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The Latest: Prince Philip Dies, Kim Jong-Un's Famine Warning, Lost Pharaoh City

Farmers in France heat up their vineyards to protect them from the frost
Farmers in France heat up their vineyards to protect them from the frost

Welcome to Friday, where Prince Philip dies, Kim Jong-un warns of upcoming hardships, and archeologists unearth a "lost golden city" in Egypt. German daily Die Welt also looks at the problematic white hegemony in the world of western classical music.

• Prince Philip dies aged 99: Buckingham Palace has announced the death of the Queen's husband for 73 years. Flags on landmark buildings across the UK are being lowered to half-mast as a period of mourning has been announced.

• North Carolina mass shooting: Authorities have identified former NFL player Phillip Adams, 32, as the man suspected of killing five people, including two children, yesterday outside Rock Hill, North Carolina. The suspect then killed himself after a standoff with police. The attack came as U.S. President Joe Biden announced new gun restrictions.

• South Korean tanker held in Iran freed: A South Korean tanker and its captain detained in Iran have been freed, according to the Foreign Ministry in Seoul. Iran had seized the tanker in January due to pollution violations.

• Russia's interference in Ukraine: A Russian official has warned that Russia could interfere in the Ukraine conflict by helping Russian-speaking residents in the east of the country.

• George Floyd's cause of death: George Floyd died from lack of oxygen caused by restraint caused by being handcuffed face down in the street with Derek Chauvin's knee on his neck, medical experts say at the trial of Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. This contradicts the version of the former police's defense, which attributed Floyd's death to a fentanyl overdose.

• North Korean leader warns of historic economic crisis: In a rare admission, Kim Jong-un has used a party speech to warn of upcoming hardships caused by the pandemic, U.S. sanctions and natural disasters. The North Korean leader ominously compared the situation to the historic famine that killed thousands in the country in the 1990s.

• Pharaonic find: Egyptian archeologists find the 3,000-year-old "lost golden city" of Aten, hailed as the largest ancient city found in the country. Buried under sand for millennia, Aten dates back to the golden age of the pharaohs.

"Left alone," the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau explains in a front-page article about single parents who've been hit hard financially and psychologically by the coronavirus crisis, with state aids "often falling short."

No more Mozart? Classical music v. cancel culture

The University of Oxford is planning to change its curriculum to focus on fewer white composers and more non-European music. But does it really make sense to bury Beethoven and Brahms? asks Manuel Brug in German daily Die Welt.

The Black Lives Matter movement and calls for cuts to the syllabus in the name of diversity have reached university music departments. Even professors at the renowned University of Oxford are reducing the number of classical composers that students will study, to make space for other forms of music, especially non-western and non-white composers. That means: Duke Ellington instead of Mozart, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor instead of Brahms, Tan Dun instead of Beethoven, and Unsuk Chin instead of Ethel Smith.

But what should be on the new curriculum, which supposedly had too many works by white European composers from the era of slavery? Should the well-traveled, learned Mozart be blamed for the era in which he lived? You could hold seminars about how for centuries female and non-European composers were ignored and had little chance of breaking into the classical canon. But it isn't always possible to correct the mistakes of the past in this way, and searching for lost scores from unrecognized geniuses with the right skin color won't bring them out of the woodwork.

Is music that "hasn't shaken off its links with the colonial past" really a "slap in the face" for some students who feel confronted by the white hegemony, as the Sunday Telegraph claims? A university spokesperson speaking on Classic FM seemed to play this down, saying professors will "still teach critical analysis and the history of western classical music, and have no plans to reduce the curriculum." At the same time, the University of Oxford is making an effort to "allow students to study a wider range of non-western cultures and popular music than before." So perhaps a little harmony.

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고난의 행군

Korean for the "Arduous March," a period of famine in North Korea between 1994 and 1998. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has used the term in a party speech to warn of upcoming economic hardships.

This is not a coup.

— In an hour-long interview with CNN, Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the Myanmar military, denies the unlawfulness of the Feb. 1 ousting of the government and rejects responsibility for the violence that has already killed more than 600 people.

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Is Disney's "Wish" Spreading A Subtle Anti-Christian Message To Kids?

Disney's new movie "Wish" is being touted as a new children's blockbuster to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary. But some Christians may see the portrayal of the villain as God-like and turning wishes into prayers as the ultimate denial of the true message of Christmas.

photo of a kid running out of a church

For the Christmas holiday season?

Joseph Holmes

Christians have always had a love-hate relationship with Disney since I can remember. Growing up in the Christian culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, all the Christian parents I knew loved watching Disney movies with their kids – but have always had an uncomfortable relationship with some of its messages. It was due to the constant Disney tropes of “follow your heart philosophy” and “junior knows best” disdain for authority figures like parents that angered so many. Even so, most Christians felt the benefits had outweighed the costs.

That all seems to have changed as of late, with Disney being hit more and more by claims from conservatives (including Christian conservatives) that Disney is pushing more and more radical progressive social agendas, This has coincided with a steep drop at the box office for Disney.

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