'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?

..

..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”

..

The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

..

..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.

..

Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.

..

Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.

..

Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.

..

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..

..

..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..

..

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '



'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

..

..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.

..

..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.

..

The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.

..

The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.

..

Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.

..

..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

..

Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.

..

It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.

..

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.

..

In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.

..

As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.

..

Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016


Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'


'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          The Punt: Euros 16th June        
Jack Critchley is joined by Derek McGovern and Stefan Bienkowski to look ahead to England v Wales, Ukraine v Northern Ireland & Germany v Poland. Plus there's trivia, country files and all of the best betting tips
          Euros Punt Podcast: Sunday 12th June        
We have a jam-packed podcast with Emre Sarigul, Stefan Bienkowski, Neil Lennon, Derek McGovern and Lee Phelps all joining Michael Wood to preview the day's games. Turkey take on Croatia, Poland face Northern Ireland and Germany are against Ukraine. Listen now for information on all six nations playing on day three. #ThePunt #betting #football #Euro2016
          The Euros - Group C Preview        
The world champions Germany enter the Euros in Group C alongside Poland, Ukraine and surprise qualifiers Northern Ireland. This time Pete Farries, Jack Critchley and James Buttler talk you through their best bets. Enjoy.
          Les Chiens et les Loups, Irène Némirovsky        
Je mettais dis que cette année, j'allais découvrir la littérature slave. Et puis, les mois ont passé et rien du tout. Il était temps que je m'y mette. C'est donc avec une autrice d'origine ukrainienne exilée en France que je commence ma découverte slave.


Les Chiens et les Loups, Irène Némirovsky

Editeur : Le livre de poche
Collection : /
Année de parution : 2010
Nombre de pages :  250

A lire si :
- Vous voulez une histoire d'amour compliquée
- Vous aimez les histoires qui ne sont pas simples
- Vous voulez du sentiment d'exil

A ne pas lire si :
- Vous voulez juste de la romance

Présentation de l'éditeur :


Témoin des bouleversements de son siècle, Irène Némirovsky, morte à Auschwitz en 1942, est l'auteur d'une oeuvre étonnante qui fait d'elle un des plus grands écrivains de l'entre-deux-guerres. À la croisée des cultures juive, française et slave, cette romancière ne cesse de surprendre par sa modernité. Comme la plupart des romans d'Irène Némirovsky, Les Chiens et les Loups (1940) n'est pas étranger au destin personnel de son auteur. Le sentiment d'un inconsolable exil (issue de la
haute bourgeoisie, Irène Némirovsky fuit Kiev et la Révolution d'Octobre avec sa famille avant de trouver refuge en France), le poids de la société et la fatalité du destin sont au centre de ce roman qui évoque l'amour insensé de deux jeunes Juifs unis par un lointain souvenir. Ada, une artiste révoltée, et Harry, un riche banquier, sont les deux facettes d'une même personne. Tragiquement attirés l'un vers l'autre, rien ne peut les réunir, si ce n'est le sentiment de leur propre perte. Bercé de mélancolie, ce bouleversant roman sur l'enfance et l'innocence perdues est un chef-d'oeuvre de la littérature, à découvrir, ou à redécouvrir.

Mon avis

La quatrième de couverture étant assez intriguante au niveau de la vie de l'autrice de ce roman, je suis allée un peu fouiller sur wikipédia pour en savoir plus. Cette femme, née en Ukraine, de confession juive, a dut fuir son pays plusieurs fois pour échapper aux pogroms (attaque ultra violente contre les juifs) puis la révolution d'Octobre. Elle se réfugiera en France avec sa famille. Malheureusement, la seconde guerre mondiale passera par là et elle mourra à Auschwitz comme bien d'autres. Les Chiens et les Loups est le dernier roman publié de son vivant. Elle fut une autrice prolifique se basant pas mal sur sa vie et sur son exil. Les Chiens et les Loups en est un bel exemple. 

Ada Sinner est une enfant juive née dans la basse ville. Orpheline de mère, elle vit avec son père et son grand-père jusqu'à l'arrivée de sa tante Rhaïssa et de ses enfants après la mort de son époux. Si son enfance se passe dans la pauvreté, elle n'en est pas moins tout à fait malheureuse. Elle accepte sa condition, se rebelle contre une tante qui n'en a rien à faire d'elle, vit comme la plupart des enfants. Jusqu'à ce qu'elle aperçoive Harry Sinner, un cousin éloigné, petit fils du Sinner de la ville haute, un parent riche. A partir de cet aperçu, la vie d'Ada va se voir modifier. Elle voue un amour fou à Harry qu'elle ne connait même pas. Mais la vie est souvent injuste et suite aux pogroms, elle part avec sa tant Rhaïssa, Lilla et Ben, ses cousins, ainsi que Madame Mimi, une française pour Paris. Commence alors l'exil pour elle, dans une ville et un pays étranger où elle n'est pas forcément bien vu. Là, elle doit commencer une nouvelle vie et pourquoi pas, un jour se rapprochait d'Harry, lui aussi venu à Paris.

Si le roman se présente comme une sorte de Roméo et Juliette à la sauce juive, il est bien plus que cela. Irène Némirovsky a surement dut se servir de sa propre expérience tant les sentiments sur l'exil sont forts. Car c'est bien de cela que le roman parle. Enfin, pas que, mais nous le verrons après. Les deux personnages principaux du roman, Ada et Harry, vivent l'exil à leur façon. Elle restant slave, sauvage par rapport aux français, lui se mêlant sans vraiment le faire. Finalement, malgré la différence de leur statut sociaux (elle pauvre, lui héritier d'un empire banquier), ils restent pareil face au déracinement. D'ailleurs, ce sont les peintures d'Ada qui le feront comprendre à Harry. Leur attachement, leur histoire d'amour semble découler plus de cet exil que de vrais sentiments amoureux. Les deux sont particulièrement semblables, deux faces d'une même personne au final. Ils ne sont pas les seuls. Ben, le fils de tante Rhaïssa et mari d'Ada, vit aussi son exil d'une autre manière. En réalité, qu'il soit en France ou en Ukraine, il vivrait de la même manière, essayant à tout prix de s'élever de sa condition. Il en va de même pour Lilla, sa sœur, qui aurait pu avoir un avenir brillant et qui finalement, tombera dans l'oubli, comme bien d'autre.

Le fait que les personnages principaux soient juifs apporte aussi beaucoup au roman. Ils ne sont pas juste étranger, ils sont juifs. Or, à l'époque de l'écriture du roman (il est publié pour la première fois en 1940), les juifs ne sont pas vraiment les gens les plus en vu. Trop riches pour certains, trop "étrangers" pour d'autre, leur population restent mystérieuses pour beaucoup. Les personnages sentent tous cela. Ils sont tous semblables entre eux avec pourtant cette différence des liens sociaux. Cela se voit beaucoup avec Ben, jaloux de Harry, qui ne cesse de répéter à Ada qu'ils sont presque comme des frères, que seule la naissance et l'éducation ont séparé, qu'ils sont comme les chiens et les loups (d'où le titre, ben oui).

On ajoute à cela une écriture simple, agréable et finalement belle, une vision de la société d'alors assez critique, encore plus concernant les juifs. D'ailleurs, d'après wikipédia, Irène Némirovsky aurait eu à une époque une réputation d'antisémiste. Réputation qui lui venait semble-t-il plus de l'envie de plaire aux français à travers ses livres qu'autres choses. Il me faut trouver une biographie de cette autrice. Elle m'intrigue autant que ses personnages et ses histoires.

Pour finir, Les chiens et les loups est un très bon livre. Il se cache sous des abords un peu "simple" de la romance pour parler de tout à fait autre chose. Je l'ai lu lentement pour en profiter (il est tout de même assez court). Il est certain que je lirais d'autres roman de madame Némirosky. 

          School Report Card: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
School Report Card: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) Ukraine. Narodnyi komisariiat osvity This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Report Card from school #5 of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska). The document issued in L'viv, Ukraine and dated June 7, 1941.; L'viv
          Westinghouse to Supply Advanced Safety System to Ukraine Nuclear Power Plants        

Westinghouse Electric Company today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company of Ukraine (NNEGC Energoatom) to provide a passive hydrogen control system for VVER Units 1 and 2 at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.

(PRWeb October 30, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/11/prweb12289598.htm


          Westinghouse and Ukraine’s Energoatom Extend Long-term Nuclear Fuel Contract        

Westinghouse Electric Company and Ukraine’s Energoatom today agreed to a contract extension for fuel deliveries to Ukrainian nuclear power plants through 2020. The contract provides for the continuation of the long-standing partnership between the two companies in providing competitive and secure nuclear fuel supplies for Ukraine’s reactor fleet.

(PRWeb April 11, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11756053.htm


          It's Spud Time        

The United Nations wants more people to appreciate the potato's potential to fight world hunger

Food for Thought

As 2007 winds down, thoughts naturally turn towards what might lie ahead. Meals rich in high-carb tubers, perhaps? That's what the United Nations would like everyone to contemplate throughout 2008, which it is designating the International Year of the Potato.

Farmers now harvest more than 300 million tons of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) worldwide. That makes it the fourth biggest food crop, trailing only corn, wheat, and rice.

For 8,000 years, the humble potato has been a staple in the South American Andes, its homeland. Spanish adventurers encountered the New World crop roughly 500 years ago and brought various types back to Europe. Today, potatoes are cultivated not only throughout the Americas, but also from China's uplands to India's subtropical lowlands—even on Ukraine's arid steppes.

A testament to the potato's Western roots, production of this crop in the States and southward leads the world. Fully 40 percent of the 2006 potato harvest came from North America, with Latin American farmers contributing another 16 percent.

However, appreciation for this nutritious starch within developing countries outside of the Americas—especially in Asia—has been growing steadily, with production of the crop in those regions climbing some 5 percent annually. Indeed, 2005 marked the first time in recent history that production of potatoes in the developing world exceeded that in developed nations.

Although most people think of potatoes as a commodity, in fact, more potatoes are processed to make fast foods, snacks, and convenience items than are sold fresh in the market place. Today, China is the leading producer of spuds, followed by the Russian states and India. International trade in potatoes—worth $6 billion annually—has also been growing within developing nations.

You might then ask why, with all of this pre-existing global interest in potatoes, the UN feels compelled to devote a year of workshops, research contests, and other focused attention on this one particular food. And the reason, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization argues, is that much of the spud's potential to feed the poor remains untapped.

For instance, although Asians eat nearly half of the world's potatoes, per capita consumption even in Asia remains modest—just 25 kilograms per year, or roughly 45 percent of U.S. consumption and just 27 percent of what's typical in Europe.

Even were potatoes to win greater respect for their nutritional attributes and ability to serve as industrial feedstocks, they couldn't necessarily make a big contribution in new regions of the world without significantly more research. The tubers are vulnerable to a host of major diseases—like the one that set off Ireland's 1845 potato famine. Some varieties of potato are especially resistant to particular diseases, but may not grow well in new regions of the world or taste that yummy.

That's where potato scientists come in. They can identify the climate, soil types, day length, and native diseases with which any new potato crop would have to contend. Then they'll cross lines of wild or cultivated spuds to develop ones with traits that will allow them to thrive outside the Americas. The good news, the UN program notes: "The potato has the richest genetic diversity of any cultivated plant." So there's plenty of potential to tailor a new cultivar to meet the needs of farmers in most places on the globe.

But the potato's biggest advantage, according to the International Potato Center, based in Lima, Peru, is that it yields more food, more quickly, on less land, and in harsher climates than any other major crop. Up to 85 percent of the plant is edible, compared to only about 50 percent for cereal grains. Moreover, the Center notes, potatoes "are ideally suited to places where land is limited and labor is abundant—conditions in much of the developing world."

To help get this word out to agricultural agencies in parts of the world not already turned on to spuds, and from them to farmers, the International Potato Center will be sponsoring a March 2008 meeting: Potato Science for the Poor–Challenges for the New Millennium (http://www.cipotato.org/Cuzco_conference/). Those who attend will have the opportunity to explore the possibility of cooperating to fine tune existing potatoes into higher-yielding varieties.

The International Potato Center's gene bank safeguards the largest biodiversity of potatoes—7,500 different varieties, of which 1,950 are not cultivated. Research on spuds, especially studies aimed at fostering food security and the alleviation of poverty, have become a focus for the center.

With all of this talk of potatoes, are you hungry yet? The UN program has so far identified 172,000 web pages containing recipes for using potatoes. Stay tuned, it says: "We will gather the best of them" and share them on the Year of the Potato website.


If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

Citations

International Year of Potato (IYP) Secretariat

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Room C-776

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00153 Rome

Italy

International Potato Center

Apartado Postal 1558

Lima 12,

Peru
Further Reading

Gorman, J. 2000. Novel sensing system catches the dud spud. Science News 158(Nov. 25):341. Available at [Go to].

C. Graves, Ed. 2001. The Potato, Treasure of the Andes: From Agriculture to Culture. Lima, Peru: International Potato Center (208 pp). Available at [Go to].

Raloff, J. 2005. Food colorings: Pigments make fruits and veggies extra healthful. Science News 167(Jan. 8):27. Available at [Go to].

______. 2004. How carbs can make burgers safer. Science News Online (Dec. 4). Available at [Go to].

______. 2004. Coming soon—Spud lite. Science News Online (June 19). Available at [Go to].

______. 2003. How olives might enhance potatoes—and strawberries. Science News Online (May 24). Available at [Go to].

______. 2002. Acrylamide—From spuds to gingerbread. Science News Online (Dec. 14). Available at [Go to].

______. 1998. Taters for tots provide an edible vaccine. Science News 153(March 7):149. Available at [Go to]

          88th Academy Awards        
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Note 1: This is the fourth consecutive year when I am doing this. Hopefully this one will be much more readable compared to my previous attempts. Hopefully. (prev: 87th, 86th, 85th) This year, I also wrote a story with the tag-lines of the Oscar-nominated movies.

Note 2: I suspect the ratings for this year's Oscars are going to be very low. I mean, outside of #OscarsSoWhite, Studios and producers need to freakin' make the movies available for viewing online (or in theaters)! I will pay money to watch these movies BEFORE the Oscars goddamit! Events are successful when people talk about it. And to talk about it, people need context. What should we talk about instead of the movies themselves, Clooney's tux, JLaw's stumble, host's fumble, and hot cleavages?
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This is one of those years when I am not particularly attached to any movie that has been nominated. Atleast not for the big awards. But this year's Animated and Documentary nominations are a bunch of powerhouses compared to any year in recent history for these categories. It beats me why Inside Out didn't get a Best Picture nod. This just might have been a year when a Pixar movie, or any animated movie for that matter, won the top prize. Instead, we get Oscar-bait movies such as Room, Bridge of Spies, or even The Revenant. Mad Max getting in there is quite a surprise, not so much in retrospect. And yet, the top prize this year remains wide open, probable front-runners being Spotlight, The Revenant, and The Big Short, with the race getting more interesting than the movies themselves.

Emily Blunt's omission from Supporting Actress and Villeneuve's from Director (yep, I loved Sicario!) seems a little strange, but Villeneuve's time will come. His every successive movie gets better than the last! And Quentin, what did you do? He is forgiven though for getting too indulgent, considering that he might be nearing the end of his filmography. I hope though that I get to see him, among others, getting a Directing Oscar some day. Some day.

Right then.




Category / PickNomineesVishesh TippaniHit / Miss
Motion Picture


Spotlight

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight
The Big Short: After The Wolf of Wall Street's rollercoaster ride, this seemed like pony carousel. I mean, we get it. Financial meltdown happened, and no-one responsible went to jail. Bravo! Selena Gomez explaining Collateralized Debt Obligations was cute though. Heh.

Brooklyn: It gets a lot of things right. Saoirse Ronan is an absolute delight to watch on screen, with a well-deserved Actress nomination for her. And the way the movie transports you to the 50s is incredible, effortlessly shattering a lot of things we take for granted today. And we are not talking about an ancient era, just 60-70 years ago. Brooklyn also does not resort to evil-looking people to further the plot in a way Titanic did, and in a way that makes the protagonists' struggles relatable, real, and very palatable - in a way that triggers a "Life is such," response rather than "They deserved this".
"I'd forgotten what this town is like. What were you planning to do, Miss Kelly?" 

Bridge of Spies: This is the "America is the best country in the World" movie for this year. Although both Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance nailed it with chiselled performances. Coen brothers wrote this, perhaps it would have been a much better movie if they directed it as well.
"Aren't you worried?"
"Would it help?"

Mad Max: Fury Road: This movie was an adrenalin-induced delight without end. Stunning camera work, absurdist humour, and louder than loudest everything, so much that one literally felt exhausted after the movie did not give any breathing space during.
"WITNESS ME!"

The Martian: Someone please explain to me why Inside Out is not in this category, and why The Martian isn't in the Best Animated movie category instead? What is the line between special effects and animation? Considering the state of the art for motion capture and 3D rendering techniques, maybe it's time we do away with the distinction. Anyway, The Martian falls flat compared to Gravity, or even Interstellar. Maybe it was just an excuse to rescue Matt Damon... again.

The Revenant: A lot of people, including the Academy, seem to be particularly fond of Iñárritu. I find his movies boring, the technical brilliance notwithstanding. Birdman was perhaps Iñárritu's most enjoyable movie, and I didn't want Birdman to win (Boyhood... sigh). If The Revenant wins this one, of which there is a more than significant chance, it will be several firsts, perhaps the most interesting one being successive wins by the same Director. Sure looks like Leo's year though.

Room: This was a hit or miss and all over the place. Some scenes were striking, in particular the one towards the end where Brie Larson goes back to the Room. Jacob Tremblay was spectacular until he was inside the room, and made his escape. After that it seemed like the director just didn't give a shit anymore.
"There's so much of "place" in the world."

Spotlight: This is my favourite movie from this category. Tense, crisp, great characters, performances, writing, Spotlight ranks high up there.
"We got two stories here: a story about degenerate clergy, and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry. Which story do you want us to write? Because we're writing one of them."
Hit!
Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
As much as I loved Spotlight, I am not sure if Tom McCarthy's time has come for a directing Oscar. The race mostly seems between Iñárritu and Miller, both of whom are really fine directors. If Iñárritu pulls this one off, back-to-back Director Oscars would be a tremendous feat.

Although, if I had my way, Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman (directors of Anomalisa),  Andrew Haigh (director of 45 years), would have found a spot here. And when-o-when will Denis Villeneuve's (Sicario) time come?
Hit!
Writing (Original)

Spotlight

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton
Bridge of Spies is probably in here because... Coen brothers. Perhaps the movie would have been significantly better had they directed it as well.

Ex Machina had some really smart writing as well, reminded me of "Her" in a lot of ways.
Ava: "What will happen to me if I fail your test?"

I loved the fact that Inside Out got nominated for this, if not for Best Picture. They really got me from the moment the "train of thought" arrives. As cheesy as that is, really made me chuckle.
"Take her to the moon for me."

And as much as Tarantino would like to say "I truly believe in the material" for The Hateful Eight, he needs to sit on the bench for this one.

Spotlight though, crisp, taut, engaging from start to finish truly deserves this one.
"If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them."
Hit!
Writing (Adapted)

The Big Short

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room
The Big Short is a no-brainer for this. I haven't read the book so I do not know how it reads, but this is one of those examples of an "adaptation", from a non-fiction, that would have truly meant a LOT of work.

Aaron Sorkin could have been slipped in here (for Steve Jobs), again adapting a non-fiction. Plus, in my opinion, his approach with the source material was remarkable and creative. With all the different sorts of issues Steve Jobs ran into during production, Sorkin was probably the only one who did the cleanest job for this movie.
Hit!
Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

FINALLY, LEO! Boy am I waiting for his acceptance speech! SIXTH nomination, and what a journey! A story of survival, revenge, and life is also possibly the most fitting way he could have won this one!

But this doesn't go without mentioning the other quite remarkable performances in this category. Trumbo felt a lot like Argo, even besides the 'Hollywood making a movie about Hollywood thing' and John Goodman's huge (literally) presence. And I love this "genre" (if you may) too - Sunset Bldv., Chaplin, The Artist, to name a few.

Michael Fassbender did a fine job and literally saved the movie, but the most striking performance for me from this movie would definitely be that of Winslet's.

There are some roles where it is unimaginable for anyone else doing them except for Eddie Redmayne (you know, the kind of feeling we get quite often for Benedict Cumberbatch). I doubt anyone else would have been able to do Theory of Everything or The Danish Girl.
Hit!
Actress


Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years



Prediction: Brie Larson
Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Brie Larson seems sealed for this category. She isn't on my top 3 out of these 5, so I will be a little bummed about this one.

I am conflicted between Charlotte Rampling and Saoirse Ronan for my top spot. 45 years is a stunning film, and deserved much more than the solitary nomination it received, but Charlotte is really the heart and soul of the film. After Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) lost to JLaw, I would be too pleased to see Charlotte win this one, for a movie that has too many similarities to Amour.

I wouldn't mind Saoirse winning this one either. Her nuanced performance in Brooklyn left you yearning for more.
Hit!
Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short


Prediction: Sylvester Stallone
Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed
The one thing that I loved about The Big Short was Christian Bale's performance. In the very limited time that he occupies the screen, every freakin' scene is fireworks. He would be my pick for this one, but Sylvester Stallone makes for a great Oscar story, so yeah... Mark Rylance.
Supporting Actress

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs


Prediction: Alicia Vikander
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
It's a shame that Alicia Vikander got nominated for The Danish Girl instead of Ex Machina. I am nuts about Alicia Vikander, she is what I would call "vanilla" beautiful. I know she is beautiful, I don't know why, and I find it hard to be able to figure it out. It's like she only registers when she's in front of me, but poof as soon as she's not, enigmatic almost. I think it was a stroke of casting brilliance to cast her in Ex Machina, a role which hinged significantly on this quality of hers in my opinion. You know, artificial... but not really, feels real... but can't put a finger on why.

But between her performance in The Danish Girl, and Kate Winslet's in Steve Jobs, my vote definitely goes to Kate. Them glasses. Sigh. And a performance that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Fassbender's as Jobs, that's really something.
Hit!
Animated Movie

Anomalisa


Prediction: Inside Out
Anomalisa

Boy & The World

Inside Out

Shaun The Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There
What a collection of movies in this category! This is a collection which is missing The Peanuts Movie and The Good Dinosaur - movies which in any other year would have made the nomination cut and might even have won!

I want to especially talk about three movie here, Anomalisa, Inside Out, and Boy & The World, although Shaun The Sheep and When Marnie Was There are brilliant movies in their own right.

Anomalisa is one of those movies that leave you going "How on Earth did they pull this off on screen?!" The stillness of this movie, the calm, the poise, the detail - both in the little things and the not-so-little things - is astounding. I could write at length about this movie, but anyone who has spent any time travelling to a smaller city in the US (especially to the mid-west) will get all intricate details they have managed to so gloriously capture. The absolutely shocking sex scene, the long takes, the movie playing almost in real time... Anomalisa is an anomaly done right when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what can be done on animation.

Talking about pushing the boundaries of animated films, Boy & The World is gorgeous! Such raw beauty, it is a spectacle to behold. Lovingly crafted hand-drawn animation, the colors, the playfulness, the airiness, the fireworks-y sparkle, the dazzle, every still of the film could be a framed painting in an art gallery. This is how, I wish, The Peanuts Movie had been made. HAND-DRAWN! I hope we get to see more of Alê Abreu's work.

Inside Out is almost surely going to win this one. Don't get me wrong, it is a great film, perhaps one of Pixar's top 3, if not the best. But it is going to win it for the wrong reasons. Animation has very little to do with what makes Inside Out a great film, which is why it was much better off getting a Best Film nod, along with the Writing nod that it deservedly received.
Hit!
Cinematography

Sicario


Prediction: The Revenant 
Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario
The Hateful Eight is on this list because... 70mm, Ben Hur lenses, yada yada yada. It's not the tooling that maketh a genius. Nope. But okay Quentin, you were indulging yourself, you are allowed to do that, of course.

It will be a big surprise if The Revenant does not win this one. The cinematography, after all, is one of the biggest reasons why it has been getting oh-so-much love. But, have you seen Sicario! Especially the one scene where they perform the extraction from Mexico, sent a chill down my spine. That is a scene in the same league as the car scene from Children of Men.
Hit!
Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
If there is one award that Mad Max truly deserves, it's got to be this one. How do you even cut this movie?! Hit!
Production Design

Mad Max: Fury Road

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant
Hit!
Score

Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Bridge of Spies

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Hateful Eight, again, is here because... Morricone. This is probably Academy's last chance to give a real Oscar to Ennio Morricone rather than the honorary one they had to give him a few years ago.

Sicario and Star Wars (obviously) truly deserve a special mention though.
Hit!
Visual Effects

The Revenant

Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
This category is really losing its significance extremely fast. It is too hard to tell what's special effects and what's not, considering almost every movie undergoes huge transformation during post-production. Ex Machina.
Deserved!
Documentary

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom


Prediction: Amy
Amy

Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For  Freedom
Just like the Animated Feature Film category, this was another powerhouse collection of films. I wouldn't mind Amy winning this one, Asif Kapadia is an accomplished director, his Senna ranks amongst my favorite movies. And, to be fair, Amy is an amazing movie, except, I didn't care a lot about the subject matter.

Winter on Fire, on the other hand, is a movie extremely relevant in today's day and age, and has managed to put together some really spine-chilling footage and beautifully. It also managed to give a first-hand glimpse into a country that we (I) know so little about, and around events that are being played out right now on the global political arena.
Hit!

Total: 13 / 15




          This is a true story        


Meet the little voices inside your headThe bounty hunter. The Hangman. The Confederate. The Sheriff. The Mexican. The little man. The cow puncher. The prisoner. No one to trust. Everyone to hate. The world's most dangerous times created the world's most dangerous group. Can a great man be a good man?

In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man. One who has returned, as if from the dead. The dead are alive. When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen. Winning is the only option. Break the story. Break the silence. Blood lost. Life found. A heartbreaking journey. Bring Him Home. Midnight is just the beginning. Only the mad survive.

No One Comes Up Here Without a Damn Good Reason. Love knows no boundaries. The border is just another line to cross. Two countries, two loves, one heart. Her Story, Her Voice. Some people change your life forever. The girl behind the name.

Their spirit would never be broken. There is nothing more human than the will to survive. Find the courage to be yourself. Have the courage to love. Lose control. Your legacy is more than a name. Every generation has a story. The next generation of revolution. The future belongs to the mad.

What happens to me if I fail your test? Are you curious? Are you now or have you ever been...

We all dream in Gold. What a lovely day.




------------
I wrote this as an experiment and for fun, written solely from tag-lines of the Oscar-nominated movies of 2015. The heading is from The Big Short. For the rest, hover on them to reveal the movie names.

Before this, I have retold Where The Mind Is Without Fear using movie posters, and wrote a story just out of movies' names: Stranger than fiction.
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          ã‚¦ã‚¯ãƒ©ã‚¤ãƒŠã§350kmヒッチハイク!〜物価安だから金を請求されても平気〜        
バスなら5時間と千円で移動できるウクライナの350kmを、あえてヒッチハイクするとこうなります。   ウクライナでヒッチハイク こんにちは!自称マジシャンせがわーるどです。大学で勉強しているロシア語を使い旧ソ連諸国を周っていました。 ウクライナってそ...続きを読む
          Poland Ukraine Euro 2012        

          Zwei neue Stränge für Nord Stream        
Durch zwei weitere Röhren soll künftig Gas aus Russland an der Ukraine vorbei nach Europa fließen. An dem Projekt sind neben Gazprom mehrere westeuropäische Gaskäufer beteiligt, darunter E.on.
          The Realignment Of Great Expectations: On England In Ukraine        

When England take to the field in Kiev this evening to play Ukraine in their final group match at this years European Championships, the task ahead of them will be simple enough, mathematically, at least. A draw will be enough to take the team through to the quarter-finals of the competition, while a win may, […]

The post The Realignment Of Great Expectations: On England In Ukraine appeared first on Twohundredpercent.


          The European Union and International Financial Institutions support energy efficiency policies and investments in Tunisia        
The European Commission and leading International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are on a joint mission in Tunis to agree policy priorities and sustainable investment solutions for energy efficiency. The joint mission is part of wider efforts to increase support for energy efficiency policies and investments in buildings in the EU's enlargement and neighbourhood regions. Four pilot countries have been selected: Tunisia, Georgia, Ukraine and Serbia. The initiative aims to move away from individual...
          8 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me        

When tapped to share “8 things you probably didn’t know about” James Farrar he noted that blogging is quite the “exhibitionist” activity. Much of my blogging experience these past years has been more in audience capacity; a vicarious blog explorer, rather than an active onstage character. Vicarious means I observe certain events by “imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experiences of another”.

Others’ blogs expose me to great examples of: storytelling, journalism, innovation and when done expertly well, art. While exploring, I’m often wondering what it would be like to write as prolifically or as creatively or as knowledgeably as the bloggers whose contents I follow. Fair, although hardly shy, I do feel a bit the wallflower while the nimble waltz me by with dizzyingly and dazzlingly clever insights, observations, perceptions and opinions.

I’ve imagined what I would write on the off-chance that someone might tag me for the “8 things you probably don’t know about me” meme. But I was caught off guard (gobsmacked as the brits would say) when I happened upon my name in James’ blog: the Wisdom of Clouds. It’s like someone asked the ungainly girl at the school party to dance to be nice. Thanks James.

Eight is a lot. I’ll start chronologically.

1. When I was 4, my sister was born on my birthday. For years afterwards I assumed that all families had that same arrangement, meaning siblings who were not twins also shared a common birthday. The realization that my belief system was faulty was very traumatic.

2. When I was about 8 years old, I separated from my parents while on board the Sternwheeler (steamboat) called the "The American". We were visiting an ill-fated and short-lived amusement park in the Bronx (New York) called: Freedomland U.S.A. There is a certain irony to all this. The year was 1960 and the civil rights movement was coming into its own with the Greensboro Four staging a peaceful sit-in at Woolworth’s in North Carolina, breaking down the segregation walls in the south. Back on the steamboat, my parents found me quickly. I was staging my own sit-in of sorts, in the steamship’s bandstand. There they found me sitting entranced on a trumpet player’s lap. His name: Louie Armstrong. I’ve always loved his voice and music.

3. When I was 10 I decided to have a “penny fair” and created an amusement park in my yard. I gathered $5.57 cents from all of our neighborhood children (a great many pennies). Although rather pleased with my entrepreneurial success, I wound up donating the money to a school for mentally handicapped children. The principal sent me and the neighborhood children a very nice thank you letter.

4. When I was 16 I discovered that although my sister and I shared the same birth date, it wasn’t the one recorded in our birth certificates. My mom had changed them both by a few days to give us the opportunity of starting kindergarten early. I think it was a shocking revelation that documents could be misleading or doctored.

5. At 20 I took a road trip across the US. It was the summer of ’74 and in California, after a day of many driving mishaps; I got pulled over by the police. I had gotten a ticket earlier that day for speeding on the freeway. While paying my speeding ticket, I parked in a no-parking zone. I then proceeded to run a stop sign. It was a bad-hair driving day.When I saw the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror I was baffled. Couldn’t think of a single additional infraction I might have committed other than the fact that our car was a real jalopy with only one workable door, totally dust-covered and we (my future husband and I) looked a bit like ’70’s hippies after our 6 weeks on the road. I roll down my window (I’m the driver) and ask: “yes officer?”, failing to notice the growing number of squad cars accumulating behind us. The policeman looks oddly tense. “Did you hear about the bank robbery?”, says he. “Oh sure”, says I., “I’m Bonnie and this” (pointing to my future husband) “is Clyde”. The policemen weren’t particularly amused as they pulled me out of the car thinking I was the fugitive kidnapped newspaper heiress turned militant, Patty Hearst .

6. I studied theater directing in the Tel Aviv University drama department. In 1979 I turned down an invitation by the national theater to assistant direct and work with theater luminary Joseph Chaiken on “The Dybbuk”. What we do for love. I was expecting my first child.

7. In the early eighties, before “Glastnost” and the subsequent transparency policies of Gorbachev, I went on a small mission to meet with prisoners of conscience and human rights activists in a number of cities in the Ukraine and found myself and travel partner “interviewed” by the KGB concerning our activities in each city. I think I’m a “persona non grata” in the former Soviet Union.

8. In the middle nineties started a grassroots movement of citizens concerned about environmental hazards and the rights of local residents and was invited to speak in the Israeli Parliament, together with my Bedouin neighbors.

Now, grannimari is quietly and sedately working as an online community evangelist for the Business Process Expert Community. And looking to the community members who inspire and challenge her thinking. In that spirit of letting no good deed go unpunished, I’ll tag: Jim Spath , Eddy De Clercq , Jen Robinson, Thomas Ritter, Dick Hirsch and Ram Tiwari


          Vasyl Lomachenko shows all of his impressive talent in TKO of Miguel Marriaga        

Vasyl Lomachenko’s rapid, powerful hands and impeccable footwork are a sight to behold — except for his opponent.

Saturday night at Microsoft Theater, Ukraine’s Lomachenko produced his latest masterpiece when World Boxing Organization super-featherweight title contender Miguel Marriaga failed to...


          Superstar on the rise, Vasyl Lomachenko has sights set on bigger fights        

Vasyl Lomachenko has quickly ascended the ranks of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and his lore only continues to grow with opponents lining up to take on the two-time Olympic champion from Ukraine.

Now, as Lomachenko (8-1, six knockouts) returns to the ring Saturday night at Microsoft...


          Exhibition in Uzhgorod        
On the 27th of June I opened a big retrospective exhibition in Uzhgorod (Transcarpathia, Ukraine) at the Fine Art Museum of Transcarpathia named after Joseph Boksay. The 60 paintings on display are representing my 60th work anniversary, as well as all the different styles I went through over those 60 years. The exhibition was opened...
          Exhibition in Ukraine        
During the last month I was in Transcarpathia, where first I opened a small graphic exhibition in Tiszapeterfalva, and later on the 25th of September I opened a big exhibition in the Mukachevo Castle (or Palanok Castle). The exhibits include paintings and graphics as well. The title of the exhibition is –“Back at home, again!”...
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Ukrainian Business Group to Start a New Digital Television Offer on ASTRA - WebWire (press release)        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Ukrainian Business Group to Start a New Digital Television Offer on ASTRA - WebWire (press release)
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Solar power and the winds of change - International Business Times (blog)        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Solar power and the winds of change - International Business Times (blog)
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Power Argument: The Need for Nuclear Energy - Political Affairs Magazine        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Power Argument: The Need for Nuclear Energy - Political Affairs Magazine
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Mercury 2011: awarding established players and newcomers - Georgia Today (subscription)        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Mercury 2011: awarding established players and newcomers - Georgia Today (subscription)
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Ukraine expels two Czech diplomats suspected of espionage - Monsters and Critics.com        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Ukraine expels two Czech diplomats suspected of espionage - Monsters and Critics.com
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Balkan gang threat rising, EU police warn - istockAnalyst.com (press release)        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Balkan gang threat rising, EU police warn - istockAnalyst.com (press release)
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Balkan gang threat rising, EU police warn - UPI.com        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Balkan gang threat rising, EU police warn - UPI.com
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Seven days: 15-21 April 2011 - Nature.com (subscription)        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Seven days: 15-21 April 2011 - Nature.com (subscription)
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Chernobyl may teach grim lesson to Japan - Evansville Courier and Press        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Chernobyl may teach grim lesson to Japan - Evansville Courier and Press
          Ukraine Air Enterprise : Are these the Last Days of Putin? - EnerPub        
Ukraine Air Enterprise : Are these the Last Days of Putin? - EnerPub
          RAF deploys Typhoon jets to bolster Nato air policing mission        
The UK fast jets will reinforce the Polish contribution to the air policing mission; a standing defensive mission undertaken by rotations of aircraft from contributing nations on a 4-month cycle. The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced this to the House of Commons in March. The deployment forms part of a series of measures taken by Nato to support and reassure its eastern member states. Mr Hammond said: In the wake of recent events in Ukraine, it is right that Nato takes step...
          L'attentat de Charlie Hebdo : La diabolisation des musulmans        
Que Dieu, le Tout Puissant, Créateur du Ciel et de la Terre et de toutes les galaxies soit loué. Que sa miséricorde se manifeste toujours parmi-nous, vaines créatures. J'ai fait un long moment sans écrire sur ce blog parce que le but initial de ce Blog était de dénoncer les manipulations psychiques opérées par la star system sur les populations mondiales, j'ai fait le tour dans ce domaine-là, ça fait que je n'ai plus grand chose à y dire, je risquerai de me répéter sans cesse. Avec toutes les injustices de ce monde, il va falloir que j'élargisse mon champ de discussion, Jésus-Christ nous demande d'être des ouvriers de justice (Matthieu 20)



Ce qui s'est passé hier en France n'est qu'une version française du 11 Septembre 2011, chers lecteurs, ne vous laissez pas avoir par cette manipulation ridicule qui consiste à diaboliser les musulmans. Les dirigeants de ce monde se sont débrouillés à créer une pléthore de religions, cela dans le but de nous pousser à nous combattre les uns contre les autres. De plus, ce genre d'assassinat n'est pas encouragé par l'Islam. Les médias ont réussi à nous donner une image péjorative des musulmans, c'est la raison pour laquelle on les associe à l'Islam, ou du moins un Islam SELON LES MÉDIAS bien entendu. L'islam a beaucoup de prescriptions morales, mais ne parle hélas pas du salut de l'âme qui est en Jésus-Christ Seul. Est-ce donc une raison pour diaboliser l'islam à ce point comme le font les médias??? Pourquoi ne diabolise-t-on pas toutes les autres religions du monde?

