Posts Tagged With: MSNBC

Egypt’s Presidential Election Matters And Other Important News, Or Why I’ve Become An Obsessive…

By Kiki Keane 

History is being made as I write. Egyptians have spent the last two days voting in their first free presidential elections. Ever. Why is this important? Well…the elections have the potential to change Egypt and the Middle East and have huge implications for the U.S. and Israel. Here is an analysis by Richard Engel of who is running and why the elections matter to us. I wish I were there to witness this historical event, but I will have to content myself with obsessive news gathering…

Here are some reports about the elections from CNN, MSNBC and Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera — latest news and has lots of links to other stories about the elections

CNN –has some interesting videos toward the bottom

MSNBC — Most of these are by Richard Engel: Egypt at a crossroads , Voters head to the pulls, Election makes history, Richard Engel’s interview with Carter, Politics is a new family affair

In other news: 

Iran nuclear talks

Vegas grocer accused of war crimes sent to Bosnia

Syria violence spreads to Lebanon

Inside Syria

Drone strike hits Mosque, kills 10 in Pakistan 

Categories: Adventure, Elections, Journalism, Life, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blast Off! Or Not…

By Kiki Keane

I have been glued to the TV the last few days. So many exciting things have been going on in the news. Okay, really one exciting thing has been going on in the news: the North Korean rocket launch. It has been exciting because DPRK has let in some foreign journalists to cover the whole thing. Granted it has been a highly orchestrated affair, but it is still interesting and says a lot about how N. Korea wants the world to see them and how they see themselves.

Today, DPRK launched the rocket and it promptly failed. I can’t say I was surprised. What is surprising is that North Korea has admitted to its own people that the rocket failed. I don’t think anyone expected that to happen. The question now is whether DPRK will follow up with a nuclear test in a show of strength.

I mostly watch NBC and MSNBC so the following links are all from those websites. Richard Engel is the reporter.

Display of devotion at unveiling of Kim Jung Il’s mural  (April 9)

Inside North Korea’s capital (April 10)

Mission Control room (April 11)

Launch and failure (April 12)

There should be more reports coming. I’ve heard rumors of more tours in Pyongyang.

Also, if you would like to see some really interesting pictures of DPRK you should check out Richard Engel on Twitter (@richardengelnbc)

Came across this website. It was created by DPRK and KFA (Korean Friendship Association). It’s purpose, it seems, is to build international ties with DPRK.


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I Am To Tired To Think Of A Title, So Your Stuck With This Unnecessarily Long Non-Title…

By Kiki Keane

Well… it is past the time when Rachel and I write about how we failed to fulfill our weekly goals. It was a very trying and sad week for Rachel, so she has an excuse. I have no such excuse. I can only blame my addiction to The Golden Girls and sleep. But, starting today (Thursday), I am going to force myself out of bed to practice my Arabic and read before work (I can see you all rolling your eyes!).

I did actually accomplish at least one of my goals. I finished a book. I read Die A Little by Megan Abbott, which I think I mentioned in another post. It is a Noir that pits two femme fatals against each other in 1950s L.A. Chandler she is not, but Abbott has the ability to keep you engaged and creeped-out for the duration.

Also, I listened to Arabic music. Can that count as my Arabic study? No? Fine. If you want a nice jazzy album you should give Rough Guide: Arabic Lounge a try.

I think I’m going to keep my goals for this week the same as last week. Except I will read two books this week! Yes! Two whole books! The first is The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt. The second is yet to be determined. I’m thinking I will reread Richard Engel’s War Journal.

Here are some news stories I’ve been keeping an eye on:

1) The terrible murders in Afghanistan. Here’s the latest from MSNBC and here is Richard Engel’s Nightly News update.

2) The birth control controversy in Arizona. This piece is opinion rather than news.

Categories: Adventure, Books, Feminism, Goals, Journalism, Media, Nerd | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OMG…Here We Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

We have decided to stick with making a list of goals for the week even though we were only moderately successful at accomplishing them last week.

Here they are:

Rachel: I will 1) Overcome my inhibitions and practice photographing human “beans” or “fuul” in Arabic (haha) 2) I will finish The Martian Chronicles, 3) I will read more about digital photography, 4) I will be as calm as still water (Kiki scoffs at this).

Kiki: I will 1) read a full book of some kind (not making any quality promises, though), 2) I will get more sleep by not taking my job home with me, 3) I will NOT turn the TV on when I wake-up in the morning, thereby forcing myself to read or think or sleep more…

Collectively we will 1) study Arabic, 2)not spend excessive amounts of money (this will start tomorrow as we are currently spending unnecessary cash at a restaurant), 3) come-up with a relatively good idea of how much $$$$$ we need to get to wherever we are going, 4) buy our tickets before we chicken out!

On a different note, here’s the latest on Syria from MSNBC:

Syrians voted on a referendum that would keep Bashar al-Assad in power until 2028. Also, at least 31 civilians and soldiers were killed in clashes.

Categories: Adventure, Goals, Journalism, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Excessively Long Title To Describe A Concise Summary Of Our Weekly Goals

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

How Did We Do?

Rachel: I completed 5.5 goals this week. I was not murdered by Kiki, nor did I scold anyone for being incompetent! I took some photos and posted them on the blog. I even studied Arabic. I can now say “thanks” (shokran) and “I would like to rent an apartment nearby the market”. I also bought The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, but was only able to read half. I was planning on finishing it today but my day was going so poorly I was unable to focus on reading. I also followed some news stories out of Syria!

