A Day to Remember That Every Child Deserves a Chance

Emina Cerimovic is a disability rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

By Emina Ćerimović
NEW YORK, Feb 27 2017 (IPS)

The day I met Julija she was playing cheerfully with her baby sister on the floor inside their room in Kragujevac, a small town in southern Serbia. When she saw me – a stranger — on the doorstep, she smiled widely and stretched out her hands, offering a hug. As I held her, I could hear how difficult it was for her to breathe. I looked at her, she smiled and touched my face with her hands and only then did I see that Julija’s fingers were webbed.

Julija was born with Apert Syndrome, a rare genetic condition. Children with this syndrome have fused skull bones, resulting in distorted facial features, vision and hearing loss, trouble with breathing and eating, and learning difficulties. In Julija’s case her fingers and toes were not separated either, which made holding a spoon or picking things up difficult.

Her parents – Jasmina and Ivica – told me about their struggle to provide Julija with the health care she needed to stay alive and to develop. For three months following Julija’s birth in 2012, her parents used every penny they had to ferry their daughter across the country in search of specialists who could help. The repeated advice they received was not helpful: Place your child in an institution. It’s best for you and her. “One doctor even told us that it will be a torment for us to keep her with us and that we might not get anything back in return,” Jasmina told me. “As if my child was a burden for me. None of these doctors were thinking about what is best for the child.”

Emina Ćerimović. Photo Courtesy of HRW

Emina Ćerimović. Photo Courtesy of HRW

By the time she was barely older than 3 months, Julija had undergone surgery twice on her head and had spent a month in intensive care with pneumonia. Because of her severe breathing problems and her need for frequent specialist treatment that Julija could not receive in her hometown, her parents decided, with heavy hearts, to place her in an institution for children with disabilities in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, where she would have access to emergency care.

However, after only two days, her parents noticed a drastic change in Julija’s spirit. “She was no longer the child she used to be,” Jasmina told me.

After Julija spent 10 months in the institution with only short visits home, Jasmina and Ivica decided to bring her  back home. “When Julija is at home with us, she is one child, and when she is in an institution, she is a different child,” Jasmina said. “She has made much more progress [at home], in terms of her weight and everything else. Her intellectual development, too.”

With Julija back home, her parents worked tirelessly to find help. Ultimately, a relative in Australia made contact with a specialist at the Australian Craniofacial Unit in Adelaide. Supported by private fund raising efforts and the unit itself, in 2015, Juljia underwent life-changing surgery to reshape her skull to make more room for her brain.

When I met Julija in November 2015, surrounded by her loving parents, toys, and a baby sister, she was thriving and happy. Her parents told me she had put on weight and learned to sit, which she was unable to do when her parents brought her back from the institution. A few months after my visit she learned to walk  on her own. In November 2016, her fingers were unwebbed in a hospital in Belgrade.

A child’s ability to access health care needed for survival and development should not have to depend on their parent’s ability to fight for it. Every child has a right to health and health services.
However, Julija’s journey has only just begun. She will need professional support to learn to use her fingers. Her teeth are not growing properly. She still needs another facial and skull operation. She understands everything, her parents told me, but she doesn’t speak yet. And her breathing and her eyes have to be managed constantly.

Julija was not the only child I met in Serbia who was struggling to get much-needed health care. Hundreds of children with developmental disabilities, the majority of whom have a living parent,  are placed in large residential institutions where  they are separated from their families.  Unlike Julija, they don’t have someone who is working tirelessly to ensure their lives are the very best they can be. Instead, they are often neglected because there is not enough staff, and in some cases confined to beds for their entire lives, without any stimulation. Long-term placement of children in institutions leads to  stunted physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development.

A child’s ability to access health care needed for survival and development should not have to depend on their parent’s ability to fight for it. Every child has a right to health and health services.

On February 28, more than 80 countries worldwide are marking the tenth international Rare Disease Day, including Serbia. The Serbian government – and every government around the world– should mark this day by committing to provide all children with disabilities access to the health care they need to stay alive and to grow and develop just like other children. Julija – who was deemed a hopeless case at birth – just celebrated her fifth birthday with family and friends.

Maritime Boundary Dispute Masks Need for Economic Diversity in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste wants the permanent maritime border between itself and Australia to lie along the median line. This would give sovereign rights to Timor-Leste over the potentially-lucrative Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields. Source: Timor-Leste's Maritime Boundary Office

Timor-Leste wants the permanent maritime border between itself and Australia to lie along the median line. This would give sovereign rights to Timor-Leste over the potentially-lucrative Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields. Source: Timor-Leste’s Maritime Boundary Office

By Stephen de Tarczynski
MELBOURNE, Australia, Feb 27 2017 (IPS)

Juvinal Dias has first-hand experience of mistreatment at the hands of a foreign power. Born in 1981 in Tutuala, a village in the far east of Timor-Leste, Dias’ family fled into the jungle following the 1975 invasion by Indonesia.

It was during this time, hiding from the Indonesian military, that his eldest sister died of malnutrition.Widely seen to be central to the maritime boundary issue with Timor-Leste is the potentially-lucrative Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields, reported to be worth some 30 billion dollars.

Speaking to IPS from Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital, Dias told of how “the struggle” against the Indonesian occupation had intertwined with his own family’s history. “I heard, as I grew up, how the war affected the family,” he says.

Dias’ father fought against the occupation with FALANTIL guerrillas, the armed wing of FRETILIN (Revolutionary Front for an Independent Timor-Leste) before surrendering in 1979. Up to 200,000 people are believed to have been killed by Indonesian forces or died from conflict-related illness and hunger during the brutal 1975-1999 occupation.

“People saw the Indonesian military as public enemy number one,” says Dias, now a researcher at the Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis, known as La’o Hamutuk in the local Tetum language.

But things have changed. Dias says that it is now Australia that provokes the ire of the Timor-Leste public, who regard their southern neighbour as a “thief country” due to its behaviour towards Timor-Leste over disputed territory in the Timor Sea.