Le saviez-vous??? Le gouvernement américain avait élaboré une opération durant le mandat de Kennedy, l'Operation Northwoods , mais cette opération fut rejetée par Kennedy. Le but de cette opération était de créer des terroristes cubains qui fusilleraient d'innocents américains dans les rues. Pour pousser la population américaine à sympathiser avec une guerre contre le Cuba. Lorsqu'on guette UN PEU l'histoire, on découvre que tout se répète finalement.
(Source : http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662)

Je ne peux donc pas exclure l'idée d'un complot qui a pour but de susciter de la haine contre les musulmans comme d'habitude. Il ne faut pas vous laisser embobiner par la télévision, nous savons tous qu'on diabolise le musulman aujourd'hui pour la simple et bonne raison que les pays islamiques ne sont pas de gros consommateurs de l'occident; ils ont un gigantesque stock de pétrole et l'islam leur permet d'être des conservateurs et de balayer du revers de la main toutes les propositions occidentales. Ce qui déplaît fortement à l'occident. Puis, expliquez-moi comment des gens armés, bien préparés comme les "terroristes" d'hier, ont quand même réussi à laisser tomber leur carte d'identité sur les lieux. Soyons logiques quand même. Chers amis, ne diabolisez pas les musulmans, c'est ce que le système veut vous pousser à faire alors que personne ne les connait réellement. Jésus ne prononçait jamais sur un ouïe dire.
Il respirera la crainte de l'Eternel; Il ne jugera point sur l'apparence, Il ne prononcera point sur un ouï-dire.(Esaïe 11:3)
Ce dont les musulmans ont besoin (Pas uniquement eux, mais tout le monde entier, y compris les chrétiens eux-même) c'est de suivre Jésus-Christ, ce qui consiste à copier son caractère dans les moindres aspects, afin que nous soyons de dignes fils de Dieu selon qu'il le dit lui-même:
38 Vous avez appris qu'il a été dit : oeil pour oeil, et dent pour dent. 39 Mais moi, je vous dis de ne pas résister au méchant. Si quelqu'un te frappe sur la joue droite, présente-lui aussi l'autre. 40 Si quelqu'un veut plaider contre toi, et prendre ta tunique, laisse-lui encore ton manteau. 41 Si quelqu'un te force à faire un mille, fais-en deux avec lui. 42 Donne à celui qui te demande, et ne te détourne pas de celui qui veut emprunter de toi. 43 Vous avez appris qu'il a été dit : Tu aimeras ton prochain, et tu haïras ton ennemi. 44 Mais moi, je vous dis : Aimez vos ennemis, bénissez ceux qui vous maudissent, faites du bien à ceux qui vous haïssent, et priez pour ceux qui vous maltraitent et qui vous persécutent, 45 afin que vous soyez fils de votre Père qui est dans les cieux; (Matthieu 5)
On fusille une douzaine de personnes en France, ça émeut le monde entier. Pourtant, au même moment, en Centrafrique, au Nord-Cameroun, en Libye, en Syrie, en Ukraine, et partout ailleurs, des milliers de gens meurent sous la plus grande indifférence du monde entier. Le même phénomène se produit lorsqu'une STAR décède: La population mondiale verse une larme mais s'en fout lorsque des milliers de pauvres périssent dans des catastrophes naturelles. Comment appelle-t-on ça? L'occidentalo-centrisme?

Sortons donc de cette manipulation ridicule. Les dirigeants occidentaux veulent instaurer leur vision à eux de ce monde, dans l'esprit des gens. Maranatha!
          Commentaires sur "Les conflits gelés", par Laurent Hazgui par Broader view of Ukraine: Laurent Hazgui covering frozen conflicts | Paris to Kiev        
[…] the video below, Laurent Hazgui talks about his travel in […]
          Ukraine Models 2016 (#2) – Leica M240        
Ukraine Models 2016 (#2) – Leica M240 Matthew Osborne Photography / @MrLeicaCom January 2017 (from July 2016) Pre-Intro I wrote this on the plane and bus when travelling back from Ukraine in July 2016.  I then managed to lose the … Continue reading
          Eurovision Song Contest i Kiev        
Den 9, 11 och 13 maj är hÃ¥lls finalen i Eurovision Song Contest 2017 i Kiev i Ukraina. Det är den 62:a upplagan av musiktävlingen. Att tävlingen hÃ¥ll i Kiev beror pÃ¥ att Jamalas lÃ¥t "1944" vann förra Ã¥rets tävling i Stockholm. 
Vad vet du egentligen om Kiev? Här är några saker som kan vara bra att ha koll på inför den stora musikfesten. Visste du till exempel att:
1. Kiev har tvÃ¥ platser pÃ¥ Unescos lista över världsarv. Petjerskaklostret, även känt som Grottklostret i Kiev, är det ena. Det är ett historiskt, ortodoxt kloster och ligger ocksÃ¥ pÃ¥ första plats över saker att göra i Kiev pÃ¥ ressajten Lonely Planet. Detta kloster grundades Ã¥r 1015 och bestÃ¥r av ett antal monument, katedraler och Lavras stora klocktorn med förgylld kupol, men är även ett underjordiskt grottsystem. Besökare kan ocksÃ¥ ta en tur till katakomberna och titta pÃ¥ de mumifierade lämningarna av ortodoxa helgon. Häftigt för turister och heligt för pilgrimer. 
2. Sofiakatedralen blev Ukrainas första objekt pÃ¥ Unescos världsarvslista 1990. Den har ocksÃ¥ en svensk anknytning. Sofiakatedralen frÃ¥n Ã¥r 1037 är en av Kievs absolut mest häpnadsväckande byggnader, speciellt interiören. MÃ¥nga mosaiker och fresker är original frÃ¥n 1017 till 1031. Grunden till katedralen byggdes under Jaroslav den vises tid och hans hustru Ingegerd Olofsdotter var svensk. 

Kiev är ett paradis för modemedvetna

3. Kiev har beskrivits som ett paradis för modemänniskor. Marknaden Lesnoy är en second hand-marknaden som till och med modemagasinet Vogue skrivit om under rubriken "Omdefinierad lyx i Kiev blomstrande andrahandsmarknad". Det har kallats ett paradis för modemänniskor så här går det att shoppa och göra fynd. Marknaden Lesnoy, som ligger vid tunnelbanestationen Lesna, är en av Europas största loppmarknader. Hit kommer Kievs unga för att fynda allt från second hand-väskor till vintage märkeskläder från Gucci, Chloe, Armani och Chanel.
4. Revolution har bytts mot dans på Självständighetstorget. Torget som också kallas Majdan Nezalezjnosti är Kievs största torg och stadens mest centrala plats. Torget var platsen för pro-självständighet protester under 1990-talet och den orangea revolutionen 2004, liksom Euromajdan. Nu är här fullt av festprissar, gatumusikanter, souvenirförsäljare och skateboardåkande tonåringar. Det är ett vackert torg med sex fontäner, monument och ett stort underjordiskt varuhus. Här arrangeras också konserter, föreställningar och festivaler.
Nu är det fullt av festprissar på Självständighetstorget. Och i maj blir det mer underhållning i Kiev när Eurovision Song Contest 2017 arrangeras här.
Foto: OLGYSHA2008
5. Gatan Chresjtjatyk är Kievs pulsåder och att det finns två torg, ett antal shoppingcentrum och två metrostationer här. Chresjtjatykgatan är en trädprydd boulevard med byggnader från Stalinimperiet och exklusiva affärer som är fullproppad med folk på helgerna då den stängs för trafik. Detta är huvudgatan i Kiev och den sträcker sig över en kilometer genom en dalgång. All bebyggelse kring Chresjtjatykgatan förstördes under andra världskriget och de nuvarande byggnaderna är därför byggda senare.

I den botaniska trädgården finns 350 olika orkidéer

6. På Hryshko National Botanical Garden finns det över 350 olika orkidéer. Det är en botanisk trädgård på mer än 120 hektar och här finns över 13 000 olika träd, buskar, blommor och plantor från hela världen. På Central Botanical Garden finns även växthus och rosarium samt en imponerande samling av orkidéer. I trädgårdens centrala delar finns ett av de mest populära inslagen; liljorna som står i blom i slutet av våren. Den botaniska trädgården är svåra att nå med kollektivtrafik. Ta trådbuss 14 eller buss 62 från Pecherska tunnelbana till slutstationen.
I Central Botanical Gardens centrala delar finns liljorna som står i blom i slutet av våren. Väldigt populärt.
Foto: KATATONIA82
7. Ukraine State Aviation Museum är ett av världens största flygplansmuseum. Det är också Ukrainas yngsta, och största, historiska museum. Här finns 90 flygplan, inklusive fraktflyg, bombplan, kärnmissilbärare, helikoptrar och drönare. Museet, som ligger vid flygplatsen Zhulyany, nås enkelt med stadsbuss nummer 220. Missa inte ett besök i museets souvenirbutik.
8. På Mikrominiatyrmuseet Mykola Syadristy kan du inte se ett enda konstverk med blotta ögat. De är för små och kräver därför ett mikroskop. Här finns fantastiska skulpturer i miniatyr, till exempel har ett hårstrå borrats upp på längden och polerats både in- och utvändigt. Sen har konstnären placerat en ros, som har en diameter på 0,05 millimeter, inuti hårstrået. Inträdet kostar bara 10 kronor och en tur bland utställningarna tar drygt en halvtimme. Beskrivningar av varje objekt finns på engelska.
9. Golden Gate var tidigare huvudingången till Kiev. Bron som ursprungligen kom till 1164 förstördes under medeltiden men byggdes upp på nytt under Sovjettiden. Här finns även ett museum där besökarna kan lära sig mer om Golden Gates historia och det gamla Kiev. Golden Gate var en av stadsportarna där mongolerna stoppades år 1216.

I maj hålls Eurovision Song Contest 2017 i Kiev

10. Ukrainas vinnarlÃ¥t var en tydlig smocka mot Ryssland. Artisten Jamala tillhör Krims ursprungsbefolkning, krimtatarerna, och lÃ¥ten "1944" handlade om Josef Stalins tvÃ¥ngsdeporteringar av just tatarer under andra världskriget. Extra känsligt eftersom tatarernas politiska organisationer förbjudits av Ryssland sedan annekteringen. SÃ¥ngerskan Jamala, eller Susana Jamaladinova som hon egentligen heter, tillhör själv minoriteten Krimtatarer som i dag lever i Ukraina. 
Jamala vann förra årets Eurovision Song Contest i Stockholm med låten "1944". Jamala heter egentligen Susana Jamaladyovna och föddes 1983 i Osh, Kirgizistan
Foto: OLLE SPORRONG
11. Nattlivet i Kiev är intensivt och att det finns gott om nattklubbar och barer. En av de populäraste, enligt resesöksajten Skyscanner, både bland lokalbor och besökare är Caribbean Club på Petlyury Symona St. 4. Här kan du njuta av bra livemusik, goda drinkar och en härlig atmosfär. Boka gärna ett bord i förväg.
12. Ocean Plaza är ett av stadens populäraste köpcenter. Här hittar du kända märkesbutiker och många krogar. Köpcentret kan vara rätt så knökfullt under helgerna, så försök att ta dig hit under vardagarna istället. Ocean Plaza ligger en bit utanför centrala Kiev, men du tar dig hit med tunnelbana, stationen Lybidska ligger precis utanför.
13. Ryanair utökar på Skavsta flygplats. En ny direktlinje mellan Stockholm Skavsta och Ukrainas huvudstad Kiev invigs i höst. Med start i oktober kommer Ryanair att flyga rutten Stockholm-Kiev fyra gånger i veckan som en del av flygbolagets vinterprogram.

Det finns en nudiststrand i Hydropark i Kiev

14. Det finns en nudiststrand mitt i Kiev. Hydropark är en bad- och aktivitetsö i floden Dneper och ligger mitt i Kiev. Ön blev populär som sommarnöje under 60-talet och är det än idag. Stekheta sommardagar drar massorna till Hidropark, som ligger en kort tunnelbaneresa bort från centrum. Längs floden Dnepr finns stränderna som är späckade med lokalbefolkningen som spelar beachvolleyboll, badar och grillar läcker kebab. I området bjuds också på ett antal kasinon, en nudiststrand, ett diskotek, som ligger ute vid vattnet, och världens största utomhusgym.
Hidropark, en kort tunnelbaneresa från Kievs centrum, är en populär strand där lokalbefolkningen gärna badar och grillar.
Foto: STEPHANE MARTIN
15. Flygsökningar till Kiev har ökat med 23 procent. Allt enligt färsk statistik från resesöksajten Skyscanner.se. I dag är den fornsovjetiska staden mer populär än exempelvis Tallinn, Oslo och S:t Petersburg för svenskar, enligt sajten. Eurovision Song Contest och mycket valuta för pengarna är några anledningar till att staden spås bli en fortsatt het semesterdestination även i år. Lägre flygpriser tros också vara en bidragande orsak. Genomsnittspriset på flygbiljetter har nämligen sjunkit med tolv procent sedan 2014.
LÄS MER:
Bästa ständerna mitt i storstaden 
Guide till bästa weekenstäderna i vÃ¥r 
Här är de billigaste weekendstäderna i vÃ¥r 
http://www.expressen.se/allt-om-resor/resmal/europa/15-saker-du-inte-visste-om-kiev/

Läs ocksÃ¥: 


Mörka historien bakom världens längsta labyrint

          Where is Ukraine?        
And how did it get here? Here is a decent analysis of the current situation in Ukraine, tracing back through the squandered opportunities to move the country into a positive direction. The only complaint I have it the title of the piece "Did West Pull Up Stakes Too Soon?" The title implies that the west is responsible but that really doesn't reflect the conclusion reached.

Yushenko ultimately bears the blame for the fiasco since he clearly failed to exploit the massive outpouring of support, failed to use his political capital to push through needed legislation, failed to effectively build working coalitions and failed to maintain the appearance of a level of incorruptability that a person in his position has to have. He failed so completely that the comically corrupt Prime Minister Yanakovich has a piece in the Financial Times about the importance of the Rule of Law!

I don't see how Yanukovich, attempted thief of the 2004 election, was able to pound out the words without destroying his keyboard from convulsions of laughter. Actually, from every impression I've ever gotten of Yanukovich, I don't understand how he was able to actually find the keyboard or the power switch to the computer. Maybe he consulted with his coalition. That's what coalitions are for!

And of course, Yanukovich is demanding the President abide by the law in order that Yanukovich can continue his process of literally buying members of the Rada to create a super majority coalition.

If I sound cynical, see if you can read this passage about protesters in Kiev without a twinge of it yourself:

They pay 40 hryvna a day and 100 hryvna a night, - confesses an elder man
from Zhytomyr camping in the Mariinsky Park next to the Parliament. - I can
make my monthly salary here within a week".

But a group of young people who observe the political show in the Maydan are
divided in their opinion. "I wouldn't have ever accepted any money from
these guys", - says Yurko, a student of Mohyla Academy. But his friend
Alexander, who lives in a student dormitory, says: "Why not? They return
back to the people the money they stole from them.

Their recruiters offer 40 hryvna for just two hours to stay here with
blue-and-white flag. I don't support Yanukovych but my stipend is 350 hryvna
and I get no extra allowance from my parents. I feel it would be actually
better if we take these money ourselves and pay them lip-service. Otherwise,
they would bring their real supporters from Donbas who may make a lot of
harm here".


Unfortunately, this comes from an op-ed by Mykola Rjabtschuk in a German publication (Berliner Zeitung, No.86) that I don't have a link to. The English translation is available at the Action Ukraine Report, a nationalist oriented newsletter maintained by the ex-pat (or diaspora) community in the US. The opinion piece is very slanted in favor of Yushenko but I have known people that took payment for protesting. It is commonly known. If you are interested in receiving the newsletters, you can sign up at the link above.

I've always enjoyed the Action Ukraine Report and actually had the opportunity to meet Morgan Williams, the publisher, who is a very nice man. I don't share his partisanship but I think his heart is in the right place. It just takes a careful reader to understand what is news and what is political opinion.

Finally, no day is complete without visiting the always interesting Neeka's Backlog where Veronica mentions yet more talk of a potential split of Ukraine. I've always thought that kind of talk was silly and hope it still is...silly rather than frightening. Veronica seems to travel a lot and I think she is currently in Russia but she brings a passion and real anger to her posts that captures the heart of somebody who truly cares.
          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          World: Humanitarian Coordinator Information Products, 31 July 2017        
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen


          World: Dorcas: Annual Report 2016        
Source: Dorcas Aid International
Country: Ethiopia, Greece, Kenya, Lebanon, Moldova, Romania, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, World

Highlights
- A new story: We worked on a new story for Dorcas in 2016, with various departments and stakeholders giving their input.
- Strategic plan: We prepared for our new strategic plan (2017-2021) through a focused process of completing a SWOT analysis. The key element of the new strategic plan is to expand inclusive community development in all of our projects. In addition, we are seeking to build a Dorcas “community” in The Netherlands. During an intensive process, which included a SWOT analysis, we prepared ourselves for a new strategic plan for the period 2017 to 2021. Our plan is to develop our work further in inclusive community development. Furthermore, we are building a Dorcas community in the Netherlands.
- Influencing Policy: In 2016 we had a number of productive meetings with members of the Dutch House of Representatives. To support that we showed the film Face Down that concerns the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and which we made at the start of 2016.
- Visits to Field Project: Two groups visited Dorcas projects in 2016, one to Moldova with 23 sponsors visiting their grannies and children and the other group to Romania.
- New Dorcas shops: The Dorcas shops in the Netherlands are doing well. Four new Dorcas shops were opened in 2016. A total of 2,000 volunteers share the work to operate these shops.
- Dorcas Academy: In 2016 we prepared for establishing the Dorcas Academy, through which we will invest in our staff’s knowledge and skill level. Preparations were made in 2016 for setting up the Dorcas Academy, through which we will be investing in the knowledge and skills of our co-workers.


          European Championships-2012 – foundations for the stadium in Lwow        

The foundations for the stadium on which the matches of European Championships will take place in 2012 were laid on Tuesday in Lwow.

This is the second stage of building the stadium. The first one, preparing the terrain for construction, lasted from the beginning of last December.

- Laying the foundations should have taken place on 20th January and we succeeded. I would like to emphasize that the works are held nonstop – said the mayor of Lwow Andrij Sadowy, quoted by local web portals.

The works by foundations will last for four months. The stadium is being built by Ukrainian firm Azovinteks. The cost with the stand for 30 000 spectators is 85 millions Euro.

A stadium in Dniepropietrowsk was put into use last year in terms of Euro 2012. The stadium in Donieck, built from the money of the richest inhabitant of Ukraine – Szachtar owner, Rinata Achmetow - is to be finished in Spring. The Olympic Stadium in Kiev is being modernized. The modernization of the object for 72 000 spectators is planned to be finished in 2010.


          Euro 2012 without Chorzow and Krakow        

UEFA decided to organize Euro 2012 in eight cities.

Poland and Ukraine applied for expanding the list of host-cities to 10-12. The decision of UEFA can mean that the European Championships will pass over Chorzow and Krakow.

- We have reached an agreement with Poland – said the head of Ukrainian football Hryhorij Surkis – Euro will be held in four Polish cities and four Ukrainian ones.

The final list of the city-hosts will have been prepared by UEFA by May. Michal Listkiewicz the former head of PZPN (Polish National Football Association), who was responsible for the relations with UEFA as far as Euro 2012 project was concerned, does not exclude a possibility of 6 cities in Poland and 2 in Ukraine to be found on the final list.


          Poland and Germany will host Euro-2012        

After UEFA commission’s visit to Ukraine in early February German mass-media started talks about possible transfer of Euro-2012 from Ukraine to Germany.

As alternative to Ukrainian cities are suggested Berlin and Leipzig located close to Poland - another host-country of Euro-2012.

German edition of Express cites commercial manager for German-Polish Chamber of Commerce Larse Bosset, who at RBB channel had his say concerning possible change of host-country from Ukraine to Germany for holding Euro-2012 matches. “There’s happening much more than we can even imagine off screen and behind public discussions” - told Mr. Bosset hinting at corridor talks in UEFA.

German edition supposes UEFA may refuse to Ukraine to be host-country of Euro-2012 as the country faces serious difficulties with stadiums construction.

In summer, 2008 there was information of Germany to substitute Ukraine and host Euro-2012 Championship together with Poland, though later Germany denied its negotiations with Poland concerning Euro-2012.


          Ukraine preserved preparation pace for Euro-2012        

February, 6 in Euro-2012 Information Center was held press-conference which summarized the visit to Ukraine of UEFA delegation headed by David Taylor. Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Ivan Vasyunik thanked to Football Fedeartion and Grigory Surkis personally for organization of the visit.

“Ukraine succeeded in preserving preparation pace for Euro-2012 during financial crisis. Every city confirmed its obligations taken and local authorities promised to finish all the projects on time” - he noted.

Ivan Vasyunik highlighted Lvov and Kharkov, both these cities except for the capital have changed UEFA’s opinion as to preparation attitude. All the six cities are carrying out stadiums’ reconstruction according to the schedule.

Airports’ preparation received 100 % financial support, and roads’ reconstruction is sponsored by 96 %. Takeoff strips are undergoing reconstruction at the moment. For 2009 State Budget previews 7 bln, 759 mln hryvnyas for Euro-2012 organization and 5.775 000 000 hryvnyas in local budgets. The talks are held concerning loans and 400 000 000 hryvnyas for roads’ reconstruction has already been obtained. The country hopes to get loans from European Investment Bank. The Government will support those private investors ready to invest in hotels infrastructure.

Ukraine will be ready to selection of four cities and successful completion of preparation in general.

It should be reminded that UEFA commission headed by Secretary General David Taylor has finished checking out of Euro-2012 objects in Ukraine.


          Moscow says new US national security strategy is anti-Russian         

Moscow: Russia`s federal Security Council on Wednesday criticised as "anti-Russian" the new US national security strategy, which lists Moscow`s aggression in its neighbouring Ukraine among most pressing threats.

The Security Council also repeated an assertion Washington might try to engineer political change in Russia using the same tactics of mass protest the Kremlin says it applied to topple a pro-Russian president in Kiev last year.

President Barack Obama released Washington`s updated national security strategy on Feb.6, renewing his commitment to work to isolate Russia over its support for separatist rebels fighting Kiev troops in east Ukraine.

The Russian council said the update, unlike the previous 2010 version, "has an openly anti-Russian line and creates a negative image of our country." It said the implementation of the new US strategy would pose a threat to Russia.

"In the long-term, the United States along with its allies will continue to push for political and economic isolation of Russia," it said.

Ties between Moscow and Washington are at their lowest since the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine, where the West accuses Russia of driving a separatist rebellion to destabilise the former Soviet republic and boost its influence there.

Moscow has sided with the rebels but denies direct military involvement despite mounting evidence on the ground. 

Moscow says its aim is to protect the Russian-speaking eastern regions of Ukraine from nationalists who took over in Kiev after the former president and Kremlin ally, Viktor Yanukovich, was ousted in street protests in February, 2014.

Moscow accuses the United States of masterminding what it calls a coup in Kiev, on the lines of other uprisings in ex-Soviet states dubbed "colour revolutions".

"There is high probability of applying in regard to Russia the improved technology of `colour revolutions` that will be used ever more widely to remove political authorities disliked by the United States." 

The Russian foreign ministry criticised Western nuclear arms policy.

Moscow said at the weekend Danish warships would become targets for its nuclear weapons should the country join a NATO missile defence it argues could undermine its nuclear capabilities.

"In our view, the United States and other NATO members should have long abandoned the pernicious one-sided steps in the missile defence field. They wouldn`t have to worry about the consequences then," the Russian ministry said in a statement.

Section: 
Yes
News Source: 

          US national security team briefs Obama on Ukraine        

Washington: The White House says President Barack Obama is getting regular updates on the situation in Ukraine.

Obama`s national security team is discussing Ukraine at a White House meeting today, the eve of a vote on whether Ukraine`s Russia-leaning Crimea region should secede and seek annexation by Moscow.

Obama and the leaders of other Western nations have denounced the vote as illegal and say they won`t recognise the results.

Earlier today at the United Nations, Russia vetoed a US-sponsored resolution declaring Sunday`s referendum illegal.

Crimea became a flashpoint after Ukraine`s pro-Russia president fled the country last month after months of anti-government protests.

Russia refuses to recognise Ukraine`s new government and has effectively taken control of the Crimea region.

Section: 
Image Caption: 
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News Source: 

          Octavian        

Ukraine without "the" you morons


          Ukraine: Klitschko und seine Nazi-Freunde von der „Swoboda“        
Es ist mal wieder sehr erhellend. Die gleichen Leute, die Beifall klatschen, wenn jemand die deutsche, gewalttätige Antifa lobt, jubeln wenn ein deutscher Boxer mit Unterstützung von Nazis in Kiew eine gepflegte Randale organisiert. ANZEIGEN In vielen osteuropäischen Parlamenten sitzen rechtsradikale Parteien, die ganz offen die Symbolik und Philosophie des dritten Reiches propagieren. Da ist […]
          Tote in der Ukraine: Wie gefährlich sind Gummigeschosse?        
Die ukrainische Regierung setzt Gummigeschosse gegen Demonstranten ein. Doch wie gefährlich ist diese Munition? Im Zuge der politischen Revolte in der Ukraine haben in den letzten Wochen unzählige Demonstrationen auf den Straßen des Landes stattgefunden, an denen mehrere tausend Menschen teilnahmen. Eingesetzt wurden dabei unter anderem Gummigeschosse. Diese wirken zunächst harmlos, doch spätestens seit dem […]
          Russian-born director makes his home and his movies in Bham        

The surprising part of filmmaker Yuri Shapochka’s personal story is the city where this dashing director with long, brown hair and intriguing world-view lives and works. It’s our own sleepy burg of Birmingham.

Jesse Chambers wrote a profile of Shapochka for the June 2012 issue of B-Metro magazine in Birmingham, where he is a regular contributor.
He left Russia, where he worked as a journalist and TV producer, 15 years ago to come to America. He wanted a chance to make films, which was tough to do in Ukraine. Shapochka believes he made the right choice in coming to Birmingham, though it’s not a film capital. “To me it was a good place to start,” he says in a phone interview. “Nothing is easy, but I saw open doors. I saw support of the local people. I saw a friendly attitude.”
And now Shapochka, who has made six shorts, will for the first time have a full-length feature film to peddle at markets and festivals beginning in the fall of 2012. The film is Clubhouse, a revenge play and morality tale filmed in Birmingham and featuring Shapochka’s characteristic black comedy.

The post Russian-born director makes his home and his movies in Bham appeared first on Weld: Birmingham's Newspaper.


          ÐšÐ°Ðº в Киеве открылась станция с 20 контейнерами для раздельного сбора мусора        
В Киеве начала работать станция глубокой сортировки отходов «No Waste Recycling Station» с 20 контейнерами для упаковки, одежды, мелкой электроники и отработанных батареек.
центр сортировки отходов Киев 3: Раздельный сбор мусора, сортировка, переработка
Как сообщает « без мусора» на своей странице в Facebook, деньги за отсортированные пока не будут платить.

Читать дальше
          WHO offers temporary recommendations for polio outbreak        

The International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) recently held its eighth meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) over a teleconference to discuss the poliovirus' spread throughout the world. 

The team reviewed data on both wild polio and vaccine-contracted polio, and specifically looked back on the Nov. 10 choice to modify treatment temporarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Guinea.

Overall, the EC reported that wild polio has declined in Pakistan and Afghanistan since the original Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in 2014, though it has continued worldwide. It also reported that the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, central Africa and areas in Europe are more susceptible to wild polio. Concerning vaccine-derived polio, outbreaks in Ukraine, Madagascar, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria and Guinea have continued. 

The WHO is especially concerned with countries nearby that are suffering from Ebola, and may be more susceptible to illness. Therefore, EC still declares polio a PHEIC and has advised the director-general to extend the temporary recommendations it has previously set in place for three more months. The director-general agreed with the report and, on Feb. 26, extended the recommendations.

EC encourages countries that are able to support the international fight against polio to do so, in the form of information, materials and vaccination. The EC will reevaluate the recommendations in three months.


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           Caucasian         
السعر: 600 د. أ,
pure mountain caucasian ovcharka 2 months , passport, microchip,vaccinated .from ukraine
for more infos 03066072 https://olxliban.com/ad/caucasian-ID6XxNM.html
          Kiev, Ukraine: Action at the German Embassy in Solidarity with No-G20 Prisoners        
Although the protests in Hamburg are long past, repressive state organs continue their work against activists. Now, 51 activists are awaiting trial. They are threatened with lengthy sentences of up to 10 years. There are a lot of anarchists from … Continue reading
          Grace Blue - "Our Eyes" [Pop]        
Our Eyes

- "Our Eyes" music video by Grace Blue
- Added on 10-08-2017
- Genre : Pop
- Description : Grace Blue - Our Eyes - - Grace Blue's self-titled EP is now available on- - - Follow Grace Blue- - http://www.gracebluemusic.com - https://www.facebook.com/GraceBlueMusic - https://www.instagram.com/gracebluemusic -   - Music producer- Noam Akrabi - - Director, DP& Editor- Indy Hait - - - - - Alternative pop duo, Grace Blue announces the release of their aesthetically stunning music video, “Our Eyes.” Shot in the small village of Dzembronya, Ukraine, the video brings the narrative of the song to life. Written about craving more from life, but feeling stuck and unable to leave your environment, we find Grace Blue amid a gorgeous landscape, and humble villagers but still longing for an escape.The single is from their forthcoming self-titled EP set for release this summer. - - Grace Blue is an alternative-pop music duo based in Los Angeles, California.The music duo, who originally met at their hometown of Tel-aviv, Israel, consists of vocalist Grace Mogz and keyboard player Joseph Arazi. Mogz has been immersed in music since childhood, and used music as a coping method for her depression. She went on to attend music school to pursue her dreams, despite her family not being supportive of her goals. Like Mogz, Arazi was engrossed in the world music at a young age and went to a conservatory in Israel where he mastered classic piano. In May, the duo moved to Los Angeles to make their dreams reality. - - Their self-titled debut EP is a combination of dark emotionally driven trip hop, alongside captivating up-tempo alternative-pop. Stay tuned for its release this summer! -
- Tags : 2017, 10s, Grace Blue


          30.09.17 20:00 Uhr - Nürnberg - Gankino Circus - "Irrsinn und Idyll"        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung201492-tickets

"Anarchistisch, verrückt, brillant", so beschreibt die Süddeutsche Zeitung ein Konzert von Gankino Circus. Aber was heißt schon Konzert? Ein Auftritt der vier Musiker ist weniger ein Konzert als vielmehr ein weltmusikalisches Schauspiel, ein kabarettistisches Spektakel, eine subkulturelle Sensation!

Nach dem großen Erfolg ihres Albums "Franconian Boogaloo" präsentiert die Band aus dem fränkischen Dietenhofen nun ihren neuesten Geniestreich: ein aberwitziges Konzertkabarett-Programm namens "Irrsinn und Idyll". Mit rasanten Melodien und unbändiger Spielfreude rücken Gankino Circus der Musik ihrer Heimat zu Leibe und machen sie durch ihren einzigartigen Humor dem Publikum zugänglich.

Ralf Wieland, genialer Geschichtenerzähler und Gitarrist, führ durch das Programm und lässt auf urkomische Weise den Wahnsinn hinter der fränkischen Dorfidylle hervorschimmern. Mit von der Partie sind: der ebenso elegante wie therapiebedürftige Arztsohn Dr. Simon Schorndanner Junior an Saxophon und Klarinette. Der launische Akkordeonmeister Maximilian Eder aus der traditionsreichen Dynastie der Eders. Und natürlich der lausbübische Percussion-Tausendsassa Johannes Sens, der sich wie wild in die Herzen der Zuschauer trommelt, um sich dann im Moment höchster musikalischer Vituosität die Kleider vom Leib zu reißen.

Zeitgemäße Volksmusik, anarchische Spielfreude und raffinierter Wortwitz vermengen sich bei Gankino Circus zu einer kuriosen Melange, über die der Kabarettist Matthias Egersdörfer sagt: "Das ist die schönste Kirchweihmusik, die ich jemals gehört habe." Und auch gleich zugibt: "Als ich Gankino Circus zum ersten mal gehört habe, hatte ich Tränen in den Augen."

Zahllose Konzerte auf Kabarett-, Theater- und Festivalbühnen führten Gankino Circus in den letzten Jahren durch Deutschland, Österreich, Frankreich, Italien, Ungarn, die Ukraine, Bulgarien, Serbien, Kasachstan, Kirgisien und Armenien. Im Oktobrer 2015 repräsentierte der fränkische Exportschlager die deutsche Musikkultur auf der EXPO in Mailand.
          18.11.17 14:00 Uhr - Erlangen - Die Masuren        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung201512-tickets

Wo Gott seine letzten Perlen ausstreute, liegt Masuren, erzählt die Sage. Dirk Bleyers zauberhafte Dia-Reportage ist eine Liebeserklärung an die alten Städte, die idyllische Landschaft und die Bewohner des ehemaligen Ostpreußens.

Im Lauf der Geschichte wurde die Gegend im Herzen Mitteleuropas vielen Menschen zur Heimat: Deutschen, Polen, Ukrainern und anderen. Die politische Landkarte hat sich gewandelt. Geblieben sind stille Seen, goldene Felder, Storchennester und die Ordensburgen der Kreuzritter. Eine nahezu meditative Landschaft.

Die alte Hansestadt Danzig und das einst prachtvolle Königsberg – heute Kaliningrad – bilden die vitalen Glanzpunkte des feinfühligen Vortrags auf den Spuren von Dirk Bleyers Großmutter. Ihr verdankt der Fotojournalist seine intensiven Begegnungen mit Menschen, die ein bewegtes Schicksal zu unersetzlichen Zeitzeugen gemacht hat.

Ein Vortrag der die Seele berührt.
          07.10.17 19:30 Uhr - Nürnberg - Konzert: Hawa Naschira!        
Der Chor der Israelitschen Kultusgemeinde hat sich 2015 in Nürnberg gegründet. Die Sänger verbindet die Liebe zur Musik und der Wunsch, jüdisches Liedgut zu verbreiten und zu erhalten. Auch ein Grund, warum der Chor die Musik Israels aus verschiedenen Epochen auf Hebräisch singt. Die Chorgemeinschaft ist international, der Chorleiter, Arkadij Pevtsov, kommt aus der Ukraine, hat am Kiever Konservatorium studiert und viele Jahre als Dirigent in Odessa gearbeitet. Nach diversen Gastauftritten gibt der Chor im Pellerhof sein erstes Solokonzert.
          â€žRamstein – Das letzte Gefecht“ – Film in voller Länge        
Während ganz Europa von einer Flüchtlingskrise abgelenkt ist, in deren Folge immer mehr EU-Staaten politisch nach rechts rücken, bereitet sich die NATO mittels massiver Aufrüstung in Osteuropa offensichtlich auf einen Krieg gegen Russland vor. Und wie lief eigentlich noch mal genau der Machtwechsel in der Ukraine ab? Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, die vor den Vereinten Nationen
          Ukrainian Agony – Der verschwiegene Krieg        
Seit Juli 2014 lebt Mark Bartalmai in Donezk – genau in der Region der Ukraine, wo ein blutiger Bürgerkrieg tobt. Für westliche Medienkonsumenten steht fest: Putin ist für den Konflikt verantwortlich. Doch Mark Bartalmai wollte es genauer wissen und ging mit seiner Kamera direkt an die Kriegsfront. Seine Erfahrungen und sein Bildmaterial stellt er in
          20.08.17 19:30 Uhr - Nürnberg - LA NOTTE ITALIANA - Die schönsten italienischen Opernarien        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung211461-tickets

E lucevan le stelle... singt Toscas Geliebter, der Maler Mario als er einen letzten Abschiedsbrief an seine angebetete Tosca schreibt. Was so viel heißt wie Und es leuchteten die Sterne". In La Notte Italiana" leuchten viele solcher Sterne der italienischen Oper: drei hochkarätige Belcanto-Solisten präsentieren die beliebtesten Arien und Duette aus La Traviata", Norma", Tosca" und Don Giovanni" und vielen anderen Meisteropern. Besungen wird mit den ewigen Melodien der italienischen Oper immer wieder die große, tiefe, ewige Liebe oder eben die Hindernisse derselben wie im Fall des Herzog von Mantua aus Verdis Rigoletto", der mit La donna è mobile" eine der populärsten Arien überhaupt singt.
Begleitet werden die Sänger vom Venezia Festival Ensemble unter der musikalischen Leitung von Markus Elsner.
Markus Elsner setzt sich intensiv für zeitgenössische Musik ein und dirigierte zahlreiche Ur- und Erstaufführungen. Seit 2006 leitet er das Ensemble Zeitsprung München, seit 2011 auch die Tage der Neuen Musik Bamberg. Gastdirigate und Tourneen führten ihn nach Polen, Österreich, Bulgarien, Italien, in die Ukraine und quer durch ganz Deutschland. Markus Elsner wurde für seine Arbeit vielfach ausgezeichnet, im Jahr 2009 mit dem Bayerischen Kunstförderpreis. Außerdem erhielt er das Richard-Strauss-Stipendium der Stadt München, das Richard-Wagner-Stipendium, den Merkur Förderpreis, den tz-Rosenstrauss des Jahres und das Musikstipendium der Stadt München. Zwischen 2008 und 2009 war er Stipendiat im Internationalen Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg.
          Inside Ukraine's Jewish-themed Restaurant, Where Diners Are Encouraged to Bargain for Their Food        


The Ukrainian city of Lviv, also known as L’vov or Lemberg, has a rich but complicated past. On the eve of World War II, the city was home to the third-biggest Jewish population in what was then Poland, behind Warsaw and Lodz. Then came a familiar story: Nazi occupation, pogroms, a ghetto, and concentration camps, and finally the Soviets took over and erased whatever traces of Jewish life remained. The past remains a painful subject in Lviv, and there have been few public efforts to deal with the city’s dark Jewish history. And so a young Ukrainian entrepreneur sensed an opportunity. He opened Under the Golden Rose, a theme restaurant that he says honors the city’s Jewish past. It’s a place where diners are given hats with peyes attached, nibble on matzoh, and are encouraged to haggle over food prices—and so few of Lviv’s remaining Jews see it that way. Producer Daniel Estrin filed this report.

