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The Slow Journalism magazine A new perspective on the events that #07 mattered

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‘Sunlight’ by Brigitte Williams


Sun 1st

The National League for Democracy, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, wins 43 out of the 44 seats contested in Burma’s elections. It is the first time the party has stood since 1990. In New Brunswick, New Jersey, a crowd protests the killing in Florida of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by neighbourhood watch leader George Zimmerman. The crowd calls for what they term a “twenty-first century anti-lynching campaign”, and sing 1930s protest song ‘Strange Fruit’. ‘Strange Fruit’

Wed 11th

Former UK prime minister Gordon Brown announces his intention to become a professional ballet dancer. “Dance is in my blood,” he tells reporters. Mon 2nd

A shooting at Oikos University in Oakland, California, results in the loss of seven lives. A 43-year-old former student, One Goh, is charged with the murders.

“It is absurd to pretend dominion 8,000 miles overseas” The president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, criticises the UK government for refusing to enter talks over the Falkland Islands Pál Schmitt resigns as president of Hungary following revelations that he plagiarised the work of other academics in his 1992 doctoral thesis. DG#06 Tue 3rd

James Murdoch steps down as chairman of BSkyB. Colombian leftist revolutionary group Farc releases ten hostages, some of whom have been held for over a decade.

Blood on the roots As a crowd of demonstrators in New Brunswick applaud a performance of ‘Strange Fruit’, Dorian Lynskey traces the genesis of this haunting, angry protest song, and the rise and fall of Billie Holiday, the singer who made it famous Sun 1st

Y

ou’re on a date and you’ve decided to investigate a new club in a former speakeasy on West 4th Street: Café Society, which calls itself “The Wrong Place for the Right People”. Even if you don’t get the gag on the way in – the doormen wear tattered clothes – then the penny drops when you enter the L-shaped, 200-capacity basement and see the satirical murals spoofing Manhattan’s high-society swells. Unusually for a New York nightclub, black patrons are not just welcomed but privileged with the best seats in the house. You’ve heard the buzz about the resident singer, a 23-year-old black woman called Billie Holiday who made her name up in Harlem with Count Basie’s band. She has golden-brown, almost Polynesian skin, a ripe figure (Time magazine will soon condescendingly note, “She does not care enough about her figure to watch her diet, but she loves to sing”) and a single gardenia in her hair. She has a way of owning the room but she’s not flashy. Her voice is plump and pleasure-seeking, prodding and caressing a song until it yields more delights than its author

had intended, bringing a spark of vivacity and a measure of cool to even the hokier material. There are many fine singers in New York in 1939, but it’s the quicksilver spirit which lies behind Holiday’s voice, beyond mere timbre and technique, that keeps you gripped.

‘Strange Fruit’ would haunt Holiday for the rest of her life. Some fans, including her former producer John Hammond, blamed it for robbing her of her lightness” And then it happens. The house lights go down, leaving Holiday illuminated by the hard, white beam of a single spotlight. Suddenly you can’t get a drink because the waiters have withdrawn to the back of the room. She begins her final number. “Southern trees bear a strange fruit.” This, you think, isn’t your usual

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Apr


Feb Wed 22nd

It is reported that a 19-year-old Afghan woman jailed for 12 years for adultery after she was raped by a relative is set to be freed – but only after she agrees to marry the man who attacked her. ‘Send in the Cookie Monster’ UK trade union Unison says Jeremy Clarkson should be sacked for comments made on ‘The One Show’. Speaking about striking workers, Clarkson said “I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.” He insisted it was taken out of context and that it was clearly a joke. ‘Send in the Cookie Monster’ Wed 22nd

Elmo may look like the lovechild of a bath mat and a genetically modified chrysanthemum. But the three-and-a-half year-old baby monster exerts the kind of magnetism that has made has $2,000.