Timor-Leste has long-sought a permanent maritime boundary along the median or equidistance line, as is often the norm in such cases where nations’ Exclusive Economic Zones overlap.

For Timor-Leste’s government, concluding a maritime boundary with Australia is linked to the young nation’s long history of subjugation, including its centuries as a Portuguese colony, its occupation by Indonesia and its treatment by Australia.

“The achievement of maritime boundaries in accordance with international law is a matter of national sovereignty and the sustainability of our country. It is Timor-Leste’s top national priority,” said Timor-Leste’s independence hero Xanana Gusmão last year.

Australia argues that its permanent maritime boundary with Timor-Leste should be based on Australia's continental shelf, like that of the 1972 Australia-Indonesia seabed boundary. Source: Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia argues that its permanent maritime boundary with Timor-Leste should be based on Australia’s continental shelf, like that of the 1972 Australia-Indonesia seabed boundary. Source: Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia, for its part, has repeatedly avoided entering into such negotiations. Instead, it has concluded a number of revenue sharing deals based on jointly developing petroleum deposits in the Timor Sea with both an independent Timor-Leste and Indonesia during the occupation years.

Australia argues that any border with its much smaller neighbour be based on Australia’s continental shelf, which extends well into the Timor Sea, and should therefore be drawn much closer to Timor-Leste. Australia has taken a hard-nosed approach over border negotiations for decades with nations to its north.

Widely seen to be central to the maritime boundary issue with Timor-Leste is the potentially-lucrative Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields, reported to be worth some 30 billion dollars. If the median line was accepted by both sides, Greater Sunrise would likely fall within Timor-Leste’s jurisdiction, potentially providing one of the poorest nations in the region with much-needed revenue.

However, under current arrangements based on a 2006 deal, Australia and Timor-Leste have agreed to equally divide revenue from Greater Sunrise.

But this deal is set to expire on April 10 following Timor-Leste’s January notification to Australia that it was withdrawing from the treaty. Timor-Leste had been calling for this agreement to be scrapped following the 2012 revelations by a former Australian spy that Australia bugged Timor-Leste’s cabinet rooms in 2004 to gain the upper-hand in the bilateral negotiations that eventually led to the 2006 treaty.

Australia has also been criticised for a 2013 raid on the offices of Timor-Leste’s Australian lawyer in which sensitive documents were seized.

While Timor-Leste took Australia to the International Court of Arbitration in April last year in the hope of forcing Australia to settle on a permanent maritime boundary, Australia’s 2002 withdrawal from compulsory dispute settlement procedures under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea meant, according to the Australian government, that Australia was not bound by any decision made by the court.

But in a significant development, Australia announced in January that it would seek to establish a permanent maritime boundary with Timor-Leste by September this year.

Ella Fabry, an Australian activist with the Timor Sea Justice Campaign, says that Australia now has an opportunity to go some way in righting the wrongs of the past by negotiating in good faith with Timor-Leste and agreeing to a border along the median line.

“For Timor-Leste, it could mean literally billions of dollars of extra funding for them that could then go on to fund health, education [and] all of those things that a developing country needs,” she says.

Investment in such areas is indeed needed in Timor-Leste. According to global charity Oxfam, 41 percent of Timor-Leste’s population of 1.13 million people live on less than 1.25 dollars per day and almost 30 percent do not have access to clean drinking water.

Australia’s foreign affairs department identifies high maternal mortality rates and poor nutrition – leading to stunted growth in half of all children under five years – as being among key areas of concern.

Whether negotiations eventually lead to the financial windfall for Timor-Leste that some are predicting remains to be seen. A maritime boundary agreement along the median line is far from certain and there are serious concerns over the viability of a gas pipeline connecting Greater Sunrise to Timor-Leste, not least because it must cross the three kilometre-deep Timor Trough.

For Juvinal Dias, what often gets overlooked in the maritime boundary dispute is his nation’s over-reliance on income from petroleum resources, which, he argues, has led to a lack of investment in the non-oil economy.

“The oil money has dominated everything in Timor-Leste,” he says.

Timor-Leste has earned more than 12 billion dollars from its joint petroleum development area with Australia. It set up a petroleum fund in 2005, the balance of which was 15.84 billion dollars at the end of 2016, down some 1.3 billion since its peak in May 2015.

According to La’o Hamutuk, Timor-Leste’s oil and gas income peaked in 2012 and will continue to fall, with the Bayu Undan field expected to end production by 2020. It has also warned that if current spending trends continue, the petroleum fund itself will run dry by 2026.

This is a serious concern in a country where petroleum revenue has provided some 90 percent of the budget, leading to what Dias describes as “a very dangerous situation”.

He says that while there is a growing awareness in Timor-Leste about the importance of diversifying its economy, there is no time to waste.

“If we can’t manage our economy today, the poverty will be even worse in the next decade,” says Dias.

OpenAire makes a huge splash with sponsorship of PlayGrand Adventures accessible playground

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO—(Marketwired – Feb 23, 2017) –

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

When a city in the heart of Texas has a name like Grand Prairie, you know it is going to have big dreams. That's why it shouldn't be surprising that Grand Prairie, in the middle of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, is getting ready to open an epic recreation and community space: The Epic Grand Central. OpenAire has been proud to design and build a customized 62,000–square–foot retractable roof enclosure for The Epic's indoor waterpark, Epic Waters, and is honored to be making a $25,000 contribution to support PlayGrand Adventures, the largest all–inclusive municipally–owned playground in the southwestern United States, located in the heart of The Epic's 172–acre complex.

OpenAire has been named a corporate Safe Adventures Village Partner for its donation. OpenAire's contribution will help PlayGrand Adventures to offer a fun and safe playground for people of every age and ability; where children and adults with special needs and/or handicap can interact, play, and exercise. The playground, includes several areas within the park that will stimulate the senses and encourage independent, creative learning, while giving visitors new opportunities for social interaction and fitness.

