The ongoing expletives of Rodrigo Duterte – Mike Dwyer

The ongoing expletives of Rodrigo Duterte

Mike Dwyer

Anchor Contributor

 

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has once again unloaded a bulky shipment of fresh, warm expletives aimed at high profile figures. Last week, members of the European Union called for more scrupulous monitoring of the human rights abuses, which were reportedly taking place within the country. On Tuesday, in a speech which took place in his hometown of Davao City, Duterte responded to the accusations in a mix of Filipino and English by saying, “I have read the condemnation of the European Union. I’m telling them: ‘F**k you.’”

He went on, chastising the EU nations for what he perceived as a glaring example of exceptionalism and hypocrisy. “Who did I kill? Assuming that it’s true? 1,700? How many have they killed?” he said, calling to issue what other countries, namely France and Britain, have done in the Middle East. “You are doing it in atonement for your sins. They are now strict because they have guilty feelings,” he said. Duterte emphasized his disdain by clarifying, “I repeat it. F**k you!” while raising his right hand and giving the middle finger to applause from local businessmen.

The Philippines, a nation comprised of more than 7,000 islands in Southeast Asia, has been plagued in recent years by an immense drug epidemic. Duterte took office on June 30, and since then approximately 3,500 people have been killed by heavy-handed police tactics and vigilantism, sprouting from the chaotic war on drugs.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama cancelled what would have been the first meeting of the two leaders just hours after Duterte berated him in similar fashion. In response to warnings that he would face criticism by Duterte reportedly said before a news conference, “You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum.” This statement was allegedly directed at President Obama, in regards to the island nation’s ongoing war on drugs,

Obama later described Duterte as a “colorful guy.” In response to his choice to cancel the meeting, the President went on to say, “I always want to make sure, if I’m having a meeting, that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done.”

Duterte has since apologized and admitted regret for the vulgarity. Several sources, including Duterte himself, have made attempts to explain that the insult was directed at the reporter who had initially asked how he would respond to criticism from the US president during their first face-to-face interaction, set to take place during a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Perhaps something was lost in translation. However, while he was still Mayor of Davao City, the famously foul-mouthed Duterte employed “son of a whore” to describe the Pope, venting frustration at the traffic in Manila caused by the Pontiff’s motorcade during a recent visit to the capital. Then, as now, Duterte expressed regret for his use of language and planned a trip to the Vatican to personally apologize. He later backpedaled on this plan after winning his country’s election.

 

Hanging by a thread – Mike Dwyer

Hanging by a thread

Mike Dwyer

Anchor Contributor

 

It has been a dizzying week regarding the ongoing civil war in Syria, as the tenuous ceasefire continues to devolve into violence. In an impassioned speech to the United Nations, Secretary of State John Kerry called for all planes to be grounded in crucial areas of the war torn country, “in order to de-escalate the situation and give a chance for humanitarian assistance to flow unimpeded.”

His comments come after a week of uneasy truce, with both sides accusing one another of breaching the terms of the ceasefire, which lasted merely a week. Despite what was written on paper, the de facto state of affairs saw air raids continuing throughout the nation. The heaviest bombardments have occurred in and around the city of Aleppo, a focal point of the violence desperately in need of the relief that was promised during the lull in fighting. Both sides have repeatedly violated the agreement. The weekend following the pact, US led airstrikes killed 62 Syrian army soldiers and wounded 100 more, provoking Moscow to call an emergency meeting of the UN.

When she arrived, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers made an immediate response to reporters regarding the accusations, rather than first entering the closed Security Council meeting. “We are investigating the incident, and if we determine that we did indeed strike Syrian military personnel, that was not our intention,” Powers told reporters. She went on to call Russia’s outcry a “stunt … replete with moralism and grandstanding that is uniquely cynical and hypocritical.”

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement following the meeting criticized the Americans for taking what they viewed as “an unconstructive and indistinct position” during the session. It went on to say that the Americans “not only turned out to be unable to give an adequate explanation of what happened, but also tried, as is their custom, to turn everything upside down”.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in an emailed statement to the AP news agency that “terrorists and the opposition” have been using the truce to “boost their forces and prepare for renewed hostilities.”