Subhead here in this font

show: the result was a buying frenzy which made hundreds of Elmo may look like the lovechild millions of dollars for the Sesame of a bath mat and a genetically Workshop, and led to some dolls being modified chrysanthemum. But the advertised at as much as $2,000. three-and-a-half year-old baby monster exerts the kind of magnetism But while you can see the appeal that has made him into a marketing to toddlers, Elmo has a more unlikely sensation. In 1996, a doll version of fanbase – the world’s leading politithe red, shaggy ‘Sesame Street’ star, cians. For Elmo has been deployed “Tickle Me Elmo” – was featured on by USAID (the US Agency for US comedian Rosie O’Donnell’s talk International Development) to show: the result was a buying frenzy Pakistan, where his not insignificant which made hundreds of millions of mission is to help boost literacy in a dollars for the Sesame Workshop, and country with one of the lowest rates in led to some dolls being advertised at the world, and promote tolerance at as much as $2,000. But while you can the same time as his home country is see the appeal to toddlers, Elmo has dropping bombs in drone attacks on a more unlikely fanbase – the world’s the north west tribal areas. leading politicians. For Elmo has been In the West, the reaction tPakistan, deployed by USAID (the US Agency where his not insignificant mission is for International Development) to to help boost. Pakistan, where his not insignificant mission is to help boost literacy in a End credit in this style here stuff country with one of the lowest rates in about books etc and a www.website. the world, and promote tolerance at com cvdgcvadcv asvc asv csav casv the same time as his home country is csavcvsagcvsagjvcgsavcvsac

The findings of the inquiry into Stafford Hospital reveal a number of NHS failings at the facility where as many as 1,200 patients died in four years after suffering neglect. There are cases of unqualified receptionists assessing emergency treatment, sick people being denied food and drink, and patients falling over and dying because there were no staff on hand to attend to them. 23rd Oct

“I’m a proud Effin woman. And I always will be an Effin woman” Anne Marie Kennedy begins a campaign to get Facebook to recognise the village of Effin in County Limerick after it was was branded “offensive” and blocked from the site. Wed 22nd

Herman Cain announces that he will withdraw from the race for Republican nomination in the United States presidential election following a series of sexual harassment allegations. Around 45,000 people are evacuated from the German city


Keep the red f lag f lying Wed 18th

According to a Russian newspaper, the Kremlin plans to install a missile shield in the breakaway republic of Transnistria. James Montague visits this strange and secretive state and asks whether it could become the frontline in a new Cold War

U

nder the gaze of Tiraspol’s largest statue of Lenin, a babushka plays her accordion for passing pedestrians. Dressed in the colourful fabrics of a Soviet-era farm worker, she collects kopeks in a small handkerchief. She’s lost in the nostalgia of her songs, but the moment she spots my camera she stops playing. “Niet!” she shouts, turning her back to me. The USSR may no longer exist, but in Tiraspol, Soviet-style paranoia is a feature of everyday life. Tiraspol is the capital of Transnistria, a 15-mile-wide, selfdeclared republic which was formerly part of Moldova. In 1990, as the Soviet Union was rapidly dissolving, the Popular Front party took power in Moldova’s first free elections and started pursuing a policy of alignment with Romania. Russian was dropped as an official language, the alphabet was changed from Cyrillic to Latin, and the possibility of a unification of Moldova and Romania was mooted. But Moldova’s minority Slavic population, based in the area between the Dniester river and the Ukrainian border, rebelled against the new direction of the country and on 2nd September 1990 declared an independent state: the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet

unrecognised by most of the international community. It’s a country that doesn’t exist, frozen in a conflict the world has forgotten about. While the rest of Eastern Europe toppled communist statues, Transnistria stuck with the snug blanket of the old certainties. Separated from its Russian backers thanks to a newly independent Ukraine, Transnistria developed its own currency, security force and constitution – but it never strayed too far from the Soviet model of governance. Isolation soon brought problems as Transnistria became a haven for and arms dealers. Frank While the rest of smugglers Jacobs, author of The New York Times cartography blog Borderlines, says: Eastern Europe “Transnistria has specialised in some toppled communist of the handful of activities open to statues, Transnistria rogue statelets: money laundering, people smuggling and weapons stuck with the snug manufacturing, among other blackblanket of the old market industries. It remains a black hole of legality on the doorstep of the certainties” European Union, and it’s a pressing Socialist Republic, known in the west problem.” It is estimated that as much as 40,000 tonnes of former as Transnistria. In March 1992, war broke out Soviet weaponry could still be on between Transnistria and Moldova. Transnistrian soil, a huge amount for It lasted four-and-a-half months, a territory of just half a million people. claimed around 600 lives and ended With porous borders, smuggling in a stalemate: a ceasefire but no from Ukraine has proliferated in settlement. Transnistria became a everything from cars and TVs to de facto independent state, but one cigarettes and chicken.


