World View: Palestinian Authority Changes Name to 'State of Palestine'

World View: Palestinian Authority Changes Name to 'State of Palestine'

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Cuba and Venezuela grow tense over possible death of Chávez
  • Palestinian Authority changes name to ‘State of Palestine’
  • Al-Jazeera buys Al Gore’s Current TV to gain American audience

Cuba and Venezuela grow tense over possible death of Chavez

Although the health of Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez is tightlyheld state secret, except for the fact that he’s suffereing from arespiratory infection following his December 11 cancer surgery, morepeople are growing convinced that Chávez’s health is deteriorating andthat he might even be approaching death. 

The opposition party in Venezuela is demanding more information, andis accusing the government of taking orders from Cuba’s government.Opposition leader Antonio Ledezma is claiming that Chávez “isvirtually kidnapped by a foreign government” in Cuba:

Enough disrespect for Venezuelans. I feel Venezuelanshave been deceived and the good faith of President Hugo Chávez’sfollowers and relatives has been betrayed. … [W]ho is givinginstructions from Cuba to the officials currently in charge of theVenezuelan government?

They are getting (instructions) and what we want to know is who isgiving the instructions, because according to the latest report ofCommunication Minister Ernesto Villegas, President Chávez is in acritical health status.

Few people believe that Chávez will be able to return for hisinauguration next week, and that may constitutionally require a newelection for President.

Cubans are also fearful of the possible death of Chávez. Prior to the1990s, Cuba was supported by a great deal of aid from the SovietUnion. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba suffered from anenormous economic depression, with severe shortages of food and fuel,and prolonged electricity blackouts. Finally, Chávez stepped in andbecame the new benefactor of Cuba’s socialist paradise, providing oilat far below market rates. During the recent presidential election,Chávez’s opponent Henrique Capriles made clear that if he won then hewould end the oil subsidy to Cuba. Thus, Cubans are dreading thedeath of Chávez, because it would mean a return to the economicdepression of the 1990s. El Universal (Caracas) and Reuters

Palestinian Authority changes name to ‘State of Palestine’

Following the November 29 vote by the United Nations General Assemblyto create a non-member state of Palestine, Palestinian presidentMahmoud Abbas decreed on Thursday that the name of the PalestinianAuthority (PA) has been changed to “State of Palestine,” and that thisname will appear on all stamps, signs and letterheads. Global Post

Al-Jazeera buys Al Gore’s Current TV to gain American audience

I personally am looking forward to seeing al-Jazeera English come toAmerican TV. I’ve depended very heavily on al-Jazeera for reportingon the Arab Spring, and their coverage is far better than any of theWestern networks (although AFP comes close). When preparing aGenerational Dynamics analysis, I need to know the attitudes andbehaviors of the people in the nations that I’m writing about, andal-Jazeera does that very well in the Mideast. A lot of whatal-Jazeera reports is anti-American attitudes, but I need tounderstand those attitudes to do generational analyses of the peopleinvolved. 

(On the other hand, even al-Jazeera didn’t always have the bestreporting on the latest crisis in Egypt, and I had to turn to Caironews sites, such as al-Ahram and Bikya Masr for many details.)

A lot of the objection to the al-Jazeera deal, especially from peopleon the right, is that its reporting is biased toward the Arab point ofview.

I really have to laugh at that criticism, because al-Jazeera isabsolutely no more biased than NBC news. Al-Jazeera will ignoreviolence by Hamas, and NBC news will ignore violence by union thugscommitting violence on behalf of President Obama. You might arguethat there’s a difference in degree of bias (though I would disagreeeven with that), but there’s certainly no difference in substance.

In fact, as I’ve mention a couple of times in the past, al-Jazeera’sbiases are not always obvious. Al-Jazeera clearly hates Israel, butthat’s what we would expect. What I’ve noticed is that al-Jazeeraappears to hate the Palestinian Authority (State of Palestine) evenmore than they hate Israel. And they love Hamas the same as NBC Newsloves Obama.

It’s worth pointing out that I used to complain about the BBC as well( “Why is BBC so blatantly anti-American?” from 2005). The BBC news coverage wasdripping with enormous hatred for President Bush, and it showedthrough all their newscasts. Now, of course, they love PresidentObama, and reserve their vitriolic hatred for Grover Norquist. Still,there’s no choice but to use these biased sources, and compensate fortheir biases. 

The joker in all this is Al Gore. He singlehandedly generates morecarbon emissions that almost anyone else in the world, but he seems tohave a knack for turning it into money. Al Gore may be a loon, buthe’s a loon that knows how to make a fortune from his lunacy.PBS

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