The View from Here: July 2011 Archives

Whoonga! What's in the killer street drug of Durban?

Powdered whoonga is sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana providing an addictive and toxic high.(Photo/Anders Kelto)

There's a new street drug in South Africa that really is poison. 

Junkies get sick if they smoke it, and sicker if they don't. Then they die.

Journalist Anders Kelto traced it from the streets of Kwa Dabekaa township near Durban right into the laboratory, to discover what's hooking people on whoonga.

  Listen to Anders's View From Here

 His full documentary is on theJuly 28/31 edition of Dispatches

North/South Sudan -- a site with its own compass


Longtime Dispatches contributor Alexa Dvorson has been editing, from her homebase in Berlin, a website of reports from Sudan and South Sudan called SUDANVOTES.

She picked a couple of pieces by Sudanese women journalists she thought Dispatches audiences would especially appreciate.  They're from a feature Alexa called North or South, the heart has its own compass.

Reem Abbas Shawkat        Ajaa Santino Anyieth


Here what's in the latest issue:

SUDANVOTES weekly wrap-up (* الترجمة العربية في الآسفل)
Issue #45
20 July 2011
From inside Sudan and South Sudan:  

[+] The shadow of Darfur looms over Southern Kordofan

The continuing violence in Southern Kordofan leaves many wondering if a Darfur-like scenario is inevitable. Freelance journalist Zeinab Saleh writes that evidence is mounting for another case at the International Criminal Court in the Hague:

[+] Report card for 9 July

Jubilation: unsurpassed. Preparations: see the management Akim Mugisa takes a sobering look at the coordination of South Sudan's independence day festivities.


[+] Israel to take key position on South Sudan's new foreign policy map

Relations between what was the south of Sudan and the Jewish state have a long history. The announcement that Africa's newest nation will forge formal ties with Israel leaves Khartoum in a quandary. Richan Ochi has this assessment:

[+] South Sudan's independence spurs renewed tributes to SPLM founder

A new statue of the late John Garang, who led the south's freedom struggle during Sudan's civil war, was unveiled during independence celebrations on 9 July. Marvis Birungi has this audio snapshot:

SUDANVOTES is an online publication by MICT, www.mict-international.org, produced in partnership with the German Foreign Office.

From Spain via Israel -- Ladino music revival

Isareli singer Yasmin Levy's father preserved Ladino folk songs from Spain which she is re-styling for new audiences. Photo/Ali Taskiran


Ladino is the music Jews took with them when they were expelled from Spain in 1492. It's finding new audiences, thanks to artists like Yasmin Levy.

Listen to Yasmin's musical story of Ladino

Thanks to Dispatches contributor Maria Bakkalapulo in Glasgow at the Celtic Connections music festival.

Yasmin's website

The July 14 Dispatches program page

The Dispatches View From Here blog

Nothing but mammals, baby...

CBC correspondent Connie Watson expected certain dangers when she got into a taxi to ride into the heart of the war zone in Kosovo.  But she wasn't counting on explicit advances of a musical nature, from her rogue of a driver. 

  After hearing her tale of animal lust, you may never think of the Discovery Channel in quite the same way again.

This is part of the June 23 Dispatches In The Summer program.

It's originally from a 90-minute special called The Dispatches Soundtrax Edition -- a collection of musical moments from our correspondents around the world. Listen to all three parts of it.

And If there's a piece of music you associate with an experience abroad, write us an email about it.  We'll post it in Your Dispatches

This Is Not America

CBC correspondent Neil Macdonald

Rick MacInnes-Rae's colleague and old friend Neil Macdonald has chased down some elusive characters for CBC News over the years.  But here's a story Rick hadn't heard before -- about former SS officers, a dark beer hall and David Bowie in the background.

 Rick and Neil's conversation

This is part of the July 7 Dispatches In The Summer program.

It's from a 90-minute special called The Dispatches Soundtrax Edition -- a collection of musical moments from our correspondents around the world. Listen to all three parts of it.

And If there's a piece of music you associate with an experience abroad, write us an email about it.  We'll post it in Your Dispatches

U.S. space heavyweights protest shuttle demise

After Rick's essay about NASA and the end of the Space Shuttle in the June 16 Dispatches program, we received this open letter from former NASA director Christopher Kraft and Scott Spencer to the current head of NASA.


June 30, 2011

Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
National Aeronautics and
Space Administration
NASA Headquarters
300 E Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20546

Dear Administrator Bolden,
We believe that the planned retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet after the flight of STS-135 next month will create an unacceptable flight risk for maintaining safe and reliable operations of the International Space Station (ISS).  As you well know, the shuttles are the only spacecraft that can provide independent spacewalks for critical ISS repairs. 

If an incident or life support failure rendered the ISS uninhabitable, repair spacewalks to restore operations would not be possible from the space station.  In a worst case scenario, deterioration and loss of systems on an abandoned ISS could result in an uncontrolled, catastrophic reentry with risks to populated areas around the world.  This would have significant ramifications to foreign relations and liability for the United States, Russia and the other countries who participate as partners on the International Space Station.  The recent near miss of space debris, which caused the ISS astronauts to seek shelter in the Soyuz spacecraft, is a reminder that a catastrophic accident is a stark possibility.

This issue was the subject of a commentary article we co-authored, published in the June 12th edition of the New York Daily News, which is enclosed. 

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