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08 octobre 2008

Global Village's Elders To Visit Northern Cyprus, Published: 10/7/2008

LEFKOSA - A delegation of "the Elders" --a group of renown and trusted leaders aiming at addressing the global issues-- will visit Wednesday the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to encourage the unification of the island.

The Elders delegation consisting of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi will meet Wednesday political leaders of Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities in the island at the Ledra Palace hotel in the buffer zone.

The delegation will hold a press conference Thursday at Ledra Palace Hotel after meeting TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat. A press release issued by "the Elders" emphasized that the delegation would not be involved in the current negotiations which was launched on September 11th.

"We are here to say that the world wants this island to find peace ? we wish it with all our hearts. We encourage all Cypriots to look forward to the potential benefits that a peaceful resolution can bring. And we want to make sure that the current efforts of the Cypriot leaders to reach a lasting settlement are fully supported by the international community," said Elders Chairman Archbishop Tutu in the press release.

"The Elders" was founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela upon the suggestion of musician Peter Gabriel and businessman Richard Branson.

Inspired by the traditional village elders, trusted by their people to resolve conflicts within their communities, Gabriel and Branson came up with the idea of a new gathering of world leaders who would guide and support the "global village".

With these intentions Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu have convened a group of leaders to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackling some of the world's toughest problems.

Procès de la bande à Alex

Viol, vol à main armée, association de malfaiteurs… : Ces faits graves qui pèsent sur Alex, Banda Dabo et cie

C’est hier mardi que les vingt-trois accusés du procès de la bande à Alex ont commencé à défiler devant la Cour d’assises spéciale pour dire le rôle de chacun dans les crimes qui leurs sont reprochés.

Le procès de la bande à Alex, Banda Dabo, et Alioune Abatlib Samb dit ‘Innoncent plus connu sous le dimunitif de Ino (aujourd’hui disparu) s’est ouvert hier devant la Cour d’assises spéciale, avec une sécurité renforcée au regard de la dangerosité de ces caïds qui ont eu à s’évader de manière spectaculaire en prison. Après l’appel nominatif des accusés, le greffier de séance a procédé à la lecture de l’arrêt de renvoi. Et dans cet arrêt, des chefs d’accusation extrêmement graves sont portés contre la bande à Alassane Sy ‘Alex’, Banda Dabo et autres. Il s’agit des chefs d’association de malfaiteurs, vols commis la nuit avec effraction, port et usage d’armes de violences, de menaces et de voie de fait contre Massamba Niang, Demba Ndiaye, Moussa Diouf, Ndiouma Ngom dit ‘Sérére’, Mamadou Mactar Sow, Ameth Bâ. A ces chefs d’accusation s’ajoutent pour Alex, Banda Dabo, et Fodé Cissé, Cheikh Bâ (qui passent en réalité pour être les cerveaux de ces caïds aux côtés de Alex et Ino), les viols collectifs sur deux Américaines lors du cambriolage du domicile du chanteur américain Peter Gabriel aux Almadies, et sur des Sénégalaises dont une religieuse à Guédiawaye, notamment au monastère de Keur Moussa entre 1996 et 1997. Les caïds ont également sévi dans les régions de Thiès, Saint-Louis, Kaolack et au niveau du département de Mbour. (...)

Mamadou SARR

06 octobre 2008

Gardens to be eco friendly for Womad

By Felicity Rookes,Taranaki Daily News, Monday, 06 October 2008

Kunming Gardens will be transformed into an eco wonderland for Womad next year. The new Sustainable Village will take over Brooklands Park's Chinese garden during the March festival as extension of its Zero Waste Project. The area will house stalls focusing on environmentally sustainable products and services.

Taranaki Arts Festival Trust CEO Suzanne Porter says a lot of businesses would like to be a part of the village. "There was a lot of interest in the Zero Waste Project so we decided this year to move it forward," Ms Porter says.

One stall will be selling environmentally friendly coffins made with bamboo from Thailand and beads made with recycled paper by women in African villages. "The coffins are amazing and are like works of art," Ms Porter says. There will be displays featuring the women on their journey to develop these sustainable businesses in their village.