Kiki: I blogged earlier in the week about two of the goals I met. 1) I ordered The Berlin-Baghdad Express by Sean McMeekin. 2) I finished my Book Club Book, Nightwoods. The other personal goals I made for myself did not happen. Why? I can’t seem to concentrate on anything but work this week. I have (no kidding!) woken myself from work related nightmares. I hate when that happens. I did, however, achieve two of the collective goals: 1) I caught-up on news coming out of Syria. Here is the latest report on Syria from MSNBC. 2) I found some history titles relating to our goal, which I am about to look for.

We both failed at not spending any unnecessary money this week! We are both wearing proverbial Dunce Caps! In our defense not spending money is hard. I know, it is a lame excuse. Feel free to shame us!

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Syria, Afghanistan, Tanzania And Mars, Or Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before (Except In The Case Of Syria, Tanzania and Afghanistan)

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

To be honest, we have not thought this blog post through. What can we say? It has been a very, very, very busy day for us. Work is just…well, it’s work. It’s the end of the week, but not really. Technically, it’s Thursday for us. And heads-up: those goals we set a week ago…yeah…

We would, however, like to mention some news stories that should be shared:

1) The Red Cross has successfully negotiated the evacuation of wounded Syrian women and children. There are mixed messages about how many people have been evacuated, so far. According to Tweets by ICRC Head of Public Communications, Carla Haddad Mardini, 27 people had been evacuated as of 6 hours ago. No journalists were among them. Here’s the latest report on NBC Nightly News, by Richard Engel.

2) Twelve people have been killed in protest over the burning of copies of the Quran on a NATO in Afghanistan. Here is the latest from the MSNBC website.

3) Ex-Astronaut, Dorothy Jemison is negotiating a sizable grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to determine the feasibility of long term space travel. To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before! I hope they figure it out. I’d (Rachel) like to live on Mars. Read more about it here.

Here’s a fun little something from my (Kiki) favorite reporter. It is the second installment of Richard Engel’s Hidden Planet (featured on Rock Center’s iPad app and the website). It’s about two tribes in Tanzania. Very fun!

Categories: Adventure, Goals, Journalism, Media, Nerd | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wacky Dreamin’

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Well… it seems that both of us had wacky dreams last night. For one of us it was fever induced. We’ll let you figure out which one…

Kiki: My dream involved the Seven Dwarves (Disney version with song), Neil Gaiman, Raj (from The Big Bang Theory) and the guy who plays Leonard on The Big Bang Theory, but he wasn’t Leonard, he was his character from Rosanne… It wasn’t a very lucid dream. I can’t remember most of it… Let’s just say the Seven Dwarves were trying to kill me with pickaxes and hammers while singing “Hi-ho!” Neil Gaiman was a “wise” man who was definitely NOT wise, giving advice like, “Maybe you shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes.” Raj did what Raj does… stay silent while a girl’s in the room. And Leonard-who-was-not-Leonard kept mumbling things to Darlene who was not actually there. I’m not sure if the Seven Dwarves ever succeeded in killing me… I will assume Nightmare On Elm Street is correct in the if-you-die-in-your-dreams-you-die-in-real-life thing, and say that the Seven Dwarves were not successful in their endeavors… “Hi-ho!”

Rachel: In my dream, I was solving a complex Calculus equation with Niels Bohr, the father of Quantum Mechanics. The problem was intricate and seemed to involve Einstein’s Cosmological Constant. I am not sure exactly what we were doing: either trying to plot the probable locations of electrons or possibly weigh the Universe. The former seems more consistent with the presence of Bohr, yet the latter would explain the Cosmological Constant. I told Bohr: “I don’t understand all these Greek Symbols!” I was thinking if I could only solve the equation I could get some peace… That is about all I can remember.

So… There you have it.  You can guess if you want. We don’t have money for prizes though,so you’ll just have to be satisfied with a virtual hug and “Good job!”

Oh… and just to add a little seriousness to the blog post, here are some links to a few MSNBC/NBC reports on the Israeli-Iranian conflict that seems to be heating up:

Hardball, NBC Nightly News, Today

Can you tell who Kiki’s journalist of the hour is?

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World News, Because We Are too Tired to Be Original…

So… we’ve haven’t had much time to  think (or anything else, for that matter), but here are some news items that caught our attention in recent days. FYI, most of the links will be from MSNBC because it is my (Kiki) current favorite news site.

1) Yesterday, an Afghani family living in Canada were convicted of the “honor killings” they had been charged with in 2009. Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, were found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. The victims were Shafia’s first wife and their three daughters. Details can be found here.

2) An Afghan woman was strangled to death by her husband and mother-in-law after giving birth to a third daughter. The mother-in-law has been arrested, but the husband–a militia member–is still at large.

3) Things in Syria are heating-up. According to MSNBC, the events of the last few days may signal a turning point in the conflict.

4) A pesticide commonly used by beekeepers may be exacerbating the virus responsible for decimating the honeybee population, MSNBC reports. The virus called Colony Collapse Disorder could have major implications for us in the future. Honeybees are the primary pollinators of food crops in most of the world.

5) Japan’s population is on the decline.

6)  Elderly laboratory Chimpanzee’s are the subject of debate, according to Rock Center. Dr. John VandeBerg, director of the primate research center argues that the quality of life in such centers has greatly improved, with spacious open air habitats. On the other hand, Dr. Jane Goodall, legendary anthropologist and chimpanzee expert says, that the experiments are torture and in her opinion the senior chimps deserve a retirement.

7) According to Al Jazeera, there is a question regarding the future of a group of stateless muslims in Myanmar, called the Rohingya. They were stripped of their citizenship and are victims of other human rights violations by the Junta. The article asks wether or not Suu Kyi will help them should she be elected.

8) Here’s something just for fun. This blog has some of NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, Richard Engel’s reporting. It’s good stuff. I (Kiki) really enjoyed his travel piece on Timbuktu (a small personal obsession).

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