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Wide Angle Blog
April 13th, 2010

focalpointWe are excited to announce that WIDE ANGLE’s online series of short documentary films, called FOCAL POINT, is nominated for a 2010 Webby Award!

Like WIDE ANGLE, the FOCAL POINT series offers a deeper understanding into the forces shaping the world today through compelling human stories, with FOCAL POINT providing a venue for shorter, less formal pieces.

“We had ten broadcast hours per season, and yet we were seeing countless proposals for films with important stories to tell,” said WIDE ANGLE Senior Producer, Nina Chaudry, who created the series. “We thought, why not develop them to be showcased online?”

Recent episodes followed a North Korean defector who is now a high school student in South Korea, and two workers at the Waterford Crystal Factory in Ireland as they fight to save their jobs and a bit of Irish heritage. Earlier episodes featured stories from Pakistan and Zimbabwe. (See the full FOCAL POINT series here.)

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February 17th, 2010

afghan_shelter_thumbThe Afghan government’s recent proposal to take control of women’s shelters has human rights groups and women’s rights advocates alarmed that the move further threatens the safety of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The new regulation, drafted by the Ministry of Justice, would subject victims of domestic abuse to compulsory forensic examinations and severely limit women’s freedom of movement in what rights groups are deeming near-incarceration.

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January 1st, 2010

Call (718) 506-1351 to join the conversation!

WIDE ANGLE’s unprecedented, award-winning 12-year documentary project, Time for School, follows seven kids in seven countries struggling to get what nearly all American kids take for granted: a basic education.

On Thursday, September 10th at 12:00 noon, EST, we’ll be hosting a live discussion with Oren Rudavsky and Frederick Rendina, two of the film’s producers, and two experts on global education: David Gartner of the Brookings Institute and Faryal Khan of UNESCO.

The discussion will be hosted by Pamela Hogan, Executive Producer of Time for School. You can read a Q & A with Hogan about the series on the Inside Thirteen blog.

Visit our site to listen live through Blog Talk Radio, and call (718) 506-1351 with any questions for our guests. You can also send us your questions in advance by leaving a comment below.

We’d especially like to hear from students and educators, and want to extend a special welcome to members of Classroom 2.0, a social network for people interested in using collaborative technologies in education.

We look forward to hearing from you!

November 3rd, 2009

Czech President Vaclav Klaus signs the Lisbon Treaty, an agreement meant to streamline European Union decision-making that includes the establishment of an E.U. president. Klaus was the last hold out on the document, which required the unanimous support of all 27 E.U. member states. The treaty could now take effect as early as December.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic appears at his war crimes trial at the Hague after having boycotted it last week, but asks for 10 months to prepare his defense. Judges temporarily adjourn the case while they decide what to do.

The European Court of Human Rights rules that crucifixes should be removed from classrooms in Italy.

Claude Levi-Strauss, considered the father of modern anthropology, dies at at 100.

Equatorial Guinea pardons Simon Mann, a British ex-special forces officer who was sentenced to 34 years in prison last year for plotting to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Mann’s co-conspirators are also pardoned. The story of the failed coup attempt is depicted in WIDE ANGLE’s Once Upon a Coup.

November 2nd, 2009

President Hamid Karzai is declared winner of Afghanistan’s disputed elections after his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, withdraws from the race.

Suicide attacks hit two of Pakistan’s largest cities — thirty people are killed in a blast in near  Pakistani army headquarters in Rawalpindi, and two suicide bombers and a policeman are killed in a car bombing at a police checkpoint in Lahore.

French-Senegalese writer Marie NDiaye becomes the first black woman to win France’s top literary award, the Prix Goncourt, for her book Trois Femmes Puissantes (Three Powerful Women), about three women, each with one foot in France and the other in Africa.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic says he will appear at his war crimes trial in the Hague tomorrow after having boycotted last week.

Members of the Iranian opposition plan to use Wednesday’s 30th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to renew their challenge to the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The U.K.’s Telegraph reports that, in an act sure to anger the current regime, opposition leaders plan to apologise to the U.S. for the 1979 takeover.

October 30th, 2009

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and defacto leader Roberto Micheletti agree to a deal that could lead to the creation of a power-sharing government with Zelaya resotred to the presidency. The deal, already hailed as “an historic agreement” by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, must now be approved by the Honduran congress.

In one of the biggest changes in the forty-year history of the Internet, web addresses written in non-Latin characters will soon be allowed.

Former French President Jacques Chirac is ordered to stand trial on corruption charges dating back to his time as the mayor of Paris in the 1980s and 90s.

Saudi Arabia prepares for the annual hajj in the midst of the swine flu pandemic. Vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and the elderly have been advised not to make the trip this year.

Haiti’s senate ousts Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis. Pierre Louis was the fifth prime minister the politically volatile country has seen in the past five years.

October 29th, 2009

Iran hands over an initial response to a draft deal with the U.N. under which the country’s uranium would be sent abroad for processing. Iran is seeking two crucial changes to the plan — a slower timetable for delivery and the “simultaneous exchange” of nuclear fuel in return — but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the country is ready to cooperate.

The Taliban and Al Qaeda deny involvement in yesterday’s bombing that killed over 100 people in a crowded market in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Kuwait’s highest court rules that female parliamentarians do not need to wear a headscarf. The ruling comes a few weeks after another victory for women’s rights in the country, in which the court ruled that married women do not need their husbands’ approval in order to obtain a passport.

On the sidelines of an E.U. summit in Brussels, the discussion of who will be named the bloc’s first president heats up. Britain’s Tony Blair, Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker and Latvia’s Vaira Vike-Freiberga top the list of possibilities.


October 28th, 2009

Nearly 100 people are killed in a massive car bombing in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier. The blast hit a popular market full of fabric and clothing shops frequented mostly by women, and many of the dead are women and children. The attack comes as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits the country.

Six U.N. staffers and two Afghan security guards are killed in an attack on their guest house in central Kabul. A Taliban spokesman takes credit, siting the U.N.’s involvement in Afghanistan’s presidential elections as the reason for the attack.

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai and a suspected drug trafficker, has been on the CIA’s payroll for much of the past eight years.

Voters go to the polls in Mozambique’s fourth democratic election since a civil war ended in 1992. Incumbent President Armando Guebuza, whose economic reforms made Mozambique’s economy one of the fastest growing in the world at one point, is poised to win.

October 27th, 2009

Eight Americans are killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan bringing October’s death toll to 53 — the deadliest month for Americans in the eight-year war.

Radovan Karadzic continues to boycott his war crimes trial in the Hague, but the proceedings begin without him.

A French court convicts the Church of Scientology of fraud. Group leaders are fined and imprisioned, but the court stops short of banning the organization, registered as a religion in the U.S. but considered a sect in France.

Eight Afghan refugees, including five children and three women, drown off the Greek island of Lesbos. Ten others survive, all Afghans except for one Turkish national who is arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. Lesbos is a major point of entry for migrants hoping to make a new life in the European Union.

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