Continue reading "Inside Ukraine's Jewish-themed Restaurant, Where Diners Are Encouraged to Bargain for Their Food" at...


          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-27-2014 with Nat        
Playlist:

Filistine- No Lock No Key Electromecca Remix - Extra Dirty Bomb
Dead Prez- Police State - Lets Get Free
Mano Negra- Peligro - Best 0f 2005
The Gladiators- Looks Are Deceiving - Trenchtown MixUp
The Viceroys- Ya Ho - The Viceroys Brethern And Sisters
The Congos- Fisherman - Heart Of The Congos
Soom T- Boom Shiva - Ode 2 A Carrot
The Upsetters- Drum Rock - Trojan Dub Massive Chapter 2
- Master Plan - The Legendary Studio One Records
MICHAEL ROSE- Warrior Dub - Warrior Dub
- voicebreak -
Compilation- Linda Muequita - The Roots Of Chicha
La Colectiva- Llora Tu - Gente Morena
Princesa Ft Rancho MC- Con La Misma Moneda - Beginners Guide To Cumbia Disk 3
Various Artists- Blanquito Man Cumbia Sobre El Rio - Babel
- voicebreak -
La Colectiva- Cumbia De Tu Patria - Gente Morena
Compilation- Cariito - The Roots Of Chicha
Sonido Gallo Negro- Bocanegra - Cumbia Salvaje
- voicebreak -
Compilation- Moanin The Blues - Hank Williams 40 Greatest Hits
Halden Wofford And The HiBeams- Invocation - Sinners Saints
Halden Wofford And The HiBeams- Tear It Down - Sinners Saints
Elephant Revival- Birds And Stars - These Changing Skies
Anas Mitchell Justin Vernon- Wedding Song feat Justin Vernon - Hadestown
Paper Bird- Slow Slow Sinking To The Bottom Of The Lake Break UpDeath Montage Scene Mix By Kids On Stilts - Carry On Rmxd
- voicebreak -
Juana Molina- Eras - Wed 21
Plaid- Tender Hooks - Scintilli
Ten And Tracer- Wentzl Rumi - Youll Be A Hero Soon Speaker
Boy Robot- Loving You Makes Me Nervous - Glamorizing Corporate Lifestyle
Lusine- Get The Message - The Waiting Room
Schneider TM- The Light 3000 - 6 Peace EP
Radiohead- The National Anthem - Kid A
Neutral Milk Hotel- Gardenhead Leave Me Alone - On Avery Island
Pixies- Break My Body - Surfer Rosa
Big Star- Try Again - 1 Record Radio City Bonus Track Version
Sparklehorse- Gold Day - Its A Wonderful Life
Marianna Sadovska- Cycle Of Spring Calling Songs From Polissia - Songs I Learned In Ukraine
Drudkh- Tears Of Gods - Songs Of Grief And Solitude


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-01-27
          Tech at Night: SXSW becomes as reflexively anti-American as the Nobel Prize. Yet more Bitcoin anarchy.        
So the anti-American hate rally SXSW (in crony Democrat-run Austin) is on, though apparently some patriots haven’t gotten the message and keep going anyway. Edward Snowden stands in Russia ruled by authoritarian Vladimir Putin, and as Putin’s tanks roll into Ukraine followed by cyberwar against all who speak out against it, Snowden claims the NSA […]
          27.10.17 19:30 Uhr - Fürth - Der Lechner Edi schaut ins Paradies von Jura Soyfer - Eine satirisch-märchenhafte Parabel-PREMIERE am 27.10 !!!        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung217177-tickets

Mit DER LECHNER-EDI SCHAUT INS PARADIES inszeniert Brigitte Döring nach VINETA ein weiteres Stück, des weitgehend in Vergessenheit geratenen österreichischen Autors Jura Soyfer.
Der Arbeitslose Edi begibt sich in Begleitung seiner Freundin und eines stillgelegten Fabrikmotors auf eine bizarre Zeitreise durch die Vergangenheit, auf die Suche nach den "Verantwortlichen" seiner Lebenssituation. Sein Bestreben alle Erfindungen und Entdeckungen aufzuhalten und damit den Fortschritt gleichsam rückgängig zu machen, bleibt erfolglos und führt ihn schließlich bis zum Beginn der Menschheitsgeschichte, vor die Tore des Paradieses, in der Hoffnung das Unglück der Menschheit zu vermeiden, indem sein Erschaffung verhindert wird. Aber er kommt zu spät, der Mensch ist da, nichts zu machen. Sie müssen nach anderen Lösungen suchen.
Jura Soyfer, wurde 1912 in Charkow (Ukraine) geboren, kam 1920 nach Wien, wirkte dort unter anderem als satirischer Zeitungspoet und revolutionärer Stückeschreiber, wurde auf der Flucht vor den Nazis verhaftet und starb 1939 im KZ Buchenwald.
Mit Alex Werner, Samantha Lerch, Claus Salzmann, Andy Schwarzfischer, Johannes Hierdeis, Magnus Gertkemper u.a. Inszenierung: Brigitte Döring
Eintritt: VVK 10,- Euro/AK13,- Euro/ ermäßigt 8,- Euro (nur AK)
          28.10.17 19:30 Uhr - Fürth - Der Lechner Edi schaut ins Paradies von Jura Soyfer - Eine satirisch-märchenhafte Parabel        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung217179-tickets

Mit DER LECHNER-EDI SCHAUT INS PARADIES inszeniert Brigitte Döring nach VINETA ein weiteres Stück, des weitgehend in Vergessenheit geratenen österreichischen Autors Jura Soyfer.
Der Arbeitslose Edi begibt sich in Begleitung seiner Freundin und eines stillgelegten Fabrikmotors auf eine bizarre Zeitreise durch die Vergangenheit, auf die Suche nach den "Verantwortlichen" seiner Lebenssituation. Sein Bestreben alle Erfindungen und Entdeckungen aufzuhalten und damit den Fortschritt gleichsam rückgängig zu machen, bleibt erfolglos und führt ihn schließlich bis zum Beginn der Menschheitsgeschichte, vor die Tore des Paradieses, in der Hoffnung das Unglück der Menschheit zu vermeiden, indem sein Erschaffung verhindert wird. Aber er kommt zu spät, der Mensch ist da, nichts zu machen. Sie müssen nach anderen Lösungen suchen.
Jura Soyfer, wurde 1912 in Charkow (Ukraine) geboren, kam 1920 nach Wien, wirkte dort unter anderem als satirischer Zeitungspoet und revolutionärer Stückeschreiber, wurde auf der Flucht vor den Nazis verhaftet und starb 1939 im KZ Buchenwald.
Mit Alex Werner, Samantha Lerch, Claus Salzmann, Andy Schwarzfischer, Johannes Hierdeis, Magnus Gertkemper u.a. Inszenierung: Brigitte Döring
Eintritt: VVK 10,- Euro/AK13,- Euro/ ermäßigt 8,- Euro (nur AK)
          29.10.17 19:30 Uhr - Fürth - Der Lechner Edi schaut ins Paradies von Jura Soyfer - Eine satirisch-märchenhafte Parabel        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung217181-tickets

Mit DER LECHNER-EDI SCHAUT INS PARADIES inszeniert Brigitte Döring nach VINETA ein weiteres Stück, des weitgehend in Vergessenheit geratenen österreichischen Autors Jura Soyfer.
Der Arbeitslose Edi begibt sich in Begleitung seiner Freundin und eines stillgelegten Fabrikmotors auf eine bizarre Zeitreise durch die Vergangenheit, auf die Suche nach den "Verantwortlichen" seiner Lebenssituation. Sein Bestreben alle Erfindungen und Entdeckungen aufzuhalten und damit den Fortschritt gleichsam rückgängig zu machen, bleibt erfolglos und führt ihn schließlich bis zum Beginn der Menschheitsgeschichte, vor die Tore des Paradieses, in der Hoffnung das Unglück der Menschheit zu vermeiden, indem sein Erschaffung verhindert wird. Aber er kommt zu spät, der Mensch ist da, nichts zu machen. Sie müssen nach anderen Lösungen suchen.
Jura Soyfer, wurde 1912 in Charkow (Ukraine) geboren, kam 1920 nach Wien, wirkte dort unter anderem als satirischer Zeitungspoet und revolutionärer Stückeschreiber, wurde auf der Flucht vor den Nazis verhaftet und starb 1939 im KZ Buchenwald.
Mit Alex Werner, Samantha Lerch, Claus Salzmann, Andy Schwarzfischer, Johannes Hierdeis, Magnus Gertkemper u.a. Inszenierung: Brigitte Döring
Eintritt: VVK 10,- Euro/AK13,- Euro/ ermäßigt 8,- Euro (nur AK)
          24.11.17 19:30 Uhr - Fürth - Der Lechner Edi schaut ins Paradies von Jura Soyfer - Eine satirisch-märchenhafte Parabel        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung218242-tickets

Mit DER LECHNER-EDI SCHAUT INS PARADIES inszeniert Brigitte Döring nach VINETA ein weiteres Stück, des weitgehend in Vergessenheit geratenen österreichischen Autors Jura Soyfer.
Der Arbeitslose Edi begibt sich in Begleitung seiner Freundin und eines stillgelegten Fabrikmotors auf eine bizarre Zeitreise durch die Vergangenheit, auf die Suche nach den "Verantwortlichen" seiner Lebenssituation. Sein Bestreben alle Erfindungen und Entdeckungen aufzuhalten und damit den Fortschritt gleichsam rückgängig zu machen, bleibt erfolglos und führt ihn schließlich bis zum Beginn der Menschheitsgeschichte, vor die Tore des Paradieses, in der Hoffnung das Unglück der Menschheit zu vermeiden, indem sein Erschaffung verhindert wird. Aber er kommt zu spät, der Mensch ist da, nichts zu machen. Sie müssen nach anderen Lösungen suchen.
Jura Soyfer, wurde 1912 in Charkow (Ukraine) geboren, kam 1920 nach Wien, wirkte dort unter anderem als satirischer Zeitungspoet und revolutionärer Stückeschreiber, wurde auf der Flucht vor den Nazis verhaftet und starb 1939 im KZ Buchenwald.
Mit Alex Werner, Samantha Lerch, Claus Salzmann, Andy Schwarzfischer, Johannes Hierdeis, Magnus Gertkemper u.a. Inszenierung: Brigitte Döring
Eintritt: VVK 10,- Euro/AK13,- Euro/ ermäßigt 8,- Euro (nur AK)
          25.11.17 19:30 Uhr - Fürth - Der Lechner Edi schaut ins Paradies von Jura Soyfer - Eine satirisch-märchenhafte Parabel        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung218244-tickets

Mit DER LECHNER-EDI SCHAUT INS PARADIES inszeniert Brigitte Döring nach VINETA ein weiteres Stück, des weitgehend in Vergessenheit geratenen österreichischen Autors Jura Soyfer.
Der Arbeitslose Edi begibt sich in Begleitung seiner Freundin und eines stillgelegten Fabrikmotors auf eine bizarre Zeitreise durch die Vergangenheit, auf die Suche nach den "Verantwortlichen" seiner Lebenssituation. Sein Bestreben alle Erfindungen und Entdeckungen aufzuhalten und damit den Fortschritt gleichsam rückgängig zu machen, bleibt erfolglos und führt ihn schließlich bis zum Beginn der Menschheitsgeschichte, vor die Tore des Paradieses, in der Hoffnung das Unglück der Menschheit zu vermeiden, indem sein Erschaffung verhindert wird. Aber er kommt zu spät, der Mensch ist da, nichts zu machen. Sie müssen nach anderen Lösungen suchen.
Jura Soyfer, wurde 1912 in Charkow (Ukraine) geboren, kam 1920 nach Wien, wirkte dort unter anderem als satirischer Zeitungspoet und revolutionärer Stückeschreiber, wurde auf der Flucht vor den Nazis verhaftet und starb 1939 im KZ Buchenwald.
Mit Alex Werner, Samantha Lerch, Claus Salzmann, Andy Schwarzfischer, Johannes Hierdeis, Magnus Gertkemper u.a. Inszenierung: Brigitte Döring
Eintritt: VVK 10,- Euro/AK13,- Euro/ ermäßigt 8,- Euro (nur AK)
          belboon will von Fußball-EM profitieren        
Das Unternehmen belboon gehört zu den drei führenden Affiliate Marketing Netzwerken im deutschsprachigen Raum. Damit dies so bleibt, hat sich belboon nach eigenen Angaben in diesem Jahr voll und ganz auf die Fußball-EM in Polen und der Ukraine eingestellt und entsprechend viele interessante Angebote für Publisher im Programm. Traditionell versuchen Unternehmen von sportlichen Events wie [...]
          Kalamazoo B16’s with Sasha Gozun & coach Brandon Wagner        
Good evening! We are bringing you this week’s Brain Game Academy lesson live from Kalamazoo with a backstage look at one of the most promising juniors in the country – Sasha Gozun. Sasha is originally from Moldova – a small European country between Ukraine and Romania – and now lives in Tampa, Florida, and trains […]
          Interview with Serhiy Kolyada        






q)For the people who don't know your work - how would you describe it ?

a)I call my art contemporary postmodern art, because I try to show todays life mixing the traditions of old classic arts and literature and todays images of pop-culture, politics, etc. ... A lot of my works are about real life in Ukraine, I try to show the truth, that's why not a lot of people want to see my art in my country. Especialy our Ukrainian galleries refuse me all the time to make my exhibitions, so, there is a kind of censorship in my country. The owners of the galleries are affraid of our authorities, that they can take off the licenses for their business, I think. Nobody in Ukraine wants to see the true life in art. Most of my art is bought by Europeans, Americans and Canadiens. Maybe, one reason more is not ordinary media I use- not traditional, it's a ball-point pen on paper. Sometimes I add some watercolors or collage details in some of my works...  A lot of people don't beleive I use ball point pen... Sometimes my works look like black-and-white photographs...

q)What are the key themes running through your practice?

a)As I told, I try to show the true life in Ukraineand also sometimes I depict some themes of global life. Also I like to make some erotic art. I show the world of corruption in Ukrainian politics, the problem of prostitution and sex-tourism in Ukraine, the problem of using alcohole and drugs among Ukrainian youth, the problems of world economical crisis and contrasts of rich and poor people in Ukraine...

q)Your favorite place on earth?

a)I didn't travel a lot... I like my country and I liked Swedenwhere I was in 1991 during the communist putch in Moscow, when Ukraine still was the part of Soviet Union. I asked the political asylem in Sweden but in a month the Swedish authorities told me that Ukraine is democratic and free now, and I have to go back...

q)What influences your work?

a)Old classic art, literature, ancient myths one one hand influences my work... and on the other hand some great artists, like Ukrainian Taras Shevchenko (19 century), Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, some of the German expressionists and some other surrealist painters... And the influence of contemporary pop-culture, mass symbols from advertisings, gloss magazines, including erotic and even porn photos... All of this is combined in one postmodern mixture... I also call my art "LifeScapes" (from still-life and landscapes) or "Visual prose"...

q)What music are you into right now?

a)I listen to different music - from classical to todays hard rock

q)Describe your thought & design process...

a)Usualy, I read some book, see television look at advertising boards on the streets, listen to the people talking- all of this, as I told became in a strange mixture in my head... sometimes I use even some of my night dreams...

q)Which emerging artists are you looking forward to seeing more of?

a)I am interested in some of my friend artists in Ukraine, we organize together a group which is called "Freedom or Death"... all of them try to show our true life in Ukraine... Some time ago I began to find different artists abroad on Saatchi Online and I found some interesting artists and interesting art with interesting ideas and concepts... It will be good to make some international exhibition...

q)Favorite place on the internet?

a)As I told last time I liked Saatchi Online, besides I get acqainted with intersting people on Facebook...

q)Do you have any upcoming projects/exhibitions we should know about?

a)I took part with my friend artists in Ukrainein different art fairs, but now I cannot tell you what will be in future, I still have problem to make the exhibition in Ukraine... but I'd love to have my personal show... 

q)Tell us something we don't know - but should...

a) The most important thing I'd like to tell you that Ukraine is not free in sence of free art, free mass-media still and even isn't free economicaly and even in politics. To my mind and a lot of people will agree with me that we still have unhuman government and president who are part of mafia... That's why I cannot develop my art free. In fact, I'd like Ukraineto be a part of Europe, that I could go free in Europeto show my art free in European galleries. But European politicians understand that it's dangerous to allow Ukrainian mafia and criminals come to Europe...  

q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

a) All my art people can find on my personal web-site: www.kolyada.com


          Millimages’ Toons Rule at NATPE Budapest        

European production and distribution company Millimages has had a successful market at the recent NATPE Budapest content market. TeleOne in the Ukraine has picked up kids’ animated shows Bugged (52 x 7’), Monk (52 x 3’) and Corneil & Bernie series 1 & 2 (104 x 13’), while Orlando Kids in Croatia has also acquired […]

The post Millimages’ Toons Rule at NATPE Budapest appeared first on Animation Magazine.


          Uzelkov, Bursak, Spyrko Return on July 21 in Ukraine        
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          My Favorite Way to Start Each Day        

My Favorite Way to Start Each Day

Every morning that dawns is like a new opportunity to start fresh, to try new approaches and make new decisions. That’s why I love to start each day seeking my Creator’s face, simply asking him to give me his wisdom.

Can you imagine God giving you the chance to ask for anything? Long ago, a new ruler sat on a throne in Israel. God approached him in a vision by night and told him to ask anything his heart desired. The young king’s response was staggering—he didn’t choose riches or fame or protection—he asked for wisdom to rightly govern God’s people. God was so pleased with his answer that he gave him the wisest heart of anyone who has ever lived. Since that time the world has never forgotten about the wisdom of King Solomon.The story doesn’t end there though, because God is still offering wisdom to people today. He promises to give it to anyone who asks, but very few people are interested in it these days. There are some, however, who take God at his word. They ask. And to those, God promises it will be given liberally. “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally . . . and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

Living life successfully requires a lot of wisdom, and I very often feel the lack of it in my own life. It isn’t easy being an adult with responsibilities. It isn’t always easy to make important relationships work well. And it certainly isn’t easy to transform needy, dependent children into mature, responsible, God-loving adults.

Before my feet even hit the floor, I like to ask for his guidance. In particular, I need wisdom for four noisy, cumbersome, loud, often-selfish, mostly-sweet, energetic, inquisitive, growing little girls. So I ask for it.

I don’t always start my day this way—it’s not some sort of magic ritual to make life go perfectly. But I take courage in the fact that my loving Father will give me anything I need to know if I ask for it in faith. How about you? Are you looking for wisdom?

-

Kelsie is privileged to be wife to Joshua, and mom to four girls, with a baby boy due in January 2017! She lives with her family in Ukraine, where they have served as missionaries for more than a decade. She loves good books, drinking tea, speaking Ukrainian, keeping up with friends, and laughing at her husband’s silly jokes. Kelsie also enjoys pursuing writing and editing as a means of ministry.

The post My Favorite Way to Start Each Day appeared first on No Greater Joy Ministries.


          Faith and Dalmatians: How I Learned to Believe God        

Faith and Dalmations: How I Learned to Believe God

It seemed every kid in our neighborhood had a dog. Every kid except me. I asked my parents on several occasions if I might have a dog too. They wisely explained that a pet meant responsibility, and they felt I needed to be at least ten years old before I would be ready for one. I was nine.

In the meantime, my mom encouraged me to research various dog breeds so I would be able to make an informed choice when the time came. It didn’t take me long to decide. I wanted a Dalmatian. Other kids had labs or terriers or common breeds. But I would have something special: a dog I had previously thought was reserved only for firefighters.

Unfortunately, Dalmatian puppies were expensive—a purebred cost around $400 at the time. Mom warned me that $400 was a lot of money, most likely more than our family could pay. This apparent obstacle set the stage for one of the most important lessons I have ever learned: how to ask God for something and then trust his guidance in the answer.

Like all kids, I had a dream. And like most kids, I lacked the resources to make that dream a reality. So I began to pray, petitioning God to give me a Dalmatian. I didn’t have much experience in prayer or a super-Christian faith. I just wanted a dog, and because my parents encouraged it, I decided to ask God.

God loves to answer prayer when people actually expect him to, when they believe he can. And most of all, he loves the faith-filled prayers of children. They have sway with him like none else.

And so it happened, that on a warm summer evening in suburban Fort Worth, God unmistakably inserted himself into my life. His answer to my little prayer did not come as a fuzzy feeling or some vague aligning of circumstances. Instead, it came in the form of a champion-quality adolescent Dalmatian trotting right into my front yard!

God loves to answer prayer when people actually expect him to.

Stray dogs were fairly common in our neighborhood, but a Dalmatian? It was exactly what I had been praying for! My heart raced as I observed this beautiful animal darting from place to place, sniffing out every tree and bush, seemingly oblivious to the stunned nine-year-old boy gawking from the porch.

I quickly recovered from my shock. As it became apparent that no owner was in sight, I caught the dog and brought her inside. Mom slipped an old collar from a former pet around our canine visitor’s neck. The tag on it was current, displaying our home address, phone number, and the name Tina. After releasing the Dalmatian into the backyard, we discussed how to proceed.

We knew from our research what a quality Dalmatian should look like. This dog was perfect. Too perfect, in fact, to be a stray. Dismayed, I listened sadly as Mom explained that the dog must belong to someone and we needed to do our best to get her back home. She was right, of course, and we set about trying to find the owner.

A little while later, I went into the backyard and discovered to my horror that my dream pet had disappeared! We later learned that she was a fence-jumper, and our short, four-foot chain link had been no match for her.

To say that I was heartbroken would be an understatement. I had been so certain that God had given me a Dalmatian. Despite our conclusion that she belonged to someone else, I still held out hope that I might get to keep her. Now she was gone. It was the first time in my short life I felt a keen sense of loss, and I remember vividly how I sobbed in my mom’s arms.

But the story didn’t end there. Could we not pray again? We did pray, but my faith was small. Surely this dog was gone forever, and prayer was merely our dutiful response to a hopeless situation. God, however, was just getting warmed up.

I thanked God for his goodness and faithfulness to a nine-year-old boy.

Only a short time passed before the phone rang. A man on the other end claimed that he had found Tina. Could we come pick her up? I was beside myself. Minutes later, this amazing Dalmatian was back at the Steele home, now confined more carefully to prevent escape.

In the days to come, we ran ads in the local newspaper and hung posters all over our neighborhood. No one ever claimed her. Finally, Dad gave his permission and the dog was mine to keep. I named her Ashlea, and as you might expect, she was the best pet a kid could ever hope for. But to me she was much more than a pet. She was the hand of God reaching deliberately into my life, showing me that he was real, that he was powerful, and that he cared about me.

Years later, while I was home on my first furlough from Ukraine, Ashlea passed away. I buried her myself on the back of my parents’ Texas farm. Through tears, with the shovel in my hands, I thanked God for his goodness and faithfulness to a nine-year-old boy.

Next Steps

Ashlea was a beginning. From there, God continued to mold my life in various ways, introducing greater tests of faith. When I was 12, my mom registered me for a large Christian conference that was held annually in our city. It was a big event, and I felt very privileged to attend at such a young age.

The speaker challenged us to follow God in many practical areas, even when it was hard. He told stories from his own life about learning to walk in faith. I found one example particularly poignant: obtaining and maintaining a clear conscience. I grew in humility as I began patching up relationships with others, admitting when I was wrong, and asking for forgiveness. It was terrifying at times. But God loves contrition. As he led me, I learned to value his approval far more than the approval of people.

Another significant area for me was submission to my parents. As a young adolescent I learned not only to obey my parents out of duty, but to value their authority as a sort of divine guidance. I knew God had placed me under my parents, and I began to realize that as I followed their direction, I was following his. The ability to hear God’s voice in this way became increasingly valuable to me, reinforcing my relationship with him and with my parents. Their wisdom protected me from many a pitfall during my formative years, and their training continues to benefit me and my family to this day.

Meeting Mike

God brought a second major event into my life at the age of 12: my first meeting with Michael Pearl. Mike came to visit our church in Texas and led a Bible study on Romans and Revelation. Everything about it fascinated me. The teaching was excellent, but I was most struck by Mike’s loyalty to the Word of God. I had never heard a preacher who was so confident in believing the Bible word for word, just as it was written. His speech was void of all-too-familiar criticisms such as, “This would be better translated as . . .” or “In the original Greek it actually says . . .” Instead, Mike seemed to hang on every word, every comma. These were God’s words, after all, and they were perfectly preserved for us. We could read them and understand them. We could search for meaning and find it. We could know for ourselves the doctrines of God without having to rely blindly on the private interpretations of others.

This approach to Scripture gave me confidence. Over the next few years, I listened to every Bible study from Mike that I could get my hands on. We had cassette tapes then, and I remember listening to them as I did my chores. I saw that Mike wasn’t trying to conform me into a belief system he had contrived. Instead, with Mike’s guidance, I was learning to follow God, and this thrilled me. I was learning to read God’s Word for myself and stand on its claims with boldness. Mike’s teaching on various passages of Scripture frequently left me thinking, “Why didn’t I see that before? It’s written right here in black and white!”

By the time I was 18, I had become fearless. I knew that I still had much to learn, but I had no doubt in my mind about how to learn it. I needed nothing more than my King James Bible, a good concordance, and time.

Hong Kong

As I progressed through my adolescent years, I gradually recognized that God was orchestrating significant events to lead me down a specific path. It was my job to discern his direction and obey. He would take care of the rest. In fact, this perception became a core part of my prayer life. “Lord, if you will only make your will clear to me, I will obey.”

One life-steering event came when I was 16 in the form of a phone call from Michael Pearl. He was inviting me to take part in a short-term mission project in Hong Kong. Mike’s son, Gabriel, was going and their family wanted someone to accompany him. Would my parents consider allowing me to go?

When I heard this proposition, I was excited, but I had my doubts that it would ever materialize. Our family didn’t travel much at all. Besides, this would cost money, and although Mike’s church had offered to pay for living expenses while I was in Hong Kong, the cost of the airfare would be up to us. Where would we get the money? After some discussion, my mom and dad agreed: if God would provide the funds, they would allow me to go.

I had a part-time job in construction, and I immediately began saving all I could. But there was another problem. It was now December of 1995, and due to squabbling in Congress, the U.S. government had shut down. Among other things, new passports were not being issued. Even if I could earn enough for my plane ticket, how would I get a passport?

I listened to the news on the radio. Reports told of people going to passport agencies and camping out for days, hoping that the government might open in time for them to receive a passport. Again, my situation seemed impossible, and again, God acted.

The government finally decided to open the passport offices for one week. If you showed up in time and got through the lines, you could get a passport. Mom loaded me and the other kids in the car, and we left for Houston. As we approached the city, I prepared myself for a dreadful sight. Based on the radio reports I’d heard, there would be impossible lines, tents everywhere, and a general feeling of chaos.

We timed our arrival so that we would reach the city in the pre-dawn hours, hoping this would help our chances. As we navigated the downtown Houston streets, I fumbled with an atlas trying to guide Mom to the right place. Finally, after asking directions, we found the passport office. Mom dropped me off to get a place in line, and then left to check in to our hotel.

I entered the building and went up several floors to the main entrance of the passport office. It was still closed. This much I had expected. What I did not expect was to find myself alone. There was not a soul in sight. Was I in the right place? Where were the lines we’d heard about? I did not have to wonder long. Minutes later the crowds arrived behind me. Soon a security guard came out and began explaining various protocols. This was indeed the right place, and I was first in line!

Mom managed to find me at the front of the line and we started checking all our paperwork. The security guard had assured us that if anything was missing, we would be passed over for the next applicant, losing our place in line and possibly our chance to obtain a passport.

To my horror, we suddenly realized that we had neglected to fill in my social security number on the application. We didn’t have it anywhere! Only minutes remained until the doors opened! After some discussion, we decided to call Dad in Fort Worth to see if he could find the number. This was before the days of smartphones and wifi, so Mom set off to find a pay phone. It seemed this whole crazy plan of ours was coming apart at the seams.

Yet once again, right on cue, God did what seemed to us impossible. Mom hadn’t gotten far when she was stopped by a man in line. He had overheard our conversation and to our amazement, he produced a cellular telephone! I had barely heard of such devices, let alone used one. In 1995, a cell phone was rare indeed.

Yet once again, right on cue, God did what seemed to us impossible.

Mom dialed home. A few moments later, she was back at the front of the line with the number in hand. Within half an hour, we had completed the application process, and by early afternoon, we were driving toward Fort Worth, passport in hand.

Against all odds, I flew to Hong Kong in January of 1996 and spent six weeks spreading the Gospel with a team of young missionaries. Gabriel Pearl had injured his leg just before the trip, and so I ended up traveling alone. But then, I was not alone. I was more convinced than ever before that God was with me. He was the God who heard and answered my prayers. He was the God who produced Dalmatians out of thin air, who revealed his Word to children, who provided money for mission trips, and who even dispatched his angels in Houston armed with cell phones. This was my God, and I would follow him to the ends of the earth.

Conclusion

Just 18 months after returning from Hong Kong, I discovered my next mission field: Ukraine. I spent five months there in 1997. God ultimately used that trip to lead me to the ministry I have today.

I could tell many more stories of God’s guidance, provision, and faithfulness. Someday, perhaps I will write them all down in a book. For now, let me close by challenging you, young man or young woman, to believe God. This little testimony is not a story about a special boy who achieved great faith. This is a story about a great God who built faith in a little boy. That same God is waiting for you. He is extending his hand to lead you. He is ready to part the Red Sea for you and show you wonders that will defy your imagination. Let him build your faith as you obey his Word. Seek God, believe God, and follow God as he transforms your life into an incredible story that will glorify his name and turn many to salvation.

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
- Hebrews 11:32-34

---

Joshua has been ministering the Gospel in Ukraine since 2001, and has also served in Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States. Prior to her calling as a wife and mother, Kelsie took part in mission trips to Taiwan, Mexico, and Romania. She and Joshua were married on September 18, 2004, after which they returned to Ukraine as a couple.

Joshua and Kelsie are both founding members of Euro Team Outreach (ETO), a ministry dedicated to advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Eastern Europe. One of ETO’s core outreaches is Bible First!

During the summer months, ETO hosts Carpathian Mountain Outreach, an annual short-term project aimed at evangelizing remote mountain villages, expanding the impact of Bible First! in Ukraine, and providing hands-on missions training for young men.

The Steeles currently reside in L’viv, Ukraine. They have four children: Abigail, Rebekah, Hosanna, and Kathryn. Both Joshua and Kelsie speak the Ukrainian language fluently and are actively involved in the lives of the Ukrainian people.

The post Faith and Dalmatians: How I Learned to Believe God appeared first on No Greater Joy Ministries.


          Ukrainian        
A. Why not? Human feelings and qualities have no territorial or national boundaries. Q. How do you think, as a dentist, you have the opportunity succeed abroad according to your specialty? A. Sure is. I do believe that in any profession or specialty can succeed anywhere, it would wish. Striving for success, hard work, good professional quality - and success is assured. B. For me, Ukraine is a country - an enigma, very beautiful. There are many educated and intelligent people. It would seem that there are so many possibilities and potential and all the same to So far your state is developing with great difficulty. Do you think that life in Ukraine is better? You feel better living in Ukraine? A. I do not believe this issue is correct as if I did respond to it you can not understand the whole Indeed, perhaps because of different mindset, perhaps because you live in another country. There are many different nuances that can not be answered unequivocally. Frankly, the discussion of this aspect of our country to a citizen of another countries hurt my patriotic feelings. Moreover, I do not think that the economic or political situation of our country can affect the relationship between the Ukrainian women and potential husbands foreigners. Q. How do I Why do you think Ukrainian women are so popular among men around the world? A. Because they embody all the qualities that should have a real woman in every man's dream. Somehow Ukrainian connect a comprehensive love, boundless tenderness, sensitivity, where a weakness and at the same time - a furious determination, perseverance, strength, and courage.
          What next for Eastern Europe?        
While President Trump tweets, the United States and Russia drift towards war over Syria, and the new Thirty Years War between Shi'ite and Sunni continues on many fronts, another critical drama is playing out in the Eastern half of the European continent.  I find it particularly interesting because it is a replay of the drama I described about 40 years ago in my first book, Economic Diplomacy and the Origins of the Second World War, which is linked at left and available as an e-book.

For the first few centuries of the modern era the peoples of Eastern Europe lived under large empires.  The Ottoman Empire had reached Europe in the 15th century and eventually included what is now Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Rumania, some of the nations of the former Yugoslavia, and Hungary.  The Tsar of Russia ruled what are now the Baltic States and, by the 19th century, Poland.  The Holy Roman Empire--which in 1806 became the Austrian Empire, and in 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Empire--included parts of Poland and the present-day Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia.  All these peoples, to varying degrees, developed nationalist movements during the 19th century.

The enormous strain of the First World War proved too much not only for the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, but also for the German Empire.  The Allies--France, Britain, Italy and eventually the US as well--sponsored the claims of some of the national movements in their territory.  In January 1918, in his Fourteen Points, Woodrow Wilson endorsed an independent Poland and autonomy (not independence) for the peoples of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.  When those nations collapsed ten months later, various national movements proclaimed new states.

As the brilliant but eccentric English historian A. J. P. Taylor noted in 1961, the post-1919 settlement in Eastern Europe reflected the astonishing fact that both Germany and Russia had been defeated. Only that allowed for the re-creation of an independent Poland, the new states of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia,a larger Rumania, independent Poland and Finland, and the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.  It seemed in 1918-9 that things might go even further and that Ukraine might become independent as well, but the Bolsheviks managed to secure control over it in the Russian civil war.  These states were economically and politically weak.  Nearly all of them initially formed some kind of democratic government, encouraged down that path by the western powers.

In the short run, several of the new states--Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Romania--were threatened by Hungary, which had lost huge territories at the peace conference, while in the long run Czechoslovakia and Poland had to worry about a resurgent Germany. France, eager to cement its status as the leading power in Europe, offered all those states some kind of alliance.  Clearly the French would have trouble defending them once the Germans or Russians regained their military strength, but the French were counting on keeping the Germans weak.  The alliances faced no serious threats until after the rise of Hitler.

By then all these countries had undergone profound political changes.  While all of them had begun as democracies, only Czechoslovakia, Finland and the Baltic States were still electing their governments by the early 1930s--the rest had come under some form of authoritarian rule.  The agricultural states among them, as I showed in my book, came under German influence after 1935 because the Germans, desperate for food, offered them a market for their produce.  In 1938 Hitler managed to destroy Czechoslovakia when the French abandoned their alliance.  In 1939-40, Hitler and Stalin concluded the Nazi-Soviet Pact. They partitioned Poland and the Soviets incorporated the Baltic States.  Hungary and Rumania became allies of Hitler while Yugoslavia was occupied by the Italians and the Nazis.  In 1945,  the whole region (except Finland) came under Soviet occupation and the USSR installed Communist governments.

The collapse of the USSR in 1991--77 years after the start of the First World War--started this process over again.  Once again, as in 1919, the entire region was liberated from foreign rule.  This time the proliferation of new states has gone much further, with Czechoslovakia and former Yugoslavia giving way to no less than 8 new states, and not only the Baltic States, but also Ukraine and Belarus, becoming independent.  Once again the new states established various forms of democracy.  And once again, powerful nations from outside the region offered them alliances. NATO, led by the US, offered membership to virtually every new state in the region, including the Baltic states--after initially promising the new Russian government not to do so.  The EU also offered many of them membership, choosing to ignore the enormous economic and cultural differences that still divide Europe somewhere around the frontiers of Germany and Poland.

Germany is no longer an imperialist nation, although it leads the EU and played a key role in its enlargement.  Russia once again went through a chaotic period but by 2000 it was recovering its strength under Vladimir Putin.  He is clearly determined to reassert Russian influence--if not more--over many of the states of the former USSR.  Belarus lost any real independence very quickly, and Putin is actively contesting the West in a bid for influence in Ukraine, and using the Russian military at the border to do so. He also very obviously has designs on the Baltic states, which are extremely vulnerable militarily.  And while Putin cannot offer these states markets the way the Germans did 80 years ago, he can provide them with energy.

And once again, democracy has proven fragile in Eastern Europe.  Rightist parties now lead the governments of Hungary, Poland, and some of the other states of the region. The governments of the Czech Republic and Slovakia are weak and subject to corruption and outside influence.  These nations face a choice between  western-style democracy--which is having enormous problems in the west--and Russian-style authoritarianism.  It is not at all clear which path they shall take.

Only a gigantic war settled the question of Eastern Europe's future 80 years ago.  Such a war does not seem in prospect now, but limited wars, such as a lightning Russian occupation of one or more Baltic states, cannot be ruled out.  Russian and NATO aircraft are constantly confronting one another in the region.  The Russians also seem to be using cyberwar against Ukraine, and they may use it elsewhere. To reach a new equilibrium diplomatically would require a level of statesmanship which is not apparent on the world scene.  Nearly thirty years ago, when the Soviet empire collapsed, I commented frequently that this time, Eastern Europe had taken a new shape without a new world war.  Now it seems that the process may involve a larger conflict--albeit of a possibly different kind.
          Einladung zu Vortrag und Diskussion        
Was bedeutet Antipropaganda aus der Sicht der Kritischen Theorie? Freitag, 3. Juli 2015, 18.30h – 20.00h Quartier Leech, Leechgasse 24, 8010 Graz von Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gintautas Mažeikis, Philosoph. Vytautas Magnus Universität, Kaunas, Litauen Das Thema der Antipropaganda wurde im Zusammenhang mit dem Krieg in der Ukraine relevant. Eine mögliche Ausweitung des Krieges, die drohende Zerfall […]
          4 Reasons Why a Lawsuit Over Flight MH17 Will Not Succeed in U.S. Courts.        

