ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan’s autocratic leader has established a national holiday to honor the local dog breed. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered the holiday praising the Alabai, the Central Asian shepherd dog, to be celebrated on the last Sunday of April when the ex-Soviet nation also marks the day of the local horse breed, according to Tuesday’s report in the daily Neutral Turkmenistan. The Central Asian nation of 6 million prides itself in horses and dogs, honoring its centuries-old herding traditions. Berdymukhamedov has ruled the gas-rich desert country since 2006 through an all-encompassing personality cult that styles him as Turkmenistan’s “arkadaq,’ or protector.
Our world is changing.Or, better yet, it has changed right in front of us with the creation of the internet. Those of us in college right now are some of the last people who will remember life before the internet, before our world changed.The way we consume news, hear about stories and share experiences has changed because of dot-coms, social media and blogs.But in our little world in the basement of South Dining Hall, we have always had one goal in mind since Nov. 3, 1966: To uncover the truth and report it accurately. We have worked the last 47 years to serve the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community with that statement at the forefront of our operations.So in order to continue our mission, we at The Observer felt as though we could better serve you — the student body, faculty and community — with a new website, one that fits your needs, schedules and curiosities.Over the past year, we have been working on getting it perfect, from a more appealing design to more user-friendly components. After all, this website is for you, the reader. We realize you most likely get your news online, and we are here to cater to you.We wanted to make this about you, so we went for a more interactive, simpler design that will make it easier for you to access our content in ways that you have never been able to before.Our new commenting system links your Facebook, Twitter or Google account to an article, blog or video that will create a more interactive realm for students, faculty and others to gather and create their own forum within a story. You can now share photos with us of events on campus or in the surrounding community. You can also directly submit letters to the editor online for the next day’s issue.Starting next week, you can view any of our student-life video features on the new YouTube ribbon on our home page or view a PDF version of our daily print edition from your laptop, tablet or computer and flip through the pages yourself if you didn’t make it to campus.By no means is this a competing venture with our award-winning print newspaper. We have seen this happen all too often with other outlets and newspapers around the country. What we wanted to do with our new website is create a supplementary experience that goes hand-in-hand with our daily newspaper and provides an additional, interactive service to the community — such as multimedia features and up-to-the-minute breaking news, among other features — that you wouldn’t be able to have by picking up our paper.We at The Observer are lucky to not face the same challenges that affect the rest of the newspaper industry with subscriber-based production. We are lucky to have you, the people who pick up our paper every day and make it what it is. Because of you, our newspaper will live on and continue our mission.We just thought we could show our gratitude for journeying with us in a changing world. (Just bear with us as we break in the site.) Check out our new world at ndsmcobserver.com and please let us know what you think. After all, this is for you, the reader.Tags: Andrew Gastelum, Internet, ndsmcobserver.com, The Observer, website