Browsing articles in "World News"

Botswana Lifts Its Ban On Elephant Hunting

May 24, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Botswana Lifts Its Ban On Elephant Hunting

Elephants eat foliage at Botswana’s Mashatu game reserve in 2010.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Elephants eat foliage at Botswana’s Mashatu game reserve in 2010.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Botswana’s government is lifting a ban that protected its elephants from being hunted, part of a series of decisions that could have lasting impacts on the country’s conservation efforts.

In a letter to reporters, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism referred to elephants as predators and said their numbers “appear to have increased.” It said a subcommittee found that conflicts between humans and elephants had risen, harming livestock and the livelihoods of Botswana’s people.

The announcement marked a sharp departure from the policies of former President Ian Khama, who suspended elephant hunting after data showed the population in decline. The ban took effect in 2014 but did not stop hunting in registered game ranches.

'A Million Elephants' No More: Conservationists In Laos Rush To Save An Icon

In May, Botswana’s newly elected president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, made international headlines for giving three African leaders stools made of elephant feet.

In June, he requested a review of the ban on hunting elephants.

His study group recommended “regular but limited elephant culling,” in addition to establishing elephant meat canning for pet food and other products. Among other conclusions, it recommended the government expand Botswana’s safari hunting industry.

Authorities said Thursday that the government accepted all recommendations except the regular culling of elephants and the establishment of meat canning. “This was rejected because culling is not considered acceptable given the overall continental status of elephants. Rather, a more sustainable method such as selective cropping should be employed,” the government said.

Conservationists around the world took to social media to denounce the government’s reversal on elephant hunting.

“Horrific beyond imagination,” said Paula Kahumbu, CEO of the Kenya-based WildlifeDirect. She said hunting was an archaic way to address the problems of living with mega fauna. “Africa, we are better than this,” she tweeted.

German organization Pro Wildlife wrote that hunting was a bloody sport, “#cruel, outdated, unethical and often undermining” conservation.

Nearly 90 Elephants Found Dead Near Botswana Sanctuary, Killed By Poachers

Other groups celebrated Botswana’s announcement, including Safari Club International, a U.S.-based organization that supports regulated trophy hunting.

President Paul Babaz called it “heartening” in a statement. “These findings clearly show that hunting bans actually hurt wildlife conservation; hunting is the key to providing the necessary revenue to fund anti-poaching efforts and on-the-ground conservation research,” he said.

Fewer than 400 elephant licenses will be granted annually, the government of Botswana announced on Twitter Thursday. It said it was planning for “strategically placed human wildlife conflict fences” and compensation for damage caused by wildlife. All migratory routes for animals that are not considered “beneficial” to Botswana’s conservation efforts will be closed, including an antelope route to South Africa.

Northern Botswana is home to Africa’s largest elephant population, according to the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service. The population grew steadily from 80,000 in 1996 to 129,000 in 2014.

It happened as habitat loss and poaching devastated elephant populations across Africa. Between 2010 and 2012 alone, poachers slaughtered 100,000 African elephants, National Geographic reported.

Last September, the carcasses of 87 elephants were found close to a protected sanctuary in Botswana. They had been killed for their tusks.

American Man Achieves Dream By Reaching Mount Everest Summit, Then Dies

May 24, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on American Man Achieves Dream By Reaching Mount Everest Summit, Then Dies

A 55-year-old Utah man who told his son that he was “so blessed” to achieve his lifelong dream of reaching the summit of Mount Everest, collapsed and died during his descent on Wednesday.

The family of Donald Lynn Cash, of Sandy, Utah, said the software sales executive and mountaineer apparently died of a heart attack. His body is not recoverable.

“The last message he sent to me personally was, ‘I’m so blessed to be on the mountain I have read about for 40 years!’ ” son Tanner Cash told NBC’s Today show.

Cash fell at the top of the summit in the early morning, according to The Himalayan Times, and was brought below the famed Hillary Step on the south side of the mountain by his climbing guides. They tried to save his life by administering oxygen, but he died later in the afternoon.

There are reports that the effort to carry Cash below the Hillary Step was delayed by a traffic jam of other mountaineers trying to reach the summit. Somewhere between 250 to 300 climbers were attempting to reach the summit on Wednesday, according to The New York Times.

