Author - John Coyne

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Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right”
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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)
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“Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story” by Carole Sojka (Somali)
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Letter to the NYTIMES — Andrew McCormick (Ghana)
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Peace Corps Chief nominee Olsen (Tunisia) met with widespread approval
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CHASING HEISENBERG by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia)
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Review — WRITING ABROAD: A GUIDE TO TRAVELERS by Peter Chilson (Niger)
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“Fifty Years Fly By” by Ada Jo Mann (Chad)
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Peace Corps lacks certain sexual assault prevention measures says OSC
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Review — MEANDERINGS by Gerald Karey (Turkey)

Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right”

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66) Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right’ CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE BY CHRIS GOLDEN JANUARY 19, 2018 AT 3:25AM We’re just a little over halfway through the month of January, but I think we’ve pretty much established what the “covfefe” of 2018 is going to be: “s***hole countries.” It’s not even clear whether or not the president actually said those words, mind you, but it’s sparked a debate about the diversity lottery and other forms of visas for individuals from nations that wouldn’t ordinarily qualify for migration to the United States. Oh, and it’s also given the left an opportunity to vehemently declare the president a flaming racist, but they’ve also utilized taco salads for that selfsame purpose. (Seriously.) There have been plenty of people who have come to Trump’s defense over this matter, including the usual immigration hawks. One . . .

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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)

  American Crime Story: Author Maureen Orth On the “Fact-Based Reporting” of Her Book Vulgar Favors   Before Andrew Cunanan shot designer Gianni Versace on the front steps of his Miami home in July 1997, Vanity Fair contributor Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) was already steeped in the mind of the serial killer. That murder is portrayed in the upcoming FX series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is based on Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. At the time of the murder, Orth had spent two months reporting for Vanity Fair on Cunanan and the events that might have led to him to kill four other people before finally targeting Versace. Even before law enforcement announced that Cunanan was a suspect, Orth and the fact checkers at Vanity Fair had a hunch they knew exactly who had pulled the trigger at Ocean Drive. The full story at: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/still-watching-versace-episode-2-maureen-orth

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“Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story” by Carole Sojka (Somali)

      Carole Sojka (Somali 1962-64) is the author of two mystery novels set in Florida featuring a female police detective named Andi Battaglia and her male partner, Greg Lamont — A Reason to Kill, and So Many Reasons to Die. She has also published a stand-alone mystery novel, Psychic Damage, set in Southern California. She has had a number of short stories published in various venues and is also on the board of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles. You can read her most recent story, “Bitter Vengeance ” at Kings River Life.  

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Letter to the NYTIMES — Andrew McCormick (Ghana)

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Carol Scott (Ethiopia 1966-68). — JC • To the Editor: President Trump should skip Mar-a-Lago and spend a weekend in Mankessim, Ghana, on the farm of my friend Adjei, whom I first met nearly 40 years ago while serving in the Peace Corps. Contrary to his racist stereotyping, the president would learn from Adjei about the brutal economics of successfully farming eight acres using only a machete in the relentless tropical heat. He would see a work ethic that shames our own. Despite having a small house with no electricity or running water, Adjei and his wife have educated five children on a daily income equal to a cappuccino. There are tens of millions of rural Africans living like Adjei. President Trump should get to know at least one. ANDREW MCCORMICK VILLANOVA, PA.

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Peace Corps Chief nominee Olsen (Tunisia) met with widespread approval

The nomination of RPCV Josephine Olsen (Tunisia 1966-68) continues to get rave approval from the NPCA and other RPCVs, some of whom even know this woman. I assume, based on her Peace Corps history, that Jody got the position as a ‘final thank you’ from her good friend Senator Orrin Hatch. I suspect also, like Hatch and most Republicans, she voted for and supports the president and considers it an “honor” to represent the president in our Peace Corps countries, which Trump has now famously called “shitholes.” I assume Jody Olsen is not ‘womanly enough’ to denounce that statement since no other Republican Senator or Congressman has either. What is most concerning to me–at my advanced age–is whether, as a senior citizen, Jody, in her mid-’70s, is up for the job and able to fulfill her duties as she has recently (March 2017) spoken openly and eloquently about her Stage . . .

