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Last Update: November 24th 2015

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DownArrow  November 2015

November 24th 2015: Turkey shoots down Russian warplane near Syria border :  BBC reports a Russian (Su-24) fighter jet violated Turkish airspace and was shot down after various warnings from Turkish F-16 fighter jets patrolling the border region between Syria & Turkey. The Russian piolet & co-piolet apparently ejected safely and a Turkmen commander stated a piolet or co-piolet had been killed by Turkmen fighters. Russian President Vladimir Putin reacting to the incident was quoted as having said, "The attack against Su-24 plane in Syria goes beyond normal struggle against terrorism...", and added that the incident was a “stab in Russia’s back delivered by terrorist accomplices”. Apparently, the Russian President was pointing his finger directly at Turkey. ref. BBC Live Coverage Update, BBC WorldNewsEurope, Turkish Today'sZaman News & Russia's SputnikNews,  (jds)

RussainWarplane  ♦ Live coverage of Rusian wraplane shot down in Turkish airspace...
cf. BBC Live Update Coverage Russian downed warplane, BBC WorldNews, Today's Zaman & Russian Sputniknews...
BBC_WorldNews Russian (SU-24) jet warplane shot down in Turkish airpsace
BBC WorldNews Turkey downing of Russia jet a 'stab in the back' says Putin
TodayZaman_Turkey shoots down warplane near Syria border
RussianSputnikNews Russia Syria downing SU-24 defense ministry
RussiaSputnikNews Lavro camcels Turkey visit

November 15th 2015: BBC Europe: Latest updates on yesterday's attacks in Paris, France :  BBC Europe reports: "Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that seven gunmen died in the course of the attacks. The attackers appear to have worked in three coordinated teams, using the same type of assault rifles, and wearing the same type of suicide vests. Three attackers blew themselves up outside the Soccer Stade de France. One attacker died after detonating his bombs at the restaurant Le Comptoir Voltaire on the Boulevard Voltaire Three men wearing suicide vests were involved in the deadliest attack of the night, at the Bataclan concert venue, in which 89 people were killed. Two of the gunmen died after detonating their vests, the third was shot by police."  ref. BBC Live updates Paris attacks, BBC WorldEurope, NewYorkTimes & Reuters, (jds)

ParisISattack ♦ Paris: 132 people killed, 352 wounded (99 critically)...
cf. BBC Live Updates, BBC WorldNews Europe, NewYorkTimes Paris Terrorist attacks & Reuters
BBC_Live Updates Paris attacks
BBC_WorldEurope Paris attacks investigation so far
NewYorkTimes_Manhunt underway in Investigation of Paris Attacks
Reuters_Belgium seen central to Paris attacks

November 7th 2015: Presidents of Taiwan & China started talks in Singapore :  Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou & Chinese President Xi Jinping started talks between the two countries in Singapore this week after more than 60 years of rarely talking to one another, which brings old memories or old warriors back, Taiwan's Chiang Kai shek & China's Mao Zedong during troubled times. It is no wonder China & Taiwan chose Singapore for their talks, given both countries indebtedness to the counsel & wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015), Singapore's most famous and longest (31 years) serving Prime Minister who transformed a Malaysian city state under British colonialism into a first class Republic. ref. BBC WorldAsia, BBC Profiles Taiwan & China, Wikipedia Chiang Kai shek, Mao Zedong & Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, (jds)

TaiwanChina ♦ History past, present & future haunts Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou & China's Xi Jinping...!
cf. BBC WorldAsia, Country Profiles Taiwan & China, Wikipedia on Chiang_Kai shek, Mao_Zedong & Singapore's Lee_Kuan_Yew...
BBC_WolrdAsia China & Taiwan historic talks
BBC_WorldAsia Taiwan country profile
BBC_WorldAsia China country profile
Wikipedia_Chiang Kai shek
Wikipedia_Mao Zedong
Wikipedia_Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew

November 7th 2015: This Week's OnTheMedia about last week's  "CNBC's Gotcha GOP Debate" : OnTheMedia's Bob Garfield talks with Professor Alan Schroeder of Northeastern University about the CNBC's GOP debate, then with Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig about his efforts to reform campaign finance, and lastly with Alec Baldwin about "On The Media" itself. ref. This Week's OnTheMedia, (jds)

OnTheMedia  ♦ OnTheMedia & CNBC's Gotcha..! Debate...
cf. OnTheMedia on CNBC's "Gotcha" GOP debate...
OnTheMedia CNBC's Gotcha Debate and more

November 6th 2015: This Week's DW Inside Europe looks : Inside European affairs :  Deutsche Welle's Helen Seeny asks is Germany about to buckle under the political weight of so many refugees and how Syria's political divide is working out in Europe's refugee centers as well as funding projects to save refugees in the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea. Then discusses Turkey's president expanding power and Northern Ireland pushes for gay marriage rights, and finally how Hamburg's choir is attracting hundreds of singers. ref. This Week's Deutsche Welle, Inside Europe, (jds)

InsideEurope ♦ This week's Inside European affairs
cf. This Week's Radio Inside Europe..
This Week's InsideEurope Inside European Affairs

November 5th 2015: Keeping track of Migrants on Island of Lesbos :  NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports that on the rocky shores of Greece's Lesbos Island: "...sometimes 60 to 70 boats arrive every day, carrying mothers, fathers and children from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Warm soup, dry clothes and a bus — all services run by volunteers — awaited them." So far this year more than 1/2 a million migrants have crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, while total population of Lesbos alone is around 85,000. Needless to say the Island is "overwhelmed". Lesbos Mayor Spyros Galinos told Greece's Vima FM radio on Monday that he is trying to find places to bury dozens of bodies. He said "Yesterday we held five funerals, but there are still 55 bodies at the morgue," More than 19 bodies were recovered from the Aegean Sea in three separate incidents on Sunday the 1st of November. "Who could have anticipated such a carnage in the Aegean?" Galinos was quoted as saying. ref. NPR parallels "EU Hot Spots'", Aljazeera & RT News, (jds)

LesbosGreeceMigrants ♦ Migrants & refugees waiting to be processed on Greece's Lesbos Island...
cf. NPR parallels, Aljazeera & RT News on Lesbos Island's migrants & refugees
NPR_parallels Keep track of migrants & Hot Spots
Aljazeera_Mayor of Lesbos "who could have imagined..?" 
RT_News on Lesbos Refugee Crisis

November 4th 2015: Young woman stoned to death by Taliban Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan :  Her name was Rokhshana, 19 maybe 20 years old and probably being forced to marry some old foggy against her own will. So she ran away with a younger man that she cared about & loved, but was caught in Afghanistan's Ghor province by handful of Taliban fanatics. They pushed her into a hole and stoned her to death. Now all this goes back a long way to John's Gospel in the New Testament (chapter 7:53 to 8:11). The parable reads as follows: "Then each of them went home, while Jesus of Nazareth went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus of Nazareth was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’" Forgiveness is by far more powerful than punishment in most cases and religions, yet today's world as yesterday is still plagued with hideous brutality & injustice such as stoning a young woman to death in a dirt hole they dug just for her. In Islam the word Zina means unlawful sexual relations. It is mention in the Qur'an, Hadith & Hadith Sahih al Bukhari. Aside from punishments like flogging & stoning, there are some serious disagreement among Islamic scholars on the nature of Zina and the kind of Sharia-required punishment for sexual acts between husband and wife such as oral sex, mutual masturbation, and having sex when sharia forbids sex, etc., etc., ect. ! Wouldn't it be wiser & healthier that some of these Islamic Scholars get out of other people's bedrooms and find ways to stop outrageous atrocities such as stoning a young Afghan woman to death by a bunch of ignorant religious fanatics..?  ref. BBC Asisa Ghor Afghanistan, RadioFreeEurope Video, Wikipedia on Jesus of Nazareth, Jewish Adultery & Islamic 'Zina', NB. This atrocity happened late last week prior to today… (jds)

WomanStonedToDeath  ♦ Young woman being stoned to death in a Taliban dirt hole...
cf. BBC_Asisa Woman Stoned to Death, RadioFreeEurope Video, Wikipedia Jesus of Nazareth, JewishEncyclopedia, Islamic 'Zina'...  
BBC_AsisaAfghanistan Young Woman stoned to death
RadioFreeEurope_Afghanistan Taliban stoning woman adultery
Wikipedia_Jesus of Nazareth and Woman in adultery
WikipediaJewishEncyclopedia on Adultery
Wikipediia_on Islamic 'Zina'

November 3rd 2015: Cockroaches could, would or maybe save lives..? :  Mary Colwell for the BBC Magazine writes: "Cockroaches are often associated with dirty kitchens and grimy bathrooms - scuttling away as soon as you enter the room or turn on the light... But these insects are inspiring research into antibiotics, robots and mechanical limbs..." Now who would have ever thought that those little monsters rummaging around in kitchens & bathrooms could be saving lives or helping make mechanical limbs...? Or even better in China "the American cockroach is a preferred delicacy...” Frying cockroaches in oil is said to give them a crispy taste, and they’re full of proteins to boot. Yet one strange quirk about cockroaches is that when they fall on their backs they're not very apt at getting back up on their feet. Why, who knows..? Maybe the biologist Robert Full explained why on Ted Talks...?  ref. BBC Science, Robert Full & Ted Talks, (jds)

Cockroaches ♦ Cockroaches & Science, Proteins, Antibiotics, & Robots..!
cf. BBC Magazine  on Cockroaches & Biologist Robert Full on Ted Talks...
BBC Magazine on Cockroaches
TedTalks_Biologist Robert Full

November 3rd 2015: BBC reports: Turkey detains numerous supporters of Erdogan's rival Gulen : Fethullah Gulen & President Recep Tayyip Erdogan go back a long way. Mr. Gulen founded the Hizmet movement, meaning service. It is a vast network of secular schools and education which promotes a tolerant Islam emphasizing altruism, hard work and high tech education. Mr. Gulen was forced to flee from Turkey in 1999, and presently resides in a large mansion complex in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania with numerous aides & advisors. Mr. Erdogan on the other hand was a football (soccer) player and adamant member of Turkey's radical Islamist Welfare Party. In 1994 Mr. Erdogan was elected mayor of Istanbul and made major changes & improvements in the famous city. When Turkey's Islamist Welfare Party came under attack for not being compatible with Turkey's secular past & constitution, Mr. Erdogan established the Justice and Development (AKP) Party which in 2002 won a sweeping parliamentary election and has ever since until June 2015 when the AKP party lost the majority in Parliament and therefore called for a re-election that was held last Sunday, November 1st 2015. The AKP party won back the majority in Ankara's Parliament Sunday, and now President Erdogan seems rather determined to crack down on some of his adversaries, especially Mr. Gulen & the Hizmet movement..! ref. BBC Europe Erdogan's rival Gulen, Gulen's Hizmet movement and Wikipedia on Erdogan & Gulen, (jds)

ErdoganGulen  ♦ Mr. Erdogan & Gulen, one lives in a Palace the other a mansion..!
cf. BBC Europe Erdogan vs. Gulen, Gulen's Hizmet movement & Wikipedia on Erdogan and foe Gulen
BBC_Europe President Erdogan's foe Gulen
BBC_World Gulen's Hizmet movement
Wikipedia_Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Wikipedia_Fethullah Gulen

November 2nd 2015: Turkey's election: Nokta magazine's latest edition was pulled off News Stands by police : At the same time Turkish police were busy pulling Nokta's magazines off News Stands President Erdogan was busy telling the world "...it must respect the results of yesterday's election" in which his Justice & Development (AKP) Party regained the majority in parliament. Nokta's magazine is well known for its rather critical stance towards government while Mr. Erdogan is well known for little if any tolerance of being criticized. Whatever, the magazine is no longer on News Stands and the police took away Nokta's Editor-in-Chief, manager & owner's representative. Meanwhile the BBC reports "European observers have criticized the government for stifling media freedom... and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) went even further and denounced the entire process as unfair." ref. Today's Zaman & BBC World Europe,  (jds)

Turkey'sNoztaMagazine  ♦ Turkey's Nokta magazine pulled off the News Stands..!
cf. BBC WorldEurope Turkey Election results & Turkey Today's Zaman on Nokta Magazine...
TodaysZaman_Nokta Magazine's latest edition withdrawn from Shelves
BBC_ Erdogan calls on world to respect election results

November 1st 2015: This week's To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) is about "Our Mysterious Universe" : From Alien civilizations to the Unknowable, Quantum Mechanics & Einstein to Isaac Newton and Monty Python's Terry Gilliam. Curious enough without Isaac Newton and his manuscripts the world might still be in the dark ages (and in many places from east to west or west to east still seems to be given the radicalization of ignorance). ref. "The Newton Papers" by Sarah Dry & This week's To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org), (jds)

TTBOOKuniverse  ♦ ToTheBestOfOurKnowledge & The Universe..?
cf. To The Best of Our Knowledge & Wikipedia on Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Quantum mechanics and the Universe...
TTBOOK.org on Our Mysterious Universe
Wikipedia on Isaac Newton
Wikipedia on Albert Einstein
Wikipedia on Quantum mechanics
Wikipedia on The Universe