“We are very pleased to be giving back to the Grand Prairie community by contributing to this special project, PlayGrand Adventures,” says Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, “OpenAire has always been committed to supporting our local communities, and PlayGrand Adventures is an especially exciting project. This kind of accessible playground has never been seen before and will give Grand Prairie an Epic play experience for all members of the community.”

The Epic Grand Central has been a citizen–driven project for all of Grand Prairie. From the start of the project, local residents have shared their vision of what a truly epic community destination should be, with the facility being planned to reflect their needs and dreams. “We hired the very best architects [and developers],” says Tom Cox, Deputy City Manager and Epic Project Manager for Grand Prairie, “because that's the only way we're going to get away with calling this 'The Epic.'” When the city decided The Epic should include an indoor waterpark, the project's planning team chose the world–leading retractable roof specialist OpenAire to design and build a custom operable enclosure that would be as innovative as the park's attractions. OpenAire collaborated with Ramaker and Associates and American Resort Management on the waterpark layout, as well as coordinated with The Epic's architect of record HKS, Inc., to create a retractable enclosure design that fits harmoniously with the entire recreation center's design. The enclosure's 36 retractable bays will let in abundant sunlight and fresh air, but also close securely in unfavorable weather while the all glazed envelope provides vibrant light all year long.

Epic Waters and The Epic Grand Central are scheduled to open in November 2017. Both will be a shining example of Grand Prairie's vision and dedication for many years to come, offering visitors from all around a place to play, keep fit and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

About OpenAire

OpenAire has been designing and manufacturing beautiful, high–quality, environmentally conscious retractable roof structures and skylights for over 25 years. We bring unique visions to life from initial design to installation, transforming buildings into sunlit spaces customers love. Headquartered in Oakville, Ontario, OpenAire is approaching 1,000 projects throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Some of our projects include four cruise liners in Royal Caribbean's new Quantum series of ships; the Rooftop Bar at the Refinery Hotel in New York NY; Restoration Hardware's “RH Gallery” in Chicago IL; Fort Lewis College Observatory for the Geosciences, Physics and Engineering Hall in Durango, CO; Aqua Sferra Water Park (the biggest aluminum dome in the world) in Donetsk, Ukraine; Kalahari in Pocono Mountains PA (the largest waterpark under one roof in the USA); Tropicana Water Park in Stadthagen, Germany; Jay Peak Ski Resort's Pump House Indoor Waterpark in Jay, VT; the Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas NV; and a pool enclosure at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel in Toronto, ON. To learn more about OpenAire Inc.'s projects and capabilities, visit http://www.openaire.com/ and follow us on Twitter. For more details on this project, please e–mail sales@openaire.com.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20170223–OpenAire–Cheque_presentation.jpg.

Doubleview Completes the Option Agreement and now Owns 100% of Hat Gold-Copper Property

VANCOUVER, BC—(Marketwired – February 21, 2017) – Doubleview Capital Corp. (“Doubleview”) (TSX VENTURE: DBV) (OTCBB: DBLVF), (FRANKFURT: 1D4), (GER: A1W038) is pleased to announce a very significant development as the Company has fulfilled all provisions of the Option Agreement dated August 29, 2011 and has acquired 100% interest in the Hat Property. The Vendors are in the process of transferring the mineral tenures to Doubleview.

The August 29, 2011 Option Agreement between Doubleview and the Vendors included schedules of cash and stock payments and a minimum work commitment, all of which requirements have now been met, in return for acquisition by Doubleview of 100% interest in all mineral titles that comprise the Hat Property. The Vendors retain a 2% net smelter return (“NSR”) interest of which Doubleview can purchase 1% by making cash payment of $1,500,000.

Doubleview as the sole owner of the property is analyzing the geological model and planning an aggressive drill program for the upcoming season.

Exploration and drilling update:

Doubleview on 15th February 2017 announced partial assay results from 2015 and 2016 Hat Project drilling and its management and geological team are pleased that they have further expanded the Lisle Zone Gold–Copper Porphyry deposit. The remainder of the assay results will be released when they have been verified and added to the Property database.

Mr. Pat McAndless, P.Geo. senior advisor to Doubleview, has commented on the recent exploration results and progress by saying “Congratulations on your excellent results. It takes time to build your story and you are on the way.”

President and CEO, Mr. Farshad Shirvani, M.Sc. Geology commented “I am excited to see the drill results that we have recently announced as they further expand the Lisle Zone of gold and copper mineralization. The results enhance our understanding of the structural, mineralogical and geological expression of the Hat Porphyry Complex that has not been delimited. Exploration planning will be designed to increase the dimensions of the Lisle Zone and test other targets, and may enable estimation of our first resource.”

The accompanying table shows composites of analyses announced in the Company's February 15, 2017 News Release:

    (m) (m) (m) (g/t) (%) (g/t) (%)
H023   24.1 539 514.9 0.18 0.21 0.45 0.34
H023 including 56.72 513 456.28 0.2 0.24 0.5 0.38
H023 and 67.9 400.27 332.37 0.25 0.29 0.55 0.46
H023 and 270.62 367.3 96.68 0.38 0.51 0.36 0.77
H023 and 303.33 346.15 42.82 0.54 0.68 0.47 1.04
H024   3 139 136 0.1 0.11 0.44 0.18
H024 including 3 77 74 0.17 0.19 0.59 0.31
H024 and 3 36.5 33.5 0.38 0.42 1.02 0.69
H024 and 3 26.5 23.5 0.52 0.59 1.22 0.95
H024 and 3 7 4 2.62 3.19 4.0 4.96
H024   234 236 2 0.12 0.32 3.0 0.43
H025 No significant values
H026   7.62 522.03 514.41 0.14 0.19 0.43 0.28
H026 including 7.62 27.8 20.18 0.41 0.39 2.54 0.68
H026 and 189.8 522.03 332.23 0.16 0.22 0.27 0.33
H026 including 189.8 308.37 118.57 0.22 0.25 0.18 0.39
H026 and 252.86 287 34.14 0.28 0.44 0.34 0.63
H026 and including 260.9 522.03 261.13 0.16 0.24 0.31 0.35
H026 and including 260.9 310.47 49.57 0.26 0.39 0.26 0.56
H026 and 454.86 522.03 67.17 0.15 0.35 0.58 0.45
H027, H028, H029, H030 to be reported later.
*True widths unknown

Drill Plan is located on the website of the company at: http://www.doubleview.ca/projects/hat–gold–rich–porphyry–copper/hat–lisle–zone–drill–plan/

Note: dimensions are reported in metric units. CuEq% is a variable calculation using current prices: gold @ $1230/ounce, silver @ $18/ounce and copper @ $2.72/lb. and should not be relied upon in a valuation of the Hat deposit.