VISIT Every continent | The Louvre | Auschwitz | All 50 states of the US | New Zealand | The Great Wall of China | The Pyramids | A volcano | The Grand Canyon | Disneyland Kiss Underwater | Under the mistletoe | In the rain | At the Blarney Stone | A stranger | Someone at midnight on New Year’s Eve | Under mistletoe | Someone famous | A dolphin | On top of a ferris wheel Buy A house | And paint a hippie van | A car | A cake from Carlo’s Bakery | A homeless person a full meal | A grand piano | A gun | A little black dress | A scratchcard | An RV and travel Complete A 365 photography project | A half-marathon | A marathon | A triathlon | A 5,000km run | A mud run | A scrapbook | My degree | A 10,000km run | A journal Drink Absinthe | A butterbeer | Wine in Italy | Vodka in Russia | beer at Oktoberfest | Coconut milk straight from a coconut | Tequila on a Mexican Beach | A $200 bottle of wine by myself | Rum on a Caribbean beach | Starbucks Eat Sushi in Japan | Pizza in Italy | A Belgian waffle in Belgium | Fish and chips in London | Escargot in France | A fried tarantula | At a celebrity restaurant | A croissant at a bakery in Paris | Chinese food in China | Every edible fruit in the world Find A four-leaf clover | My doppelganger | Nemo | A job I love | My blood type | Inner peace | A unicorn | My soulmate | P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney | The love of my life Write A book |

May


Something in wet cement | A novel | A song | A short story | A will | A children’s book | A love letter | A letter to Juliet and place it on her wall in Verona | A letter to my future self WATCH A meteor shower | A butterfly hatch | The sun rise | 26 movies I’ve never seen starting with each letter of the alphabet | Shakespeare at the Globe | Turtles hatch and run for the ocean | The sun set | The Lion King musical | All the AFI 100 Greatest Movies | All the Harry Potter movies in one day Try Escargot | Sushi | Surfing | Making homemade marshmallows | Oysters | Yoga | Haggis in Scotland | Fencing | Fried twinkies | Ocean kayaking | The Red Paperclip Challenge take Part in a sky lantern festival | A jumping picture | An underwater photo | A cooking class | A photography class | A bath in Skittles | Silly pictures in a photo booth | A cruise | A zumba class | A circus class swim With dolphins | With sharks | In bio-luminescent algae | In the sea at night | With manatees | In every ocean | In the Blue Lagoon in Iceland | With a sea turtle | In the ocean | In the Neptune Pool | In the Dead Sea stay Off Facebook for two weeks | Awake for 24 hours | Addiction-free | Awake for 48 hours | In a five-star hotel | In a cabin in the Alps | In an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora | In an underwater hotel | At the Ice Hotel | At a Japanese capsule hotel spend The night in an underwater hotel | The day blind | A week hunting ghosts in Savannah | Christmas in London | An entire day watching Disney movies | New Year’s Eve in Times Square | A month at sea | An entire day in bed with someone | St Patrick’s Day in Ireland | The whole day at a spa being pampered sleep Under the stars | On a beach | In an overnight train | In a castle | In an igloo | In a hammock | In a rainforest | In a castle in England | In a haunted house |12 hours straight see The Northern Lights | A Cirque de Soleil show | The Grand Canyon | The Taj Mahal | Mount Rushmore | The pyramids | The ball drop in Times Square | The Great Wall of China | Stonehenge | The tulips in Holland Ride A hot air balloon | An elephant | A camel | In a helicopter | A segway | A gondola in Venice | A mattress down a staircase | A mechanical bull | A camel in Egypt | A zipline through the jungle read The bible | 1,000 books | All of Shakespeare | The Lord of the Rings | Three books from the banned books list | A book with more than 200 pages in one day | All the books I own | The Hunger Games | Three biographies | Eight books in 2012 play Quidditch | Paintball | Laser tag | Beer pong | Hide and seek in Ikea | Bagpipes | The didgeridoo | Bob Marley on the guitar | The Ocarina | A grand piano meet Someone famous | One Direction | Tim Burton | Johnny Depp | Taylor Swift | The president | You Me At Six | Lady Gaga | Harry Styles MAKE Homemade ice cream | Pasta | Sushi | A scrapbook | Amazing crepes | My own beer | A snow angel | A difference | A kite and fly it | A successful soufflé LEARN How to surf | How to use chopsticks | Sign language | To play the guitar | To drive a stick shift | CPR | To play the piano | French | To drive | Spanish

Picking the bucket

Each month tens of thousands of people from across the world contribute their ‘to do before I die’ lists to www.bucketlist.org. We’ve crunched May’s lists to find the month’s most popular pre-mortality action points

Research: Joe Burnham. Source: www.bucketlist.org


Almanac May digested – the month’s miscellanea

Elections and referenda

Born

Hungary Presidential election, Wed 2nd

Tabuk mosque

London Mayoral election, Thu 3rd Turnout: 38.1% Winning percentage: 58.5% Result: Boris Johnson remains mayor of London.