November 1st 2015: "One minute (round the clock) World News":  BBC's One minute International News summary (Video & Audio) updated 24 hours per day. ref. BBC World News, (jds)
BBCWorldNews  ♦  One minute (Video & Audio) World News from the BBC
cf. BBC's One minute International News summary updated 24 hours / day
BBC International World News Video and Audio

November 1st 2015: November comes from the Latin 'novem' meaning 'nine' :  Once again when January & February were added onto the ancient Roman calendar, November the 9th month of the year was pushed to the 11th month of the year (IX to XI). In the northern hemisphere November brings in autumn, the southern hemisphere spring. As for the equator not much changes there. Topaz, a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine is November's precious stone & symbolizes friendship & the color citrine (or maybe even the cute little bird called the Citrine Warbler). ref. Wikipedia on Forests, Topaz, Citrine & November, (jds)

ForestsTopazUtahMountain ♦ November's Northern Autumn Forests, Topaz & Utah's Topaz Mountain...!.
cf. Wikipedia on November, Autumn Forests, Topaz, Citrine, & Utah's Topaz Mountain...
Wikipedia_on November
Wikipedia_on Forests
Wikipedia_on Topaz
Wikipedia_on Citrine

arrow November 2015

DownArrow  October 2015

October 31st 2015: Russian plane crash in Sinai :  A Russian airliner crashed in central Sinai killing all 224 people on board. Russian authorities say the plane was carrying 217 passengers, 138 of them women and 17 children (aged 2 to 17) and seven crew members. Egypt's civilian aviation ministry said the plane had been at an altitude of 9,450m (31,000ft) when it disappeared. Live flight tracking service Flight Radar 24's Mikail Robertson confirmed the altitude and told the BBC that the plane started to drop very fast, losing 1,500 meters in one minute before coverage was lost. Egyptian aviation official Ayman al-Mukadem said the pilot had reported technical difficulties before the plane went missing, the Associated Press reported. ref. BBC World MiddleEast & Associated Press. (jds)

LiveUpdates  ♦ Russian plane crash...
UPDATE 4th Nov: UK & US suggest may have been onboard Bomb that caused crash:  On board Bomb may have caused crash
UPDATE 1st Nov: Russian Flight 7K9268 broke into pieces in Midair:  RussianSputnikNews Crash cause

RussianKGL9268  ♦ Flight KGL9268 ended at 400 knots & 31,000 feet (ref. Flightradar #24)
cf. BBC Live Updates on Russian plane crash & BBC MiddleEast plane crash No survivors...
BBC_MiddleEast Sinai plane crash 4 theories
BBC_Live Updates on Russian plane crash
BBC_MiddleEast Sinai plane crash: No survivors

October 30th 2015: Unseaworthy & overcrowded boats of Migrants cross the Aegean Sea to Greek Islands such as Lesbos & Kalymnos : They leave Turkey at night to avoid being spotted by Turkish patrol boats and usually arrive early morning on Greece's shores unless something goes wrong, which is unfortunately becoming more & more frequent as autumn advances towards winter. The BBC Europe reports that at least 22 migrants along with some children drowned trying to reach Kalymnos last night. It is the second major known tragedy of this week. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he felt "shame" over "the inability of Europe to deal effectively with this human drama". Maybe Mr. Tsipras himself should also feel some "shame" for his own country's "inability" to deal with Europe's migrant crisis. The United Nations estimates at least 700,000 migrants have entered Europe by sea this year. In 2004 the European Union established Frontex (The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union) and plans on sending Frontex agents to both Greece & Italy to help local officials with the processing and registration of migrants arriving in Europe. That won't help those who have lost their lives at sea, but hopefully will help make the reception and treatment of migrants & refugees more humane.  ref. BBC WorldEurope Greek Islands, Importance of Turkey & EU Frontex agency, (jds)

TurkeyToGreece  ♦ Overloaded boats & Lifejackets left on Greek shores
cf. BBC Europe Migrants drown off Greek Islands, Turkey's importance in Europe's Migrant crisis & European Union's Frontex Agency...
BBC_Europe 22 drown off Greek Islands
BBC_Europe Turkey's Importance in Migrant crisis
EuropeanUnion's Frontex mission & tasks

October 29th 2015: Charlie Rose interviews Admiral Bill McRaven :  Admiral McRaven was commander of the United States Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. At present Mr. McRaven is Chancellor of the University of Texas System. ref. Charlie Rose and Wikipedia on Admiral McRaven & Operation Neptune Spear, (jds)

Admiral McRaven ♦ Admiral William H. McRaven
cf. Charlie Rose's interview & Wikipedia on Admiral McRaven and Operation Neptune Spear...
CharlieRose interviews Admiral McRaven
Wikipedia_William H. McRaven
Wikipedia_Operation Neptune Spear

October 29th 2015: U.S. Bombings or Boots in Syria & Iraq...? :  Who knows...? BBC's Jonathan Marcus says "Russia's intervention in Syria has changed the military and diplomatic dynamic in the crisis and left Washington struggling to catch up..." while US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced to Congress "We won't hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground...", which obviously means "escalation" as far as US involvement in Syria & Iraq goes. Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry is back in Vienna again meeting with Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Foreign ministers from the UK, France, Germany, Egypt, Lebanon and other various European Union nations and Middle Eastern states to work out a feasible procedure and plan to end or at least calm down Syria's civil war. The odds of an overwhelming success are not very good given all the political, ethnic, religious and fanatic aspects of Syria. There's a well-known nursey rime called "Humpty Dumpty" who sat on a wall and had a great fall, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put "Humpty Dumpty" back together again. But, maybe John Kerry & company can do it..? Who knows...? Only the Syrians, but then again they weren't even invited to Vienna. ref. BBC World Europe & Middle East on where key countries stand, NewYorkTimes International, Reuters & Wikipedia on Humpty Dumpty,  (jds)

BootsBetterThanBombs  ♦ Boots on the ground better than bombs in the air...!
cf. BBC Europe & MiddleEast on Where key countries stand, NewYorkTimes on air strikes, Reuters on Syrian crisis talks & Wikipedia Humpty Dumpty...
BBC_World Europe Shift in Syria-Iraq campaign
BBC_World MiddleEast John Kerry seeks end to Syrian civil war
BBC_MiddleEast Where key countries stand in Syrian crisis
NewYorkTimes_map ISIS & Rebels Airstrikes
Reuters_US mideast Syrian crisis talks
Wikipedia_Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

October 28th 2015: Tempers mount as thousands of migrants & refugees walk through Europe in cold and rainy weather... : NPR's Lauren Frayer mentions that many of Bashar al Assad prior supporters are now fleeing the country. Russian airstrikes have near demolished hopes for a peaceful solution or end to Syria's 5 year old civil war. Curious enough both sides of the conflict find themselves walking together to Austria from Slovenia, and eventually off to Germany or elsewhere within the European Union to start a new life. The United Nations has estimated at least 220 thousand people (men, women, children & military) have died in Syria's civil war. Dropping bombs from helicopters or shooting rockets from fighter jets solves nothing. It only causes more hatred and deaths. The solution is boots on the ground protecting people instead of ignoring them, their lives and livelihood... ref. NPR's parallels "Syrian Refugees..." by Lauren Frayer, The Human Rights Watch & Wikipedia on Syrian Civil War, (jds)

SloveniaToAustriaToGermany ♦ Refugees march from Slovenia to Austria to go Germany or other European nations...
cf. NPR's parallels with Lauren Frayer, The Human Rights Watch on Russian air strikes & Wikipedia on Syria's Civil War...
NPR_parallels_Syrian Refugees & frictions emerge in Europe
HumnaRightsWatch_Russian air strikes in Syria
Wikipedia_Syrian Civil War

October 27th 2015: Chancellor Angela Merkel reassures Germans can integrate refugees  : "There are very, very many (refugees), but there are 80 million of us (Germans)," Chancellor Merkel said and then added "We can and will manage this integration." BBC Europe reports that Germany anticipates at least 800,000 asylum seekers this year which is 4 times more than in 2014. The UN High Commission for Refugees says 157,000 migrants arrived in Greece so far this very month, which is more than in any other month so far this year. Today there is an estimated total of 4 million refugees from Syria’s five year long civil war, of which Germany hosts an estimated 630,000 and the United States a miniscule 1,500 refugees from Syria. Maybe it would be a good idea that Congress return New York’s Statue of Liberty that Gustave Eiffel built back in 1886 to Europe, but not to France. Why not to Germany instead where the Grand Lady of Liberty will feel much more at home today. Or even better yet Mr. America, why not up the ante and take in 6 to 8 hundred thousand asylum seekers from the Middle East as Germany plans to do…? Afterall there are 318 million of us of Americans compared to Germany's population of 80 million, not to mention the total area or land of Germany which represents only about 3% of the United States and yet the population of Germany represents 25% of America’s. So there is by far less land and more people living closer together in Germany than in the United States while our own Statue of Liberty stands tall and alone in New York City's Harbor doing practically nothing... Didn't she once ask "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..?" ref. BBC Europe Chancellor Merkel & Migrant crisis threatens EU cohesion, (jds)

AngelaMerkel  ♦ Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel
cf. BBC Europe's Angela Merkel and European Union cohesion threatened warns Monsieur Tusk & Shultz...
BBC_Europe Merkel upbeat on integration despite tensions
BBC_European Migrant crisis threatens EU cohesion

UPDATE 28th Oct: Afghan earthquake more than 385 people dead ( 267 Pakistanis & 115 Afghans & 3 in India)
October 26th 2015: Afghanistan's 7.5 Earthquake  :  Afghanistan's earthquake rocks Kabul, Pakistan & India too. So far more than 135 people in Afghanistan & Pakistan have been counted dead with expectations the number will quickly rise during the following days as rescue work in the remote areas continues. ref. BBC WorldAsia, Reuters, NewYorkTimes & Wikipedia on Earthquakes, (jds)

AfghanQuake  ♦ Northeastern Afghan 7.5 Earthquake rocks Kabul, Pakistan & India also...
cf. BBC Asia, Reuters, NewYorkTimes & Wikipedia on Earthquakes...
UPDATE 27th Oct:  BBC_Asia Afghan Earthquake update
BBC_Asia Afghan Earthquake hits Pakistan & India too
Reuters_Afghanistan Earthquake
NewYorkTimes_Earthquake hits Afghanistan and Pakistan
Wikipedia_on Earthquakes

October 26th 2015: Europe's Migrant crisis: Emergency talks on Balkans under way  : If Europe fails so might the rest of the World because no nation can stand alone anymore in the 21st century. Countries no longer have walls, fences or borders high or strong enough to stop homeless migrants & refugees seeking a safe haven from tyrants, atrocities & fanaticism. And if nations fail to share their own prosperity and wellbeing with other people from war torn lands then today's recession will not only be economic, but human and ethnic also. ref. BBC Europe & Wikipedia European Migrant Crisis, (jds)

EuropeAndTheWorld  ♦ Europe's Migrant Crisis
cf. BBC World Europe & Wikipedia European Migrant Crisis...
BBC_Europe's migrant crisis
Wikipedia_European migrant crisis

October 25th 2015: Volunteers make it their Mission to feed Refugees in Slovenian forests :  NPR's Lauren Frayer reports how volunteers from Germany, Austria, Spain, Australia, and Switzerland &even Argentina have taken it upon themselves "... to help migrants and refugees on their path north through Europe." Joe O'Dwyer from Australia says they are cooking more than a thousand meals per day. The group is a collection of different people from different places. "We don't have uniforms. We don't have big shiny Red Cross suits. And we all look like we've slept only an hour," laughs Justin de Bondi, originally from Melbourne, Australia. Out of today’s darkness comes the light of generosity...  ref.  NPR's parallels by Lauren Frayer, Bill Chappell & Peter Kenyon,  (jds)

NoBorders  ♦ No Borders..!
cf. NPR's parallels NoBorders volunteers, and the surge of migrants & crowds & Turkey's migrant policy "they can't stay"...
NPRparallels_Volunteers make it their mission to feed refugees
NPRparallels_Surge of migrants hit bottleneck in Slovenia
NPR_TwoWay_Crowds of migrants & Slovenia's Army
NPRparallel_Turkey's migrant policy "They can come but not stay"

October 24th 2015: The day Iceland's women went on strike :  October 24th forty years ago, women of Iceland went on strike. They refused to work, cook & look after children for one day. It changed Iceland as never before and put Iceland's women at the forefront of women's rights & equality. In 1980 Iceland's Vigdis Finnbogadottir was elected Europe's first female president and first woman in the world to be democratically elected as a head of state. Now Iceland wasn't the first country in the world to have women's suffrage, but remains the 1st country to have a democratically elected woman president.  ref. BBC Magazine "The day Iceland's women went on strike" & Wikipedia on Vigdis Finnbogadottir & Women's suffrage, (jds)

