Michelle Rhee and the Missing Memo
There’s a new twist in the story about whether or not there was cheating on standardized tests in D.C. public schools during the period when Michelle Rhee was chancellor.
Journalist John Merrow, whose piece, “The Education of Michelle Rhee.” aired last week on Frontline, writes in this post on his blog about
… a missing memo, numerous attempts to unearth it using the Freedom of Information Act, confidential sources, apparently lost email, and new questions about Michelle Rhee’s decision not to investigate widespread erasures on an important standardized test during her first year in Washington, D.C.
Campaign for ‘East Sea’ is in full swing in U.S.
A group of Koreans living in the U.S. said Wednesday it is staging a full-scale campaign to discredit the name “Sea of Japan.”
The group prefers the name East Sea for the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and wants that reflected in U.S. textbooks.
Interview: A Capitalist in North Korea (Yes, They Do Exist…)
A small slice of North Korean society may be permitted to access the Internet in limited ways (according to analysts, only a thousand or so of North Korea’s 25 million people can get online; the best most can do is view the country’s walled — and heavily restricted — intranet, where state-sponsored news is available). Expats living in-country (a small number of diplomats, NGO workers, and a tiny sprinkling of brave businesspeople; a 2005 census reported 124 foreign nationals residing in Pyongyang, a city of 2.1 million) are, however, able to get online via satellite — though even they face restrictions.
“LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) blocked me when I listed my North Korean address — and I was not the only one,” Felix Abt, a Swiss entrepreneur who spent seven years living and doing business in North Korea, tells me.
Abt, co-founder of the Pyongyang Business School, former managing director of the Pyongsu Joint Venture Company, North Korea’s first-ever foreign-invested pharmaceutical enterprise, and author of the new book, A Capitalist in North Korea (Amazon Publishing Services, 2012), was unceremoniously booted from the site in 2009.
China Arrests Traffickers of N.Korean Women
Chinese police have busted a human trafficking ring that lured North Korean women into defecting and sold them into indentured labor or prostitution, the Chinese press reported Wednesday.
The human trafficking ring apparently included both Chinese and North Korean nationals, though the Chinese media merely referred to them as “foreigners.” Diplomats in Beijing say it is unprecedented for the Chinese media to report the trafficking of North Korean women in such detail.
‘Last Stand’: Kim Jee-Woon on Hollywood, Arnold’s action comeback
Los Angeles Times
On the set of the shoot-’em-up thriller “The Last Stand,” South Korean director Kim Jee-Woon and Arnold Schwarzenegger suffered from what we shall term a certain failure to communicate. They literally could not speak each other’s language, relying on translators to trade ideas thanks to Kim’s negligible English and Schwarzenegger’s heavy Teutonic accent.
Nonetheless, according to Kim, the inability to find common parlance with one’s star — or any cast member, for that matter — was hardly a stumbling block. Over lunch in Hollywood, the director went so far as to extend an inspirational message to other international moviemakers deficient in English-speaking skills. “Overseas directors who want to work in Hollywood, the language barrier is not a problem,” Kim said through a translator. “With the right talent, any director can be successful.”
Karen O promises new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album is ‘uplifting and cheerful’
Karen O has revealed that Yeah Yeah Yeahs new album is the band’s most stripped back and lo-fi sounding work in years, saying the songs are both “uplifting and cheerful”.
As revealed by NME yesterday (Jan 14), the New York band will release new album ‘Mosquito’ in April. You can see the album’s controversial artwork by scrolling down the page.
UFC: Melendez up next for Benson Henderson April 20 in San Jose
Federal Way Mirror (Wash.)
It’s been a whirlwind of month for Benson Henderson.
The 2001 Decatur High School graduate defended his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight championship with a dominating win over Nate Diaz inside Seattle’s KeyArena Dec. 8, was named the UFC’s Fighter of the Year and, late last week, inked a new eight-fight deal to continue in the UFC.
It was also announced Tuesday that Henderson would be defending his 155-pound title against Gilbert Melendez April 20 on national television in San Jose. Henderson and Melendez will be the main event at UFC on FOX 7 at the HP Pavilion in the Northern California city. San Jose is Melendez’s hometown. Melendez is the lightweight champion of the recently folded Strikeforce fight promotion.