Armenia Parliamentary elections, Sun 6th Turnout: 62.4% Winning percentage: 52.7% Result: President Serzh Sargsyan’s ruling Republican Party increase majority to 69 of 131 seats.

Serbia Presidential election, Sun 6th

TL EP S

Turnout: 46.3% Winning percentage: 51.1% Result: Having stood four times before, Serbian Progressive Party founder Tomislav Nikolic is elected president.

Underwater place of worship created by divers, Saudi Arabia, Mon 7th

Record breakers

21

Most ping pong balls caught with chopsticks in one minute Tue 1st Ryuta Joraku (Japan)

France Presidential election, Sun 6th Turnout: 80.4% Winning percentage: 51.6% Result: François Hollande wins the run-off election against Nicolas Sarkozy.

Bahamas Parliamentary elections, Mon 7th Turnout: 92% Winning percentage: 48.6% Result: The opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) wins a majority in the election, making Perry Christie prime minister.

TL EP S

Syria Parliamentary elections, Mon 7th

Turnout: 43.1% Winning percentage: 23% TL EP S Result: The the FLN and RND coalition holds on to power

Dominican Republic Presidential, Sun 20th Winning percentage:

51.2%

Result: Danilo Medina of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party is elected president.

Mtn Dew AM

Mountain Dew and orange juice, fast food restaurant Taco Bell’s new morning drink, Tue 29th

Play-A-Grill

Teeth-encasing jewellery/MP3 player, Wed 30th

Amercia

Viral internet term stemming from Mitt Romney typo,Wed 30th

Died 16.03 miles Longest continuous wheelie in a wheelchair Sat 12th Xie Junwu (China)

Adam Yauch

Musician and activist, 47, Fri 4th

Vidal Sassoon

Hairdresser, 84, Wed 9th

Carlos Fuentes

Author, 83, Tue 15th

Donna Summer Singer, 63, Wed 16th

Turnout: 51.6% Result: Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’ath party takes 60 percent of seats meaning 90 percent of MPs are directly alligned to Assad. The US describes the election as “bordering on ludicrous”.

Algeria Parliamentary elections, Thu 10th

Seeing-eye horses

Approved by Illinois Senate, Wed 16th

24 hours 55 minutes World’s longest guitar solo Wed 16th David Didonato (US)

Robin Gibb

Musician, 62, Sun 20th

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi Lockerbie bomber, 60, Sun 20th

Doc Watson

Folk musician, 89, Tue 29th

Fiona Hanson/PA Wire/Press Association Images | Guide Horse Foundation

Winning percentage: 85.3% Result: An early election was called following the resignation of Pál Schmitt after allegations of academic misconduct.


#thistimelastyear 21st

May 2012

The apocalypse predicted by US radio preacher Harold Camping fails to materialise. After 21st October, the date of his follow-up apocalypse prediction, passes without incident he vows to never warn of the end of the world again.

Geography of gay rights Wed 9th US president Barack Obama comes out in favour of same sex marriage and Google searches for gay marriage jump by 459 percent. But in some parts of the world, simply being gay can be still punished by death Africa

Americas

Asia

Oceania

Europe

Middle East (locations are geographical not political)