“There’s a long queue of climbers above Camp IV,” Gyanendra Shrestha, a liaison officer at the Everest base camp, told The Himalayan Times. “Everyone seems in a hurry to reach the summit point when the weather is clear.”

Cash died as he achieved his goal of climbing highest summits on all seven continents.

“I am truly blessed to be able to take the next 5 months off on a sabbatical to finish the last 2 remaining mountains on my Seven Summits Club dream,” he wrote on his LinkedIn page. “Mt. Vinson-Masiff in Antarctica Jan 7-26th, 2019 and then Mt. Everest in Nepal April/May 2019. I’m excited to look for the next chapter of my career in June when I return. Safely. With all my digits.”

I think there’s just so much peace that comes from knowing that he didn’t suffer,” Cash’s daughter Brandalin told NBC’s Today show. “That it was the best way to go.”

Cash is the 12th mountaineer to die on Himalayan mountains above 25,000 feet in the spring climbing season, The Himalayan Times reports.

Alabama Historians Say The Last Known Slave Ship To U.S. Has Been Found

May 23, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Alabama Historians Say The Last Known Slave Ship To U.S. Has Been Found

Many of the survivors of the Clotilda voyage are buried in Old Plateau Cemetery near Mobile, Ala. The Alabama Historical Commission announced Wednesday that researchers have identified the vessel after months of work.

Julie Bennett/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Julie Bennett/AP

Many of the survivors of the Clotilda voyage are buried in Old Plateau Cemetery near Mobile, Ala. The Alabama Historical Commission announced Wednesday that researchers have identified the vessel after months of work.

Julie Bennett/AP

The Alabama Historical Commission says a wrecked ship off the Gulf Coast is the Clotilda, the last known vessel to bring people from Africa to the United States and into bondage.

At the Robert Hope Community Center in Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday, researchers unveiled their discovery to descendants of that fateful voyage. “They had been waiting for this for a long time,” Alabama Historical Commission Chairman Walter Givhan, a retired major general, told NPR. “They were jubilant.”

Givhan said researchers based their assessment on certain historical information. “You knew certain things about this ship, you knew it had certain characteristics just from the history – how many masts, how long it was, what kind of wood it might have been made of,” Givhan said.

Researchers were also looking for a ship that had been burned and scuttled in the waters around Mobile — reflecting the captain’s attempts to block law enforcement from finding evidence of a crime.

From February to July 1860, the Clotilda carried 110 people from present-day Benin to the shores of Mobile, despite an 1808 U.S. law banning the import of slaves.

The prisoners were among the last known Africans destined for a life in captivity.

Captain William Foster and Timothy Meaher, a wealthy Alabamian, were said to have made a bet that resulted in the voyage.

Wreckage Of WWII Aircraft Carrier Found In The South Pacific Ocean

After the Civil War, some survivors of the Clotilda formed a Mobile community eventually known as Africatown.

The announcement of the ship’s identity comes a year after another claim that the historic vessel had been discovered. AL.com reported that a staff member may have stumbled on remnants of the ship. “I saw this big sort of dinosaur backbone almost, arcing up out of the mud along the shoreline,” Ben Raines told NPR at the time.

But the Alabama Historical Commission ruled out that possibility because of major differences between the two vessels. For one, the wreckage Raines found appeared to lack fire damage.

Researchers said the wreck identified on Wednesday showed signs of burns, matching archival records.

“We are cautious about placing names on shipwrecks that no longer bear a name or something like a bell with the ship’s name on it,” team leader James Delgado said in a statement, “but the physical and forensic evidence powerfully suggests that this is Clotilda.”

Researchers said the conclusions were independently reviewed and agreed upon by international authorities.

The commission said it is coordinating with the governor’s office, law enforcement and the Department of Conservation to keep the site protected.

The work was carried out in collaboration with the Black Heritage Council, National Geographic Society, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History Culture and other organizations.

Lisa Demetropoulos Jones, executive director of the commission, said the “voyage represented one of the darkest eras of modern history.” She added, “This new discovery brings the tragedy of slavery into focus while witnessing the triumph and resilience of the human spirit.”

The Thistle & Shamrock: Dreamtime

May 23, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on The Thistle & Shamrock: Dreamtime

Maire Brennan

Mella Travers/Courtesy of the artist


hide caption

toggle caption

Mella Travers/Courtesy of the artist

Settle into an hour of soothing voices and soaring instrumentals that all go to prove this roots music business needn’t always be high-energy. Featured in this episode are Davy Spillane, William Jackson, Maire Brennan and Dougie MacLean.