Just two days following the emergency meeting, the US accused Syria and Russia of airstrikes that hit an aid convoy. Some of the voices in the mounting condemnation characterizing the attacks as a war crime, but both Russia and Syria deny the allegations. In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, Konashenkov said, “The air forces of Russia and Syria did not conduct any strikes against the UN aid convoy in the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo.” Konashenkov countered that the attack did not appear to be from an air raid.

Following the strike on the aid convoy, the UN suspended transport of humanitarian relief, fearing further provocations. While speaking at the General Assembly in New York, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon called those who attacked the convoy “cowards.” Ki-moon has been more outspoken of late. Due to step down at the end of this year, he added “powerful patrons that keep feeding the war machine also have blood on their hands.”

As of this writing, aid convoys have restarted their missions, and Kerry has stated that he is willing to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in hopes of salvaging the peace, but lamented that the future of Syria is “hanging by a thread.”

Discussing the depths of The Shallows – Sam Scetta

Discussing the depths of The Shallows

Sam Scetta

Anchor Editor

 

Will anyone actually read this article? Do people actually read newspapers? And no, reading the headlines, and maybe the first and last sentence of an article, does not qualify. The slow but sure disappearance of deep reading is a topic that is embedded in the pages Nicholas Carr’s award winning novel “The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains.”

This book was selected by faculty and staff as a part of Rhode Island College’s Open Books-Open Minds committee and is being taught in many classrooms on campus. For those who do not know, “The Shallows” is a primarily research-based novel where Carr explores the many ways that the internet has shaped relationships, learning and, most importantly, our brains.

The Open Books-Open Minds committee hosted a roundtable conversation with professors and students to talk about teaching strategies for “The Shallows” and how the novel can be related to many different subjects, even math and biology. Facilitated by Professor Duneer, the chair of the committee, the discussion lasted about two hours, and students got a chance to hear why professors chose to teach “The Shallows.”

A professor of mathematics wanted his students to look at the brain as a plastic organ, one that is constantly changing and adopting new ways of functioning. The excuse “I am not a math person” is not valid in Professor Pinheiro’s classroom. He chooses to have his students teach themselves and each other before actually learning a problem, just to get his students brains working and thinking deeply and critically, “I want my students to ask why we are doing something, not how.”

In Carr’s novel, he leaves his readers with no solutions to “fix” a brain that is constantly buzzing, humming and distracted on all different levels. The committee of professors did, however, come to the conclusion that students are aware of the distractions imposed upon them. Distractions stemming from the portable computers that have a permanent seat on school desks and social media that never goes quiet.

Both Professor Duneer and Professor Riley said that their students prefer a printed copy of textual material instead of a digital one; students feel that they are unable to absorb most written material online.

Printed material will not go out of style anytime soon, much to the dismay of Nook and Kindle companies. This conversation was an interesting and difficult one—a conversation that should be held more often, in more classes. More and more internet addiction is being treated as a literal addiction, and it’s up to no one but the individual to become aware of their constant attachment to a device.

Nicholas Carr will be speaking at RIC on Thursday, Oct. 13 in Alger Hall. All are welcome to attend and ask Carr any questions they may have about his research and findings, even if his novel is still sitting in a dusty corner on your bookshelf.

Neon News

Man stuck between rocks at beach freed using olive oil

Mike Dwyer

Anchor Contributor

 

With the tide rolling in, a 31-year-old Rhode Island man saw his life flashing before his eyes. Moments before his brush with death, the unnamed man had stood atop a jetty, enjoying a crisp ocean breeze and the serene view of Narragansett Beach through the screen of his phone. Suddenly, the device slipped from his hands and landed between two rocks. As it was seemingly within reach, the man made an effort to retrieve his phone but instead managed to get himself stuck all the way up to his chest.

A necessary rescue effort began, calling in resources from the Narragansett Fire Department and the Environmental Police, which lasted nearly three hours. Firefighters at the scene said they refrained from using airbags, fearing an unstable shift in the rocks could exacerbate the situation. With time running out, firefighters resorted to unorthodox measures.

“Olive oil. Lots of olive oil did the trick,” said Captain Peter Taylor of the NFD, in an interview with NBC 10. “We managed to spray him down and apply lots of olive oil, and we were able to dislodge him,” he went on. The freed man was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for hypothermia and an injury to his foot which he incurred while walking away from the scene. He was otherwise unharmed and, according to Taylor, in “high spirits.”

