Ferguson Police Department on Friday. Authorities made 15 arrests amid largely peaceful protests.

Jeff Roberson/AP

Police in Ferguson, Mo., arrested 15 people overnight amid continued, though mostly peaceful, protests following a grand jury’s decision earlier this week not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black youth Michael Brown.

Small protests were also held in Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Chicago.

Those arrested in Ferguson — all but one residing out-of-state — were charged with disturbing the peace.

St. Louis Public Radio, which live-blogged the protests, reports that about 200 people sang and chanted near a shopping mall that had been closed due to the protests.

The Associated Press says the arrests came later, when about 100 protesters marched in front of the city’s police and fire departments “chanting, blocking traffic and stopping in front of some businesses.”

The St. Louis Post Dispatch says:

“At about 10:30 p.m. dozens of police officers in riot gear waded into protesters standing in the middle of the street outside the Ferguson police station. They forced them back onto the sidewalk and made at least half a dozen arrests.

“St. Louis County Police tweeted that they issued a warning for protesters to leave the street, and some protesters ignored the warning and were taken into custody.”

For Northern Ireland, Wounds From ‘The Troubles’ Are Still Raw

Nov 28, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on For Northern Ireland, Wounds From ‘The Troubles’ Are Still Raw

The remains of Brendan Megraw are carried to St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Belfast by his brothers Kieran (second left) and Sean (second right) on Nov. 14. The remains were found in a bog 36 years after Megrew was taken by the IRA. He was one of the many who died or disappeared during the decades-long Troubles between Protestant loyalists and Catholic republicans in Northern Ireland.i
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The remains of Brendan Megraw are carried to St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Belfast by his brothers Kieran (second left) and Sean (second right) on Nov. 14. The remains were found in a bog 36 years after Megrew was taken by the IRA. He was one of the many who died or disappeared during the decades-long Troubles between Protestant loyalists and Catholic republicans in Northern Ireland.

Liam McBurney/PA Photos/Landov


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Liam McBurney/PA Photos/Landov

The remains of Brendan Megraw are carried to St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Belfast by his brothers Kieran (second left) and Sean (second right) on Nov. 14. The remains were found in a bog 36 years after Megrew was taken by the IRA. He was one of the many who died or disappeared during the decades-long Troubles between Protestant loyalists and Catholic republicans in Northern Ireland.

The remains of Brendan Megraw are carried to St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Belfast by his brothers Kieran (second left) and Sean (second right) on Nov. 14. The remains were found in a bog 36 years after Megrew was taken by the IRA. He was one of the many who died or disappeared during the decades-long Troubles between Protestant loyalists and Catholic republicans in Northern Ireland.

Liam McBurney/PA Photos/Landov

Sixteen years ago, the Good Friday peace agreement ended the violent conflict in Northern Ireland by creating a power-sharing government. Around the world, people point to the agreement as a model for how to resolve ethnic conflicts.

And yet, political leaders in Northern Ireland are still struggling to bring Protestant and Catholic groups together. The fact that this is even an issue might surprise many people.

When I visited Belfast, I found a city still profoundly divided.

Physically, its people are divided by 30-foot-high walls that snake through town, lined with murals, separating Catholic neighborhoods from Protestant.

“That is one of the ways we’ve managed those differences, by building high walls,” says Dominic Bryan, who directs the Institute of Irish Studies at Queens University Belfast. “You know, high walls make good neighbors.”

I met him at one of these so-called peace walls.

“At this very spot we had severe violence between the two communities, what we might call ethnic violence,” he says.

This is one of the peace walls in Belfast that separates Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. The first barriers were built in 1969 and meant to last only six months, but they have multiplied over the years and stand to this day.i
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This is one of the peace walls in Belfast that separates Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. The first barriers were built in 1969 and meant to last only six months, but they have multiplied over the years and stand to this day.

Ari Shapiro/NPR


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Ari Shapiro/NPR

This is one of the peace walls in Belfast that separates Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. The first barriers were built in 1969 and meant to last only six months, but they have multiplied over the years and stand to this day.

This is one of the peace walls in Belfast that separates Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. The first barriers were built in 1969 and meant to last only six months, but they have multiplied over the years and stand to this day.

Ari Shapiro/NPR

Belfast endured 40 years of virtual war, known as The Troubles. The IRA and other Catholic paramilitary groups used bombings, kidnappings and murder.
They wanted to end British rule of Northern Ireland and join the Republic of Ireland to the south. Violent Protestant paramilitary groups fought back.

And even though The Troubles officially ended in 1998, today many people still say they don’t want the walls to come down.

“Until people feel a sense of security themselves, then I think we haven’t created the context where I think it’s fair to bring these walls down,” Bryan says.

More than 90 percent of students in Northern Ireland attend segregated schools. Many Protestants say they don’t know Catholics personally, and vice-versa.

“It’s always been like that, and it’ll never change,” says Kirstie DeVine, 21.

I ran into her walking on the street with her girlfriend. She showed us an angry red scar on her throat, the result of a stabbing.

“I was walking down the road and this wee lad started fighting me, and I started fighting him, and it was all because I was Catholic and because I was gay, and he didn’t like that,” she says.

I asked which did she think was worse to him: being Catholic or being gay?

“Being gay, I think, was the worst,” she responds. “But being Catholic didn’t help my luck either.”

The violence today is nothing like during The Troubles. These days, it’s illegal to belong to a paramilitary organization.

Retiree William Boyd looks at the peace wall that runs along the bottom of his garden in east Belfast, in 2012.i
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Retiree William Boyd looks at the peace wall that runs along the bottom of his garden in east Belfast, in 2012.