U.S. Postal Service Is Testing Self-Driving Trucks

May 22, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on U.S. Postal Service Is Testing Self-Driving Trucks

A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday. It doesn’t involve home deliveries.

Brynn Anderson/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Brynn Anderson/AP

A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday. It doesn’t involve home deliveries.

Brynn Anderson/AP

The U.S. Postal Service is experimenting with self-driving trucks to move mail across state lines.

The USPS has partnered with San Diego-based TuSimple on a two-week pilot program, focusing solely on a 1,000-mile route between Dallas and Phoenix.

TuSimple’s Chief Product Officer Chuck Price told NPR the test runs, which began on Tuesday, will help the Postal Service “become future-ready.” The aim of the program, according to the Postal Service, is “to accommodate a diverse mail mix, enhance safety, improve service, reduce emissions, and produce operational savings.”

It will involve five round trips, traveling major interstates that cross Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Each truck will have a “safety engineer” and driver on board for the duration of the pilot to monitor vehicle performance and to ensure public safety.

As Trump Attacks Amazon-Postal Service Ties, He Fails To Fill Postal Governing Board

USPS Suspends Mail Delivery In Parts Of 10 States Because Of Dangerous Polar Vortex

The Postal Service usually contracts out such long-haul trips, which involve large freight trailers carrying thousands of pieces of mail, as opposed to the small trucks making door-to-door deliveries.

Having humans in the driver seat — actually doing the driving — on long-distance routes like the one being tested is challenging “because it’s 22 hours in one direction, requires teams of drivers and it’s very hard to recruit drivers into this kind of run,” Price said.

The pilot marks TuSimple’s debut run into Texas. The commercial freight moving company has been operating autonomous vehicles primarily in Arizona since 2018.

The Postal Service also has ideas for using self-driving vehicles for home delivery, perhaps using vehicles that follow behind a mail carrier who walks a route.

It is unclear how much the pilot program will cost, but the Postal Service stressed it does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses.

McDonald’s Facing New Charges Of Sexual Harassment

May 22, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on McDonald’s Facing New Charges Of Sexual Harassment

McDonald’s workers marching in Los Angeles in September 2018 as part of a multi-state strike seeking to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

Richard Vogel/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Richard Vogel/AP

McDonald’s workers marching in Los Angeles in September 2018 as part of a multi-state strike seeking to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

Richard Vogel/AP

For the third time in three years, McDonald’s Corp. is facing allegations of rampant sexual harassment of female employees by male coworkers and managers.

Twenty-three new complaints against McDonald’s — 20 of which were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — were announced Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, the labor group Fight for $15, and the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. Three of the complaints were filed as civil rights lawsuits, and two suits stemmed from previous allegations.

The complaints of gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment of low-wage workers include inappropriate touching, indecent exposure, lewd comments and requests for sex, as well as retaliation for reporting such conduct. The incidents are alleged to have occurred at corporate and franchise stores in 20 cities.

“It’s a brutal reality across the fast food industry that at least one in four workers — especially women of color working low-wage jobs — experience sexual harassment as a routine part of their job,” said Sharyn Tejani, director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, in a statement. “Every day, workers are forced to choose between getting a paycheck or speaking up about their abuse. When they report harassment, workers are often fired or have their shifts cut — and since nothing is done to stop it, the scourge continues.”

In one complaint, Jamelia Fairley, an employee in Sanford, Fla., alleges that she was sexually harassed over a period of several months, including hearing sexual comments about her 1-year-old daughter. Fairley alleges that after she reported the incidents her work hours were reduced. Her complaint is partially redacted in order to conceal the identities of her alleged assailants and the managers to whom she reported the incidents.

A spokeswoman for McDonald’s declined to comment on the EEOC filings. But the company’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a May 19, 2019, letter that “McDonald’s is committed to ensuring a harassment and bias-free workplace.”

“By strengthening our overall policy, creating interactive training, a third-party managed anonymous hotline and importantly, listening to employees across the system, McDonald’s is sending a clear message that we are committed to creating and sustaining a culture of trust where employees feel safe, valued and respected,” Easterbrook wrote. He said that posters defining the company’s anti-harassment policy have been sent “to all 14,000 restaurants in the McDonald’s system.”

