New York Philharmonic to Play in North Korea
The United States’ oldest orchestra has accepted an invitation to play on February 26, 2008 in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. This groundbreaking event brings to mind the 1956 Boston Symphony Orchestra performance in the former Soviet Union, and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s visit to China in 1973. Despite qualms about North Korea’s human rights record and the totalitarian rule of Kim Jong-il, the 250 members have agreed to play after their conditions were agreed upon. The orchestra will have control over the acoustics, has received assurances for the members of Korean descent, and were guaranteed the right to play the “Star Spangled Banner”. Many see this planned performance as a cultural breakthrough, and are hopeful that nuclear talks can resume. However, the trip could be at risk if North Korea fails to meet the deadline regarding their nuclear program.
Tutu Calls for Vote Against Zuma
In South Africa, there is now a clash of Church and State, as Desmond Tutu former Archbishop of Cape Town and South African moral leader, voices his concern, asking the South African Congress not to elect Jacob Zuma as the new leader of the Congress. His reason is that South Africa deserves someone in good moral standing to sit in that seat. Jacob Zuma was acquitted last year of rape charges. However, though he was acquitted, Tutu believes that because of his past he is not right for the position. So, does Tutu have the right to voice his opinion about this matter as moral leader, or should he do as Zuma says and pray, not condemn?
- Mohan Bell