It's one of those days—actually, weeks—when we are definitely trying to take a sip from a fire hose. The question is, "What to focus on?"
-Gov. Mark Sanford's big news about his extramarital affair (we'll get to it tomorrow in Barbershop, but I want to know—is there something in the water)?
-The Metro accident (maybe later if there's more to say about infrastructure, but for now we're just glad our Jasmine, who was on the train, is safe and recovering)?
-Iran? We'll keep looking for unique voices...
-Shaq moving to Cleveland (Go, Lebron!)?
In the end, we decided to stick with our international stories for today, to focus on the places and people who are not necessarily cresting the headlines elsewhere but which we think you want to hear about. To that end, Amnesty International's Secretary General just returned from Zimbabwe. Why do we care? Because a year ago, Zimbabwe was more or less where Iran is now, dealing with disputed elections that the authorities say propped up the regime but which many people on the ground refuse to accept as legitimate. So we decided to call upon her.
And a crisis of rape in South Africa...I remember when friends of mine moved to the country to work years ago and they told me about the "rape gates" they had installed in their homes or flats. Rape gates are iron security bars that seal off the sleeping areas to protect mostly women and children from intruders. "Why would anyone need that?" I asked. Now we know why.
Rape is epidemic in South Africa. This has long been discussed and now is confirmed. Now, the question is why and what to do about it. So we called a man named Bafana Khumalo, an activist for gender equality who works primarily with MEN, to talk about this. This is not an easy story, but it is important, and we'll bring you more personal stories in the days ahead we hope.
And, because we cannot leave you devastated, we'll tell you about SOUL POWER, a new documentary that goes behind the scenes to that 1974 soul concert that was supposed to accompany the famous Ali-Frazer title fight in Kinshasa Zaire. The fight was delayed, but the show had to go on, and we have a rare interview with the legendary Bill Withers who was there.