“I opened the door and it was raining people. One fell in my vegetable patch” –Irina Tipunova, Rozsypne, Ukraine That horrific account captures only part of the tragedy that ended the lives of 298 passengers aboard Malaysia Flight MH17 last month.  Several hundred feet from Ms. Tipunova’s home, dozens more ravaged bodies lay in the... Continue Reading

The post 4 Reasons Why a Lawsuit Over Flight MH17 Will Not Succeed in U.S. Courts. appeared first on International Business Law Advisor.


          Reading Comprenhension        


Reading Comprehension Test # ALPHA -1


Incident Report # SSU 007/2333

At 2325 hours on Sunday 14 April 2000, the UNMIK Police control received a telephone call, reporting the sound of gunshots from the area of the Bus Garage (Grid reference 125 185). An UNMIK police patrol and a KFOR patrol responded to the scene. On arrival, the police patrol found a large number of people gathered outside an apartment building, the patrol was directed to Apartment Number 4. Inside the apartment, a male person was found lying on the hallway floor, dead from gunshot wounds to the body and head.  Investigations revealed that the body was that of a 46 year old Goran male who lived in the apartment with his wife. The wife stated that at 2325 hours there was a knock at the door of the apartment and when her husband answered the door he was shot twice, the gunman then kicked him and ran off down the stairs. She described the gunman as being very tall, approximately 2 meters, wearing a red cap, blue jeans and white trainers. The police secured the scene and informed the Murder Squad. KFOR remained in the area to control the large crowd outside.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/2333/02

Investigations by the Murder Squad confirmed that the deceased was a 46 year old Goran male, who received two fatal gunshot wounds to the chest and head. One of these bullets passing through the body and lodging in the dining room table, this was recovered for forensic examination. Also recovered from the apartment hallway were three 10mm empty cartridges. The building landlord identified himself as making the initial call to Police control and had been in his apartment, number 1, at the time of the shooting. When interviewed he stated that at 2325 hours he heard five gunshots and when he looked out of his door he saw a tall male person run pass him out of the building door. He described this person as wearing a blue jacket, a dark ski mask and white trainers. A further search of the deceased's apartment produced a further two empty 10mm cartridge, found in the pocket of a coat hanging in the hallway.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/2333/03

A search of the whole area was carried out by the Police and KFOR, at the rear of the apartment building a military police dog found a red cap and a blue jacket in a rubbish skip. These items were seized for further examination. Further interviews revealed that, earlier in the day of the 11 April 2000, the deceased had been seen arguing with a young Albanian male, who wanted to buy his apartment. In the main those people interviewed were very uncooperative and no other witnesses came forward or were identified. The building landlord will be re-interviewed to obtain any information of persons wanting to buy the apartment. The investigation is continuing.







QUESTIONS        READING TEST ALPHA -1

Family Name: ………..…………… First name: ….…………….. CP #: ………………………..
Country:…………………..                                                                                                                   Date:……...…………………

Q1:    Who reported the gunshots to the Police Control?
Q2:    What was the ethnicity of the victim?
Q3:     How many empty cartridges were found in the victim's apartment?
Q4:    Who responded to the initial report of gunshots?
Q5:    What items were found at the rear of the apartment building?
Q6:    What was the date, of the incident? 
Q7:    Who was the victim seen arguing with and why?
Q8:     Why did the Police want to re-interview the building landlord?
Q9:    Why did KFOR remain at the scene?
Q10:    What was the caliber of the gun used?


ANSWERS    READING TEST # ALHPA-1

Q1:    Who reported the gunshots to the Police Control?
    The Building Landlord
Q2:    What was the ethnicity of the victim?
Goran
Q3:     How many empty cartridges were found in the victim's apartment?
Five
Q4:    Who responded to the initial report of gunshots?
UNMIK Police and KFOR.
Q5:    What items were found at the rear of the apartment building?
Red cap and a blue jacket.
Q6:    What was the date of the incident?
14 April 2000.
Q7:    Who was the victim seen arguing with earlier in the day and why?
A young Albanian male, who wanted to buy the apartment.
Q8:     Why did the police want to re-interview the Building landlord?
    Obtain any information of persons wanting to buy the apartment
Q9:    Why did KFOR remain at the scene of the shooting?
To control the large crowd.
 Q10:    What was the caliber of the gun used?
    10mm.





Reading Comprehension Test # BRAVO-1



Incident Report # SSU 007/00.

At 1745 hours on Sunday 09 April a Serbian male went to the UNMIK police station and reported that his 19year old son had been missing since the previous night. He stated that his son and their neighbor's son had left their house at 2000 hours to go to a café downtown. At 2150 hours the neighbor's son returned home, but their son did not and he was worried. The father had checked with the neighbor's son who informed him, that at 2130 hours last night they both went to the Café Bar near the Bank Building to have a drink. About five (5) minutes later his son left the café with a group of five (5) young people, who he had not seen before. At 0815 hours the next morning, the father went to the Café Bar and asked the owner whether anyone had seen his son. The owner informed him that one of his waiters had seen his son, the previous evening, quarreling with five young males outside the café. He described the males as being all about 20 years old, all had long black hair and one had a ring in his left ear, he had not seen them before.
 They then had forced the son into a White Mercedes, which then drove off at speed in the direction of the hospital. The father gave the police a picture of the missing boy and requested help to find his son. The police made a report and advised the father they would inform the Missing Persons unit.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/00/04

On the 10 April, UNMIK police Missing Person Unit conducted the primary investigation regarding the incident. A check was made at the local hospital, which proved negative. At the Café Bar the police interviewed the owner and a number of waiters who were working at the time of the incident. From this the Unit obtained information that the suspects were all local Kosovo Albanians and that one of the waiters had remembered the registration number of the Mercedes as SK0321. A police patrol located the suspect vehicle parked on the Airport road 15km from Pristina, at Grid reference 015156. The police seized the vehicle’s registration book, which identified the name and address of the vehicle owner and also a gold ring, which was identified as belonging to the missing boy. Enquiries are continuing.

Follow up Report: 0039/00/04

On 11 April, UNMIK police and KFOR searched the address shown in the seized registration book and arrested the owner of the Mercedes, who admitted to being involved in the abduction of the boy. He stated that the boy owed him money for drugs, he also gave the location of the house where the boy was being held. UNMIK police and KFOR conducted a search of this house and the missing boy was located, six (6) Kosovo Albanian males were arrested at the scene. The missing boy's injuries were a bruised chest and a broken left wrist, a result of beatings received when held. He was taken to the hospital and later returned to his parents. Also seized from the house was a Smith and Wesson revolver and 200 Ecstasy tablets.  The suspects were taken to the detention center and held for court. Case is closed.





QUESTIONS            READING TEST BRAVO-1


Family Name: ……………………First Name: …………….. CP #:……………..
Country:………………………..                                                                                Date:……………..

Q1:    What reason did the suspect give for abducting the boy?
Q2:    What was seized from the suspect's vehicle?
Q3:    What is the nationality of the suspects?
Q4:    The Grid Reference where the suspect vehicle was located?
Q5:    Who gave the police the description of the suspect's vehicle?
Q6:    Where was the missing boy last seen?
Q7:    What did the police seize from the second house they searched?
Q8:    Describe the suspect vehicle?
Q9:    Describe the injuries of the missing boy?
Q10:    How many suspects were arrested?


ANSWERS    READING TEST # BRAVO-1

Q1:    What reason did the suspect give for abducting the boy?
    He owed money for drugs.       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q2:    What was seized from the suspects' vehicle?
    Vehicle registration book and Gold Ring.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q3:     What is the nationality of the suspects?
    Kosovo Albanian.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q4:    The Grid Reference where the suspect vehicle was located?
    Grid Reference 015156
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q5:    Who gave the police the description of the suspect's vehicle?
    Café Bar waiter.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q6:    Where was the missing boy last seen?
    Outside the Café Bar.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q7:     What did the police seize from the second house they searched?
    Smith and Wesson revolver and 200 Ecstasy tablets.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q8:     Describe the suspect vehicle?
    White Mercedes, registration SK0321
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9:    Describe the injuries of the missing boy?
    Bruised chest and broken left wrist
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q10:    How many suspects were arrested?
    Seven
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   

READING COMPREHENSION TEST CHARLIE-1

Incident Report # MSU 0010/137B

At 0055 hours on Wednesday 11 October 2000, Regional Murder Squad Investigator Jean PAIN received a radio message from Pristina Control. It reported a drive-by shooting in Dragodan, Pristina Grid Reference 125 230. The victim Arden GASHI, born 22 February 1928 had been taken to Pristina hospital and declared dead on arrival. Investigator PAIN arrived at the scene at 0115 hours, where he interviewed the wife of the victim, Fetija GASHI, born 20 April 1932. She stated that she and her husband had been walking along the street towards their house when a dark brown Opel Kadett drove by them, without any lights on. A man leaned out of the rear offside passengers' window opening fire at them from a gun he was holding, her husband fell to the ground bleeding from several bullet wounds he had received. She did not see how many people were in the Kadett and she only remembered the letters KS from the registration plate. Fetija was able to raise the alarm and the Police and Ambulance were called. The Forensic Identification Unit and the Investigative Judge arrived at the scene at 0120 hours. Two empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered at the scene, and then the area was sealed for further examination in daylight. Pristina Control circulated details of the suspect vehicle to all units.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/02

At 0145 hours a police patrol saw the suspect vehicle traveling on the Skopje road out of Pristina and they stopped the Kadett at the Swedish KFOR checkpoint Grid Reference 123 201. The police in co-operation with KFOR troops, searched the three male occupants and the vehicle. No firearms were found, however four empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered from the rear passenger area. The registration number of the Opel Kadett was 246 KS 673, the vehicle was impounded at Police Station Number 1. On the authorization of the Investigative Judge, the three male occupants were arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to the Detention Centre, Pristina.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/03

At 0215 hours the Investigative Judge attended the Mortuary, Pristina Hospital, where the body of Arden GASHI was examined. The examination revealed three gunshot wounds to the chest, two penetrated the left lung and one passed through the heart, death was instantaneous. Property removed from the victim included a silver wristwatch and an empty brown leather wallet, which were retained by the Investigative Judge. Investigations are continuing.













READING COMPREHENSION TEST CHARLIE-1


Incident Report # MSU 0010/137B

At 0055 hours on Wednesday 11 October 2000, Regional Murder Squad Investigator Jean PAIN received a radio message from Pristina Control. It reported a drive-by shooting in Dragodan, Pristina Grid Reference 125 230. The victim Arden GASHI, born 15 September 1936 had been taken to Pristina hospital and declared dead on arrival. Investigator PAIN arrived at the scene at 0115 hours, where he interviewed the wife of the victim, Fetija GASHI, born 20 April 1942. She stated that she and her husband had been walking along the street towards their house when a dark brown Volkswagen Golf drove by them, without any lights on. A man leaned out of the rear offside passengers' window opening fire at them from a gun he was holding, her husband fell to the ground bleeding from several bullet wounds he had received. She did not see how many people were in the Golf and she only remembered the letters KS from the registration plate. Fetija was able to raise the alarm and the Police and Ambulance were called. The Forensic Identification Unit and the Investigative Judge arrived at the scene at 0120 hours. Two empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered at the scene, and then the area was sealed for further examination in daylight. Pristina Control circulated details of the suspect vehicle to all units.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/02

At 0225 hours a police patrol saw the suspect vehicle traveling on the Skopje road out of Pristina and they stopped the Golf at the Swedish KFOR checkpoint Grid Reference 123 201. The police in co-operation with KFOR troops, searched the three male occupants and the vehicle. No firearms were found, however six empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered from the rear passenger area. The registration number of the Volkswagen Golf was 246 KS 673, the vehicle was impounded at Police Station Number 1. On the authorization of the Investigative Judge, the three male occupants were arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to the Detention Centre, Pristina.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/03

At 0245 hours the Investigative Judge attended the Mortuary, Pristina Hospital, where the body of Arden GASHI was examined. The examination revealed three gunshot wounds to the chest, two penetrated the left lung and one passed through the heart, death was instantaneous. Property removed from the victim included a gold ring and a copper bracelet, which were retained by the Investigative Judge. Investigations are continuing.












QUESTIONS                READING TEST CHARLIE-1
Family Name: ……………….…… First name:……..…………….. CP #: ………………………..
 Country:………..………………. .….                                                                                                  Date:…………………………

Q1:     What time was the suspect vehicle seen and stopped by the police?
Q2:     What is the name of the victim's wife?
Q3:     What was the date of birth of the victim?   
Q4:    How did the victim die?
Q5:    What was the nationality of the KFOR troops?
Q6:    Who reported the incident to Jean PAIN?
Q7:    What was the make and type of the vehicle involved
Q8:     How many empty cartridges were found?
Q9:    What property was recovered from the victim?
Q10:    Who authorized the detention of the suspects?

ANSWERS    READING TEST # CHARLIE-1

Q1:     What time was the suspect vehicle seen and stopped by the police?
     0225 hours.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q2:     What is the name of the victim's wife?
    Fetija GASHI   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q3:     What was the date of birth of the victim?
    15 September 1936   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q4:    How did the victim die?
    Three gunshots wounds to the chest   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q5:    What was the nationality of the KFOR troops?
    Swedish
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q6:    Who reported the Incident to Jean PAIN?
    Pristina Control
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q7:    What was the make and type of the vehicle involved?
     Volkswagen Golf
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q8:     How many empty cartridges were found?
    Eight
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9:    What property was recovered from the victim?
    Gold ring, Copper bracelet
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q10:    Who authorized the detention of the suspects?
    Investigative Judge
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


READING COMPREHENSION TEST DELTA-1

Incident Report # SSU 007/141125


At 2315 hours on Thursday the 18 of July 2000 the UNMIK police station in Lipljan received a phone call reporting shots fired in the Bird’s Restaurant, grid reference EN009 008. UNMIK Police sent a patrol unit to the restaurant, a KFOR unit also responded to the call. When they arrived they were directed to a back room of the restaurant, where they found a body of a male person lying on the floor. A check of the body revealed that he had died from three gunshot wounds to the body. Beside the body was a table covered with playing cards, it appeared that there had been a game of cards in progress at the time of the shooting. A witness stated, that he with had been playing poker in the back room, with the deceased and 3 other men. He identified the dead man as Goran who had been having a lucky day at cards, winning several thousands German Marks. Goran became involved in an argument with one of the other players, a young Serbian who spoke with a Belgrade dialect. The young man accused Goran of being a cheat, Goran hit this person several times with his fists. Suddenly the young man pulled out a gun and shot him and then ran away. He was described as about 20 years old, 1.75 meters tall, had short brown hair, dressed in blue jeans and a blue pullover and he was known as Dejan.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/141125/02

The murdered Serbian, known as Goran BRESOVIC, was 37 years old living at 12 Main Road, Lipljan. The autopsy revealed that, he had been shot 4 times in the head and twice in the chest death was instantaneous. Three spent bullets were recovered from the body. The owner of the restaurant was interviewed, who stated that he heard 7 or 8 shots, and then he saw the young man run from the building. A further search of the room revealed three fresh bullet holes in the card table. Three spent bullets were recovered from the table for forensic examination. Nine empty bullet cases were found and retained for further examination.


Follow up Report # SSU 007/141125/03

A further witness, who lived next door to the restaurant, came forward and stated that at 2320 hours she saw a man running to a green and black Lada car, parked next to her house. The car had a Belgrade registration plates but she could not remember the number. Children, playing in the same area as where the Lada had been parked, found a 9mm FN semi-automatic pistol its magazine was empty.  No further information was forthcoming, investigations are continuing.


ANSWERS    READING TEST # DELTA-1

Q1:    What was the make of the revolver?
 Smith and Wesson.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q2:    How many persons were in the back room of the restaurant, at the time of the incident?
    Five.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q3:     How many empty cartridges were found?
    None.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q4:    How many shots were fired?
    Six.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q5:    What registration plate did the car have?
    Belgrade registration plate.   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q6:    Describe what the suspect was wearing? 
    Blue Jeans and Blue Pullover.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q7:    What was the victim's age?
    42 years.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q8:     What was the color of the car involved?
    Green and black.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9:    What was the victim doing, at the time of the incident?
    Playing cards (poker).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q10:    Describe the wounds of the victim?
    Two shots to the head and one to the upper left arm.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


READING COMPREHENSION TEST PS#1/06
Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06

Incident Report #01

On 22 November 2006 at 0600 hours, Police Station # 4 of Laguna Region was reported of a dead body that was found in the Central Park. Alpha Unit responded to the scene of incident located at Grid Reference
114-253. At 0615 hours, two police officers arrived at the scene and observed a 165 cms tall female body lying in supine position behind the bush near the swimming pool. The face of the dead was disfigured and a U-shaped mark was seen on the right side of the neck. They searched the crime scene area and recovered a black leather bag, a 200ml empty bottle and a wrist watch. Two security guards were also interviewed. On the day before at 1830 hours, a guard named Daniel Seal had seen a girl with a man outside the changing room. He had inquired about their presence in the area as the swimming pool service of the Park had already closed an hour and a half before. The lights, then, suddenly went out and he went to see what had happened. He returned at 1900 hours after fixing the fused wire of the main switch but nobody was there. The guard identified the dead as the same young girl and claimed that he could recognize the man. He described the man as a 25-year-old muscular built about 180 cms tall with long dark brown hair, dark complexion and had the most unusual involuntary head movement. The description about the suspect was radioed to all police units and the dead body was sent to the hospital for post mortem.
Follow-up Report #02
On 23 November 2006 at 1000 hour, a woman from Brajislav Village came to the Police Station to report about her missing daughter Emilia Kusnova. She identified herself as Sejila Kusnova and reported to the Missing Person Unit that her 19-year-old daughter had left the house on 21 November at 1500 hours and did not come back since then. She expressed her concern over the disappearance of her missing daughter. At 1100 hour, she was taken to the mortuary; she noticed the birth mark on the right side of the neck and identified the dead as her own daughter. Three hours later, she arrived at the Police Station and informed the police about Emilia's fear from a man who lived in Vustri. She told the police that her daughter had once mentioned about a man named Roger Mulav who had asked her to marry him else she would face terrible consequences. At 1630 hours, 28-year-old Roger Mulav was arrested by Alpha Unit from his house in Vustri. The arrestee confessed threatening Emilia to marry him but he denied the allegation of murder.

Follow-up Report #03
On 24 November 2006, the post mortem report of Emilia revealed disfigurement of her face was due to acid and concluded her death due to asphyxia. From the report of the forensic lab it was determined that the empty bottle contained concentrated sulphuric acid and the fingerprint sample of Roger did not match with the fingerprint found in the surface of the empty bottle. Roger was released after receiving the forensic report and his features too did not match with the description of the suspect. At 1700 hours, Delta Unit, on the basis of the description of the suspect, arrested a person named James Blake from ‘Burmuda Café’ situated in the Hill Side. James told the police that he was a carpenter and denied the allegation. On the following day the guard from Central Park identified James as the same person he had seen in the park with the girl. The forensic test also confirmed that his fingerprint sample matched with the sample collected from the surface of the empty bottle. A charge sheet was filed against him for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova.


QUESTIONS      Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06          A

Family Name:..…………… ……First name: …………. CP. ..………
Country:…………………..                                                                                  Date:……...……………
Q1:    When was the swimming pool service of the Park closed?
Q2:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Q3:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?
Q4:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Q5:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
Q7:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform Police about Roger Mulav?
Q8:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake described by the guard?
Q9:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
Q10:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?

QUESTIONS      Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06          B
Q1:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
Q2:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform about Roger Mulav?
Q3:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?
Q4:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
Q5:    When did the swimming pool service of the Park close?
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
Q7:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Q8:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Q9:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake described by the guard?
Q10:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?

ANSWERS     Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06   A

Q1:    When was the swimming pool service of the Park closed?
At 1700 hours
Q2:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Sulphuric Acid
Q3:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?
Because he had threatened Emilia of terrible consequences if she did not marry him
Q4:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Delta Unit
Q5:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
James Blake
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
21 November 2006, at 1830 hours
Q7:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform Police about Roger Mulav?
1400 hours
Q8:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake as described by the guard?
Involuntary head movement
Q9:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
She noticed the birth mark on the right side of the neck
Q10:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?
Asphyxia

ANSWERS     Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06       B
Q1:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
James Blake
Q2:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform about Roger Mulav?
1400 hours
Q3:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?
Asphyxia
Q4:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
She noticed the birth mark on the right side of the neck
Q5:    When was the swimming pool service of the Park closed?
At 1700 hours
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
21 November 2006, at 1.30 hours
Q7:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Delta Unit
Q8:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Sulphuric Acid
Q9:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake as described by the guard?
Involuntary head movement
Q10:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?
Because he had threatened Emilia of terrible consequences if she did not marry him

Reading Comprehension Test # 4.
“AIRPORT”
Situation report # 01
Airport is the place where people meet and depart. Airport is the place what UN peacekeepers see upon their arrival in the mission. United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) started peacekeeping operation on 1-st October 2003. The first international police officers came to Liberia by air and landed at the Roberts International Airport, located 60 kilometers east from Monrovia.
The state of Liberia was founded in 1847 by immigrants of African descent who returned from the US to their native continent. The first president of Liberia was Joseph Jenkins Roberts. He was born in Norfolk, USA, on March 15, 1809, and arrived in Liberia in 1828 with his widowed mother, four brothers and two sisters. He was one of the famous Liberian-political figures of the nineteenth century. He lead Liberia to independence in 1847.He served as President of Liberia from 1847-1856 and from 1872-1876.
The main International Airport was built in the second half of the previous century and named after the first Liberian President - Roberts International Airport.
The reconstruction of the Liberian economy after the Civil war requires broad air connection with neighboring African countries and Europe. Much humanitarian Aid is being sent to Liberia by air and received at the Roberts International Airport.

Situation report # 02
UN peacekeeping equipment was mainly transported to Liberia by air. United Nations heavyweight cargo aircrafts only within one month had completed a series of flights, delivering 560 tons of equipment and supplies for UN peacekeeping forces in Liberia.
The second Liberian airfield is located in Monrovia and called Spriggs Payne Airport. This airfield is mostly used for domestic flights within Liberia.
UNMIL has two helicopter bases located at the Roberts International Airport and the Spriggs Payne airport. Helicopters, located at the Roberts International Airport are operated by the UN military personnel from Ukraine and helicopters from Spriggs Payne Airport are operated by the Russian civilian helicopter crew. A high level of safety of flights and strong technological discipline of both divisions participating in implementing peacekeeping operation in Liberia is being observed.
Situation report # 03
The United Nations personnel are authorized to use UN flights to fly from Liberia to Ghana and Sierra Leone. With effect from 15 October 2004 these flights are operated from Roberts International Airport three times a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. There is no charge for official duty travels. UN members have to submit approved Movement of Personnel form to the booking office at least 48 hours prior to the proposed flight. All Movement of Personnel forms should indicate a valid telephone number, where the traveler can be reached in the event of changes to the flight. All passengers are authorized to carry up to 25 kgs of accompanied luggage and 5 kgs of hand luggage. A bus service is available to Roberts International Airport 3 hours prior to flight from the Mission Head Quarters.

QUESTIONS.      READING TEST.         “AIRPORT
Q1:         On what date did the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) start peacekeeping  
                       operation?
Q2:         By whom was the state of Liberia founded?
Q3:         Whom did Joseph Jenkins Roberts arrive with in Liberia in 1828?
Q4:        When did Joseph Jenkins Roberts serve his first Presidential term?
Q5:          What is the nationality of the helicopter crew located at the Spriggs Payne Airport?
Q6:           How was the UN peacekeeping equipment mainly sent to Liberia?.
Q7:          What is the name of the airfield which is mostly used for domestic flights within  
Liberia?
Q8:     To what countries the United Nations personnel are authorized to fly with UN flights
         from    Liberia?
Q9:          On which days of the week the UN flights are not operated from Roberts International 
                            Airport?          
           Q10:       What type of service the UNMIL makes available to Roberts International Airport from the
                        Mission Head Quarters?
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANSWERS:    READING TEST.          “AIRPORT”.            “A”


Q1:         On what date did the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) start peacekeeping  
                       operation?
                         1. October 2003
Q2:         By whom was the state of Liberia founded?
                      By immigrants of African descent.
Q3:         Whom did Joseph Jenkins Roberts arrive with in Liberia in 1828?
                       With his widowed mother, four brothers and two sisters.
Q4:        When did Joseph Jenkins Roberts serve his first Presidential term?
                 1847-1856.
Q5:          What is the nationality of the helicopter crew located at the Spriggs Payne Airport?
             Russian                 
Q6:           How was the UN peacekeeping equipment mainly sent to Liberia?.
                  By air    
Q7:          What is the name of the airfield which is mostly used for domestic flights within Liberia?
             Spriggs Payne                   
Q8:          To what countries the United Nations personnel are authorized to fly with UN flights from  
                 Liberia?
        Ghana and Sierra Leone.                  
Q9:       On which days of the week the UN flights are not operated from Roberts International 
                               Airport?          
                         Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.
Q10:       What type of service the UNMIL makes available to Roberts International     
               Airport from the  Mission Head Quarters?
                  Bus.








Listening Comprehension



ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST                    # LC - 1
Name:                    D.O.B.    :            Date:   

Listening Comprehension            Time allowed 15 mins.    
Title: CivPol Monitor harassed by local police 
A civilian police monitor reports to his Station Commander that he was stopped by the local police at a checkpoint on the Highway about 100 meters west of Khilsa Bridge, Pristina. He was asked to take his vehicle to a side  in the highway. His vehicle was thoroughly searched and he was accused of selling some pornographic pictures  to the youngster Muslims of Pristina. He was stopped at 8:30 in the morning and was detained for three hours. He was not allowed to make radio calls to his station. The CivPol monitor did not recognize the police officers but he heard during discussion that one was Mohammed Janim and another Alice.
Monitor: Good Afternoon Sir!
Station Commander: Good afternoon officer, How are you?
Monitor: Sir, I have a complaint against the local Police.
Station Commander: What's the
          Ukraine’s pitch for NATO membership could put Canada on hot seat with Europe        
OTTAWA — Ukraine’s parliament is poised to re-open a debate over whether the Eastern European country should move to join NATO, an issue that could pit Canada against some of its closest friends and allies. The move comes amid increasing […]
          Sonny Schmidt        

Name: Sonny Schmidt
Name on the birth record: Edmond Alten Schmidt
Born: Sept 19, 1953, New Zealand. Passed away Jan 25, 2004

Schmidt grew up on the small South Pacific island of Western Samoa. Eventually, he found his way to Australia, where he earned his pro card in 1989. He quickly distinguished himself on the IFBB circuit with his thick powerfully built musculature. The 5'10" 240-pound bodybuilder would compete in nearly 50 pro contests, his final appearance being the 1999 Masters Olympia, where he finished third. The highlight of his career was winning the '95 Masters O.
1999 Masters Olympia 3rd
1998 Arnold Masters 2nd
1997 Masters Olympia 2nd (40+)
1996 Masters Olympia 2nd
1995 Grand Prix Spain 7th
1995 Grand Prix Russia 7th
1995 Grand Prix Germany 5th
1995 Grand Prix France 7th
1995 Grand Prix Ukraine 7th
1995 Grand Prix England 7th
1995 Masters Olympia 1st
1995 Mr. Olympia 13th
1994 Grand Prix Italy 8th
1994 Mr. Olympia 10th
1994 Arnold Classic 10th
1994 Ironman Pro 6th
1994 Grand Prix France 10th
1994 Grand Prix England 11th
1994 Grand Prix Germany 8th
1994 Grand Prix Spain 7th
1993 Mr. Olympia 8th
1992 Pittsburgh Pro 2nd
1991 Finnish Grand Prix 6th
1991 Swiss Grand Prix 5th
1991 English Grand Prix 5th
1991 Spanish Grand Prix 3rd
1991 Italian Grand Prix 3rd
1991 Danish Grand Prix 2nd
1991 Night of Champions 2nd
1991 Niagara Falls Pro 2nd
1991 San Jose Pro 2nd


Click on the image to enlarge ...


.
          Valentina Chepiga Ms. Olympia 2000 (HW)        

Name: Valentina Chepiga
Born: April 27th, 1962 in Kharkov, Ukraine

Valentina Chepiga was born April 27th, 1962 in Kharkov, Ukraine. She graduated from the College of Engineering and Building with a degree in Gas Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning. From 1979 until 1992 she worked as technician and was promoted to engineer while working for the Bureau. Chepiga started bodybuilding in 1988 because she wanted to create a more proportionately correct physique.

In 1992, after 4 years of being training, she decided to quit her engineering career and became a personal trainer. In 1993 she moved to Kiev and continued her work as a personal trainer. In 1999 she moved to the U.S. and settled in Seattle, WA. Upon now, she works in the Gold's Gym of Down Town Seattle as a personal trainer.

2002 Ms. Olympia - 2nd
2002 Ms. International - 1st (LW)
2001 Ms.Olympia - 4th
2000 Ms. Olympia -1st (HW)
2000 Jan Tana Pro Classic - 1st (MW)
1999 Ms. Olympia - 12th
1999 Jan Tana Pro Classic - 3rd
1998 Ms. Olympia - 12th
1997 IFBB World Championships - 1st
1997 IFBB Europe Championships - 1st
1988-1997 Ukrainian Championships - 1st
          Amid Daily Shelling, Ukraine Residents Forced To Live Underground        
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: By definition, news is something that changes. And maybe that's why we don't pay enough attention to the war in Ukraine. Day after day, that war doesn't change much. Night after night, Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists fire artillery at each other, and civilians have to take shelter. From the disputed city of Donetsk, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports just how some people survive. (CROSSTALK) SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Three elderly Ukrainians chat on a recent afternoon outside a rusty shed here in the war-ravaged Petrovsky district. The bullets and shrapnel lying around suggest this may not be the safest place to congregate. There are gunshots in the distance, which a passerby counts out. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. NELSON: But the women appear unphased. One even uses a howitzer shell casing as a stool. GALINA BURIAK: (Foreign language spoken). NELSON: Her name is Galina
          Short Hiatus In War Gives Ukrainians In Donetsk A Chance To Celebrate Easter         
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RAY SUAREZ, HOST: This year, Catholic and Protestant Easter coincided with the Orthodox one. That's a rare event since the branches of Christianity use different calendars to determine when the holiday falls. In the war-weary city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, there was another rare occurrence this Easter, the lifting of a strictly enforced curfew that lands violators in jail. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Donetsk. She says the orthodox residents used the unexpected break to observe Easter the traditional way for the first time since war broke out three years ago. UNIDENTIFIED CONGREGATION: (Singing in foreign language). SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Worshippers flocked to the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral last night after hearing the leader of the self-proclaimed republican Eastern Ukraine's third-largest city had decided to lift their curfew for one night. UNIDENTIFIED CONGREGATION: (Chanting in foreign language). NELSON: They came with
          Global Gathering Ukraine 2008 Video        
Видео в 2-х частях! также есть возможность скачки СМОТРЕТЬ ВИДЕО

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          Ð¦Ð²Ð¸ Ариэли: старая система оказалась сильнее         
RSS Description: 
Весной 2014-го тогда еще израильтянин Цви Ариэли помогал отправлять на лечение в Израиль раненых на Майдане, а в первые месяцы АТО как волонтер тренировал группу из батальона «Донбасс».

          Ð’ схватке с любимым врагом        

          ÐœÑ‹ не часть Украины, мы и есть Украина        

          Exotic EIE-course        
Exotic EIE-course

Ukraine.
Exotic training course for the entrance examination in mathematics.
External independent evaluation
Themes:
0101 Goals and rational number
0102  Interest. The main problem of interest
0103 The simplest geometric shapes on the plane and their properties
0201  Degree of natural and integral indicator
0202 Monomial and polynomials and operations on them
0203 Triangles and their basic properties
0301  Algebraic fractions and operations on them
0302 Square root. Real numbers
0303 Circle and circle, their properties
0401 Equations, inequalities and their systems
0402 Function and its basic properties
0403 Described and inscribed triangles
0501 Linear function, linear equations, inequalities and their systems
0502 Quadratic function, quadratic equation, inequality and their systems
0503  Solving square triangles
0601  Rational Equations, Inequalities and their sysytemy
0602  Numerical sequence. Arithmetic and geometric progression
0603 Solving arbitrary triangles
0701 Sine, cosine, tangent and cotangent numeric argument
0702  Identical transformation of trigonometric expressions
0703  Quadrilateral types and their basic properties
0801  Trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, their properties
0802 Trigonometric equations and inequalities
0803  Polygons and their properties
0901 The root of n-th degree. Degree of rational parameters
0902 The power functions and their properties. Irrational equations, inequalities and their systems
0903 Regular polygons and their properties
1001 Logarithms. Logarithmic function. Logarithmic equations, inequalities and their systems
1002 Exponential function. Indicator of equations, inequalities and their systems
1003 Direct and planes in space
1101  Derivative and its geometric and mechanical content
1102 Derivatives and its application
1103 Polyhedron. Prisms and pyramids. Regular polyhedron
1201  Initial and definite integral
1202 Application of certain integral
1203 Body rotation
1301 Compounds. Binomial theorem
1302 General methods for solving equations, inequalities and their systems
1303 Coordinates in the plane and in space
1401 The origins of probability theory
1402 Beginnings of Mathematical Statistics
1403  Vectors in the plane and in space 
Maple version
Html-interactive version


          BDSL 2nd Division Preview        

 

In our second 2017 BDSL preview league president Michael Schieber gives his outlook for our 2nd division. Soon to be added will be Treasurer Brian Rademaker's predictions as well. 


          Press statement by PM @NajibRazak Regarding The MAS Flight MH17 #Pray4MH17 #Pray4Gaza        






Statement by Prime Minister Najib Razak:
Malaysian Airlines flight 17 (18 July 2014)

Yesterday evening, I was informed of the terrible and deeply shocking news that a Malaysia Airlines jet went down in eastern Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the jet was Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The flight departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm, local time. It was scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 am, local, Malaysian time.
The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200.
The aircraft’s flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
And International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.
Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft did not make a distress call.
The flight was carrying a total number of 295 people – comprising 280 passengers and 15 crew members.
Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew. All possible care will be provided to the next-of-kin.
The Government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team.
According to information provided by Kiev Air Traffic Control, the location of the plane’s emergency locator beacon is 48 degrees 7 minutes and 23 seconds North; and 38 degrees 31 minutes and 33 seconds East.
The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down.
At this early stage, however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy.
But we must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight.
No stone can be left unturned.
If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.
Emergency operations centres have been established. In the last few hours, Malaysian officials have been in constant contact with their counterparts in Ukraine and elsewhere.
And I will be speaking to a number of world leaders over the coming hours.
I have had several conversations with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
I have also spoken to the President of Ukraine. He has pledged that there will be a full, thorough and independent investigation, and Malaysian officials will be invited to take part.
The Ukrainian president also confirmed that his government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country, in order to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site.
Just now, I received a call from President Obama.
He and I both agreed that the investigation must not be hindered in anyway.
An international team must have full access to the crash site.
And no one should interfere with the area, or move any debris, including the black box.
This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia.
As we work to understand what happened, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those onboard the flight.
I cannot imagine what they must be going through at this painful time.
The flight’s passengers and crew came from many different countries.
But today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief.

          FBI raids home of Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort        

While multi-million loans from a secret source may buy a nice house, it doesn’t buy protection from this.

Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.

The Senate was originally unable to reach an agreement with Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, over the terms of his testimony, and issued a subpoena. However, that was withdrawn before his agreement to hold a discussion with committee staff.

Manafort’s history, which includes working for a series of dictators and autocrats, features a prominent role in working directly for pro-Russian forces to upend the government in Ukraine and put a pro-Putin candidate in power. Manafort also worked to generate disruptions that served as an excuse for the Russian takeover of Crimea, including an attack on US Marines and protests against NATO.  

Despite his years of overseas work and lobbying for foreign governments in the United States, it wasn’t until June that Manafort finally registered as a foreign agent and admitted to millions in unreported payments. Manafort also maintained an office in Cyprus, and worked on what appeared to be money laundering schemes. Manafort’s efforts left him millions in debt to Russian oligarchs.

Exactly what records the FBI seized from Manafort’s oddly obtained house isn’t clear. However, he was present for that infamous Trump Tower meeting.

The documents are said to include notes Manafort took while attending a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Adoption. It’s all about adoption.


                  
From Jenna Orkin

Scaramucci reportedly planned to give Trump a diagram of news outlets he thought Priebus had leaked to


The suspect who fatally stabbed one person in Hamburg was a known Islamic radical and mentally unstable
Sadiq Khan: 'Brexit can still be stopped if Labour commits to second a referendum

'I infiltrated ISIS — here's how I was instructed to carry out a terrorist attack

A new trick can fool voice-recognition systems into hearing a recording inaccurately — and that could have catastrophic results

FBI General Counsel Reportedly Under Investigation For Leaks To Mainstream Media

Pakistan Plunges Into Political Turmoil After Prime Minister Ousted For Corruption

Kaboom! Russian Drone With Thermite Grenade Blows Up a Billion Dollars of Ukrainian Ammo

Amazon Hires 10 Part-Time Workers For Every Full-Time

Latest North Korean ICBM Can Reach Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago


                  
Harvest Estonia GUS 2017





Global Underscore 2017
Sat. June 24, 2017, 5–9pm
Viljandi, Estonia site

facilitator: Nancy Stark Smith
producer: Notafe festival
participants:
Jenni Ristkari (Finland), Toni Vaahtera (Finland), Lara Bogataj (Austria), Angela-Mara Florant (Germany), Kaisa Kukkonen (Finland), Evelyn Tuul (Estonia), Nadja Parssinen (Finland), Niina Rejeva (Estonia), Tina Smeja (Canada), Ursula Rummel (Estonia), Valeria Januškevitš (Estonia), Helina Karvak (Estonia), Caitlin Sidney (UK), Veronika Yakushevich (Finland), Sini Haapalinna (Finland), Marli Laur (Estonia), Elina Reineck (Finland), Kadri Noormets (Estonia), Katrin Kubber (Estonia), Merle Saarva (Estonia), Victoria Kovalenko (Finland/Ukraine), Barbara Dumont (France), Antti Marjakangas (Finland), Hari Choudhary (India), Anne Expert (France), Lidia Mertins (Estonia), Alexandre Westerlund (Sweden), Anne-Mari Anderson (Estonia), Tatjana Romanova (Estonia), Donats Rudzitiz (Latvia), Olga Trebuhina (Latvia), Helin Jürmann (Estonia), Marta Jamsja (Estonia), Janika Koppel (Estonia)


We were in a gorgeous big school assembly hall, with renovated wood floors, high ceilings, a balcony and high stage, freshly painted bluegray walls, and a deck outside that overlooked a beautiful grassy hillside with lovely wooden houses, sloping down to a large and always-inspiring lake. Big trees on the top edge of the hillside blew musically throughout the Underscore. Peonies are blossoming now and we brought several stalks of white ones into the corner of the space in a large Roman-looking urn that mysteriously showed up in the space during our workshop earlier in the week.

