We’re calling it “unusual Saturday” – three international stories that made us sit up in front of our computers.
How do we decide whether or not to highlight a story?
The overall idea is find pieces from sources around the world that are unusual or intriguing because of the subject matter or the story telling or the use of pictures and sound. All of us in the Latitude News office are contributing suggestions to this line up and we’d love to have yours too. Let us know if you think we should highlight a particular piece you’ve come across in your reading of international media and tell us what you think of what we’re choosing.
National myths clash on the pitch in Africa
We kick off this week with soccer. Last Sunday was the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, an exciting match that saw Zambia’s Copper Bullets win over Ivory Coast’s Elephants in a dramatic penalty shootout. But as Simon Allison pointed out in the South African news magazine the Daily Maverick, the game itself – or as he puts it “22 silly men kicking a round thing back and forth” – was overshadowed by the epic stories behind the two teams.
“Who is more deserving: the veteran superstars trying to heal their wounded country in a last bid for glory [Ivory Coast] or the young underdogs looking to exorcise the demons of a tragedy, watched from above by the ghosts of those that perished [Zambia]?
War, reconciliation, underdogs, airplane disasters and democratic revival – it’s a compelling read.
Dogs biting men in India
From India’s Tehelka magazine, known for its hard hitting investigations, comes the distressing story of wild dogs gone violent in Kashmir’s capital city Srinigar.
“On a chilly winter evening on 20 January, a carefree Mudasir Ahmad Wangnoo, 12, was returning home from tuition classes in Baagwanpora, downtown Srinagar, when he suddenly came face-to-face with two dozen stray dogs. What happened next on the banks of the partially frozen Dal lake was like a scene out of Animal Planet.”
Today Wangoo is now fighting for his life in intensive care, 125 dog bites across his body.
There are now 91,000 strays in Srinigar – 1 to every 13 people. Culling has been banned because of pressure from animal rights groups and the dogs are super-strong thanks to the vast amounts of high protein garbage they consume in the city streets.
The city is at its wit’s end.
Italian crooners change tune
And finally, from Italy, something altogether more lighthearted. The question is this: how to stand out with original lyrics at the San Remo Song Festival that ended today?
As the veteran music critic Mario Luzzatto Fegiz observes bitingly in Corriere della Serra: “in this laudable effort to eschew the traditional “cuore” and “amore” of Italian song, the poetry of the texts is often convoluted to the point of obscurity.”
Just one example of this new fangled “poetry” to whet your appetite: ” They call it reality, this confusion of doubtful opportunities, this kind of freedom, this great cathedral not worth a one-room flat.”
Here’s an antidote – Matia Bazar singing in a style that according to Fegiz is “closer to the tried and tested.”