Daily Archives: 23 September 2004

Japan Baseball Strike Ends

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese baseball players and club representatives reached a deal Thursday to end the first strike in the 70-year history of the sport in Japan, with owners agreeing to let newcomers into the leagues as early as next season.

The players, backed by the majority of fans, went on strike last weekend to protest a planned merger and to press owners to ease requirements for new teams. Weekday games have continued.

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Pitcairn’s Trial of the Century (or Two)

For the best coverage of celebrity justice in Pitcairn, one cannot beat the Head Heeb:

High drama will begin in Pitcairn today as seven islanders go to trial on sex crimes charges that have divided the island since 1999. The trial will take place before the Pitcairn Supreme Court, which sits in New Zealand, with some defendants attending court in Auckland and others via video hookup from Pitcairn. The accused face 96 counts, some dating from 45 years in the past, and the trial is expected to last several weeks.

If the defendants are convicted, they could be incarcerated in a prison they built themselves:

In the past few days, the men who stand accused have helped to heave the final shipment of barbed wire up to the newly built prison that may soon incarcerate them. Locals have dubbed it the “chicken run.” Children have been moved out of the schoolhouse so that it can be turned into a court….

Their conviction would also threaten the economic viability of the island, which would be left without enough able-bodied men to unload supplies from visiting ships.

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Language Politics in Rwanda?

KIGALI, Sep 20 (IPS) – Since the 1994 genocide, relations between France and Rwanda have been chilly due to France’s links to the Hutu-dominated regime which incited the carnage.

Up to now, France seems unwilling to come to terms with the fact that the former rebel movement, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), led by exiled Tutsis mainly from neighbouring Uganda, is now in control in the tiny central African country.

In July 1994, Rwanda, whose official language had been French since independence in 1962, decreed that all laws be published in both French and English and that daily transactions take place in either.

via the Head Heeb, whose post attracted an interesting comment.

It’s worth mentioning that one of the reasons that France was so strongly opposed to the Tutsi rebels was that they’d grown up in Uganda, a former British colony, and therefore spoke English, rather than French.

Over the medium term, I don’t think that we’ll see much switching between English and French in sub-Saharan Africa. Instead, we’ll see a continuing erosion of minority colonial languages as former Portuguese and Spanish colonies align more closely with the Anglophone and Francophone neighbors.

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Filed under Africa, France, language