Russia and American Diplomacy
No tough-guy American diplomacy would have changed a thing about Russian President Vladimir Putin's reassertion of strength in Ukraine, according to veteran journalist Steve Levine, writing for the Quartz daily briefing in Washington.
Levine explains that Putin acted on his philosophy that "the territory of former Soviet nations is Russia’s dominion when it so chooses."
And the Winner Is...
There is drama coming in late April in Washington D.C.-- the Regional WorldQuest champion team from Plano West High School is returning to defend its National Title. A team from Plano, competing against regional winners from around the country, has won the national championship for the past three years -- Plano Senior High on the two years prior to Plano West's first victory. The West team, coached by veteran history and social studies teacher John Scott, includes a member of last year's triumphant team, Jeffrey Chang. Other members are senior Sidharth Kapur and juniors Qianqian Yang and Catherine Zhang.
Plano teams finished not only in the top spot in the regional competition at the University of Texas at Arlington on Wednesday, but also in second and fourth. Plano Jasper took second place and when Brighter Horizons of Garland won the third place tiebreaker, Plano Senior High slipped to fourth. The Regional WorldQuest is organized annually by the Council's International Education Program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
The Timeliness of a Human Rights Film
At The Council's Third Annual Human Rights FilmFocus there will definitely be a relevant aspect on the screen — a "don't miss" presentation of a documentary focusing on North Korea, the nation that is the current subject of a United Nations report on horrifying, government-endorsed human abuse.
The film Camp 14 - Total Control Zone takes viewers inside the life of a young man born in a North Korean death camp because the wardens ordered two prisoners to marry. It is a story of escape from torture and terror.
Just this week the United Nations issued a report declaring that the behavior of official North Korea "does not have any parallel in the contemporary world." Murder, torture, slavery, sexual violence, starvation and other brutal methods are all are used to control the nation's population, according to the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights. Some refer to the North Korean behavior as affronts to human rights that have not been seen since the Nazis.
Camp 14 — Total Control Zone closes FilmFocus '14 with a screening and discussion at 7 p.m. Monday, March 31, at the Angelika Film Center & Café in Dallas.
FilmFocus '14 opens at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 30, at the Angelika with Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution, about the struggle for independence in Timor-Leste. The second film, at 5:30 p.m. at the Angelika, is An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story, about a man held for a quarter-century in a Texas prison for a murder he didn't commit. Both films will have post-screening discussions.
Human Rights FilmFocus '14 is sponsored by attorney Christa Hinckley in cooperation with the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU and the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas.
Global Citizenry - Become a Home Host
The World Affairs Council's opportunities to learn sometimes have a more person-to-person aspect. For example, the Council is seeking home hosts for high school students from Chile and Argentina. This is the third year the Council has hosted students from the Youth Ambassadors Program With South America (YAPSA.)
The 13 students and two adult mentors will be in North Texas March 28-April 8 — and the program is set up so that home host families get to attend many events that these guests are scheduled to experience. Previous home host families have established lifelong friendships with their visitors, each learning of the other's cultures, keeping up with ambitions and celebrating triumphs.For more information and to apply contact Jameson Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.