News In Focus:
From The DMZ To Dismaland

News In Focus: A Look At This Week’s Most Interesting Stories

UK: British graffiti artist Banksy opened a theme park named “Dismaland” last Saturday.

The 2.5-acre “Bemusement Park” sits on a former lido in the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset, UK.

The artist described the park as a “family theme park unsuitable for small children” as it exhibits gruesome parody of Disney-style park features and gives an impression of gloominess and dereliction.

And even the theme park staff, who are recruited as “actors,” are deliberately rude and grumpy in their pink hi-vis jackets.

A fire-ravaged Disney-style castle and a dead Cinderella (in a crashed pumpkin carriage surrounded by frenzy photo-taking paparazzi) are among the notorious attractions.

Dismaland also displays works by 58 handpicked artists including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer.

Dismaland, despite its namesake and grim atmosphere, has attracted thousands of visitors queuing up half a mile for admission tickets.

The park will run until 27 September, for 36 days, with 4,000 tickets a day at £3 each.

Here’s an intro to Dismaland:


US: Two journalists were shot and killed during a live television broadcast in Virginia by a gunman who was later identified as a former colleague.

Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, a reporter and cameraman for WDBJ-7, a CBS affiliate, in Roanoke, Virginia, were fatally shot in Moneta, Virginia, on Wednesday.

To learn more about the lives of Parker and Ward, we go to a CNN report:


China: China is set to commemorate the end of World War II with a military parade to be held on September 3.

As seen by the rehearsal, it’s going to be a huge event… with over 10,000 Chinese military personnel, more than 500 vehicles and some 200 aircraft taking part in the practice.

Here are some female soldiers preparing for the big day:

Nearly 1,000 troops from 17 countries, including Cuba, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan, Serbia, Cambodia and Russia will also contribute troops to the celebration.

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic have accepted invitations to attend the parade.

But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and most of the western leaders, including the US president, Barack Obama, and the British prime minister, David Cameron, have declined.

Meanwhile, it’s been another tough week for the China market. For more on the country’s economic woes, we go to Al Jazeera:


Korea: North and South Korea were on the verge of war last weekend after two South Korean soldiers were wounded by exploding landmines in the neutral part of the DMZ.

South Korean authorities accused North Korea of planting the mines, and responded by broadcasting anti-North Korea propaganda through an array of 48 loudspeakers.

The South Korea Defense Ministry said that messages sent through the air were an assortment of news and K-Pop music from UI, Girls’ Generation and Big Bang.

But the broadcast failed to entertain the North Koreans.

Tension escalated last Thursday when both sides exchanged artillery fire across the border and the stakes were raised for possible war. Fortunately, for all, a compromise was reached after four days of high-level talks.

North Korea expressed “regret” over the wounding of South Korean soldiers in the landmine blasts and Seoul agreed to halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts.

These are two of the songs that are said to have blasted to the North Korea border and have infuriated Pyongyang’s leaders:

This is a news clip from YouTube:


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Dismaland Map and Image Courtesy of Dismaland