INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END OBSTETRIC FISTULA: MAY 23, 2016

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

May 23 is the United Nations’ (UN) International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, which promotes action towards treating and preventing obstetric fistula, a condition that affects many girls and women in developing countries.

Pregnant women in developing countries need access to proper healthcare to avoid problems like obstetric fistula.
©iStockphoto.com/GomezDavid

Celebrate the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Fundraisers, media announcements and mobile van campaigns driven by health professionals are a few of many events and activities that promote the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.

Public Life

The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is a global observance and not a public holiday.

About the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without prompt medical intervention, such as a Caesarean section. An estimated 2 to 3 million women and girls in developing countries are living with obstetric fistula.

In 2003 the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners launched the global Campaign to End Fistula, a collaborative initiative to prevent fistula and restore the health of those affected by the condition. In 2012, the UN announced that it would observe International Day to End Obstetric Fistula on May 23 each year, starting on 2013.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type Where It is Observed
Thu May 23 2013 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance
Fri May 23 2014 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance
Sat May 23 2015 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance
Mon May 23 2016 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance
Tue May 23 2017 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance
Wed May 23 2018 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance
Thu May 23 2019 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance
Sat May 23 2020 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: MAY 22, 2016

International Day for Biological Diversity

On May 22, 1992, the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted by the of the United Nations at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 2001, the International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated each year on the anniversary of this date.

International Day for Biological Diversity
The International Day for Biological Diversity raises awareness about preserving endangered habitats.
©iStockphoto.com/Terraxplorer

What Do People Do?

A wide range of events are organized globally to increase the understanding of the important role of biodiversity in our future. Celebrations are organized by: the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which forms part of the United Nations Environmental Programme; many national governments; and a range of non-governmental organizations.

Activities include:

  • Translating booklets, leaflets and other educational resources into local languages.
  • Distributing information on biodiversity via schools, colleges, universities, newspapers, radio and television.
  • Exhibitions and seminars for students, professionals and the general public.
  • Showings of movies on environmental issues.
  • Presentations of programs to preserve endangered species or habitats.
  • Planting trees and other plants that help prevent erosion.

Politicians may also give speeches on local environmental issues and other events may include competitions for children and young people to take photographs or create artwork centered on the annual theme of the day.

Public Life

The International Day for Biological Diversity is an observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 1992 state and government leaders agreed on a strategy for sustainable development at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as “The Earth Summit”, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sustainable development is a way to meet the needs of people all over the world and ensuring that planet earth remains healthy and viable for future generations. One of the most important agreements reached during the Earth Summit was the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Convention on Biological Diversity came into force on December 29, 1993, and each anniversary of this date was designated the International Day for Biological Diversity. From 2001 onwards the date of this celebration was moved to May 22 due to the number of holidays that fell in late December. On this date in 1992, the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted at a United Nations at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

Each year, the International Day for Biodiversity focuses on a particular theme. Recently, the themes have been: Biodiversity and Poverty Alleviation (2003); Biodiversity: Food, Water and Health for All (2004); Biodiversity: Life Insurance for our Changing World (2005); Protect Biodiversity in Drylands (2006); and Biodiversity and Climate Change (2007); and Biodiversity and Agriculture (2008).

Symbols

The International Day for Biological Diversity is part of a series of activities to focus attention on the Convention on Biological Diversity. The symbol of this convention is a stylized image of a twig or branch with three green leaves. Depending on the background, the leaves may be just outlines or green blocks. Each year a piece of artwork is commissioned to reflect the theme. Details of the artwork are used as symbols for different aspects of the International Day for Biological Diversity.

