Global News Blog: Beauty Pageants in Venezuela

December 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Stuart Fisher

Many Americans love the idea of becoming the most perfect version of themselves and performing a talent on stage; Other Americans find beauty pageants disturbing and unnerving. Venezuelans have a completely different opinion.

Venezuelans love beauty pageants and are always concerned with appearance. Miss Venezuela is the most watched television program in the country, and there are schools dedicated to girls who want to participate in pageants.

Osmel Sousa, owner of Miss Venezuela School and president of the Miss Venezuela pageant, has made beauty a symbol of Venezuelan pride. The 60 regional winners go through a two month training at the school. The school is unlike any other in the world and shows the immense emphasis placed on beauty.

You may think it is absurd, but Venezuelans love the culture of beauty pageants. It has become a huge part of their lives.

Global News Blog: Cubans Brace for Changing Government

November 16, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Post by Amanda Lipscomb

Americans have ample reasons for thankfulness during this holiday season. Despite hunger rates being the highest in 15 years, we still have it better than most countries.

We are blessed with a vast number of opportunities for jobs and resources in times of need. Our government makes an effort to help us and constitutionally provides us with the right to have a voice to speak up.

After 50 years of Fidel Castro’s regime, the Cuban government is trying to give their citizens opportunities. Major policy changes come unexpectedly and with mounds of pressure. Censorship and the lack of freedom of speech are hurting citizens in efforts to help themselves.

Cuba is currently known as the only country in the world where a person does not have to work for a living. The government subsidizes salaries and requires very little of its people.

Cuba is known for suppressing their people in order for the government to remain in control. Currently, almost all jobs and companies are owned or regulated by the government. A few months ago, the government announced they would be laying off jobs and ending their handouts. The intent is to allow people to own their own businesses and create their own work force for better opportunities since they recognize their system is not working. President Raul Castro is also hoping that these changes will bring in more foreign business.

Cubans earn on average $20 a month, mainly from subsidized income. Before the new announcement, families were already going without basic necessities.

A strong black market provides what the government cannot or refuses to give them, including everything from socks to apple juice to car parts. With the announcement bringing doom and layoffs to exceed 500 million jobs, pockets will be empty and people will go unfed, unclothed and unsheltered. Cubans have few places to go for help and now that the government is unwilling to subsidize, they have no way to start their own businesses. Loans are not optional, media is censored and public relations is practically nonexistent.

The government feels that changing their system of labor will provide their people and nation with many opportunities. The people are very worried about their livelihood but have no choice in the matter and must make do with the hardships. The pressure is strengthening family and friendship bonds to help each other survive these major lifestyle changes. The people are prideful about their Cuban heritage, vowing not to relinquish their love for their nation.

The Daily Update: Monday, Sept. 13

September 13, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Daily Update: Monday, Sept. 13 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Your Monday Daily Update has the scoop on last nights Cowboy’s game, if the American hiker in Iran will be released, and what is on Congress’ agenda—tax cuts.

Campus News Blog: Airlines Charge for Your Extra Baggage

April 26, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Leslie Chase

The end of the semester is drawing near, and for most students that means packing up and heading back home for the summer.

But before you overstuff those suitcases, beware of the airlines attempt to make more money during these tough economic times.

With the economy in a serious slump, many travelers are taking advantage of lower gas prices and traveling by car as opposed to by air. Which mean airlines are having an even tougher time staying afloat. And that means more fees being passed on to the customer.

It wasn’t too long ago that passengers were allowed to travel with two pieces of luggage before being charged additional baggage charges. Now, almost all major airlines are charging passengers for every bag they check.

Major airlines like American, Continental, and Delta charge a $15 fee each way for the first piece of luggage up to 50 pounds and a $25 fee each way for every additional piece of luggage per passenger. That’s $30 round trip for just one checked bag!

So students, when you’re packing up to go home, I would suggest packing light, like a toothbrush and a clean pair of clothes and whatever you can fit into your carry on. Or check out airfare on airlines like JetBlue, which allows you to check one piece of luggage for free, and Southwest Airlines, which lets you travel with two bags for no additional charge.

For those of you that have already booked your tickets back home, spare yourself the surprise of an unexpected charge at the ticket counter and check out a full list of the most current fees for the top 22 major airlines.