The Guardian

The Guardian 4 Dec 2019

Blackface in the Netherlands: why is the Zwarte Piet tradition still a thing?

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Zwarte Piet or Black Pete has been a festive tradition in the Netherlands for generations - which sees thousands of people, who are often white, dress up as the character wearing afro-style wigs, red lipstick and full blackface makeup. There have been attempts to make the holiday character less controversial but the tradition is still widely practiced. We went to the festivities this year to find out if time is nearly up for the tradition


As covid-19 started to hit the world, many of us were concerned about whether we'd be infected.
Some said it's as bad as the flu, others predicted worse. Then news about health systems being overwhelmed and bodies piling up started to emerge.
That gave a bleak picture. But it's not everywhere. Mortality rates in Qatar and Singapore are below 0.1% - among the world's lowest.
The Gulf nation's mortality rate is at 0.07% -- that's 12 deaths in more than 16,000 cases.
And Singapore's is 0.093% of more than 19,000 infections.
Experts say testing, the availabilty of hospital beds and population age are three critical factors.
Yet, Singapore's outbreak is the biggest in southeast Asia
And Qatar has the second highest number of cases in the Arab world, although the curve is flattening.
So what's exactly behind that?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie

Guests
Dr Ali Omrani, Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Head of Research at the Communicable Diseases Center at the Hamad Medical Corporation.
Dr Annie Sparrow, Professor of Population Health Science and Policy at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Archie Clements, Professor of Infectious Disease at Curtin University Perth.
Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, joins MSNBC's Ari Melber to talk about how coronavirus is spreading in prisons: "The only way to combat those outbreaks is to reduce those populations in prisons and jails." Aired on 04/09/2020.
The United States is removing its Patriot anti-air missiles, and other weapons systems from Saudi Arabia.
Donald Trump says it is part of an effort to scale back on a military presence that he says doesn't benefit the U.S.
American weapons and fighter jets were sent to the kindgom last year after Saudi-Aramco oil facilities were attacked.
They were also intended as a deterrent, as tensions rose between Tehran and Washington.
But the reduction in the U.S. military presence is believed by some to be based on assessments Iran no longer poses an immediate threat to U.S. strategic interests.
So what's exactly changed?
And is oil politics at play?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie

Guests
Joel Rubin, President of the Washington Strategy Group.
Mahjoob Zweiri, Director of Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University.
Mohammad Marandi, Head of the American Studies Department at Tehran University.
Conservatives are pushing hard for a fiscal update, but the prime minister says the pandemic's pace could quickly make any update moot. The Power Panel debates.

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