–A video posted to social media shows a Walt Disney World Monorail door opened while traveling.
-The monorail was en route to Epcot according to MyNews13 and it is not yet clear why the door was open.
-Disney took the Monorail Red train off line after staff were alerted to the problem.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is running for president and he isn’t doing very well. That’s probably best demonstrated by the fact you just had to copy/paste and Google search “Sen. Lindsey Graham.”
Graham, who is next in line of the totally nationally successful McCain and Lieberman triumvirate spoke at the highly anticipated Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C. today.
Graham’s speech was something else. Part attack on Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, part doom and gloom lecture on the failings of the Republican party, Graham’s address made quite the impression in the room.
“It’s not about turning out evangelical Christians, it’s about repairing the damage done by incredibly hateful rhetoric driving a wall between us and the fastest-growing demographic in America,” Graham said according to Jezebel, referencing Trump. “It’s about looking Hispanic Americans in the eye and saying, ‘We get it, be part of our cause.”
But it was Graham’s comments on the GOP at large that has many people buzzing.
“He took issue with Cruz’s preceding remarks that Republicans need to vote in strength, and low turnout is why the party failed to win in 2008 and 2012.
“How many of you believe we’re losing elections because we’re not hard-ass enough on immigration?’ Graham asked the crowd, to light applause. ‘Well, I don’t agree with you.'”
WATCH: Lindsey Graham bashes hardline conservatives on immigration and abortion
Graham also questioned hardline conservatives on the issue of abortion, saying that the party needed to support an exception in the case that a woman was raped.
Otherwise, the party would continue to be alienate the “majority” of the county on the abortion issue.
H/T: The Hill
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By Jessie Pang
The linguistic diversity of China is fading rapidly in recent years.
According to the Globe and Mail, 88 Chinese languages or dialects are endangered.
Cantonese, one of the widely spoken languages of Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, does not escape from this trend.
However, unlike many other endangered Chinese languages or dialects, from “Protecting Cantonese Movement” in Guangzhou to “Opposing Putonghua as a Medium of Instruction (PMI)” in Hong Kong, the regional lingua franca Cantonese receives the most viral discussion and debate across the Pearl River Delta (PRD) on safeguarding its language status and the use of it.
There are many reasons behind such importance and growing concern.
1. Government policies endanger the existence of Cantonese
To start with, the active promotion of Putonghua by Hong Kong and the Central Government in recent years harms the continued existence of Cantonese.
Although “committed to promoting trilingualism” across English, Cantonese and Putonghua is the official stance of the Hong Kong government, the Education Bureau once claimed “Cantonese is not an official language” in 2014 and states that PMI “is a long-term and developmental target” in a report to the Legislative Council’s education panel in 2015.
Despite the contradictive stance of the government, it’s no doubt that Hong Kong has long been adopting a pro-Putonghua education policy.
“Scheme to Support Schools in Using Putonghua to Teach the Chinese Language Subject” was launched as a pilot scheme for all schools to adopt PMI since 2008.
As a result, about 71 percent of local primary and 31 percent of secondary schools are now adopting PMI together with Putonghua as a separate language subject.
The situation Cantonese speakers are facing in the Guangdong province is even worse.
A proposal on increasing the use of Putonghua in local television programs was once put forward by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Guangzhou Committee in 2010.
Despite the strong opposition that suggestion has faced, another manuscript, the Guangdong National Language Regulations was enacted by the local government in 2012 to ensure Putonghua is the only workplace language throughout the province.
This was done as part of a national push to standardize communication and enhance state unity and stability according to the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.
Lacking of the Cantonese context, children in both Hong Kong and Guangdong province are now found using Putonghua naturally in their daily life and some have started having difficulties in understanding Cantonese.
Seeing the possibility of losing their mother tongue, citizens thus become more aware of the preservation of Cantonese.
2. Cantonese is the foundation of local culture
The loss of Cantonese could also mean a loss of local culture.
Cantonese has verbally blended different languages together and as a result becomes a carrier of local culture and eyewitness of the societal development.
During the British colonial period, many common terms in Cantonese, such as dik-si (taxi) and si-do-be-lei (strawberry) were translated from English directly.
In recent years, as the contact of different cultures increases, Japanese terms have also been used in Cantonese directly, such as kawayi (cute) and fong tai (Japanese buffet).
Furthermore, many popular and distinctive local cultural products are made in Cantonese.
For instance, Cantonese opera is one of the three Chinese opera genres on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity Representative List.
