Washington, May 17 (AP/UNB) — The Turkish fiancée of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi asked U.S. lawmakers Thursday to launch an investigation into his killing and bring those responsible to justice.
"I cannot understand (why) the world still has not done anything about this." Hatice Cengiz told a congressional panel through a translator. Speaking in her native Turkish, she said that the ideals of the United States are at stake in the way the country responds to Khashoggi's killing.
"It wasn't just Jamal that was killed, it was also ... the values of the United States," she said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, was killed by agents of the kingdom in October after he entered a Saudi consulate to collect marriage documents. The killing, and President Donald Trump's muted response to it, sparked outrage in Congress among both parties.
Cengiz delivered emotionally raw testimony to the small group of lawmakers Thursday, describing the plans she and Khashoggi had to move to Washington together after their marriage.
"If someone told me that I would come here without Jamal to ask about Justice for him I would not have believed it," she said. "Jamal told me that Washington was a beautiful city and we would lead a beautiful life."
Partially in response to a growing appetite to reassess the U.S.-Saudi alliance, Congress passed legislation this year to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Trump vetoed the bill.
A trial is underway in Saudi Arabia for 11 people charged in the killing, but it's largely taking place behind closed doors. Human rights advocates have raised concerns and called for greater transparency from the Saudi government.
New York, May 17 (AP/UNB) — I.M. Pei (PAY), the versatile, globe-trotting architect who revived the Louvre with a giant glass pyramid and captured the spirit of rebellion at the multi-shaped Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has died at age 102.
Pei's death was confirmed Thursday by Marc Diamond, a spokesman for the architect's New York firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. One of Pei's sons, Li Chung Pei, told The New York Times his father had died overnight.
Pei's works ranged from the trapezoidal addition to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to the chiseled towers of the National Center of Atmospheric Research that blend in with the reddish mountains in Boulder, Colorado.
His buildings added elegance to landscapes worldwide with their powerful geometric shapes and grand spaces. Among them are the striking steel and glass Bank of China skyscraper in Hong Kong and the Fragrant Hill Hotel near Beijing.
His work spanned decades, starting in the late 1940s and continuing through the new millennium. Two of his last major projects, the Museum of Islamic Art, located on an artificial island just off the waterfront in Doha, Qatar, and the Macau Science Center, in China, opened in 2008 and 2009.
Pei painstakingly researched each project, studying its use and relating it to the environment. But he also was interested in architecture as art — and the effect he could create.
"At one level my goal is simply to give people pleasure in being in a space and walking around it," he said. "But I also think architecture can reach a level where it influences people to want to do something more with their lives. That is the challenge that I find most interesting."
Pei, who as a schoolboy in Shanghai was inspired by its building boom in the 1930s, immigrated to the United States and studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He advanced from his early work of designing office buildings, low-income housing and mixed-used complexes to a worldwide collection of museums, municipal buildings and hotels.
He fell into a modernist style blending elegance and technology, creating crisp, precise buildings.
His big break was in 1964, when he was chosen over many prestigious architects, such as Louis Kahn and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, to design the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Boston.
At the time, Jacqueline Kennedy said all the candidates were excellent, "But Pei! He loves things to be beautiful." The two became friends.
A slight, unpretentious man, Pei developed a reputation as a skilled diplomat, persuading clients to spend the money for his grand-scale projects and working with a cast of engineers and developers.
Some of his designs were met with much controversy, such as the 71-foot (22-meter) faceted glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre museum in Paris. French President Francois Mitterrand, who personally selected Pei to oversee the decaying, overcrowded museum's renovation, endured a barrage of criticism when he unveiled the plan in 1984.
Many of the French vehemently opposed such a change to their symbol of their culture, once a medieval fortress and then a national palace. Some resented that Pei, a foreigner, was in charge.
But Mitterrand and his supporters prevailed and the pyramid was finished in 1989. It serves as the Louvre's entrance, and a staircase leads visitors down to a vast, light-drenched lobby featuring ticket windows, shops, restaurants, an auditorium and escalators to other parts of the vast museum.
"All through the centuries, the Louvre has undergone violent change," Pei said. "The time had to be right. I was confident because this was the right time."
Another building designed by Pei's firm — the John Hancock Tower in Boston — had a questionable future in the early 1970s when dozens of windows cracked and popped out, sending glass crashing to the sidewalks, during the time the building was under construction.
A flurry of lawsuits followed among the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., the glass manufacturer, and Pei's firm. A settlement was reached in 1981.
No challenge seemed to be too great for Pei, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which sits on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Pei, who admitted he was just catching up with the Beatles, researched the roots of rock 'n' roll and came up with an array of contrasting shapes for the museum. He topped it off with a transparent tent-like structure, which was "open — like the music," he said.
In 1988, President Reagan honored him with a National Medal of Arts. He also won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, 1983, and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, 1979. President George H.W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.
Pei officially retired in 1990 but continued to work on projects. Two of his sons, Li Chung Pei and Chien Chung Pei, former members of their father's firm, formed Pei Partnership Architects in 1992. Their father's firm, previously I.M. Pei and Partners, was renamed Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.
The museum in Qatar that opened in 2008 was inspired by Islamic architectural history, especially the 9th century mosque of Ahmed ibn Tulun in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. It was established by the tiny, oil-rich nation to compete with rival Persian Gulf countries for international attention and investment.
Ieoh Ming Pei (YEE-oh ming) was born April 26, 1917, in Canton, China, the son of a banker. He later said, "I did not know what architecture really was in China. At that time, there was no difference between an architect, a construction man, or an engineer."
Pei came to the United States in 1935 with plans to study architecture, then return to practice in China. However, World War II and the revolution in China prevented him from coming back.