2016 Theme: “Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods”

International Day for Biological Diversity Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type Where It is Observed
Sat May 22 2010 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Sun May 22 2011 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Tue May 22 2012 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Wed May 22 2013 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Thu May 22 2014 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Fri May 22 2015 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Sun May 22 2016 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Mon May 22 2017 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Tue May 22 2018 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Wed May 22 2019 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance
Fri May 22 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 5-22-2016

MORLEY SAFER, LONGTIME NEWSMAN OF “60 MINUTES” AND VIETNAM WAR REPORTING FAME

safertedescorelease.jpg

Morley Safer

CBS News

Morley Safer, the CBS newsman who changed war reporting forever when he showed U.S. Marines burning the huts of Vietnamese villagers and went on to become the iconic 60 Minutes correspondent whose stylish stories on America’s most-watched news program made him one of television’s most enduring stars, died today in Manhattan. He was 84. He had homes in Manhattan and Chester, Conn.

Safer was in declining health when he announced his retirement last week; CBS News broadcast a long-planned special hour to honor the occasion on Sunday May 15 that he watched in his home.

A huge presence on 60 Minutes for 46 years — Safer enjoyed the longest run anyone ever had on primetime network television. Though he cut back a decade ago, he still appeared regularly until recently, captivating audiences with his signature stories on art, science and culture. A dashing figure in his checked shirt, polka dot tie and pocket square, Morley Safer — even his name had panache — was in his true element playing pool with Jackie Gleason, delivering one of his elegant essays aboard the Orient Express or riffing on Anna Wintour, but he also asked the tough questions and did the big stories. In 2011, over 18.5 million people watched him ask Ruth Madoff how she could not have known her husband Bernard was running a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The interview was headline news and water cooler talk for days.

“This is a very sad day for all of us at 60 Minutes and CBS News. Morley was a fixture, one of our pillars, and an inspiration in many ways.”

In some of his later 60 Minutes pieces, Safer profiled the cartoonists of The New Yorker, interviewed the founder and staff of Wikipedia and reported on a billion-dollar art trove discovered in a Munich apartment. In his last story broadcast on March 13, he profiled the visionary architect Bjarke Ingels.

“Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever,” said CBS Chairman and CEO, Leslie Moonves. “He broke ground in war reporting and made a name that will forever be synonymous with 60 Minutes. He was also a gentleman, a scholar, a great raconteur – all of those things and much more to generations of colleagues, his legion of friends, and his family, to whom all of us at CBS offer our sincerest condolences over the loss of one of CBS’ and journalism’s greatest treasures.”

“This is a very sad day for all of us at 60 Minutes and CBS News. Morley was a fixture, one of our pillars, and an inspiration in many ways. He was a master storyteller, a gentleman and a wonderful friend. We will miss him very much,” said Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes and Safer’s close friend and one-time 60 Minutes producer.

CBS News President David Rhodes said, “Morley Safer helped create the CBS News we know today. No correspondent had more extraordinary range, from war reporting to coverage of every aspect of modern culture. His writing alone defined original reporting. Everyone at CBS News will sorely miss Morley.”

Safer was a familiar reporter to millions when he replaced Harry Reasoner on 60 Minutes in 1970. A much-honored foreign correspondent, Safer was the first U.S. network newsman to film a report inside Communist China. He appeared regularly on the CBS Evening News from all over the world, especially Vietnam, where his controversial reporting earned him peer praise and government condemnation.

“Morley Safer helped create the CBS News we know today. No correspondent had more extraordinary range, from war reporting to coverage of every aspect of modern culture.”

Safer’s piece from the Vietnamese hamlet of Cam Ne in August of 1965 showing U.S. Marines burning the villagers’ thatched huts was cited by New York University as one of the 20th century’s best pieces of American journalism. Some believe this report freed other journalists to stop censoring themselves and tell the raw truth about war. The controversial report on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” earned Safer a George Polk award and angered President Lyndon Johnson so much, he reportedly called CBS President Frank Stanton and said, “Your boys shat on the American flag yesterday.” Some Marines are said to have threatened Safer, but others thanked him for exposing a cruel tactic. Safer said that the pentagon treated him with contempt for the rest of his life.

He spent three tours (1964-’66) as head of the CBS Saigon bureau. His helicopter was shot down in a 1965 battle, after which Safer continued to report under fire. In 1990, he penned a memoir of his Vietnam experience, “Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam” (Random House), in which he goes back to reminisce and to interview the enemy’s veterans.