IcelandonStrike ♦ Iceland's Vigdis Finnbogadottir & Margaret Thatcher in 1982
cf. BBC Magazine "The day Iceland's women went on strike & Wikipedia on Vigdis Finnbogadottir & Women's suffrage ...
BBC_Magazine "The day Iceland's women went on strike"
Wikipedia_Vigdis Finnbogadottir
Wikipedia_Women's suffrage
1893 New Zealand
1902 Australia
1906 Finland
1913 Norway
1917 Soviet Russia
1918 Canada, Germany, Austria, Poland
1919 Czechoslovakia
1920 US and Hungary
1928 UK (limited suffrage from 1918)
1971 Switzerland

October 23rd 2015: This Week's Radiolab "The Bad Show" looks at "cruelty, violence, badness" : From fanaticizing killing someone to Stanley Milgram's famous electric shock experiment at Yale University, to Fritz Haber's 1918 Nobel Prize and WWI condemnation, then to Shakespeare's Iago of Othello and to the horror of the American serial killer Gary Ridgway known as the Green River Killer. All is about cruelty, violence & badness with some crevasse & cracks of hope. Well done, Radiolab...  ref. Radiolab & Wikipedia on Milgram's experiment, Fritz Haber, Shakespeare’s Othello & Iago and more...,(jds)

RadioLabBadness  ♦ This Week's Radiolab's "The Bad Show"
cf. This week's Radiolab & Wikipedia about Radiolab & The Bad Show's experiments and players...
ThisWeek's Radiolab "The Bad Show"
Wikipedia_Milgram experiment
Wikipedia_Fritz Haber
Wikipedia_Shakespeare's Iago
Wikipedia_Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer
Radiolab_About us

October 23rd 2015: This Week's On The Media : Looks at Vice President Joe Biden's supposed presidential campaign, Sean Smith who died in the 2012 Benghazi attack along with Ambassador Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods & Glen Doherty, the use of Drones by the Obama Administration, California's new privacy law, the Lockerbie bombing revisited 25 years afterwards and the Truth about the movie "Truth" ref. On The Media & Wikipedia, (jds)

OnTheMedia ♦ US Drones in the sky & more...
cf. This Week's On The Media, Wikipedia on the Benghazi attack & Sean Smith...
OnTheMedia_Listen to this Week's broadcast
Wikipedia_2012 Benghazi attack
Wikipedia_Sean Smith (1978-2012)

October 23rd 2015: This week's Inside Europe (DW): China agrees euro ventures with Britain... :  This Week's Inside Europe asks why European countries are so seduced by the rising superpower China - Visits the rundown suburbs of Paris after a decade of ethnic riots - Also mentions the worsening migrant situation on the Western Balkan route - Looks at how the Polish government encourages reading & more. ref. Inside Europe (DW Deutsche Welle), (jds)

Queen&China ♦ Inside Europe, The Queen & China
cf. Listen to This Week's Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle)
Listen to this Week's Inside Europe

October 22nd 2015: Hilary's day in court :  The near 11 hour marathon of words between Republicans & Democrats most likely won't change much of anything in Benghazi or Washington D.C. Congressional hearings especially when televised are often more like a boxing ring without referees. Everyone comes well prepared but no one wins the match until the fight is over and the lights go out. Who won and who lost depends upon whose side you're on and what newspapers you read or media you watch..! ref. TheNewYorkTimes International, CNN Politics & Wikipedia on Hilary Clinton, Mr. Gowdy & Mr. Cummings, (jds)

Mr.Gowdy,Ms.Clinton,Mr.Cummings♦ Mr.Gowdy, Ms.Clinton & Mr.Cummings
cf. The NewYourkTimes International, CNN Politics & Wikipedia on Ms. Clinton, Mr. Cummings & Mr. Gowdy...
NewYorkTimes_Congress & Hillary Clinton Testimony on Benghazi
CNN_Politics_Hhillary Clinton Benghazi hearing
Wikipedia_Hillary Clinton
Wikipedia_Elijah Cummings
Wikipedia_Trey Gowdy

October 21st 2015: Bashar al Assad in surprise visit to Moscow  :  BBC World reports yesterday "Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has visited Moscow on his first overseas trip since the civil war broke out in his country in 2011." Mr. Assad's surprise visit to Moscow was evidently to have a "talk" or rather "listen" to his new boss, President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Putin seems to be looking for a "political" solution to Syria's civil War and spoke with Turkish President Erdogan and Saudi King Salman. Odds are Mr. Putin will propose dividing up Syria into different camps or factions like he's done in Unkraine. Meanwhile Russian media announced John Kerry (US Secretary of State) & his counterpart Sergei Lavrov (Russian Foreign Minister) will meet in Vienna this Friday along with Turkish & Saudi foreign ministers. ref. BBC World Europe & Reuters, (jds)

AssadPutin  ♦ Syria's Bashar al Assad & Russia's Vladimir Putin
cf. BBC WorldNewsEurope & Reuters...
BBC_WorldEurope Assad surprise visit to Moscow
BBC_WorldEurope Russia steps up diplomacy after Assad trip
REUTERS_Mideast crisis Assad visits Putin

October 20th 2015: Migrant crisis: Arrivals to Greece top 500,000 :  The United Nations states: "The number of migrants who have arrived in Greece this year has topped half a million". That means before the end of this year there will be more migrants having made their way to Greece from Turkish shores in small, overloaded & inflatable boats than people living in Washington D.C. So isn't it about time the U.S. opens up wide its migration doors to help our neighbors across the Atlantic in Europe & elsewhere deal with what has become a world-wide crisis with no solution other than generosity. ref. BBC World Europe & UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) : NB. The United Nations Refugee Agency estimates that 20% of the migrants are children, 14% women & 65% men, (jds)

TurkeyToGreece  ♦ Woman & child ashore in Greece ...
cf. BBC WorldEurope Migrant Crisis & UNHCR United Nations Refugee Agency...
BBC_WorldEurope Migrant Crisis
UNHCR_United Nations Refugee Agency

October 19th 2015: Migrant crisis: Thousands stranded at Balkan borders :  BBC's Guy Delauney reports: "These are people just caught in politics between the countries". Hungary has closed its borders with Serbia and Croatia which forces migrants to take another route to Slovenia. From Slovenia they can make their way to Austria, then Germany and other European countries. But this weekend Slovenia restricted the numbers crossing its territory to 2,500 a day, blaming Austria for not allowing more to cross over into their country. An Austrian interior ministry spokesman denied any such specific limits. Mr. Delauney reports "There were no tents or shelter of any kind for the migrants" and it's raining and cold. More than 600,000 migrants have reached Europe so far this year while the International Migration Organization reported that arrivals to Greece from Turkey continued at a rate of about 5,000 per day. ref. BBC WorldEurope & The International Organization for Migration, (jds)

MigrantsStuck  ♦ Migrants stranded in Slovenia over the weekend..!
UPDATE 19th Oct. : Croatia opens its border with Serbia...!
cf. BBC WorldEurope "Thousands stranded at Balkan borders" & International Organization for Migration...
BBC_Europe Croatia opens its border with Serbia
BBC_Europe "Thousands Migrants stranded in the Balkans"
InternationalOrganizationForMigration Europe

October 18th 2015: Syria conflict: 'Thousands flee Aleppo offensive' :  BBC reports: "Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled a government offensive on rebel-held areas south of the city of Aleppo in the past three days..." Aleppo is about 50km (30 miles) from the Turkish border. Turkey's Prime Minister said that the Aleppo attacks will "cause another wave of refugees" fleeing into Turkey. Already Turkey has 2 million or more Syrian refugees in country many of whom try to reach Europe. There are too many players in Syria's war and too many people already gone or dead.  ref. NewYorkTimesInternational & BBC WorldNewsMiddleEast, (jds)

SyrianWar♦ Too many players in Syrian Wars...!
cf. NewYorkTimesInternational "Untangling Conflicts..." by Sergio Pecanha, Sarah Almukhtar & KK Rebecca Lai & BBC WorldMiddleEast
NewYorkTimes_"Untangling Overlapping conflicts" in Syria
BBC_WorldMiddleEast Aleppo Syria

October 18th 2015: Canada's Election is tomorrow, the 19th of October :  So far Justin Trudeau's Liberal party leads in the polls with Stephen Harper the acting Prime Minister's Conservative party a close second and Thomas Mulcair of the New Democratic Party trailing last. It only took our Northern Canadian friends 78 days to get to their election, while it is going to take U.S. Democrats & Republicans more than a year from today to get to Tuesday's November 8, 2016 election. Maybe the United States should switch over to a Parliamentary system like our Northern neighbors to speed things up a bit and silence the main stream media's hoopla madness and commercial rampage. Maybe...?  ref. BCC WorldCanada, and Wikipedia on Canadian & United States Elections, (jds)

Canada'sElection ♦ Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper & Thomas Mulcair...
cf. BBC WorldCanada Elections, Wikipedia on Canadian & United States Elections...
BBC-World Canadian Elections
Wikipedia Canadian Federal Election 2015
Wikipedia_United States Elections 2016

October 17th 2015: This Week's On The Media: Bernie Sanders vs. the Media, Gallup Polls, Facebook's un-Safe Harbor, Playboy gone nude less and more...! : Brooke Gladstone speaks with Paul Heintz, political editor for the Vermont independent about Bernie Sanders and how he's been "railing against the press for as long as he's been in the public eye". Bob Garfield talks with Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup Polls, and then comes the European Union's court ruling that invalidates the 15-year-old standing "Safe Harbor" agreement which allowed social media companies like Facebook to transfer personal data from Europe to the United States. Max Schrems, a 28 year old Austrian law student brought the case before the European Court of Justice which upheld his complaint. Then comes Playboy Magazine which strips out what made it so iconic, the center page nude. Brooke Gladstone talks with Dian Hanson about the long publishing history of sexy magazines and how the Playboy Playmate revolutionized the nude, and also revisits a conversation she aired with Hugh Hefner years ago. So this week's OnTheMedia goes from politics to polls, social media and law suits to playboy's nudeless center page. ref. On The Media, Bernie Sanders, Gallup Polls, Safe Harbor & Playboy, (jds)

OnTheMedia ♦ Does the Media Lie, Gallup Polls, Facebook's Safe Harbor not so safe, Playboy & more...!
cf. This week's OnTheMedia, Wikipedia on Bernie Sanders, Gallup Polls & Max Schrems...
Listen to ThisWeeksOnTheMedia
Wikipedia_Bernie Sanders
Wikipedia_Gallup Polls
Wikipedia_Max Schrems vs Facebook

October 16th 2015: BROOKINGS's Sergey Aleksashenko writes "A three-sided disaster: The American, Russian, and Iranian strategic triangle in Syria" : Mr. Aleksashenko mentions the only one mutual interest of the United States, Russia & Iran is to suppress ISIS. Otherwise they all seem to be at odds with one another Tactically & Strategically speaking. ref. BROOKINGS article on the different interests of different major countries in Syria & Sergey Aleksashenko..., (jds)

SyriaDisaster ♦ Aleppo in ruins and United States, Russia & Iran's three sided disaster...!
cf. BROOKINGS Stakeholders Interests is Syria & Sergey Aleksashenkos..!

BROOKINGS_US, Russia & Iran's Syrian Interests
BROOKINGS_Sergey Aleksashenkos

October 16th 2015: Syrian Migrant crisis is overwhelming Europe, Turkey, Lebanon & Jordan :  So far Turkey and the European Union have not reached an agreement on how to deal with the enormous influx of migrants especially from Syria. BBC Europe reports: "nearly 600,000 migrants have reached the EU by sea so far this year, many of them travelling from Turkey." At present there are more than 2 million migrants in Turkey most of whom came from Syria. ref. BBC WorldNewsEurope & UK, (jds)

SyrianCrisis  ♦ Syrians in neighbouring countries & Europe...
cf. BBC WorldNewsEurope & UK
BBC_WorldNewsEurope Syrians in Europe and Middle East
BBC_UK European Union conclusions.pdf

October 15th 2015: Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tells how the President & Vice president were somewhat suspicious of the military : Mr. Gates was interviewed by Fox News and frank and to the point about what went wrong in Afghanistan & Iraq as well as Libya & Syria. Basically it comes down to when politicians send soldiers off to wars they have to support and stand firmly behind them instead of constantly changing their minds and questioning the objectives. ref. YouTube, The NewRepublic & Wikipedia on Robert Gates, (jds)

RobertGates ♦ Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks out ...!
cf. YouTube Interview, The NewRepublic's "Why is Robert Gates Angry" & Wikipedia on Robert Gates...
YouTube_FoxNews Robert Gates interview
TheNewRepublic_Why is Robert Gates Angry
Wikipedia_Robert Gates

October 15th 2015: President Obama's Afghan War :  Success or failure, popularity polls or legacy. History books will be written & rewritten, arguments pro or con made. But nothing will ever bring back what so many people and soldiers have already lost. There's no "political solution" to wars of terrorism anywhere in the world from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria, Libya & elsewhere in Africa or Yemen. So why waste so much time talking instead of doing. Sure the President has a Noble Peace Prize, but where's the "peace". ref. BBC_WorldNews US Policy shift: Troops to stay in Afghanistan, NPR parallels & Wikipedia on General George Marshall, (jds)