Cautionary Note: Although, as reported, gold–copper mineralization has been found over large distances, in excess of 350 metres in all directions, Doubleview has not proven any resources and there is no assurance that further exploration of the Hat Property will result in the identification of any potentially viable mineral deposits.

Qualified Geologist

Erik Ostensoe, P. Geo., a consulting geologist and Doubleview's Qualified Person with respect to the Hat Project as defined by National Instrument 43–101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this news release. He is not independent of Doubleview as he is a shareholder.

About Doubleview Capital Corp.

Doubleview Capital Corp., a mineral resource exploration and development company, is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and is publicly traded on the TSX–Venture Exchange [TSX–V: DBV], [OTCBB: DBLVF], [GER: A1W038], [Frankfurt: 1D4]. Doubleview identifies, acquires and finances precious and base metal exploration projects in North America, particularly in British Columbia. Doubleview increases shareholder value through acquisition and exploration of quality gold, copper and silver properties and the application of advanced state–of–the–art exploration methods. The Company's portfolio of strategic properties provides diversification and mitigates investment risk.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Farshad Shirvani, President & Chief Executive Officer

Forward–Looking Statements

Information set forth in this news release contains forward–looking statements that are based on assumptions as of the date of this news release. These statements reflect management's current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations. They are not guarantees of future performance. Doubleview cautions that all forward looking statements are inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond Doubleview's control. Such factors include, among other things: risks and uncertainties relating to Doubleview's limited operating history and the need to comply with environmental and governmental regulations. Accordingly, actual and future events, conditions and results may differ materially from the estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations expressed or implied in the forward looking information. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, Doubleview undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward–looking information.


South Sudan Declares Famine, Other Countries May Follow Warns UNICEF

South Sudan Monday became the first country to declare famine since 2012, as UNICEF warned that 1.4 million children are at risk of dying from starvation with famine also imminent in Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. Protracted conflict is the root cause of the food crises in all four countries, reflecting the reality that famine is […]

Of Arabs and Muslims and the Big Ban

Arab countries in the Middle East and North of Africa. Dark Green: Arab majority population. Light Green: Arab minority countries | Credit: Public Domain.

Arab countries in the Middle East and North of Africa. Dark Green: Arab majority population. Light Green: Arab minority countries | Credit: Public Domain.

By Baher Kamal
ROME, Feb 20 2017 (IPS)

Now that President Donald Trump’s decision to ban citizens of seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States continues to drift into legal labyrinths about its legality–or not, it may be useful to clarify some myths that often lead to an even greater confusion regarding the over-written, under-reported issue of who are Arabs and who Muslims.

To start with, it is a common belief – too often heralded by the mainstream media – that the Middle East is formed entirely of Arab countries, and that it is about the so-wrongly called Muslim, Arab World.

This is simply not accurate.

Firstly, because such an Arab World (or Arab Nation) does not actually exist as such. There is not much in common between a Mauritanian and an Omani; a Moroccan and a Yemeni; an Egyptian and a Bahraini, just to mention some examples. They all have different ethnic roots, history, original languages, traditions and religious beliefs.

Example: The Amazighs – also known as the Berbers – are an ethnic group indigenous to the North of Africa, living in lands stretching from the Atlantic cost to the Western Desert in Egypt. Historically, they spoke Berber languages.

There are around 25-30 million Berber speakers in North Africa. The total number of ethnic Berbers (including non-Berber speakers) is estimated to be far greater. They have been “Arabised” and “Islamised” since the Muslim conquest of North of Africa in the 7th century.

Secondly, because not all Muslims are Arabs, nor all Arabs are Muslims. Not to mention the very fact that not all Arabs are even Arabs. It would be more accurate to talk about “Arabised,” “Islamised” peoples or nations rather than an Arab World or Arab Nation.

Here are seven key facts about Muslims that large media, in particular the Western information tools, often neglect or ignore:

1. Not all Muslims Are Arabs

In fact, according to the most acknowledged statistics, the number of Muslims around the world amounts to an estimated 1.56 billion people, compared to estimated 2.2 billion Christians and 1.4 million Jewish.

Of this total, Arab countries are home to around 380 million people, that is only about 24 per cent of all Muslims.

2. Not all Arabs Are Muslims

While Islam is the religion of the majority of Arab population, not all Arabs are Muslims.

In fact, it is estimated that Christians represent between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of the Arab combined population. Therefore, Arab Muslims amount to just around one-fifth of all the world’s Muslims.

Arab Christians are concentrated mainly in the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon and Egypt, where they represent up to 13 per cent of the total population amounting to 95 million inhabitants according to last year’s census.

It is also estimated that there are more Muslims in the United Kingdom than in Lebanon, and more Muslims in China than in Syria.

3. Major Muslim Countries Are in Asia

According to the U.S-based Pew Research Center, this would be the percentage of major religious groups in 2012: Christianity 31.5 per cent; Islam 23.2 per cent; Hinduism 15.0 per cent, and Buddhism 7.1 per cent of the world’s total population.

Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center estimated that in 2010 there were 49 Muslim-majority countries.

South and Southeast Asia would account for around 62 per cent of the world’s Muslims.

