In the video, Tice is blindfolded and escorted by a group of armed, masked men. He calls out “Oh Jesus” twice as the men push him down to the ground. He speaks in Arabic briefly, until the video is cut off. According to McClatchy, the FBI has declined to comment on their investigations of Tice’s abduction.
The video, posted on September 26, appeared on a Facebook page of supporters of President Bashar al-Assad, according to McClatchy. This is the first time Tice has appeared since his family announced his disappearance on August 23. An expert on Syrian rebel groups Joseph Holliday said to the Washington Postthat the video appears framed.
“It’s like a caricature of a jihadi group,” Holliday said to the Post. “It looks like someone went to the Internet, watched pictures of Afghan mujahedeen, then copied them.”
Tice is 31-years-old and one of the few journalists in Damascus reporting for Western publications.
Earlier today, the family of a Georgetown University law student Austin Tice reported that they have not heard from their son in over a week. Tice (SFS ’02, LAW ’13), 31-years-old, has spent the past summer in Syria reporting as a freelance journalist for the Washington Post and other major news organizations. His articles provided unmatched first-hand insight into the country’s civil war.
According to the Post, Tice was one of the few Western journalists reporting from Damcascus in July. “We’re focused intensively on trying to ascertain his whereabouts and ensure his safe return,” executive editor of the Post Marcus Brauchli said in a statement released today. “Austin is a talented and courageous journalist whose work has helped to shape the world’s understanding of this humanitarian and political crisis.”
Tice also contributed several articles to McClatchy, a publishing company that distributes to several daily newspapers. McClatchy Vice President Anders Gyllenhaal said in a statement that the editors have sought help from the State Department and Syrian intermediaries to retrace Tice’s location.
The Post published today Tice’s most recent Facebook post in which he defended his decision to go to Syria in the middle of an extremely dangerous civil war. The post, dated July 25, was an attempt to assuage the fears of his family and friends and explain the importance of his efforts.
In the Facebook post, Tice claims that the “American pioneer spirit” of the past is lost “sometime between when our granddads licked the Nazis and when we started putting warnings on our coffee cups about the temperature of our beverage,” he wrote. “No, I don’t have a death wish – I have a life wish. So I’m living, in a place, at a time and with a people where life means more than anywhere I’ve ever been – because every single day people here lay down their own for the sake of others. Coming here to Syria is the greatest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the greatest feeling of my life.”
Vox will continue to update this post as investigations continue.
For the last two weeks, Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson‘s sociology class, called “The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z” has been both harshly criticized and staunchly defended within Georgetown and beyond the Hilltop.
The latest contribution came from Spin‘s Brandon Soderberg, who defended Dyson’s course in a blog post Friday. Responding to earlier criticism in Spin and Gawker, Soderberg made the case for studying Jay-Z:
Jay-Z’s lyrics would work just fine in a literature or poetry class (Decoded is basically his own Norton Critical Anthology of Jigga), But that’s irrelevant to this discussion because, as nearly everyone who mocked the course seemed to ignore, Dyson is teaching a Sociology course! And Jay-Z’s career is perfectly suited for the study of that discipline.
Whether or not Soderberg’s words will be the last on the subject, November has seen this popular, seemingly innocuous sociology course become the subject of vehement criticism.
The first salvo in what turned out to be a media flood was the harsh criticism of the class in the Hoya by Stephen Wu (COL ’13). Wu did not mince words in his description of the genre Dyson chose to examine in his course:
Who honestly thinks that the productions of Carter can compare in any way, shape or form with the Homeric corpus? The great bard inclines toward the divine; he brings to light much of the character of human nature and puts man in communion with higher things. Rap music frolics in the gutter, resplendent in vulgarity and the most crass of man’s wants.
While Vox disagrees with Wu’s blanket description of all rap music, we are mildly entertained/disgusted by the image of a resplendently vulgar and crass rap music frolicking in the gutter.
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Kicking off the ”Future of Food” conference in Gaston Hall on Wednesday, Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, expressed his disappointment with the Washington Post-sponsored event.
“I wish more food industries were on the panel,” he said. “We want a dialogue, want to find areas of common ground, and, even if you don’t agree with us, you’ll find we serve a good lunch!”