The maps and lists and Underscore pages were on the wall, snacks in the hall, art supplies in the corner by the peonies.

No one came to the computer for Real Time Harvest or Live Harvest during the dancing!!

Here is a live transcript of our Final Sharing Harvest and some photos.

Thank you, Nancy Hughes, Brandin Steffensen, and Patrick Crowley—our Global Underscore coordinators—for your work in bringing us together this year. It felt strong and more important than ever for us to connect worldwide, in real time, through our dancing.

It also felt important to acknowledge in this Global Underscore the call for more open discussion within the worldwide CI community about restrictions of freedom occurring in the world based on ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, gender, and other political and cultural conflicts. Can and should CI, Underscore, and Global Underscore flourish in an a-political framework? How and where do political and moral stances have a place in our CI, improvisation, somatics, and dance world and work?

Thank you, Penny Chivas and team in Glasgow, Scotland, for exposing and weathering the first harsh winds of dissent of your Global Underscore site (based on the fact of there being an Israeli site in the network!), and then thanks to Nicole Bindler, Dan Bear Davis, and Lailye Weidman for their work on a petition and video conference about political consciousness in the contact improvisation community. I look forward to a report in CQ on these conversations, perhaps in our CI Newsletter Online where there is a place for Comments.

That said, I felt again the power of our nonverbal practice— to be confronted, over and over again, with “difference” and contrast (styles, backgrounds, intentions) within the dance space, and cultivating the practice of finding generous, creative, inventive solutions. Hard work. Good humor.  Serious study. Joyful play. All at once. What a composition that is!

With love and appreciation to all who participated in this year’s Global Underscore.
xoxo Nancy SS


Our Sharing Harvest:
(transcribed live by Kaisa and Anne, thank you!)

Ienni (Finland)
I would love to sing a song
I am a bad singer
it stays in my mind:
All I want from you is forever to remember me as loving you

Angela-Mara (Germany)
Hamburg, Köln, where my friends are
feeling a lot of different emotions at the same time
Final Resolution hearing the sound of the rain and the sound of people drawing

Caitlin (UK)
I was low energy to start
I felt like I had too much
Someone came and I stayed with it
it was so fun
it was making me laugh

Hari (India)
I felt I lost myself many times
I found myself many times
getting lost in my body, getting lost in the trees
getting lost and finding myself again

Tatjana (?)
a long and multilayered journey
being with my body and the composition at the same time
it’s a game between recording the things around me and staying here in my body
it’s very subjective for me
When you meet a person, you meet a whole world. You can communicate and get know it through the movement. It is therapeutic.

Sini (Finland)
my uncle passed away this morning, so i was orientating globally, cosmically. Forms appearing and disappearing into light and then it didn’t make sense anymore. Final Resolution: light.

Alexander (Portugal/Sweden)
Many states today, another long jam, right now a feeling that I can’t really recall what happened. Was fun, intense, slow. Very absorbed in myself, sometimes out of my self. Always needing to let go to step into something next. There’s freedom there, I feel, with the work that we did. There’s a bigger picture, wholeness.

Barbara (France)
Gratitude. I wonder if grace and gratitude have a connection. I liked to see and give generosity, How dance is generated through movement. It’s about giving and taking. Was a good seed. I found humor in my dances. I went through very different phases, looking very close to the floor, trying to look very far, contrasts; looking around. What I find in underscore and dance, it’s the density of time because of the awareness of space. Time flies and at the same time it’s expanding, fullness. I was very nourished from the week, not only the workshop, but walking here, eating, swimming, watching the trees, flowers, the wind.

Victoria (Ukraine/Finland)
I feel very close to something super important of my life. CI came to my life one year ago; before, I did other things. I never saw dance as anything then. I wasn’t sure about it. Then contact happened and I met many great teachers and immediately all the puzzles came together. It’s something that can transform you so fast, compassion, practice, wisdom practice, presence, freedom. Combination of all this. I feel WOW. Thank you.

Nancy (USA)
I want to check in about time. I’m feeling the stress about the time. Could we break the rules and continue around the circle after standing, so everyone has time to talk?. [All agree.]

I was very intrigued with the open space gap we had after the Assembly. We had 10 minutes to do nothing (having finished all Assembly activities earlier than expected). I liked that—the unexpected and undesignated space.

I visited each site around the world as I stood facing Moscow in the Opening Stand. Starting with Moscow, I found myself hopping to each site (having almost memorized them from writing them several times for the wall), visiting for a moment, looking around, saying hi to some people I knew were there, then hopping to the next. Such a strong feeling knowing that they were actually there, right now, standing, facing the next place, and we were in this together.

Ann (France)
Being connected to the planet, learning to find my ease in the uncomfort and releasing into what welcomes me.

Kaisa (Finland)
I was struggling with changing states
feeling it has to come from me
it was hard to take any touch from outside
then somebody came to me
I relaxed to it and then it changed
I relaxed to that help somehow, and then it changed

Antti (Finland)
I had one of the most difficult beginnings ever
emotional outburst
this time confirmed to me the old truth
to trust the body, the movement, to find expression
movement is a way to regulate the emotional state
the emotiomal state became a compositional element
I was suffering and enjoying at the same time
not having any touch for the whole jam and finding a deeply connected dance at the end

Lara (Austria)
Sweat and tears are both salty.
I feel like cancelling the date with the earth/world.
Itchy feeling from inside, like i am scratching my skin from the inside.

Elina (Finland)
I had this moment outside, watching the trees, those impressively big trees. Suddenly I saw that each of them was dancing their small dance, then i came inside and had my small dance.

Nadja (Finland)
I have a lot to say. I enjoy the undescore, i wasn’t expecting anything. But in the warm up you said that just be in the space. I opened the movement to the body.

Each couples I had, I had really nice dances today, and I thought why it happened. There were many things. Most important was Arriving, that i could arrive before I start the dance. I also enjoyed, and the most important thing: trust the kinesthetic feelings of the body. Concreteness in the sensation of the body. Trust the body. I found this week, it has been like meditation, lots of confronting my own obstacles. Contrasts was happening this week. Most important thing was that when I had these processes. And allowing people to be how they are.

Janika (Estonia?)
I want to say thank you. Now I feel the pain in all my body, I needed it. That’s important moment for me, the small dance. It’s inspiring, all the people in the world. And i want to say about coincidence. There is a shoe holding the door open, like someone should come in.

Toni (Finland)
This nourished me:
the colour yellow, toes, flashes of smiles, dryness, the smell of sweat, cucumbers, friction, ignorance, pencils.
Concentrating on the things that nourish me.

Marta (?)
It wasn’t easy for me. I have done some CI, but i felt that i coudn’t open up. And the voices in my head were saying many things.

Lydia (?)
I said about losing myself to the information. I didn’t expect that today. I already found myself. About coincidence, there was one moment, when I found myself with three red shirts. I don’t know where they are right now. Was fun.

Merle (Estonia)
I feel today many beautiful moments, I surprised myself, because my body wanted to move very different ways, i just let it go and some moments I don’t understand what my body is doing. And there’s lots of energy and power and freedom. And after when I go out, then I understand better.

Helinä (Estonia)
When we did facing towards other coutries, it was interesting to feel the other place, almost seeing the backs from the other countries. And then here hearing the names and countries and people are still similar, from so many different places. Still doing the same stuff. I had a lot of different emotions, sensations and qualities; we started to laugh at the same time when the ear of the vase came off and it was interesting to feel that happening.

Kadri (Estonia)
I had skype with two friends of mine, from Brazil and Kyoto. When we started you were telling about the countries. Why didn’t i tell them! We could have met in the undescore. Small dance was very important and that it happened in the beginning and end.

Helin (Estonia? nonworkshop woman)
When people started this thing, I was very energetic, let’s go! But when we did the small dance, and we were facing Russia, then it changed. I didn’t know what i was doing, I was scratching the floor. That was that. I don’t know why, but i was really egoistic, i wanted just my personal space. I tried to connect with wall and it didn’t work. I sat in the corner and was painting, i took some pencils and was drawing. Many different emotions, when i watched everyone. Maybe one day i will show what i draw.

Anne-Mari (Estonia? nonworkshop)
Ci is always understanding and others better. Who am I and who are others, thinking of do I see who they are and who am I? And also curiosity. Freedom. Also i was thinking if there are some people who need more, stronger, impulse to move and other people need less impuls. Is it so, or? And with few people that we were moving like one body. Remembering my own body, I am here, trying to look it from one step away.

Tina (Montreal, Canada)
I was thinking, feeling, different states, and in the global sense I was curious about global and local, about permeability, sensing borders, boundaries, how sometimes there is free trade and sometimes heavily guarded borders. Seeing if it’s possible to sneak across the border and retreat when it’s too dangerous.

Danat (Riga, Latvia)
Thank you all of you. For that beautiful moment of healing. I think CI is very great open structure for ideas, movement. We are all very open and excited and fresh and open to the world. It’s a great thing nowadays.

Olga (Riga, Latvia)
It was my first underscore. I had many feelings. Feels like gravity, losing myself, trying to find some connections between CI, contemporary art, some ideas came to my mind, it’s so contemporary but at the same time searching for spirituality like ancient things.


  

          Russian Fighter Banned Entry To Ukraine For Euro Championships        
none
          4 years ago today....        
Four years ago today we were in Ukraine meeting Artiom.  4 years!!  I can hardly believe it.





These were taken last night, you can see how much he's grown and changed in the last 4 years.  Although I think he will always be 'small'.





Now that's a big smile!






He normally isn't too fond of the camera, so it was nice that he actually wanted me to take these.



He's a handful alright....he's gentle natured, but I've learned in the last 4 years that raising a child with profound autism is not easy.  I've learned to take it day by day.

I'm still trying to navigate around the blog/pictures since I haven't posted in so long I've forgotten how to!  But here are a few pictures from the past year.  
Christmas 2013






Sisters birthday fun :)


Very curious about his big sisters baby when they came to visit :)

 His 9th birthday :)



And I'll end it with the only baby picture we have of him, along with his baptismal necklace that we were given at the orphanage.


          Happy Birthday Kristin!         
Couldn't let the day go by without wishing my favorite North Carolinian a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Here she is here in Ukraine smooching my sweet Alexander :) And by the look on his face he didn't mind it too much. If I would have been on the ball this year you'd be getting a live llama delivered to your door, you could just tie it to the shack behind your house and your boys could feed it just like on Napolean Dynamite ;) There's always next year. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
          Happy Birthday, Alex!        


Today is my baby's birthday...he's 5!  So, ok...he's not a baby...but he's my youngest...so I guess he'll always be my baby :)  He's such a sweet, gentle little soul.  I'm so thankful for him.

AND.....2 years ago TODAY, we passed court in Ukraine...and Toma became a Lewandoski!  YAY!!!
We're thankful for that blessing as well  <3



          Ole Salty....        

Dad, aka, Ole Salty  getting 'bubbled' by Summer :)
He tries to act all grumpy...but I see that smile.....

Alex and Michael
playing with the bubbles....I can't believe my BABY (Alex) is going to be 5 on Saturday!  Which is also the day Toma became a Lewandoski, 2 years ago in Ukraine <3 <3
          UK General Election: A choice between uninspiring statism and barely concealed evil        
There is nothing to inspire me to vote Conservative in the UK General Election.  Theresa May is an unreconstructed statist big-government conservative.  She is instinctively authoritarian.  She advocated for the security and police wet-dream on surveillance as Home Secretary, so that UK ISPs and telcos now keep a record of every single website visited in the UK over the past 12 months - because somehow what you read should be able to be accessed by the state when it sees fit.  She is pushing further, driven by concern over terrorism, but wanting to sanitise the internet to make it "safe" - the state working with parents, parenting us all.

Yet, it was all known that she takes a "trust me with your private information" approach to surveillance, rather than focus on the real issue, which is Islamism.  She explicitly says that we should remember "the good that government can do" and then outlines plenty of areas the government intervenes extensively in, such as energy, but instead of blaming virtue signalling policies like the Climate Change Act (which has seen the UK Government guaranteeing to a French led consortium that it will ensure it gets paid a price for electricity generated at its forthcoming nuclear power plant double what is the current market price for electricity).  She thinks libertarians are atomistic and people who seek to take advantage of others and thinks she is as distant from that as she is from Jeremy Corbyn.

That may well be true.  She said this:

We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We believe not just in society but in the good that government can do. Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised society.

Tom Harris in the Daily Mail said she was a real socialist offering left wing policies.

I couldn't vote for her if she was my Conservative candidate, like I couldn't vote for Amber Rudd (who thinks a solution to terrorism is to "make" WhatsApp end encryption, yet stands on a platform with a known Islamist because the UK Government is too ignorant to call them out.  Fortunately I have a tolerable choice and it is a safe Conservative seat.  The Conservatives have pledged not to increase VAT, unlike the previous election when there was a pledge to not increase income tax and National Insurance (another form of income tax), because the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants "more freedom" but pledges the Conservatives are still the "low tax party".

It's nonsense.  The Conservative manifesto could almost be one from any of the Labour leaders since 1997, except the current one.  It's a cynical move to move to the centre-left to try to hoover up votes from the middle and to destroy the Labour Party, but there is one problem.  It has backfired due to ineptness, a lack of enthusiasm from the rank and file of many Conservatives and the simple fact that May does not ooze authenticity.  That doesn't mean Labour will win, thankfully, because it isn't just led by an inept naive idiot, but a nasty hater of capitalism, individual freedom and even Western liberal democracy.

I disagree with most of what the Labour Party advocates, and accept that it holds a fundamentally different view as to the role of the state from me, but Jeremy Corbyn and his closes allies are not like that.  Jeremy Corbyn has never, repeat never held any office of significance in Parliament under any Labour Government.  He was never an under-secretary, nor Chair of a select committee, although he has been on select committees.  He was never trusted with power by his colleagues, he was no Michael Foot

Corbyn invited senior members of the IRA to Parliament three weeks after the Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton which targeted the Conservative Party conference, both killing and maiming people.  His history in supporting the IRA and campaigning for those who had killed for the IRA, is brushed aside as saying he wanted to talk to "all sides", but no one can recall him ever meeting Unionists. Corbyn opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (which set out between the UK and Ireland how devolved government would work in Northern Ireland) and his right hand man John McDonnell opposed the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 (which ended the terror campaigns from both sides).  

Corbyn opposed the UK ejecting the fascist military dictatorship of Argentina from its invasion of the Falkland Islands.  He has called Hamas and Hezbollah "his friends" (although has apologised for his use of words), but spoke on a platform with Islamists who were calling for war with Israel.

His Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell called Lenin and Trotsky his greatest influences and stands on a platform alongside Stalinists.  Indeed Andrew Murray, a Stalinist open supporter of north Korea (which he calls "People's Korea"), is now helping Corbyn with his campaign.  The same man who after the Paris terrorist attacks said:

“The barbarism we condemn in Paris is minute compared to the barbarism wrought by imperialism across the planet in the last 13 years and we must condemn that… It is a sad lesson we have to re-learn from the attacks in Paris, it needs bringing home again and again.”

Of course Corbyn blames the US for "escalating tensions" with north Korea, not the totalitarian police state that has developed nuclear weapons and keeps testing missiles whilst uttering bombastic rhetoric about attacking the United States.  You see Corbyn was Chair of the ironically named Stop the War Coalition.  An organisation that has never once campaigned for any anti-Western regimes or militant groups to stop waging war.  It never took on Russia, Hamas, the Assad regime, Al Qaeda, ISIS, north Korea et al.  Stop the War is only too much in favour of war, as long as it is waged against any Western liberal democracy including Israel.

Corbyn claimed that 9/11 was "manipulated" into blaming Al Qaeda.  He has been paid by Iran's international propaganda TV channel, Press TV, to appear, but not, of course, to criticise human rights in Iran, but to criticise the West.  

Corbyn has admitted that he would never use nuclear weapons, effectively making the UK's nuclear deterrent worthless.  He has long campaigned for unilateral Western nuclear disarmament, including during the Cold War.  Was he a pacifist who just believed the USSR would follow, or was he not too fussed if the Red Army had rolled its way across Europe to "liberate" it from capitalism and "US imperialism"?  In any case the British Communist Party wont be fielding candidates in this election, but is uncharacteristically supporting Labour.

Corbyn is a strong supporter of the Chavez/Maduro authoritarian socialist disaster in Venezuela, but you can't be surprised at that.  After all, he says Castro was a champion of social justice, what with all those opponents he got murdered.  Corbyn also seems to attract anti-semites, not just Ken Livingstone's obsession that the Nazis were in cahoots with Zionists and Jews, but supporters.

These people appear again and again.  However he does join in on Quds Day rallies organised by the Islamic Republic of Iran (yes that bastion of peace, diversity and human rights) to criticise Israel and call for it to be pushed into the sea.

Corbyn is a sympathiser of Russia's position on Ukraine and Georgia, presumably because it is the opposite of the US and European position.  He blamed the Russian insurgency in Ukraine on "NATO belligerence".  After all, how dare Ukraine dump mother Russia led by such a nice liberal democratic regime to embrace the evil West right?

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said on balance Chairman Mao did more good than harm, which will be news to the tens of millions murdered or starved by his policies, with the bizarre justification is that he left China on the verge of a great economic boom (even though China's economic success has been because the Chinese Communist Party abandoned socialist economics).

So as awful as Theresa May is, and corporatist and centre-left as they may be, it is not a party led by IRA sympathisers, appeasers of Islamism and sympathisers of Stalin. 

The moral turpitude of these entities is utterly beyond contempt.  Corbyn refused to condemn the killing of Osama Bin Laden (much better to put him on trial, give him the benefit of the doubt), he has linked terrorism to British foreign policy (but doesn't explain, of course, why neutral Sweden and non-interventionist France get attacked).  

He and his ilk have spent decades on the backbenches campaigning for "understanding" for just about every group that sought to wage war with the UK, whether the IRA, fascist Argentina or Islamists.   He has campaigned for the UK to be disarmed, to withdraw from NATO and to distance itself from the US.  He allies himself with political leaders that torture and murder people, and who use violence.

Of course many Labour MPs know and hope he loses, just that they don't lose their seats.  It is because of them that Labour remains committed to NATO and the nuclear deterrent, both positions Corbyn opposes.

He isn't a nice guy, despite his softly spoken manner.  

He is an advocate of political violence who has appeased and turned a blind eye to brutal murderers, because he shares their political ambitions.  He supported the IRA because he believed in a united Ireland by all means necessary, and to hell with the opinions and concerns of Unionists (whose views he never courted and sought, presumably for a Marxist they were the hated bourgeoisie).  He supported the Galtieri military dictatorship, the same one that imprisoned and tortured socialists in Argentina, because it dared take on the bigger evil - Thatcher's government (hence why he didn't care less than the IRA tried to murder her and did kill several Conservatives) over the Falklands.  He is warm towards Hamas and Iran because he supports the Palestinians and supports just about any regime that dares take on the hated United States and its ally Israel.   I understand concern for the plight of the Palestinians (although keeping Hamas in power is shooting yourself in the foot), but to treat Iran as a partner is morally bankrupt.

He is without doubt the worst candidate for Prime Minister put up by any major UK political party in modern times.  Those who stand with him should be ashamed of him, and the ONLY reason to vote Conservative is to send the strong message that Corbyn and his group of violence touters have no place in government.


 


          Libertarian position on the EU Referendum        
On 23rd June, the UK will vote on whether to remain in or leave the EU.  I'm voting to leave the EU, and believe that, on balance, those who believe in individual liberty including free trade should strongly support leaving the EU.

Bizarrely, Prime Minister David Cameron, having campaigned for a referendum, is now claiming that a vote for the UK to leave would trigger recession, economic catastrophe and even risk future war.  He’s been asked why he bothered putting the UK through such a risk, particularly since only months ago he said the UK would “do ok”.    Now both the Tory Government, most of the Labour Party and virtually all Liberal Democrats, Scottish and Welsh Nationalists and the Greens are all campaigning to remain in the EU, whereas the campaign to leave is led by Boris Johnson,  Michael Gove, nearly half of Conservative MPs, a handful of Labour MPs and UKIP.

The two main planks of the Remain camp are first that leaving the EU Single Market would damage the economy, and they cite many economists, the IMF, World Bank and OECD who all support this, along with some major business leaders and companies.  The second claim is that leaving the EU “lessens Britain” and isolates it, and means the UK loses influence. 

The Leave campaign has a few key messages.  One is that it will save £350m a week from not contributing to the EU (although that excludes receipts from EU programmes to the UK and Thatcher’s rebate, which could be removed at any time).  Secondly, is that leaving the EU will return sovereignty to the British Government, rather than the EU, which passes laws, even if all British MEPs oppose them, imposing them on the UK.  Thirdly, is concern that immigration cannot be effectively controlled whilst there is free movement and full rights for all EU citizens to reside in the UK.

For a libertarian, the EU referendum does mean a trade off.   Indeed, the only two elements of the EU that are pro-freedom are the single market and free movement of people.

EU Membership does provide a single market of over 550 million people, for goods if not for services.  However, it is a customs union that is highly protectionist, and has for decades been one of the biggest objectors to global free trade in agriculture and in many services at the WTO, particularly because France is consistently resistant to trade liberalisation.   Much is made of the EU signing “trade deals” with other countries, but it rarely includes services and never includes agriculture.   Nick Clegg likes to describe the many years and reams of paper needed for the EU to reach trade agreements with the likes of Canada, as if this is the norm (and a burden the UK would have to bear with other countries if outside the EU).  Yet this is quite unnecessary.  New Zealand and Australia agreed on free trade (CER) in less than four years, with a relatively simple agreement.  The only reason free trade agreements become complex is when one of the parties wants exemptions – not actually wanting free trade. 

The second libertarian element of the EU is the free movement of people.  The ability to cross borders virtually unimpeded is of significant value, but it is unconditional.  No EU Member states have the ability to shut out other EU citizens if they have been convicted of any serious offences.   I am not from the camp that believes that free movement within the EU is inherently bad, but I do believe countries should be able to exclude foreign nationals who are proven violent criminals.  The UK's immigration problems are in part, its own fault.  Its health system is the world's biggest civilian bureaucracy that makes feeble attempts to restrict non-national usage and asks nothing of users in terms of financial contributions.  Anyone with legal residency in the UK has access to the welfare state (including generous tax credits for low income workers and child benefits), to taxpayer funded education for their children and access to publicly subsidised housing (indeed there is a "legal right" to housing in the UK, paid for by others).   

In short, the UK has a welfare state edifice that is attractive to migrants with low skills, especially coming from much poorer countries with inferior health, education and housing provision.   If it wants to reduce immigration, it ought to look in the mirror.

Furthermore, as journalist Rod Liddle said at a Spectator hosted event on June 13th, eastern Europeans don't pose an existential threat to western civilisation or to the values of individual freedom that give cause to be concerned about Islamism.  As much as some are concerned about Polish migration to Britain, they integrate, they embrace the values of a developed Western liberal democracy, they set up businesses, they are not demanding media not offend them with threats of violence. Notwithstanding the distortions caused by the UK's wider welfare state, I am not concerned about migration from eastern European, as long as prudent measures are made to exclude convicted violent criminals.

However, the freedom of movement and freedom of trade within the single market do not, for me, outweigh what's wrong with the EU:

- It is a massive exercise in regulation and legal control on almost all areas of the economy.  The EU has over 10,000 Directives on anything from standards for fruit and vegetables, to blowtorches, to light bulbs, to employment.  It is a huge corporatist system that imposes major compliance costs on businesses, restricting new entry and restraining innovation.  Most explicitly, the EU has prohibited the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture, ensuring that research and development of GM technology outside laboratories is based in the US and Asia, not Europe.

- Its budget is dominated by the protectionist racket known as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).  The CAP inflates the price of food for Europeans by heavily restricting imports from more efficient producers from many countries, including New Zealand, and subsidises overproduction in Europe which is then exported undermining market prices in other countries including poor producers in developing countries.  The CAP impoverishes farmers in poor countries, whilst the EU engages in pious virtue signalling about how much it cares about inequality.  The CAP itself isn't even equal in Europe, as it would have gone bankrupt had eastern European producers been subsidised at the same rates as those in western Europe, so perversely farmers in the EU's poorest countries (e.g. Bulgaria) receive subsidies one-third lower than those in its richest countries (e.g. Luxembourg).

- The EU takes £10 billion a year of British taxpayers' money more than it returns (and most of what it returns is to prop up farmers, to fund research projects or pious regional development projects).  That is money currently borrowed from future taxpayers.  It should end to help balance the budget.  The ludicrous idea that this is the "price for accessing the single market" is absurd.  Free trade does not need to be accompanied by massive subsidy schemes for small parts of the EU economy or politically motivated infrastructure, research or vanity projects (such as Galileo - the EU's complete duplication of the US GPS system, under the nonsensical basis that the US might "shut it down one day").  Furthermore, the majority of EU Member States are not net contributors, and until the past three years neither was France (primarily because it takes so much back in subsidies to prop up its 19th century farming sector).

- The EU is fundamentally authoritarian in instinct, having contempt for the democratically expressed choices of EU Member State voters (the EU President recently said that certain political parties would "not be allowed" to have power if they won elections in EU Member States, such as the Freedom Party in Austria).  The EU's utter failure to provide any discipline on spending in some Euro-member states and contempt for popular revolt at the resulting economic collapse reflects its distance from the concerns of Europeans.  Notably, it has taken few steps to address Hungary's creeping authoritarianism as its government subverts much of its media to support its own propaganda.

- Members of the European Parliament have no powers at all to introduce new legislation including legislation to abolish existing Directives.  Only the European Council can introduce draft legislation into the European Parliament, and the Council is comprised of people appointed by Member State Governments.  The closest the EU gets to accountability is that MEPs can vote to oppose the passage of draft directives, but none can propose their own new legislation.

- The European Commission budget has been found to be materially in error every year for the past 18 years, most recently by 3.9%, or around €5 billion.  This is in part because of the complexities of its spending programs there is considerable scope for fraud and mistake.  Never mind, the EU just keeps asking for more money.

- The EU never cuts its budget, ever.  Every year it asks for more and more, it never ceases to undertake any functions, it never seeks to hand back powers to Member States.  It grows inexorably.  Ten years ago it didn't have a common Foreign Policy, it is now discussing haviuniong an EU Army.  Bear in mind this growth continues in spite of it telling the likes of Greece and Spain that they need to cut spending to balance their budgets.

- The EU falsely claims it is responsible for peace in Europe amongst its Member States, ignoring not only the role of NATO in deterring war with the Soviet Union, but also the more fundamental principle that liberal democracies don't go to war with each other.  The EU got in the way of addressing the war in the Balkans in the 1990s as it opposed letting the Bosnian Muslims arm themselves to respond to the Serbian ultra-nationalist genocide being led by Radovan Karadzic, it has been divided over Ukraine.

- The EU attracts mediocre political appointees to have considerable power over us all.  The UK supplied the second Foreign Minister, Catherine Ashton, a Labour Party member, unionist and former peer (i.e. never elected) who had no foreign policy background.  Failed UK Labour Leader Neil Kinnock built a long career for himself and his family in the EU.  

- The EU has attacked free speech by requiring Google to remove content from searches that EU citizens specifically request as being the "right to be forgotten" .  More recently it has sought to have a common approach to "hate speech", including a call to restrict "disrespectful public discourse".  Fuck off you arseholes.

- The EU project's ultimate end game is a European superstate with power over taxation, national budgets and a massive programme to "harmonise" the regulation of all industries and sectors as one.  This superstate will not be interested in reducing what it does, granting more freedoms to its citizens and reducing its burden on taxpayers, rather the contrary.

Supporters of the Vote Leave campaign have produced this movie below, which is being freely distributed.




I have already cast my postal vote to leave and no, I don't take the views of President Obama, John Key, the IMF, World Bank,  UN Secretary General or others into account.  I don't expect any government or any international organisation to risk their own trade and relationships with the world's largest economy (the EU) by supporting the UK leaving.   Most bizarrely, it is odd that President Obama would ask the UK to stay in a political union that the US itself would never bind itself to even if it could, given the US itself refuses to sign up to many international treaties because it doesn't want its sovereignty restrained.

However, let's be very clear what leaving the UK does not mean:

The campaign to leave the EU is not led by those who want the UK to be isolated and protectionist: Unlike the opposition to the UK's original EEC Membership in 1975, those who lead the campaign to leave the EU now are not primarily socialists who feel threatened by foreign competition.  They are advocates of free and open trade with the rest of the world.   They are dominated by concerns that UK's national sovereignty is eroded by the EU and that the EU is wasteful, sclerotic, inefficient and dismissive of individual freedoms and people's concerns about it.

Leaving the EU is not "ending co-operation": Over 160 countries in the world co-operate on a vast number of matters.   Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are not in the EU, all trade freely with it and work with it and each other and other states, without being tied to the EU project.

Leaving the EU is not racist:  By illiberal-leftwing standards, the EU itself may be deemed racist with its trade policy that harnesses protectionism and European taxpayers' money to harm producers in developing countries.  Those advocating for Brexit want an immigration policy that does not favour EU citizens from non-EU citizens, which would appear to be anything but racist.

Leaving the EU is not "leaving" or "turning our back on Europe":  The EU is not Europe, it is a political-customs union project.  The UK has been at the heart of advocating values of freedom, civil liberties, liberal democracy, rule of law and separation of powers in Europe for much longer than any other countries in Europe.  It is understandable why some countries with recent totalitarian pasts would see the EU as a project that may enable them to move on from unspeakable horrors and oppression, but the UK does not have such a path.  UK outside the EU would trade, travel and work closely with European countries, with continued migration and investment, it simply wouldn't be shackled to how the EU wants Europeans to interact.

Leaving the EU is not seeking a return to a "golden age": Far from it, it is seeking to regain full sovereignty over UK laws to create a more dynamic, outward looking Britain that isn't dependent on the EU for freer trade with the rest of the world.  No one harks back to Empire, some say Brexit will enable trading relationship with the Commonwealth to be revitalised, but few see a future of self-sufficiency and exclusion.

So I have voted to Leave.  I know if it happens, the pound will drop, the FTSE100 will drop and there will be panic.  I also know that there are strong calls for Brexit to mean a significant toughening of immigration policy, which I largely oppose.  I also know there is chance the UK will be blocked from the single market for some time, as the EU and major EU Member States seek to punish the UK for leaving, rather than look at themselves as to why that might be.

However, I am also hopeful and optimistic that the world's 5th largest economy can be more outward looking, can liberalise its economy, can reprioritise its net contribution to the EU by cutting its budget deficit and replacing the subsidy programmes it receives now and phase them out.  I am hopeful that the UK can show the EU that it should be more dynamic, open and prosperous, stimulating the sort of reforms EU Member States desperately need.  I am also hopeful that the charlatan, the PR spin doctor Prime Minister, David Cameron, can finally retire, and the UK can have a government that doesn't look like the Labour Party stayed in power after 2010.

          Abandoning foreign policy now means Pax Rus - is it what you wanted?        
Whether it be left-wing activists of the so-called "peace" movement or libertarians who think that foreign policy should mean immediate withdrawal from the world, the recent events in Syria have demonstrated that when the USA, and with it the Western world, decides to withdraw from being involved in other countries, that others will fill the vacuum.

So it is that President Obama, who ridiculed Mick Romney's claim that Russia was a rising threat, has left the opponents of the Marxist/militarist hereditary dictatorship of Bashar Assad wide open to being attacked, by the air, by Vladimir Putin's unashamedly expansionist military.  

Dad and son, and their personality cult
Had Obama been true to the neutrality that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee had presumably rewarded him for "ex.ante", he would have said that there is no Western interest in what happens to Syria.  For indeed, his pitiful actions (a few airstrikes against Islamic State) have demonstrated not much above it.  In fact, I would have respected, if disagreed, with a position that replicates that of the nihilist libertarian isolationists who want the USA to withdraw from the world, and let Islamism grow, tyrants take over its friends and do nothing, until the first missile, bomber or terrorist controlled airliner strikes US soil (actually scrub that, for when the latter happens, even they think the response is NOT to attack those who harboured them).

If the so-called "land of the free" wants to withdraw from the world, then those of us who bear the consequences of that withdrawal better be prepared for the cost of this, but let's not pretend that the USA gives a damn about other peoples wanting to be lands of the free or escape tyranny.  That's their battle, and if others want to join in their oppression, don't pretend that it matters.

So to Syria.


Syria has been run by a brutal authoritarian dictatorship under the Ba'ath Party, under the Assad family since 1970.  It holds Soviet style "elections".  All press and media are firmly under the grip of the Party (or monitored by it for compliance), and any dissent is punished with imprisonment, and sometimes torture or summary execution.   The four secret police units have untrammelled authority to enter any property and detain anyone indefinitely, and use torture as necessary to frighten those said to be opponents or extract information from them.

The best that can be said is that Saddam Hussein was more brutal and erratic, but Bashar Assad and his psychopathic father Hafez, have run Syria under their jackboot for 45 years (although it is cold comfort that Bashar's elder brother, Basil, died in an accident before his father died.  Basil was as notorious as Uday Hussein).  The best that can be said is that, yes it is nominally secular, as religious minorities face no more oppression than anyone else, partly because the Assads are of the Alawite sect.  Alawites have done very well from the Assad dictatorship, other Syrians do well according to who they know and how well the pander to the regime.  By the way, the Assads were firm allies of the USSR in the Cold War, and so it continues under Russia.  Indeed, Syria is the only country outside Russia (notwithstanding the annexation of Crimea) to still have a Russian naval base.  

So Putin has decided to defend his friend.  His first victory was getting the US to accept Russian monitoring of Assad's dismantling of his chemical weapons arsenal, which is very much a farce.  Assad has been undertaking crude chemical attacks on rebel areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army and other non-Islamic State insurgents (some of which are Islamist, some who are not).  Assad has killed tens of thousands of civilians in rebel held areas by air attacks, including chemical attacks.  This has helped Islamic State recruit fighters, as young men whose families are killed by the Assad regime are easily seduced by the most well armed and funded opponents of the regime.

Remember Obama's red line?  That it was "unacceptable" for anyone to use chemical weapons to attack civilians?  Well it didn't exist.  The dated chemical weapons were withdrawn, but by no means have the stocks been destroyed.  Dictatorships have a funny way of not caring about rules set by someone else that are backed up by no force at all.

Meanwhile, the US (and the UK and others) have provided low level logistical and material support (if not military) to non-Islamist opponents to the Assad regime.  It is those opponents to Assad that Vladimir Putin is now directing over 95% of his airstrikes.  

Putin asserts his airstrikes are "legal" because they are authorised by the Assad regime, which strictly speaking in UN terms, is the "legitimate recognised government" of Syria.   This is correct in the same way that Kim Jong Un leads the "legitimate recognised government" of the DPRK, Idi Amin did the same for Uganda and Pol Pot for Cambodia.  It is the formal legitimacy asserted by tyrants.

Assad wants to put himself in the position of being the only opponent to Islamic State, so has Putin's help in wiping out the moderate opposition.  The allies of the West, and perhaps only hope of moving Syria to the sort of pluralism that is nascent in Lebanon, are now being systematically wiped out by Russia - and all the US does is express regrets and concern.   What surprise is there if opponents of Assad in Syria think that the only way is Islamic State?   For all of the talk about rights and freedom the truth is that the Obama Administration will do absolutely f-all to protect those that might offer a way with much less tyranny, let alone have a foreign policy with objectives.

So it is Pax Rus.

Assuming Obama continues along this line, Syria will become a binary game. The chemical weapon using tyrant Assad, and the stoneage expansionist eliminationists of Islamic State.  The US may think it doesn't pay any real price for letting Syria burn, but Europe is paying a price, as Syrians flee and as it is on the doorstep for Islamists willing to take on the West.  

Putin wants to be taken seriously internationally, and once the non-IS opposition is effectively wiped out, he can turn on Islamic State and be a hero.  Russia wont think twice about civilian casualties, it wont face domestic protests on any great scale against war, and of course the far-left "peace" movement in the West wont bat an eyelid, as it almost never protests military action by any regime other than a Western one, including Israel.

What could be different?

Well the US and its allies could start by accepting the invitation of the Iraqi government to use all means necessary to wipe out Islamic State from Iraq itself, to protect the Kurds, to help ensure Sunni Iraqis are protected and discouraged from joining Islamic State.  At the very least, the West owes Iraq protection from invasion.

However, for Syria it needs to have some clear objectives.  It could  have imposed a No-Fly Zone over Syria to stop the Assad regime from using chemical weapons and dropping barrel bombs, but that is impossible now.  What it should do is arm and protect the non-Islamist opposition and provide it with air support and make it clear to Russia that it is with it, in attacking Islamic State, but will not tolerate air strikes on areas governed by the Kurds or the Free Syrian Army.  It should take all steps necessary to wipe out Islamic State, which has eliminationist objectives towards the West, and following that establish a peace process to transition Syria away from rule by the Assad regime.

