Japanese man, 115, is world’s oldest person

Updated 18 December 2012
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Japanese man, 115, is world’s oldest person

TOKYO: A Japanese mayor has hailed a resident of his city for becoming the world’s oldest person. At 115 years old, Jiroemon Kimura inherited the title from an American woman who died Monday.

Yasushi Nakayama, the mayor of Kyotango, near Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, confirmed Kimura’s status yesterday, calling him “the pride of our town.” Kimura, born April 19, 1897, is 15 days younger than his predecessor, Dina Manfredini, who died in Iowa less than two weeks after inheriting the title as the world’s oldest living person. 

Kimura, a former postal employee, has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. He lives with his son’s family.

 


Review: A political artist talks humanity, refugees and mass migration

Updated 55 min 24 sec ago
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Review: A political artist talks humanity, refugees and mass migration

BEIRUT: This precious blue book is a compilation of famed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s thoughts on the global refugee crisis, edited by prominent American collector and publisher Larry Warsh. “Humanity” is full of important messages that can be delivered at any time, hence the handy, bag-friendly size.
The quotations, selected from interviews, magazine features and podcasts from around the world, show Ai Weiwei’s thoughts on humanity, mass migration and refugees.
According to his interview excerpts, the artist believes we have lost the capacity for compassion.
“The refugee crisis is not about refugees, rather, it is about us. Our prioritization of financial gain over people’s struggle for the necessities of life is the primary cause of much of this crisis. The West has all but abandoned its belief in humanity and support for the precious ideals contained in declarations on universal human rights, it has sacrificed these ideals for short-sighted cowardice and greed,” he once said.
Ai Weiwei understands how it feels to be completely destitute in a foreign land, with nothing but one’s humanity. In 1959, during the Cultural Revolution, he accompanied his father to a labor camp in the Gobi Desert. When he returned to Beijing with his parents in 1975, he was 19 and determined to fight against injustice. Not afraid to criticize the Chinese authorities, he became an outspoken artist-cum-activist. He is now considered one of the most iconic artists of our times. He was detained in 2011 at Beijing airport, remained in custody for 81 days and was subsequently placed under house arrest. His passport was taken away and returned in 2015. That same year, Amnesty International awarded Ai Weiwei the Ambassador of Conscience Award for his work in defense of human rights and he relocated to Berlin.
Each quote in this book pricks our conscience, makes us feel uncomfortable, and reminds us that our indifference and and lack of action toward other human beings is inhuman.
For example, in the book, the artist is quoted as saying: “Allowing borders to determine your thinking is incompatible with the modern era.”
A powerful statement that is one of many to be found in this thought-provoking read.