Though Schlosser noticed the conspicuous absence of leading agro-business figures, attendees expressed far more excitement over the sustainability super-stars that were in attendence—most notably, His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
A pioneer in food sustainability, the Prince of Wales delved into the complex challenges facing public health, rural employment, environmental protection, and international food insecurity.
While the audience delighted in Prince Charles’ quip about “making embarrassing speeches about my eldest son during wedding receptions,” he gave the conference an air of seriousness, delivering a sober speech about the perils of continuing our dangerously unstable agricultural model.
If passed, the Hoya would have tentatively severed its ties with the University (and, according to the Post, a University-funded $180,000 annual budget), so long as it could get two things by the end of the semester — Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson‘s support and a credit line from the Georgetown University Student Alumni Federal Credit Union.
According to a student close to the process, it was unclear if either condition was met as of Tuesday’s staff-wide vote, which failed to receive a super-majority’s worth of support despite approval from the paper’s board of directors. When asked why the vote failed, the student suggested “serious holes in the financial proposals.”
In 2009, when the Hoya was within days of independence, the University agreed to let the paper use its trademarked name, lease space on University-owned office space, and purchase a majority of its equipment for $1. However, it’s unclear if Hoya Editor in Chief Eamon O’Connor (COL ’12) sought a similar deal with this proposal.
Both Olson and GUASFCU CEO Katie Cohen (COL ’12) declined to comment about the Hoya‘s latest push for independence. O’Connor told the Post, “Our foremost institutional goal is to become an independent newspaper,” but also declined a request to elaborate on future plans.
As a pundit, Williams hopes to encourage thoughtful debate.
“Above all, I want to emphasize the importance of keeping the public conversation going in the United States,” he wrote in an email. “Both progressives dismissive of Middle America and Tea Party activists alike seem to be in a hurry to hurl insults instead of engaging in debates over what’s best for the country.”
“In Tuesday’s elections, many progressives will stay home and many independents will abandon the Democrats entirely,” he writes. “This will mean a return to power for Republicans, who are largely committed to preventing public institutions from addressing the nation’s problems. This means that it’s their turn to misread their mandate.”
Williams’s competitors took different approaches to the op-ed. Nancy Goldstein, a journalist from Brooklyn, painted broad strokes about the Tea Party and Obama, while Lauren Hogan tackled the Rally to Restore Sanity.
Consider this Vox‘s official endorsement for Williams—big surprise, right? Now, head on over to the polls and win this goofy contest for him.
Looking to go out tonight but not sure what to wear? Use up all your good costumes already?
The Washington Post has a few suggestions for college-themed costumes, including “Can of Four Loko,” “Mark Zuckerberg,” and of course, the Georgetown-themed “Alleged Georgetown DMT Lab Scientists.” From the Post‘s college blog, Campus Overload:
Throw on a Georgetown sweatshirt and maybe a white lab coat, drink your beverages out of a mason jar but do not actually try to create DMT yourself—it’s a crime.
The Washington Post is reporting that University Public Safety officers received a drug tip on Saturday morning that led to the arrests of Charlie Smith (SFS ’14), John Perrone, a University of Richmond freshman, and John Romano (COL ’14), who was released by authorities yesterday.
The report contradicts statements made by Todd Olson, vice president of student affairs, who claimed in multipleemails that “a strange odor on the ninth floor” led DPS officers to Smith and Romano’s dorm room.
The Post spoke with an anonymous law enforcement official who claimed that Public Safety officers observed a student outside of Harbin Hall smoking what appeared to be marijuana. The student, however, told the DPS officer that he was smoking K2, a legal marijuana alternative made of crushed, chemical-sprayed leaves.
After being asked where he got the drug, the student then led to officer to Harbin room 926.
The law enforcement official who spoke with the Post added that a search of the dorm room found “five small pill capsules containing suspected DMT.” An additional search of Perrone’s car turned up “several empty capsules with traces of suspected DMT.”
According to a Metropolitan Police Department incident report, which collaborates the anonymous official’s account, officials also discovered “a green plant substance, a carbon dioxide cannister, homemade smoking devices, a grinder, a jar containing a red liquid substance, and a styrofoam cooler with dry ice and several jars containing a clear liquid substance,” as well as “a suitcase that has a strong chemical odor and contained ammonia, salt, lighter fluid, rubber gloves, and a turkey baster” in the dorm room.