where gay people can get married (*in at least one state or province) Argentina Belgium Brazil* Canada Canary Islands Denmark Iceland Mexico* Netherlands Norway Portugal South Africa Spain Sweden US* where gay people can ADOPT (*in at least one state or province) Andorra Argentina Belgium Brazil* Cambodia Canada Canary Islands Denmark Falkland Islands Guam Guernsey Iceland Isle of Man Israel Jersey Mexico* Netherlands Norway Philippines Pitcairn Islands South Africa South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Spain Sweden United Kingdom Uruguay US* where gay people can join the army Albania Anguilla Argentina Aruba Ascension Island Australia Austria Bahamas Belgium Bermuda Brazil British Virgin Islands Canada Canary Islands Cayman Islands Colombia Croatia Czech Republic Denmark El Savador Estonia Falkland Islands Federated States of Micronesia Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guadeloupe Israel Italy Japan Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Martinique Montserrat Netherlands Nepal New Zealand Norway Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Republic of Ireland Réunion Romania Russia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Serbia Slovenia South Africa South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Spain Sweden Switzerland Thailand Turks and Caicos Islands United Kingdom United States Virgin Islands Uruguay US WHERE BEING GAY IS PUNISHABLE by DEATH (in at least one state or province*) Iran Mauritania Saudi Arabia Somaliland* Sudan United Arab Emirates Yemen

Feel the Force

1, 21 25 , 54 7 7

Facebook fans of ‘Star Wars Day’ 4th May

Facebook fans of ‘Occupy May 1st’

Pussy Riot vs Russian grannies A A Moscow court declares the prolonged arrest of three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot lawful B Russia’s Buranovskiye Babushki perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan 100

A

B 80

60

40

20

0 1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

11th

12th

13th

14th

15th

16th

17th

18th

19th

20th

21st

22nd

23rd

24th

25th

26th

27th

28th

29th

30th

Source: Google Insights, based on Google text searches in May. Axis numbers reflect a normalised version of the number of searches that have been carried out for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches carried out on Google over time.


The Syrian predator

May Tue 1st

In the Bahraini capital Manama, riot police break up an anti-government demonstration using stun grenades and tear gas. The Ukrainian government is informed by the presidents of Italy, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria that they will not attend a planned meeting of central and eastern European powers in Yalta on 11th May. The leaders pull out of the meeting in protest against the treatment of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, imprisoned since 2011 for abuse of power.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is one of 41 ‘Predators of freedom of information’, along with Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Hu Jintao of China. Rachel Halliburton traces the effects of censorship on a 21st-century state

Wed 2nd

Reporters Without Borders adds President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to its list of 41 international ‘information predators’, claiming: “The Syrian predator and his cronies are waging an information war.” ‘The Syrian predator’

“T

At Sotheby’s in New York, Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ becomes the most expensive painting ever sold, going for a record amount of $US119,922,500.

Benjamin Carey, spokesman for Yemen Tourism’s UK office, tells the Telegraph that although the Ewan McGregor film ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ has generated a huge surge of interest in the country, many potential visitors have got the wrong end of the stick about the country’s leisure opportunities. Mitt Romney is declared the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for the US presidential election, after Newt Gingrich suspends his campaign.

Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

“One negative is that salmon fishing isn’t actually that popular in Yemen”

here was a group of four Syrians in Manchester,” says anti-Assad campaigner Malik al-Abdeh. “Two of them cousins. They were sitting down having a meal, and one of the cousins cracked a rude joke about Bashar al-Assad. Everyone laughed, but when the meal had finished and the other two had gone home, one cousin said to the other: ‘I hope you don’t take this personally, but I’m going to write a report to the embassy saying you told a rude joke.’ The other one said, ‘What do you want to do that for?’ And the first one said, ‘If I don’t write a report and the other two do then I’m going to get into trouble because then they’ll think that I agree with you about Assad.’” A Syrian would be unlikely to be targeted while they were in the UK. But, says Al-Abdeh, “there’s always that fear that when you go back home, at the airport, someone’s going

to say, ‘Oh, we need to have a word.’ You might be beaten up, you might be humiliated, or someone from your family might be hurt. That way the regime of terror operates whether you live inside or outside.” You don’t make jokes about the regime, even among friends and family, even when you are far away from Syria. This private self-censorship, inculcated in Syrian citizens from an early age, has been as central to the Ba’athist regime’s chilling psychological warfare against its people as its public clampdowns on the media. To be aware of it is crucial to understanding why the opposition that is now struggling to formulate a coherent plan for a post-Assad Syria is so fractious and deeply divided.