When he joined Mike Wallace at the beginning of 60 Minutes’ third season, they toiled to put stories on the air for a program that dodged cancellation each season. But their work was immediately recognized with an Emmy for Safer’s 1971 investigation of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that began America’s war in Vietnam. The two pressed on for five years, moving the broadcast from the bottom fourth to the middle of the rankings. Then in August 1975, with a new Sunday evening timeslot, Safer put 60 Minutes on the national stage. Interviewing Betty Ford, the first lady shocked many Americans by saying she would think it normal if her 18-year-old daughter were having sex. The historic sit-down also included frank talk about pot and abortion.

By 1978, the broadcast was in Nielsen’s Top 10. Safer’s eloquent, sometimes quirky features balanced out the program’s “gotcha” interviews and investigations, perfecting the news magazine’s recipe. It became the number-one program for the 1979-’80 season – a crown it won five times. 60 Minutes remained in the top 10 for an unprecedented 23 straight seasons.

It was another Safer story that would become one of the program’s most honored and important. “Lenell Geter’s in Jail,” about a young black man serving life for armed robbery in Texas, overturned Geter’s conviction 10 days after the December 1983 segment exposed a sloppy rush to injustice. Safer and 60 Minutes were honored with the industry’s highest accolades: the Peabody, Emmy and duPont-Columbia University awards. 60 Minutes founder Don Hewitt often pointed to the story as the program’s finest work.

Safer hit more journalistic home runs, but sought out the odd stories that piqued his curiosity. The offbeat tales were more suited to his raconteur style and cultural sensibility. He found esoteric subjects all over the world and here in the U.S., ranging from a tiny Pacific island nation economically dependent on guano to the strange choice of tango dancing as a national hobby for the shy people of Finland to the strange yet harmonious stew of cowboys and artists in the Texas town of Marfa — all narrated in his drolly delivered and precise prose. His conversational wit with his subjects was just as sharp as his written word. In a profile of the prim Martha Stewart, a smirking Safer passed her livestock pen and said to the domestic diva, “Your barnyard? It’s remarkably odor-free.”

Some of these features had national impact, however, like his November 1991 report, “The French Paradox,” which connected red wine consumption to lower incidents of heart disease among the free-eating French. Wine merchants say this report was single-handedly responsible for starting the red wine boom in America. His 1993 segment “Yes, But is it Art?” enraged the modern art community when it criticized expensive, contemporary installations featuring household items like toilets and vacuums. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City may have held a grudge; years later, it refused to allow Safer onto its premises to review a Jackson Pollock retrospective for CBS Sunday Morning.

Safer’s life was a work of art into which 60 Minutes fit seamlessly. He vacationed in Europe, often combining field trips for his stories. He made a regular pilgrimage to The American Academy in Rome to hone his painting skills, a hobby he began from an early age. He mounted a small exhibition of his paintings in 1985. He also had a special affinity for cars and did 60 Minutes segments on England’s Rolls Royce and Italy’s legendary Lamborghini. He owned a silver 1985 Ferrari convertible, which he had raced occasionally and also owned a Bentley when he lived in London, bought with his winnings from a card game.

Other highlights from Safer’s 60 Minutes work include a poignant segment in 1978 called “The Music of Auschwitz,” about an inmate who played in an orchestra to avoid the Nazi gas chambers; his 1979 profile of Katharine Hepburn; “The Beeb,” a 1985 Emmy-winning take on BBC Radio; “The Enemy,” the 1989 story for which Safer returned to Vietnam; and in 1979, “Marva,” about Chicago teacher Marva Collins, whose alternative school for disadvantaged kids proved such students could excel. Safer’s follow-up on “Marva” in 1996, in which he debunked a subsequent book that claimed Collins’ students would not succeed in the long run, earned him his fourth duPont-Columbia University award.

In addition to the four duPonts, Safer won every major award, including the Paul White Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association in 1966 when he was only 35 — an award usually given for lifetime achievement. The other awards given to Safer over his long career include three Peabody awards, three Overseas Press Club awards, two George Polk Memorial awards, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism first prize for domestic television, the Fred Friendly First Amendment award, 12 Emmys and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government.

