This episode of Reality Check reviews some of the 2010 events covered on press TV, including: the assassination of Iranian scientist Massoud Alimohammadi in Tehran, the 31st anniversary of the victory of Islamic Revolution in Iran, the arrest of Jundallah ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi by Iran, Tehran nuclear conference and many other top events of the year.
In Turkey, the muezzin calls Muslims to prayer five times daily. But not all of them hit the correct notes. Now they are receiving singing lessons to help them stay in tune.Many muezzins in Istanbul deliver an impassioned call to prayer, but it is not always music to the ears. Overamplified external speakers also impact on the voice quality, making it sound tinny and distorted. Residents living near mosques often complain about the noise. Now the Mufti of Istanbul has decided to tackle the problem. The muezzins have been ordered to take classes. Any muezzin found unable to sing will have his voice replaced by a professional recording.
The world of today is really utterly amazing, or rather, the internet is an incredible tool for the dissemination of information. Just now I discovered this YouTube channel called the Daily Conversation: the channels presents clips of brothers Brendan and Bryce [having a conversation] and [it purports to be] a multiple-segment show about current events. Topics include news, politics, entertainment, sports, technology, science and even other YouTube videos and YouTubers. While we try to offer our unique perspective on trending stories, [the brothers] pride [them]selves in discussing things the mainstream media ignores’.
And, on the segment below they discuss rare earth metals . . .
A ‘major U.S. mine for rare earth metals has gone back into operation, adding a much needed source to offset China’s control of the unique group of materials necessary to build tech gadgets like smart phones and laptops’. The brothers were referring to a story written by Michael Kan that holds that the ‘Colorado-based Molycorp [has] resumed active mining of the rare earth metal facility at Mountain Pass, California last week. The site had been shutdown in 2002 amid environmental concerns and the low costs for rare earth metals provided by mining operations based in China. Rare earths encompass a group of 17 metals that are vital to the miniaturizing of electronic components such as magnets and capacitors. China mines more than 90 percent of the world’s current demand for them, according to analysts. But the country has been tightening control of its supplies, causing concerns among countries like the U.S. and Japan, which import rare earth metals. Those fears came into the spotlight when in September  media outlets reported that China had stopped exporting rare earths to Japan following a diplomatic spat. While Chinese officials have said the country will not use the resources as a bargaining chip, the government announced earlier this month it was raising export tariffs on certain rare earths. Molycorp, the owner of the Mountain Pass mine, is seeking to free the U.S. from it’s dependence on China for rare earth metals. By the end of 2012, the company is aiming to produce 20,000 tons of rare earths, likely enough to start meeting U.S. demand. Molycorp also plans on breaking ground to the construction of a new rare earths manufacturing facility at the site next month. China, on the other hand, produced about 124,000 tons of rare earths in 2009, according to analysts reports. The country is also the biggest manufacturer of products that use the metals’.
As 2010 draws to a close, what is the role of the United States in the world today? From the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the cuts to social programs here at home, where is there emerging hope for change around the world? We spend the hour with award-winning investigative journalist and activist Allan Nairn. “You vote for Democrat, you vote for Republican, you get the same thing on state murder, on preventable death. But we here have the right to rebel. We have to use it”.
I wrote an op-ed on Turkey’s new direction in foreign policy, “A pseudo-Ottoman policy: Turkey’s new station in the world” — http://tiny.cc/6qkki, and as it happens I accidentally stumbled across this video clip of a lecture given by Turkey’s Foreign Minister: ‘Minister Davutoğlu discussed transatlantic relations, and specifically Turkey’s role and contribution to these relations. He commented on the search for a new global order, and discussed how Turkey pursues a multi-dimensional and active foreign policy, with special emphasis on NATO and its central role in transatlantic relations (posted on 09 July 2010)’.
Last Sunday, my latest op-ed was published: “A unitary or a plurinational state? A new Turkish constitution to resolve the Kurdish issue?”, Sunday’s Zaman (26 December 2010).
If you want to read my piece, click this link: http://tiny.cc/ke6e7