..........A. PEACE CORPS AS INDEPENDENT AND AUTONOMOUS AS EVER?
PCOL published an op-ed piece in March raising concerns about provisions of last year's anti-terrorism bill - the USA Patriot Act - and how one interpretation of the new law is that it could allow confidential Peace Corps information to be disseminated to the intelligence gathering community.
Peace Corps has sent us their official response in a piece called "Peace Corps as Independent and Autonomous as ever." Read the original op-ed, the Peace Corps' view and our response at:
There has been a resurgence of interest in the Peace Corps after the President's pledge to double the size of the Peace Corps. Requests for applications are up 77 percent.
But Bush’s emphasis on expanding Peace Corps service to more countries in the Islamic world has provoked concern about whether the administration is attempting to alter the mission of the organization. The Peace Corps says no. What do you say?
..........C. THE PEACE CORPS WILL NEED SOME BACKUP IN AFGHANISTAN
Read and comment on this op-ed piece by the last Peace Corps volunteer evacuated from Afghanistan in 1979 who advocates that the Peace Corps return to Afghanistan - but only if the administration agrees to extend the mandate of the international peacekeeping force there, and expand it to cover the provinces.
..........D. DIRECTOR VASQUEZ MEETS WITH RPCVS IN LOS ANGELES
PC Director Gaddi Vasquez traveled to California on April 19 to speak at a Hispanic Youth Convention in Orange County, to present the LA County Volunteer of the Year Award, and to meet with local RPCVs. PCOL was there with our Special Correspondent for Southern California. Read what the Director had to say in his first meeting with RPCVs at:
..........E. THE LEGACY OF THE PEACE CORPS IN KOREA
The Peace Corps departed from Korea in 1981 but many RPCVs stayed in country and made lives for themselves there. Read this story written for a Korean newspaper which looks back on the legacy of the Peace Corps in Korea and what a few thousand volunteers accomplished between 1965 and 1982 at:
Peace Corps has completed pulling all volunteers out of Madagascar . Fighting has been sporadic for the past several months since the contested election results in the Presidential election held last December 16 and claims by the opposition that the elections were rigged.
..........F. TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN A KIND OF PEACE CORPS?
"Soldiers are doing more than firing their weapons in world trouble spots. They’re also handymen, math teachers, well diggers, road builders — a kind of peace corps," says the Army Times in a recent story. What do you think?
There have been many posts by RPCVs in the last month commenting on previous stories PCOL has posted. Be sure and take a look at what RPCVs had to say about the following stories:
.........A. BUSH PUSHES HOMELAND SECURITY WITH USA FREEDOM CORPS
Many RPCVs had comments on President Bush's speech in Knoxville about how USA Freedom Corps Volunteers will increase Homeland Security through Citizen Corps Programs like the Terrorism Information Program, the Police Services Program, and Community Emergency Response Teams and how the Peace Corps can help spread America's values.
Read what other RPCVs had to say and leave your opinion at:
..........B. NEW TV SHOW ON FOX WITH RPCV CHARACTER
Read the dozens of titles that RPCVs came up with for Fox's new TV show that has a Returned Volunteer as a main character. Our personal favorite: "Lost in the Supermarket." BTW - Jill Clayburgh has now signed up to play the RPCV's mother. Some RPCVs say this could be a good way to present the Peace Corps - others are more skeptical - what do you think?
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