According to these estimates, the largest Muslim population in a single country lives in Indonesia, which is home to 12.7 per cent of all world’s Muslims.

Pakistan (with 11.0 per cent of all Muslims) is the second largest Muslim-majority nation, followed by India (10.9 per cent), and Bangladesh (9.2 per cent).

The Pew Research Center estimates that about 20 per cent of Muslims live in Arab countries, and that two non-Arab countries – Turkey and Iran – are the largest Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East.

In short, a large number of Muslim majority countries are not Arabs. This is the case of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey.

3. Largest Muslim Groups

It is estimated that 75 to 90 per cent of Islam followers are Sunni, while Shii represent 10 to 20 per cent of the global Muslim population.

The sometimes armed, violent conflicts between these two groups are often due to political impositions. But this is not restricted to Arab or Muslim countries, as evidenced by the decades of armed conflict between Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland.

4. Muslims Do Not Have Their Own God

In Arabic (the language in which the sacred book, the Koran, was written and diffused) the word “table” is said “tawla;” a “tree” is called “shajarah;” and a “book” is “ketab.” In Arabic “God” is “Allah”.

In addition, Islam does not at all deny the existence of Christianity or Christ. And it does fully recognise and pay due respect to the Talmud and the Bible.

Probably the main difference is that Islam considers Christ as God’s closest and most beloved “prophet,” not his son.

5. Islamic “Traditions”

Islam landed in the 7th century in the Gulf or Arab Peninsula deserts. There, both men and women used to cover their faces and heads to protect themselves from the strong heat and sand storms. It is not, therefore, about a purely Islam religious imposition.

Meanwhile, in the Arab deserts, populations used to have nomadic life, with men travelling in caravans, while women and the elderly would handle the daily life of their families. Islamic societies were therefore actually matriarchal.

Genital mutilations are common to Islam, Judaism (male) and many other religious beliefs, in particular in Africa.

Likewise other major monotheistic religions, a number of Muslim clerics have been using faith to increase their influence and power. This is fundamentally why so many “new traditions” have been gradually imposed on Muslims. This is the case, for example, of denying the right of women to education.

As with other major monotheistic religions, some Muslim clerics used their ever-growing powers to promote inhuman, brutal actions. This is the case of “Jihad” fundamentalists.

This has not been an exclusive case of Muslims along the history of humankind. Just remember the Spanish-Portuguese invasion of Latin America, where indigenous populations were exterminated and Christianity imposed by the sword, for the sake of the glory of Kings, Emperors… and Popes.

6. The Unfinished Wars between the West and Islam (and Vice-Versa)

There is a growing belief among Arab and Muslim academicians that the on-going violent conflicts between Muslims and the West (and vice-versa) are due to the “unfinished” war between the Christian West and the Islamic Ottoman Empire, in spite of the fact that the latter was dismantled in the early 1920s.

This would explain the successive wars in the Balkans and the Middle East, for instance.

7. The “Religion” of Oil

It has become too common, and thus too given for certain, that oil producers are predominantly Arabs and Muslims. This is not accurate.

To start with, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in (the under British mandate) Baghdad, Iraq, in 1960 by five countries: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. These were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975) and Angola (2007).

And here you are: OPEC full membership includes: Ecuador, Venezuela, Nigeria, Gabon and Angola. None of these is either Arab or Muslim. They are all Christian states. As for Iran and Indonesia, these are Muslim countries, but not Arab.

Then you have other major oil and gas producers and exporters outside the OPEC ranks: the United States [which produces more oil (13,973,000 barrels per day) than Saudi Arabia (11,624,000)]; Russia (10,853,000); China (4,572,000); Canada (4,383,000, more than United Arab Emirates or Iran or Iraq); Norway (1,904,000, more than Algeria) and Mexico, among others.

Again, none of these oil producers is Arab or Muslim.

In short, not all Muslims are Arabs (these are less than 20 per cent of the total); not all Arabs are Muslims, and… not all Arabs are even Arabs!

Hutchison China Meditech Limited: Start of Phase II Savolitinib PSC trial in China

HONG KONG, CHINA—(Marketwired – Feb 20, 2017) – Hutchison China Meditech Limited (NASDAQ: HCM) (AIM: HCM)

Press Release

Chi–Med Initiates a Phase II Study of Savolitinib in Pulmonary Sarcomatoid Carcinoma

London: Monday, February 20, 2017: Hutchison China MediTech Limited (“Chi–Med”) (AIM/Nasdaq: HCM) today announces that a Phase II study of savolitinib has been initiated in locally advanced or metastatic pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma (“PSC”) in China. Savolitinib is a highly selective and potent oral c–Met inhibitor with global first–in–class potential. The first drug dose was administered on February 10, 2017.

This Phase II study is a multi–center, single–arm, open–label study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of savolitinib as a monotherapy in treating locally advanced or metastatic PSC patients harboring mesenchymal epithelial transition (“Met”) gene alterations. The primary endpoint is objective response rate (ORR), with secondary endpoints including progression free survival (PFS), disease control rate (DCR), duration of response (DoR), overall survival (OS) and safety. Additional details about this study can be found at clinicaltrials.gov, using identifier NCT02897479.

About PSC and Met gene alterations
PSC is a rare subset of poorly differentiated non–small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”). Containing a component with sarcoma–like (spindle and/or giant cell) features, PSC accounts for approximately 0.4% of all cases of lung cancer in the US, according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database. These tumors are highly aggressive with outcomes significantly worse than other forms of NSCLC, and are more resistant to conventional chemotherapies,. There is no approved targeted therapy for this fatal disease.

The sarcomatoid component of some PSC tumors is believed to derive from carcinoma cells through the activation of Met. Met gene exon 14 skipping has been reported as one of the major genetic alterations in PSC, acting as a negative control in Met signaling. This genetic alteration has been found in approximately 20–30% of PSC patients. As such, a highly selective c–Met inhibitor may provide clinically meaningful benefit to patients with PSC.