Also, Cantopop has had a significant influence in the Asia-Pacific Rim since the 1970s. The “god of song” Sam Hui and the “four heavenly kings” Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai and Aaron Kwok are still very popular in both mainland China and overseas.
What’s more, almost all popular Hong Kong classic movies made in the 1980s were produced in Cantonese and the Cantonese-speaking actors are still famous superstars.
Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan are two popular examples of the Canto Kung Fu movie icons.
These explain the significant role played by Cantonese in the local culture and the growing importance of preserving Cantonese.
3. Cantonese is a traditional intangible heritage with international prestige
In addition, Cantonese is a precious traditional intangible heritage with a long held international prestige.
It has a richer traditional heritage. It it had been spoken by the ancient Chinese since the Tang Dynasty while Putonghua is a language introduced by the northern nomadic invaders during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Hence, it has inherited the pronunciation, lexis, meaning and beauty of Chinese classical language. For instance, Cantonese has 9 tones while Putonghua only has 4 tones. Also, ancient Chinese literature can only be fully understood and read in Cantonese.
Moreover, such importance has gained a growing international recognition and concern.
Apart from its legal language status acknowledged by UNESCO, universities have long been offering credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing Cantonese courses which have received strong support from the public.
One significant example is the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. That institution received a large amount of thank you emails after it announced to offer credit-bearing Cantonese courses.
Therefore, people often regard Cantonese as the last resort of protecting traditional Chinese culture and languages and proud to be its defenders.
4. Cantonese is the symbol of local identity and the yardstick of distinctiveness
With such unique importance and status of Cantonese, the language has become the symbol of identity and the indication of the local political and socio-economical difference with the rest of China, especially in Hong Kong.
Lacking of confidence in the central government and fearing Hong Kong may lose its status as an international city and its competitive edge, many Hong Kong people have committed to preserve and enhance the distinctiveness of Hong Kong from China since the handover in 1997.
According to the ethno-linguistic identity model and the communication accommodation theory, when people strongly identify with their ethnic group, they tend to communicate in their ethnic language to symbolically distinguish themselves from others.
In this way, people with a strong Hongkonger identification incline to resist learning Putonghua and focus more on preserving Cantonese (Tong, 1999. International Journal of Intercultural Relations,23(2), 281-296.)
Such inclination is further intensified as the entitled ways of life and valued linguistic practices changed rapidly by the mass migration from northern China.
Guangdong province has attracted lots of migrants from the northern part of China with all walks of life ever since the economic reforms and the open up policy.
Yet, most of them failed to adapt the local culture and even demanded the city to change for them.
Hence, Guangdong citizens feel that they are the root cause of all problems, such as the recent acceleration in the strong competition in the job market, exploiting the social welfare benefit which the locals do not have and causing the rise of crime rate and more.
Hong Kong has shared a similar situation but the reaction in Hong Kong is much stronger owing to intense Hong Kong-China conflict in recent years and the three concrete promises: “once country, two systems”, “high degree of autonomy and “remained unchanged for 50 years” made by the central government before the handover.
Mao even said “language is the most significant part of life style. According to the above stipulation, therefore, the status of Cantonese can at least remain unchanged for 50 years”.
For instance, Hong Kong Airlines fight attendants launched a “No Putonghua” protest in response to a mainland passengers’ sit-in.
Also, jeering at the Chinese national anthem has gradually become a habit of Hong Kong football fans to express their anti-China feeling.
With a fear that they may lose their identities and cities, the potential of losing Cantonese has become a warning alarm in many people’s mind.
Thus, Cantonese has become a way of struggle against the domination of the outsiders for the locals with strong ethnic consciousness.
To conclude, protecting Cantonese in PRD has become more important since the 1990s mainly because Hong Kong and central government fail to understand Cantonese is not just a regional lingual franca and suppress its existence rapidly.
On the contrary, the genuine public uphold Cantonese as a precious intangible heritage with international prestige, the foundation of local culture, the symbol of local identity and hence defend the linguistic status and use of Cantonese fiercely.
Although many countries try to achieve solidarity through linguistic conformity, there are also prosperous multiethnic and multilingual countries that achieve the same goal by preserving the linguistic diversity.
If policy makers really hope to achieve a harmonious society, they should recognize the complex multicultural and multi-linguistic reality of China, respect the linguistic right of individuals and preserve Cantonese and other dialects or languages at their upmost through revising the current national policy.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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–Brandon Okpalobi has made waves in Miami’s non-profit space with his organization Dibia Dream.