Easterbrook’s letter was addressed to author and actress Padma Lakshmi, who attended a rally in support of the complainants in front of McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago on Tuesday.

Critics say the fast-food giant has made promises of reforms before. The EEOC filings are “the third and largest round of EEOC complaints that workers have filed against McDonald’s in the last three years,” according to The New York Times.

In September 2018, McDonald’s employees staged a one-day strike in 10 cities to protest sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sexual harassment in the restaurant industry is common, according to a 2016 survey that found that 40% of female fast food workers said they felt forced to accept that behavior or risk losing their jobs.

The vast majority of those who experience sexual harassment — an estimated 87% to 94% — never file a formal legal complaint, according to a study by the National Women’s Law Center. Despite that, in 2016, nearly 7,000 sexual harassment complaints were filed with the EEOC.

Advocates say they hope the complaints brought against McDonald’s, one of the most globally recognized brands, will “be a catalyst for significant change.”

Top Reason For CEO Departures Among Largest Companies Is Now Misconduct, Study Finds

May 21, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Top Reason For CEO Departures Among Largest Companies Is Now Misconduct, Study Finds

Marchers protest sexual harassment in January 2018 in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Ted S. Warren/AP

Marchers protest sexual harassment in January 2018 in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Heads are rolling in the corner office.

For decades, the main reason chief executives were ousted from their jobs was the firm’s financial performance. In 2018, that all changed. Misconduct and ethical lapses occurring in the #MeToo era are now the biggest driver behind a chief executive falling from the top.

That’s according to a new study from the consulting division of PwC, one the nation’s largest auditing firms.

It is the first time since the group began tracking executive turnover 19 years ago that scandals over bad behavior rather than poor financial performance was the leading cause of leadership dismissals among the world’s 2,500 largest public companies.

“A lot of bad actors are being cleared out of the reaches of corporate American,” John Paul Rollert, a professor at the University of Chicago who studies the ethics of leadership, told NPR.

Thirty-nine percent of the 89 CEOs who departed in 2018 left for reasons related to unethical behavior stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct or ethical lapses connected to things like fraud, bribery and insider trading, the study found.

Executives are still being pushed out because of poor financial performance, but only about 35% of the time.

And that shift, the researchers say, is meaningful.

Increasingly, according to the study, corporate boards are approaching allegations of executive misconduct with a “zero-tolerance stance,” fueled in part by societal pressures since the rise of the #MeToo movement.

“For companies, they are recognizing that if they don’t get aggressive with this type of behavior, they are going to face exceptional liabilities when it comes to court cases,” Rollert said. “And so better to address these concerns now than to deal with multi-million-dollar lawsuit and the bad PR that comes with that sometime down the road.”

Hot Job Market Is Wooing Women Into Workforce Faster Than Men

In France, The #MeToo Movement Has Yet To Live Up To Women's Hopes

Some former CEOs say the study is proof that more women are feeling emboldened to share stories of alleged abuse or misconduct, and it is reshaping corporate America.

“Employees are starting to say, ‘how can you enforce a policy on us without holding CEOs accountable?’ ” said Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and former chief executive of Medtronic, who has served on the boards of Goldman Sachs and Exxon Mobil. “The CEO’s behavior has to be beyond reproach. Boards are aware of this and are really feeling pressure around that now.”

Corporate boards, George said, realize “there’s a greater reputational hit of not acting than acting” to remove the executive.

Communication companies were hardest hit, reporting executive turnover around 24 percent, followed by materials and energy business. Health care companies logged the lowest rate of CEO attrition at around 11 percent.

Scores of CEOs were knocked down after allegations of sexual misconduct or impropriety in 2018. In July, the chief executive of Barnes Noble was forced out. Two months later, Les Moonves, CBS’s chairman and chief executive, resigned after facing accusations from a dozen women.

The year also saw the chiefs of apparel company Lululemon and Intel exit after an internal findings of a violation of the company’s ethical guidelines.

The purge from the upper echelons of white collar jobs, Rollert predicts, will start to hit company leaders who may not be as well known as media executives and the heads of brands that are household names. Soon, he said, the movement that is forcing out top bosses will make its way down to smaller firms, and he said could even reach into blue-collar workplaces.