 

Corpse flower blooming soon

 

Sometime in the coming days the dead will rise at the Life Sciences Greenhouse at Dartmouth College. Students and staff eagerly await the blooming of the titan arum, colloquially known as the corpse flower.

Dartmouth acquired the specimen of the Amorphophallus titanum in 2007, and due to the unusual life cycle of the flower, this will be the first time it has bloomed in six years. The flower is said to have a pungent smell similar to that of a rotting animal. Once in bloom, the flower will stay open for several days. However, the odor will be most pronounced the first day and will dissipate thereafter.

Nicknamed “Morphy,” it currently sits at five feet tall and is expected to grow even taller before it blooms. Native to the rainforests of Sumatra, its flower is the largest in the world, rising upward in a singular bloom. A sole lacy petal unfurls, revealing a deep visceral burgundy enveloping its central spadix. The exterior of the petal is a light green, encircling the lone fleshy, phallic stalk.

In the wild, its striking fragrance attracts carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies which aid in its pollination. Its color and texture, as well as the temperature of its spadix—comparable to human body temperature—add to the illusion that it is spoiled meat.

The greenhouse at Dartmouth College has extended their viewing hours this week for this once-in-a-decade event. You can also watch the flower bloom on live streaming video through the college’s website.

 

College grads receive debt relief

Taylor Dame

News Editor

 

215 college graduates have been awarded loan relief tax credits from the state. The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation gave out these awards that average $3,750 per year.

These awards, called Wavemaker Fellowships, are given out in the hopes of enticing professionals to stay in Rhode Island rather than move elsewhere. The fellowships were given out to those who worked in science and engineering related fields.

The program is being expanded for next year with an increased budget, going from $1.75 million to $3.5 million.

Of the 215 that received the fellowship, 60 percent graduated from universities and colleges in Rhode Island and 90 percent are working in the state.

 

First post office dedicated to African American in Rhode Island

 

The North Kingstown Post Office on Post Road was dedicated to Melvoid Benson, who died in June of this year. The entire Rhode Island congressional delegation, the governor and local officials attended the ceremony on Sunday.

Benson was born in Tennessee, but moved to Rhode Island when her husband’s job moved to the state. Benson worked for 30 years in the North Kingstown and Portsmouth school districts.

Benson was also one of the first black women elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly. She served the people of District 32 as a state representative for seven terms. She later served on the North Kingstown School Committee and on the board of directors for the NAACP, Rhode Island Family Services, and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

Congressman Jim Langevin introduced the public law for the dedication to Congress and it was signed by President Obama on June 13.

Elizabeth Estes, Benson’s niece, said that “Our family appreciates the Rhode Island Congressional delegation and President Obama for recognizing our aunt’s contributions to the citizens of Rhode Island in this remarkable manner. She held her friends and neighbors in high regard, and she shared the beauty and virtues of this state with us.”

 

While Cruz backs Trump; Clinton exposes Trump’s lies – Taylor Dame

While Cruz backs Trump; Clinton exposes Trump’s lies

Taylor Dame

News Editor

 

After many months of silence, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced Friday that he would be voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. Cruz ran against Trump for the Republican nomination in what was seen by many as bitter and tough race that included Trump insulting Cruz’s father and wife.

At the Republican National Convention, Cruz gave a speech in which he did not endorse Trump, for which he was met with boos from the audience. Pundits are crediting Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, for bringing Cruz onto their side. Pence reportedly spoke at length with Cruz several times. Cruz cited the Supreme Court as a major reason for his support of Trump. “We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices in the mold of Scalia,” he said.

On Friday, the Trump campaign released a list of possible nominees to the Supreme Court, including Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who is one of Cruz’s allies in Congress.

The endorsement from Cruz comes three days before the first Presidential Debate. Both candidates have been preparing for the debate with Hillary Clinton, calling together a special press conference.

During the conference, the Clinton campaign called on the debate moderator, the press and the American voting public to fact check Trump. The campaign released 19 pages of fact checked lies told by Trump.

Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign communications director, said, “Debates are about each candidate laying out their vision for America, not making things up. Donald Trump has shown a clear pattern of repeating provably false lies and hoping no one corrects him. Voters and viewers should keep track: any candidate who tells this many lies clearly can’t win the debate on the merits.”

