NewsOK Editor Yvette Walker has been blogging from the International Press Institute in Trinidad. Follow tweets from the convention below.
|My host group arranged for a tour of Trinidad today, and while I can’t post photos now (the wi-fi has been difficult) trust me when I say the island is incredibly beautiful, diverse and unusual.The beautiful: We went up into the mountains, very high, with an elevation of more than 2,000 feet. My ears popped on the way up. The winding streets that climb higher and higher are trusted mostly to old Toyota trucks (you see them everywhere). Farmers live up here, and plant chives, tomatoes, cabbages, banana and plantain trees and other fruits and vegetable on steep, verticle plots of land — terraced plots cut into the mountainside. So steep, it’s amazing they can cultivate this land, and they do it without ropes our climbing apparatus, we were told.
We went to the fourth highest peak, where on a clear day you can see Venezuela, only seven miles away.
The diverse: The city of Port-of-Spain is populated with people of African descent, but the city is a port city and brings lots of different people here. Also the natural gas industry here is one of the major industries, bringing people from around the world.
The unusual: Native people love Kentucky Fried Chicken. There are 42 KFCs on this island alone, and I’m told sales are highest here than in anywhere else in the world. I can’t confirm that now, but it’s a fun factoid.
– Yvette Walker
I arrived in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Wednesday night after 13 hours of travel, I was happy to arrive at the Hyatt Regency, check in and go to bed.
The hotel is American-style Caribbean luxury, with American outlets, American channels on the television and English spoken everywhere. Still there is very much a Caribbean flavor to the decor and to the hotel. At the breakfast buffet, nestled beside the scramble eggs and the bacon was an unfamiliar breadlike concoction and also spicy sauces.
International Press Institute Executive Director Alison Bethel and her group arrived here days ahead of the World Congress to make sure everything is ready. It’s the first year the IPI has held the World Congress in the Caribbean.
Bethel said the group’s membership has been calling for this location, and she said it makes sense to shine a light on this part of the world.
The most dangerous places for journalists to do their job is in Latin America, led by Mexico and Honduras. This is a perfect time to have it here, have a chance to engage the Caribbean, which is often ignored when you talk about press freedom and journalism ethics.”
- Yvette Walker
While connecting in Miami to my final destination of Trinidad, I figured I would make some Thunder connections. I was stuck in the airport and couldn’t get outside, however. I didn’t see anybody in Thunder blue, but on the jetway I announced to a friendly runway worker that I was from Oklahoma City.
He groaned. A true Heat fan. And then he said, smiling, “Are you going to watch them lose?”
“That last game was tough,” I answered. “But they are young, they could come back.”
“I know, they are so young and so talented!” he said, referring to player Kevin Durant. “I wish I was 23 again!”
Another woman on her way to St. Croix said she, too, was from OKC and quickly headed for her gate.
Thunder Up!” she said down the terminal.
- Yvette Walker
Photo by Bryan Terry: Oklahoma City’s Lazar Hayward, left, Royal Ivey, Cole Aldrich, and Reggie Jackson wait for the start of a practice before Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena, Monday, June 18, 2012.
Telling people you are going to Port of Spain can be confusing. No, I’m not headed to Spain, I’m going to Trinidad. The International Press Institute is holding its World Congress there beginning Sunday and I’ll be on a panel about Ethics and Social Media.
So, off to Port of Spain, Trinidad. I’m leaving a few days early to take advantage of a little sun and fun, and who wouldn’t? Over the next few days I’ll be blogging about the country and the conference.
I wrote a story yesterday about a Facebook rumor that the Noble animal shelter was closing, and that they planned to euthanize all the dogs.
The rumor was only partially true — the animal shelter wasn’t closing, but the plan was to euthanize some of the dogs if they weren’t adopted by today.
In a way, the Facebook rumor might have done more good than harm. Several people posted throughout the past few days about the urgent need to adopt the dogs at the shelter. And the Noble animal control officer reported today (via Facebook) that all of the dogs were either adopted or rescued:
A lot of animal lovers banded together via social media to get the word out about the dogs that needed homes. It’s great to see that their efforts were successful.
If you would like to help future animals of the Noble shelter, you can donate dry dog food and cat litter at the Noble Police Department at 115 N Second St. They cannot accept cash donations.
NPR reports that the U.S. State Department released a report Tuesday that estimates 27 million people are trafficked each year.
The report ranks countries and looks at how victims can be protected. it also provides insight into the United States’ problem with human trafficking.
Even though the report noted that the U.S. ranked as one of the most active countries in combating human trafficking, officials still need to improve techniques to monitor trafficking trends, according to U.S. News.
Read the full report here.
Watch the announcement of the report on the U.S. State Department’s website.
Photo by Cliff Owen: Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton presents Vannak Anan Prum, of Cambodia, a plaque for his work to end human trafficking, during the release of the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2012.
The zoo has outgrown its current medical facility and has plans for a new $9 million medical center. Learn more about the new facility in the video above.
A Daily Caller reporter who interrupted President Barack Obama last week during a speech about the president’s new immigration policy appeared on Fox News to defend his actions.
Neil Munro told Sean Hannity that he thought Obama was mid-sentence when he interrupted him.
The only way to ask [Obama] a question at these events is to get him at the end as he’s leaving just before he dashes back to the Oval Office…Yes, I mistimed it. I thought I was getting him at the end and frankly, I was wrong about that,” Munro said.