Obama'sWar  ♦ President Obama keeps US troops in Afghanistan...
cf. BBC World Troops in Afghanistan, NPR parallels & Wikipedia General George Marshall & Noble Peace Prize...
BBC_World U.S. Troops to stay in Afghanistan
BBC_World How many Troops in Afghanistan
NPRparallels_pledging to end wars Obama finds himself entangled in three
Wikipedia_WWII General George Marshall

October 14th 2015: Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Eastern Ukraine self-appointed pro-Russian leader rejects Dutch Safety Board's Report : Apparently it is simpler to play ignorant than apologize for the senseless shooting down of a Malaysian commercial airliner that killed 298 people July 17th 2014. Possibly Mr. Zakharchenko's denial may be a cover up in disguise for some regular Russian Army so called "volunteers" who inaptly pushed the wrong button at the wrong time on a Buk missile system launching a warhead (type 9N314M) that utterly destroyed Malaysian Flight MH17 at an altitude of 32,000 feet way above any military activities. ref. BBC WorldNews Europe & Wikipedia, (jds)

RebelsRejectReport  ♦ pro-Russian Ukrainian Rebels reject Dutch MH17 report..!
cf. BBC WorldEuropeNews & Wikipedia Malaysian Flight MH17
BBC_WorldNewsEurope Rebel leader: "We didn't shoot down MH17"
BBC_WolrdNewsEurope Dutch Safety Board's Report
Wikipedia_Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

October 13th 2015: Dutch investigative report on Malaysian Airline Flight MH17 released : PRESS RELEASE: Dutch Safety Board concludes: "Buk surface-to-air missile system caused MH17 crash. The crash of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014 was caused by the detonation of a 9N314M-type warhead launched from the eastern part of Ukraine using a Buk missile system..." The investigation published by the Dutch Safety Board today dealt with five major topics: 1) Buk missile system, 2) The airspace over the eastern part of Ukraine, 3) Flying over conflict areas, 4) Passenger information and 5) Reconstruction of the Airplane. The full report is available in various languages or subtitles in: Netherlands, English, Russian & Ukrainian... It should also be noted that a criminal investigation into the downing of MH17 is being led by the Public Prosecution Service of the Dutch Ministry of Justice. Last July 2015, Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Counsel proposal to form an international investigative tribunal to hold responsible whoever (or whatever) shot down Flight MH17. ref. The Dutch Safety Board, BBC NewsEurope & Wikipedia on UN Security Councel's proposal, (jds)

MalaysianFlightMH17 Dutch Safety Board's Report on Malaysian Flight MH17...
cf. The Dutch Safety Board Report, BBC NewsEurope & Wikipedia on Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, July 2014...
DutchSafteyBoard Flight MH17 Report
BBC_World_Dutch Release MH17 Report
Wikipedia_Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

October 12th 2015: Syria conflict: President Putin defends Russia's air strikes :  President Vladimir Putin defended Russian military operations in Syria, saying the aim is to "stabilize the legitimate authority". Who exactly is a "legitimate authority" in Syria is a good question. Mr. Putin also mentioned Russia wants to "create conditions for a political compromise". But if Russian jets from Syria's coastal Latakia airport keep on bombing everybody northwest of the place (cf. green section of map below) then soon there might not be enough Syrians around able to make a "political compromise" with Mr. Putin or Bashar al Assad. ref. BBC World News MiddleEast, (jds)

PutinRussiaSyrianWar  "Russian air strikes put spring in step of Assad's army..."
cf. BBC WorldNewsMiddleEast & Russian air strikes & Bashar al Assad...
BBC_WorldNewsMiddleEast_Russia air strikes in Syria
BBC_WorldNewsMiddleEast_Russian air strikes & Bashar al Assad

October 11th 2015: Girls can change the World :  Gene Sperling, Rebecca Winthrop & Christina Kwauk put together an excellent, very well documented book entitled "What works in Girls' Education". Given Nelson Mandela's words “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, it is no wonder the education of young girls is one of if not the best investment the world can make in the 21st century. How else can mankind progress if young women don't..? "What works in Girls' Education" is available from BROOKINGS Institution Press or the Malala Fund online. ref. BROOKINGS & Malala Fund, (jds)

ChangeTheWorld  ♦ Education, the World's best Investment ...
cf. BROOKINGS "What Works in Girls Education" & Malala Fund online...
BROOKINGS_What Works in Girls Education
MalalaFund_BROOKINGS Report The Worlds Best Investment

October 10th 2015: Where & How the U.S. went wrong in Syria :  Well the simplest answer may be having elected a President with a Noble Peace Prize that hasn't worked very well so far, but that's not a very fair comment. Tara McKelvey of the BBC is far more professional, analytic and precise about what went wrong in Syria. She talked with Robert Ford (US Ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014), Mohammed Ghanem (Syrian American Council), Michael T. Flynn (US Army Lieutenant General Director of Defense Intelligence from 2012 to 2014), Bassam Barabandi (from the Syrian Embassy & cofounder of "People Demand Change") and Tyler Thompson (of the non-profit "United for a Free Syria"). Mr. Thompson said "You never leave the White House with a good feeling". Bassam Barabandi mentioned that most people think we (Syrians) don't understand Washington, D.C. "...which is true, but they didn't understand Obama and we've paid a price for it." Mohammed Ghanem summed up what General Flynn must have felt also, "You can't stop barrel bombs with fruit baskets." Of course for years polls showed most Americans were opposed to sending troops into Syria to stop President Bashar al Assad's ruthlessness or the Islamic State (ISIS) atrocities, so maybe that's what went wrong, public pooling..? However the end result is not very encouraging given more than 250,000 Syrians dead and well over millions of others wounded or homeless refugees & migrants looking for a new life, liberty & pursuit of happiness elsewhere. Ms. Mckelvey's BBC article on what went wrong in Syria reads well, thoughtfully and humanly so. ref. BBC Magazine "Arming Syrian rebels: Where the US went wrong" & Wikipedia Syria's war, (jds)

WhaWentWrong Ambassador's hands tied, The President's White House, Mr. Ghanem, Mr. Barabandi & Mr. Robert Ford...
cf. BBC Magazine "Where the US went wrong" & Wikipedia on the Syrian War & Bashar al Assad
BBC_NewsMagazine "Where the U.S. went wrong"
Wikipedia_Syrian Civil War
Wikipedia_Bashar al Assad

UPDATE 11th Oct. at least 95 killed, 246 wounded in Ankara bombing explosions..!
October 10th 2015: Ankara: 86 killed, 186 wounded in deadliest act of terrorism in Turkey’s history : Today's Zaman News reports "Twin explosions that hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and leftist activists outside Ankara's main train station Saturday morning and killed 86 people and wounded nearly 200". Turkey's Health Minister called the attack "the deadliest single act of terrorism to occur on Turkish soil." No group of terrorists has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, however the synchronized explosions appear to be the work of two suicide bombers. The attack comes only weeks before Turkey's upcoming parliamentary election scheduled for November 1st. Saturday's peaceful march had been organized to encourage reconciliation between different Turkish and Kurdish political parties. ref. Today's Zaman & BBC World News, (jds)

BombAttacksKurds  A peaceful march n Ankara ends with bloody banners on the ground...
UPDATE 11th Oct. at least 95 killed, 246 wounded in Ankara bombing explosions..!
cf. Turkey's Newspaper Today's Zaman & BBC World News Europe....
TodaysZaman 95 killed & 246 wounded in Ankara
BBC_Europe Peace Rally explosions in Ankara
BBC_Europe Ankara twin blast in pictures

October 9th 2015: The Middle East Institute takes a hard look at what's going on today in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan as well as Moscow & Tehran : To be fair, no one could have ever imagined such a hodgepodge of political wheeling and dealing at the cost of so many innocent lives a decade or so ago. What a colossal mess..? Thankfully there are organizations like the Middle East Institute with a clear and determined objective to "provide non-partisan, expert information and analysis on the Middle East". ref. Middle East Institute's contributors Gonul Tol, Thomas Lynch & Greg Myre, (jds)

MiddleEastProblems U.S. airstrikes, Turkey & Syria, Kunduz, Afghanistan and Iran plus Russia ...
cf. The Middle East Institute articles by Gonul Tol, Thomas Lynch & Greg Myre
MiddleEastInstitute_Russia, Iran & Syria
MiddleEastInstitute_US military & countering ISIS
MiddleEastInstitute_Kunduz & future US Afghan engagement

October 8th 2015: This week's Inside Europe (DW): Russian jets over Syria & shirtless Air France executives escaping angry employees, and more... : Emma Wallis of Inside Europe looks into Turkey's dispute with Russia over air space infringements, Angry Air France employees unruly treatment of the company's executives, How the Vatican's synod may deal with homosexuality and lastly a full half hour special report on refugees, migrants and smugglers paid to traffic people across borders & between continents. ref. DW Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle), (jds)

RussiaOverSyria&AirFrance From Russsian jets with bombs to shirtless Air France executives climbing fences ...
cf. Listen to This Week's Inside Europe with Emma Wallis ...
ThisWeek'sInsideEurope Oct. 8th 2015

October 8th 2015: More on the Earth's core :  Simon Redfern of BBC Science and Melvyn Bragg with his guests Stephen Blundell of Oxford, Arwen Deuss of Utrecht and Simon Redfern of Cambridge discuss the Earth's inner core which is about the size of the Moon while the outer core a bit larger around the size of Mars. Ever since the Renaissance scholars & scientists failed to have a very clear idea of what exactly lay beneath our feet. Today, thanks to seismology & seismographs scientists have a far better idea of what the Earth's inner & outer cores are made of and what they might look & act like. The discussion lead by (Lord) Melvyn Bragg is lively, informative and interesting, not to mention a refreshing relief that the center of the earth will be solid enough for another billion or so years to help keep us all on our own feet. ref. BBC Science The Earth's Core with Stephen Blundell, Arwen Deuss, Simon Redfern & hosted by Melvyn Bragg, (jds)

EarthsCore  Listen & Learn about the Earth's Core
cf. BBC Science "The Earth's Core" and Melvyn Bragg & guests...
BBC_Listen to The Earth's Core
BBC_ScienceEnvironment The Earth's Core
Wikipedia_Melvyn Bragg
University of Oxford Stephen Blundell
Utrecht University Arwen Deuss
University of Cambridge Simon Redfern

October 7th 2015: How Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani plotted out Syrian air assaults with Russian President Vladimir Putin : Laila Bassam and Tom Perry of Reuters explain how the Iranians got Russia involved in Syrian airstrikes. It reads like a mystery novel with the Iranian actors flying back and forth from Tehran to Moscow and now hankered down in Syria until who knows when...? The Arab Spring is long gone and over now with nothing left but failures, costly failures of human life, property, prosperity and hope..! It's hard to imagine how civilized & democratic nations in the 21st century could allow such an inhumane catastrophe happen to people, men, women & children on such an ancient and once civilized land as Syria. And every passing day it simply grows worse with millions of migrants & refugees fleeing their homeland for but a breath of hope or touch of kindness in neighboring countries of distant lands in Europe or America. ref. Reuters "How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow", (jds)

RussiaSyriaIran  The actors & plotters from Russia to Iran and back...
cf. Reuters Middle East Crisis & Iran's General Soleimani, The FiscalTimes & MSN_MiddleEast "How Iranian General plotted with Moscow..."
Reuters_Syrian crisis Russia & Iranian General
TheFiscalTimes_How Iranian General plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow
MSN_How Iranian General plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow

October 6th 2015: Russian Bombs away over Syria :  Bombs don't win wars, soldiers do. Bombs can't even distinguish between a mouse, man, woman or child. They're indiscriminate objects of destruction and frightful harm that few if any beneath their wrath will ever be able to forgive or forget... Same goes for the U.S. airstrike of a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan even if it was an error by mistake. People won't forget or forgive..! ref. BBC World Europe Syrian War and Russia, U.S. airstrike of MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan & Wikipedia on Bombs, (jds)

RussiaBombsSyria  Russian bombs away over Syria
cf. BBC World Russian Violation of Turkish airspace, the war in Syria, U.S. airstrike of MSF hospital in Afghanistan & Wikipedia on Bombs...
BBC_WorldEurope Russian violation of Turkish airspace
BBC_WorldMiddleEast Russia joins War in Syria
BBC_WorldMiddleEast_Military of Russia in Syria
BBC_WorldNewsAsisa_ U.S. airstrike of Kunduz MSF hospital
Wikipedia_on Bombs

October 5th 2015: BROOKINGS Bruce Riedel on Saudi Arabia's Muhammad bin Nayef (MBN) :Mr. Riedel is director of the Brookings Intelligence Project after having spent 30 years with the CIA specialized in the Middle East and South Asia. He knows Saudi Arabia very well. Muhammad bin Nayef is the actual Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and will eventually succeed to the throne.  ref. BROOKINGS article by Bruce Riedel & Wikipedia on Muhammad bin Nayef, (jds)

PrinceNayef  Muhammad bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia's "Prince of Counter Terrorism"
cf. Bruce Riedel's BROOKINGS article on Prince Muhammad bin Nayef & Wikipedia
BROOKINGS_The Prince of CounterTerrorism by Bruce Riedel
Wikipedia_Prince Muhammad bin Nayef

