Friday's Link Attack: Newsroom Diversity; 'Grandpas Over Flowers'; Yuna's Fashion Spread
THE CASE OF CUBA AND THE NORTH KOREAN SHIP
The New Yorker
Diplomats have long employed disingenuous turns of phrase to avoid conceding inconvenient and sometimes self-evident truths that could compromise or embarrass their nations. While artfulness is preferred, bald-faced lying is also part of the protocol. When the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, says, for instance, as he has been wont to over the past year, that Russian arms shipments to Syria's Assad régime are not offensive in nature and mere obligatory fulfillments of old standing orders—made long before the country's civil war—he is, most likely, lying.
It is difficult to know, as yet, just why Cuba would have wished to secretly load two MiG-21 fighter jets, fifteen MiG engines, and two anti-aircraft missile systems of Soviet vintage onto a North Korean cargo ship, the Chong Chon Gang, which then concealed that cargo underneath ten thousand tons of Cuban brown sugar. But the explanation that Cuba's foreign ministry quickly offered on Tuesday, a day after the ship's dramatic seizure by suspicious Panamanian authorities at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, was somewhere between decidedly strange and scarcely believable. The cargo was indeed Cuba's, said the foreign-ministry communique, consisting of "obsolete defensive weapons" which was being sent to North Korea for "repair." If the Chong Chon Gang's mission was as prosaic as that, then it's captain certainly overreacted when, as the Panamanians boarded his vessel, he attempted to commit suicide by cutting his own throat, while his crewmen mounted a resistance against their captors.
S. Korean ambassador presents credentials to Obama
Yonhap via GlobalPost
South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Ahn Ho-young presented his credentials Thursday to President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony attended by Ahn's family.
Ahn told Obama that South Korea expects the alliance with the U.S. to continue to develop especially as this year marks the 60th anniversary of the bond, according to the South Korean embassy here.
In response, Obama said he expects to work closely with the Park Geun-hye administration, it added.
5 Facts about ethnic and gender diversity in U.S. newsrooms
Last week, San Francisco Bay area television station KTVU broadcast fake names for the pilots of the Asiana Airline flight that crashed on July 6. The error involved ethnic stereotyping, leading the Asian American Journalists Association to assert that these kinds of mistakes "underscored the importance of newsroom diversity" at America's media outlets. A similar issue was raised after an analysis this week that found New York Times stories quoted 3.4 times as many male sources as female sources.
The renewed attention to the composition of newsrooms comes in the wake of the American Society of News Editors' (ASNE) annual survey of workforce diversity, which showed that minorities and women are less represented in newspaper newsrooms than in society at large. In recent years, progress on the diversity front has largely stalled.
ASNE has counted professional full-time newspaper journalists since it first released the census in1978. This year, 978 out of 1,382 daily print newspapers responded, representing 71% of all U.S. dailies. In addition to the continued reduction in the size of the daily newspaper workforce in 2012, some of the key findings in the ASNE report relate to diversity in the newsroom.
350 Artworks Confiscated from Chun Doo-hwan's Son
Prosecutors who have been searching the homes and offices of disgraced ex-president Chun Doo-hwan and his family say they discovered enough artworks to set up a museum.
Two warehouses of companies run by Chun's eldest son Jae-kook in Gyeonggi Province just outside Seoul contained more than 350 pieces of art, most of them still wrapped. Some were works by famous Korean artists that fetch more than W1 billion (US$1=W1,127).
Chun Jae-kook is an art aficionado who has considered setting up a museum and whose publishing company, Sigongsa, has gained reputation for its art books. Its 55-volume series of monographs about contemporary Korean painters, which started in 1993, drew rave reviews. From 1993 to 2004, he ran an art bookstore in front of Hongik University.
Academic Affairs: 'My Education,' by Susan Choi
New York Times
Susan Choi's new novel starts out on familiar territory: the attraction between a precocious young woman and an intellectually charismatic older man. Regina is a 21-year-old graduate student taking literature classes at an unnamed East Coast university; Nicholas Brodeur is her celebrated professor, graced with "exceptional, even sinister, attractiveness." Yet "My Education," Choi's fourth book, only feints toward the conventional novel, with the standard affair between student and professor. Just when Regina and Nicholas seem about to sleep together, he is superseded in Regina's affections by his 33-year-old wife, Martha, on maternity leave from a teaching position at the same university. One night at a dinner party, Regina trails the older woman out the back door and kisses her, and we find ourselves on a less familiar campus than we'd thought.
NJ man specialist in barbecue, N. Korean diplomacy
AP via Philly.com
The way Robert Egan sees it, New Jerseyans and North Koreans have a lot in common. They're family-centered, fiercely loyal and often misunderstood by outsiders.
It's those similarities that this high school dropout turned barbecue pit-master says allowed him to be a successful liaison between the United States and North Korea for years, a role that has eluded even seasoned diplomats.
Egan formed an unlikely friendship in the early 1990s with the North Koreans when he was posted to their country's United Nations mission in New York, following an introduction by Vietnamese officials he'd met through his activism on the search for missing American soldiers.
