This hasn't gotten too much coverage in the blogosphere, but I just want to note her that at her doctor's request, actress Mia Farrow has just ended a 12-day fast undertaken to draw attention to the plight of Darfur.
UNITED NATIONS, May 8 (Reuters) - Actress Mia Farrow, ailing after almost two weeks on a hunger strike, announced on Friday that British billionaire Richard Branson would take over her protest in solidarity with people in Sudan's Darfur region.
A Farrow spokesman said her health had deteriorated in the past few days and her doctor requested that she end the liquids-only fast she began 12 days ago to protest at Khartoum's expulsion of more than a dozen aid agencies from Darfur.
Farrow asked Branson to take over the fast, her statement said, adding that the British entrepreneur had accepted and would begin a three-day hunger strike on Friday.
"I'm honoured to be taking over the fast for the next three days," the founder of the Virgin Group said in a statement on his blog.
"We cannot stand and watch as 1 million people suffer. We all need to stand up and demand that international aid is restored and that the people of Darfur are protected and given the chance to live in peace."
Farrow's spokesman said last month that her doctor expected the slightly built actress could not fast for more than three weeks.
Farrow, who was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. children's agency UNICEF in 2000, has been campaigning for years to raise funds for children in conflict zones such as Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Chad and Nigeria.
The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in March, charging him with masterminding mass killings and deportations in Darfur in western Sudan.
Since then, Sudan has expelled 13 foreign and three domestic humanitarian aid agencies, accusing them of collaborating with the Hague-based ICC.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his latest report on the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, that the expulsions had put "over 1 million people at life-threatening risk" in Darfur.
During the opening ceremony NBC's Bob Costas discussed the controversy surrounding Cheek and the Chinese government, noting that he made it clear he would not protest the Chinese government during the Olympics:
Costas: "Joey Cheek had planned to invoke the Olympic truce, the time-honored concept of an Olympic truce, to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan. He did not intend to directly protest the Chinese government. The fact that they pulled his visa is so contrary to the Olympic ideal it is simply outrageous."
I wondered if NBC was going to cave on this or take a stand and defend Cheek against the reprehensible actions of the Chinese government. I applaud Costas for choosing the latter.
The Opinion Mill's Sunday Bookchat: I.F. Stone and the right-wing lie that never dies... Books about Muslims that Muslims aren't allowed to review...National Review Online discovers the great liberal bookshelving conspiracy...All this and more in The Opinion Mill's Sunday Bookchat.
Man, first it was Steven Spielberg over Darfur and now Bjork's going after the Chinese government over Tibet. It's hard out there for the largest holder of US debt. At least the Bush administration hasn't included them in the Axis of Evil. Of course, it would be hard to get another loan to finance another tax cut for the top 1% if you do that, isn't it?
Björk is under attack after shouting "Tibet! Tibet!" at the end of her song Declare Independence at a concert in Shanghai.
Her remark was not reported in official media, but led to criticism when it began to circulate on the web. While China's 58-year occupation of Tibet remains controversial abroad, most Chinese see Tibet as a part of their country and regard calls for its independence as intrusive and divisive.
One fan said it was "disrespectful" and "very selfish" to raise the issue while visiting China.
The Icelandic singer first dedicated Declare Independence to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which still have formal links to Denmark, and the song's video shows her in clothing bearing their flags. She dedicated the song to Kosovo while performing in Japan last month.
Its lyrics include: "Don't let them do that to you. Raise your flag!"
Matt Whitticase, spokesman for the London-based Free Tibet Movement, said it was delighted by her remarks, contrasting them with Gordon Brown and David Miliband's "shameful" decision not to raise the issue publicly on their recent visits to Beijing.
And not all people of faith are buying into the Fox News "War on Christmas" wackiness. A Common Good Christmas is a religious website that, ahem, makes total sense to me:
The real assault on Christmas...is an excessive consumer culture that has turned a holy season into a celebration of commercialism and materialism. By focusing our attention on shopping malls and the consumerism that accompanies Christmas, [the so-called "war on Christmas" furor] further distracts us from the real message of the holiday.
OK, you can't say that CNN and its diplomatic reporter, Richard Ross, don't care about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. In fact, just seconds ago "Your Trusted Name in News" just aired one of the few full-length reports I've seen on the situation in Darfur, or more accurately the situation on 42nd Street in Manhattan, since the story was merely an interview with a cab driver who happens to have immigrated from Darfur.
I kept waiting for the twist in the story, but there was no twist. That was the entire story. CNN found a guy from Darfur who now drives a cab in New York. (Although, as I learned from the story, there are apparently 100 others like him.)
And yet, they could afford a helicopter to give us door-to-door coverage of Paris Hilton's return to LA County Jail. I bet Ross put in a whole ten minutes trying to find a cabbie from Darfur...that's called being committed to true journalism. (/snark)