The problem is that this requires taking on Russia.  Obama (and Bush before him) refused to defend Georgia from Russian occupation, nor Ukraine, even when Russian backed rebels shot down a civilian airliner (but that was Malaysian, which was unimportant to the US).   Putin is currently facing tough economic times, which he is evading by spending literally US$1billion of reserves every month, to prop up pensions, the military and uneconomic industries.  He can afford to do this for perhaps two-three more years without having to implement serious levels of austerity.   However, if the price of oil remains below US$60 over that time, it will prove tougher.  Putin's actions smell of a leader seeking a distraction, in the hope of buying time until oil prices recover at a level appropriate for his kleptocracy. 

The odds that the US will take on Russia in Syria are small, because Obama has demonstrated no interest, at all, in taking any lead or keeping to his word with allies.  It is a policy of cynical withdrawal from the world.  A withdrawal that is dangerous to some of the US's allies, but also one that is fundamentally dishonest.

The choice is simple.  Either the US embraces the doctrine of Ron Paul, and openly decides that it is no longer interested in being a superpower or standing by previous commitments to allies, or it stands by its allies and has a positive, pro-active foreign policy based on its interests and those of its (true) allies.

While we all wait, enjoy "Pax" Rus, after all you're comfortably far away from the consequences of it all, aren't you?





 




          Jeremy Corbyn the new communist Leader of the Opposition        
Ed Miliband's greatest failure as former leader of the UK Labour Party was not losing the 2015 election worse than Gordon Brown did in 2010, but in leaving it a new process for electing leader that has helped ensure that one of the least appropriate MPs in the House of Commons, now leads the Opposition.

To make it clear, Jeremy Corbyn has, for decades, been a bit of a joke.  One of the handful of MPs on the Trotskyite extremes of the Labour Party, who has never held any office in the Labour Party shadow cabinets, nor in government.  Not only was he never a parliamentary undersecretary under a Labour Government, but he was never a shadow spokesman either.  His views are not only well to the left of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, but also Neil Kinnock and arguably also Michael Foot - whose 1983 election manifesto was famously the "longest suicide note in history".

As Conservatives guffaw at him becoming leader of a party, that only months ago it feared losing to, it's worth remembering some of his positions, but also the context within which "Corbyn-mania" has appeared.

Corbyn believes there is nothing worth doing that shouldn't be managed by the government.  He believes that education should be under the control of a National Education Service, wants all public schools under central control and would strip private schools of their charity status (and would prefer if they all closed down too).  He wants to abolish tertiary tuition fees and to guarantee all graduates a job.

He wants the multiple private railway companies and the gas and electricity companies to all be nationalised, without compensation to the owners.  He opposes "austerity" and is open to printing money to pay for large government infrastructure projects, mostly around more state housing and public transport.  He wants higher taxes, higher welfare payments and a massive programme of building council houses, and to introduce rent caps on the private rental sector.

He wants to reopen coal mines, ban fracking and wants a new "Green economy" funded by taxpayers. Yes, he believes in the environment and coal mining.

Suffice to say that a man who thinks Venezuela is a shining example, is an economics moron, but it is much worse than this.

Corbyn's approach to foreign affairs can be summed up by three points:

-  The Western world is the source of all of the world's ills;
- When other countries have dictatorships or wars, it is probably the fault of the Western world somehow;
-  Israel is the source of evil in the Middle East, or it is the USA.  Take your pick.

He says "the survival of Cuba since 1979 is an inspiration to the poorest in the region", forgetting of course that this is done on the backs of an authoritarian one-party state that imprisons and tortures opponents.  What else can be said of a man who called the murderous Sandinistas heroic?

What of his welcoming members of the IRA to the House of Commons weeks after the IRA bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton, killing five people in 1984 (attempting to kill PM Thatcher)?  What of his colleague John McDonnell saying it was time to honour IRA bombers, because it was they who gave up the war and created peace?

He believes the UK should abolish its independent nuclear deterrent because it would "set an example" to countries like north Korea to disarm.  Is he stupid, or does he simply think that totalitarian socialist states have some good in them that can be appeased?

He talked of his friends at Hamas and Hezbollah, justifying it saying he calls "everyone" he meets friends and it is important, when seeking peace, to talk to all sides (the same excuse he gave for meeting the IRA).  He has yet to meet anyone from the Israeli Government of course (nor Ulster unionists, let alone paramilitaries).  Then again, he also donated to Deir Yassin Remembered, a campaign run by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen.  Corbyn vehemently rejects anti-semitism, and I believe he is genuine.  However, he associates and gives succour to anti-semites and those who want Israel "wiped off the map".  It's difficult to see how he reconciles this.

He would like the UK to withdraw from NATO because he opposes its "eastern expansion", ignoring that a key reason for that expansion are former satellites of the USSR keen to be protected from their former imperial master.   However,  he doesn't see Russia as being so bad.  Indeed, he thinks NATO has provoked it, by talking to Georgia about membership (of course it didn't happen, and part of Georgian territory is now Russian occupied), and Ukraine (ditto). 

He rails vehemently against Western imperialism, which means any military action by the West or Western states, but he never protests such intervention from Russia or Iran or China.   He opposed the UK defending the Falklands from a military dictatorship, indicating that in any conflict, he will tend to take the view that the "other side" probably has a point, and the UK (and the West) should relent.   

Of course, none of this is new, he's been a Marxist rebel for over 30 years, but he has backing, from a solid core of old-fashioned communists, who miss the USSR (think George Galloway, Ken Livingstone), and a new generation of airhead Marxists, brought up on the class, race, gender consciousness of identity politics in schools and universities, and using the internet to spread their hate filled ignorance.

Don't forget at the height of the Cold War, this sort of politics did gather nearly 28% of the vote.  For those joking that Corbyn and his views are "unelectable" consider what is in his favour that was not the case in 1983:

- Thatcher had barely won back the Falkland in a big show of patriotic success, which Labour had opposed.  There will be no winning war likely in the next few years;

- The Liberal Party was in a position to ally itself with a breakaway party from Labour (the SDP) and had been on the resurgence.  By contrast, the Liberal Democrats were almost wiped out at the 2015 general election and are moribund, and unlikely to present a credible alternative;

- The anti-NATO/anti-nuclear campaign in 1983 was in the context of taking on the USSR, which no longer exists as an example of "what socialists really want".  A whole generation of airheads have no idea about what life under the jackboot of Marxism-Leninism really is like;

- Far left voters partly drifted to the Greens and SNP in the last election, if Labour pulls back many of those voters, they will come close to the Conservatives in share of the vote - but with First Past the Post that might be plenty to win a majority;

- The demographics of the UK have changed, with more immigrants and ethnic minority voters who tend to support Labour, although that relationship is not as tight as Labour would hope, it is one reason Labour did relatively well in London at the General Election.

So don't rule him out completely, but then I fully expect the Conservative Party to not take advantage of this move to the far left, but rather engage in a sopping wet contest for the middle muddle ground of mediocrity.  It already has with its commitment to raising the minimum price of labour to the so-called "living wage" level (with some retailers already warning about how inflationary that will be, which will make the "living wage" even higher and so on).  It continues to engage in totemic wasteful projects like HS2, and a massively subsidised nuclear power station, whilst worshipping the NHS religion and playing corporatism and central planner with multiple sectors.  Too many in the Conservatives would rather win a massive majority for the sake of power than actually reverse socialism and state privilege wherever it may be.

With David Cameron standing down before the next election, is it too much to ask for a Conservative leader who actually is opposed to not only the policies, but the principles and rhetoric of the new Labour leader?

          Ð’семирный банк будет пользоваться системой ProZorro для закупок в Украине        

Всемирный банк завершил оценку функционирования электронной системы публичных закупок ProZorro Как сообщили в пресс-службе Минэкономразвития, это нужно было для того, чтоб проверить, соответствует ли ProZorro требованиям Многостороннего банка развития (MDB — Multilateral Development Bank) о проведении электронных публичных закупок с использованием механизмов электронных реверсивных аукционов. В министерстве объясняют, что электронный реверсивный аукцион — это электронная […]

Запись Всемирный банк будет пользоваться системой ProZorro для закупок в Украине впервые появилась PaySpace Magazine.


          ÐšÐ¸Ñ‚айцы и яблоки: самые популярные смартфоны в Украине за шесть месяцев        

Подержанные телефоны в текущем году были более популярными среди украинцев В первом полугодии 2017 года украинцы чаще интересовались подержанными телефонами. Как сообщается в пресс-релизе крупнейшего украинского сервиса онлайн-объявлений OLX, телефоны б/у искали и покупали в 10 раз чаще, чем новые. Смартфоны Apple остаются лидерами по популярности как среди новых, так и среди подержанных телефонов, с […]

Запись Китайцы и яблоки: самые популярные смартфоны в Украине за шесть месяцев впервые появилась PaySpace Magazine.


          Protest Songs: Berlin Sees Eurovision as Forum for Civil Rights        
The Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan this year should be used as a forum for promoting civil rights in that country, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Wednesday. The same should apply to Ukraine, which will co-host the European football championship and is under fire for jailing Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister, he added.
          Explore the Depths of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra        
Ukraine’s beautiful Kyiv Pechersk Lavra – Photo: Michele Ursino The Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, also known as Kiev Monastery of the Caves, is a unique monastery that has survived almost a millennium since its foundation. The complex started as an ambitious Orthodox Christian monastery located in the caves by the summer residence of the Grand Prince of Kyiv. […]
          Haye: No Vitali in Ukraine, it's Dangerous For a Black Man        
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          Europeans Start to Realize Consequences of US Military Involvement in Ukraine        
– Europeans Start to Realize Consequences of US Military Involvement in Ukraine * * * PayPal: Donate in USD PayPal: Donate in EUR PayPal: Donate in GBP
          Discovery Finalizes Roster for 2007        
Here it is:
Ivan Basso (Italy) *
Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan)
Volodymyr Bileka (Ukraine)
Jani Brajkovic (Slovenia)
Alberto Contador (Spain) *
Tony Cruz (USA) *
Steve Cummings (Great Britain) *
Tom Danielson (USA)
John Devine (USA) *
Stijn Devolder (Belgium)
Vladimir Gusev (Russia)
George Hincapie (USA)
Fuyu Li (China) *
Levi Leipheimer (USA) *
Trent Lowe (Australia)
Egoi Martinez (Spain)
Jason McCartney (USA)
Gianni Meersman (Belgium) *
Uros Murn (Slovenia) *
Benjamin Noval (Spain)
Pavel Padrnos (Czech Republic)
Sergio Paulinho (Portugal) *
Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine)
Chechu Rubiera (Spain)
Tomas Vaitkus (Lithuania) *
Brian Vandborg (Denmark) *
Jurgen Van Goolen (Belgium)
Matt White (Australia)

* = new to the team in 2007

          ÐÐ¾Ð²Ñ‹Ð¹ закон об электронных деньгах в Украине        
12 октября этого года президентом Украины Виктором Януковичем был подписан закон №5284-VI, ставший первым законодательным актом, который регулирует понятия и оборот электронных денег и платежей в Украине. Закон вступит в силу со дня публикации в официальной прессе и заменит собой действующее постановление НБУ №481. Электронные деньги определяются в нём как ������ ������→
          A New Low for Russian Authorities in Crimea        

Server Karametov, 76 year old Crimean Tatar, after his arbitrary arrest in August 2017.

© 2017 Private

Just when you think the situation cannot get any worse for Crimean Tatars in Crimea, it does.

Yesterday, a court in Simferopol sentenced Server Karametov, a 76-year old Crimean Tatar, to 10 days in jail for “disobeying police orders” while holding a peaceful, single-person picket.

On August 8, 2017, Karametov, determined but in frail health, stood in front of the Crimea Supreme Court building in Simferopol, holding a sign: “Putin, our children are not terrorists.” He was protesting the ongoing trial of Akhtem Chiygoz, a Crimean Tatar leader prosecuted on bogus charges related to a public protest in 2014, during the initial weeks of Russia’s occupation of Crimea.

Three police officers approached Karametov and ordered him to follow them. When he insisted on remaining, they grabbed him and forcibly led him away. Emil Kurbedinov, Karametov’s lawyer, said he has been diagnosed with advanced Parkinson’s disease, which can be accompanied by such symptoms as tremors and involuntary movements. These uncontrolled movements may have been misunderstood by the police, Kurbedinov said. But on August 9, a judge refused to order a medical exam for Karametov and swiftly sentenced this older man with a disability to prison.

In a separate hearing the day before, the court fined Karametov for violating the rules for organizing a public gathering. Russian law allows single-person pickets, but the authorities regularly punish protesters participating in “unsanctioned” one-person pickets.

Following Russia’s occupation of Crimea, Russian authorities have created a pervasive climate of fear and repression in Crimea. They have imprisoned, attacked, forcibly disappeared, intimidated, or exiled people who have peacefully opposed or criticized their actions, targeting  Crimean Tatars in particular. Authorities banned their leaders from Crimea, harassed and ultimately banned their representative body, Mejlis, imprisoned Crimean Tatar activists on trumped up charges and shut down Crimean Tatar media outlets.

Server Karametov’s arbitrary arrest for the peaceful exercise of basic rights and his unjustified jailing are yet another step in this ruthless harassment campaign – a campaign that Russia needs to end.


          The Twelve Tribes of Israel Revealed (A Hypothesis)        
Following is my hypothesis on the identity of all twelve tribes of Israel. I hypothesize that the identity of the twelve tribes of Israel as they exist now, in light of the scripture of God as accounted for in the Holy Bible are as follows. Reuben are the modern day French people's, the tribe of Simeon are the Scottish, the tribe of Levi are the Welsh of today, Judah are the Jewish peoples of today, Zebulun are the peoples of Portugal and Spain, Issachar are the peoples of Germany and the Scandanavian peoples. Dan are a peoples mingled within the populations of northern Europe, Gad are the peoples of the Netherlands, Asher, the modern peoples of Poland, the Ukraine, and the western extreme of Russians in those lands, Naphtali are today's Italians, Joseph, as the father of Ephraim and Manasses comprise the peoples of England and Ireland, respectively. Note:( the people whose origin is of the land of England within the UK and not UK in general is the domain of the Ephriamite tribe.)Finally, the tribe of Benjamin is comprised of the peopled of modern Russia and associated states and people's related to them linguistically, etc. These, I surmise, are the twelve tribes of Israel as described in the book of Genesis 49 and within other various sections within The Holy Bible.
          Economic and Geo-Political Prognosis for 2015        

Paper No. 5856                                 Dated 12-Jan-2015

Guest Column by Dr. Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Srividya Kannan Ramachandran

Abstract:

The re-moderation of the world economy set in place over the past few years continues apace. Notwithstanding some lasting damage on the supply side through the 2008 recessionary trough, our outlook for 2015 is bullish weighing more on optimistic data trends than on continued negative sentiment proffered from some analyst quarters.

Around the world in 80 (or more) words:

Treating the ten-year US Treasury bond yield as a proxy indicator for that nation's nominal GDP growth, we anticipate United States to grow around 3% next year.[1] While this does not mark a return to the buoyant 90s, it is better than the secular stagnation hypothesized earlier in 2014.[2] With US acting as an engine to spur growth, the world economy should also expand by more than 3%.[3] Stability across the world will be maintained – as sparks without a concomitant fury will characterize both overt (e.g. Russia-West over Ukraine) and covert (e.g. China-Japan over Senkaku) animosities.[4] European stagnation from debt and unemployment will be counterbalanced through quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.[5] Similar action in Japan will display the limits of Abe-nomics.[6] China will prepare for a structural slowdown emphasizing domestic consumption and de-leveraging an over-heated financial sector; all the while growing at a 7% rate that will amaze rivals around the world.[7] Indian reform, even if inadequate, will boost the middle classes and reinforce confidence in the Modi government.[8] African countries will find their commodity boom dissipate and ease of borrowing decline as commodity prices fall and yields rise in the developed world.[9]

Continental tectonics:

a. North America:

Economic benefits arising from the exploitation of shale gas have not only silenced the anti-fracking environmentalists, they have altered the strategic world-view of Washington politicians.[10] As US aims to overtake even Saudi Arabia in oil/NGL production in 2015 (and the Saudis pull out all stops in preventing it by driving crude prices down), it has markedly reduced its role as a global policeman.[11] Its own economy is on the mend even as a lame-duck president will be boggled down with partisan grid-lock. Markets will fret about the mid-year (or earlier?) hike in interest rates; though Main Street - aided by a strong dollar - will likely shrug it off with a continued upward movement across different sectors.[12]

Mexico and Canada will benefit from their tight coupling with the United States.[13] Enrique Pena Nieto will claim credit for reforming the Mexican economy – across sectors as diverse as energy and telecom.[14] Pemex, dear to the Mexicans, will face some competition, though nothing remotely similar to the American acquisition of Tim Hortons – dear to the Canadians – will happen.[15] Up north, the Canadian elections in 2015 will reveal whether the country has reverted to its liberal propensities or sticks with Harper's conservative agenda.[16]

b. Latin and South America:

The outlook is disappointing across much of the region. Run-away inflation hammers Argentina and Venezuela; milder ill-effects bedevil Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay.[17] The Maduro regime in Venezuela and the Kirchner government in Argentina continue to flirt with disaster as their GDP growths slip and mass discontent builds up.[18] Dilma Rousseff has stabilized her position electorally, though her policies continue to disappoint investors and have the potential to reignite sudden protests like the 2013 bus-fare protests.[19] Dependence on commodity exports in a time of declining prices does not portend well for any of the South American states, including Brazil.[20] On a positive note, Cuba – already expected by analysts to grow by close to 4% next year – will see a boost to its fortunes accruing from a thaw in relations with US under Obama.[21]

c. Africa:

African nations had a great run in the past few years. This arose not only from the boom in commodity prices but also from the need for yield amongst DM (developed market) investors resulting in investment in both corporate and public African bonds.[22] In 2015, these factors could dissipate which will place pressure on countries like Angola where household spending has risen more than 4000% since the start of the millennium.[23] Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to continue on a robust growth path.[24] Contradictions abound within Africa, and nowhere are they more visible than in Nigeria. While the northern part struggles under the oppression of Boko Haram, the southern part booms under Goodluck Jonathan's president-ship.[25] In neighboring South Sudan, one is reminded of the risk-reward payoff as the nation widely tipped to experience spectacular growth in 2014, got mired in conflict, with the consequent dissipation of growth potential.[26]

American intervention in Libya undermined the Gaddafi-imposed order and has led to a civil war between the Islamist and secularist factions which will hold back that nation in the coming year.[27] A more benign intervention was that of the French in Mali in 2013; we expect more calls for Hollande's assistance in 2015.[28] El Sisi has stabilized Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood interlude in the post-Mubarak era. Though more brutal than Mubarak, the El Sisi regime is being propped by both the Americans and Saudis, leading us to expect the recent bull run in Egyptian markets to continue.[29] ANC rule in South Africa continues unimpeded. Though atrophied by many scandals, the rule should produce close to 3% growth in the coming year.[30]

d. Middle East:

The region continues to be a cesspool of ethno-sectarian rivalries as the century-old Sykes-Pikot agreement unravels.[31] Recep Erdogan has stabilized Turkey and should reap a growth on par with other emerging economies.[32] Erdogan's external actions driven by AKP's crypto-desire to establish a caliphate will see him prop the Islamic State (IS) just so that it can damage Shia and Kurdish interests; but not enough to threaten his own Sunni hegemonic plans.[33] The Saudi establishment has focused on the removal of the Muslim brotherhood threat; now they will focus on limiting Shia Iranian influence by keeping crude prices low.[34] Western companies made a beeline to Iran in 2014 in hope of an impending thaw; much will depend on the negotiation ability of the Rouhani establishment on the sanction front.[35] Dubai and Israel remain insulated from the turmoil around and could reap the benefit of the uptick in the world economy.[36] The risk of sudden flare-ups like the 2014 Gaza war continue to remain on the Israeli radar.

e. Asia and Australia:

The Asian political scene is remarkably stable with China, Japan and India looking inward to stabilize their economies under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, respectively. Some events have gone unnoticed by world media – for example, China starts the year of the goat as the world's largest economy when measured in PPP terms and for the first time ever, Chinese outbound investments could exceed those inbound.[37] The establishment of China on the world stage has made Xi stronger than any Chinese leader in recent memory bar Chairman Mao himself. The Abe regime will continue on its reformist route of bringing Japan out of the deflationary zone, while winking at nationalist sentiment calling for a re-interpretation of the country's post-war pacifist role.[38] Down south in India, Modi has surprised both supporters and detractors alike by his middle-path approach to reforming the economy and his zealous interest in foreign policy. While reforming cautiously, he has not removed the populist schemes of the previous government. 2015 will see him act unimpeded by local elections (other than in Bihar) and will prove to be a litmus test of his claims of good governance.[39]

Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani will face more trouble from Taliban as US adopts the Pakistani classification into good versus bad Taliban.[40] In nearby Pakistan, the wildly popular Imran Khan - with some help, perhaps, from the deep state – will challenge the established parties in their home turfs.[41] In Indonesia, Jake Widodo has come to power with Imran Khan-type support amongst the youth, and he will be hard-pressed to implement his reformist agenda – including reducing fuel subsidies – amidst persistent opposition from entrenched interests.[42] ASEAN will continue to slip on its stated intentions for closer cooperation.[43] Australia will try to balance its strategic partnership with the United States with economic dalliances with the Chinese.[44]

f. Europe and Russia:

Vladimir Putin will be emboldened by the short-term rise in domestic popularity; and hence ignore the longer-term implications of his intervention in Ukraine.[45] Tighter coupling with Kazakhstan and Belarus will not prevent what is likely to be a low-growth and high-inflation year for the Russians.[46] Europe as a whole continues to underperform, and it will be most visible in France and Italy both of whom might record less than 1% growth in GDP. With the Trierweller-Gayet saga behind his back, Francois Hollande will attempt to rein in a deficit running at close to 4% of GDP. Even with help from ECB's quantitative easing program, there is little expectation that Hollande can avoid being the most unpopular leader amongst all western democracies.[47] In Italy, high debt and unemployment – exemplified by the statistic of four-fifths of Italians between the ages of 20-31 living with parents – will hamper any efforts Matteo Renzi might take to pull the economy out of its doldrums.[48]

The Greeks might look forward to a better year, especially when juxtaposed against their recent past. On the back of painful reforms, the Greek economy is widely anticipated to commence its long journey back to health, though there might be recurrent political scares and recalcitrant rumors of a Greek exit.[49] The German government will be buffeted by opposing demands – external calls for a more interventionist role in stabilizing the world economy and internal ones for tempering the same. Cautious progress on the fiscal front will lead to modest GDP growth.[50] Ironically, the European nations with best GDP growth projections are also the ones with the highest exposure to Putin's misadventures, viz. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.[51]

Sectors and segments:

Having dropped significantly in the past few months, the level of oil prices affects the prospects for many industry sectors in 2015.  Oil is typically expected to revert to the mean because a lower oil price has discernible impact on both supply (by discouraging investment in its production and distribution) and demand (by boosting economic activity) sides.[52] The speed of such mean-reversion remains unclear. Russia, Iran and US shale producers (esp. those who are not based at strategic locations) suffer disproportionally more than the Saudi establishment at current price levels.[53] Lower oil prices will provide a fillip to consumer discretionary industries and airlines; and have an adverse impact on railroad (benefiting from oil transportation) and petrochemical companies. The shale gas boom - apart from increasing housing activity - is also the prime driver behind growth in the US steel and construction material sectors; consequently both the steel and construction sectors will remain susceptible to crude movements.[54]

Low interest rates and low macro-growth prospects will induce companies with excess cash to acquire other companies to report earnings growth. That trend will be apparent in companies transacting in sectors as diverse as healthcare, industrials, semiconductors, software and materials.[55] On another side of investment banks, trading desks will see higher market volatility as major powers pursue divergent paths to monetary policy (e.g. US against EU/Japan).[56] In US, regulatory obligations increasing cost of capital for holding certain securities might lead to decreased broker liquidity.[57] 2015 shall see the big banks grapple with the regulations in Basel III and Volcker; one expects regulatory push towards vanilla deposit-taking and lending to continue.[58] Analysts will hope that stronger balance sheets coupled with a return to profitability lead to increased dividend payout for investors in financial stocks. China will seek to tame its overheated financial sector amidst a structural slowdown[59], and India will see RBI governor Raghuram Rajan continue his battle against political interference in corporate lending.[60] Wealth management services will perform remarkably well not only in China, but also to a lesser extent in US as a rising market creates wealth and a retiring baby-boomer crowd seeks to couple low risk with acceptable return.[61] In the arena of mobile payment, Apple Pay will try to avoid the lackluster performance of earlier attempts like Google Wallet.[62]

Lower gasoline prices and an accompanying increase in disposable income (through wealth creation at the markets, increased home values, reduced unemployment and improved economic activity) creates a positive outlook for the consumer discretionary sector. Companies dealing with organic farming benefit from increased health consciousness; the market for yoga will continue to rise as 2014 saw the UN declare a world yoga day on Modi's initiative.[63] Even as DVDs and Blue-rays fall, digital film subscriptions and on-demand internet steaming will rise to please Hollywood.[64] Bollywood will get over its obsession with INR 100 crore revenues as movies will cross that level more frequently.[65]  With supply level of hotels remaining the same as few years back, revenue per room will rise across the sector.[66] Tighter access to credit continues to hamper the rise in existing house sales, which nevertheless should improve over the past year.[67] Asian apparel manufacturers continue to improve their market share in the fast fashion market.[68]  October 2015 will see Europeans benefit from the eCall service in all their new cars, which allows a car to immediately report details to the base-stations on any accident. New carbon-emission standards also come into force in Europe; even elsewhere the move towards higher efficiency in cars will continue.[69] Widodo will be pleased at the growth in automobile sales in Indonesia, which should exceed those of other major markets.[70] Internet advertising is rising faster than television commercials, though 2015 will still see the latter dominate the former in overall revenue generated.[71] Privacy concerns continue to erode on the social media front.[72] The newspaper industry will see increased number of advertorials re-packaged as "native advertising" by which companies will pay for advertisements to be written as paid newspaper article.[73]

In India, the BJP government is yet to clarify its position on foreign direct investment in retail.[74] Irrespective of its final decision, retail sales should surge sharply upward there as the consummation of pent-up demand of past few years couples with the thriving of 'mall culture' in middle-tier cities. China will also see an increase in retail sales inspite of its investigation in to WalMart.[75] The anti-corruption campaign though will negatively impact luxury good sales as well as those of higher-end automobiles there[76]. A strong dollar will affect US companies with significant operations abroad. Wheat production might match 2014 record volumes in Europe[77]; though more newsprint will probably be devoted to higher prices of cocoa from Ivory Coast.[78] Idiosyncrasies of local markets will shine as Dubai invests in large-scale brick and mortal malls, while Manhattan gets more of its groceries delivered at home steps.[79]

Demand for energy should rise at the same pace as the world GDP next year. Analysts will point at attractive valuations of oil companies.[80] If shale price remains attractive, Sabine Pass in Louisiana will emerge as the first plant in US to export LNG.[81] Four years after the Fukushima incident, Japan will see nuclear reactors back in operation at Sendai.[82]

2014 saw the denizens of the developed world fret about Ebola, breast cancer (through a campaign by actor Angelina Jolie) and ALS (through the ice bucket challenge).[83] Overall, health spending will comfortably outpace the rate of growth of the overall economy. Long-term secular trends driving this are the aging population in the western world (with the population pyramid replaced by a population dome) and an emerging middle class elsewhere with increasing demand for improved access to healthcare.[84] Universal healthcare has been promised for all in India, which should drive up healthcare expenditure by a significant amount there.[85] In 2015, large US companies are mandated under Obama-care to provide insurance to more than 70% of their eligible workforce.[86] Uncertainty on US healthcare reform and debate thereon may cause short-term price volatility. Millennial Development Goals will reviewed by the UN later in the year with a new set of goalposts announced for countries to be met by 2030; different NGOs will campaign vigorously through media to get their pet agendas included in the final list.[87]

Transportation companies will report higher earnings from increased economic activity.[88] Apart from some airlines which have suffered reputation damage through recurring accidents, airline companies will benefit from the reduced oil prices. Defense industry will see robust growth in China, as "Chi-America" remains no more a chimera.[89] Alarmed by this increase, Vietnam with Philippines will move within the US ambit and Australia will seek to join the tripartite naval exercises in the Indian Ocean between US, Japan and India.[90] Tensions in Eastern Europe and the middle-east will favor increases in expenditure across the region. The nationalist government in India will increase defense expenditure sharply even as it moves beyond lip-service on the long-standing issue of indigenization of defense manufacturing.[91]

The mantra of social-local-mobile (SoLoMo in tech jargon) continues to drive the consumer markets division of information technology companies.[92] Expenditure on IT hardware is significantly retarded by the increasing move to cloud computing.[93] The move to cloud computing - along with increasing use of mobile commerce - bodes well for the computer security business.[94] India should see a sharp increase in smart phone adoption; elsewhere tablet computers will rise against laptop and desktops.[95] Embedded systems coupled with rudimentary networking will be marketed as an all-encompassing internet of things as the era of big data continues.[96]  Today, a single family in US places more demands on data flow than the entire planet did a decade back; and even this data rate is expected to increase by a whopping 70% over the next year. Consolidation in the cable sector (e.g Comcast with Time Warner Cable) and the convergence of content with distribution (e.g. AT&T with DirectTV) are two trends that should continue on from 2014.[97] Even as Indians will talk about 3G coverage spanning the nation; Americans will tweet about 4G price warfare and the Chinese will see ZTE unveil a 5G prototype.[98] Facebook will have more users than China has human beings.[99] Analysts will harp about impact of interest-rate hikes on high dividend paying telecom stocks.[100] Apart from the financial industry, telecom will emerge as an industry most impacted by federal regulation across the globe.

The anthropologist Edward Weyer once compared the future to being akin to a "corridor into which we can see only through the light coming from behind".  It is in that sense that we have analyzed the data of the bygone year and tried to extrapolate into the days and months ahead. And when some are falsified - and falsified, some will be - then we shall lay credit for the same at the feet of those responsible - viz. us, the people.

[The authors are based in New York City, and can be contacted through email at tkrajesh@gmail.com and srivi019@gmail.com. The views represented above are personal and do not in any manner reflect those of the institutions affiliated with the authors.]

References


[1] See the graph titled "10 year bond yield: annual change and real GDP: annual % change" at http://www.swcollege.com/bef/econ_data/bond_yield/bond_yield_data.html.

[2] "Secular stagnation: facts, causes and cures", a VoxEU eBook at  http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/Vox_secular_stagnation.pdf.

[4] A brief historical perspective on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is at http://www.summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/conflict-ukraine-historical-perspective.

The Economist magazine summarizes the debate over Senkaku islands at http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/12/economist-explains-1.

[5] “The ECB, demigods and eurozone quantitative easing” at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c90dd466-7bb4-11e4-a695-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3NIKpG2Fx.

[6] “Bank of Japan announces more quantitative easing: the next chapter in Abenomics” at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonhartley/2014/11/02/bank-of-japan-announces-more-quantitative-easing-the-next-chapter-in-abenomics/.

[7] “World Bank urges China to cut economic growth target to seven percent in 2015, focus on reforms” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/29/us-china-worldbank-idUSKBN0II05P20141029.

[8] “Reforms by PM Narendra Modi will help India to grow 5.5% this year, 6.3% next year: ADB” at http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-17/news/57154602_1_cent-the-adb-growth-forecast.

[10] “The experts: how the US oil boom will change the markets and geopolitics”, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324105204578382690249436084

[13] “Economic growth patterns in USA, Canada, Mexico and China” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dominik-knoll/economic-growth-patterns-_b_5832182.html.

[14] “Mexican president Pena Nieto's ratings slip with economic reform” at http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/08/26/mexican-president-pena-nietos-ratings-slip-with-economic-reform/.

[17] “Andres Oppenheimer: Latin America's forecast for 2015: not good” at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article2503660.html.

[18] “Maduro blames plunging oil prices on US war vs Russia, Venezuela” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/30/us-venezuela-oil-idUSKBN0K802020141230 and “What's in store for post-Kirchner Argentina” at http://globalriskinsights.com/2014/12/whats-store-post-kirchner-argentina/

[19] “Brazil economists cut 2015 growth forecast to slowest on record” at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-11/brazil-economists-cut-2015-growth-forecast-to-slowest-on-record.html

[20] “Economic snapshot for Latin America” at http://www.focus-economics.com/regions/latin-america.

[21] “Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico business forecast report Q1 2015” at http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Cuba-Dominican-Republic-Puerto-Rico-8538079/ and “Obama's Cuba move is Florida's top story for 2014” at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/29/obamas-cuba-move-is-floridas-top-story-of-2014/.

[24] “Ethiopia overview” at  http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview and “Kenya overview” at http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/overview.

[26] “Internal violence in South Sudan” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=33.

[27] “Political instability in Libya” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=14.

[28] “The regional impact of the armed conflict and French intervention in Mali” at http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/f18726c3338e39049bd4d554d4a22c36.pdf.

[29] “EGX head optimistic on equities as Egyptian economy recovers” at http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/egx-head-optimistic-on-equities-as-egyptian-economy-recovers.

[30] “Economy - outlook for 2015 dismal, despite boost” at http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-25-economy-outlook-for-2015-not-encouraging-despite-boost.

[31] “Pre-state Israel: The Sykes-Picot agreement” at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sykes_pico.html.

[32] “Turkey - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/turkey-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[34] “Saudi-Iranian relations since the fall of Saddam” at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG840.html.

[36] “Dubai 2015 cross sector business outlook extremely bullish” at http://ameinfo.com/blog/mentors/c/capital-club/dubai-2015-cross-sector-business-outlook-extremely-bullish/ and “Israel - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/israel-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[37] “China's leap forward: overtaking the US as world's biggest economy” at http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2014/10/08/chinas-leap-forward-overtaking-the-us-as-worlds-biggest-economy/.

[38] “Understanding Shinzo Abe and Japanese nationalism” at http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/26/understanding-shinzo-abe-and-japanese-nationalism/.

[39] Book: “Getting India back on track: an action agenda for reform” edited by B. Debroy, A. J. Tellis and R. Trevor.

[40] “US may not target Mullah Omar after this year" at http://www.dawn.com/news/1152382.

[41] “The rise and rise of Kaptaan” at http://tribune.com.pk/story/800722/the-rise-and-rise-of-kaptaan/.

[42] “Widodo launches reform agenda with fuel price hike” at http://www.focus-economics.com/news/indonesia/fiscal/widodo-launches-reform-agenda-fuel-price-hike.

[43] “ASEAN's elusive integration” at http://opinion.inquirer.net/74164/aseans-elusive-integration.

[46] “Russia's economics ministry downgrades 2015 oil price forecast to $80 per barrel” at http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/764662.

[47] “Hollande popularity plumbs new low in mid-term French poll” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/06/us-france-hollande-idUSKBN0IQ14R20141106.

          Montreal's Festival du nouveau cinéma Reveals Its Line-Up        
Today, Montreal's Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC), which will take place between October 12 to 23. Here's the complete line-up of feature films according to the press release we received.

Opening and closing

The 40th edition of the FNC kicks off on Wednesday, October 12, with Declaration of War by Valérie Donzelli (France) at Cinéma Impérial (Centre Sandra & Leo Kolber, Salle Lucie & André Chagnon). This critically-acclaimed second feature by Valérie Donzelli (The Queen of Hearts) tells the love story of Roméo and Juliette who are battling to save their sick child. The director and her producer Edouard Weil will be in attendance.

Ten days later, on Saturday, October 22, Monsieur Lazhar (Quebec/Canada) by Philippe Falardeau will close the Festival. Selected to represent Canada at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lahzar shows the efforts of an Algerian schoolteacher to help his Grade 6 students come to terms with their teacher’s death. Between the opening and closing dates, the FNC will be in celebratory mode, highlighting the social relevance of featured works.

International Selection: Louve d’Or presented by Quebecor

The International Selection is an opportunity for relative unknowns to make their mark. This year, there are 19 contenders for the Louve d’Or, which includes a $15,000 prize from Quebecor. The 19 films in competition are: Behold the Lamb, by John McIlduff (United Kingdom); Black Blood, by Miaoyan Zhang (China); Blue Bird, by Gust Van Den Berghe (France/Belgium); Elena, by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia); The Giants, by Bouli Lanners (France/Belgium/Luxemburg); The Island, by Kamen Kalev (Bulgaria/Sweden); The Last Christeros, by Matias Meyer (Mexico/Netherlands); Nuit #1, by Anne Émond (Quebec/Canada); OK, Enough, Goodbye, by Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia (Lebanon/United Arab Emirates); Oslo, August 31st, by Joachim Trier (Norway); Play, by Ruban Östlund (Sweden/France/Denmark); Shame, by Steve McQueen (United Kingdom); Toll Booth, by Tolga Karacelik (Turkey); Tomboy, by Céline Sciamma (France); Twilight Portrait, by Angelina Nikonova (Russia); Volcano, by Runar Runarsson (Iceland/Denmark); Wasted Youth, by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (Greece); White White World, by Oleg Novkovic (Serbia); and Without, by Mark Jackson (United States).

