It was perhaps the most joyfully proclaimed acronym in the history of popular music. Four letters, four actions, one exuberant hit record that came to be seen as a symbol of gay culture in the 1970s, on a par with mustaches and wide lapels.
But on Monday, the YMCA was laid to rest in the US, marking the end of its 166-year history. Or to be more accurate, MCA was laid to rest, leaving the Y standing tall and proud as the sole surviving letter of the Youth Men’s Christian Association, the original Bible study group founded in London in 1844.
The board of the organization’s US branch announced that it would henceforth call itself by its common street name, “The Y,” unveiling a new logo as part of a major “brand revitalization.”
The logo comes in five different color combinations and depicts the letter Y in a design that lends itself to a number of possible interpretations.
The creators presumably wanted to suggest an energetic youngster, as befits the group’s founding principles of helping young people to become healthy in spirit, mind and body.
Neil Nicoll, president of the YMCA of the USA, said the change was necessary to communicate “our story, bringing more people to the place where they can realize the benefits we bring.”
The Village People on Monday said it wouldn’t change its hit song Y.M.C.A. just because the organization has changed its name.
Victor Willis, the lead singer of the original group, released a statement saying the change wouldn’t affect the song or the dance that goes along with it, in which participants use their arms to make the shape of each letter.
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,
An Australian graduate student arrested for spying and expelled from North Korea last year said that he was threatened with a firing-squad execution and told not even US President Donald Trump could save his “sorry arse.” Among the crimes Alek Sigley was accused of committing was posting a picture of a toy tank on Instagram, which his interrogators told him was military espionage. Sigley, 30, was studying for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang when he went missing in June last year, sparking alarm. A fluent speaker of Korean, he had written articles for several publications