I just discovered that Rumer Godden‘s story for children, The Diddakoi, was actually made into a TV drama by the BBC in 1976. If you go to this page, and scroll down, you can see some pictures from the original series. I have been trying to find a video or a DVD of this television drama, but so far I have been unsuccessful. I will keep trying.
According to the BBC,
A report into an ambitious housing scheme for Australia‘s Aboriginals has found that not one dwelling has been built in the year since it began.
The project aims to construct 750 homes in the Northern Territory and refurbish hundreds of others.Officials blamed “administration problems” for the delays – which prompted one minister to quit. The slow pace of this ambitious programme to help Aboriginal families almost brought down the Northern Territory government when a former minister quit in disgust at the lack of progress.
This BBC news report tells about how Gypsy gangs use children to beg and steal money: How Gypsy gangs use child thieves
It appears to be true. It is unfortunate because a common stereotype of Gypsies is as thieves. Here, for example, is part of the Wikipedia entry on Romani:
Many fictional depictions of the Romani in literature and art present Romanticized narratives of their supposed mystical powers of fortune telling, and their supposed irascible or passionate temper paired with an indomitable love of freedom and a habit of criminality.
Here is more from the BBC article:
Madrid police say that 95% of children under 14 that they pick up stealing on the streets are Roma from Romania.
Because the age of criminal responsibility in Spain is 14, there is little they can do.
More than 1,000 Romanian Roma live in just one of the many camps that lie on the outskirts of Madrid.
The conditions are appalling – rats roam freely amid the rubbish, and there is no sanitation.
Every day children from the camp head out into the city to steal and beg, and many are beaten by their minders if they do not return with money.
The BBC writes that a report has come out in Australia about Aboriginal social and economic trends. The report is not good:
The report measured 50 key indicators of disadvantage, and found that there has been no improvement in 80% of them.
There have been no gains, for instance, in literacy or numeracy rates.
In an otherwise bleak assessment, one of the few areas of improvement was employment.
Prim Minister Mr Rudd
called this a devastating report which was unacceptable and required decisive action.
The BBC article has links to several other stories about Aborigines living in Australia today:
More than 1,200 people have contracted swine flu in Australia – although no-one has died from it yet.
Read the whole report from the BBC.
The large numbers of people infected with the virus may mean the WHO will label the infection a pandemic.
What does pandemic mean? It means “global”. The origin of the word is
pándēmos common, public (pan- pan- meaning everything+ dêm(os) the people.
I don’t understand why it will suddenly become a pandemic, just because a lot of people in Australia get sick with the virus.
Nor do I understand why the WHO alert level is
currently at phase five of a six-level scale
when a) the virus is not getting stronger or more dangerous, and
b) more people are not dying of it.
The combined effect of using the word “pandemic” (which in English sounds like “panic”) together with the 6-level scale of “flu alert” is to frighten people and make it more likely that people will react in panic rather than rationally.
A BBC reporter points out:
BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh says
it is true that the word “pandemic” sounds scary. But it simply means a global epidemic of an infectious disease. He says it is not a signal that the virus is getting more virulent – only a measure of its geographical spread…. The media must play a part here, emphasising the facts about this virus and not over-reacting
Yes, thank you, Mr. Walsh.
What do you think about the way the media have reacted to the swine flu?
From the BBC news website:
Torrential rains and strong winds have left at
least two people dead and forced thousands from their homes on
Australia’s east coast, officials say.
Large areas of New
South Wales and Queensland have been declared disaster zones. As many
as 20,000 people have been cut off by the floodwaters. The flooding is the most extensive in the two states for 30 years.