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Albania opens Hoxha’s top secret Cold War nuclear bunker to public

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama (L) visits a bunker built by late communist dictator Enver Hoxha in Tirana on November 22, 2014

Tirana (AFP) – The massive, top secret Cold War nuclear bunker of former Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha was opened to the public on Saturday, decades after it was built by the paranoid communist regime fearing an attack by the West that never came.

The ex-dictator’s bed, covered with a red mattress, is still in place in his bunker bedroom, with a Soviet-era radio placed on his bedside table. 

During Hoxha’s 40-year rule, Albania was one of the world’s most isolated countries, obsessed about an attack by the West. 

Now, 24 years after the fall of the regime, its countryside is still dotted by the remains of some 700,000 bunkers. Officials have said the structures, referred to as “mushrooms” by locals, were built to be indestructible and defend against an army of millions.

According to informed sources, Hoxha, who died in 1985, had at least four secret refuges built for him and his family around Tirana.

Built into the side of a mountain just east of the capital Tirana, the 2,685 square metre (28,900 square foot) underground shelter opened Saturday sprawls over five levels and contains 106 rooms, including a cinema. 

Built covertly between 1972-1978, it was designed to serve as the headquarters of the central committee and the communist assembly in the event of war.

A guide at the opening described it as a “real five-star” complex.

“We have decided to open everything up,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama after visiting the site.

“The idea to build it arose after a visit (by Hoxha) to North Korea in 1964,” said defence ministry spokesperson Edlira Prendi. 

Until recently the giant bunker still featured on an Albanian army “top secret” list, she added.

The bunker will be placed under the care of the tourism and culture ministry, and will also host a museum and an exhibition space for artists. 

 

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Albania opens Hoxha’s top secret Cold War nuclear bunker to public

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama (L) visits a bunker built by late communist dictator Enver Hoxha in Tirana on November 22, 2014

Tirana (AFP) – The massive, top secret Cold War nuclear bunker of former Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha was opened to the public on Saturday, decades after it was built by the paranoid communist regime fearing an attack by the West that never came.

The ex-dictator’s bed, covered with a red mattress, is still in place in his bunker bedroom, with a Soviet-era radio placed on his bedside table. 

During Hoxha’s 40-year rule, Albania was one of the world’s most isolated countries, obsessed about an attack by the West. 

Now, 24 years after the fall of the regime, its countryside is still dotted by the remains of some 700,000 bunkers. Officials have said the structures, referred to as “mushrooms” by locals, were built to be indestructible and defend against an army of millions.

According to informed sources, Hoxha, who died in 1985, had at least four secret refuges built for him and his family around Tirana.

Built into the side of a mountain just east of the capital Tirana, the 2,685 square metre (28,900 square foot) underground shelter opened Saturday sprawls over five levels and contains 106 rooms, including a cinema. 

Built covertly between 1972-1978, it was designed to serve as the headquarters of the central committee and the communist assembly in the event of war.

A guide at the opening described it as a “real five-star” complex.

“We have decided to open everything up,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama after visiting the site.

“The idea to build it arose after a visit (by Hoxha) to North Korea in 1964,” said defence ministry spokesperson Edlira Prendi. 

Until recently the giant bunker still featured on an Albanian army “top secret” list, she added.

The bunker will be placed under the care of the tourism and culture ministry, and will also host a museum and an exhibition space for artists. 

 

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Pacquiao beats Algieri to retain WBO welterweight title

Macau (Macau) (AFP) – Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao comprehensively dismantled American Chris Algieri to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight title at Cotai Arena, Macau, Sunday.

Pacquiao dropped Algieri to the canvas six times during the 12-round contest in the southern Chinese city to win an overwhelming unanimous decision, 119-103, 119-103, 120-102 on the judges’ cards.

 

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Listen To KR’s “Dearly Beloved”

Yet another Unsigned Hype alum released some new material this week. California’s KR writes an open letter to women all over the world over a smooth, funkakdelic beat from Soulection’s IAMNOBODI. The 19 year old is leagues ahead of other guys at his age, and even older, with his wholesome view on women. He’s joined by Phantom Thrett and Jasmine Nichol on the hook.

He had this to say on the song’s concept:

I just wanted to show them that there is more to it than just putting yourself out there, especially in order to gain the acceptance of a man. It’s funny to me because ladies don’t stand out that way when they are one of twenty women with the same intentions… I have more respect for women on-line for the bathroom than I do for those lining up to get inside of a tour bus or dressing room.


 
Bryan Hahn wonders if there’s a club that’ll give this a spin one time. He’s on Twitter (@notupstate).

