Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Features

Which offers the best protection: A COVID infection or vaccines?

Which offers the best protection: A COVID infection or vaccines?

Breaking News, World
The question of whether antibodies produced as a result of natural infection from COVID-19 offer more or less protection than those acquired through vaccination has been asked many times since the vaccines were rolled out.A new study from Israel, which is yet to be peer reviewed, concluded that natural immunity confers longer-lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalisation caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared with immunity induced from two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech two-dose vaccine. It went on to say those who had had a previous COVID-19 infection followed by vaccination were even better protected. Another study has shown that even those with mild infections from COVID-19 mount good enough immune responses to help reduce the risk...
Behind the Lens: Photographing the chaos and confusion of 9/11

Behind the Lens: Photographing the chaos and confusion of 9/11

Breaking News, World
Throughout my career in photojournalism, it was rare to find out who the people in my photographs were. For routine assignments, news photographers can ask subjects their name and other information, which is important for captions.The rush to capture the event and the deadline pressure to file the photos does not often allow photojournalists to stop and talk to their subjects, certainly not when they have the responsibility to document a disaster like the September 11 attacks. It is often impossible or unsafe to do this. But an image from September 11, 2001, taken for Agence France-Presse (AFP), was different. On the day of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, I photographed a woman covered in dust after one of the towers fell. It later became one of the iconic photos of...
The land we came from: My people are my homeland

The land we came from: My people are my homeland

Breaking News, World
Listen to this story:In this series “The land we came from”, we asked writers to reflect on the environment they grew up in and how it has shaped their lives. Here, author Terese Marie Mailhot reflects on the land of Seabird Island Band in British Columbia and the people who make it home. White people dug up the things my grandmother planted. I felt betrayed by my own family for letting it happen. How could they rent the land to those Yé xwelítem (white) farmers? But I love my people. My God – they are as much my homeland as the land itself. How could I fault them for exchanging the blueberry bush for groceries? An apple tree for meat? Our snowball tree, and the cedar – for rent? My mother did the same when I was young. I remember summers in a white man’s cow corn, running through the fiel...
All-women’s Islamic choir smashes gender taboos in Egypt

All-women’s Islamic choir smashes gender taboos in Egypt

Breaking News, World
The words of the Islamic hymns being rehearsed in a small studio just outside Cairo are well known among Egyptian Muslims, but they have never sounded so different. Here, they are being sung by women.Songs in praise of God and Islam’s Prophet Mohammad are a common religious custom in Egypt and the Middle East, but they are almost always performed by men and boys. The members of Al Hur, Egypt’s first all-female Muslim recitation choir, are determined to change that – challenging deep-rooted taboos about women singing in public or reciting from the Quran in the socially conservative country. “Having women in the Muslim religious chanting field not only breaks social stereotypes about female chanters. It also gives a new, distinctive style to an art that has long been dominated by only men,” ...
That time James Baldwin beat the ‘blues’

That time James Baldwin beat the ‘blues’

Breaking News, World
Do the faraway events of May 4, 1970, meet your definition of an identifiable life-shattering churn – 13 seconds in which 67 rounds of military-grade ammunition killed four and wounded nine students at Kent State University in Ohio.This is not a weary stroll down Baby Boom Lane. It is about the theory of relativity and the scientific truth that the laws of time and space operate in the same way for all of us – regardless of our location or time frame. Although there will not be a test, take a moment to look around wherever you are, be it Beirut, Kabul, Detroit or a Palestinian refugee camp. Can you sense the churn? I was 212km (132 miles) south of the slaughter in Ohio. The following day, some four million other outraged American college students of equal ways and means shut down hundreds ...
How worried should we be about COVID-19 breakthrough infections?

How worried should we be about COVID-19 breakthrough infections?

Breaking News, World
As the pandemic rages on, new buzzwords and phrases find their way into our daily vernacular – and one that is currently doing the rounds is “breakthrough infection”. This term refers to COVID-19 infections that occur more than 14 days after someone has been fully vaccinated; it does not refer to the severity of illness suffered from the disease but implies that a person has tested positive for the virus.On the surface of it, this may appear rather worrying – but do not forget the purpose of the COVID vaccines is not to make you immune to the virus (they never claimed to do that), but to protect those vaccinated from severe illness and hospitalisation should they contract the virus. Since no COVID vaccine is 100 percent effective, some infections in fully vaccinated individuals are expecte...
Australia’s ‘invisible’ homeless women

Australia’s ‘invisible’ homeless women

Breaking News, World
Melbourne, Australia – “My homelessness is directly related to domestic violence, because I would just up and leave,” says 47-year-old Naomi, who asked that we only use her first name.An Indigenous woman who was raised in inner-city Melbourne, Naomi is a tough talker whose energy and assertion belies years of hardship. Now living in Queensland, Australia’s most northern state, Naomi describes her experiences of homelessness and family violence on a lengthy phone call. “Domestic violence was normalised for me because I saw it growing up,” she says matter-of-factly. Growing up with her Indigenous mother and Irish father, she would experience severe domestic violence, often fuelled by alcohol. “Mum – don’t get me wrong, I love her with all my heart – but I just didn’t understand growing up as...
Column: That time I met KKK Grand Wizard David Duke

Column: That time I met KKK Grand Wizard David Duke

Breaking News, World
Satan recently made a cameo appearance on France’s most watched evening news programme. He popped up to spit enthusiasm on January’s attempted coup d’état in America and stimulate the Big Lie that the results of the 2020 US Presidential Election were illegal.The on-screen demon’s legal name was David Ernest Duke, a 71-year-old self-described white nationalist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, convicted felon, and hierophant of twice impeached former President Donald J. Trump. America best knows Duke as the erstwhile grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, America’s oldest white supremacist terrorist hate group and star of director D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent movie “Birth of a Nation”. Some Americans venerate Duke as their champion. Last week, for instance, the Texas ...
Technology meets tradition: Kerala’s robotic leather puppets

Technology meets tradition: Kerala’s robotic leather puppets

Breaking News, World
Koonathara, Palakkad – A cool breeze, soulful prayer verses and eye-catching puppetry mesmerise the 25-plus audience sitting in chairs under the night sky of Koonathara, a village in Palakkad district in Kerala, India. They are a mix of locals and tourists from all over the world.Tholpavakoothu (thol meaning leather, pava meaning puppet and koothu meaning play) is a form of shadow puppetry performed during events and festivals held in the temples dedicated to the goddesses Durga or Kaali. The artform is found only in Palakkad, Thrissur and neighbouring villages in Kerala. Performed three to four times a month between January and May, a 42-foot-long special stage called koothumadam is set up in the temple premises. It displays mythological figures backlit by fire or lights behind a screen. ...
Death in a Glasgow hotel: The last years of Badreddin Bosh

Death in a Glasgow hotel: The last years of Badreddin Bosh

Breaking News, World
It was a Monday afternoon in January 2017 when Adam Abdallah Adam Bosh got the phone call. It was his younger brother Badreddin calling to tell him that his journey to Europe had begun.Adam was busy rebuilding the clay-brick wall of his family’s hut in Shoaib, the village where the two brothers had grown up together in Gadarif state in eastern Sudan. Because of rain and erosion in this rural part of the country, it is common for mud huts to require reconstruction every couple of years. But beyond necessity, the repetitive and time-consuming practice has also traditionally served a spiritual purpose. If a loved one was lost, it was believed the house had to be abandoned to cast away the evil spirit that had brought death to the family. As the structural, earthly materials would dissolve bac...