“The first wave of #MeToo took out some of the most high-profile figures,” Rollert said. “What we’re beginning to see in this second and now third wave is corporate America taking responsibility for itself,” he said. “There are clearly a lot of bad actors who are still hiding in the shadows that need to be swept out.”

Whitney Houston Hologram Tour And New Album In The Works 7 Years After Her Death

May 21, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Whitney Houston Hologram Tour And New Album In The Works 7 Years After Her Death

Whitney Houston’s estate announced a slew of new projects featuring the beloved singer, including a hologram tour, a new album or previously unreleased songs, a possible Broadway musical and a Vegas show.

Matt Sayles/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Matt Sayles/AP

Whitney Houston’s estate announced a slew of new projects featuring the beloved singer, including a hologram tour, a new album or previously unreleased songs, a possible Broadway musical and a Vegas show.

Matt Sayles/AP

Seven years after her death, Whitney Houston may be coming to a venue near you.

The pop icon’s estate has partnered with BASE Hologram to produce “An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour,” the company revealed in a statement on Monday.

The announcement comes on the heels of a separate deal between the singer’s estate and Primary Wave Publishing last week, which is also expected to produce a series of new projects, including a new album, a possible Broadway musical and Vegas-style spectacle.

“Whitney Houston was unquestionably one of the most important singers of any generation,” BASE Hologram CEO Brian Becker said in a statement.

The show will include master recordings of the late singer and feature a live band and backup singers.

In an interview with Billboard, Becker revealed production has already started and the singer is expected to reappear before adoring fans longing to see her once again, or for the very first time, hit those stratospheric notes in “I Will Always Love You,” sometime next year.

“Her career inspired so many musicians across all genres and generations and we are honored that her family is entrusting part of her legacy to us,” Becker said.

A computerized spectral apparition by Houston in the coming years expands a roster of posthumous tours by singing legends and rock stars, which includes Maria Callas, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly and Frank Zappa. Last year Amy Winehouse’s father reported that a similar tour was in the works for his daughter, whose meteoric rise to fame was followed by years of very public drug addiction problems before her death in 2011.

Raising The Dead — And A Few Questions — With Maria Callas' Hologram

Amy Winehouse Hologram Expected To 'Tour' With A Backing Band

In an interview with The New York Times, Houston’s sister-in-law and estate executor explained that the aggressive marketing push is part of a strategy to monetize her legacy and simultaneously redeem the singer’s reputation which suffered from stories of drug addiction.

“Before she passed, there was so much negativity around the name; it wasn’t about the music anymore,” Pat Houston said. “People had forgotten how great she was. They let all the personal things about her life outweigh why they fell in love with her in the first place.”

Jeff Pezzuti, CEO of Eyellusion, the company behind a well-received ongoing Frank Zappa tour, told NPR, hologram tours go “way beyond being just a regular show.” And he insists new and old fans are eager for opportunities to spend more time with the stars they love.

“Think about it, Frank Zappa passed away in the early 90s so a lot of people that are my age or younger, maybe didn’t have the opportunity to see him,” Pezzuti said. “That makes it appealing to the younger generation of fans who really admire Frank” and for older fans, “it’s one more chance to relive that time,” he added.

He also noted it could prove to be a great opportunity for older living artists who may be approaching retirement or planning to launch farewell tours.

“When I see acts like the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney who are still touring but are really starting to wind down, it makes me a little bit sad because when these people do finally retire, there’s going to be a big void in the touring world,” he said. “This is a way to bottle that up and find a way to create live experiences for fans to still enjoy them and continue their legacy.”

Catie Monck, vice president of communications for Primary Wave, said a new album by Houston, who had 11 number 1 hits and sold tens of millions of albums, will be released at the end of the year or early 2020. It will consist, at least in part, of outtakes from Houston’s 1985 self-titled debut album.

Former Catholic Priest Calls To ‘Abolish The Priesthood’

May 20, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Former Catholic Priest Calls To ‘Abolish The Priesthood’



MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I’m Michel Martin.

We’re turning now to a sensitive and painful subject for Catholics around the world – abusive conduct by clergy, priests who have been credibly accused of everything from fathering children out of wedlock to keeping nuns, not to mention children, as virtual sex slaves and using their stature and authority to cover it up. Millions of faithful believers, up to and including the pope himself, have struggled with how to address this.