"We also imagine stalls featuring worm farms, solar power and organic products like creams and medicines filling the village," Taft global village manager Donna Hutton says. Another new feature, which will be part of the village, are the Chill Out Lounges.
"It will be like an actual lounge with couches and bean bags. It will be a place people can go and relax - just grab a glass of wine and and escape the bustle of Womad for a bit." Some features will still remain at the Kunming Gardens, such as Taste of the World and the charity stalls.

Taft came runner-up for Best Environmentally Sustainable Event at the 2008 New Zealand Association of Event Professionals Industry Awards for the Zero Waste Project at Womad 2008.

05 octobre 2008

Festival promps new music academy

By Tina Robins, Thursday 2nd October 2008

A new Fame Academy has opened its doors in Malmesbury.

Triggered by a huge surge of interest in music and dance caused by the arrival of WOMAD last year, the Saturday morning sessions already have a waiting list of youngsters keen to make it in the music industry. Choirs, a dance group, a samba band and tuition in everything from drums and guitar to violin are on the programme for up to 100 children every Saturday morning at Malmesbury Primary School’s new building. There are even vocal coaching sessions for potential X-Factor 2018 contestants.

Founders, teacher Angelique Martin and music tutor Steph Kenny have won backing from the WOMAD Foundation and attracted a commercial sponsor for the project. Angelique explained: "We aim to inspire children to explore their creativity by providing musical opportunities that suit their specific wants and needs. Both Steph and I come from a musical background. Both of us attended music summer schools and the memories of musical groups we attended have stayed with us over the years.

The women both play in various groups and choirs. "The idea of the academy came from that and also as a result of the huge amount of enthusiasm and talent in the children – we could not fit any more music in the school week, so it has burst out on Saturdays." Much of the enthusiasm has come from participation in the last two WOMAD festivals at Charlton Park.

Annie Menter from the foundation said: "It was a fantastic sight to see 140 children from the north Wiltshire area on stage, opening the festival with Siyaya. We are delighted to have been able to strengthen our links with the local community and are already starting to plan our next project with the schools for 2009," she added. "And we hope very much to be able to assist in contributing to a global music programme throughout the year."

Malmesbury Music Academy is for children aged between seven and 13 who live in the town or surrounding villages.

WOMAD prompts new music academy

Saturday 27th September 2008, By Standard reporter

Youngsters can take their first steps to stardom when Malmesbury’s new music academy is showcased today. Inspired by participation in the last two WOMAD festivals, children have been so keen to take up music, signing and dance that demand for provision in the area has rocketed. As a result teachers have set up the academy, which meets on Saturdays at the new primary school building. Within two weeks of term starting courses are already over-subscribed and waiting lists have been formed.

Collaboration with every nation

Robin Denselow, The Guardian, Friday September 26 2008

Africa Express' cross-continental jams insist on spontaneity, so what will happen at their Fela Kuti tribute is anyone's guess, says Robin Denselow

Fela Kuti will be "dancing in his grave". That's what his son, Femi, says. The reason for the late Afrobeat pioneer's posthumous pleasure? An event that perfectly captures the spirit of the old Afrika Shrine, the celebrated nightclub that he ran in the Nigerian capital in the 70s. On October 18, as the climax of this year's Felabration festival in Lagos, there's to be a very special concert outside Femi's own Afrika Shrine. A crowd of 10,000 will be there for an all-night show that's just the start of the bravest, most high-profile venture yet by Africa Express, the ever-expanding group of African and British musicians who specialise in lengthy shows and bravely spontaneous collaborations.

So who will be taking part in this latest event? As ever, AE is making no announcements in advance. But Fela's sons Femi and Seun will certainly be present, with Femi "jumping on the stage and playing with anybody. It will be my duty to work with as many people as possible." His guests will include Baaba Maal, Amadou and Mariam, Damon Albarn and Tony Allen, the percussion genius who worked with Fela and recently collaborated with Albarn in the Good, the Bad and the Queen.

Jon McClure, formerly the leader of Reverend and the Makers, is "very much looking forward to it", and it's likely that the cast will also include Bassekou Kouyate and Rachid Taha. Ginger Baker, the former Cream drummer, who was also one of the first British rock musicians to work with his African counterparts (he played with Fela), has accepted an invitation, while Franz Ferdinand - who took part in the last AE event in Liverpool - are "hoping to go and pretty excited", according to Alex Kapranos, and the same goes for the Magic Numbers. According to Ian Ashbridge, one of AE's founders, "We won't know who will be there until the last minute - it's all voluntary and there are no contracts."