Special Presentation

Twenty-five films by established filmmakers will be screened in this year’s Special Presentation section, which features strong, committed works that reflect their creators’ bold vision: 30 tableaux, by Paule Baillargeon (Quebec/Canada); Les Amants, by Nicolas Klotz & Elisabeth Perceval (France); An Organisation of Dreams – Part 2 – Dangerous People, by Ken McMullen (United Kingdom); L’Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close), and De la guerre, Bertrand Bonello (France); Stopped on Track, Andrea Dresen (Germany); Norwegian Wood, Tran Anh Hung (Japan); Early One Morning, Jean-Marc Moutout (France/Belgium); Décharge, Benoît Pilon (Quebec/Canada); Faust, Alexander Sokurov (Russia); Almayer’s Folly, Chantal Akerman (France/Belgium); U2-From the Sky Down, Davis Guggenheim (United States); Hanezu, Naomi Kawaze (Japan); Hard Core Logo II, Bruce McDonald (Canada); Outside Satan, Bruno Dumont (France); Il se peut que la beauté ait renforcé notre résolution – Masao Adachi, Philippe Grandieux (France); Louis Martin, journaliste, Louis Bélanger (Quebec/Canada); Melancholia, Lars Von Trier (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany); My Paris Movie, Jonas Mekas (United States); Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey); The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar (Spain); Pina, Wim Wenders (Germany/France); Take This Waltz, Sarah Polley (Canada); The Turin Horse, Béla Tarr (Hungary); and A Separation, Asghar Farhadi (Iran).


International Panorama

Festivalgoers can tour the world, exploring countless new realities through a wide array of works, including comedies, documentaries, road movies and dramas. The 27 films in this year’s International Panorama section are: Abderrahmane Sissako: Une fenêtre sur le monde, by Charles Castella (France); Absolutely Tame Is a Horse (Asb Heyvan-e Najibist), by Abdolreza Kahani (Iran); Acorazado, by Alvaro Curiel de Icaza (Mexico); Avé, by Konstantin Bojanov (Bulgaria); Chico & Rita, by Javier Mariscal & Fernando Trueba (Spain); Cultures of Resistance, by Iara Lee (United States); Do Me Love, by Jacky Katu & Lou Viger (France); End of the Night, by Daisuke Miyazaki (Japan); Flying Home, by Tobias Wyss (Switzerland); Pio’s Generation (La Generación de Pio), by Juan Rodrigo & Pedro Rodrigo (Spain); Goodnight Nobody, by Jacqueline Zünd (Switzerland/Germany); The Furious Force of Rhymes, by Joshua Atesh Litle (France); Land of Oblivion, by Michale Boganim (France/Germany/Poland/Ukraine); Last Road to the Beach (A Última estrada da praia), by Fabiano De Souza (Brazil); Melting Away, by Doron Eran (Israel/Canada); Mike, by Lars Blumers (France); Mondo Lux – The Visual Worlds of Werner Schroeter, by Elfi Mikesch (Germany); Our Ancestors The Gauls, by Christian Zerbib (France); Policeman (Hashoter), by Nadav Lapid (Israel); The First Rasta, by Hélène Lee (France); Searching for Hassan, by Edouard Beau (France); The Terrorists (Poo Kor Karn Rai), by Thunska Pansittivorakul (Thailand/Germany); Three and a Half (Seh-O-Nim), by Naghi Nemati (Iran); A Life for Ballet, by Marlène Ionesco (France); The Life and Death of Celso Junior, by Panayotis Evangelidis (Greece); Vinyl (Tales from the Vienna Underground), by Andrew C. Standen-Razlrish (Austria/United Kingdom) and Y’a pire ailleurs, by Jean-Henri Meunier (France).

Focus

Turning the spotlight on homegrown talent, the Focus section presents original, unseen Quebec and Canadian works that wow, amaze and offer food for thought. This year’s lineup includes 9 films in competition for the Grand Prix Focus/Cinémathèque québécoise with a $5,000 prize, as well as 10 non-competing films. Opening the section on October 13 is the visually ambitious documentary Surviving Progress, by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks (Canada). Also in competition: Amy George, by Yonah Lewis & Calvin Thomas (Canada); The Girl in the White Coat, by Darrell Wasyk (Canada); Fortunate Son, by Tony Asimakopoulos (Quebec/Canada); I am a good person/I am a bad person, by Ingrid Veninger (Canada); Laurentie, by Simon Lavoie & Mathieu Denis (Quebec/Canada); Marginal Road, by Yassaman Ameri (Quebec/Canada/Portugal); Peace Park, by David Bouthillier (Quebec/Canada); and Romeo Eleven, by Ivan Grbovic (Quebec/Canada). The non-competing films are: Alejandro Jodorowsky, grand rectum de l’Université de Foulosophie, by François Gourd & Matthieu Bouchard (Quebec/Canada); Another Silence, by Santiago Amigorena (Quebec/Canada/France/Argentina); National Parks Project, by Louise Archambault, Keith Behrman, Daniel Cockburn, Hubert Davis, Sturla Gunnarsson, Zacharias Kunuk, Stéphane Lafleur, Peter Lynch, Catherine Martin, Kevin McMahon, Scott Smith, Jamie Travis and John Walker (Quebec/Canada); Le Pays des âmes, by Olivier Godin (Quebec/Canada); Planet Yoga, by Carlos Ferrand (Quebec/Canada); Dust. A Sculptor’s Journey, by Jeanne Pope (Quebec/Canada); Rasta, A Soul’s Journey, by Donisha Prendergast (Canada); République: un abécédaire populaire, by Hugo Latulippe (Quebec/Canada); Les Tickets: l’arme de la répression, by Eric “Roach” Denis (Quebec/Canada); and Touch the Sky, by Adrian Wills (Quebec/Canada).

Temps Ø

The section opens with the North American premiere of Guilty of Romance by Sion Sono (Japan), a story of ordinary mental illness in the form of a psychosexual, neofeminist punk thriller, with powerful lead actress Megumi Kagurazaka in attendance. Other big names on the program: Takahi Miike with Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (a 3D remake of Kobayashi’s masterpiece); Shinya Tsukamoto, who will present the much-anticipated Kotoko, about a mother on the brink of madness, which nabbed the Orizzonti prize at the last Venice festival. Must-see new discoveries include Our Day Will Come by Romain Gavras, a Thelma and Louise for redheads and a cross between Gaspar Noé and Bertrand Blier, starring Vincent Cassel. It’s no secret that Australian film is in a state of effervescence, represented here by two major works: the mysterious Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, with rising star Emily Browning, and Justin Kruzel’s monstrous Snowtown, which got a special mention at the 2011 Cannes Critics’ Week. And . . . (drum roll), don’t miss the long-awaited world premiere of Assassin’s Creed Embers, an all-new animated short by Ubisoft studios. Expect an evening of surprises, anecdotes and of course sneak previews of the new game by the Montreal mega franchise. On the US front, look for the astonishing The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, a beautiful love story told through one of the most radical artistic performances the world has ever seen. Director Marie Losier, the darling of New York’s experimental new cinema scene, will be in attendance. We’ll also be showing Take Shelter, by Jeff Nichols, which won the Critics’ Week Grand Prix at Cannes and has everybody talking, as well as the documentary Last Fast Ride: The Love, Life and Death of a Punk Goddess, by Lilly Ayers, on punk icon Marian Anderson (with narration by Henry Rollins). Asia will also be in the spotlight with Gandu, by Quashiq Mukherjee, a proud representative of an all-new style of Indian films (Wong Kar-wai meets a pornographic ghetto rapper version of Gaspard Noé in Calcutta). Also showing will be Shirome, by Koji Shiraishi, a horror film that takes delight in terrifying a group of young female Japanese pop stars, offering a new twist on The Blair Witch Project. Finally, the latest wacky flick from Thailand — Saturday Killer, by Yuthlert Sippapak, about a hit man with severe erectile dysfunction — along with the superb Tatsumi, Eric Khoo’s tribute to renowned manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi. And, last but not least, the first real 3D porn flick, Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, by Christopher Sun Lap Key, which smashed this year’s box office records in Hong Kong and has become a true Chinese cultural phenomenon.

          Roma International Scholarship Program (RISP), 2014-2015        

This scholarship has been extracted from the BEST SCHOLARSHIP WEB: Scholarships 2017 - 2017 =)

Roma Education Fund is inviting application for international scholarship program for pursuing bachelor, master, doctoral or postdoctoral program at a state accredited university in other than applicant’s home country. The Program is designed to provide partial support to Roma students who are citizens of one of the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. REF can support under RISP scholarship scheme the same applicant throughout his/her studies for maximum 5 years.. Roma Education Fund’s Scholarship Program (REF SP) announces the opening of its yearly scholarship cycle of the Roma International Scholar

All the complete information in Roma International Scholarship Program (RISP), 2014-2015 !


          A Shot in the Arm for IHT Morale.        
When was the last time you can remember a NYT editorial using the work of IHT journalists? Not in a long time.

All good, and good for the brand equity for the IHT (which seems to be being diminshed by the planned wiping from the NYT Company's asset sheet of www.iht.com at a time when frankly I'd have thought they could hardly afford to do such a thing. Have they thought this one through?)

What I find interesting about this editorial are the mixed messages.

The IHT isn't referenced as being owned by the NYT; in the paper NYT and IHT journalists aren't distinguished from one another, in the newsroom it's all talk about intergration and the IHT merely being the global edition of the NYT.

Yet here we have, in terms of brand value, a clear distinction drawn between the IHT and the NYT.

Confused? You should be.

EDITORIAL
Corruption in Bulgaria and Romania
Sunday, November 16, 2008
When the European Commission decided in September 2006 to admit Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union, nobody pretended they were really ready.
The thinking was that EU membership would keep them safely out of Russia's orbit. There were also hopes that joining the European political mainstream would accelerate their efforts to rein in organized crime and corruption. The latter was a fairly astounding miscalculation.
What actually happened, as Doreen Carvajal and Stephen Castle have reported in detail in the IHT, was that the prospect of billions in EU subsidies only encouraged the criminals to diversify from smuggling and extortion and to burrow into the political and judicial systems - the better to siphon off EU money.
Today, Bulgaria is rated by Transparency International as the most corrupt nation in the 27-nation EU. The country could lose almost half a billion euros in aid that was frozen in July because of fears that it was vulnerable. Romania is also a cause of serious concern.
This state of affairs is devastating at all levels. The Bulgarian and Romanian people badly need the EU's development aid. And the shocking reports of corruption are hardening the resistance of other Europeans to further expanding the EU, thus lessening the chances of Turkey or Ukraine to ever join.
Perhaps most grievously, the spread of corruption through all levels of government and society, as in Russia and some other Balkan countries, makes it far more difficult to eradicate everywhere.
The IHT articles chronicled how those who tried to expose or combat the criminals in Bulgaria were regularly threatened, maimed or killed, and how these crimes routinely go unsolved. The result, the reporters were told, was that people have come to accept corruption as an unavoidable fact of life and have become apathetic about fighting it.
The wrong conclusion would be to close the EU door forever. The right one would be to ensure that those who pass through it are ready and get all the support they need to be full and healthy members.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/16/opinion/edbulgaria.php


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A PLACE IN MY COUNTRY
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‘Ian Walthew was a newspaper executive with a career that took him round the world, who one day did a mad thing. He saw a for-sale sign on a cottage in the Cotswolds, bought it, resigned and moved in. For the first few weeks he just lay on the grass in a daze. Then he started talking to his neighbours and digging into the rich history of this beautiful part of England. Out of his inquiries grew this affecting and inspiring memoir.What sets it apart from others of its ilk is the author’s enviable immunity to cliché and his determination to love his homeland better than he used to. His elegiac account of relearning how to be an Englishman should be required reading for anyone who claims to know or love this country.’ Financial Times
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A PLACE IN MY COUNTRY
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Ian Walthew
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          3 Stars at Euro 2012: Where Are They Now?        
вик услугиSource: UEFA Euro 2020 via Facebook Last summer, Portugal shocked the world in the European Championship final as Eder, a relatively unknown quantity on the international stage, scored an injury-time winner to shock host nation France. If truth be told, it wasn’t a memorable tournament – it certainly wasn’t as exciting or entertaining as Euro 2012, held across both Ukraine and Poland. Spain were the dominant force in international football back then, having won both Euro 2008 and a first World Cup crown in 2010. Therefore, it wasn’t exactly […]
          Big Pharma Company Under Cyber Attack        

Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has announced that it is under attack by cyberhackers. Yesterday, the Petya ransomware attack took out the Ukraine’s power grid and international airport, a russian...

The post Big Pharma Company Under Cyber Attack appeared first on Vaxxter.


          Belly        

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Credits:

A film by: Julia Pott
Production: Royal College of Art
Sound Design: Joseph Tate
Animation Assistance: Robin Bushell
Eammon O’Neill
Ben Cady
Stephen Middleton
Theo Nunn
Voices: Olivia Gurney Randall
Cornelius Clarke
Joseph Tate
Robert Blythe
Laurence Weedy

Supported by: Passion Pictures

Screenings

The Summer Show, RCA, London, 2011
See No Evil, The City Arts & Music Project, London, 2011
Short and Sweet, The Pheonix, London, 2011
Hackney Film Festival, RIO Cinema, London, 2011
Canterbury Anifest, Augustine House, Canterbury, 2011
Chicago Film Festival, 2011
Playgrounds Festival, Netherlands, 2011
L’Alternativa, 18th Barcelona Independent Film Festival, 2011
Encounters International Film Festival, Bristol, 2011
Adobe Design Achievement Awards, Taipei, Taiwan, 2011
Pictoplasma, New York, 2011
Animated Dreams, Estonia, 2011
Rencontres Henri Langlois 34th Festival, Poitiers, France, 2011
Les Sommets du cinéma d’animation de Montréal, Canada, 2011
Animateka International Animation Film Festival, Slovenia, 2011
Anilogue International Animation Festival, Vienna and Budapest, 2011
Sundance Film Festival, 2012
Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, France 2012
Premiers Plans Film Festival, France, 2012
Flickerfest, International Short Film Festival, Australia, 2012
Tricky Women, International Competition, Vienna, 2012
Mecal International Short Film Festival, Barcelona, 2012
SXSW, 2012
Charleston Film Festival, 2012
Holland Animation Film Festival, Utrecht, 2012
San Francisco International Film Festival, 2012
Lisbon International Independent Film Festival, 2012
Ashland Independent Film Festival, 2012
Boston Independent Film Festival, 2012
Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, Germany, 2012,
Flatpack Festival, Birmingham, UK, 2012
Visueltdagene (The Visual Days), Oslo, Norway, 2012
Maryland Film Festival, 2012
ANIFILM, Trebon, Czech Republic, 2012
Vienna Independent Shorts Film Festival, 2012
Sarasota Film Festival, 2012
Southside Film Festival, PA, 2012
San Francisco Film Festival, 2012
Newport Beach Film Festival, 2012
Catalina Film Festival, 2012
World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2012
Pictoplasma, Berlin, 2012
Kyiv International Short Film Festival, Ukraine, 2012
Rooftop Films, NYC - May 25th and June 15th
Provincetown International Film Festival 2012
Wiesbaden International Weekend of Animation, Germany, 2012
Short Shorts Film Festival, Japan, 2012
CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto, 2012
Hiroshima International Animation Festival, 2012
Royal Television Society Awards, UK, 2012
Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, 2012
Leiden International Short Film Experience, 2012
Sequence Short Film Festival, France, 2012
5.International Animated Film Festival, Poland, 2012
Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2012
Animation Block Party, NYC, 2012
International Competition at Fantoche, Switzerland, 2012
Sidewalk Film Festival, Alabama, 2012
Free Range Film Festival, Minnesota, 2012
International Competition at Fantoche, Switzerland, 2012
Milwaukee Film Festival, 2012
Kloosterkino, Netherlands, 2012
Les Perceides – 4E - Festival International de Cinema et D’art de Perce
Concorto Film Festival, Italy, 2012
Free Range Film Festival, Minnesota, 2012
Milano International Film Festival, 2012
Animacursed Festival, Rio De Janeiro, 2012
Calgary International Film Festival, 2012
3D Wire Festival, Spain, 2012
XXII Message to Man International Film Festival, Russia, 2012
Sedicicorto Film Festival, Italy, 2012
The Grand Cinema, Tacoma, 2012
Fantoche International Film Festival, Sweden, 2012
Giraf Animation Festival, Canada, 2012
31st Uppsala International Short Film Festival, Sweden, 2012
St. John's International Women's Film Festival, Canada, 2012
Cucalorus Film Festival, North Carolina, 2012
Corona Cork Film Festival, Ireland, 2012
Underwire Film Festival, UK, 2012
AFI Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2012

Awards

Passion Pictures Prize, 2011
Shortlisted, Ridley Scott Associates Residency, 2011
Nominated, Conran Award, 2011
Best Graduation Film, Chicago Film Festival, 2011
International Jury's Special Prize, Anilogue International Animation Festival 2011
Canal + Award, Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, France 2012
Best European Student Film, Holland Animation Film Festival, 2012
Golden Gate Award for Best Animated Short film, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2012
Royal Television Society Award, Postgraduate Animation, Finalist, 2012
New Talent Award - Fantoche International Film Festival, Sweden, 2012
Best Short, Philadelphia Film Festival, 2012
Special Jury Award for Animation at AFI Film Festival, 2012
Best Director, Underwire Film Festival, UK, 2012

Archived in the British Film Institue, 2011

Cast: Julia Pott

Tags: belly, animation, adventure, royal college of art, julia pott, joseph tate, 2d, childhood, coming of age, summer, elephant, nostalgia, short film, sundance and sxsw


          Re:Politics - USA        
Asterios wrote:
Well just saw this and thought it looks like a good read, until it took a very hard turn into the twilight zone:


It was flying rodent gak from the first line, about Trump getting killed. And then it got stupid in a really sad kind of way.

The article tried made this vague kind of claim that 'socialist' Democrats had close ties with business. Which is stupid in itself - either call them corporate cronies, or call them socialists, being one means they're not the other. But then it goes it to pants on head crazy land when it claims that Trump doesn't have ties to business. Trump... the businessman. Making an argument that people should elect the businessman because he doesn't have ties to business borders on parody.

It makes the claim that Trump is self-funding his campaign. Whether this is a bald faced lie or a woeful level of ignorance I don't know. Trump self-funded his primary campaign... or rather didn't fund it at all, and instead ran a very cheap campaign driven by free media coverage. But his run in the general is all about big money, and he's now attached himself nicely to the conventional Republican machine to use their standard funding sources.

The article has no idea how congressional control of funding works. It seems to think if you control congress you can just stop funding any existing program when you want. Again, not sure if this is a lie or ignorance.

The article actually tries to make Trump's idiotic birther nonsense in to a selling point. Remember all the angry noise Trump made about something that was always stupidly wrong, and proven as such years ago? Let's pretend this is in Trump's favour! Our candidate is an idiot who's wrong about basic facts! That's different to other politicians, and we want something different!

This was also the first time I'd read anyone questioning the trade deal with Russia. The stupid complaints about the deals with China and Mexico are common and existed long before Trump became a prominent political figure, but Russia? Russia doesn't even have a bi-lateral deal with the US - they rely on the default WTO trade conditions, and they've only recently returned to that after the US was previously inflicting massive damage on the Russian economy as punishment over their actions in the Ukraine. Complaining the US has a bad deal with Russia is exactly as stupid as complaining the US has a bad deal with Atlantis.

The whole article is pretty much just pure crazy from start to finish. Which is, admittedly, not particularly surprising for something coming from the Heritage Foundation. What is surprising is that it's a complete reversal from their normal crazy. They typically spend their time making up insane nonsense about why big business needs to be given more money to job create, or alternately insane nonsense about how freedom means capitalism and that means giving big business more money. But here they've flipped entirely around, now big business is bad and the only hope is a billionaire businessman who tells lots of stupid lies.

I just hope that when the 2016 campaign is over that people remember how shamelessly political Heritage really is. I used to think there was a problem with organisations like Heritage sacrificing truth for the sake of ideology, now it's clear they don't even care about ideology - to fit Trump that had to go and so they dropped it. All we're left with is people who will say anything because they simply don't give a gak as long as they get paid.

Welcome to the Republican party circa 2016. A lot of you are voting for it to continue to be this way.
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          Sevilla to face minnow Dnipro in Europa League final        

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          Global cyber attack likely cover for malware installation in Ukraine: police official        

By Pavel Polityuk

KIEV (Reuters) - The primary target of a crippling computer virus that spread from Ukraine across the world this week is highly likely to have been that country's computer infrastructure, a top Ukrainian police official told Reuters on Thursday.

Cyber security firms are trying to piece together who was behind the computer worm, which has paralysed thousands of machines worldwide, shutting down ports, factories and offices as it spread through internal organisational networks to an estimated 60 countries.

Ukrainian politicians were quick on Tuesday to blame Russia, but a Kremlin spokesman dismissed "unfounded blanket accusations". Kiev has blamed Moscow for two previous cyber strikes on the Ukrainian power grid and other attacks since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

A growing consensus among security researchers, armed with technical evidence, suggests the main purpose of the attack was to install new malware on computers at government and commercial organisations in Ukraine. Rather than extortion, the goal may be to plant the seeds of future sabotage, experts said.

International firms appear to have been hit through their operations in the country.

Slovakian security software firm ESET released statistics on Thursday showing 75 percent of the infections detected among its global customer base were in Ukraine, and that all of the top 10 countries hit were located in central, eastern or southern Europe.

The malicious code in the new virus encrypted data on computers and demanded victims pay a $300 ransom, similar to extortion tactic used in the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May.

Echoing working hypotheses from top cyber security firms including Cisco and Kaspersky, a top Ukrainian official told Reuters that the ransom demands were likely a smokescreen.

"Since the virus was modified to encrypt all data and make decryption impossible, the likelihood of it being done to install new malware is high," the official, who declined to be identified, wrote in a phone text message to Reuters.

Information Systems Security Partners (ISSP), a Kiev-based cyber research firm that has investigated previous cyber attacks against Ukraine, is pursuing the same line of inquiry.

ISSP said that given that few people actually paid the $300 demanded for removing the virus, money was unlikely to be the primary object of the attack.

"It's highly likely that during this attack new attacks were set up," said ISSP chairman Oleg Derevianko.

"At almost all organisations whose network domains were infected, not all computers went offline," he said by phone. "Why didn't they all go offline? We are trying to understand what they might have left on those machines that weren't hit."

Some cyber security researchers have said the fact that the Kremlin's two flagship energy companies are victims of the attack suggests Moscow was not behind it.

Russian oil major Rosneft was one of the first companies to reveal it had been compromised by the virus and sources told Reuters on Thursday computers at state gas giant Gazprom has also been infected.

(Additional reporting by Eric Auchard in Frankfurt, Jack Stubbs in Moscow and Mark Hosenball in Washington D.C.; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by John Stonestreet)


          US Sanctions Impact Gazprom’s Position in Ukraine Gas Transit Talks – Moody's        
According to Moody's agency, new US sanctions create the risk of weakening the position of Gazprom in talks with Ukraine on tariffs for gas transit.
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          POINTS TO PONDER AND TOP NEWS        

Top World News Now                 
February 26, 2013



United States
Obama To Tell Israelis of Plan for Iran War
Obama's Paycheck Exempt From 'Sequester'
White House Sells Meetings with Obama for $500k
Pentagon to Keep Gen. Allen Probe a Secret
Kerry: US to Hasten Syria Government Change
Kerry’s first overseas trip off to shaky start
Bill unveiled to legalize medical pot
Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year?
Listen up ladies! Next time there's a draft, Uncle Sam might want you too
Homeland Security Chief Threatens Long TSA Lines From Sequester
TB outbreak: LAPD urges officers to wear masks
US Internet providers start spy program to stop file-sharing
Billions at stake: US and BP clash in court over Gulf oil spill
Nation of Islam asks for gang protection
New York City homelessness continues to set new records
Canadian Asteroid-Hunting Satellite Launched into Space


Russia
Putin's KGB/FSB Converging with New IMF Banking FSB
Putin signs radical anti-tobacco bill into law
In Putin's Russia, Shooting the Messenger
Medvedev: No Grounds for New ‘Cold War’
Deputy FM Ryabkov: Iran sanctions may be lifted
Zyuganov reelected Communist chief, vows reset in left-wing politics
China, Russia ink major energy deal
Moscow 'regrets' treatment of Russians abroad
Moscow Welcomes Release of 15 Russian Sailors in Nigeria
1kg meteorite piece found in Russian Urals, biggest chunk yet discovered
Moscow Police Seize Large Cache of ‘Black Market’ Weapons
At Least 17 Amur Tigers Dead in Russia's Far East in 2012
Protests in Ukraine as EU gives May ultimatum
Ukraine wields natural gas trump card in Brussels
As Medvedev is savaged, Putin silent
State Duma Backs Putin's Foreign Assets Bill


China
Xi vows peaceful path on Taiwan
Xi calls for cross-Strait cooperation in realizing "Chinese dream"
Xi rewards Chinese missile brigade for launching 100 missiles
Hu Jintao meets KMT honorary chairman
State councilor meets South Korea's new president
South Korea's Park Warns North Against Nuclear Pursuits
Foreign Ministry: All Japanese activities regarding Diaoyu Islands illegal
Min of Environmental Protection refuses to release data from soil contamination investigation
China to halt approvals for small coal mines
2 Tibetan Monks Self-Immolate as Anti-China Protests Continue
Tibet's Growing Tragedy: Self-Immolation Protests Reach 105
5.4-magnitude earthquake jolts Tibet
BBC World Service Shortwave Radio Blocked in China
Chinese transport "workhorses" extending military's reach


United Kingdom‎
David Cameron: I'll stop migrant benefits
John Kerry: US Won't Back UK on the Falklands
Britain's top cardinal resigns over allegations 'he behaved inappropriately with priests'
Family Targeted in North Belfast Blast Bomb Attack
Cameron to hold talks with Kerry
Head of Cameron's local Tory branch resigns over gay marriage
Clegg denies cover up of associate's misconduct
Tory threat to rival parties over libel law
UK Ratings Cut Puts Spotlight on Budget
Will Litvinenko-MI6 links be revealed?
UK onshore wind farms to create more carbon dioxide than they save
Tax Breaks Spur Record UK Offshore Oil & Gas Spend


European Union
Berlusconi revives political career in chaotic Italian election
Italian markets celebrate Berlusconi’s poor performance in election
Italy's center-left to win lower house, leads in Senate race
Initial results indicate stalemate in Italian election
Angry Italians deliver austerity warning
EU ministers discuss horse meat crisis
EU holds breath over crucial Italy election
Topless Femen protest against Berlusconi as he votes in election
Protest votes add to uncertainty in close Italy election
Spanish Police Nab 3 Suspected of Spying for Iran
Spain police arrest 45 in Madrid after protest


Germany
Merkel holds talks with Turkish leaders frustrated by slow-moving EU talks
Germany presses Turkey for progress in lifting embargo on Cyprus
German government backs ban on far-right party
German Intel Paid Neo-Nazi Informer $240,000
Bare-chested protesters take on Berlin
Merkel: China, Russia seeing Syrian president's time is up
Merkel Raises Turks' Hope Of European Union Entry
Merkel kicks off sensitive visit to Turkey
Merkel inspects German Patriot missiles in Turkey
Germany arms the Persian Gulf monarchies
Germany patient with France on deficit


France
Hollande's Sarkozy joke riles French opposition
Ayrault: Boko Haram Claiming to Hold French Family
France blasts 'cruelty' as Boko Haram displays kidnapped family
France to pause austerity, cut spending next year instead: Hollande
Hollande urges compulsory labeling amid horsemeat scandal
France's military operation in Mali in 'final phase'
France warns of kidnappings, attack risk in Benin
France is euro 'problem child', frets Angela Merkel's party official
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Syrian Opposition Pledges to Attend Rome Summit
Syria says ready to talk with armed opposition
Kerry Vows Not to Leave Syria Rebels 'Dangling in the Wind'
Car blast rocks central Damascus, casualties reported
Assad's Army Has Fled Entire Area Bordering Israel
Syrian Refugees Riot in Jordan Camp; 3 Hurt
Nearly 100 Rebels Are Reported Killed in Mali Battle
No sign of peace or reconciliation in Mali
West African Mali forces to cost €715m

Insight Into Today’s News
Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
Norway Enters The Currency Wars
The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
The Last Liberal Branch of Government
US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets

Israel
Netanyahu: Arrow will help us on peace, or defense
Netanyahu urges the PA to calm rioters and stone throwers
West Bank Streets 'Boiling' as Abbas Accuses Israel of Stoking Unrest
IDF and Palestinians clash following prisoner's funeral
West Bank Protests Grow, Fears of New Intifada
Israel, US successfully test anti-missile system
Palestinian officials accuse Israel of torturing inmate to death
Palestinian Detainee’s Death in Israel Sparks Unrest
Thousands of jailed Palestinians stage 1-day hunger strike


Turkey
Erdogan holds joint press conference with Merkel
Kurdish Peace Process to Start After PKK Leave Turkey
Erdoğan: Assad a ‘mute devil’ for not defying Israel
Defense Minister Says 965 Suicides Among Soldiers in 10 Years
Turkey in Key Stage to Address Kurdish Issue
Turkey lists requests from Germany's Merkel
Turkey eyes Karabakh step from Armenia to open ways
Turkey Pressures Germany on EU Accession
Turkey says aid pledges for Syrian refugees 'unfulfilled'
Iraq shuts down 3 illegal tunnels to Syria


Egypt
Bahrain Bans Import of Plastic Guy Fawkes Masks
ElBaradei Calls for Boycott of 'Sham' Parliamentary Election
Egyptian Brotherhood Hits Back at Opposition Leader
Stripped of 'Country of Origin' Label, US Agrees to Sell Tear Gas to Egypt
Bahraini Dies After Being Struck by Tear Gas Canister
Divided Egypt opposition attacks Morsi on election call
Morsi calls parliamentary elections in April
Thousands hold anti-government protests in Egypt
New death from SARS-like virus in Saudi

Iran
World Powers May Offer Iran Sanctions Relief at Nuclear Talks
UK claims General Shateri actually died in January bombing of Hezbollah-bound weapons convoy
World Powers Seek Compromise in Iranian Nuclear Talks
Ahmadinejad Admits to Economic Pain
Iran tests suicide drones in ongoing military drill
Iran denies downing foreign drone
Iran claims it has captured a foreign ‘enemy drone’ during military exercise
Iran announces new uranium deposits discovery
Iran selects 16 new sites for nuclear plants
Iran sentences 4 to death in biggest bank fraud case
Envoy: Iran to continue talks with IAEA on nuclear program


Venezuela
Chavez warns that Africa and South America Must Unite or face Western Interventions
Indigenous Venezuelans Hold Ritual for Chavez
Colombian Rebels Call on Santos to Save Peace Talks
Villegas: Condition of cancer-stricken Chavez not "favorable"
Prosecutor Accuses Former Colombian Governor of 2000 Massacre
Bolivia's Morales says was unable to see Chavez in Venezuela
Questions about political succession whirl in Venezuela after Chavez comes home
Poll: Maduro would win vote if Chavez goes
Chávez's return is obstacle for Venezuela's embattled opposition
Bolivia's Morales arrives in Venezuela to visit President Chávez


Brazil
Falklands dispute: Argentina accuses UK of ‘defiance’ of anti-nuke treaty
Rousseff says extreme poverty almost eradicated
PM Medvedev begins visit to Brazil
Pro-Cuba Protesters Halt Dissident's Brazil Event
After Being Hounded by Protesters, Cuban Dissident Praises Brazil's Freedom of Expression
Brazil dockers end China ship protest; port strike threat
Argentina to renovate railways with Chinese trains in 2014
Union Leader Protests by Bringing Trucks to Argentine Labor Ministry
New tobacco law ignites controversy in Chile
Ex-leaders of German sect in Chile enter prison to begin sentences for sexual abuse of minors


Mexico
Official Accuses CIA of 'Managing' Not 'Fighting' the Drug Trade
Nieto Meets with San Antonio Mayor
Government Says Over 27,000 People Missing in Mexico
Mexico Slaughters Nearly 500,000 Birds Infected with Avian Flu
Guatemala Moves Up Ex-Dictator’s Genocide Trial
Police Chief in Mexican Border City on Nuevo Laredo Missing
Suspect in General’s Murder Arrives in Mexico
Mexican Police Detain 81 Migrants
Vigilantes reportedly release captives in southern Mexico

Castro successor lacks charisma but is experienced manager
Raúl Castro Says His New 5-Year Term as Cuba's President Will Be His Last
Fidel Castro makes surprise parliament appearance amid leadership speculation
Cuban parliament gathers, president to be selected
Esteban Lazo Elected New President of the Cuban Parliament
Haitians Rage as UN Rejects Payout for Cholera Victims
Yoani Sanchez May Be Top Dissident in Cuba, but She Agrees US Embargo Must Go
Medvedev Discusses Meteorite Strike with Fidel Castro
Raul Castro Mentions Possible Retirement


United Nations
UN Removes Osama bin Laden From Sanctions List
Tunisia Arrests Suspect in Killing That Sparked Unrest
African leaders sign DR Congo peace deal
At least 53 killed in rival Arab militia clashes in North Darfur
Tunisia's New Premier Promises Inclusive Government
US blocks UN resolution condemning Damascus terror bombings
Tunisia: Party Names Premier Candidate
Tunisian PM steps down after crisis prompted by political assassination
Unesco agrees 5.6 million-euro plan to save Mali's
          NEWS TO PONDER, SHARE AND WONDER        
Top World News Now                 
February 21, 2013

COURTESY SOCHA FAAL

 Heads up from AntiMullah. Separate vacations and Obambi brings Reggie Love back with  him. If you do  not know what this is, you need to visit/view AntiMullah.com more often to keep up with latest developments.

Tone and content reflects information not normally provided by Lame Stream Media's love fest with Obambi. And worldwide events that discredit his claims and motives for anti-American, pro-Moslem Brotherhood policies and actions.
 
Read and become knowledgeable and stop believing the incredible lies Obama feeds us at every opportunity. Lies his own Democrats increasingly have a problem swallowing and are intentionally leading our nation into certain fiscal and political destruction.


United States
GOP Resists Obama's Push for Tax Rise to Head Off Cuts
Obama Fleshes Out Plans for Infrastructure Projects
Obama considers urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage
White House announces online espionage response policy
US issues final word on essential benefits under "Obamacare"
Anonymous thrown into China-US cyberwar scandal
Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilian workers
In wake of Benghazi, rapid response Marine unit heading to Europe
US issues worldwide caution to its citizens of terror threats
Body found in restaurant rubble after Kansas City explosion
Why Americans Might Be Better Off If Their Burgers Were Made Of Horsemeat
Sex-Change Surgery Available Through Many US Colleges
Majority of US citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported
Hundreds of thousands march in Puerto Rico against gay rights
 
 

Russia
Putin Invites G20 Leaders to St. Petersburg Summit
Migrant workers call on Putin for amnesty
Lavrov: Time to end the war in Syria
Moscow: N. Korea sanctions can only impact nuclear program
IMF warns of higher inflation, slower GDP growth in Russia
Russia's missing billions revealed
Russia Tries To Remove Images of New Drone From the Internet
Russian Military to Develop Anti-Meteorite Defenses
Russia investigates 25 cases of Defense Ministry fraud - Prosecutor General
MP resigns after bloggers disclose his Florida property
Russia escalating attacks on free expression a year on from Pussy Riot protest
‘Ample Evidence’ Linking Ukraine Ex-President to Journalist Murder
French Specialists Resume Work at Chernobyl Disaster Site
Ukraine: Embezzlement At State Orphanages
Belarus Phases Out Russian Warplanes, Radars
 
 

China
Xi Jinping's campaign to purge Communist Party 'won't be easy'
Incumbent cabinet holds final meeting
China's central banker skips retirement bar to stay on
Manila to tackle sea row 'with or without China' at UN
Attacks originating from US rank 1st among overseas hackings in China
Photos show new activity at N Korea nuclear site
Spy agencies scrounge for details on North Korean nuclear test
North Korea: A nuclear 7-Eleven?
N Korean propaganda video shows Obama in flames
US Envoy Opposes S Korean Nuclear Armament
Rise in online fan clubs extolling China's party leaders
After China's multibillion-dollar cleanup, water still unfit to drink
Smog in Pearl River Delta 'worse than in Beijing'
Maoists Block Deal to Break Nepal's Long Political Deadlock
 
 

Cameron to pay respects to victims of Amritsar massacre
Cameron's India trip hits wobble with concern over helicopter deal
Sars-like virus death reported in UK
New coronavirus can infect human lungs as easily as cold virus
Magdalene laundries: Ireland to apologise to survivors
Iranian torture guard refused UK citizenship
Britain expands "bigger than burgers" horsemeat tests
Regulator warns Britain 'on the brink' of energy crisis
Scotland 'faces EU funding cut'
Tanker drivers in Scotland vote to strike
Belfast Orange Order warns members over flag protests
One in four Africans attacked in Ireland
 
 

Berlusconi accused of trying to buy votes days before election
After Bulgarian Protests, Prime Minister Resigns
Greek police fire tear gas on anti-austerity protesters
Greece welcomes Hollande with ‘news blackout’
Dutch experiment in legalised prostitution a disaster
Thieves in Belgium pull off most spectacular and dramatic diamond heist in years
Iceland considers dropping its currency
Lawmakers Threaten to Veto Tightened Budget
EU reinforces sanctions against DPRK
To Revive Honey Bees, Europe Proposes a Pesticide Ban
Anti-austerity strike to bring Greece to a standstill
Italy politicians make final drive for votes before poll
 
 

Berlusconi's possible comeback a nightmare for Angela Merkel
Merkel's Rainbow Problem: On Gay Rights, Chancellor Still a Conservative
German Officials Signal Berlusconi Isn't Their Man
Germany Sends Troops to Mali
German police raid firms over Ponzi scheme
Germany: Court Backs Adoption by Same-Sex Couples
Net activists slam Germany's open data portal
NSU victims' families want more than sympathy
Security staff at Hamburg airport to strike Wednesday in pay dispute
Swiss mayoral candidate 'pro-Hamas, pro-Iran'
Outgoing chairman of Switzerland's Novartis foregoes $78 million golden parachute deal
Norway is Afraid of Foreign Spies
 
 

Hollande: French soldier killed in northern Mali
Hollande confirms seven kidnapped in Cameroon
Hollande urges investment in Greece, growth in Europe
Hollande: France will miss 2013 growth target
French Kidnapped in Cameroon Were Taken Into Nigeria
France saw 58 percent rise in anti-Semitic attacks in 2012
Man arrested for serial attacks on Paris Chinese
France to unfreeze development aid to Mali
France Charges 11 In Alleged Kurdish Extortion Ring
 
 
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Syrian rebels threaten Hezbollah with 48-hour deadline
Syrian military reportedly shoots down Israel drone
US direct military support to Mali likely to continue after elections
Mortars Explode Near Assad Palace in Damascus
Missile kills more than 30 in Syria
Typhoid breaks out in rebel-held eastern Syria
Foreign Arms Supplies to Syrian Rebels Expanding
Pro-Assad militia now key to Syrian government’s war strategy
Russia's double dealing on arms to Assad regime leaves UK isolated over Syria
Syrian Rebels Threaten to Attack Lebanon Over Border Dispute
 
Insight Into Today’s News
Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
Norway Enters The Currency Wars
The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
The Last Liberal Branch of Government
US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets
 

Former foreign minister Livni joins Netanyahu coalition
Prisoner X: Benjamin Netanyahu adds to mystery
Secretary Kerry to skip Israel in first trip
Turkey, Israel Cut 1st Defense Deal Since Freezing Ties
Israel Seeks to Curb Weapons Flow to Gaza
West Bank protesters rally for release of deteriorating prisoners
Palestinian Prisoner's Hunger Strike Reaches 211th Day
Fatah Official Warns of Violence if Prisoners Aren't Freed
'Iron Dome' may be instrumental in peace process
Head of Israeli IVF unit arrested in Romania
 
 

 
 

Security deteriorating in Egypt due to political instability
Opposition Sets Conditions For Dialogue With Morsi
Morsi's advisory team less diverse after months of walkouts
Morsi Issues Presidential Decree to Appoint New Mufti
Strike, Protests Hit Egypt's Port Said for 3rd Day
Egyptians protest at Libyan border over new visa rules
Egypt ministry appeals against order to block YouTube
Egypt files new charges against Mubarak's last premier
2 Sunni groups halt roles in Bahrain crisis talks
A Palace Rift in Bahrain Bedevils Key US Navy Base
 

Iran to Conduct Military Drills Over 3 Days
Reformists Meet Khamenei To Improve 'Internal Climate'
Rivals Forced to Apologize to Supreme Leader
Ahmadinejad threat to cancel Iranian poll
Iran Pushes Nuclear-Free Mideast Plans
Syrian Prime Minister Claims Iran is Now “Occupying” Syria
MPs say sovereignty over three Persian Gulf islands is non-negotiable
Iran protests Berlin film award for banned Jafar Panahi
Fatwa Issued Against 3G Internet Operator in Iran
Iran FM Spurns Western 'Gold Trade' Offer
Stung by 'Argo,' Iran Backs Conference Denouncing 'Hollywoodism'
 
 

Original text



 â€œThe News You Need Today…For The World You’ll Live In Tomorrow.”