Standing up to Assad Al-Abdeh, a bearded, soft-spoken 30 year old, made a gesture of defiance against Assad’s regime of terror when

Thibault Camus/AP/Press Association Images

Wed 2nd


Members of Reporters Without Borders demonstrate outside the Syrian Embassy in Paris on World Press Freedom Day, 3rd May 2011. The poster reads “It’s ink, not blood that should run”

Feb Wed 22nd

It is reported that a 19-year-old Afghan woman jailed for 12 years for adultery after she was raped by a relative is set to be freed – but only after she agrees to marry the man who attacked her. ‘Send in the Cookie Monster’ UK trade union Unison says Jeremy Clarkson should be sacked for comments made on ‘The One Show’. Speaking about striking workers, Clarkson said “I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.” He insisted it was taken out of context and that it was clearly a joke. ‘Send in the Cookie Monster’ Wed 22nd

Elmo may look like the lovechild of a bath mat and a genetically modified chrysanthemum. But the three-and-a-half year-old baby monster exerts the kind of magnetism that has made has $2,000.

Subhead here in this font

show: the result was a buying frenzy which made hundreds of Elmo may look like the lovechild millions of dollars for the Sesame of a bath mat and a genetically Workshop, and led to some dolls being modified chrysanthemum. But the advertised at as much as $2,000. three-and-a-half year-old baby monster exerts the kind of magnetism ut while you can see the appeal that has made him into a marketing to toddlers, Elmo has a more sensation. In 1996, a doll version of unlikely fanbase – the world’s the red, shaggy ‘Sesame Street’ star, leading politicians. For Elmo has been “Tickle Me Elmo” – was featured on deployed by USAID (the US Agency US comedian Rosie O’Donnell’s talk for International Development) to show: the result was a buying frenzy Pakistan, where his not insignificant which made hundreds of millions of mission is to help boost literacy in a dollars for the Sesame Workshop, and country with one of the lowest rates in led to some dolls being advertised at the world, and promote tolerance at as much as $2,000. But while you can the same time as his home country is see the appeal to toddlers, Elmo has dropping bombs in drone attacks on a more unlikely fanbase – the world’s the north west tribal areas. leading politicians. For Elmo has been In the West, the reaction tPakistan, deployed by USAID (the US Agency where his not insignificant mission is for International Development) to to help boost. Pakistan, where his not insignificant mission is to help boost literacy in a End credit in this style here stuff country with one of the lowest rates in about books etc and a www.website. the world, and promote tolerance at com cvdgcvadcv asvc asv csav casv the same time as his home country is csavcvsagcvsagjvcgsavcvsac

B

The findings of the inquiry into Stafford Hospital reveal a number of NHS failings at the facility where as many as 1,200 patients died in four years after suffering neglect. There are cases of unqualified receptionists assessing emergency treatment, sick people being denied food and drink, and patients falling over and dying because there were no staff on hand to attend to them. 23rd Oct

“I’m a proud Effin woman. And I always will be an Effin woman” Anne Marie Kennedy begins a campaign to get Facebook to recognise the village of Effin in County Limerick after it was was branded “offensive” and blocked from the site. Wed 22nd

Herman Cain announces that he will withdraw from the race for Republican nomination in the United States presidential election following a series of sexual harassment allegations. Around 45,000 people are evacuated from the German city


The Avengers

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Toy Story 3

Avatar

The Dark Knight

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Shrek 2

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Mission: Impossible II

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

YEA

R Forever Amber

The Best Years of Our Lives

Mom and Dad

Easter Parade

1957 1 956 19 55

1952 1953

1951

1950

1949

1948

1947

Original cine

1946

1945

Fri 4th

Comic books, theme park rides, even the odd original idea: there are many things that inspire the films that lure us into the cinema, but what’s the most potent muse? We chart the source material for the highest grossing film every year since the original blockbuster, Gone With the Wind, in 1939. Illustration: Christian Tate