Corporation of the students, for the students & by the students – Louisa A. D’Ovidio

Corporation of the students, for the students & by the students

Louisa A. D’Ovidio

Editor-in-chief

“I want to take SCG in a new direction,” says Rosario, “we are a corporation yes, but we are a corporation that serves to advocate for students. I think somewhere along the line we forgot that and I want to remind people that this is what we are here for.”

In a recent interview with The Anchor, Student Community Government President Jose Rosario shared his visions for the future of SCG, Inc and his presidency. Rosario is working on three initiatives at Rhode Island College–a bias task force, spaces for LGBTQ+ students and improving our sexual assault policy.

While we already have a committee on campus to deal with bias but Rosario hopes that a bias task force would work in conjunction or under them, pulling in the Counselling Center, Unity Center and Campus Police onto that team. Community members would submit forms anonymously and report incidents of bias. This task-force dovetails with his ideas for safe spaces on campus.

“On this campus we have moved to be so progressive and inclusive, but plenty of students have come to me and requested LGBTQ+ spaces,” Rosario understands the bind the campus currently is in while renovations limit office space for student orgs but would still like to offer ‘spaces’ to students who want them even if these aren’t physical. Safe zone trainings and certifications for students would allow for the creation of ‘safe spaces’ without the actual need for square footage.

Rosario spoke on RIC soon having a Title nine coordinator and one of the goals the administration hopes to work on is clarifying the sexual assault policy at the college. Rosario would also like to see a peer advocate system become part of how the college responds to sexual assault. He describes what he envisions as people that can say, “I’m here and I understand what you are going through, let me walk with you to the counseling center,” explains Rosario.

“SCG is here for the students concerns, if we come off as unresponsive, we have failed at our job,” says Rosario, “my door is always open.”

Just like our state and national governing body, the path SCG takes this year will ultimately be in the hands of the student body of Rhode Island College.

 

Celebrating diversity at RIC – Shane Inman

Celebrating diversity at RIC

Shane Inman

Managing Editor

An annual celebration of diversity, RIC’s 2016 Diversity Week is set to kick off soon. Beginning on October 2nd and continuing through October 8th, Diversity Week is host to a multitude of events and activities intended to celebrate other cultures while simultaneously promoting understanding and appreciation of our differences.

Throughout the week, open classes and lectures such as “The Black Experience in America” and “Social Activism and the Performing Arts” will be held by RIC professors, affording students the opportunity to dig deeper into the social issues of today’s society. There will also be informational sessions on topics from studying abroad to diversity-oriented scholarships and LGBT health care held primarily during free period on Wednesday.

A number of films and TED Talks will be shown over the course of the week, including “The Year We Thought About Love,” “The Future of Race in America,” “Which Way Home,” and many more. Each of these will provide a glimpse into the lives of people from all walks of life. If it’s a literal walk one is looking for, however, symbolic El Camino walks will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday to illustrate “the travels of undocumented Latin American people from their native homelands to the United States.”

For the duration of Diversity Week, the Unity Center will be giving out Human Rights Campaign T-shirts, and the Donovan Dining Center lower lobby will be offering information regarding LGBT health care. Additionally, a number of events will be taking place in the Student Union Ballroom, including “The Art of Stepping,” a global cooking class, and a great deal more. From films to lectures, open classes to interactive experiences, there is no shortage of ways to learn about different cultures during Diversity Week.

For a complete schedule of Diversity Week events, visit the Unity Center webpage at ric.edu/unitycenter.

Campaign cafe – Kristy O’Connor

Campaign cafe

Kristy O’Connor

Secretary

 

With the first presidential debate coming up, the American Democracy Project at Rhode Island College and NBC 10 will be joining forces to host Campaign Cafe. This is an event where students and community members can watch the debate together. As the only college to participate in Rhode Island, RIC will be hosting the event in the café on Monday, September 26th at 8 p.m.

The debate will be broadcasted on TVs in the café, along with coverage from Bill Rappleye and Brian Crandall, who will also be taking comments from attendees. Those who are unable to drop in for the event can still tune into the 11 o’clock news on Monday or watch the taped segments that will premiere the next day.

For those who wish to stick around after the viewing has ended, there will be short focus group discussions in which RIC students and ADP members will lead the groups. This is part of a longitudinal research project that began in 2004.

Those who plan to attend are asked to register through EventBrite, but admission is free, and members of RIC and the community are welcome.