Now a former priest-turned-newspaper columnist has proposed a radical solution – abolishing the priesthood. James Carroll makes this provocative argument in a new article for The Atlantic that posted this week, and it’s called “Abolish The Priesthood.” Carroll has been reflecting on and writing about the issue of clergy abuse for years, especially since leaving the priesthood in 1974. But it was only a few months ago, he says, that he stopped going to Mass. I asked Carroll if there was any particular moment that spurred that decision.

JAMES CARROLL: I came to a breaking point only last summer, and it was because of Pope Francis. Pope Francis went to Ireland, which is the ground zero of this terrible collapse of Catholic morality. And the thing that actually snapped in me was when Francis denied having heard about the so-called Magdalene laundries – those institutions run by religious women in Ireland for unwed women who are giving birth to children. And Francis claims never to have heard of it, which struck me, at first, as dishonest and then, secondly, giving him the benefit of the doubt, as ignorant to the point of grotesque denial. And that’s when I snapped. I thought, if Francis – if Pope Francis is at the grip of this clerical myopia, then there’s really no hope for this institution. It really is broken.

MARTIN: You write extensively about this. You said that clericalism, with its cult of secrecy, its theological misogyny, its sexual repressiveness and its hierarchical power based on threats of a doom-laden afterlife, is at the root of Roman Catholic dysfunction. And I think for people who aren’t aware of these terms, like, how do you – what is clericalism in your view?

CARROLL: Well, clericalism is the culture of the priesthood. The church claims that priests are beings of a different order. Ordination imposes on priests what the tradition calls an ontological change, setting priests above and beyond normal human life. That’s clericalism. And when one member of that culture is found to be grievously abusive, the culture instinctively circles the wagons around him – may not approve of him but will not publicly punish him because there’s the threat that this pyramid of power will be undone. So clericalism is the issue.

MARTIN: You know, to that point, though, I mean, you have to know that by now that there have been some, you know, scathing responses to your piece. One that comes to mind is by James Martin, who’s a Jesuit priest. He’s the editor-at-large at “America,” the Jesuit review. And he posted a piece saying that you’re conflating the priesthood with clericalism, that you’re engaging in stereotyping. And he also makes the point that it’s a minority of priests who have been found to engage in this conduct. So if the problem is as systemic as you say, then why wouldn’t it be more? I mean, as – obviously, nobody’s denying the egregiousness of the conduct. But his argument is that if clericalism is the issue, why abolish the priesthood? Is it your view that the priesthood is indistinguishable from clericalism at this point?

CARROLL: I actually revere the work of James Martin. I respect him tremendously. I’ve learned from him. I’m not surprised we disagree. But what he accuses me of conflating – the priesthood with clericalism – I’d simply invite him to explain to us why the priesthood based on the requirement of mandatory celibacy for everyone – every member of the priesthood – and the forbidding of women to become priests, why those two notes are themselves not corrupting of the priesthood itself? That’s the argument I’m making.

MARTIN: If the priesthood is abolished, what replaces it?

CARROLL: The ways in which we go forward are not altogether clear. But I’m encouraging people who are appalled by the failures of the church leadership not to leave the church but not necessarily to continue with the rituals and traditions over which ordained clergy preside. To walk away from the Catholic Church is to leave its worst impulses unchallenged and its best impulses unsupported. There are more than 100,000 schools and colleges run by the Catholic Church. There are more than 40- or 50,000 health centers run by the Catholic Church. The people who do that work around the globe are Catholics. Almost none of them are priests and bishops.

MARTIN: Finally, before I let you go today, you’ve said so for years you refuse to cede your faith to the corruptions of the institutional church, but now you’ve stopped going to Mass. May I ask you, what did you do today to connect with the divine when you would normally have been in church?

CARROLL: I’m in exile. I’m a man on the margin. I did not go to Mass. I did what many people do to be in touch with the holy. I walked along the harbor. I was quietly at prayer. I may not live to see what I’m calling for take place. I’ll tell you this. A hundred years from now, there will be a Catholic church. And I tell you something else – it won’t look at all like the church we live in now.

MARTIN: That’s James Carroll. He’s a former Catholic priest. His piece “Abolish The Priesthood” is in the June 2019 issue of the Atlantic.

Mr. Carroll, thanks so much for talking to us.