Watch Snoh Aalegra’s “Bad Things” Video Ft. Common

Time to expand your tastes once again. Swedish born singer, Snoh Aalegra, released the new video for her “Bad Things” track that features Common. It tackles the familiar concept of why good things are so boring and bad things are the ones that set you free. The remix also features Killer Mike.

You can stream her full EP, which was produced by No I.D., below.


 
Bryan Hahn appreciates the ear that No I.D. has with talent. He’s on Twitter (@notupstate).

Facebook ‘newspaper’ spells trouble for media

Facebook can tailor its feed to the interests of the individual, delivering a mix of world news, community events and updates about friends or family

Washington (AFP) – Facebook’s move to fulfill its ambition to be the personal “newspaper” for its billion-plus members is likely to mean more woes for the ailing news media.

The huge social network has become a key source of news for many users, as part of a dramatic shift in how people get information in the digital age.

Company founder Mark Zuckerberg told a forum in early November that his goal is to make Facebook’s news feed “the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world.”

Zuckerberg said that while a newspaper provides the same information to every reader, Facebook can tailor its feed to the interests of the individual, delivering a mix of world news, community events and updates about friends or family.

“It’s a different approach to newspapering,” said Ken Paulson, a former editor of USA Today who is now dean of communications at Middle Tennessee State University.

“It’s neither good nor bad, but it’s something a traditional newspaper can’t do.”

With Facebook, editorial decisions about what members see are made not by a journalist, but an algorithm that determines which items are likely to be of greatest interest to each person.

This may concern the traditional journalism community, but even some media experts acknowledge that Facebook appears to be able to deliver more of what people want to see, in an efficient way.

“It’s intimate, it’s relevant, it’s extraordinarily timely and it’s about you. That’s more than any newspaper can do,” said Alan Mutter, a former Chicago daily newspaper editor who is now a consultant for digital media ventures.

Mutter said that as newspapers cling to their “ancient” business model, organizations like Facebook are making the news more personal. 

And he said the trend will continue as younger readers shun print in favor of digital and mobile platforms.

 

- Algorithm as editor? -

 

Nikki Usher, a George Washington University journalism professor specializing in new media, said Facebook configures its news feed using an algorithm taking into account tens of thousands of factors.

“Facebook has all the data to tell you what all of your friends are reading, so you have a better chance of seeing things that you are interested in,” she said.

“The reason Facebook has so many engineers and data scientists is to continually make the algorithm better. The algorithm gets stronger as more people use it.”

Facebook is a source of news for at least 30 percent of Americans, and a major driver of traffic to news websites, according to a Pew Research Center study.

This gives the social network enormous power over the news media, which is increasingly dependent on traffic from Facebook and other social platforms.

Even though Facebook is known for its computer coding, it still must make editorial decisions, Usher points out.

“What’s scary is how reactive a position it puts news organizations, which are trying to guess Facebook’s next move,” she said. “That’s a lot of power to put in a single organization.”

Facebook, Google and other tech firms jealously guard their algorithmic formulas. But observers note that a single tweak of that formula can have important consequences for news organizations.

“News organizations are trying to build their strategy around trying to guess the algorithm, and ultimately that’s a losing strategy,” Usher said.

 

- Getting ‘soul’ -

 

But with traditional news media hurting, it remains unclear how the industry can support the kind of journalism needed to keep people informed as it has in the past.

Mutter said what people read may change — it may be sponsored or subsidized in a way that may or may not be transparent.

“It won’t necessarily be real journalism, but it will be content,” he said.

Paulson said that while Facebook can deliver much of the information from newspapers, “it would be hard pressed to capture the soul” of traditional print news.

“Freedom of the press was established to keep an eye on people in power and inform the community,” he added. “There’s a tremendous public spirit component that you can’t address with an algorithm.”

Paulson said that while Facebook is a useful platform for sharing, it will not underwrite the kind of investigative journalism upon which newspapers often pride themselves. With journalism retrenching, that weakens the entire democratic process.

“We get the kind of news we deserve and are willing to pay for,” Paulson added.

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Watch Mick Jenkins’ “Dehydration” Video

Directed by: Nathan Smith

Our Unsigned Hype alumnus is back with a new video. Mick Jenkins sticks to his theme of water representing knowledge, but this time turns your attention to the lack thereof. “Dehydration” comes off of his Water[s] project and is a testament to his promise to uphold the image of Chicago, despite the bad press and senseless killings that continue everyday.

The DJ Dahi produced cut references Mick’s earlier project, Trees and Truths, and sounds like he tapped Isaiah Rashad for the assist on the hook. This is intelligent Hip-Hop that comes natural and not forced. Pay attention.

Bryan Hahn would like to shout out Datpiff one time. He’s on Twitter (@notupstate).

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