WITH SO MANY OVERWHELMINGLY CORRUPT AND BASICALLY ILLEGAL AND HIDDEN ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL ACTIONS BY OBAMA, BRINGING THEM OUT INTO THE OPEN REQUIRES      
A CHANGE IN FOCUS AT ANTI-MULLAH.

FOR INSTANCE, WHILE WE RECEIVE INFORMATION THAT THE OBAMA (PRO-ISLAMIC) MOVEMENT TO INFILTRATE SUPPORTERS OF ISLAM  CONTINUES INTO THE MOST SENIOR AND CRITICAL/SENSITIVE POSSIBLE REGIONS HE HAS NOW PROPOSED

JOHN BRENNAN
A CONVERT TO ISLAM

AS HIS NEXT
HEAD OF THE CIA!!!

Brennan converted during an assignment to Saudi Arabia

THE OTHER INFILTRATOR FROM OBAMA

IS HIS  STAUNCHLY AND VOCALLY PRO-IRAN, FERVENTLY ANTI-ISRAEL CHOICE FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENCE. A MAN THE IRANIAN MULLAHS (UNDENIABLY OUR ENEMIES) STRONGLY ENDORSE AS THEIR PREFERENCE TO HEAD OUR MILITARY!!!

TO CREATE A BROADER INSIGHT INTO THE WORLD STAGE WE SHALL BE POSTING INFORMATION FROM SOCHA FAAL AND WHILE SHE INCLUDES DETAILS THAT FALL INTO THE EDGES OF SPECULATION, YOU SHOULD "DISCOUNT" THE "PSYCHIC" ASPECTS WITHOUT THROWING OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER.

YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SELECTIVELY FILTER ONE FROM THE OTHER AND NOT IGNORE TRENDS OF REALITY WOVEN INTO THE DETAILS SHE PRESENTS BUT WHICH HAVE STRONG POINTERS FOR THOSE WHO CAN DISCERN THE DIFFERENCE.

NOTE THAT SHE RECEIVES INFORMATION "AND DISINFORMATION" FROM THE RUSSIAN SECRET SECURITY SERVICES, WHICH HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDAS NOT ALL OF WHICH ARE CONTRARY TO AMERICAN INTERESTS.

READ, ABSORB SORT AND EVALUATE
you will quickly be able to note and compare the Obama treacherous and even treasonous anti-American activity among what she reports.

TAKE YOUR TIME TO AVOID JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS WHILE LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE DESTRUCTIVE ATROCITIES OBAMA IS DUMPING ON OUR HEADS AT EVERY TURN.

Next Superstorm Brought To You By HAARP?



Click Here For More Sorcha Faal Reports

Sister Maria Theresa is the 73rd Sorcha Faal of the Sorcha Faal Order, Elected as Mother Superior 3 February 2007
 â€œConspiracy theorists concentrate their time on transmuting the "base matter" of current events, official stories, propaganda and public relations into the gleaming golden truth buried within. They do this through the very right-brained activity of uncovering and inventing connections between disparate elements.
They create story-systems to understand and explain events - essentially a religious activity. For whatever reason, it’s much easier for us to deal with our internal contents by projecting them into the world around us. These outward signs inevitably become carriers of the archetypal content and psychodrama latent in the seeker.
Conspiracy theory also overcomes the strictures of literalism and the problems of simplistic thinking by experimenting with multiplicity of meaning. Ordinary events, people and signs become symbols bristling with complex, malleable, even contradictory meanings. Mystery is revived and idealized. Facts become more than the sum of their parts. Theory becomes poetry and even theology.”
The Most Critical Books Published By The Order Of The Sorcha Faal You Should Own: Picking up the Pieces: The Most Important Book Available For You To Be Able To Survive Americas Growing Police State   The Partisans Handbook   Code Red: The Coming Destruction Of The United States   “Dirty, Filthy, Christians”: Treatise On The Most Dangerous Death Cult In Human History   Battle Begins For Throne of This World: The Return of the Einherjar Warriors   War Of The Sacred Code: The True Secret Of 2012

Top World News Now                 
February 9, 2013


United States
Hundreds of thousands already without power, buried under snow from ongoing blizzard
Obama: 'No reason' for automatic Pentagon cuts
Obama to propose 1 percent pay hike for federal employees
White House won't comment on Brennan's waterboarding dodge
Clinton more popular than Obama, polls show
White House Delivers Dire Warning About Automatic Cuts
Lawmakers test legal waters for regulating drones
Christopher Dorner manhunt: Search for ex-LAPD cop goes on amid California snowstorm
Cop-killer on the run: Largest manhunt in LAPD history spreads to three US states and Mexico
US Air Force veteran added to no-fly list after visiting sickly mom
FBI Sting: California man arrested trying to blow up Oakland Bank of America branch with "Taliban help"
Health Officials: Worst of Flu Season May Be Over
KKK promises the largest rally in the history of Memphis after Confederate parks are renamed
Ohio Amish beard-cutting ringleader gets 15 years  


Russia
Putin: Countering extremists key task for law enforcers
Forward Russia: Grand Sochi project highlights Putin ambition
Migrant workers suffer for Putin's Olympics
Putin presents presidential awards to young scientists
Russia targets Uganda as big market for weapons
Retired intelligence officer gets 13 years for coup plot
New Russian citizens to get call-up for military service
‘I solemnly swear!’ – Russian citizen’s oath considered
Married couple, forced apart in communist Russia, reunite by chance and remarry
Russia, US in Hasid books brawl: Moscow wants recourse over $50,000 daily penalties
In Russia, brazen murder of Chernovik founder is unsolved
Russia's Black Earth Farmers Switch to Corn, Oilseeds for Profit
Reform Quickly or Lose Deals, EU Tells Ukraine
Fascism rehabilitated in Ukraine?


China
Xi Jinping says he welcomes criticism; critics aren’t so sure
Xi Jinping promises a cleaner, greener energy future in China
Chinese leaders send greetings for Lunar New Year
China Denies Directing Radar at Japanese Naval Vessel and Copter
Dangerous dance around disputed islets is becoming ever more worrying
PLA Navy to conduct training drills in western Pacific over Lunar New Year
China threatened by overseas hackers
Former Guangdong official stripped of Party membership
China retrieves defaulted payments for migrant workers
China jails Tibetan man for inciting secession
HP Directs Its Suppliers in China to Limit Student Labor
After Myanmar Violence, Almost 6,000 Rohingyas Arrive in Thailand
North Korea nuclear test may cause volcano eruption near Chinese border
South Korea in 'first strike' alert over tests


United Kingdom‎
Cameron savors EU budget win as battles loom
Cameron: 'Horsemeat story is shocking'
Britain opens criminal probe of horse meat contamination scandal
Clegg faces a fresh attempt to oust him as Liberal Democrat leader
2.3 million deprived kids absent from UK poverty data
UK investigating allegations of child sex abuse at former RAF base in Germany
Border agency backlog keeps Britons and their foreign spouses in limbo
Experts say DNA crime-fighting in UK 'lagging behind'
New evidence of UK complicity in Libya torture
Tax Rules Waived in Britain to Lure Athletes
Saga of Speeding Politician Rivets Britain
Whitehall spies could already be operating in Scotland
Refuelling and rendition: Ireland's role in the war on terror

European Union
EU budget cut ushers in austerity for first time in union's history
EU leaders agree to push for US trade deal
EU may force banks to help set Euribor to keep it clean
EU Court Strikes Down Swift's Blockade Against Iranian Banks
Greece gets silver lining to budget plans for coming years
Growing Police Brutality in Greece: The Hidden Face of the Crisis
Armenia holds 2 in attack on presidential candidate
Anarchists Claim Responsibility for Attempted Bombing in Spain
Moroccan suspected of being terrorist arrested in Spain
Cyprus Presidential Candidate Wary of EU Bailout Terms
Italy Vote Seen Inconclusive as Risk of Second Ballot Grows
Birth Defects In Multiples On The Rise In Europe


Germany
German Shale-Gas Fracking Rules Sought by Merkel Coalition
Germany Warns on Currency Depreciation
Germany posts second highest trade surplus in 60 years
Topless activists denounce female circumcision at Berlin film festival
German weapons case pits man against gun clubs
Minister's Heritage Sparks Racism Debate
New doubts cast on Holocaust account Nazi child mascot
Swiss Unemployment Returns to a 2.5 Year High
Gun control debate rages in Switzerland
Switzerland Justice Minister Returns Home
Taipei Ministry to ask Switzerland to arrest Zain Dean
Global warming to bring more rain to hydro-dependent Norway
EON Plans Hundreds of Megawatts of Wind Power in Norway, Sweden

France
Illegal Roma evictions in France continue under Hollande
Ayrault says no current plan for Peugeot stake
Ex-US envoy: $17M French ransom funded al-Qaida
France plays down report of ransom paid for Niger hostages
Europe Is Watching as France Weighs Options for Peugeot
French charge north in Mali, Bamako shooting kills two
Symbol of French Republic defaced in art attack
Hollande Eschews Monarch-Style Presidential Monument in Crisis
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Jets roar over Pacific skies as US military gathers allies in drills, to keep ahead of China
Shooting erupts amid reports of mutiny in Malian capital
Suicide bomber blows himself up near Mali soldiers, first attack of its kind
French intervention 'will cost Mali its independence'
Rebel push into Damascus raises fears of long fight coupled by mass exodus
Syria says 'no truth' Israel targeted convoy
UN Says 5000 Syrians a Day Are Now Fleeing War
Syria military factory blast kills 54
Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra is taking over Syria's revolution

Insight Into Today’s News
US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets
Now We Know: War Is Murder
It Can't Happen Here?
The Andromeda Strain, Yes. Jesus, No. Your Tax Dollars at Work.
Remember 1994
Morningland Dairy destroyed by feds, $250,000 inventory stolen by government thugs during armed raid
Department of Homeland Security Targets Gun Collector
CIA Adviser Warns of 'Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction'
Debtors Prisons In The US Are Rapidly Filling With People Who Can’t Pay Bills

Israel
Netanyahu's coalition-building efforts are guided by suspicion and skepticism
Livni will be appointed as minister in charge of peace process
Defense Ministry suspends ties with six firms over alleged fraud
Tel Aviv Hepatitis A outbreak may stem from open-air markets
Abbas to Ahmadinejad: Talk more about Palestine, less about destroying Israel
Palestinian jailed for Abbas Facebook 'insult'
Abbas Meets With Leader of Gaza Terror Group in Cairo
Hamas Weighs Options For Recognizing Israel
Palestinian prisoners in Israel 'smuggling out sperm'


Turkey
Despite US opposition, oil trade with Iraq is legal, PM Erdoğan says
South Cyprus condemns Erdoğan's remarks calling him a 'bully'
Turkey says has spent $600 million on Syria refugees
No strong EU without Turkey, says Italian envoy
Turkey-US Tension Develops Over Al-Qaeda Member  
Ailing ex-general fights for survival after sentence delay
Cargo ship crashes into a passenger seabus in the Bosphorus
Protests grow in Sunni areas in Iraq
Iraqi Kurdistan presses on with oil pipe to Turkey

Egypt
Morsi: Egypt, Turkey to establish joint chamber of commerce
Clashes in Egypt as anti-Morsi camp demands change
"We stand for organized terror - this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. Our aim is to fight against the enemies of the Soviet Government and of the new order of life. We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence. When confronted with evidence criminals in almost every case confess; and what argument can have greater weight than a criminal's own confession."
-Felix Dzerzhinsky 1918

I would like to start with one single case of cruelty and evil. As I said before in the first part of this essay, many who are ignorant of the history and consequences of communism find it easier to brush off the statistics rather than contend with the horrors those numbers represent. The story of Nadezhda Suetonovka is one filled with personal tragedy and betrayal by the Revolution that is so common among the victims of the Soviet Union. She was married to Filipp Kuzmich Mironov a once-proud Colonel in the Red Army who found himself on the wrong side of Trotzky and the Cheka (the Soviet Secret police at the time). They were arrested together on the usual false charges. Pregnant and separated from her husband she was not told of his prison-yard execution soon after. She gave birth to her child in a special prison designed especially for pregnant women. She named him Vadim. When she was eventually released she was not allowed to take a job to care for her and her son. Vadim died at the age of five years old and soon after his mother vanished from records.

The Soviet Union felt nothing for the individual, but contempt. Citizens of Russia that fell out of favor were often compared to insects by Lenin, however, the treatment of even the most loyal Soviets as mindless drones was certainly the norm. The USSR ruthlessly exploited the very people it purported to have fought a revolution for and did so in the name of communism. Some were shot, some were hung, some were starved and some were worked to death

I won't attempt to describe how those people felt, I do not possess the ability to accurately transfer the horrors of communist rule in the USSR from the eyes and ears of those who experienced it. I encourage you to read The Gulag Archipelago by the great Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn if you want to lie awake at night thinking of the pain and suffering endured by real human beings. Or watch this film by Mikhail Mikheev to hear the testimonies of those that witnessed the cruelty and evil first-hand.

For the same reasons that it is important that society knows and remembers the histories of the Holocaust or of slavery it is also important to know the history of communism. While this is far from exhaustive I think it is a good starting point for someone just learning about the subject. Death tolls vary from estimates of over 6,000,000 to approximately 60,000,000 in the USSR. The only thing we can know for sure is that either number is simply too much. What's more the USSR wasn't merely guilty of murder, evil as that was, they were also guilty of systematic torture, rape and slavery. It is much harder to get an idea of how many cases of the State condoning rape and torture there may have been as the victims often remained silent (for good reason).

Stalin tends to get most of the blame for deaths in the USSR, but to excuse Lenin for his role in the Red Terror or the Famine of 1921 is a bit too generous. Below is one estimate for the death toll from George Mason University's Byron Caplan:

The exact number murdered is usually estimated at between 100,000 and 500,000, but the chaotic wartime conditions make the accounting especially difficult. But execution was not the Cheka's only tool; it also pioneered the development of the modern slave labor (or "concentration") camp. Inmates were generally frankly treated as government-owned slaves, and used for the most demanding sorts of work - such as digging arctic canals - while receiving pitifully small rations.

Surely even the low estimates are horrible enough to dispel the notion of Lenin as some sort of Savior of the Russian people. Imagine if a modern American President had overseen even a quarter of that many State executions in four or eight years. Nor is Lenin guilty only of murder:

Five million Russians died. Half a world away, Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign, championed by Herbert Hoover, director of the American Relief Administration known as the ARA....
The first American relief ships arrived in Petrograd in September 1921, as the embers of the 1917 Russian revolution still smoldered. American relief workers were among the first outsiders to break through Russia's isolation and to witness and record the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution. They would be tested by a railroad system in disarray, a forbidding climate, a ruthless government suspicious of their motives, and the enormous scale of death and starvation.
The initial plan called for feeding one million children by delivering bread, rice, grits, sugar, corn and milk to the most hard hit regions. Almost immediately, Hoover encountered formidable obstacles. Vladimir Lenin's new communist government was skeptical of American aid and sabotaged the relief effort by planting spies in local American Relief Administration offices. When trains stuck on the tracks prevented food from being transported, Russian officials were uncooperative, resulting in delays that contributed to an estimated 50,000 deaths. New estimates in the fall of 1921 revealed that at least 16 million Russians would be impacted by the famine. Hoover's initial plan to feed just the children would not be sufficient.
That winter, cannibalism became widespread across Russia as the people continued to starve. In the U.S., Hoover managed to double the project's funding, arguing that by providing food famine relief, Americans could demonstrate the strength, kindness and efficiency of American society to a Communist culture.

 If this were the end of the mass-death and mass-suffering a case could still be made against Communism as a whole, unfortunately this is merely the beginning. More famines and more mass executions would follow Lenin's death as the brutal Stalin came to power:

The very scale of the Great Terror — estimates of the number who perished range from 12 million to 20 million, and between 12 million and 14 million more had been inmates in the Gulag — ensured that most Soviet people had been victims themselves or knew one. Moreover, the partial revelations of Stalin’s crimes in Khrushchev’s not-so-secret “secret speech” to the 20th Communist Party Congress in 1956 ignited a public reckoning of sorts for several years, including the official publication of works like Solzhenitsyn’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.” 

The rapid "modernization" of Russia also took a bloody toll:

Higher up, beyond the statue of Kirov, stands the Svirskoi hydroelectric plant, built during Stalin’s reign by gulag prisoners, at least half of whom were imprisoned for political crimes. Estimates indicate that no fewer than 480,000 people in the northwestern region of the Soviet Union suffered during those horrendous years of repression, and tens of thousands of those — including a part of the workers who built the hydroelectric plant — were shot and killed. But the Leningrad region has only a few memorial cemeteries and monuments to those victims, while there are hundreds of monuments and streets dedicated to Lenin, Kirov, Bolshevik leader Moisei Uritsky and other Communist leaders.The Svirskoi hydroelectric plant — and the entire town built around it — was built on bones and blood of political prisoners of the Soviet regime. And although at the nearby Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, founded in the late 15th century, visitors are occasionally told that during the Soviet period the monastery was closed and handed over to the local forced labor camps and was almost certainly the site of mass shootings, any mention or memory of the victims of state terror is barely discernible through the countless references to Soviet geographical names and pictures of the Soviet past. Anatoly Razumov is a bibliographer and historian of the Leningrad region who pursues his task with almost religious devotion. Day after day, he has worked since 1991 to recover the names of the people shot and killed in the camps and prisons of northwest Russia. He and his colleagues have already assembled nine of the 15 volumes that will contain a list of the people shot in the Leningrad region. The Levashenskoye Cemetery near St. Petersburg alone holds the bodies of about 50,000 people who were shot by the NKVD between 1937 and 1954 and secretly buried there.

It is shameful that Russia to this day remembers monsters like Lenin, Trotzky and Stalin with anything less than the utter disdain that the world looks at Hitler with. Their crimes were cruel and many and an entire Russian generation has been allowed to forget the crimes of their ancestors:

The central government now demanded impossibly high quotas of grain, forcing the population to give up even the seed-grain supplies needed for next season's planting. There is no doubt that the regime's leaders knew that this would create a food shortage. Indeed, borders were closed and supplies cut off to ensure it; granaries and other food stores were hunted out and locked up under guard by soldiers and secret police units. A man-made famine was thus created deliberately to starve political resisters to death. Up to 7 million people in ethnic Ukrainian regions died of hunger. Some of the too-slow-to-die were shot in large numbers to hasten the genocide.
The quota demands were lifted in 1933, but until 1935 further millions of kulaks and their families were deported to labour camps in Siberia and Kazakhstan. Many died in the appallingly harsh conditions there.

Remember this history when people try to tell you that Capitalism is the root of all evil.

          VIDEO: E.U. – Ukraine Association Agreement ‘sealed’ (Freemason Gestures Bro. José Manuel Barroso @ 00:48 & 00:55)        
On the 27th of June this year, Ukraine (and Georgia and Moldova) signed the Association Agreement with the European Union, to govern policy convergence and later trade. Its supporters see it as setting the seal on a new era of east-west relations. [...]
          Ukraine’s Dystopian Descent into Military Dictatorship        
The Ukrainian state continues its slow-motion collapse, this time with Poroshenko seeking to deal a death blow to the last remnants of the Rada. He has accused “half of the Verkhovna Rada” of being “a ‘fifth column’ which is controlled from abroad, whole factions” after they did not pass a bill labelling Lugansk and Donetsk’s governments as terrorist organizations. [...]
          Vineyard of the Saker Blog: Footage of the vaporized leftovers of the Ukie 79th Airborne Brigade #ukraine #donbass #cnn        
The 79th Airmboile was the furthest advanced in the 'Southern Cauldron' battle, it's remnants walked across the Russian border last week. It was a regular Ukraine Army Brigade listed on Wikipedia as being under 'direct subordination' to Land Forces Command. [...]
          Vice News: Russian Civilians Suffer from Bloody Military Campaign (VIDEO)        
Two weeks after the separatist rebels of the Donetsk People's Republic fled their stronghold of Sloviansk, Ukraine's anti­-terror operation continues. In the neighboring region of Luhansk, the Ukrainian military has been battling with separatists for control of Luhansk city and its strategically important airport — but with both sides using artillery, homes are being destroyed and people are being killed. Meanwhile near Donetsk, fighting has reached outlying villages as the military looks to encircle separatist forces inside the city, who vow to make their last stand among its 1 million inhabitants. [...]
          Newsmax ‘TV’: Lt. Col. Bro. Oliver North talks about ‘the situations in Ukraine’ (America’s Forum with Bro. J.D. Hayworth)        
Military expert and best-selling author talks about the situations in Ukraine and in Israel and what role the US should play in these conflict. [...]
          Press TV: O.S.C.E. likely to inflame Ukraine situation: Analyst        
Beeman: Well, the United States and Russia are in a very tense situation over the Ukraine. But I’ve got to tell you that I am completely unclear in my own mind about what sort of interest the United States has in Ukraine other than simply trying to assure that Ukraine will develop closer ties to Europe rather than to Russia. [...]
          VIDEO: Meet the Bro. Gregory & Ukraine ‘PM’ 20/04/24        
Meet the Press The full Meet the Press exclusive interview with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. [...]
          Telegraph: Ukraine fiasco marks end of the EU’s imperial dream        
Normally when a country’s people give a referendum vote that the EU doesn’t like, they are just told to vote again to put it right. In the case of Crimea, however, where 96 per cent of the people voted to return to Russia, the EU was in no position to ask them to think again. [...]
          ÐÐ МОБІЛЬНИХ АБОНЕНТІВ ЧЕКАЮТЬ ШОКУЮЧІ НОВОВВЕДЕННЯ. ДО ЦЬОГО УКРАЇНЦІ НЕ БУЛИ ГОТОВІ        

Так, Держспецзв’язку, розробила законопроект про обов’язкову реєстрацію абонентів мобільного зв’язку, згідно з яким клієнтам стільникових операторів пропонують укладати договір у письмовій або будь-який інший формі, але при цьому зобов’язати телеком-компанії збирати персональні дані всіх користувачів, передає Корупція.Інфо.


Крім того, Держспецзв’язку пропонує відродити практику ведення бази унікальних ідентифікаторів IMEI-кодів.
Нагадаємо, що система контролю сірого імпорту мобільних телефонів по IMEI заробила в Україні у 2009 році, а в 2014 році, згідно з поправками, Укрчастотнагляд позбувся цієї функції, а реєструвати IMEI стало необов’язково.

У пояснювальній записці до законопроекту Держспецзв’язку йдеться про те, що відсутність системи реєстрації абонентів та унікальних кодів мобільних пристроїв ускладнює проведення заходів з нацбезпеки “в умовах кібернетичних загроз”.

“Крім того, вимагає уваги ситуація з використанням кінцевого обладнання (айфони, Айпад, комунікатори, смартфони, мобільні телефони) на тлі зростаючого спектра надання послуг на базі телекомунікацій, так як неконтрольоване кількість кінцевого обладнання в обороті сприяє поширенню” мобільного шахрайства “та інших кіберзлочинів”, – написано у пояснювальній записці.

За задумом Держспецзв’язку, у інших відомств з моменту прийняття закону буде тільки три місяці на адаптацію нормативних актів. Водночас 8 серпня Нацкомісія з питань регулювання зв’язку схвалила законопроект Держспецзв’язку, але пропонує збільшити перехідний період на півроку. За цей час абоненти повинні будуть надати свої особисті дані операторам.

Так, президент компанії Київстар Петро Чернишов, вважає, закон написаний непрофесійно.

На думку прес-секретаря Vodafone Ukraine Вікторії Павлівської, компанія готова підтримати зміни по реєстрації абонентів за умови, що будуть дотримані інтереси клієнтів, так як головним ризиком вважає, що частина абонентів, які не встигнуть зареєструватися, можуть залишитися без послуг зв’язку. Тому називає реальний термін реєстрації – два роки.

Як раніше писала Politeka, російські мобільні оператори дали зрозуміти російським туристам в Криму, кому належить анексувати півострів.



          ÐšÐ¾Ð³Ð´Ð° украинцы дождутся 4G и сколько за него заплатят        


Операторы не испытывают энтузиазма и готовятся повышать тарифы


Внедрение в Украине мобильной связи стандарта 4G может пройти не так гладко, как этого ожидает правительство.

Та модель развития 4G, которую Кабмин навязывает операторам, не вызывает у них энтузиазма. Компаниям придется построить сети с ограниченным покрытием, которое будет дублировать уже существующие 3G-сети, говорят эксперты.
Дорогое удовольствие

Да и начальная стоимость лицензий немалая. Стартовая цена для диапазона 2600 МГц — 2,3 млрд грн, а в диапазоне 1800 МГц — 4 млрд грн. Операторам как-то нужно будет отбивать затраты, а это неминуемо приведет к удорожанию услуг связи для рядовых абонентов.

Но потратиться придется не только на лицензию. Управление частотным ресурсом, перенастройка радиопланирования, обучение персонала – будут стоить операторам времени и денег.

«О миллиардах долларов речь не идет. Максимум о нескольких сотнях миллионов для всей "большой тройки" на протяжении нескольких лет. Предпочтительнее использовать диапазоны 700, 800 и 900 МГц. Это позволит минимизировать затраты на строительство новых сетей и обеспечит покрытие на уровне 80-85% территории. Против 40-50% в случае 1800/2600 МГц», — отметил в разговоре с UBR.ua консультант телеком-компаний Роман Химич.

Напомним, предусмотренная решениями Кабмина процедура, предполагает выдачу лицензий операторам до конца года и начало строительство сетей в 2018 году.


Первые результаты, по прогнозам экспертов, должны появиться к середине следующего года. Хотя процесс может и затянуться. Да и темпы расширения покрытия будут ниже, чем в случае 3G, говорят эксперты.

«Процесс не быстрый. Запуск 4G в лучшем случае возможен в начале 2018 года, в худшем — в конце 2018, начале 2019. Многое еще зависит от того, что мы понимаем под запуском. Одно дело поставить базовую станцию в центре Киева у офиса оператора, другое — покрыть все миллионники. Или города с населением более 100 тыс. Или все трассы. В каждом случае срок будет разным. Еще один важный вопрос, затягивающий запуск — рефарминг частот (перераспределение частот между операторами)», — заметил нам сооснователь техноблога Gagadget Сергей Митяев.

Тем не менее, внедрение технологий 4G интересно всем операторам мобильной связи из большой тройки. Также и Укртелеком (ТриМоб) сообщил, что ждет оглашений всех условий конкурса, после чего примет окончательное решение об участии.

А вот выход на украинский рынок нового игрока на фоне появления в Украине 4G маловероятен, считают эксперты. У нас один из самых низких в мире ARPU – всего $1,5 (средний счет одного абонента в месяц). К тому же для работы 4G необходима развитая техническая инфраструктура.


«Рынок мобильной связи перенасыщен. В таких условиях перспективы мы видим только для виртуальных операторов, таких как Lycamobile, который предлагает клиентам неплохие цены на международные звонки», — заметил в беседе с UBR.ua директор по корпоративным коммуникациям «Укртелеком» Михаил Шуранов.
Довести до ума старое

Эксперты полагают, гонка «G-вооружений» может стимулировать операторов бороться с цифровым разрывом — разнице в доступности современных телеком-услуг для жителей города и сельской местности. Последнее явление в Украине приобрело угрожающие масштабы. В этом контексте внедрение нового поколения связи должно стать своеобразным стимулом наверстать упущенное.

«Правильно сказать, что назрел вопрос не о 4G, а об общенациональном покрытии, о преодолении «цифрового разрыва». Какие именно для этого будут использованы технологии — третьего или четвёртого поколения, — лишь вопрос тактики, не более», — говорит Роман Химич.


Еще одним препятствием для развития нового поколения связи может стать низкий уровень проникновения 4G-смартфонов. Сейчас в Украине таких всего 5-7%, тогда как 3G-смартфонов уже почти половина из всех работающих в сетях. Правда, едва ли это серьезная проблема. С появлением 4G спрос на такие телефоны вырастет.

Тарифы, по словам экспертов, будут расти в любом случае: с сетями 4G или без них. Другое дело, что операторы попытаются извлечь из высокой скорости дополнительные доходы. Скорее всего они станут предлагать отдельные тарифы и тарифные опции за пользование 4G. Принцип прост: хочешь большей скорости — доплати.

«Скорее всего, тарифы будут близки к стоимости пакетов 3G. Сейчас средняя стоимость 1 Gb трафика 3G находится в пределах 25 грн. В тарифах возможны опции, связанные со скоростью доступа или объемом данных», — говорит Михаил Шуранов.

По мнению экспертов, тарифы все больше будут акцентированы на потребление трафика. Ведь главное отличие 4G — повышение емкости сети, т.е. сохранение высокой скорости передачи данных при высоких нагрузках.

А чем лучше скорость, тем больше операторы получат дохода от потребляемого трафика.

«Если в 3G нагрузка на сеть делится между всеми абонентами, что приводит к падению скорости для каждого из них, в 4G, за счет больше емкости, снижение скорости будет незначительным. Абоненты получат высокую скорость, а значит будут больше смотреть видео в сети, организовывать он-лайн трансляции и пр.», — подметил Сергей Митяев.




          Getty images embeddable        
This is pretty great: Getty Images are now free to embed. This is a test embed (recent image from the Ukraine).
          Investment Recommendation: Claroty Series A        
Today, Claroty came out of stealth, announcing a Series A financing led by Bessemer. $32 Million is  is a lot for Series A, but this is an important company for our nation and our planet. To explain why, I thought I'd share this excerpt from our internal investment memo.

EXCERPT from APRIL 2016:

The Need for Industrial Security


The physical infrastructure of modern civilization runs on machinery: traffic lights, railroad switches, nuclear reactors, water treatment, electricity distribution, dams, ship engines, draw bridges, oil rigs, hospitals, gas pipelines, and factories depend upon mechanical elements such as pressure valves, turbines, motors, and pumps. These actuators (like the ones in the original Bessemer steel smelting process) were once manually configured, but today these machines are controlled by software running on directly-attached, single-purpose computers known as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). PLCs, in turn, are connected in aggregate to computers running Human Management Interfaces (HMI) through closed, vendor-proprietary Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) protocols like DNP3 and Profibus. Industrial manufacturers provide the machines, the PLCs, and the HMIs, and so Operations Technology (OT) teams typically need to use a mix of controllers and interfaces. This is collectively known as an ICS. 

During the PC revolution, many of these ICS components migrated to cheap, standard PCs, and their SCADA connections migrated to LAN switches and routers that leveraged the connectivity benefits of those PCs’ standard Ethernet ports. The security implications were relatively minor until the Internet came along; but now, if any computer in the building is connected to the Internet, all the machines are potentially exposed. ICS security had once depended upon an air-gap between IT and OT networks, and where absolutely necessary devices like one-way diodes were used to send data out of the OT network to the outside world. However, trends like remote management, cloud, IoT, and the adoption of open standards are eroding the network segmentation and creating new attack vectors.

The threat of ICS attacks is very different from threats plaguing other computer networks. First, there is little valuable data to steal from a PLC (with the theoretical exception of pharmaceuticals), and yet the consequences of an attack are potentially catastrophic; the worst doomsday scenarios of cyber warfare arise from compromised machinery such as gas relays, dams, reactors, and water treatment facilities that can kill millions of people when they malfunction. To get a taste of the kind of damage we’re talking about, watch this video from 2007, where members of the Idaho National Laboratory hacked some of its own machinery.

Second, the fear of unexpected downtime also makes OT teams less willing to experiment with new hardware and software updates. These factors create an environment of older computers running older software that is never patched despite the accumulation of known vulnerabilities.

Finally, OT teams will not run encryption or conventional cybersecurity software on their computers, lest the security processes interfere with the precise and fragile timing of their network; they would rather be infected than incur downtime. And evidence of infections is mounting:

•      The Stuxnet worm, allegedly developed jointly by NSA and the Israeli Army’s intelligence arm (Unit 8200), crippled the Iranian nuclear program by destroying their centrifuges;
•      Iran crippled the operations of the most valuable company on Earth, Saudi Aramco;
•      According to BVP-funded iSIGHT Partners, the Russia-based Sandstone Team developed the Blackworm malware that shut down power for 700K Ukrainians;
•      For two years, an Iranian group controlled malware inside a dam in Rye, New York (near BVP’s  Larchmont office).

The malware behind these attacks likely lay dormant for some time, and there is no comprehensive way to know how much more already lurks in critical ICS just waiting to be activated. According to the ICS-CERT, we discover more and more infections every year in US infrastructure.
So, at a time when nation-states, terrorists, and criminal organizations are scrambling for an advantage in cyberspace, society’s most critical infrastructure remains exposed and undefended.

Claroty’s Origin

Although our small investment in cyber foundry Team8 is gaining market value, we originally invested for more strategic reasons. Following our roadmap principle of “following the attackers,” we have long known that ICS would develop into a significant target, and hoped Team8 would provide us the best opportunity to invest in this market. They did just this with Claroty (fka Team 82), which is the second spin-out. Claroty is one of two dozen companies addressing cyber attacks on ICS. While Claroty is a newer entrant in this relatively nascent space, we believe deep the experience of its team makes it the likely winner.

Recall that retired Israeli General Nadav Zafrir had founded Team8 to focus the world’s best nation-state cyber warriors on the biggest challenges of cyber security. Zafrir recently commanded Unit 8200, considered Israel’s equivalent to the US National Security Agency (NSA). But unlike the NSA, which employs career-minded employees, Unit 8200 draws and trains the smartest draftees from the Israeli population, who, like everyone else, typically resign their military commission after three years. Naturally, several of them founded cybersecurity companies like Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, and NICE. But now Zafrir, along with the Unit’s former Head of Cyber (Israel Grimberg) and former Chief Technology Officer (Assaf Mischari), recruit and commercially train the top 1% of those graduates, re-purposing them in cybersecurity startups.

A principal skill set attributed to Unit 8200 is blind protocol analysis. If, for example, you wished to hack a Siemens centrifuge, you’d need to deconstruct the packets sent back and forth between the HMI and the PLC, or between the PLC and the actuator. Most protocols were cobbled together decades ago and were rarely well documented, and in some cases the vendors themselves treat them as holy writ. Unit 8200 is reputedly the best in the world at quickly and accurately understanding and parsing them down to the individual bit level. Team8 recruited the best, most experienced ICS thought leaders in Unit 8200, led by their team leader Benny Porat (CS PhD), to staff Claroty.

When Team8 starts a new company, it marries a technical team with an entrepreneurial founder. In the case of Claroty, Team8 recruited Amir Zilberstein, who founded the successful Waterfall Security and Gita Technologies. Waterfall develops ICS security products (unrelated to Claroty’s product); Gita’s technology remains undisclosed. Team8 also recruited Galina Antova, the former head of Siemens’ Industrial Security Services division, to run business development. Antova is a super impressive executive - highly connected, brilliant, and fast-moving. [See Appendix: Due Diligence for summaries of the team reference calls.] Next step is to recruit a CMO – we hope to get Patrick McBride, who was a star at iSight.

Beyond Security