Schilling balks at day in court – Derrik Trombley

Schilling balks at day in court

Derrik Trombley

Anchor Staff

 

In a surprising move, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher and ex-video game entrepreneur Curt Schilling came to a $2.5 million settlement with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. The settlement is expected to be approved by the judge overseeing the litigation and is expected to net the state about $2 million after lawyers’ fees are adjusted.

By now, there is not anyone in Rhode Island who pays even tangential attention to the news and has not heard of the great collapse of 38 Studios. The state guaranteed a $75 million loan to the company in 2010 in exchange for operating in Rhode Island and providing needed jobs.

However, not two years later, 38 Studios collapsed into bankruptcy leaving Rhode Island on the hook for the remainder of the $112 million loan, when accounting for interest. Since then, the state assembly has had to take from the tax pool to pay off the remainder of this loan, causing large budget problems and tax increases.

Not all of the burden will be on the state as, in the direct aftermath of the collapse, the leadership of the state of Rhode Island claimed fraud on the part of the bond agencies that approved the loan, on the law firms involved in the deal, on the former Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), and of course the 38 Studios executives, Schilling among them.

At the present time, Rhode Island has settled with the law firm that worked on the deal for $4.4 million, the former Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation officials for $12.5 million, and Wells Fargo and Barclays for $26.5 million. Altogether the Schilling settlement makes the total amount recovered to about $45 million.

That being said with his current settlement, after lawyers’ fees, the expected balance still left on the loan will be nearly $50 million that the state will have to pay back.

Schilling’s settlement was considered a surprise by many as he had repeated claimed that the trial would be his opportunity to show Rhode Islanders that he had done nothing wrong.

However, it appears that by settling now Schilling and his co-defendants would pay nothing out of pocket as their insurance would cover the cost of the settlement but would not have done so during a trial. All in all there is now only a single defendant remaining in the 38 Studios litigations, who will go to trial soon.

The classic corner: Tim Burton’s ‘the nightmare before christmas’ – Thomas Sack

The classic corner: Tim Burton’s ‘the nightmare before christmas’

Thomas Sack

Anchor Contributor

 

A smorgasbord of laughter, emotion and song, Tim Burton’s 1993 film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween classic! It is a dark fantasy that never gets old; at 23 years of age, the film continues to astound and delight audiences to this day!

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” takes place in “the holiday worlds of old,” and tells the story of Jack Skellington, a skeleton revered in Halloween Town as the Pumpkin King. When Jack grows tired of Halloween, he discovers and becomes obsessed with Christmas. This sets a chain of events in motion that winds up jeopardizing the joyous holiday for the human world. Before he can turn things around, Jack must learn to be content with himself and his lifestyle, rather than try to replace someone else. A simple plot does not hinder “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Rather, it allows one to become fully invested in the film’s world and characters without getting overwhelmed.

This musical tells its tale primarily through songs composed by the brilliant Danny Elfman. These songs are linked together by short sequences of dialogue and instrumental music, and they do a fantastic job of conveying characters’ emotions to viewers. The music in “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” both instrumental and vocal, is nothing short of spectacular. Every piece on the film’s soundtrack is memorable and a staple of the Halloween season. It really is no surprise that the score was nominated for a Golden Globe the year of its release.

Visually, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is an ultimate tribute to Tim Burton’s unique art style. Every aspect of the film’s design screams Burton’s name, and that’s what makes it so iconic. Masterfully executed stop-motion animation further enhances the film’s eccentric look, and leaves the viewer gushing with appreciation for Tim Burton as an artist.

When it comes to voice acting, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ has a stellar cast. Chris Sarandon brings Jack Skellington to astonishing life, Catherine O’Hara of Home Alone fame charms as Sally, and Ken Page delights as the evil Oogie Boogie. Minor characters in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ are also memorable, and this is all thanks to the terrific effort put in by their respective voice actors. That said, the singing in this film is more like a mixed bag of Halloween candy. While Danny Elfman and Ken Page give outstanding performances, they also overshadow their fellow cast members, who either can’t carry a tune or simply aren’t as skilled.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a film families can enjoy one Halloween after another. It’s so good, in fact, that one may wish to whip it out again when Christmas rolls around. There’s something for everybody in this holiday classic. Those who pass it up are definitely missing out, and those who see it are in for a treat!

 

This article is the first in the “Classic Corner” series, where Thomas Sack will recommend and critique older media”.