959 1958 1

ific South Pac

Samson and Delilah

54 19

The Bridg e on th River Kwaie

Cinderella

the Tra mp

The Ten Co mm and me nts

Quo Vadis

n r Pa Pete

ow ind W ar Re

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

The Jungle Book

2001: A Space Odyssey

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Love Story

1962 1963

Hawaii

On e On Hun e D dr alm ed a ati nd an s

us ac art p S

The Sound of Music

19 61

Goldfinger

60 19

r -Hu Ben

From Russia With Love

La dy an d

This is Cinerama

IG I N

Arab ia

OR

Law renc e of

O

F


Jurassic Park

1939

Te Jud rmina ge tor me 2: nt Da y

19 30

1700

1800

1976

Diamonds Are Forever

The Godfather

The Exorcist

The Towering Inferno

Jaws

Rocky

1977

8 197

n Top Gu

1984

Back to the Future

Indiana the Tem Jones and ple of D oom

Retu rn o f

the Jedi

E.T . th eE xtr a-T err Ra es tria id er l so ft he Lo st Ar k k ac

1975

al Fat raction Att

B es rik St ire mp eE Th

1974

80 19

er rak on Mo

1973

9 197

ase Gre

1972

ars Star W

1971

0 185

19 81

1600

n Ma in a R

19 82

19 00 1500

d an e es sad n o u a J Cr ian ast d L In e th

198 3

1910

1000

Musical

19 90

20 19

0

Folk tale/fairy story

Gh os t

The Lion King

Alad din

19 91

Gone with the Wind

Die Hard with a Vengeance

Independence Day Sergeant York

Titanic Bambi

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Armageddon For Whom the Bell Tolls

Pinocchio

1940

1994 1993 199 2

TV show

1941

1995

Theme park ride

1942

1996

Sequel/prequel to original

986 1985 7 1 198

1943

1997

Book

88 19

1944

1998

Comic book

89 19

Going My Way

1999

Original screenplay


The reluctant hero On 16th May, President Obama awarded Specialist Leslie H Sabo the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. The award is only given rarely and – as in the case of Specialist Sabo – often posthumously. The most recent living recipient is Sergeant Dakota Meyer, whose life was thrown into turmoil by his award. Nick Leftley tells the story of his bumpy journey from sniper to national icon

O

n 15th September 2011, Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor – America’s equivalent to the rare and prestigious Victoria Cross – for his actions in Afghanistan, becoming the first living United States Marine in 38 years to receive the honour. At just 23 years old, the former Marine was suddenly on the front page of every newspaper in the country, shaking hands with the president: just weeks earlier, he had been pouring concrete on a construction site in Kentucky. “I’d been out of the Marine Corps for a year when they called. I was trying to move on to a new chapter in my life,” says Meyer. “To suddenly be in every paper and on every TV show – it was crazy.” When Meyer first got the call from Barack Obama’s assistant, he politely informed her that the president would have to call him back on his lunch break. “I was at work – I couldn’t just sit there and take a break. I was hard up for money. But I put it on speakerphone when he called,” he grins. “All my work buddies listened. They were freaking out.” It’s no surprise that the media paid him such attention. The Medal of Honor is not given lightly and all too often it is a medal awarded posthumously: 57 percent of awards for the war in Afghanistan and 100 percent of those for the Iraq War were made posthumously. And Meyer’s story in particular was sensational. On 8th September 2009 – when he was just 21 – his team walked into an ambush outside Ganjgal village, in Kunar Province. Despite being heavily

People think we’re monsters. One TV personality actually said that – he called us monsters. They think that because you go over and you see war, you come back crazy” outnumbered and bombarded with machine gun and rocket fire, Meyer raced into the kill zone four times, searching for the four other members of his team. Over the course of a six-hour firefight, he personally rescued 12 wounded friendlies, provided cover for 24 other soldiers to escape and killed at least eight insurgents. Although, tragically, he was unable to prevent

the death of his four friends, he refused to retreat until he had recovered their bodies. By anyone’s standards, his actions were beyond heroic, although Meyer finds it difficult to see it that way. “If I was a hero, my guys would be here today, and they’re not. In the Marine Corps, you believe that you either get them out, or you die trying. You didn’t die trying? Then you didn’t try hard enough. When I was being awarded the medal, all I could think was, ‘This sucks.’ I hated it. I didn’t want the medal. I was just thinking about my guys the whole time I was up there.” To this day, Meyer wears the names of his fallen comrades on metal bracelets around his wrists. They’re a constant reminder of what he describes as the worst day of his life, but they’re also a motivation to keep going. “Any time I start doing something dumb, or start getting down on myself, I remember I’ve got four reasons to push on,” he says, grimly. “Because they didn’t get a chance to.” Not long after receiving the medal, Meyer had a falling out with his new employer, defence contractor BAE Systems. It began when Meyer expressed his anger at what he alleged was their attempt to sell rifle scopes to Pakistan. After resigning, Meyer then brought a lawsuit against a supervisor at BAE who, he alleged, had told a hiring manager at another company that Meyer was mentally unstable and unable to perform his job, as well as implying that he had issues with alcohol. The resulting lawsuit was settled out of court, but the experience has clearly been a bitter one for Meyer.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/Press Association Image | US Army

Wed 16th


Jun Mon 4th

Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan militant and Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, is killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan. Luka Rocco Magnotta, a Canadian porn actor suspected of the murder and dismemberment of his boyfriend, is arrested by Berlin police at an internet café where he is reading news stories about himself. Magnotta is accused of having killed Jun Lin, 33, with an ice pick before posting a video of the attack on the internet and sending body parts to political party offices in Ottawa.

