BBG Media Highlights - April 16, 2013
About Our Broadcasters
Adair Margo: Bush Institute in Dallas mentors women seen as global rising stars- The Dallas Morning News, April 15, 2013
Based on research that shows the best indicator of a woman's success is her network, the fellowship brings together women who are rising stars from a single country, allowing them to build relationships with each other, while matching them with U.S. mentors. In addition to being trained in leadership and writing a personal action plan, they see the United States from many angles - a women's shelter in Dallas, a Broadway play and Kate Spade in New York, Google in the Silicon Valley, Voice of America, Susan B. Komen for the Cure and the Capitol in Washington, D.C. A single disappointment this year was a closed White House - all tours canceled because of the automatic spending cuts.
Citations of BBG Broadcasters
Laos' Mammoth Train Project a Fast Track to Debt and Despair- Time, April 15, 2013
Observers remain unconvinced. "No Chinese investment deal comes without strings," says Jonah Blank, a senior political scientist specializing in Southeast Asia for the Rand Corp., a global-policy think tank. "In political terms, no country that owes 86% of its GDP to another can be said to have a truly unfettered foreign policy." Meanwhile, a Laos Finance Ministry official was quoted by Radio Free Asia in December estimating that his government would have to stump up a whopping $3 billion in interest payments alone (calculated by 2% per annum compounded over 30 years).

Meet the strangest startup in travel: CorruptTour- CNN, April 16, 2013
"The Prague Crony Safari" is a "safari of the habitats of cronies in the wild" and "Hospitals on the Edge of Low" is a medical corruption tour of "Three Prague hospitals notorious for graft and sleaze."  It offers tours in three languages: Czech, German and English, and besides the walking tours, now also offers bus tours. This video from Radio Free Europe gives a taste of its tours. And if you're interested in the actual business ambitions of CorruptTour, watch this hilariously serious presentation by one of the founders. Besides the novelty value and the biting parody of it all, it surely has the potential of being a cult hit everywhere, even in United States where we would love a tour of the former environs of Lehman Brothers and its ilk in lower Manhattan.

Terror threats, no security giving advantage to ANP's political opponents: Asfandyar Wali-  Associated Press Pakistan, April 15, 2013
For ANP party spokesperson Zahid Khan, the attacks could force party members to pull out of elections altogether. He said if attacks against the leaders of the party continue, the party will review its decision for taking part in the elections. Talking to Voice of America, he said that if the government wants to hold free and fair election, it has to provide level playing field to every party and ensure security of leaders and workers of political parties. He claimed that a conspiracy has been hatched to sideline the ANP and bring in 'fundamentalist political parties'.

Kim Jong-un Comes Out of Hiding for Missile-Free Holiday- The Atlantic, April 15, 2013
North Korea's Day of the Sun is traditionally one of the Kim regime's favorite times to flex some international military muscle, showing the power it wields over its own people and, as the Kim regime would have it, over the ret of the world. The holiday is usually peppered with opulent dance performances and military parades in Pyongyang...and usually there are serious fireworks. And while there was that weird marathon on Sunday, there was no military parade in North Korea on Monday, "nor any large-scale festivities," reports Voice of America's Steve Herman. Even this was just considered a "visit" to the statues of Kims pastIndeed, all those nuclear threats and declarations of war may have been enough for North Korea to celebrate its biggest holiday as just that-a holiday, because Koreans are pretty high-strung right now, in the North and South.

Obama sends 'constructive' message to Putin-  AFP, April 16, 2013
But exiled opposition figure Muhammad Solih told the Uzbek Service of Radio Free Europe that he had heard from inside the country that Karimov had suffered a heart attack after Navruz. However Uzbek television at the end of March showed pictures of an apparently healthy Karimov, 75, meeting the Kazakh foreign minister. The trip to Moscow was Karimov's first foreign visit this year after he attended a regional summit in Turkmenistan in December. The flurry of rumours about his health highlighted the internal political jockeying in Uzbekistan with figures including Gulnara herself and long-serving Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov seen by Western commentators as possible future leaders. Gulnara, also known as a fashion designer, pop star and a diplomat, in late March blasted Azimov on Twitter in the first instance where she has so overtly flexed her political muscle at home.

