About: the world this week, 17 October to 23 October 2021, Haiti’s waywardness, shooting in Space, Hindus under attack, floods in Kerala, India reaches a vaccination landmark, and a shooting gone bad.
Haiti is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles Archipelageo of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and Jamaica and south of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Haiti is the world’s leading producer of vetiver, a root plant used to make luxury perfumes and essential oils among other things. Vetiver is derived from the Tamil word ‘வெட்டிவேர்’ meaning ‘root that is dug up.’
About half the population of Haiti have roots in the agricultural sector but it still relies upon imports for most of its food needs. And Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the World.
In July this year, its President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in an attack on his private residence and the ‘root’ of the forces behind is yet to be dug up. Mercenaries appear with ease and ‘rowdy gangs’ seem to be able to spring-up from the ground at will and get away with whatever mischief they do.
Last Saturday as many as seventeen American Missionaries were kidnapped for ransom by gang members in Haiti, including three minors. The missionaries were travelling by a vehicle to Titanyen, north of the capital Port-au-Prince, after visiting an orphanage, when the kidnapping occurred.
Haiti may need to import help, to root out this ‘dangerous plant’ of violent gangs that is spreading through the country, keeping it the grip of violence, and strangulating its rise.
In a first of its kind, the Russians are ‘shooting’ in Space. Well, really!
Over the course of 12 days Producer-Director Klim Shipenko, Russian Actress Yulia Peresild, and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy filmed a movie, called, ‘Challenge’ – the first feature film shot entirely in space – working from the International Space Station. The had docked on 5th October and undocked on 16 October 2021, to safely return to Earth.
The movie tells the story of a surgeon, played by Peresild, who has to operate on a sick cosmonaut in space, portrayed by Novitskiy, because the cosmonaut’s medical condition prevents him from returning to Earth to be treated.
Previously a few films have been shot on board the space station, including a 2002 IMAX Documentary that Hollywood Actor Tom Cruise narrated. ‘Apogee of Fear’, a 2012 science fiction film running for about eight minutes, was also filmed in space by entrepreneur and space tourist Richard Garriott. Tom Cruise and Director Doug Liman revealed in 2020 that they were working together on a movie to be filmed in space, with NASA’s cooperation. The project is being developed in collaboration with Elon Musk’s SpaceX. It’s a ‘mission possible’ that Tom Cruise could stay in the Space Station sometime this October. And he probably got the hang of it during a chat with the all-civilian SpaceX Inspiration-4 crew during their recent trip to space.
But, Russia has become the first nation to do this kind of shooting: they always seem to be one small challenging step ahead of America’s NASA. Some Big Steps coming up?
Muslim majority Bangladesh – a nation which India enabled to come into being, in the first place – in under severe stress with radical Islamists unleashing violence against the minority Hindus, under the garb of blasphemy.
Brutal attacks, vandalism, looting, and arson has returned to haunt Hindus in Bangladesh’s Noakhali district, as close to 150 households were attacked and at least three killed in a deadly clash on 13th October. A day later, a frenzied mob of radical Islamists attacked the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in the Noakhali district in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh. The sculpture of its founder, was burnt down during the arson attack on the temple. In another incident, in Hajiganj Upazila, Chandpur District in the Chittagong Division, Islamists also brutally raped an entire Hindu family including a 10 years old girl.
Attacks on Hindus is increasing at an alarming rate across the free World. In America a three-day online conference, ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva,’ which was held last month with at least 30,000 attendees generated a lot of heat & dust. Some said it failed to adequately distinguish between Hindutva, generally defined as Hindu nationalism, with Hinduism, the religion, which is a way of life.
Hinduism is the oldest religion in the World and has been harmlessly coexisting -even baby-sitting- with all the newcomers, over centuries. And it should be respected – left to be.
God’s Own Country, Kerala, as been on the Indian News headlines for many reasons, from initially being an example in tackling the pandemic – during the first wave- to having outrageously high and consistent daily infections – the highest in India – and maybe earnestly trying to set an example of how not to tackle the coronavirus – during the second wave. Poles apart, with the virus caught in between?
Now, Kerala is among the rains, with floods causing havoc, killing people and cutting off towns and villages when rivers started to overflow their banks. For eg.,several houses were washed away and people became trapped in the district of Kottayam. Days of incessantly heavy rainfall has caused deadly landslides and the Indian military has joined rescue efforts.
Akin to its experience with the pandemic, Kerala sees heavy rains every year bringing with it deadly floods and landslides- happening almost religiously despite its best efforts at managing the situation. Kerala probably has to do something new and different to prevent the effects of this almost recurring too-easy-to-predict event. You cannot expect different results doing things the same way. Can you? Stronger construction and clever selection of places to build Houses would be one approach; better preparedness and forewarning residents in flood prone areas would be another. Maybe moving-in to the famous backwater boats – with stronger moorings- during the rains, would be yet another? God and his country should decide!
India scripted history this Thursday by crossing a huge milestone in having done 100 crore or one billion vaccinations in less than 9 months, for a population of 1.38 billion.
So far, India has fully vaccinated about 30% of its adult population and given one dose to about 75%.
China is at the top spot with over 2.25 billion vaccine jabs and Russia is close behind India, having itself crossed the 1 billion mark, a day after India did.
This Thursday, Hollywood Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that accidentally killed a 42 years old woman Cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and injured the Film Director while shooting for his latest movie ‘Rust’, in a New Mexico set. For now, the film production’s been put on hold indefinitely as authorities investigate what happened.
Alec Baldwin famously played ex-US President Donald Trump in the Television series, ‘Saturday Night Live’. Some of the movies he has acted in are, The Hunt for Red October, The Marrying Man, The Getaway, Pearl Harbour, The Aviator, and Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation…
What are prop guns? What comes to mind is a non-functional weapon or a toy gun that fires caps to produce smoke. Actually the term refers to real guns used as props. The reason a film production company would use a real gun is to lend authenticity especially in close-up shots. Prop guns are used with blank cartridges that have all the elements of a real bullet/cartridge except the projectile at the tip, which strikes the target. When you pull the trigger, you only get the bang, the recoil, the muzzle flash, and an ejected shell. Tragedy can strike if the prop gun isn’t loaded properly – or from ‘rusty’ planning-say when a cartridge with a projectile tip had unknowingly become stuck and when fired the projectile hits the target.
This is not the first instance of a fatal accident on a film set due to a prop gun. Actor Brandon Lee, son of the legendary Bruce Lee, was fatally shot by Actor Michael Massee with a prop gun during the filming of the movie, ‘The Crow’ in 1993.
Similarly, in 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum fatally shot himself with a blank discharged from a Magnum Pistol, while jokingly playing with the pistol on set, amid repeated delays in the filming of the television series ‘Cover Up’.
More real shots coming up in the weeks ahead. Nothing to cover-up: it’s all in the open and everything to crow about. Stay with World Inthavaaram.