CBS News hired the Canadian-born Safer in 1964 in London, where he was a correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He got the job in an odd turn of events. One of Safer’s CBC colleagues seeking a job with CBS sent a demo tape of a roundtable he anchored that included Safer. CBS news executives liked Safer better and gave him a job in the London Bureau. The young correspondent took over his new job behind the desk once occupied by another CBS legend, the late Edward R. Murrow. After a year, he was asked to open the Saigon Bureau to report on the simmering conflict in Vietnam. He was then named bureau chief in London in 1967 and reported on a variety of foreign stories beyond Britain, many of them risky assignments, including the Nigerian-Biafran War, the Middle East conflict and the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia.

During this period he also filmed the historic CBS News Special Report “Morley Safer’s Red China Diary” (August 1967), the first broadcast by a U.S. network news team from inside Communist China. Safer’s Canadian citizenship helped get him into the country posing as a tourist interested in archeology. He and his cameraman, John Peters, were able to film the everyday lives of Chinese with a home movie camera. In a close call, suspicious authorities took Safer and Peters to meet an archeologist, who tested his knowledge. Safer knew enough about China’s archeological periods to avoid arrest.

Safer’s reporting and writing also appeared on the CBS News documentary series, “CBS Reports.” He had a regular feature on CBS Radio, “Morley Safer’s Journal,” that ran in 1970s. In May 1994, he hosted “One for the Road: A Conversation with Charles Kuralt and Morley Safer,” a CBS News special marking Kuralt’s retirement.

Safer was born Nov. 8, 1931 in Toronto and eventually became an American citizen, holding a dual citizenship. Telling MacLeans he felt “stateless,” he believed this status was an advantage. “I bring a different perspective and I have no vested interests,” he told the magazine in 1998.

Growing up, he was influenced by the writing of Ernest Hemingway and decided he would be a foreign correspondent. He attended the University of Western Ontario for only a few weeks when he dropped out to begin writing for newspapers. He first wrote for the rural Woodstock Sentinel-Review before landing a job with the much larger London (Ontario) Free-Press. He then went on to England with the help of the Commonwealth Press Union, which promised to place him in a job there. After a short stint on the Oxford Mail and Times, Reuters hired Safer in London in 1955. When he returned late that year, he found work as an editor and reporter in the Toronto headquarters of the CBC. He was chosen to produce “CBC News Magazine” in 1956, on which he also occasionally appeared . His first on-camera work was on assignment for the CBC covering the Suez Crisis in November 1956.

The CBC sent him back to London in 1961, from which he covered major stories in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, including the war for Algerian Independence, until he joined CBS. He was the only Western correspondent in East Berlin the night the Communists began building the Berlin Wall in August 1961.

Safer was asked to characterize his legacy as a journalist in a November 2000 interview with the American Archive of Television. “I have a pretty solid body of work that emphasized the words, emphasized ideas and the craft of writing for this medium. It’s not literary, I wouldn’t presume to suggest that. But I think you can elevate it a little bit sometimes with the most important part of the medium, which is what people are saying — whether they’re the people being interviewed or the guy who’s telling the story. It’s not literature, but it can be very classy journalism.”

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jane, one daughter, Sarah Bakal, her husband, Alexander Bakal, three grandchildren, a sister, and brother, both of Toronto.

Funeral arrangements are private. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

SOURCE

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ALAN YOUNG, THE AFFABLE OWNER ON ‘MISTER ED’

Alan Young as Wilbur Post with the star of “Mister Ed,” which ran from 1961 to 1966 on CBS. Credit CBS, via Photofest

Alan Young, a comedian and veteran supporting actor who found wide fame as an unlikely sort of second fiddle — the hapless straight man to a talking horse in the 1960s sitcom “Mister Ed” — died on Thursday in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 96.

His publicist, Jaime Larkin, said he died at the Motion Picture & Television Home, where he had been living for four years.

Mr. Young had been a popular radio and television personality and had appeared in several films, including “Tom Thumb” (1958) and “The Time Machine” (1960), when, in his early 40s, he landed the role of Wilbur Post, the bumbling, well-meaning architect who owned a loquacious, fun-loving horse named Mr. Ed.

