Thursday, March 16, 2006
NGOs call for change to Japan's racism
Facing international criticism that Japan is not doing enough to stop racial discrimination, officials of key ministries met Tuesday with minority groups in Tokyo to assess the situation.
Officials from the Foreign Ministry, labor ministry and Justice Ministry sat in on hearings with 18 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) representing minorities such as resident Koreans, foreign laborers and indigenous Ainu people. Representatives were also on hand to discuss the buraku issue, which concerns descendants of feudal-era outcasts.Read more: Japan
Dubai rules out automatic visa for property buyers
Expatriates who buy freehold property in Dubai do not automatically get a permanent residence visa or right to work in Dubai, a report said.
'Nothing's changed when it comes to residence permits. There is no permanent residence visa for freehold property investors,' Brigadier Saeed Mattar bin Bleilah bin Bleilah, director general of DNRD, was quoted as saying by the Gulf News report.Read more: Dubai
chirac's "cnn a la francaise" hits language barrier
France's television dream of mounting a challenge to CNN and the BBC has suffered an embarrassing setback after claims that the new channel would broadcast most of its output in English.
Starved of realistic funding for a 24-hour news station, CII is due to be launched in December for transmission initially to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Its annual budget, met by the French taxpayer, will be £50m (€72.4m), about an eighth of CNN's.
President Jacques Chirac promised a "CNN a la francaise" in the 2002 election campaign and is committed to a station that will "spread the values of France and its global vision throughout the world".Read more: French
China.com and ProAdvertising Launch Italy.China.com
China.com Inc. a Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS), Internet services and online game provider operating principally in China, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with ProAdvertising, a leading online advertising agency in Italy, to launch Italy.China.com. The new website will offer the Chinese community instant access to a wide range of information related to Italy in their own language and create an effective channel for Italian companies to promote their products in China.Read more: China.com
ottowa targets chinese tourists with translated website
Ottawa Tourism is sharpening its focus on the Chinese market with the launch of its official Chinese website. Content on the site is tailoored to the traveling needs of Chinese visitors, with details on Ottawa's historic and political background, China-Canada relations and seasonal activities in the capital.
"As China's economy continues to grow, its outbound tourism will also continue to increase. China is now one of the most important markets in Asia for Canada, just behind Japan and Korea," says Ottawa Tourism president and CEO Jacques Burelle.Read more: China
word of the day: megalomania
megalomania \meg-uh-lo-MAY-nee-ah; -nyuh\, noun:
1. A mania for grandiose or extravagant things or actions.
2. A mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur.
Eighteen months generally elapse nowadays between the time a publisher accepts a manuscript and its appearance in book form -- the gestation period of an elephant. During that year and a half of waiting, a writer is visited by every emotion in the fun house, from rosy anticipation to exultation, megalomania, brooding, dread, cringing humility, avarice, guilt and, finally, stolid acceptance. -- Phillip Lopate, "Waiting for the Book: Storms Before the Calm," New York Times, May 24, 1987
He too often allows us to laugh off notions that science might occasionally be the handmaiden of megalomania, greed, and sadism. -- David J. Skal, Screams of Reason: Mad Science and Modern Culture
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Eastern European immigrants work harder than Brits
Many Eastern European immigrants in the UK are harder working, more reliable and motivated than their British counterparts, according to a Home Office report.
More than 345,000 East Europeans have arrived seeking work since the EU expanded to include former Soviet bloc countries on 1 May 2004. Employers compare them favourably with UK workers, according to the first study of attitudes to migrant workers since EU expansion.Read more: Workers
translation costs in eu spiral out of control
In another example of the EU Parliament's excessive spending, costs of interpretation and translation in an expanded EU are spiraling out of control, according to a separate draft report from the legislature's budgetary control committee.
The committee said it is "very concerned" that nearly €26 million, or $31 million - 16 percent of the €163 million spent on interpretation - is used to hire translators who are on call or sitting idle.Read more: EU
new cross cultural soap starts in germany
"Turkish for Beginners," a new soap opera which premiered on German public broadcaster ARD on Tuesday, is a highly entertaining bonanza of cultural stereotypes.
In it, Doris Schneider, an anti-disciplinarian German therapist and mother of two, falls in love with Turkish policeman Metin Öztürk, a father of two as well. To the absolute horror of the children from both sides of the cultural divide, Doris (played by Anna Stieblich) and Metin (Adnan Maral) decide to move in with each other and conduct a risky, cross-cultural family merger.Read more: Germany
australia reflects on cultural diversity
In a few short decades Australia has shifted from a "White Australia" policy to one that supports a growing diversity. But the debate on multiculturalism following the Cronulla riots reveals uncertainty over whether that should require more assimilation or allow freedom within the boundaries of fundamental principles.
"A lot of people ask for assimilation. Assimilation means that you forget about your heritage," says Thu Nguyen, a director in the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in Canberra.
Instead, she says, Australia seeks to give latitude to ethnic traditions as long as they don't conflict with certain basics. "All of us have to observe our democratic principles, the rule of law, equality of the sexes, English as the national language - the basic democratic values we have to put first. Within that framework, people are free to observe their own cultural practices."Read more: Australia
diversity initiatives no more than "pr stunts"
Despite the proliferation of formal initiatives and policies to promote diversity in the workplace, only a minority of Britain’s accountants are convinced that they are anything more than what one described as a “glorified PR stunt.�?
According to a survey carried out for the financial recruitment specialist, Hewitson Walker, only 35% of those questioned thought that formal diversity programmes were having a real effect on the companies they worked for.Read more: PR
PiPTrader launches Chinese website
PiPTrader today announced that it has added a Chinese version to its popular forex portal web site to serve the needs of many Chinese forex traders around the world.
Due to the fast growth of the Chinese economy, its financial markets have become more mature. Chinese banks and brokerage houses are actively promoting foreign exchange as an alternative to the slow domestic equity markets. The low cost and margin based trading features attract many Chinese investors. By introducing a Chinese version of its web site, PiPTrader enables Chinese investors to obtain live information about foreign exchange trading, as well as a forum in Chinese, a forex education section, and research in Chinese language.
“We believe the Chinese version of our forex portal web site will greatly benefit the millions of Chinese speaking investors around the world,�? said Judith Himes, Head of the Public Relations department at PiPTrader. “We are delighted to create an active information channel that serves the needs of Chinese forex traders.�?Read more: China
why the english? asks japanese pm
A question in Japan's parliament on Wednesday peppered with English financial terms had Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi warning a lawmaker to mind his language. "Who understands (English) words like 'compliance' and 'governance'?" Koizumi asked the embarrassed opposition questioner.
"Use words that ordinary people can understand," he said to loud cheers and laughter. "Some members know English, I've studied a bit, but debates shouldn't be limited to those who understand English. Debates are for everyone."
English and other foreign-language words are increasingly common in Japan, and are often introduced as much to make something sound exotic or important as to describe concepts for which there is no local equivalent -- though non-Japanese often laugh at the peculiar usages.Read more: Japan
word of the day: Ides
Ides \YDZ\, plural noun:
In the ancient Roman calendar the fifteenth day of March, May, July, and October, and the thirteenth day of the other months.
In one measure of how fast this calendar has become in recent years, by the Ides of March 1984, seven states had held primaries, said Rhodes Cook, the author of "Race for the Presidency". -- Robin Toner, "Both Parties Seek Ways to Tame Fast and Furious Primary Process.," New YorkTimes, January 24, 2000
Oh he is a very fast horse, and on the Ides of November you will know just how fast he is. -- "The Aristocracy of the Democratic Party.," New York Times, November 9, 1864