-The non-profit exposes at risk youth to unique opportunities in STEM fields and in sports.
–Okpalobi is a former University of Miami basketball player. He also runs a for profit youth sports training company.
–Okpalobi has big dreams for the organization and hopes to see it expand to more locations across South Florida and other parts of the world.
Giving is a trait that Brandon Okpalobi exercises every day.
This young CEO of a youth training program works with children frequently to unlock their potential through sports.
A former University of Miami basketball player, Okpalobi became an entrepreneur and nonprofit founder after his playing days ended.
And in many ways, Okpalobi has never been part of a more important team than he is now.
Okpalobi, 35, founded Dibia Athletic Development in 2011.
The company, which trains young people in various athletic skills operates in Miami, New Orleans and overseas in Bermuda and the Bahamas.
He also expects to expand the program to Latin American and Nigeria soon.
In 2014 he was able to expand the brand to Dibia Dream, a non-profit that helps underserved youth develop life skills.
Okpalobi said that he gives back to his community because of the example he saw from his father.
“In 2007 my father took me to Nigeria and built a community center for his village,” Okpalobi said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “I saw the impact from it and I realize I need to give back more because that is going to bring the change we want to see.”
Okpalobi grew up in New Orleans to a Nigerian immigrant family.
He was a standout high school basketball player and attended the University of Miami in the early 2000s.
He was a guard on UM’s basketball team from 2001 to 2005 when he went undrafted in the NBA Draft.
When playing in the NBA was no longer his goal, Okpalobi used basketball as a vehicle to pursue other ventures.
“Basketball is my everything,” Okpalobi said. “It brought me to Miami, it kept me in Miami, it allowed me to start my for profit and opened up doors I never had.”
Dibia Dream is Okpalobi’s nonprofit that he launched in 2014.
This venture exposes under-served children to activities like art enrichment, science education and athletic training so they can develop new skills.
It has quickly become established in Miami’s growing non-profit space.
Through this program, Okpalobi has helped expose over 4,000 children to experiences they would have never otherwise experienced and has given out 600 scholarships for summer enrichment experiences.
One of the major features of Dibia Dream is STEM Saturdays.
On Saturdays during the school year, Dibia Dream allows students to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) projects.
Okpalobi designed the program to be a “safe haven” for at risk kids during the weekend.
In 2016 Okpalobi was a recipient of the BMe Community Award.
This is a $10,000 grant given to black men leaders in South Florida who are trying to better the community.
Okpalobi used his grant to expand the STEM and arts program at Dibia Dream.
“We want to give the kids as many options as possible,” Okpalobi said. “When kids have more exposure to these things they tend to look at different career opportunities.”
According to Okpalobi, Dibia means “master of knowledge/wisdom” in Igbo.
According to the Dibia website:
“The term refers to traditional healers, experts and doctors. The process of becoming a DIBIA involves years of training and many levels of initiation. DIBIA means TRAIN TO BE GREAT.”
In July 2017, Dibba Dream partnered with the Nyah Project to bring 10 students to South Africa.
The group worked with three schools on various projects and made an impact in the area according to Okpalobi.
Okpalobi has done a lot to serve the children and he plans to do even more in 2018.
Coming up in January, Diba Athletic Program is organizing the sports clinic for Zo’s Winter Groove, the event hosted by former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning.
He also plans to open two more facilities for Dibia Dream in North Miami and Liberty City.
Okpalobi’s latest act of giving was a toy drive he organized with Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School on December 20th.
The goal was to give toys to the less fortunate and homeless children at the school, but there was a problem.
How do you give toys to poor kids without embarrassing them in front of their classmates?
To keep the privacy of the children who were less fortunate, Okpalobi worked with 14 year old Ransom Everglades High School student Jack Fitzpatrick to provide a lunch from Jimmy Johns and a toy.
Fitzpatrick and his family raised $10,000 on GoFundMe for the kids at Eneida M. Hartner.
Last year, he raised $5,000 for the same cause.
Okpalobi is highly regarded at the school.
“It’s a blessing to have someone within the community to reach out and wants to be apart of the school,” Dr. Derick R. McKoy, the Principal of Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School told RISE NEWS. “He wants the best for children and he helps Eneida Hartner bring the world to the children.”
McKoy drove the point home further.
“You know the African Proverb, ‘it takes a village’?,” McKoy asked during an interview. “Well, I’m happy Brandon is in my village.”
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