“Mister Ed” became a hit, running from 1961 to 1966 on CBS. The episodes usually revolved around Wilbur’s clumsy attempts to undo Ed’s mischief, situations made more difficult by the fact that Ed would speak only to Wilbur.

Mr. Young had a mischievous streak himself: Many years after the fact, he said he had started the rumor that the crew got Ed to “talk” by coating his mouth with peanut butter. Actually, the crew would place a piece of nylon in Ed’s mouth; the horse would then try to remove it by moving his lips, giving the illusion that he was talking when the voice of Allan Lane, a star of B westerns, was added. (Mr. Lane died in 1973).

Early in his film career Mr. Young, a native of England, was often cast in what he called “all-American” supporting roles, for which he had to lose his accent. One of his few leading roles was as the title character in the 1952 musical “Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick,” opposite Dinah Shore.

He was born Angus Young in North Shields, England, on Nov. 19, 1919. His family moved to Edinburgh when he was a toddler and then to Canada when he was about 6. He made his radio debut at 13, and by the time he was 17 he was both a writer and a performer on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation show.

Mr. Young’s radio career took off in 1944 with “The Alan Young Show”; originally a summer replacement for Eddie Cantor, it proved so popular that it remained on the air for five years. After the show was canceled in 1949, he hit the theater circuit, playing the bagpipes and doing stand-up comedy.

In 1950 he brought “The Alan Young Show” to TV. It remained on the air until 1953. In 1951 it won the Emmy Award for best variety show, and Mr. Young won for best actor. (Sketch actors were included in that category at the time.)

Throughout the ’50s he appeared in numerous TV roles and on the variety shows of Steve Allen, Ed Sullivan, Dinah Shore and others. In later decades he made guest appearances on dozens of series, including “Death Valley Days,” “The Love Boat,” “Coach” and “ER.”

His last film was “Em & Me” (2004), an independent feature in which he played an elderly man traveling cross-country to visit his ex-wife’s grave.

Mr. Young was also a frequently heard voice in animated movies like “The Great Mouse Detective” and television cartoon series like “The Ren & Stimpy Show” and “The Smurfs.” He was the voice of Scrooge McDuck in several Disney projects.

He published two autobiographies: “Mister Ed and Me” (with Bill Burt) in 1995 and “There’s No Business Like Show Business … Was” (2006), an account of his career and life in Hollywood.

SOURCE

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GUY CLARK, SINGER-SONGWRITER AND KING OF THE TEXAS TROUBADOURS

By Don Melvin and Brandon Griggs, CNN

Updated 6:13 PM ET, Tue May 17, 2016

A poet’s poet and a raconteur, Guy Clark filled his country-folk songs with eternal truths that made him one of the most respected singer-songwriters of his generation.

The Texas native died Tuesday in Nashville after a long illness, according to a statement from his publicist. He was 74.
Although he never found widespread fame, Clark recorded albums for almost 40 years, wrote hit songs for other artists and was revered by the Nashville music community for his songcraft and generosity of spirit. His best-known songs, such as “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting For A Train,” were evocative tales of ramblers and dreamers, inspired by his own life.
Clark’s songs were recorded by a who’s who of country and Americana music, including Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and many others.

Guy Clark performs at the Paradiso in 1992 in Amsterdam,

 