The butterfly effect How a boat collision by Long Island in 1880 led to the discovery of the a huge trove of Celtic coins in the Channel Islands in 2012 Tue 5th

Words: Rob Orchard. Illustration: Christian Tate

SS STONINGTON SS NARRANGA

NSETT

11th June 1880 The SS Stonington and the SS Narrangansett collide in thick fog in Long Island Sound. The Narrangansett catches fire and more than 30 of its passengers die. The Stonington is able to return to port. One of the Stonington’s passengers, Charles Guiteau, a delusional failed lawyer and preacher, is convinced that he has been spared by God for a higher purpose.

“There are different ways of staying focused” Oslo court spokesman Irene Ramm after one of the five judges in the trial against Anders Behring Breivik was photographed playing solitaire online during proceedings. Breivik killed 77 people in Norway last year.

GARFIELD

Tue 5th

Venus passes between the Sun and Earth. Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable celestial phenomena and the next occurrence is not due until 2117. In Grouville, Jersey, Reg Mead and Richard Miles discover Europe’s biggest ever hoard of buried Celtic treasure.

November 1880 President James A Garfield is elected. Guiteau believes Garfield won because of a five-minute speech Guiteau gave to a small gathering in the run-up to the election, and that he should be rewarded for his service by being made US ambassador to France.

January-June 1881 Guiteau constantly badgers Garfield and members of his administration to be named ambassador to France, and is constantly rebuffed, much to his chagrin.

‘The Butterfly Effect’

The US government withdraws its funding for ‘Sim Sim Hamara’, the Pakistani version of ‘Sesame Street’, after callers to an anti-fraud hotline in the country made claims of fraud and corruption against the production company. DG#05 Wed 6th

A new issue by DC Comics reveals that the Green Lantern – one of the company’s most popular superheroes – is gay.

2nd July 1881 An enraged Charles Guiteau shoots US president James A. Garfield twice from behind as he enters the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad station. President Garfield is taken to the White House to recuperate. One bullet remains lodged in the president’s body and his doctors are unable to find it.


Early 1980s Mead hears of a farmer in the parish of Grouville who had discovered some silver coins in an earthenware pot in one of his fields, and requests permission to scan and dig the ground. The farmer allows him access for just ten hours each year, after the crops have been harvested. For the next 30 years Reg and his friend Richard Miles scan the farmer’s ground but unearth nothing of any value.

June 2012 Mead and Miles uncover a hoard of 50,000 gold and silver coins under three feet of clay, the largest trove of Celtic money ever found in Europe. The coins were buried in around 25BC to keep them out of the hands of invading Romans. Their estimated value is £10 million.

After the war, thousands of cheap ex-army metal detectors are sold in Britain. Metal-detecting clubs are formed across the country and metal detection becomes a major new hobby. In 1959 on the Channel Island of Jersey, Reg Mead catches the metal detection bug and starts searching for buried treasure.

Alexander Graham Bell invents a rudimentary metal detector to find the bullet. It works in tests but does not work on Garfield, possibly because his doctors refuse to allow the president to be moved from his metal bed. President Garfield dies on 19th September 1881.

Hundreds of these detectors are sent to the British Eighth Army in Egypt, where they are used for identifying mines, doubling the speed at which minefields can be cleared. They are used extensively in the Second Battle of El Alamein, in which the Allies under General Montgomery triumph over Rommel’s Panzer Army Africa and turn the tide of the North African campaign.

1939 Following the German invasion of Poland, Polish officer Lieutenant Jozef Stanislaw Kosacki escapes to the UK and is attached to an army unit in St Andrews in Scotland. In 1941 he creates a portable, handheld metal detector run on the same principle as Bell’s detector.


lady gaga and the politics of indonesian pop behind the scenes at the bahrain grand prix how to make millions from online gold farms the eXTRAORDINARY afterlife of einstein's brain a goodbye to lonesome george Every news story that mattered And a huge amount more

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