Nonprofit group works to protect endangered journalists

The pen mightier than the sword? Sadly for too many journalists worldwide, the terrifying opposite has become true.

The pen mightier than the sword? Sadly for too many journalists worldwide, the terrifying opposite has become true.


It used to be that when there were discussions about protecting journalists, these talks were happening at the height of the great recession, a time when newspapers and print journalism were taking a major economic hit and reporters, editors and photographers were losing their jobs and careers.
With an improving economy, that’s no longer the main focus when the issue of “protecting” journalists gets raised. Today, the discussion today is about something far more radical, extreme — and dangerous.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. Although formed in 1981, their mission has taken on a new urgency in the past year — for tragic reasons.
Last week, CPJ set out new standards aimed at protecting freelancer journalists who are at risk of violence, even death, when they attempt to cover news in certain parts of the world, then deliver their reports to viewers and readers.
It is, the organization based in New York City, a huge endeavor to help protect them. Read more »

Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s new season: from Monty Python to elephants and piggies

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater's new season opens with the comedy musical "Spamalot" in September.

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s new season opens with the comedy musical “Spamalot” in September.


ORLANDO — It’s been said that variety is the spice of life.
Even William Shakespeare, in his play “Antony and Cleopatra,” wrote that “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety.”
Perhaps with that logic in mind, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater is touting its 27th season as quite likely to become one of its very best, and certainly one that offers a wide variety of topics — from Monty Python to Charles Dickens’ ghosts to elephants mixing with piggies, to — yes, of course — Shakespeare.
“Glorious musicals, re-imagined classics, bold new hits, and laugh-out-loud comedies,” is how the Orlando Shakes team is billing the 27th season, which launches on Sept. 9 with “Monty Python’s SPAMALOT,” the highly irreverent musical by Eric Idle. Read more »

“Speed dating” event matches pets with loving homes

Orange County Animal Services is hosting a "speed dating" event today and Saturday to help match pets in the shelter with loving homes.

Orange County Animal Services is hosting a “speed dating” event today and Saturday to help match pets in the shelter with loving homes.


ORLANDO — Speed dating has been a popular mating ritual for years, a more formalized matchmaking process that encourages folks to meet a whole new and large group of people. It’s been recorded that the first speed-dating event took place at Peet’s Cafe in Beverly Hills in 1998.
There will be a speed dating event in Orlando today and Saturday – and it’s a unique one.
After all, the host is Orange County Animal Services.
Central Florida’s largest pet rescue and adoption center, which received nearly 20,000 animals at its shelter in 2014, is hosting a speed dating gathering today for Valentine’s Day. But the goal is a bit different: to match pets with loving families.
“Anyone who is interested in finding love can speed date through more than 100 four-legged dates at the shelter,” the agency noted in a news release. Read more »

“Bloody Rabbit” explores the scary rise in anti-Semitism

Michael Freeman's fiction novel "Bloody Rabbit" explores how economic despair contributes to a rise in Antisemitism.

Michael Freeman’s fiction novel “Bloody Rabbit” explores how economic despair contributes to a rise in Antisemitism.


ORLANDO — The Great Recession brought terrible hardship to millions of people, and R.T. Robeson is no exception.
The Orlando man thought he had it all by his late 40s, but the recession took everything he had — his job, his savings, his home, car, even his cat. As he struggles to find employment, he also tries desperately to hold onto his dignity.
Things eventually turn around for Robeson: he finds a new, lower paying job, and a tiny apartment that is affordable on his new salary. But something else has changed. In a society that has seen its wealth and opportunities wiped away, there are some who look for scapegoats. In the minds of the most twisted among them, those scapegoats are easy to find.
Freeline Productions’ novel “Bloody Rabbit” explores the rise of anti-Semitism following a devastating economic crash — seen through the eyes of a man who now finds himself being targeted, and stalked, by someone who believes one specific group can be blamed for this ongoing economic misery: the Jews. Read more »

Latin Night as Sandoval meets the Orlando Phil

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performed on Saturday with Jazz legend Arturo Sandoval.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performed on Saturday with Jazz legend Arturo Sandoval.


ORLANDO — Sometimes conductors like to spice things up a bit, Albert George Schram noted, to cut loose and tackle something new.
That’s exactly how Schram felt on Saturday afternoon, about an hour before the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra launched into a program of Latin music, an opportunity to demonstrate their rich musical diversity, the conductor noted. It was something, he added, that the Orlando Philharmonic’s musicians have been eagerly looking forward to.
“We have an afternoon of great Latin music,” said Schram during a pre-concert talk with the audience at the Bob Carr Theater. “It used to be if a conductor would look for a good Latin charge, it was hard to do. But that world has totally changed, and that is because of some great artists who have emerged.”
One of the most impressive, Schram added, is Arturo Sandoval, who was born in Artemisa, a small town on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, and began studying classical trumpet at the age of 12 — who would go on to become a protégé of legendary Jazz master Dizzy Gillespie and a Grammy Award winner in his own right. The renowned classical musician was in Orlando on Saturday to join the Orlando Philharmonic on stage at the Bob Carr. Read more »

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