Writing on the Wall
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced this week that, after six weeks of negotiations, no agreement had been reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. And so, just like that, Hollywood’s TV and film writers went on strike on 3rd May, turning off the taps for new scripted entertainment.

The stages of late-night shows such as Saturday Night Live have been vacated with immediate effect. Network TV in the US and the mighty streaming services upon which people have come to rely will gradually run out of material. Even if the strike stops, productions will be affected by decreased preparation time. The strike could lead to programmes being cancelled too.

Writers’ strikes aren’t new in Hollywood. The last time the WGA went on a 100-day hiatus, between 2007 and 2008, the cost to California’s economy alone was $2bn (€1.8bn) and it affected a wide range of peripheral businesses. To outsiders, the strike might seem to be motivated by little more than a request for more money. But such a mobilisation was inevitable: the film industry is at a potential flashpoint. To the WGA’s 11,500 members, the craft of professional screenwriting is at stake. The rise of streaming services has brought seismic changes to the industry and resulted in many writers struggling to earn a living wage. Staff numbers have been cut and, in many cases, so have payments for material reuse.

With the use of artificial intelligence looming large and a lack of funding for “mini-rooms”–spaces where writers can throw around ideas about unconfirmed projects–the question of whether screenwriting can remain a viable career needs to be addressed.
Karen Krizanovich,
A film journalist and broadcaster

Corpses on the Shore
There is a problem with large numbers of corpses arriving on the shore. We don’t know who they are or what shipwreck they came from—and the number is increasing”—Faouzi Masmoudi, an official in the Tunisian city of Sfax. More than 200 refugees have died in shipwrecks off the coast of Tunisia in 10 days as they try to reach Europe. But despite the risk, there are still many people willing to make the journey, even as the European Union tries to pull up the drawbridge.
Al Jazeera

So Shameful!
The man who has been accused of sexual exploitation, by six female athletes and of sexual assault by a seventh who is underage, is just strutting all around with the Delhi Police bothering not even to interrogate him. The SC's intervention, as yet, has resulted only in registering two (apparently pointless) FIRs.

In too stark a contrast, the international medal-winning wrestlers peacefully agitating for justice have been assaulted with the whole world watching.

That's where we've landed ourselves today.

If it's the plight of the internationally famed athletes, what an ordinary folk can expect!
Sukla Sen

The First Victory Stop
A lot of people know of the Moscow Victory Parade, held on June 24 of the same year (1945), but few know the true first Victory Parade, held in the den of Nazi-fascism hours after the annihilation of the beast.

On May 4, 1945, the 5th Shock Army of Colonel-General Nikolai Berzarin held, in front of the Ancient Museum, next to the Berlin Cathedral, a small military parade to commemorate the taking of the city.

The parade ended up taking place even before the formal signing of the surrender, which would only take place days later, and on that occasion the men marched in the same uniforms they had used to capture Berlin, with the city still burning and with the sounds of gunshots and artillery nearby of the German capital as several local conflicts unfolded in the following days.

The brave soldiers of the Red Army paraded accompanied by horse-pulled infantry cannons. The symbolic act was intended to praise the hard fight that the USSR had undertaken to not only liberate its territory occupied by fascists but also to free much of Europe.

Moments later, the soldiers marched a few blocks away, and also extended the parade to other parts of the city, marching next to the Reichstag building and crossing the symbolic Brandenburg Gate, which had earned a red band with Russian inscriptions glorifying the entrance of the Red Army in Berlin: "Glories to the Soviet forces who hoisted the Victory Flag over Berlin!

Berzarin, the commander in charge of conducting the military parade, would later become the Soviet officer in charge of the USSR occupation forces in Berlin.
Lucas Rubio
[Source: Stalin Society]

Khader Adnan
Early in the morning on May 2nd, Khader Adnan was found unconscious in an Israeli prison cell, and later declared dead. A member of the political wing of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, Adnan had been on hunger strike for 87 days to protest his jailing by the Israeli military on charges of affiliation with a terrorist group, support for terrorism, and incitement to violence. Adnan is at least the seventh Palestinian prisoner to die from a hunger strike since 1970.

His death sparked Palestinian protests and international outcry. At the United Nations (UN), for instance, experts said his death was “a tragic testament to Israel’s cruel and inhumane detention policy.” Hours after Adnan’s death, militant groups in Gaza fired rockets into Israel, injuring at least 12. In response, the Israeli air force bombed Gaza, the coastal enclave battered by repeated Israeli bombing campaigns and a devastating air, land, and sea blockade.

One week after Adnan’s death, his body has not been returned to his family because the Defense Ministry decided to keep it. Adnan is now one of over 130 Palestinians whose bodies are being kept by Israel in freezers or unmarked graves.

 “They want to control us in life and control us in death”, said Buttu, the Palestinian Lawyer.
Alex Kane, Jewish Current


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Vol 55, No. 48, May 28 - Jun 3, 2023