Korean Travel Reality Show 'Grandpas Over Flowers' Garners Strong Ratings
Wall Street Journal
You can think of it as a South Korean mashup of "The Golden Girls" and "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here!" Only the "girls" are guys and the reality show's conceit is that well-known actors have to make their way through Europe on a budget, like much younger backpackers, not survive in the middle of nowhere.
"Grandpas Over Flowers," a weekly offering from cable channel tvN, is a hit with South Korean TV viewers.
"I think the unlikely combination of grandpas and backpacking–and also of old actors in a reality show–accounts for its popularity," producer Na Young-seok told Korea Real Time.
Damon Albarn – "Monkey Bee (Nosaj Thing Remix)"
In our Counting Down of Damon Albarn's non-Blur projects, I had Monkey: Journey To The West very close to dead last — it was edged out only by Albarn's excruciating 2003 demo collection Democrazy. Monkey is a really tedious "journey," if you're listening to it as an album for, y'know, enjoyment. Of course, it's meant to be experienced as a stage production, and in that capacity, it might be transcendent. (In fact, reviews suggest "transcendent" might be an understatement.)
It's being staged now at NYC's Lincoln Center, and to promote its run, L.A. producer Nosaj Thing [Jason Chung] has remixed one of the songs from the album, "Monkey Bee." I like the remix more than anything I remember from the original record, and I'd really like to check out the stage production, and experience the music in its intended context.
N. Korean Footballers Make Rare Seoul Visit
Voice of America
North Korea's women's football (soccer) team is on a rare visit to Seoul to play in the East Asia Cup and on July 21 will take on rival South Korea. While relations between the teams remain tense, analysts say the friendly sports exchange could help improve relations on the peninsula.
This is only the second time the North's women's team has competed in South Korea in the East Asia Cup tournament. The last time was in 2005 when Seoul hosted, and won, the first women's games organized by the East Asian Football Federation.
Technical coach of the North Korean team, Kim Kwang Woong, declined to comment on whether its participation would help inter-Korean relations, telling journalists in Seoul Friday they were just there to play football, but pleased to take part in the tournament.
Jim Ingraham: Indians might have been better off keeping Shin-Soo Choo
What if the Indians had not traded Shin-Soo Choo?
Hindsight, of course, is always 20-20. But in this case there's a little different twist to it. One that's worth examining. It's a twist that suggests that in some cases — not all, not a lot, but in some — maybe it's better to keep an expensive player who is headed for free agency.
Before we get into that, let's get into this: how having Choo would have impacted the Indians this season.
At the All-Star break Choo, in 435 plate appearances batting leadoff for the Cincinnati Reds, was hitting .287 with a .425 on-base percentage and a .468 slugging percentage. He had 13 home runs, 31 RBI, 11 stolen bases, 22 doubles, 66 runs scored, 64 walks and 83 strikeouts.
Bendo: 'It's going to be a fun night for me'
It's been a couple of years since Benson Henderson and his trainer, John Crouch, watched their 2010 WEC title loss to Anthony Pettis.
Henderson doesn't get "too tape happy" to begin with. He'll watch a fight once to find a feel for his opponent and be done with it. So in advance of the lightweights' Aug. 31 rematch in Milwaukee, Henderson may not even revisit the close decision and the Showtime kick. The truth is, he needs no refresher course on his only loss during 18 fights over the past six years. Lessons there to be learned, have been.
"I was able to man up and move on with my life," Henderson told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "It wasn't anything I was obsessing over. Now that we do get the chance to square off again and once I get my hands on him it's going to be a fun night for me. Let's put it that way."
MLB Taps Ryu as Dodgers' Top Rookie This Season
Ryu Hyun-jin has been rated as the Los Angeles Dodgers' best rookie this season by MLB.com.
Ken Gurnick, who covers the Dodgers' beat, wrote an article for the official website of U.S. Major League Baseball on Wednesday under the headline and prediction, "Player health at forefront, LA could overtake NL West." In it, he looked back at the players' performances over the first half, and named those who deserved the MVP, Cy Young, rookie, and top reliever awards based on their contributions so far.
After Trans victory, Suh could be next Cal star
So far this summer, Cal junior Michael Kim has appeared in roughly every third major amateur headline, and deservedly so.
Kim put together a sophomore season that ended with Golfweek's Player of the Year honor and the Nicklaus and Haskins awards. He was low amateur at the U.S. Open and recently was named to the U.S. Walker Cup team.
As for Cal's women, however, the most successful summer belongs to sophomore Hannah Suh. The San Jose, Calif., native was the last player into the U.S. Women's Open when Ariya Jutanugarn withdrew (Suh missed the cut at Sebonack Golf Club), and most recently, won the Trans National Amateur on July 12.
Olympic champion Yuna Kim releases new fashion pictorial
Yahoo OMG Philippines
Yuna Kim, an Olympic champion and figure skater released new fashion pictorial for neo-classic watch brand Romanson for their fall and winter collection.
From the previous pictorials, Kim looked fresh and charming. In the new pictorial, she looked classic and matured. Her wavy brown hair and brown eyes looks attractive and feminine.