October 4th 2015: To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) looks at "Religion in a Troubled World" : Authors interviewed are Karen Armstrong, Bruce Chilton, Robert Darden, A.C. Grayling and Emily Parker on Mario Vargas Llosa's "Conversation in the Cathedral." ref. To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org), (jds)

ReligionWorld  ♦ Religion in a Troubled World...
cf. Listen to TTBOOK.org on Religion in a Troubled World...
TTBOOK.org on Religion in a Troubled World
TTBOOK.org Religion and Violence

October 3rd 2015: E.O. Wilson, a beautiful man, mind & heart with more wisdom and humility than a century or two put together : If you missed September's TV emission "Of Ants & Men" then you can view it online at will now or even purchase the DVD directly from PBS (Public Broadcasting System). "Of Ants and Men" is a 2 hour film about the life and extraordinary scientific odyssey of one of America’s greatest living thinkers, E.O.Wilson... ref. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Shining Red Productions and Related PBS & NOVO Links, (jds)

E.O.Wilson ♦ "Of Ants & Men" by E.O. Wilson...
cf. E.O. Wilson's "Of Ants and Men" and Related Links...
PBS_E.O.Wilson's "Of Ants & Men"
PBS_Purchase Video "Of Ants & Men"
PBS_Gorongosa Park
PBS_Conversation with E.O.Wilson

October 2nd 2015: This week's Inside Europe (DW) is about Russians in Syria, Refugees in Austria, Muslims & blasphemy, a painting which saved Jewish lives, Catalonia's bid for independance plus politics & protesters in London...: ref. Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle), (jds)

SyriaAndRussia ♦ This Week's Inside Europe from Russians in Syria to protests in London...
cf. This Week's DW Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle)
Listen to This Week's Inside Europe

October 1st 2015: Charlie Rose interviewed Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel about Iran, Russia and more after he spoke at the United Nations 70th anniversary. Best simply listen to Charlie Rose & Prime Minister Netanyahu talking together... ref. Charlie Rose & Wikipedia about Benjamin Netanyahu, (jds)

BenjaminNetanyahu ♦ Charlie Rose & Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu
cf. CharlieRose's interview with Benjamin Netanyahu & Wikipedia...
CharlieRose interviews Benjamin Netanyahu
Wikipedia_Benjamin Netanyahu

October 1st 2015: "One minute (round the clock) World News":  BBC's One minute International News summary (Video & Audio) updated 24 hours per day. ref. BBC World News, (jds)
BBCWorldNews  ♦  One minute (Video & Audio) World News from the BBC
cf. BBC's One minute International News summary updated 24 hours / day
BBC International World News Video and Audio

October 1st 2015: October, month of the Opal  : The name October comes from the Latin "octo" meaning eight. The name October was kept even after it became the 10th month of the year in the Julian & Gregorian calendars. It marks the beginning of Autumn in the Northern hemisphere and Spring in the Southern. The opal classed as mineraloid (void of crystals) is associated with the month of October. During the Middle Ages the opal was considered a source of great luck given its radiant spectrum of colors. Sir Walter Scott's 1829 novel "Anne of Geierstein" brought an end to such wishful thinking when a drop of holy water fell on the Baroness of Arnheim opal and turned it into a colorless, deadly stone. Aside from that the Opal remains the national gemstone of Australia even today. ref. Wikipedia October & the Opal, (jds)

OctoberOpal ♦ An opal & October, the 8th + 2 months of the calendar year..!
cf. The Month of October, the Opal & Mineraloids...
Wikipedia_Month of October
Wikipedia_an Opal

arrow October 2015

DownArrow  September 2015

September 30th 2015: E.O. Wilson's "Of Ants & Men" premieres tonight Wednesday, September 30, 2015 : Often called the Darwin of the 20th and now 21st century, Professor Wilson stands tall, lanky and firm upon an earth of Ants to Men. In the words of Paul Gauguin's famous mural he too asked "Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?" There is no simple answer to such questions, only amazement at what E.O. Wilson has already discovered from Sociobiology to Biodiversity. Above all he has a profound respect for the natural world & its conservation. ref. PublicBroadcastingService ETV "Of Ants & Men", Wikipedia on Paul Gauguin & E.O. Wilson, (jds)

E.O.Wilson ♦ E.O. Wilson & Paul Gauguin's mural "Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?"...
cf. PBS (ETV) E.O.Wilson "Of Ants & Men", Wikipedia Paul Gauguin & Professor E.O. Wilson...
PBS_E.O. Wilson's "Of Ants & Men"
Wikipedia_Paul Gauguin mural
Wikipedia_E.O. Wilson

September 29th 2015: George Soros on How to Solve the Asylum chaos :  Mr. Soros born in 1930 Budapest, Hungary says "The European Union needs one comprehensive plan, with human rights at the core" to help stabilize the immigration crisis. 1) The EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future. 2) The EU must lead the global effort to provide adequate funding to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to support the four million refugees currently living in those countries. 3) The EU must immediately start building a single EU Asylum & Migration Agency and eventually a single EU Border Guard. 4) Safe channels must be established for asylum-seekers, starting with getting them from Greece and Italy to their destination countries. 5) And to absorb and integrate more than a million asylum seekers & migrants a year, the EU needs to mobilize the private sector, NGOs, church groups and businesses to act as sponsors. Mr. Soros adds "The EU must respond with a genuinely European asylum policy that will put an end to the panic and the unnecessary human suffering." In the 1947 Mr. Soros himself immigrated to England from Hungary and studied philosophy under Karl Popper. Later on he made a fortune investing on "Black Wednesday" 1992 and was dubbed as "the man who broke the Bank of England" by shorting the British pound. Mr. Soros in the early 90's founded the Open Society Foundations, which were named after Karl Popper's famous book "The Open Society and its Enemies". ref. MarketWatch George Soros plan to solve asylum chaos, TheOpenSociety Foundation & Wikipedia, (jds)

GeorgeSoros ♦ George Soros from rags to riches with philosophy...
cf. How to solve Europe's Asylum chaos, The Soros OpenSocietyFoundation & Wikipedia on George Soros...
MarketWatch_George Soros plan to solve Asylum chaos
TheOpenSocietyFoundations WebPage
Wikipedia_George Soros

September 28th 2015: Iraq shares Intelligence on ISIS with Russia, Syria & Iran : Who knows what's coming next...? Mr. Kerry is quoted as having said “I think the critical thing is that all of the efforts need to be coordinated...” but coordinating with what, Russia, Syria & Iran..? Meanwhile President Putin in Russia is busy calling "U.S. support for rebels in Syria illegal". Is somebody trying to un-unit the United Nations...? Surprisingly enough the last time Mr. Putin addressed the United Nations in 2005 he spoke for a little less than 5 minutes with much praise for the U.N. This time it looks like the Russian President may have a lot more wind in his sails and the sea a bit rougher. ref. NewYorkTimes, WashingtonPost & HuffingtonPost, (jds)

KerryLavrov ♦ John Kerry & Sergey Lavrov
cf. MSN NewYorkTimes, MSN TheWashingtonPost & HuffingtonPost...
TheNewYorkTimes_Iraq share Intelligence with Russia, Syria & Iran
WashingtonPost_Putin calls US supporting Syrian rebels Illegal
HuffingtonPost_Putin UN speech in 2005

September 27th 2015: NPR's Sylvia Poggioli talks with Pope Francis in the air : Both from Italian families by birth, Sylvia Poggioli says covering the Papal Tour from Rome to 3 days in Cuba and 6 more days in the U.S. was "Hectic, tiring & exciting..." She averaged around 3 hours of sleep per night and writes and talks about what it is like traveling with the Pope and Papal press corps. ref. NPR's parallels Sylvia Poggioli's coverage of the Papal visit to Cuba & U.S., (jds)

NPRandPope ♦ NPR's Sylvia Poggioli , Pope Francis & Vatican Press corps...
cf. NPR's parallels & Sylvia Poggioli coverage of the Papal visit to Cuba & U.S.
NPR_parallels_hectic, tiring, exciting Papal Tour
NPR_parallels_Papal press conference as Francis returns home

September 26th 2015: Rise of China & stress for the U.S. :  But who would have ever imagined that China's President Xi Jinping would reference the Thucydides Trap, a 2,500 year old Greek historian's concept of what drove Athens to war with Sparta in the 5th Century BC. Not even Carrie Gracie, the BBC's China editor was well prepared for such uncanny wisdom. Though Ms. Gracie is well aware that China's President is well read, wise and well mannered. When visiting Seattle he listed his favorite American writers & movies, when in Russia he praises Tolstoy or Pushkin and in France Moliere or Dumas, etc... Flattery is good politics unless overdone. Yet behind stage appearances China's One Belt One Road strategy is far more important to the People’s Republic of China than simple pleasantries or flattery. ref. BBC China editor Carrie Gracie & Wikipedia OneBeltOneRoad strategy, (jds)

TwoPresidents ♦ Two Nations, 2 Presidents & Thucydides trap....
cf. BBC WorldNewsChina & Wikipedia OneBeltOneRoad China strategy
BBC_WorldNewsChina_Xi Jinping at White House
Wikipedia_China's OneBelt OneRoad strategy

September 26th 2015: This Sunday's Lunar Eclipse :  The last super moon eclipse occurred in 1982 and the next one after this Sunday's will be in 2033. Sky & Telescope explains: "Observers in the eastern half of North America can watch every stage of the eclipse, from beginning to end of the partial phases (3 1⁄3 hours in all) during convenient hours of late twilight or darkness with the Moon mostly high in the sky. In the Far West, the first partial stage of the eclipse will already be in progress when the Moon rises (due east) around the time of sunset. Europe and Africa will see the eclipse on the local morning of the 28th." ref. NPR's TwoWay, Sky & Telescope and StarDate, (jds)

LunarEclipse ♦ Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, Sunday 27th September 2015
cf. NPR's TwoWay Sunday's Lunar Eclipse, Sky&Telescope and StarDate...
NPR's_TwoWay_This Sundays Lunar Eclipse
SkyandTelescope_September's Lunar Eclipse
StarDate_Nightsky Moon

September 25th 2015: China's President Xi Jinping at The White House & Pope Francis at New York's United Nations : A busy Day for China's President Xi Jinping who wants cooperation with the U.S. & Pope Francis who wants world Peace and Environmental Justice. Meanwhile U.N. Agencies are told to leave Ukraine's Luhansk region by rebels and the United Nations warns that Europe is getting 8,000 refugees daily... ref. BBC WorldNewsAsia China's Xi Jinping & TheNewYorkTimes Pope Francis at the U.N. (jds)

WhiteHouseUnitedNations ♦ President Xi Jinping at the White House & Pope Francis at the United Nations...
cf. BBC WorldAsiaChina Xi Jinping at the WhiteHouse & TheNewYorkTimes Pope Francis at the United Nations plus Ukraine & Europe's daily Refugees...
BBC_WorldAsiaChina_President Xi Jinping
TheNewYorkTimes_Pope Francis at United Nations
TheNewYorkTimesInternational_U.N. Agencies told to leave eastern Ukraine
BBC_WolrdNewsEurope_8,000 refugees daily arrive in Europe

UPDATE Oct. 10th : RT_News reports 1,453 people died in Mecca’s Hajj stampede ...
September 24th 2015: At least 700 people killed in stampede during Hajj in Saudi Arabia :  Aljazeera reports at least 700 are dead & 800 wounded "at the city of Mina, on outskirts of Mecca, as some 2 million people take part in annual Hajj pilgrimage". The BBC World MiddleEast mentions that the number of people attending the Hajj rose from 57 thousand in 1921 to 3.2 million three years ago in 2012. The list of previous tragedies during the Hajj date back to 1987, 1990, 1994, 1997 and 2006. The Hajj is considered the final pillar of Islam that adult Muslims should undertake at least once in their life if able and can afford the cost. This year's Hajj unfortunately cost at least 700 pilgrims their lives and many others needless suffering. ref. Aljazeera & BBC World News MiddleEast, (jds)

HajjStampede  ♦ The last Hajj for many unfortunate pilgrims...
UPDATE Oct. 10th :  RT_News Hajj death toll more than 1450
cf. Aljazeera "Hundreds killed in Hajj stampede & BBC WorldNewsMiddleEast...
Aljazeera_Hundreds killed in Hajj stampede
BBC_WorldNewsMiddleEast_Saudis face growing criticism over deaths
BBC_WorldNewsMiddleEast_Hajj stampede
BBC_WorldNewsMiddleEast_Hajj pictures

September 24th 2015: Pope urges 'humane' US migrant response : BBC reports that "Pope Francis told Congress that the US must see migrants as persons and not as numbers." He added that the "world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since WW II". Naturally Pope Francis drew special attention to migrants from Central America seeking a better life & livelihood. The 78 year old Pope also made reference to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton as having contributed much to America, "The Land of the Free". ref. BBC World US and Wikipedia on Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day & Thomas Merton, (jds)

PopeAndCongress ♦ Pope Francis addresses U.S. Congress, Vice President Biden & House Speaker Boehner in background...
Update: Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner to resign from Congress at end of October..!
cf. BBC World US & Wikipedia on Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luter King, Dorothy Day & Thomas Merton
BBC_Pope Francis talks to the US Congress
Wikipedia_Abraham Lincoln
Wikipedia_Martin Luther King Jr.
Wikipedia_Dorothy Day
Wikipedia_Thomas Merton