When the Lagos show is over, Femi Kuti will stay behind to wind up Felabration while the rest of the AE lineup heads for London and two more wildly experimental shows, with Souad Massi joining the troupe. On October 22, they will be at Koko in London for another set of impromptu collaborations that is scheduled to last until 4am. This will be the fourth AE show in the UK but will reach a far bigger audience and far more attention than their earlier, low-key outings because it will be broadcast on Radio 1 as part of the Electric Proms, which presents a rare opportunity for African stars who might normally expect to appear on Radio 3. It won't just be a passing snippet either: Radio 1 is to broadcast all five hours of the Koko show live, from 11pm until the show finishes at around four the following morning, and the show will also be on BBCTV, through the interactive red button.

The following night many of the African artists (but not the British stars) will head across town to the Barbican, for the Africa Now show. This event is somewhat more conventional, simply because the lineup - part of it, at least - has actually has been announced in advance. It will include Baaba Maal, Rachid Taha, Amadou and Mariam and Senegalese rappers Daara J.

What's extraordinary about Africa Express is that it defies all the normal rules of pop promotion. There's no product to plug, the artists aren't paid, and there's only a rudimentary running order for the shows, allowing as much spontaneity as possible. The aim is to present African and western musicians on an equal footing, encourage collaboration, and allow new audiences to discover African music. The man unwittingly responsible for all this was Bob Geldof, who infuriated African musicians (and African music fans) by assembling an almost exclusively non-African cast for the massive London Live 8 concert in July 2005. A second concert for African artists at the Eden Project in Cornwall enjoyed far less TV coverage, and led to mutterings about musical apartheid.

Africa Express was as an attempt to put that right. The initial aim was for two concerts, in London's Hyde Park and in Bamako, Mali, and according to Ashbridge "Albarn was keen on collaboration from the start." The first AE outing, in September 2006, took Albarn, Martha Wainwright, Norman Cook and beat-boxer Scratch to Mali to meet the likes of Salif Keita, Amadou and Mariam and Toumani Diabate, with the western musicians joining in the musical sessions. Back in London, they tried to repeat the experience at Jamm in Brixton, where the audience didn't know what to expect but were treated to an improvised show with no set list, involving Albarn, Souad Massi, Amadou and Mariam and others, with the Kaiser Chiefs in the audience.

Last year, the experiments continued at Glastonbury, with Billy Bragg, Toumani Diabate, Amadou and Mariam, Norman Cook, the Magic Numbers and others collaborating on a stage well away from the television cameras or the crowds who had clearly not heard of Africa Express and didn't know what an historic show they were missing. Albarn said he didn't want publicity in advance, "because I love that word of mouth thing". So it continued, with a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo last October followed by a another lengthy experimental show this March in the fading splendour of the Liverpool Olympia, where a remarkable line-up turned out to play in front of a small audience who clearly didn't expect Franz Ferdinand to be collaborating with Baaba Maal.

The experience of working with African musicians has had a startling effect on the British bands involved. Alex Kapranos says the Liverpool show was "the most exciting gig that Franz Ferdinand played this year. The best thing about it was that there was no planning at all, and that's what really turned me on. We had about five minutes to rehearse, and it was a complete contrast to the average indie gig you go to, where the band has been playing the same songs over and over for weeks. Safety is the enemy of any musician". Jon McClure agrees: "It's an amazing experience and sharpens your game as a musician. It's good to get out of your comfort zone".