About Savolitinib
Savolitinib is a potential global first–in–class inhibitor of c–Met (also known as mesenchymal epithelial transition factor) receptor tyrosine kinase, an enzyme which has been shown to function abnormally in many types of solid tumors. It was developed as a potent and highly selective oral inhibitor specifically designed to address issues observed in the clinic with first–generation c–Met inhibitors, including renal toxicity.

About Chi–Med
Chi–Med is an innovative biopharmaceutical company which researches, develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. Its Innovation Platform, Hutchison MediPharma Limited, focuses on discovering and developing innovative therapeutics in oncology and autoimmune diseases for the global market. Its Commercial Platform manufactures, markets, and distributes prescription drugs and consumer health products in China.

Chi–Med is majority owned by the multinational conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (SEHK: 0001). For more information, please visit: www.chi–med.com.

[1] S. Yendamuri et al; Outcomes of sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung: A Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database analysis. Surgery 2012 152(3) 397–402.

[1] T Vieira et al; Efficacy of First–Line Chemotherapy in Patients with Advanced Lung Sarcomatoid Carcinoma. J Thorac Oncol 2013 8(12) 1574–7.

[1] J. Tong et al; MET Amplification and Exon 14 Splice Site Mutation Define Unique Molecular Subgroups of Non–Small Cell Lung Carcinoma with Poor Prognosis. Clin Cancer Res 2016 22(12) 3048–56.

Forward–Looking Statements
This press release contains forward–looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward–looking statements reflect Chi–Med's current expectations regarding future events, including its expectations for the clinical development of savolitinib in PSC, plans to initiate clinical studies for savolitinib, its expectations as to whether such studies would meet their primary or secondary endpoints, and its expectations as to the timing of the completion and the release of results from such studies. Forward–looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include, among other things, assumptions regarding enrollment rates, timing and availability of subjects meeting a study's inclusion and exclusion criteria, changes to clinical protocols or regulatory requirements, unexpected adverse events or safety issues, the ability of drug candidate savolitinib to meet the primary or secondary endpoint of a study, to obtain regulatory approval in different jurisdictions, to gain commercial acceptance after obtaining regulatory approval, the potential market of savolitinib for a targeted indication and the sufficiency of funding. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward–looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. For further discussion of these and other risks, see Chi–Med's filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and on AIM. Chi–Med undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.


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Confusion over U.S. Travel Ban Grounds Foreign Correspondents

Confusion over the implementation of the US travel ban has left journalists unable to travel. Credit: Rebecca Murray/IPS.

Confusion over the implementation of the US travel ban has left journalists unable to travel. Credit: Rebecca Murray/IPS.

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
NEW YORK, Feb 20 2017 (IPS)

New restrictions on immigrants and refugees coming to the United States are also posing challenges for foreign correspondents covering news in the United States. Some have had to indefinitely postpone plans to report on conflicts in the Middle East while others have found an unfriendly reminder of their past treatment as journalists in less free countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order sent shockwaves throughout the world as citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and all refugees were barred from entering the country for 90 days and 120 days respectively.

Though the travel ban is temporarily on hold following a court decision to reject its reinstatement, President Trump stood by his policy, calling it “common sense” and promising to keep “the wrong people” out of the U.S. Trump announced Thursday that he would sign a new Executive Order next week which will address some of the legal issues raised by the U.S. courts.

Within the millions affected by the travel ban are journalists, many of whom were caught amidst the chaos and confusion as the initial Executive Order was implemented.

In the wake of the order, BBC journalist Ali Hamedani, an Iranian-born British citizen, was detained and questioned upon his arrival at Chicago’s O’Hare airport for over two hours.

“I was always dreaming to live here, to write stories here, to be able to travel to places and write whatever I wanted to write about without being persecuted,” — Journalist Sama Dizayee.

He said his phone and computer were searched, including his social media accounts.

”It wasn’t pleasant at all. To be honest with you, I was arrested back home in Iran in 2009 because I was working for the BBC and I felt the same this time,“ he said.

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, a dual American and Iranian citizen, also expressed his fear about the “major” impact of the new policy on his family, stating: “This isn’t the America I promised [my wife] when we were finally set free.”

Rezaian spent nearly two years in an Iranian prison after being arrested on charges including espionage and propaganda against the government.

CNN editor and award-winning journalist Mohammed Tawfeeq, who is an Iraqi national and legal permanent resident of the U.S., was detained in Atlanta where he was subjected to additional screening. He promptly filed a federal lawsuit challenging the executive order.

“We are concerned when policies adopted by countries restrict the access and movement of journalists…We believe that journalists should be allowed to enter countries, to report on them regardless of where those countries are,” Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)’s Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch told IPS.

The ban also affects foreign correspondents covering the United Nations. Although there is a specific exception for journalists traveling as part of diplomatic delegations to the United Nations, the original executive order does not directly address any other media visas given to foreign media representatives traveling to or who are already in the country.

The restrictions have also concerned journalist Sama Dizayee, an Iraqi journalist who is a green card holding legal permanent resident in the U.S.

Dizayee told IPS that she had a trip planned to London but was forced to cancel it once the travel ban was implemented.

“I wake up and [saw] all of these people that were detained, deported back to their home countries…I was like oh my god I’m a legal resident here in America and I came all the way from Iraq here to pursue journalism, a dream that I always wanted and now my freedom is threatened,” she told IPS.

The Department of Homeland Security later clarified the policy in relation to green card holders, stating that U.S. permanent residents from one of the seven countries are not automatically barred from entry and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Despite this, Dizayee, who initially had refugee status before becoming a permanent resident, said she still did not want to take the risk.

“Do I really want to become subject to extra screening and hours of being held at the airport? Do I really want to be profiled as a Muslim Iraqi here in the U.S.? This is not an experience I want to remember,” she said.

Dizayee told IPS that she has always been subjected to extra screening due to her background, waiting for hours to be released.

“That really stays with you…and it has now become a law with this travel ban,” she said.

Dizayee highlighted that the stakes are particularly high for journalists whose work is now limited due to the inability to travel.