U.S. Treasury tracking N. Korea's overseas slush funds- Arirang, April 15, 2013
U.S. Treasury Department's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen says his department is tracking slush funds used by the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his family. In an interview with Voice of America released on Sunday, Cohen said Washington plans to introduce measures to ensure the slush funds can not be used. Media reports have been rife with suggestions Kim Jong-il left more than 3 billion U.S. dollars in Swiss bank accounts for his son and current successor, Kim Jong-un. When asked if North Korea continues to produce counterfeit money, particularly 100 U.S. bills called "supernotes," Cohen said North Korea seems to have scaled back its forging activities in recent years.
Also cited by The Chosun Ilbo

How Julian Assange Fooled the Media Once Again- The Daily Beast, April 16, 2013
Historians, journalists, and scholars regularly use the National Archives search engine to browse declassified material. It's perhaps not the smoothest browsing experience, but it didn't take me long to find a pile of interesting documents on the Pinochet dictatorship. Only the paranoid would suggest that the government's lack of technological sophistication was deliberately obfuscatory. But an astonishing number of reporters fell for the Assange ruse.The Sydney Morning Herald said the material was "largely neglected by historians, owing to the absence of an effective search engine," which WikiLeaks had now provided. In a typically contradictory report, Voice of America claimed that WikiLeaks had made the "leaked US documents searchable," material that was once "difficult for the public to access." Slate said the documents weren't "terribly easy to get" prior to the WikiLeaks rerelease, adding an Assange-like parenthetical that this was perhaps "not entirely accidental." Variations of this argument were made by Der Spiegel, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Journalism.co.uk (!), Macleans, etc.

Two Indonesian Runners Unharmed During Boston Marathon Bombings- Jakarta Globe, April 16, 2013
Jerry Ng, president director of Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional, was competing in the Boston Marathon when the bomb went off, but a bank spokeswoman said that he was unharmed. "Jerry Ng is in a good condition. He was one of the runners at the Boston Marathon event," said Eny Yuliati, corporate communications head of BTPN. Eny added that Jerry was one kilometer away from the first explosion, which occurred near the finish line. Police officers prevented him and other runners from continuing the race. Voice of America Indonesia reported that besides Jerry, another Indonesian runner, Wati Hlusak, also survived the attack.

From the foreign- language press

Laptop and motorcycle are hot items in North Korea- Joongang Ilbo (South Korean newspaper),  April 13, 2013
Items many North Korean adults want to own are a laptop and a motorcycle.  "Young people under 30s want to get a laptop and over 30s want to buy a motorcycle," sources in North Korea told Radio Free Asia.

Seven Thousands on Strike at Motorola Tianjin Plant- SINA (Mainland news wire) April 12, 2013
Radio Free Asia reported that the most majority of workers were still on strike at the mobile plant of Motorola of Tian Jin Economic Development District. The plant leadership and workers representatives met for negotiations at the strike day and hasn't  reached any agreements. The meeting will continue on Friday.
Of Interest

Photographs of Syria Sweep Pulitzer Prizes - New York Times, April 15, 2013

Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Narciso Contreras, Khalil Hamra and Muhammed Muheisen of The Associated Press have won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography for their coverage of Syria's civil war. Javier Manzano, a freelance photographer working with Agence France-Presse, has won the Pulitzer in feature photography for his picture of two Syrian rebel fighters taking aim through a pockmarked wall in Aleppo.


U.S. Official Says Social Networking Could Help Smooth Relations- The Moscow Times, April 16, 2013
U.S. Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine rejected the idea that relations between the U.S and Russia are deteriorating and said social networking should be used to forge better ties during her visit to Moscow. "I would dispute the idea that we have a bad relationship. About 60% of Americans have a positive view of Russia. Your country has the same indicators: 50-60% of Russians think positively of Americans," Sonenshine said in an interview with Kommersant published Tuesday. Sonenshine proposes increasing the amount of joint programs between the two countries, including cultural, educational and sports programs, to "better understand each other." She said an increase in social networking between Russia and the United States is particularly important in building stronger relations.

Connecting China, visually - Columbia Journalism Review, April 15, 2013

On February 28, while China's leadership transition was underway, Connected China, a visualization application produced by Reuters, went online. Using a rich database of information about Chinese leaders and political institutions compiled by reporters, the app (optimized for the iPad but available through any browser that supports HTML5 and CSS3) illustrates the complexity of the government system and relationships between political powers in China.

About Us
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 175 million in 100 countries. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).