The Africans also approved. Baaba Maal says he enjoyed performing with Rachid Taha and with Franz Ferdinand ("I want to push that one if I get the chance. I love Take Me Out and I love the fact that they come from a different environment"), while Amadou Bagayoko, of Amadou and Mariam, enthuses about the attraction of working with "hundreds of musicians, from Damon Albarn to K'Naan or Son of Dave". But he reckons playing with Romeo Stodart of the Magic Numbers was "the best collaboration so far because we have similar ways of playing the guitar". The on-stage collaborations are moving to the studio, with Albarn appearing on the forthcoming Amadou and Mariam album, and McClure inviting the Malian ngoni star Bassekou Kouyate to record with his new band Mongrel, including former Arctic Monkey Andy Nicholson.
There have been collaborations in earlier pop eras, of course - the Stranglers joined the Burundi Drummers at an early Womad festival, Peter Gabriel has worked with the likes of Papa Wemba, and Ginger Baker played with Fela Kuti back in the 70s. So the idea is not new, but as Ashbridge says: "We've gone backwards since those days, and we are trying to redress the balance and treat African and western artists the same way. It's not about sales, but kids who are into Franz Ferdinand will ask, 'Who is this Baaba Maal they are playing with?'" Stodart agrees: "If I read an interview with Johnny Marr saying he likes Bert Jansch, I go out and buy a Jansch album. So this could bring our followers to African music."

Africa Express may change British music, but the aim is to bring change to Africa too. The Lagos concert will be the first major event AE has staged on the continent, and Femi Kuti predicts "this event will make things happen. Sponsors will come who might want to build concert halls, so that bands can tour in Africa. We need more concerts in Africa and it will show solidarity to the African cause."

bipolar disorder

Posted on: Saturday, 4 October 2008, Source: Daily Post; Liverpool


One in four of us will suffer mental ill health during our lifetime and one in 100 will fall victim to bipolar disorder, which can be devastating for patients, their families, friends and carers. It's an issue society can't afford to ignore, yet despite the disturbing figures few of us take steps to better understand mental health issues unless they directly impact on us. Ill-informed rumour, misinterpretation of facts, discrimination at work and public prejudice have all taken an extra toll on patients already carrying heavy emotional burdens.

That's a situation professionals and voluntary workers hope to change. Next Friday is World Mental Health Day, which aims to raise awareness of the facts and debunk some myths surrounding mental health problems. The challenge for mental health organisations is to ensure the true facts are in the public arena, easily accessible, concise and regularly updated, and people suffering mental health problems are not sidelined but diagnosed early and equipped with ongoing support.

Famous sufferers such as exprime minister Winston Churchill, singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel plus comedians Spike Milligan, Paul Merton, Alan Davies and Stephen Fry - who made BBC2 programmes highlighting the condition's pros and cons - have helped bring the issue to the fore over the years. Fry famously fled abroad from a West End production, leaving colleagues in the lurch, during one bout of depression.

Next week publicity campaigns, workshops and advice desks will be open throughout Wales. In Llandudno a pioneering residential self- help course will be hosted at George Hotel. Llandudno mum Gail Silver has been group development officer with Manic Depression Fellowship: the Bipolar Organisation Cymru, for three years.

"It's a bit of a mouthful, I know, and the name of our organisation will be changing soon, but the work we do will be as important as ever. Bipolar disorder is the condition the man in the street has more commonly heard of as manic depression. That's what it used to be officially called and it aptly describes how patients' moods change from the bleakly depressive to feelings of manic joy. We all get highs and lows, every one of us, but in bipolar sufferers the elation of the high periods and gloom of the lows is magnified in intensity a thousand times."

The disorder is brought on by a chemical imbalance in the brain but it can also be triggered by incidents in an individual's life, whether traumatic such as divorce, bereavement or job loss, or more subtle like dietary deficiencies or lack of sleep. Recognising these triggers and their potential impact can be key to helping a patient cope.

"That's why we're organising next weekend's residential workshop. From Friday to Sunday we'll be hosting a selfmanagement training course specially for bipolar disorder sufferers," said Gail. "We can help them detect early changes in routine which could signify the likely onset of a manic episode. We'll look at workplace issues, how to inform employees about the condition, diet tips, management of medication, the opportunity to gain a greater insight into themselves and mix with others in the same situation."

This course is already fully booked but Gail is delighted funding has been made available for another 30 courses in Wales over the next three years. Having worked in the field for 20 years she is passionate about removing the stigma still surrounding mental ill issues.

"There is a desperate need for the public to be more accurately informed, for help mechanisms to be put in place and for everything possible to stop the downward spiral so many patients endure. A condition like bipolar disorder does not just affect a person emotionally, the repercussions affect personal relationships, careers, financial decisions, every aspect of their lives."

For more details call Gail Silver on 01492 877699 or 07841994053, or e-mail

The North Wales office of MDF: Bipolar Organisation Cymru is in Madoc Street, Llandudno