CARROLL: My privilege. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

In ‘Ladysitting,’ Lorene Cary Chronicles The End Of Her Grandmother’s Life

May 20, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on In ‘Ladysitting,’ Lorene Cary Chronicles The End Of Her Grandmother’s Life



MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we’re going to have a conversation that few of us want to have but most of us eventually will have to have. It’s about caring for an aging relative who is in decline. Author Lorene Cary has been there, and she’s written about it beautifully, honestly and hilariously in her new memoir “Ladysitting: My Year With Nana At The End Of Her Century.” And Lorene Cary’s with us now on the line from Philadelphia.

Lorene, thanks so much for talking to us.

LORENE CARY: Thank you.

MARTIN: And, of course, I do have to get some business out of the way. You and I know each other. We both attended the same high school – St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. We were both among the early classes of girls and not white people in what had been an all-male and all-white school. And you wrote about your experiences there in your classic memoir “Black Ice” – so just, you know, wanted to disclose all that. But most of the work that people will know you for is fiction. I mean, even though, as I said, “Black Ice” is a classic – it’s taught in many schools around the country. But most of your work is fiction, and you haven’t returned really to memoir. And I wondered what made you want to write this book.

CARY: Well, I needed to write about this in the same way I needed to write about the St. Paul’s School experience. It changed my life. It turned it upside down. There was so much love inside. It’s like a Scotch egg, you know, with love under this crust of confusion and rage and mistakes. And my only way to understand that is to write it.

MARTIN: How’d you come up with ladysitting (ph)? I love it.

CARY: That was the word we used in our house for staying with Nana. My grandmother would sometimes say, I guess you have to get somebody to babysit me. We’d say, no, no, Nana. We’re going to get somebody to ladysit you. And it was sort of the way we could acknowledge – like, you had to acknowledge her vulnerability but not in a way that was hurtful or made her feel even more vulnerable.

MARTIN: Well, it’s an elegant solution to that. That’s kind of what the book is about – is how…

CARY: (Laughter).

MARTIN: …To navigate these tricky moments where the relationship changes. And so, first of all, tell us about Nana. And what was your relationship like with her before your relationship had to change?

CARY: My relationship with her in my childhood was charmed and golden. She was indulgent. She bought me a record player when I was 3 and let me play anything I wanted, gave me ball gowns to dress in and ice cream. And it was lovely.

MARTIN: But Nana was no joke, right?

CARY: No.

MARTIN: No.

CARY: No. No. So there was that Nana. There was also the Nana I saw at the office, which was where she took care of a little parcel of falling-down apartments in South Philly. She would do things there I had never seen before. She had a very cold kind of ceramic voice she used with people. And when I would question her about – God, how could you, like, not let that person have an exterminator? And she’d say, honey, that’s business. This is business.

MARTIN: So then we get to the sticky part where – you know, going to Nana’s had been this magical experience when you were growing up. And then, of course, it shifts to where you’re visiting her to help take care of her. But then this tricky moment comes when you realize it just can’t continue. And this is the moment that so many people confront, where they realize that, you know, whatever – you’re trying to maintain the person’s dignity. You’re trying to maintain them where they want to be, and it just isn’t working. Can you just talk about what that moment was like for you? When did that come?

CARY: She had figured out all of her workarounds. Being in the house alone – I was never comfortable with that. You know, locking the door for someone who cannot get up and down the steps without help or does it alone slowly, doing it on her bottom up a whole flight of stairs – that feels terrible, too. She had one infection. She couldn’t shake it. She was going down, down, down. And when we took her to the hospital simply to get antibiotics intravenously, the social worker then said, where’s she going home to? And the answer was a two-story neocolonial house in suburban New Jersey. Answer – no. What’s your plan B?

And there was no plan B because my Nana had planned on dying like her father died. She always said it in this – what I call this perfect death haiku that I’ll probably get wrong. But she always said, he washed his teeth and went to bed. And then, the next morning, he didn’t get up. And that’s what Nana wanted. She wanted full functioning and then go to bed and die in your sleep.

MARTIN: Which would have been fine, except that that’s not the way it was going down, right?

CARY: And it’s not the way for most people, really.

MARTIN: You know, I was thinking about this – that so many people who write about this phase of life, either they focus on how terrible it is because, like, they want you to know this is terrible…

CARY: (Laughter).