September 23rd 2015: The Pope is on the White House's balcony while Chinese President Xi Jinping is busy charming Seattle, Washington" : The Pope & President Obama are busy solving the world's Climate Change problems while China's Xi Jinping is buying 300 airplanes from Boeing, watching Kevin Spacey's "House of Cards", reading Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea" and praising Nora Ephron's original "Sleepless in Seattle". China even made a movie out of Meg Ryan & Tom Hank's film called "Finding Mr. Right" with the beautiful actress Tang Wei that also happily ended up on the top floor of the Empire State Building in Manhattan. Frankly, today might have been more fun being in Seattle than ontop of a balcony in Washington, D.C. ref. BBC World Pope Francis, BBC Asia "Sleepless in Seattle" & Wikipedia on Seattle, (jds)

PopeOnBalcony ♦ From Pope & President on the White House Balcony to China "Sleepless in Seattle"...
cf. BBC World "Sleepless in Seattle", Pope Francis and Climate Change, & Wikipedia on Seattle, Washington...
BBC_World Asia China "Sleepless in Seattle"
BBC_World Pope Francis urges Climate Change Action
Wikipedia_Seattle Washington

September 22nd 2015: Tomorrow, the 23rd of September Equinox dawns above the Celestial Equator & below : The northern hemisphere's days grow shorter & nights longer while the southern hemisphere's nights grow shorter and days longer. ref. Wikipedia, NationalGeographic & GoogleBooks, (jds)

Equinox ♦ Wikipedia's Equinox designed by Dennis Nilsson
cf. Equinox from Wikipedia, NationalGeographic & GoogleBooks...
GoogleBooks_Equinox by Dennis Nilsson

September 20th 2015:  Getting 10,000 Syrian Refugees into the U.S. won't be Easy :  Justin Sink for Bloomberg Politics writes "Last week, President Barack Obama opened America’s doors to more Syrian refugees, ordering his administration to admit at least 10,000 in the 2016 fiscal year." Mr. Sink goes on to outline the actual procedure for being interviewed and accepted by the United States as a refugee from Syria. What seems to be somewhat overlooked or possibly forgotten is that what's going on in the Middle East isn't simply a local problem, but the world's problem too. Therefore the faster the United States acts and wider North America opens up its doors the better. Meanwhile, please do add another zero to your 10,000 refugees Mr. President to keep your legacy afloat..! ref. Bloomberg Politics by Justin Sink, (jds)

LegacyRefugees ♦ This map sure needs a lot more people & dots or dots & people..!
cf. Bloomberg's Justin Sink's article on 10,000 Syrian Refugees...
Bloomberg_Politics 10,000 Syrian Refugees

September 20th 2015: More migrants, including children, have died after their dinghy and a ferry collided : The accident was reported to have happened close to the port of Canakkale, Turkey. The migrants were on their way to Lesbos. A 3 story ferry ran straight into their dinghy and the few survivors were picked up by a small inboard motor boat early in the morning. Greece's coastguard also reported another incident of 26 people missing from another boat off the coast of Lesbos. Soon autumn will come and the sea even colder & rougher. ref. BBC WorldEurope & Today's Zaman on Syrian refugees in Turkey, (jds)

MainMigrantRoute ♦ The path migrants take to Germany & Northern Europe...
cf. BBC WorldNewsEurope & Today's Zaman on why Syrian refugees leave Turkey for Europe..?
BBC_WorldNewsEurope_Refugees lost at sea
TurkishTodaysZaman_Reasons why Syrians leave Turkey for Europe

September 19th 2015: The long march to a safer, saner life has many trials from dawn to rain from dark & cold nights : Jasmine Coleman of the BBC reports that crowds of migrants & refugees "...found themselves blocked at Serbia's border with Hungary, after the government of Viktor Orban completed a razor-wire fence to stem the influx." So, thousands of migrants crossed over into Croatia instead. In no time Croatia became overwhelmed and started sending homeless migrants & refugees back to Hungary or across its northern border to Slovenia, a Schengen country that allows free passage between member states. Yet Austria & Germany are even having a hard time accommodating such a massive influx of homeless people. The whole of Europe is under siege of a lack of generosity. Hungary has forgotten its own 1956 refugee migration of more than 200,000 Hungarians to Europe & North America. And North America has forgotten what it owes to Europeans. ref. BBC Europe, TheGuardian on Europe's Border Crisis & the "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost, (jds)

WalkingChildrenMap ♦ The long way to a new home & life...
cf. BBC Europe's Migrant dilemma & TheGuardian Croatia, Hungary & Slovenia border crisis...
BBC_Europe's continuous Migrant dilemma
TheGuardian_Croatia, Hungary & Slovenia border crisis
Mending Wall by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

September 18th 2015: This Week's DW (Deutsche Welle) Inside Europe  :  1) Stuck at the border on the way to Europe 2) Refugees stuck on the Greek island of Kos 3) the French warm to arriving Iraqis and Syrians 4) Soccer teams welcoming refugees in Germany 5) Fears of civil war grow in Turkey 6) Spain's Catalonia wants independence and more... ref. This week's radio DW Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle) & Robert Frost's "Something there is that doesn't love a wall..." from Mending Wall, (jds)

HungaryFence  ♦ Hungary's fence keeps people out, not in...
cf. This Week's Inside Europe & Robert Frost's "Mending Wall"...
DW_InsideEurope European Affairs
Mending Wall by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

September 18th 2015: Wylie Overstreet said : "The only way to see a scaled model of the Solar System is to build one."  : So he and a couple of his friends did exactly that and built a scaled model of our Solar System in Nevada's Black Rock Desert for all of us to see. Thank you Wylie Overstreet & friends for your ingenuity and 7 mile wide Solar System... ref. NPR's TwoWayNews & YouTube, (jds)

SolarSystemScaledModel ♦ The Solar System to scale in Nevada's desert...
cf. "To Scale: The Solar System" on YouTube & NPR's Two Way News "7 mile Scale Model of The Solar System"
YouTube_To Scale: The Solar System
NPR_TwoWayNews The Desert's 7 mile Scale Model of The Solar System

September 18th 2015: How America "helped" create Iran's Nuclear Program :  NPR's Steve Inskeep with the help of Ali Avez of The International Crisis Group describes how the United States provided Iran with its first nuclear research reactor. The research reactor was part of President Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace Program". It was installed at the University of Tehran during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1957 and is still there today. Iran in 1968 joined the world's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, eleven years before 1979’s disastrous Islamic Revolution that pushed more people out of Iran than into it. Now Ayatollah Khomeini who was not the brightest fellow on the block thought the reactors should be made into silos for storing wheat. There’s an old adage in Iran that if there’s not enough fresh bread & wheat people will take to the streets and revolt. Whatever when 1980-1988 war with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein broke out Iran couldn't produce much of anything from electricity to bread. The war lasted 8 long years with no winner and both sides losers over the rights to the Shatt al-Arab waterway in Iran's Southwestern provenance of Khuzestan. The war cost Iran more than 200 thousand lives & 400 thousand wounded. Once the war was over Iran started up its nuclear reactors again and automatically drew the attention of Iran’s neighbors near and far. Iran's somewhat fanatic president Ahmadinejad was replaced by a more polished Hassan Rouhani in 2013 who pledged to improve relations with other states & nations. With Saddam Hussein dead and gone Iran had not much to worry about from its next door neighbor Iraq that boosted a majority Shiite population. Likewise with the P5+1 (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear accord plus an eventual lifting of economic sanctions Iran found itself in a far better situation than before. The only troubling question now is who really runs the place..? So maybe look down the list below from President Eisenhower’s "Atoms for Peace Program" at the United Nations to the Shah of Iran standing alongside Ike, then to Khomeini's 1979 Islamic Republic and little girls being pushed out onto the streets to demonstrate something or another, and Bushehr's nuclear power plant to presidents Ahmadinejad & Rouhani and once again another Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei himself. But who really runs the Iran..? Maybe look beneath today's Supreme Leader and there's General Mohammad Ali Jafari of Iran's Revolutionary Guard & General Qasem Soleimani of Iran's Quds Force. Maybe they're the ones who really run Iran today..?  ref. NPR's Steve Inskeep, Ali Vaez, CrisisGroup & Nuclear Iran, (jds)

IranNuclearSaga ♦ Iran's Nuclear program from top to bottom, Presidents to Ayatollahs to Generals...
cf. NPR parallels Steve Inskeep on Iran nuclear program, Ali Vaez of CrisisGroup, Nuclear Iran & The CrisiGroup.org
NPR's_parallels Steve Inskeep on Iran's Nuclear Program
TheCrisisGroup_Ali Vaez
NuclearIran_Tehran Research Reactor
CrisisGroup_Home Page

September 17th 2015: Happy Days are Here Again, "Iran's Revolutionary Guard is in Again" : Iran's News Agency Tasnim credits General Qassem Soleimani as proclaiming "The Middle East is the point of dissolution of the U.S. power and also the point of Iranian Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East". The News Agency also reiterated Iran's Revolutionary Guard General Jafar's call for "blocking the enemy’s inroads into the country " following the nuclear deal. By "enemy" General Jafar obviously meant the U.S. and probably Israel too. ref. Iran's Tasnim News Agency & Wikipedia Generals Soleimani & Jafari, (jds)

HappyDaysIran ♦ Generals Qassem Soleimani & Mohammad Ali Jafari
cf. Iran's Tasnim News Agency & Wikipedia on Generals Soleimani & Jafari ...
IranTasnimNewsAgency_General Soleimani
IranTasnimNewsAgency_General Jafari
Wikipedia_General Qasem_Soleimani
Wikipedia_General Mohammad Ali Jafari

September 16th 2015: Facebook to add a  "dislike button"  : BBC's Dave Lee reports Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says "What people really want is to be able to express empathy". Now what "empathy" has to do with a Facebook "like" or "dislike" button is not yet very clear. Any how there are already around 1,000 pro or con comments hitched onto Mr. Lee's article about a forthcoming “dislike” button. Facebook's "like" button was introduced 6 years ago in 2009 and since then many Facebook users requested a "dislike" button also. So maybe Mr. Zuckerberg's heart felt "empathy" means he put himself into the shoes of some of Facebook's disgruntled users who want a “dislike” button...!  ref. BBC Technology & Wikipedia on Empathy, (jds)

LikeDisLike  ♦ Like or Dislike Facebook's buttons and Mark Zuckerberg ...
cf. BBC Technology "Dislike" button coming to Facebook & Wikipedia on Empathy
BBC_NewsTechnology_Dislike button coming to Facebook
Wikipedia_On Empathy

September 15th 2015: Russians land in Syria with "Humanitarian Aid" (supposedly) : BBC reports that President Vladimir Putin actually claimed the influx of refugees into Europe would have been "even bigger" without Russian support for Syria's government. What next...? Does Mr. Putin want a Noble Peace Prize..? Maybe that's also why Mr. Putin is attending the United Nations 70th General Assembly in New York this month. The Pope will be there too and can canonize Mr. Putin as Saint Vladimir. Only problem is there once was a Saint Vladimir, Vladimir the Great. And he was a Ukrainian from Kiev and not from the KGB. ref. BBC MiddleEast "Syria conflict", Wikipedia on Saint Vladimir The Great & Latakia, Syria, (jds)

PutinLandsInSyria ♦ Russia's Antonov cargo plane lands in Syria with "humanitarian" what..?
cf. BBC MiddleEast "Syria conflict", Wikipedia on Saint Vladimir The Great & Latakia, Syria...
BBC_MiddleEast_Russia continues Assad military aid
Wikipedia_Saint Vladimir the Great from Kiev (not the KGB)
Wikipedia_Latakia, Syria

September 14th 2015: The President has directed his team to "consider"... what..? :  Last Thursday the 10th White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced that the President wants the United States “to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year (Oct. 2015 to Sept. 2016).” Big deal and that's not at all a very generous "Big Deal". A million men, women & children from the Middle East or North & Central Africa are seeking another life, liberty and touch of happiness away from murderous tyrants and religious fanatics who have destroyed their homes, livelihood & families. No, this fiscal proposal to accept only 10,000 refugees over the next 12 months cannot be true. It must come from a "Scrooge House", not Washington D.C.'s White House...! ref. International NewYorkTimes, WhiteHouseBriefing, Wikipedia on Syrian Civil War, (jds)

USRefugees ♦ Josh Earnest in the White House press briefing room & refugees caught outdoors in the rain...
cf. TheNewYorkTimes International, Cspan WhiteHouseBriefing & Wikipedia Syrian Civil War
NewYorkTimesInternational_10,000 Syrian Refugees
Cspan_White House briefing_09/10/2015
Wikipedia_Refugees Syrian Civil_War