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CHASING HEISENBERG by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia)

Michael Joseloff (Tunisia 1967-69) just published, on January 9, 2018, an Amazon eBook Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb that tells the story of The Manhattan Project through the lives of three top Allied scientists and Hitler’s chief atomic scientist, a former friend, turned bitter enemy. Joseloff’s interest in the atom bomb dates back to 1993, when he produced a segment for The NewsHour on the “father of the bomb,” J. Robert Oppenheimer. Michael is a four-time Emmy Award-winning news and documentary producer. He was a producer with The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (PBS) from 1983 to 1995. His documentaries have aired on PBS, including the acclaimed series FRONTLINE, The History Channel, Discovery, CNBC, A&E, and other major cable TV channels. As Michael related, “The Peace Corps started me down the road that eventually led to Chasing Heisenberg.  I used USAID supplied documentaries in my teaching in Tunisia.  One week they sent me a film of Apollo . . .

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Review — WRITING ABROAD: A GUIDE TO TRAVELERS by Peter Chilson (Niger)

  Writing Abroad: A Guide to Travelers By Peter Chilson (Niger (1985-87) & Joanne B. Mulcahy The University of Chicago Press 224 pages $22.50 (paperback), $67.50 (cloth), $13.50 (Kindle) Reviewed by David Arnold (Ethiopia 1964-66) • EDITING THE WORK of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, I have learned that travel writing seems at first to be the easiest form of written narrative. That may be true if only you and your grandchildren are going to read it, but publishable travel writing is hard work. Most readers of a travel story in a magazine, a book or on a blog will not pay the fare and follow that writer’s taken path. They read the story so they won’t have to go, or they use the article to decide whether to go. Usually, they go somewhere else. In the end, the traveler’s tale must be satisfying as a passive reading experience. It takes . . .

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“Fifty Years Fly By” by Ada Jo Mann (Chad)

    Fifty Years Fly By Ada Jo Mann (Chad 1967-69)   Am I still the girl in that photo from Peace Corps training in the Virgin Island of St. Croix full of hope and promise for a world without war where no one goes hungry and women rule from beyond the kitchen where skin color is admired for the beauty of its hue and good deeds trump wealth and greed where science is a weapon against sickness and our past crimes of ignorance? Fifty years fly by and the girl in that photo has become a white-haired woman with the same hopes and dreams but in this present photo a tear glistens on her cheek.   • Ada Jo Mann  began her career in international development and social change as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chad from 1967-69. As a partner in Innovation Partners International, she collaborates with clients . . .

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Peace Corps lacks certain sexual assault prevention measures says OSC

  Office of Special Counsel Finds Despite Progress, Peace Corps Lacks Certain Sexual Assault Prevention Measures, Encourages Clear Policies to Protect Volunteers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jill Gerber, (202) 804‐7065; jgerber@osc.gov WASHINGTON, D.C./Jan. 5, 2018 – The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) concluded that despite significant progress, the Peace Corps has failed to implement certain sexual assault prevention measures. OSC also encouraged clearer policies and training to better protect volunteers.  The conclusions came after the Peace Corps completed a report prompted by whistleblower disclosures to OSC. “I have determined that while the report contains the information required by statute, some of the findings are not reasonable,” Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner wrote to President Trump.   “I encourage the Peace Corps to establish clear, consistent, and effective policies to ensure the prevention of sexual assault and other crimes against volunteers, timely responses to safety risks, and the provision of adequate . . .

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Review — MEANDERINGS by Gerald Karey (Turkey)

Meanderings: Inventions, Fripperies, Bits, & Bobs Gerald Karey (Turkey 1965-67) Small Batch Books 116 pages September 2017 $14.95 (paperback}   Reviewed by Will Siegel (Ethiopia  1962-64) • I’ve read that book titles should be ironic so as to provoke a sense of mystery, or perhaps just to turn the reader in the opposite direction of moral authority. Gerald Karey promotes the ironic in the first section of essays in his third volume, Meanderings. The subtitle seems to downplay expectations (Inventions, Fripperies, Bits, & Bobs), or call up the image of an English Squire. The irony here might be the author’s reluctance to take himself seriously, though he’s dedicated the volume to journalists killed in action, which portends a more serious look at the world. But remember we’re dealing here with irony. The first section “Sirens,” in fact, starts with a look back at the atomic bomb scare of many of our . . .

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