MARTIN: You know what I mean? You know? Or they – it’s, like, I learned so many life lessons. You know, it’s like this – like, you know what I mean? And it’s almost as if both of those ideas can’t coexist in the same…

CARY: (Laughter).

MARTIN: …Day even. And that’s one of the things about your book. I mean, you write about, like, both things – both the way it’s terrible and the ways it’s, like, hilarious and enriching. Could you talk a little bit about that?

CARY: There was a moment close to the end, when Nana wasn’t getting enough oxygen. She was getting more afraid. The one person she always recognized was me. And the one voice she always recognized was my husband’s. She had had a fight with the nurse. She had believed that the lady who took care of my grandfather and then took care of her – she started thinking that that woman wanted to kill her. And she wouldn’t have her back – threw us into complete turmoil.

Now we had to figure out something else – nursing. I stayed home. I stayed in her room. And this particular day, I went off to work. Our other very fine nurse was with us, called me five minutes after I left and said, your grandmother’s upset. You have to come in. My grandmother didn’t recognize me. She grabbed my hand and twisted them and held on, and she kept looking at me. She didn’t believe I was me. It’s as if some demon were coming impersonating me to get her. And I said, I got to get her a cup of coffee or something so that her chemistry will flip, and she’ll flip back into herself. When I brought that coffee up, my grandmother said to me, oh, Lorene, you’ve had a cold. Why don’t you take some of that coffee first?

MARTIN: Oh, no.

CARY: And I realized that she was checking to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. It’s the first time I ever lost it. And I found myself just talking through my teeth, saying, you know what? I don’t give mind games, and I don’t take them. You can take this coffee and drink it or you can throw it in the pot. And then she said to me, oh, honey. It was like she had to hear me at the edge of my capacity to believe it was me. And then she said, oh, honey, the fix I’m in, I can’t trust the Lord Jesus Christ right now.

MARTIN: Oh.

CARY: I said, Nana, the fix you’re in, you really can’t trust anybody else (laughter). Like, this – it’s not a fix.

MARTIN: It’s so hard, yeah…

CARY: But – yeah.

MARTIN: …To not be recognized. I know this is one of the things that many people say, is not being recognized by their family members. It’s just the worst feeling in the world.

CARY: Yeah. And in our case, it wasn’t permanent. I mean, I can’t imagine the feeling of people for whom this is a constant.

MARTIN: It’s interesting that – because that’s actually what I wanted to talk about. Besides mentioning that she was hilarious, like, in her own way – like, the situation did become hilarious. I was thinking particularly about the time when – because you’re – as the rector’s wife, you’d help out with coffee hour…

CARY: (Laughter).

MARTIN: …And how she was always trying to, like, sneak the food and, like, get you to leave some…

CARY: No, hold back.

MARTIN: Don’t – yeah, hold some back for the family.

CARY: Hold some back. Don’t put that whole cake out there.

MARTIN: (Laughter).

CARY: Hold some for the family.

MARTIN: And you’d be like, I can’t set out a pie or a cake missing a quarter, Nana.

CARY: (Laughter) And she said…

MARTIN: Can’t do that.

CARY: No, but then – you know, and then somebody would come up – I think it was Carlene, who was our nurse, came up with the idea. Well, cut it into slices. And then you can lay out the slices – like, all this so that we can keep from doing the – like, that’s why they give you a rectory – so that you could serve the church. Like, give it up.

MARTIN: (Laughter) That’s hilarious. What do you think you got out of writing this book? And what do you hope other people get out of reading your book?

CARY: I think I got back the experience. In “Law And Order,” you always see the crazy criminals take trophies, and they put them in a box and cement them down in the basement. I think I do that with grief. I think we – I put the fun things in there, and then I lock it up. I wanted all of this back. You know, I wanted the laughter. I wanted her. I wanted those years with my family. I wanted access to them again. And I wanted to do it while keeping company with all kinds of other people who are isolated by the very nature of caregiving. I wanted that back in my life, available to me.

MARTIN: We’ve been speaking with Lorene Cary. Her latest book is “Ladysitting: My Year With Nana At The End Of Her Century.” And Lorene was kind enough to join us from the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches.

Lorene, thank you so much for talking to us.

CARY: Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Pages:1234567...382»

Categories

Current Times

  • NPT: 2019-05-24 11:43 AM
  • EDT: 2019-05-24 01:58 AM
  • PDT: 2019-05-23 10:58 PM