September 12th 2015: This weeks On The Media about the difference between "Migrants & Refugees"..!  Bob Garfield of On The Media delves into the nomenclature of migrations with Barry Malone of Al Jazeera and Doug Saunders of Canada’s The Globe and Mail. Both Malone & Saunders highlight the difference between refugees (asylum-seekers) & migrants seeking a better economic life. The two words often get mixed up. A refugee is a migrant of sorts but a migrant is not necessarily a refugee. Even as troubling if not more is what Francisco Balderrama, a California history professor recalls as how the United States deported one million people to Mexico during 1930's depression of which more than 1/2 were American citizens. So given the current main stream media's coverage of Europe's overwhelming refugee & migrant problems and not a word out of Washington D.C. about whose somewhat responsible makes one wonder on what type of planet are we living...? This week's On The Media draws to with the Kim Davis, the woman who seems to know more God’s laws than own her state’s and the 2014 visit to New York’s 9/11 museum by Brooke Gladstone. ref. OnTheMedia, Migrants & Refugees and NYC's 9/11 Memorial, (jds)

RefugeesMigrantsAnd ♦ OnTheMedia : Migrants & Refugees today & yesterday during 1930's depression...
cf. On The Media on Migrants & Refugees and Brooke Gladstone's 2014 visit to New York City 9/11 museum...
ThisWeek's_On The Media
NewYorkCity_ 9/11 Memorial
NewYorkCity_9/11 Memoriark Visit
NewYorkCity_9/11 Memorial View

September 11th 2015: SEPTEMBER 11th 2001 :  Excluding the 19 hijackers, September 11th 2001 attacks resulted in 2,977 deaths (246 on the four planes, 2606 in the World Trade Center and surrounding area and 125 at the Pentagon). Nearly all were civilians with more than 10% citizens from other nations. Given that 9/11 marks the early beginning of the 21st century that was anything than a “box of chocolates”, it has been completely outmatched as far as death & destruction in the Middle East & Africa so far. And this will continue until stopped one way or another. Otherwise the 21st century will continue to fall backwards into the ignorance & atrocities of the past. ref. Wikipedia on September 11th, the Attack, Casualties & International Reactions, (jds)

September11th ♦ September 11th 2001
cf. Wikipedia on 9/11 Attack, Casualties, & International Reactions...
Wikipedia_9/11 Attacks
Wikipedia_9/11 Casualties
Wikipedia_9/11 Casualties_& Attacks
Wikipedia_9/11 International Reactions

September 10th 2015:  Ambassador Robert Ford interviewed by the Kurdish media network (RUDAW) : Namo Abdulla of RUDAW interviewed Mr. Ford who served as U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2010 until 2014. He resigned principally because of personal disagreements with the U.S. Administration's Syrian policy. Mr. Ford was a career member of the United States Foreign Service since 1985 and while serving on the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq was known as "one of the best Arabist in the State Department".  ref. The Kurdish Media Network (RUDAW) & Wikipedia on Ambassador Robert Ford, (jds)

RobertFord ♦ Ambassador Robert Ford
cf. RUDAW, The Kurdish Media Network interview & Wikipedia Ambassador Robert Ford...
RUDAW_Ambassador Ford's interwiew
Wikipedia_Robert Stephen Ford

September 8th 2015: NPR's Steve Inskeep of "Morning Edition" interviews Ali Larijani, chairman of Iran's Parliament : Ali Larijani runs Iran's Parliament & his brother Sadeq Larijani runs Iran's Judicial System. There are three more Larijani brothers also involved in Iranian affairs from education to foreign affairs. The Larijani family is more of less a dynasty that grew up out of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, powerful, rich and prosperous. NPR's recording of the interview and Steve Inskeep's notes make it rather clear that the P5+1 "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" agreement from Iran's point of view is simply an immediate & definitive lifting of all sanctions for obvious economic reasons. All the rest may be for legacies & noble prizes, though not Iran's. ref. NPR parallels Morning Edition & Wikipedia on Ali Larijani, (jds)

AliLarijani ♦ Irans's Ali Larijani
cf. Read & Listen to NPR's parallels "Nuclear Deal Is 'Acceptable', U.S. Interpretation Is Not" & cf. Wikipedia on Ali Larijani...
NPR_parallels Iran's Nuclear deal Acceptable, U.S. Iinterpretation Not
Wikipedia_Iran's Ali_Larijani

September 7th 2015: BBC Future's #SmartList from Botox to Manhattan by Olivia Howitt :  BBC's #SmartList photo editor & creative artist Olivia Howitt of ThinkStock put together some photos, ideas & thoughts to refresh curious minds, eyes & hearts. With Europe overwhelmed by migrants seeking refuge and North America offering less than a spoon full of help, it seems wise to refresh ourselves with some curious trivia that actually makes a lot of sense. ref. BBC Future, Olivia Howitt, ThinkStock & Getty Images, (jds)
OliviaHorwitt Olivia Howitt
SmartList ♦ BBC Future's #SmartList & Olivia Horwitt...
 cf.  BBC Future's #SmartList & Olivia Horwitt on Twitter...
BBC_Future #SmartList Botox to Manhattan
BBC_Future #SmartList 5 things to expand your mind
Twitter_Olivia Howitt

September 6th 2015: Labor Day : While celebrating North America's Labor Day that rose out of Chicago's 1886 Haymarket massacre, let us turn the Digest to New York Harbor's Ellis Island and the words of a mighty woman whose torch still burns : "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" by Emma Lazarus (1849 - 1887). It goes without saying that the United States of America should once again "lift the lamp besides the golden door", less it goes out and Europe fails to see it anymore... ref. Wikipedia on Labor Day, Haymarket Affair, Statue of Liberty & "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, (jds)

The mighty woman with a torch  ♦ The mighty woman with a torch... Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)
cf. Wikipedia Labor Day, Chicago's Haymarket riot, The Statue of Liberty & The New Colossus...
Wikipedia_Labor Day
Wikipedia_Chicago's Haymarket affair
Wikipedia_Statue of Liberty
Wikipedia_"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

September 6th 2015: Migrant crisis: Activist convoy drives to Hungary :  BBC reports: "A convoy of cars driven by German and Austrian activists has crossed into Hungary to pick up migrants and help them reach western Europe." Many migrants were prevented from boarding trains in Budapest, so they started walking on the highway towards Austria. A private initiative of cars dubbed "refugeeconvoy" offered to aid the migrants reach Austria. ref. BBC WorldNewsEurope & Twitter "Refugee Convoy", (jds)

MigrantsWalk ♦ Thousands walking 418km (260 miles) to Austria from Budapest...
cf. BBC World News Europe & Twitter Refugee Convoy...
BBC_WorldNewsEurope_Migrants walking to Austria
Twitter_Refugee Convoy

September 4th 2015: NPR's Robert Siegel of "All Things Considered" talks with Mark Hetfield of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) : Mr. Hetfield says that many more refugees from the Middle East & Africa could be resettled "if the U.S. accepted them..!". Mr. Hetfield is the CEO of HIAS, an organization that works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. For more than a century HIAS has helped refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. ref. NPR's "All Things Considered" & HIAS.org (Hebrew Immigration Aid Society), (jds)

HIAS ♦ HIAS President Mark Hetfield talks with NPR's Robert Siegel about the current European refugee crisis
cf. NPR's "All Things Considered", HIAS Mark Hetfield & NPR's Robert Siegel & HIAS (Hebrew Immigration Aid Society...
NPR_U.S. treating migrant crisis like business as usual
HIAS.org_Mark Hetfield & NPR's Robert Siegel on European Refugee Crisis
HIAS_Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

September 4th 2015: This Week's DW (Deutsche Welle) Inside Europe, "A one hour focus on Europe grappling with the surge of migrants."  : Will the influx of migrants unite or divide Europe - About Danish law dicouraging migrants - Universities helping refugees finish their education - Tourists pitching in to help destitute arrivals - Europeans who are migrating south and more.  ref. This week's radio DW Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle) & Wikipedia on Schengen Area Agreement, (jds)

MigrationCrisis ♦ European Union's Migration Crisis
cf. This Week's InsideEurope on "Europe's suge of migrants" & Schengen Area accord...
ThisWeek's Inside Europe on European Migration
Wikipedia_Schengen Area

September 4th 2015: What solutions will Europe find for the Migrant crisis..? :  BBC's Laurence Peter writes "The European Union admits that its asylum procedures are inadequate, faced with the biggest influx of migrants since the Balkan wars of the 1990s." He continues to suggest 5 ways to improve Europe's current Migrant crisis: 1) Agreeing on asylum rules, 2) Establish National asylum quotas, 3) Tackling migration at source, 4) Establishing legal migration paths and 5) Sending migrants from "safe countries of origin" back home.  ref. BBC World News Europe & Africa on Zuwara, the heart of Libya's people-smuggling trade by Quentin Sommerville, (jds)

MoreMigrants ♦ Children boarding European trains, worried & frightened..!
cf. BBC WorldNewsEurope and Africa on the Migrant Crisis & People Smuggling Trade...
BBC_WorldNews Europe's Migrant Crisis
BBC_WorldNewsAfrica People Smuggling Trade

September 3rd 2015: The Little Syrian Boy: Here's Who He Was :  NPR's Hannah Bloch reports: "The drowned boy was 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, from Syria, part of a group of 23 trying to reach the Greek island of Kos. They'd set out in two boats on the 13-mile Aegean journey, but the vessels capsized. Aylan Kurdi's 5-year-old brother, Galip, also drowned, as did the boys' mother, Rehan. Their father survived. In all, five children from that journey are reported dead." ref. NPR parallels, NPR's Steve Inskeep interview with Peter Bouckaert who discovered the drown 3 year old washed up on the sea shore & Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind", (jds)

AylanKurdi  ♦ A child lost at sea & gently carried away by a Turkish officer...
cf. NPR parallels, Steve Inskeep interview with Peter Bouckaert & Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind"
NPR's parallels 3 year old Aylan Kurdi lost at sea with his brother & mother
NPR's parallels_Steve Inskeep interviews Peter Bouckaert who discovered the child

Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind"

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

September 3rd 2015: Michael O'Hanlon & "How will Syria’s war end..?" :  Mr. O'Hanlon of BROOKINGS looks at 4 possible ways to end Syria's four year civil war; 1) An outright military victory, 2) An intervention by some outside power, 3) Negotiate a compromise that brings peace and lastly 4) Create a partition or confederation. Of these four Michael O'Hanlon deems the last option of creating a partition or confederation as the most realistic solution for Syria at present. Yet with an estimated total of 230 to 320 thousand people killed along with 130 thousand captured or missing as well as an estimated 7 million or more people having been internally displaced in Syria and 4 million now refugees the odds are there will be no pragmatic solution to Syria's Civil War. It should have been stopped before it ever got started, yet it's too late to turn the clock back now. ref. TheWashingtonPost, BOOKINGS Michael O'Hanlon & Wikipedia Syrian Civil War, (jds)

SyrianKidsLebanon ♦ Syrian kids' home in Lebanon now..!
cf. The WashingtonPost "How will Syria's War End" & Wikipedia on Syrian Civil War...
WashingtonPost_"How will Syria's War End" by Michael O'Hanlon
Wikipedia_Syrian Civil War

September 2nd 2015: Charlie Rose proposes an hour of science with Neil deGrasse Tyson & E.O. Wilson : Neil Tyson looks up to the Universe & stars and E.O. Wilson down to our biological world & even ants. An interview with two such accomplished scientists is a refreshing step aside from the ceaseless clamor & havoc of today’s world that more than not takes too much for granted. Thanks again to Charlie Rose, we can listen and learn a little more. ref. Charlie Rose's interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson & E.O. Wilson, (jds)

NeildeGrasseTyson ♦ Neil deGrasse Tyson "An hour of Science"
E.O.Wilson ♦ E.O. Wilson "The Meaning of Human Existence"
cf. Charlie Rose's interviews & Wikipedia on Neil deGrasse Tyson & E.O. Wilson...
CharlieRose_Neil deGrasse Tyson & E.O. Wilson
Wikipedia_Neil deGrasse Tyson
Wikipedia_E.O. Wilson

September 2nd 2015: William McCants of BROOKINGS explains who & what Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi is and where he came from and is going... : An excellent essay by Mr. McCants which follows Baghdadi from his youth, studies and prison to becoming one of the most elusive & fanatic Islamic clerics in the Middle East. Yet the real problem is not Baghdadi, it's the young recruits who listen to and believe in him. They are the ones who execute, rape and extort people. They are the ones who cut off heads, hands or feet in the name of their god & Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. Such barbaric behavior has scared the memory of humanity with horror for centuries and goes on today as before, only now with different zealots, weapons and fanatic beliefs. ref. BROOKINGS "The Believer" & Wikipedia on Baghdadi, (jds)

Bagdadi'sIslam ♦ Baghdadi's Islamic State fanatics in black...
cf. BROOKINGS "The Believer" and Wikipedia on Abu Bakr al Baghdadi... 
BROOKINGS "The Believer" by Willam McCants
Wikipedia_Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

September 1st 2015: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani is running out of options as Taliban increase bombings in Kabul & retake south western Helmand province: Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist writes "Afghanistan is in dire crisis as the Taliban battle a weak government, and peace talks with the militants are put on hold". He adds that "Afghans constitute the third largest group of migrants after Syrians and Iraqis trying to escape into Europe by land and sea." It is a shame there are no more Charlie Wilson(s) anymore to help fix things in Afghanistan for once and for all. ref. BBC World News Asia, Wikipedia Charlie Wilson & Ahmed Rashid, (jds)

