All-white town fights to preserve segregation in Mandela’s ‘Rainbow Nation’

KLEINFONTEIN, South Africa – An all-white enclave less than an hour from South Africa’s capital is fighting to hold on to a segregated life reminiscent of the country before Nelson Mandela toppled the apartheid regime.

An all-white community less than an hour from South Africa's capital is fighting to hold on to a segregated life. (Marc Shoul / Panos for NBC News)

An all-white community less than an hour from South Africa’s capital is fighting to hold on to a segregated life. (Marc Shoul / Panos for NBC News)

“We feel that our culture is being threatened and we want to protect it and we want to nurture it,” said Marisa Haasbroek, a writer and mother who serves as voluntary spokeswoman for a gated community called Kleinfontein.

Kleinfontein does not hide its ties to South Africa’s divided past, nor its mistrust of the country’s present: At its entrance stands a bust of Hendrik Verwoerd, who is seen as the father of apartheid.

A fence surrounds its almost 2,000 acres and guards in fatigues police at the entrance of the community condemned as “racist” by some critics. Among the reasons that Haasbroek and others in the cooperative town cite for walling themselves off are the country’s high crime rates and institutionalized affirmative action, which they say results in white people being frozen out of jobs and university places.

Read story on>
Posted in Africa | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mandela’s visible legacy: South Africa’s interracial couples no longer need to hide

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South African couple Thithi Nteta and Dylan Lloyd have different accounts of how they met and fell in love.

Dylan Lloyd and Thithi Nteta (Marc Shoul / Panos for NBC News)

Dylan Lloyd and Thithi Nteta at their home in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Marc Shoul / Panos for NBC News)

“We were friends for about a year,” said Nteta, a 28-year-old stylist.

“I like to say that I was courting her for about a year,” said Lloyd, 38.

One thing they agree on is that neither considered the other’s race before deciding to become involved – even though Nteta is black and Lloyd white and they live in South Africa, a country still healing the wounds caused by apartheid.

Twenty-five years ago, strict laws against relationships between whites and so-called non-whites would have made their love illegal.

Read story on>
Posted in Africa | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iraq, 10 years on: Did invasion bring ‘hope and progress’ to millions as Bush vowed?

When the administration of President George W. Bush planned the invasion of Iraq, hopes ran high that the massive deployment of troops and money wouldn’t just result in the toppling of Saddam Hussein: The United States would help create a country that stood as an example to others.

Ten years ago Tuesday, Bush announced military operations “to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” He warned that the coalition campaign “could be longer and more difficult than some predict,” but vowed to give the Iraqis a “united, stable and free country.”

In a speech only weeks earlier, the president had stressed that “a liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions.”

In a televised statement to the nation, President George W. Bush announces “early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq.”

An estimated $61 billion in U.S. reconstruction funds later, reality has fallen short of these expectations.

An estimated 189,000 people — including Iraqi civilians, U.S. troops and journalists — were killed in the war in Iraq since 2003. The country is considered one of the most corrupt in the world, and many of the improvements promised have not materialized. Sectarian tensions regularly explode into open violence.

And yet Iraq is now OPEC’s second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia. It is headed toward becoming the world’s second-largest oil exporter after Russia in 20 years. The civil war that raged after the invasion is over, and elections have been held in which Iraqis vote at relatively high rates.

Read story on>
Posted in Americas, Middle East & Central Asia | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is so depressing, although I think there is money out there – it’s just that not enough of it is being spent on quality journalism.


A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013

Here is an exchange between the Global Editor of the Atlantic Magazine and myself this afternoon attempting to solicit my professional services for an article they sought to publish after reading my story “25 Years of Slam Dunk Diplomacy: Rodman trip comes after 25 years of basketball diplomacy between U.S. and North Korea”   here at

From the Atlantic Magazine:

On Mar 4, 2013 3:27 PM, “olga khazan” <> wrote:

Hi there — I’m the global editor for the Atlantic, and I’m trying to reach Nate Thayer to see if he’d be interested in repurposing his recent basketball diplomacy post on our site.

Could someone connect me with him, please?

Olga Khazan

 From the head of NK News, who originally published the piece this morning:

Hi that piece is copy right to NK News, so…

View original post 754 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How the US military can become a ‘band of brothers and sisters’

Even before she moved to Israel, Minnesota-born Cpl. Arrielle Werner was certain she possessed what it took to fight on the front lines.

“I realized that I couldn’t be the passive Minnesotan,” said the 21-year-old member of Israel’s majority female Caracal Battalion, a combat unit which patrols the volatile border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. “I knew this was the place for me. My friends back in the States are shocked … now I’m the wild combat soldier.”

The self-described “peace keeper of the family” said she is prepared to “give everything” on the battlefield.

That’s the sort of gung-ho attitude that military brass appreciate in any soldier — but it isn’t an attitude many expect from a woman.

Read story on>
Posted in Americas, Europe, Middle East & Central Asia, Security, UK | Tagged | Leave a comment

22 to a cell – life in a notorious Afghan prison

22 to a cell – life in a notorious Afghan prison.

Posted in Middle East & Central Asia | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

‘Pushed aside’: Turkey’s Kurds lose hope

‘Pushed aside’: Turkey’s Kurds lose hope.

Posted in Europe, Middle East & Central Asia | Tagged , , | Leave a comment