“Oh Lord, just heard Guy Clark passed away. He was a huge influence on me, and an amazing writer. God bless his soul. What a life,” Paisley said on Twitter.
“Travel safe, old friend. I would not be the songwriter I am if I hadn’t sat at your table and learned from a master,” added singer Roseanne Cash, also on Twitter.
Born in the dusty west Texas town of Monahans on November 6, 1941, Clark flirted with college and the Peace Corps before opening a guitar-repair shop in Houston. He spent his spare time playing coffee shops and nightclubs, where he joined a bluegrass band and befriended such fellow songwriters as Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker.
As a young man, he moved to Los Angeles, seeking fame and fortune. But he didn’t stay long, moving with his wife Susanna to Nashville in 1971. After he left California, he wrote the song “L.A. Freeway” — later recorded by many other artists — which included the line, “If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway without getting killed or caught.”
He later said it took him years after O.J. Simpson’s famous slow-speed Bronco chase before he could sing that line without breaking into laughter.
Clark released his debut album, “Old No. 1,” for RCA Records in 1975 and scored a No. 1 country hit in 1982 with Ricky Skaggs’s take on “Heartbroke.” He recorded 13 albums and toured consistently over the next three decades, sometimes with such fellow artists as Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt.
“It’s what I enjoy,” he once said of songwriting. “It gets harder, all the time. It doesn’t fall out of the sky, you know. But I have joy doing the work, I enjoy the creative process. I write and build guitars in the same space, and I find that one is right brain and one is left brain, and they kind of feed off of one another. But, I don’t know. It’s just a way to while away the time until you die.”
Despite a gruff demeanor, Clark was considered one of country music’s nicest men. He enjoyed helping young musicians and was perpetually looking for artists who might record a song written by one of his friends.
Clark was unpretentious in the extreme — a blue jeans type of guy — with down-home values summed up in songs like, “Stuff That Works,” with its opening line: “I got an old blue shirt and it suits me just fine / I like the way it feels so I wear it all the time.”
Clark won his first and only Grammy late in life in 2014, for a folk album called “My Favorite Picture of You.” The album title referred to a snapshot of his wife, Susanna, who had died two years earlier.
CNN’s Stella Chan contributed to this story

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WORLD DAY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY FOR DIALOGUE AND DEVELOPMENT: MAY 21, 2016

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is annually held on May 21 to help people learn about the importance of cultural diversity and harmony.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a chance for people to celebrate cultural diversity and harmony.
©iStockphoto.com/skynesher

What Do People Do?

Various events are organized to increase the understanding of issues around cultural diversity and development among governments, non-governmental organizations and the public. Many of these include presentations on the progress of implementing the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

Events include:

  • Seminars for professionals.
  • Educational programs for children and young adolescents.
  • The launch of collaborations between official agencies and ethnic groups.
  • Exhibitions to help people understand the history of various cultural groups and the influence on their own identities.
  • Celebrations to create greater awareness of cultural values and the need to preserve them.

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development tends to be marked in countries that embraced their varied cultural history and acknowledged the importance of embracing it.

Public Life

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France, on November 2, 2001. It was the 249th resolution adopted at the 57th session of the United Nations General Conference. Although the declaration was the culmination of years of work, it was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This reaffirmed the need for intercultural dialogue to prevent segregation and fundamentalism.

The year 2002 was the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. At the end of that year, on December 20, 2002, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The General Assembly emphasized links between the protection of cultural diversity and the importance of dialogue between civilizations in the modern world. The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was first observed in 2003.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type Where It is Observed
Fri May 21 2010 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Sat May 21 2011 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Mon May 21 2012 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Tue May 21 2013 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Wed May 21 2014 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Thu May 21 2015 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Sat May 21 2016 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Sun May 21 2017 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Mon May 21 2018 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Tue May 21 2019 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance
Thu May 21 2020 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development United Nations observance

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SKYWATCH: MARS BRIGHTEST SHOWING IN A DECADE, CURIOSITY SEES SEASONAL CHANGES ON THE RED PLANET, AND MORE

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

THIS WEEK’S SKY AT A GLANCE, MAY 20-28, 2016

Sky & Telescope

The nearly full Moon looms in the east-southeast at sunset and shines above Mars as twilight fades. Saturn and Antares shine nearby.

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MARS AT OPPOSITION: BEST SHOWING IN A DECADE

Sky & Telescope

At last, a fine Mars apparition: on May 22ND, the Red Planet reaches opposition, shining almost as bright as Jupiter, and the planet makes its closet approach on May 30TH.

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FOLLOW MARS TO HIS DOUBLE STAR LAIR

Sky & Telescope

Let Mars be your guide to no fewer than 15 diverse and delightful double stars that pepper its path through Scorpius and Libra this season.

