Here’s the latest for Tuesday, November 29th: 76 die in Colombia plane crash; Terrorism investigated in Ohio campus attack; Tennessee wildfire forces evacuations; Storms bring rain to southeast.
Timeline: Snapshot November 29, 2016
Perspective: Preserving Traditions – And The Coral
Traditions have a purpose. They add color to the culture. They give people of a culture a certain sense of pride and uniqueness. And they hold people together.
In Malaysia Atama Katama went on a journey to discover his musical roots. He ended up learning more about himself – who he is and where he came from. He also ended up with a more fulfilling career. AND he uses his knowledge and talents to help his people retain their land.
In Thailand, a land of many traditions, the government is going about its duty to uphold one of the country’s most fundamental tradition – accession of a new king. For the last decade at least, Thailand has been the scene of much political and social turmoil. The late king’s death had a very sobering and unifying effect on the country.
In preparing for the crown prince to acceed to the throne, the Thai leaders are carrying out a tradition in hopes it will help bring more stability to the country.
Traditions serve a purpose. Sometimes they may seem to be meaningless wastes of time for modern, busy people. Sometimes it is hard to see the benefit of doing something just because “our great grandparents” did it.
In the long-run, though, traditions are part of your identity. And a culture’s identity. And from the practical side, traditions hold things together.
Malaysian DJ samples indigenous music to spread land rights message
Atama Katama had spent a decade through the 1990s DJ-ing hip hop at clubs across Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand when a fellow DJ asked him a question that sparked his curiosity about his indigenous roots in the Malaysian state of Sabah.
“Your father is the Bob Marley of Sabah. Have you ever thought of putting all the music instruments your father taught you into your own music?” Atama recalls his friend asking.
Atama, who was born Andrew Ambrose but goes by the indigenous name given to him 12 years ago, likens his father, the late indigenous singer-songwriter Ambrose Mudi, to Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra. He had grown up among musicians, touring with them from the age of three.
He broke away from DJ-ing and began sampling music by indigenous musicians from Sabah, adding a hip-hop beat and rapping his own lyrics, launching in 2005 an album called “My Tribal Roots”.
It was after the album landed him in a stressful copyright court battle with a record company that Atama began digging deeper into his culture in Sabah, his homeland of rainforest and remote beaches on Borneo island. Read More
Biggest ever coral die-off on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
Warm seas around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have killed two-thirds of a 700-km (435 miles) stretch of coral in the past nine months, the worst die-off ever recorded on the World Heritage site, scientists who surveyed the reef said on Tuesday.
Their finding of the die-off in the reef’s north is a major blow for tourism at reef which, according to a 2013 Deloitte Access Economics report, attracts about A$5.2 billion ($3.9 billion) in spending each year.
“The coral is essentially cooked,” professor Andrew Baird, a researcher at James Cook University who was part of the reef surveys, told Reuters by telephone from Townsville in Australia’s tropical north.
He said the die-off was “almost certainly” the largest ever recorded anywhere because of the size of the Barrier Reef, which at 348,000 sq km (134,400 sq miles) is the biggest coral reef in the world.
Bleaching occurs when the water is too warm, forcing coral to expel living algae and causing it to calcify and turn white. Mildly bleached coral can recover if the temperature drops and the survey found this occurred in southern parts of the reef, where coral mortality was much lower.
While bleaching occurs naturally, scientists are concerned that rising sea temperatures caused by global warming magnifies the damage, leaving sensitive underwater ecosystems unable to recover.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee stopped short of placing the Great Barrier Reef on an “in danger” list last May but asked the Australian government for an update on its progress in safeguarding the reef. Read More
Thailand’s parliament to invite crown prince to become new king
Parliament will invite Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the new king following the death of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej last month, the president of the legislative body said on Tuesday.
Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the National Legislative Assembly, said in a televised session the prince would be invited to ascend the throne after the cabinet earlier on Tuesday formally asked parliament to begin the process of installing a new monarch.
Members of the assembly stood up during a short parliamentary session and shouted: “Long live the king!”
The prince will have to accept parliament’s invitation in order for him to be proclaimed king, according to established procedure.
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said: “We expect an audience [with the prince] within the next one to two days.”
Two senior military sources said Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn would fly into Bangkok on Wednesday from Germany, where he has a home. Read More
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