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Retiree William Boyd looks at the peace wall that runs along the bottom of his garden in east Belfast, in 2012.

Retiree William Boyd looks at the peace wall that runs along the bottom of his garden in east Belfast, in 2012.

Cathal McNaughton/Reuters/Landov

But these groups still exist under the radar. And without a clear political purpose, they’ve started getting into organized crime, drug dealing and prostitution.

At the Taughmonaugh Social Club on a Sunday evening, a bunch of tattooed young guys sit around a table full of empty beer bottles. The minute I walk in they peg me as an American, and a journalist.

I’ve come to meet a man named Jackie McDonald, who used to run the Ulster Defence Association, the biggest Protestant paramilitary group. He served 10 years in prison on racketeering and other charges. Now, he works with a group that seeks peace.

He says the younger generation doesn’t seem to want resolution.

“They’ve heard stories about people like me: ex-prisoners, ex-combatants,” he says. “They’ve heard stories about their grandfather or their uncle. So these young people think they’ve missed out.”

To them, the violence and prison is something that’s “sexy,” he says.

Jackie McDonald (center), is  shown here at a funeral in 2011. He once ran the Ulster Defence Association, the biggest Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. Now, he works for a group that seeks peace. But he says many young people don't seem to want resolution: They've heard stories about their grandfather or their uncle. So these young people think they've missed out.i
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Jackie McDonald (center), is shown here at a funeral in 2011. He once ran the Ulster Defence Association, the biggest Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. Now, he works for a group that seeks peace. But he says many young people don’t seem to want resolution: “They’ve heard stories about their grandfather or their uncle. So these young people think they’ve missed out.”

Niall Carson/PA Photos/Landov


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Niall Carson/PA Photos/Landov

Jackie McDonald (center), is  shown here at a funeral in 2011. He once ran the Ulster Defence Association, the biggest Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. Now, he works for a group that seeks peace. But he says many young people don't seem to want resolution: They've heard stories about their grandfather or their uncle. So these young people think they've missed out.

Jackie McDonald (center), is shown here at a funeral in 2011. He once ran the Ulster Defence Association, the biggest Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. Now, he works for a group that seeks peace. But he says many young people don’t seem to want resolution: “They’ve heard stories about their grandfather or their uncle. So these young people think they’ve missed out.”

Niall Carson/PA Photos/Landov

“They see that as having some sort of identity, some sort of status in the community,” he says.

The notorious prison where McDonald served time is called the Maze. It’s a 20-minute drive outside of Belfast, and it’s been closed for years.

I went there to meet Scott Boldt, former head of the reconciliation program at Edgehill Theological College at Queen’s University.

Today the site just looks like hundreds of acres of dirt and gravel surrounded by a perimeter fence. There had been a project to develop the area into a peace-building center, complete with a building designed by noted architect Daniel Liebskin, until just over a year ago, says Boldt, when plans fell through.

The European Union allocated hundreds of millions of dollars for the project. Then unionist groups expressed a fear that it would become a shrine to republicanism — in their words, “a shrine to terrorism.” So the project is on hold indefinitely.

“What happens with peace agreements like the Good Friday Agreement is when there’s a degree of peace on the surface, it removes some of the urgency, which ironically removes what perhaps is the greatest impetus to bring things across the finish line,” says Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Twice in the last 10 years, Haass has led diplomatic efforts to bring the sides together in Northern Ireland. It’s never quite worked out the way he hoped.

He says the meetings would start out civil, normal, relaxed.

“And suddenly somebody would say something, and it was as if something had been ripped, you could almost hear the Velcro ripping off and people would start using words like terrorist. And they’d start going after one another,” Haass recalls. “And what it showed me is that underneath this veneer of normalcy or civility, how raw it still is.”

The day we arrived in Belfast, police were on high alert after a suspected bomb attack on a police vehicle.

In the last two weeks, five officers had been injured, according to Police Inspector David Moore, mostly from being struck by bricks or other objects.

When asked how typical this is, he says it could be an “awful lot more.”

“With the violence we’ve seen over four or five nights, I’m glad I’m sitting here and saying it is only five,” he says.

Thousands of people died in The Troubles, and many of their family members are still seeking some kind of closure.

Three days before I arrived in Belfast, Brenden Megraw was finally buried. He was one of the disappeared, taken by the IRA more than 30 years ago; his body was only found in October.

He was given a traditional Irish wake. During the ceremony, candles were lit in the church to represent each of the disappeared.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly speaks to the media outside Antrim's police station in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday. Police released Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams after five days of questioning him about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.

Bobbie Hanvey and his son Steafán Hanvey, in Northern Ireland.

Sandra Peake is the chief executive of Wave Trauma Centre, a group that helps people suffering from The Troubles.

“I think in general there are still families that feel that things are still as raw today,” she says.

Last year, her organization had 645 new clients. So even all these years after the peace accords, many people are only just starting to process the damage.

“I think many of us have a blindness to the reality of what The Troubles did here. And we live within the community, we work within the community,” Peake says. But there’s a blindness to the reality of what many families have been left to carry here.”

Trained as an emergency room nurse, Peake says she loved the quick fix: Someone enters with an open wound; you sew it up, and they leave.

Now she operates in a different world — where the wounds take years to close, if they ever heal at all.

Ray Rice Reportedly Wins Appeal And Is Reinstated By NFL

Nov 28, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Ray Rice Reportedly Wins Appeal And Is Reinstated By NFL

Former Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced earlier this year that showed him hitting his then-fiancee, has won an appeal and will be reinstated by the NFL, reports say.

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