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TOUR MAY’S SKY: JUPITER LEADS THE WAY

Sky & Telescope

Sky & Telescope’s podcast takes you on a guided tour of the night sky.Listen, and watch for Mars and Saturn near Scorpius before dawn and Jupiter near Leo at sunset.

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ASTRONOMY NEWS

CURIOSITY SEES SEASONAL TRENDS ON MARS

Sky & Telescope

During two Martian years, Curiosity tracks seasonal changes patterns in local atmosphere, temperature, and maybe even methane.

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COMMUNITY

WHAT IS S&T’S ZENITH CLUB?

Sky & Telescope

A handy S&T field kit, free access to iTelescope.Net and 20% store discount are just some of the great benefits of membership.

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DAY OF VESAK: MAY 20, 2016

Day of Vesak

Millions of Buddhists celebrate Vesak Day, an officially recognized United Nations (UN) holiday that celebrates the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Vesak Day celebrates Buddha’s birthday.
©iStockphoto.com/marcomayer

Celebrate Vesak Day

The UN celebrates Vesak Day (or the Day of Vesak) with Buddhist organizations and communities worldwide. Celebrations include:

  • Cultural performances featuring song and dance.
  • Plays about Buddha’s life and teachings.
  • Public messages given by religious and community leaders.

Temples are adorned with decorations and flowers on Vesak Day. Some community groups organize acts of charity, like releasing caged animals or donating food and gifts to the poor.

Public Life

Vesak Day is a global observance, as well as a public holiday in some countries, such as India.

About Vesak Day

Siddhartha Gautama, also commonly known as Buddha (enlightened one), lived in present-day India and Nepal between the sixth and fourth century BCE. His teachings focused on messages about compassion, peace and goodwill. Millions around the world follow the teachings of the Buddha today. The Day of Vesak commemorates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.

In 1999 the UN recognized internationally Vesak Day to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over 2500 years. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices and missions.

Day of Vesak Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type Where It is Observed
Thu May 27 2010 Day of Vesak United Nations observance
Tue May 17 2011 Day of Vesak United Nations observance
Sun May 6 2012 Day of Vesak United Nations observance
Sat May 25 2013 Day of Vesak United Nations observance
Tue May 13 2014 Day of Vesak United Nations observance
Mon Jun 1 2015 Day of Vesak United Nations observance
Fri May 20 2016 Day of Vesak United Nations observance

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HATEWATCH: HEADLINES FOR 5-19-2016

Hatewatch Staff

May 19, 2016
 

How fascism comes to America; Kobach ordered to register thousands; Bush has praise for a hate group; and more.

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The Washington Post: This is how fascism comes to America.

Talking Points Memo: Now a top Donald Trump surrogate says the border wall and mass deportation will be ‘virtual.’

Salon: Keeping the minorities down is the No. 1 issue for Trump’s bigoted base, and that’s a fact.

The Daily Beast: Dying Republican Sen. Bob Bennett apologizes to Muslims for Trump.

Right Wing Watch: Why has the religious right embraced neo-Confederate Michael Peroutka?

MSNBC: In a win for voting rights, court orders Kansas’ Kris Kobach to register thousands of voters kept off the rolls.

New York Times: George W. Bush has words of praise for World Congress of Families, a hate group to some.

DNAInfo (Chicago): Black judge tweaks hate-crime suspect: Bet you didn’t expect to see me here.

Lehigh Valley Live (PA): White man claims ‘sovereign citizen’ status as latest odd twist in murder of black man.

Raw Story: Wyoming men face possible hate-crime charges for pummeling black ex-Marine who objected to racial slurs.

Journal-Sentinel (Milwaukee): Custard stand’s English-only policy prompts call for federal investigation.

KIRO-TV (Seattle): Bellevue Unitarian church targeted for hate-crime attacks over ‘Black Lives Matter’ banner.

Think Progress: Two paragraphs that should convince everyone that transgender discrimination is wrong.

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Hatewatch Headlines 5/18/2016

May 18, 2016

Mississippi school district ordered to desegregate; Facing up to the radical right and Trump; Woman harassed in Walmart bathroom; and more.

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