I sat for an hour this week with David Miliband, former foreign secretary in the British Labour Government and now the president of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein when he fled Nazi tyranny in his homeland to live in the U.S., the IRC has assisted thousands of emigrants seeking a better life, among them Andy Grove of Intel, providing immediate assistance on site, and then helping them to sanctuary. The IRC is one of the world’s most prominent refugee-relief charities with a $450 million budget this year and operations in 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities.
If ever there were an ironic moment in world news, Russian President Vladimir Putin being nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is it. At the top of a record number of nominees on the list of Nobel candidates this, Putin may just be a symbol in the end, of how cream rises to the top. A villain to some, and a noble hero to others, there’s no question Vladimir Putin is the most powerful and influential man on Earth. But is he Nobel material?
Hopes yesterday that Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel might make a potent moderator in between Washington, London and Moscow were dashed when Germany’s Bild came out with this story. Any chance east and west will meet within reason now seem remote at best. How can dagger strikes at peace coincide with an America bent on world revolt? How far afield has the propaganda machine steered the world?
Last evening history was made in Sochi, Russia. This morning the stain that is hatred and bias, poor sportsmanship and sore losing covers 1000 western sports pages. A flawless performance by Russia’s national champion, Adelina Sotnikova, in one of the most unexpected and thrilling skating competitions in history, the story takes page two to Team GB’s women snagging third place in Curling.
For its tenth birthday, Facebook gave everyone using it a gift. Customized look back videos that were created in a jiffy, and shared exhaustively across the social media platform’s feeds. Social media is, at its core, all about sharing stuff. But nothing has come close to the unilateral impact of Facebook’s “inside wink” known as “Look Back.” The video concept quickly employed user-uploaded content to create similar, evocative one-minute videos.
Somehow I knew it, about the time the Senate confirmed former Time editor Richard Stengel as chief propaganda minister for this US administration, the old “one-two punch” of below the belt detentes would continue. By “one-two” I mean the administration appearing one way, while all media cannons continue to fire at the Russians. In another case of Olympic style mud slinging, Time’s Simon Shuster turns preacher against the heathen Orthodox in Sochi, at Cathedral of the Holy Face of Christ the Savior.