“[Journalists] go places to cover stories—they go to Iraq, to Lebanon, we travel all the time,” she said, adding that she had planned to travel to Iraq to cover the Mosul battle.

“I can’t be there now, I can’t write that story,” Dizayee continued.

CPJ issued a safety advisory for journalists, recommending that those who are from one of the seven countries with media visas in the U.S. should not leave within the time period covered by the executive order.

Radsch also advised journalists not to travel with mobile or other devices or to make sure confidential or important information is backed up rather than on their devices.

“This order is helping to highlight the importance of [digital security] for journalists,” she told IPS.

The U.S. order has already emboldened other governments to implement similar policies, including the Iraqi government which approved a “reciprocity” measure banning Americans from entering the Middle Eastern country, further restricting information flow across borders and journalists’ ability to report.

Radsch highlighted the need to get clarity on how the order is impacting journalists and what the regulations are.

She also told IPS that journalists have been subject to secondary screening and questioning at the border before this new policy, including Canadian photojournalist Ed Ou who was pulled aside and interrogated for six hours on his way to cover the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. After refusing to surrender the password to his devices, Ed Ou was denied entry into the U.S.

Dizayee expressed uncertainty and apprehension regarding the future of the new travel restrictions.

“I was always dreaming to live here, to write stories here, to be able to travel to places and write whatever I wanted to write about without being persecuted,” she told IPS.

“I am not going anywhere for the next 90 days for sure,” Dizayee continued.

The immigration executive order, initially implemented at the end of January, was denounced by several human rights groups and politicians, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who said: “Discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law. The US ban is also mean spirited, and wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism.”

Similarly, Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Sarif, said the Trump Administration’s decision would be recorded in history as “a great gift to extremists and their supporters” while Swedish foreign affairs minister Margot Wallström said she was “deeply concerned” by a decision that “creates mistrust between people.”

Others expressed support for the move including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who stated that “”it is vital that every nation is able to control who comes across its borders.”

Alternative Mining Indaba Makes Its Voice Heard

A delegate from the Alternative Mining Indaba dances during a protest march on Feb. 8, 2017. About 450 representatives of civil society mining-affected communities attended the conference in Cape Town. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS

A delegate from the Alternative Mining Indaba dances during a protest march on Feb. 8, 2017. About 450 representatives of civil society mining-affected communities attended the conference in Cape Town. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS

By Mark Olalde
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Feb 18 2017 (IPS)

“Comrades, we have arrived. This cherry is eight years awaited. We have made it to this place,” Bishop Jo Seoka told the crowd, pausing to allow for the whistles and cheers.

Seoka, the chairman of a South African NGO called the Bench Marks Foundation, presided over the crowd of protesters that was busy verbally releasing years of frustration at the continent’s mining industry. The protest on Feb. 8 was part of the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) held in Cape Town.“We want transparency, we want accountability and, most importantly, we want participation of the people affected by mining.” –Mandla Hadebe

The annual gathering brings together residents of mining-affected communities and civil society representatives to discuss common problems caused by the mining industry in Africa. On its third and final day, the AMI took to the streets to deliver its declaration of demands to industry and government representatives.

While police temporarily blocked the march from reaching the convention center hosting the Mining Indaba, the industry’s counterpart to the AMI, protesters were angry after years of having their side of the story largely ignored.

They marched up to the line of police and private security guarding the doors to the conference hall and demanded to speak with members of the Mining Indaba.

“As citizens and representations (sic) citizen-organisations we wish to express our willingness to work with African governments and other stakeholders in the quest to harness the continent’s vast extractive resources to underpin Africa’s socio-economic transformation and the [Africa Mining Vision] lays a foundation for this,” the declaration stated.

“I very much appreciate the willingness to engage in dialogue, and I think this is the first step towards establishing a common vision,” Tom Butler, CEO of the International Council on Mining & Metals, told the crowd before signing receipt of the declaration and handing it over for the managing director of the Mining Indaba to also sign.

Alternative Mining Indaba participants dance and sing struggle songs during their march on Feb. 8, 2017. Individual countries have begun holding their own alternative indabas, with South Africa’s first country-specific conference held this year in Johannesburg. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS

Alternative Mining Indaba participants dance and sing struggle songs during their march on Feb. 8, 2017. Individual countries have begun holding their own alternative indabas, with South Africa’s first country-specific conference held this year in Johannesburg. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS

While Butler came to the AMI to give a presentation on the mining industry’s behalf, few other members of government or the industry made an attempt to engage with the AMI. The Mining Indaba’s Twitter account even blocked some AMI delegates who took to social media to air their grievances.

The official Mining Indaba is a place for mining ministers, CEOs of mining houses and other industry representatives to network and strike deals. During the event, South Africa and Japan, for example, signed a bilateral agreement to boost collaboration along the mining value chain.

“This Indaba has affirmed South Africa’s status as a preferred investment destination,” Mosebenzi Zwane, the country’s minerals minister, said in a statement following the event. “As government, we are heartened by this and recommit to ensuring the necessary regulatory and policy certainty to attract even more investment into our country.”

In his opening address at the Mining Indaba, Zwane also announced that the draft of the new Mining Charter, a document guiding the country’s mining industry, would be published in March.

The AMI, however, was born as a community-level response to the fact that such decisions are usually made without consulting those most impacted by mining.

“They are going to find this huddled mass of people,” Mandla Hadebe, one of the event organizers, said of the protest’s goals in the first year. Only 40 delegates were present.

An Alternative Mining Indaba delegate from Swaziland sings protest songs. There was a feeling of triumph among the delegates after achieving even a degree of acknowledgement from industry representatives. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS

An Alternative Mining Indaba delegate from Swaziland sings protest songs. There was a feeling of triumph among the delegates after achieving even a degree of acknowledgement from industry representatives. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS

In its eighth year, the AMI has grown to about 450 participants representing 43 countries. Delegates came from across Africa – from Egypt to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Malawi – as well as the rest of the world – from Cambodia to Bolivia and Australia – to share their stories.