During the war, Pei worked for the National Defense Research Committee. As an "expert" in Japanese construction, his job was to determine the best way to burn down Japanese towns. "It was awful," he later said.
In 1948, New York City real estate developer William Zeckendorf hired Pei as his director of architecture. During this period, Pei worked on many large urban projects and gained experience in areas of building development, economics and construction.
Some of his early successes included the Mile High Center office building in Denver, the Kips Bay Plaza Apartments in Manhattan, and the Society Hill apartment complex in Philadelphia.
Pei established his own architectural firm in 1955, a year after he became a U.S. citizen. He remained based in New York City. Among the firm's accomplishments are the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
Pei's wife, Eileen, who he married in 1942, died in 2014. A son, T'ing Chung, died in 2003. Besides sons Chien Chung Pei and Li Chung Pei, he is survived by a daughter, Liane.
Dhaka, May 16 (UNB) - Mental health issues have risen significantly over the last decade and the rise of digital media may be one reason why, according to a national survey released, reports NBC News
The research, published by the American Psychological Association, found sharp increases in the number of young adults and adolescents who reported experiencing negative psychological symptoms — specifically in those born in 1995 or later, known as iGen. Coincidentally, the greatest spike in symptoms occurred in 2011, around the same time social media bursts onto the scene.
No corresponding increase was observed in older adults.
“We found a substantial increase in major depression or suicidal thoughts, psychological distress, and more attempted suicides after 2010, versus the mid-2000s, and that increase was by far the largest in adolescents and young adults,” said lead author Jean Twenge, author of the book “iGen” and professor of psychology at San Diego State University. “These trends are weak or non-existent among adults 26 years and over, suggesting a generational shift in mood disorders instead of an overall increase across all ages.”
Twenge and her team analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey that has looked at drug and alcohol use, mental health, and other health-related issues in U.S. individuals age 12 and over since 1971. They looked at survey responses from more than 200,000 adolescents age 12 to 17 from 2005 to 2017, and almost 400,000 adults age 18 and over from 2008 to 2017.
The questionnaire did not ask participants if they were diagnosed with depression or another mental condition, but instead asked individuals if they had experienced depressive symptoms in the past year. The rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression in the last 12 months increased 52 percent in adolescents from 2005 to 2017 and 63 percent in young adults age 18 to 25 from 2009 to 2017, the researchers found. There was also a 71 percent increase in young adults experiencing serious psychological distress in the previous 30 days from 2008 to 2017.
And the rate of young adults with suicidal thoughts or other suicide-related outcomes increased a staggering 47 percent from 2008 to 2017.
One reason for the increase may be that digital media use has had a bigger impact on teens and young adults than older adults who tend to have more stable social lives.
“Cultural trends in the last 10 years may have had a larger effect on mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes among younger generations compared with older generations,” said Twenge.
These results, which are unlikely to be due to genetics or economic woes, suggest that more research is needed to understand how digital communication versus face-to-face social interaction influences mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes, she added.
Recent studies have shown that more social media use is associated with increased reported symptoms of social anxiety, social isolation, and feelings of loneliness.
Aaron Fobian, clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, cautions against confusing the association of social media use and mental health conditions with cause and effect.
“We can’t say for certain that the rise we’re seeing is the direct result of social media use,” Fobian told NBC News. “For example, teens could have depressive or anxious symptoms and therefore spend more time on social media outlets to look for a way to connect.”
The new survey also found that young people are not sleeping as much as previous generations, which may also play a role in the rise of mental health issues. Sleep deprivation affects mood and is associated with anxiety and depression, research shows.
“Teenagers definitely use social media in a way that affects their sleep,” said Fobian. “They are exposed to light right before bed and that light exposure alone delays their sleep by 30 minutes. It also affects their social interactions with others.”
Twenge and Fobian urge parents to limit overall social media use and encourage their children to engage in social activities.
“It's important to think more mindfully about how we use our amusement time. That means getting more sleep and spending less time with digital media,” said Twenge.
Twenge encourages parents to uphold a “no phones in the bedroom” rule by setting up charging stations outside the bedroom. And parents should set the example by not only participating in the policy, but also discontinuing their phone use within one hour of bedtime, Fobian said.
“How lack of sleep and overall screen time affects one’s mental health is a real thing,” Fobian said. “And it's not just screen time, but it’s also what screen time has replaced. That matters because spending time with people face to face is a big protective factor against depression.”
“We sometimes assume that communicating electronically is as good, but it's not,” Fobian concluded.
The results of the study are published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Dubai, May 13 (AP) — Oman says it will reopen its embassy in Iraq, decades after it closed its diplomatic post.
Oman's Foreign Ministry made the announcement on Twitter on Sunday night.
The sultanate, on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, said it would "contribute to the development of relations between the two countries."
Iraq's Foreign Ministry earlier said it anticipated Oman would reopen its embassy.
Oman had closed its embassy in Iraq after dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.
The warming ties to Iraq follow Saudi Arabia in April opening a new consulate in Baghdad, part of efforts by Sunni Arab-ruled states in the Gulf to counter Iran's influence in Iraq.
Oman, ruled for decades by Sultan Qaboos bin Said, maintains close diplomatic ties to Iran.
Ouagadougou, May 13 (AP/UNB) — Authorities say gunmen have attacked a Catholic church in Burkina Faso, killing a priest and five worshippers.
The attack on Sunday took place in Dablo, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the capital, Ouagadougou.
Urbain Kabore, a government spokesman for the West African country's Sahel region, said the gunmen also set fire to a health center and destroyed all places serving alcohol.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the attacks bore the hallmarks of Islamic extremists who are known to be active in the area. An attack on a Protestant church about two weeks ago left six people dead.
Burkina Faso has been increasingly destabilized by jihadists from across the border in Mali. Attacks have included the kidnapping of foreigners.