“It just shows that our struggles are common and that we’ve decided to unite for a common purpose,” Hadebe said of the growth. “We want transparency, we want accountability and, most importantly, we want participation of the people affected by mining.”

A number of panels dedicated to community voices gave activists a platform to share their stories and methods of resistance. Translators in the various conference rooms translated among English, French and Portuguese, a necessity as well as a tacit nod to the ever-present effects of the same colonialism that brought mining.

“What we heard first were promises,” a woman from Peru recounted. “Thirty years passed, and now I call the second part of this process ‘the lies.’”

“We are trying to build a critical mass that is angry enough to oppose irresponsible mining,” a delegate from Kenya explained.

Some panels addressed specific issues facing Africa’s extractive industry. One discussion explained the need to move away from indirect taxes toward direct ones focused on mining houses. The presenter, a member of Tax Justice Network-Africa, said that an increase in government audits had led to a surge in tax revenue since 2009, a rare success story.

Another panel dealt with the realities of impending job loss due to widespread mechanization, while others took on the need for governments to strike better deals with international corporations.

Side events provided forums for more nuanced learning on topics such as the corruption involved with mining on communal land. At the showing of a documentary following South African land rights activist Mbhekiseni Mavuso, delegates from other countries such as Sierra Leone compared and contrasted their own forced relocations.

Mavuso said, “We are regarded as people who do not count. We have now become what we call ‘victims of development,’ and so that is also making us to become victims of democracy. We are fighting, so let us all stand up and fight.”

Occasionally, delegates took to the microphone to lament continued talk with minimal action. Much of the AMI focused on the Africa Mining Vision, a document produced by the African Union. While its goal is to make mining beneficial for all Africans, the document is a high-level policy discussion lacking a direct connection to affected communities.

The three-day conference has outgrown its ability to delve deeply into every issue impacting the represented countries, so delegates have taken the idea to their home nations. In the past year, Madagascar, Angola, Swaziland and others held their first country-specific alternative indabas.

Only a week before the AMI, South Africa hosted its first such conference in Johannesburg.

Despite many delegates expressing feelings of helplessness or anger, the march to the Mining Indaba provided a temporary sense of victory.

After finally obtaining some level of acknowledgment from industry representatives, the AMI participants danced and took selfies outside the Mining Indaba, far from the townships and rural villages adjacent to mines.

As the delegates boarded busses to depart the event, the vehicles shook from stomping and singing, and some protesters leaned out the windows to shout their last parting sentiments on behalf of mining-affected communities around the country and the continent.

*Mark Olalde’s mining reporting is financially supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Fund for Environmental Journalism and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

The ASCAP Foundation Announces 2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Recipients

NEW YORK, NY—(Marketwired – February 16, 2017) – The ASCAP Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. The program was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30. It carries the name of the great trumpeter and ASCAP member Herb Alpert in recognition of the Herb Alpert Foundation's multi–year financial commitment to support this program. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 15 to 30, and are selected through a juried national competition.

The ASCAP Foundation President, Paul Williams said, “We congratulate the recipients of our Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards and thank the ASCAP composers who selected the winners. We are honored to partner with the Herb Alpert Foundation to recognize these talented young jazz creators.”

The 2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award recipients are listed with their age, current residence and place of birth. The youngest winners are listed with their age and state of residence: Emily Bear, age 15 of Illinois; Annie Booth, age 27 of Denver, CO; Michael Conrad, age 28 of Greeley, CO (Arlington Heights, IL); Gizem Gokoglu, age 30 of New York, NY (Izmir, Turkey); Andrew Karboski, age 22, of New York, NY (Seattle, WA); Gene Knific, age 24 of Chicago, IL (Kalamazoo, MI); David Leon, Age 23 of Miami, FL; Scott Ninmer, age 27 of Arlington, VA (Decatur, IL); Luca Mendoza, age 18 of California; Christopher Misch–Bloxdorf, age 25 of Milwaukee, WI (Kenosha, WI); Kai Ono, age 21 of Lawrence, KS (Granada Hills, CA); Chris Ott, age 29, of Brooklyn, NY (Kettering, OH); Robert Perez, age 24 of Chino Hills, CA (Covino, CA); Lucas Pino, age 29 of New York, NY (Phoenix, AZ); Diego Joaquin Ramirez, age 27 of Woodside, NY (Cork, Ireland); Nikos Syropoulos, age 28 of Los Angeles, CA (State College, PA); Zan Tetickovic, age 25 of Long Island City, NY (Ptuj, Slovenia); Matt Wong, age 18 of New York, NY (San Francisco, CA), and Christopher Zuar, age 29 of New York, NY.

Composers receiving Honorable Mention this year are: Lucas Apostoleris, age 23 of Miami, FL (New Milford, CT); Mario Castro, age 28 of New York, NY (Humacao, Puerto Rico); Andrew Leung, age 15 of California; Gina Ramirez, age 19 of Los Angeles, CA; Jordan Seigel, age 28 of Sherman Oaks, CA (Los Angeles, CA); Sara Sithi–Amnuai, age 22 of Los Angeles, CA (Sydney, Australia); and Andrew Van Tassel, age 28 of New York, NY (Short Hills, NJ).

The ASCAP composer/judges for the 2017 competition were: Anat Cohen, Keyon Harrold, and Yosvany Terry.

The Newport Festival Foundation will feature one of the recipients of the Herb Alpert Awards during the 2017 Newport Jazz Festival in August.

Additional funding for this program is provided by The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.

About The Herb Alpert Foundation
The Herb Alpert Foundation, a non–profit, private foundation established in the early 1980's, makes significant annual contributions to a range of programs in the fields of Arts, Arts Education and Compassion and Well Being. Its funding is directed toward projects in which Herb and Lani Alpert and Foundation President Rona Sebastian play an active role. [The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.]

About The ASCAP Foundation
Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. www.ascapfoundation.org

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