AshrafGhaniAndKabul  ♦ Afghan President Ghani looks upon Kabul's chaos & unrest...
cf. BBC WorldNewsAsia, Wikipedia on Charlie Wilson & Ahmed Rashid...
BBC_WolrdNewsAsia_Afghanistan Taliban problems
Wikipedia_Texas Charlie Wilson
Wikipedia_journalist Ahmed Rashid

September 1st 2015: "One minute World News":  BBC's One minute International News (Video & Audio) updated 24 hours per day. ref. BBC World News, (jds)
BBCWorldNews  ♦  One minute (Video & Audio) World News from the BBC
cf. BBC's One minute International News summary updated 24 hours / day
BBC International World News Video and Audio

September 1st 2015: September, a month of games, vintage wine & Equinox : ref. Wikipedia Month of September, VintageWine, Equinox, El Djem, Tunisia & Musée archéologique de Sousse, (jds)

September  ♦ 3rd Century mosaic fragment showing September's grape havesting & pressing , El Djem, Tunisia
cf. Wikipedia September, VintageWine, Equinox, El Djem Tunisisa & Musée archéologique de Sousse
Wikipedia_Roman month of September
Wikipedia_September Equinox
Wikipedia_El Djem, Tunisia
Wikipedia_Musée archéologique de Sousse

arrow September 2015

DownArrow  August 2015

August 31st 2015: Migrant crisis: Angela Merkel warns of European Union 'failure'  :German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "Europe as a whole needs to move" and deal with refugees and migrants arriving in Europe." She also stated that "no tolerance for those who question the dignity of other people" should be allowed given recent attacks on refugees or anti-migrant street demonstrations. As for Germany, Ms. Merkel affirmed "Germany is a strong country - we will manage". Furthermore Chancellor Merkel mentioned that "The number of people... helping strangers get through cities and communities and even taking them into their homes is far greater than the number of xenophobes."  ref. BBC WorldEurope & Wikipedia on Xenophobia, (jds)

EuropeanMigrants  ♦ Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean what's going on ...? 
cf. BBC World Europe's Immigration crisis & Wikipedia on Xenophobia ("deep-rooted, irrational hatred towards foreigners")
BBC_World_European Migrant crisis
Wikipedia_on Xenophobia

August 30th 2015: Saudi women to Vote come December  : In 2011 the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud declared that Saudi women would, for the first time in history, be permitted to run as candidates in local elections and would have the right to vote. BBC's Deena Adel reports "...conservative voices have been waging an online (Twitter) campaign to oppose the first-ever opportunity Saudi women will have to vote come December." Yet curious enough it wasn't long before pro voting rights advocates for women took over the anti-voting rights campaign and turned it around into their favor. As is today, there seems to be more "tweets" in favor of women voting than opposed. With or without social (Twitter) media, women in Saudi Arabia will for the first time be able to stand for office as well as vote in municipal elections this coming December. ref. The Guardian & BBC World MiddleEast, (jds)

SaudiWomenVote  ♦ Saudi Women with their Mobile phones & shopping bags......
cf. The Guardian & BBC World MiddleEast on Voting rights for Saudi Women thanks to King Abdullah al-Saud (1924 - 2015)...
TheGuardian_Saudi Arabia Women Voting Rights
BBC_MiddleEast_Women to Vote
BBC_MiddleEast_Saudi women's small steps to progress

August 29th 2015: BBC pictures of immigrants arriving in Greece  : More than 1/2 of the 264,500 migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean this year arrived in Greece, mostly on islands close to Turkey such as Lesbos or Kos. BBC's photographer Fernando Del Berro watched and photographed many arriving on the northern shores of Lesbos. His pictures speak often louder than words. The current overflowing influx of migrants from the Middle East weighs heavily upon Europe today as well as the rest of the world from sea to sea. America’s own Statue of Liberty stands alone in New York harbor but still bears the beautifully engraved sonnet & words of Emma Lazarus. Maybe we North Americans should read her beautiful words and poem once again & again & again... ref. BBC Magazine & World News and Emma Lazarus, (jds)

RefugeesArrive ♦ Statue of Liberty's "The New Colossus" sonnet by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)...
cf. BBC Magazine & BBC World News and Wikipedia Emma Lazarus...
BBC_Magazine Mirants arriving on Greek Island of Lesbos
BBC_WorldEurope_Lesbos migrants living on 'wasteland'
Wikipedia_Emma Lazarus

August 28th 2015: This Week's (DW) Inside Europe ("Deutsche Welle")  : Talks about the French high speed train attack - The Turkish government & Czech Republic, also what's wrong with ordering Pizzas in Italy and Europe's ever growing migrant dilemma & crisis. ref. Inside Europe ("Deutsche Welle") & BBC's David Miliband (President of the International Rescue Committee) interview, (jds)

Europe'sMigration ♦ Deutsche Welle & David Miliband look at Europe's growing migrant crisis...
cf. This Week's InsideEurope & BBC's interview with David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee...
BBC_WorldNews_David Miliband on Europe's migration problems
Wikipedia_International Rescue Committee

August 28th 2015: This Week's On The Media : "TRUMPLAND's circus un-Welcomes Univision's Spanish journalist Jorge Ramos :Also Felix Salmon of Fusion.net offers a Stock Market Volatility guide that helps one to navigated between the market's daily ups and downs from mass market panic to euphoric relief. Then comes the "Fat Jew" and the FDA approved little pink female libido pill. ref. OnTheMedia hosted by Brooke Gladstone & Bob Garfield and Wikipedia on Hispanic & Latino Americans,  (jds)

JorgeRamosInTrumpLand ♦ Jorge Ramos & THUMPLAND' s empty circus...
cf. This Week's OnTheMedia & Wikipedia on 17% of U.S. population Hispanic & Latino Americans...
ThisWeek's OnTheMedia from a Circus to Female pink libido pills
Wikipedia_Hispanic & Latino Americans

August 27th 2015: BROOKINGS Institute & "Rethinking Islam" : Chaired by William McCants, Shadi Hamid & Shibley Telhami the project of rethinking Political Islam is scheduled to examine 12 countries over the past 4 or 5 years of religious (Islamic) & political uprisings. The project's final drafts are scheduled for this coming October by the Brookings Institute. The nations being studied are Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Pakistan and Southeastern Asia's Malaysia & Indonesia. ref. BROOKINGS Institute on "Rethinking Islam" and the 12 countries in question,  (jds)

RethingIslam  ♦ Rethinking Political Islam..?
cf. BROOKINGS "Rethinking Islam", the 12 countries and William McCants, Shadi Hamid & Shibley Telhami... 
BROOKINGS_Education "Rethinking Political Islam"

Egypt  Egypt
Tunisia  Tunisia
Morocco  Morocco
Syria  Syria
Yemen  Yemen
Libya  Libya
Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia
Kuwait  Kuwait
Jordan  Jordan
Pakistan  Pakistan
Southeast Asia  Southeast Asia: Malaysia & Indonesia

BROOKINGS_William McCants
BROOKINGS_Shibley Telhami

August 24th 2015: The New Yorker's John Cassidy says: "The Stock Market’s dive is both global & rational" : Mr. Cassidy is no newcomer to the quirks and peculiarities of Wall Street or the wider world's financial markets for that matter. He says "in any stock-market dive, two questions immediately arise: How far will it go down, and is it justified as far as economic fundamentals go..?" There's really no answer to how long a falling market might continue to go drop until it hits rock bottom or rises. Rationality on the other hand is another question. John Cassidy & his New Yorker colleague James Surowiecki point out that rationality is based numbers & math such as comparing a company’s stock price & earnings or using James Tobin's Q ratio formula that represents a company's Total Market Value divided by its Total Assets Value. A company's stock at a low price & high earnings is a good & rational investment as is a firm's calculated Q Ratio between (0 to 1). High stock prices and low earnings on the other hand or companies with high Q Ratios are for the most part not very good investments. Simply put the first Humpy Dumpy to fall off the wall is usually not a very rational one or bargin for that matter... ref. TheNewYorker, BBC Business & Investopedia on James Tobin's (1918-2002) Q Ratio, (jds)

JohnCassidy ♦  A NewYorkStockExchange worried broker & John Cassidy of the NewYorker
cf. TheNewYorker "Stock Dive", "Stocks overvalued", John Cassidy, BBC Business & Q Ratio of James Tobin
TheNewYorker_Stock markets dives
TheNewYorker_Jmost overvalued stocks
TheNewYorker_John Cassidy
BBC_Business Shares in disarray over China
Investopedia_Q Ratio by James Tobin

August 24th 2015: Religious (ISIS) fanatics destroy Palmyra's Baalshamin Temple in Syria : Built some 2,000 years ago the temple of Baalshamin was considered one of the most important standing structures at Palmyra in Syria. It was dedicated to the Phoenician god of storms and rain, and stood almost completely intact until being demolished by a handful of ignorant, religious fanatics. Yet no one can destroy the past, only their own future. And the sooner the better. ref. BBC World MiddleEast & Wikipedia on Palmyra, (jds)

BaalShaminTemple ♦ Palmyra's Baalshamin Temple dedicated to the Phoenician god of storms & rain...
cf. BBC World MiddleEast & Wikipedia on Syria's Baalshamin Temple...
BBC_WorldMiddleEast_Palmyra's Baalshamin Temple
BBC_MiddleEast_Palmyra temple destruction
Wikipedia_Syria's Baalshamin Temple

August 23rd 2015: Journey to the center of the Earth :  Chris Baraniuk, a freelance science & technology journalist writes "The central point of the Earth is over 6,000 km down, and even the outermost part of the core is nearly 3,000 km below our feet..." Yet the deepest holes ever drilled beneath the earth's surface have only been around 12.3 km (Russia's Kola Superdeep Borehole & two others more recently drilled by Transocean or Exxon). The Earth's mass is located at the center of the planet for the most part. It's estimated at 5.9 sextillion tons, that's 59 followed by 20 zeros. The inner core is located at 6,000 km beneath the surface and is made up mainly of iron while the outer core is located at 3,000 km beneath the surface mostly molten iron & rocks. Scientists use seismology to determine the earth's inner & outer cores. For example Chile's terrible earthquake of May 1960 generated an enormous amount of seismic data which various stations around the world picked up, compared and analyzed. This resulted in a far better understanding of the earth's center given how different types of seismic waves (P-waves, S-waves & surface waves) react differently to solid or molten cores of the earth. Likewise the constant movement of the outer molten core of iron creates electricity that generates a powerful magnetic field, without which our planet would be at the mercy solar radiation. ref. BBC Earth, Wikipedia on the Earth's Inner & Outer core and Chris Baraniuk, (jds)

EarthsCore ♦ Journey to the Earth's center
ref. BBC Earth Core, Magnetic field, Wikipedia The Earth's cores, Inner & Outer cores and Chris Baraniuk's HomePage...
BBC_Earth_ What is at the center of Earth
BBC_Earth's_Magnetic field flips more
Wikipedia_The_Earth's Core
Wikipedia_Earth's Inner core
Wikipedia_Earth's Outer core
Chris Baraniuk's WebSite

August 21st 2015: This week's Inside Europe : Desperation as migrants cross the Aegean Sea  : Also Turkey & illegal immigration - Ukraine's war escalates towards no solutions - World athletics & drugs - Why Germans choose to be childless - Spain's troubled historical memories and more on this week's radio Inside Europe... ref. Deutsche Welle (DW) Inside Europe & BBC WorldNews Europe, (jds)

Migrants ♦ Migrants in the Agean Sea waving to a Greek Tourist vessel for help...
cf. Inside Europe European Affairs, Ankara & US at odds over air strikes, War in Ukraine & BBC WorldNewsEurope on Macedonia migrants....
ThisWeek's (DW) Inside Europe
(DW)_Ankara & US at odds over airstrikes in Syria..?
(DW)_Could Ukraine's war escalate..?
BBC_WorldNewsEurope_Macedonia migrants

August 20th 2015: Syrian & Afghan migrants arrive from the Greek Islands by ferry boat to Athens and then try to board trains from Macedonia to Western Europe : The European Union is struggling with an endless overflow of migrants and asylum seekers. Germany that has received the most asylum applications within the European Union so far is anticipating 800,000 more refugees from the Middle East to arrive this year. The 21st century has apparently become a century of immigrants, not only for Europe but also for Autralia & North America. ref. BBC WorldNews from Greek Islands to Western Europe & Why Europe is struggling with migrants & asylum seekers, (jds)

IslandsAthensMacedonia  ♦ Syrian & Afghan refugees on their way to the European Union ...
AsylumApplications2014  ♦ European Union countries Asylum applications 2014 ...
cf. BBC WorldNews Europe Greek Islands to Western Europe & Why Europe is struggling with migrants
BBC_WorldNews_Greek Islands to Athens & Macedonia & Western Europe
BBC_WorldNews_Why Europe is struggling with migrants

August 19th 2015: Syrian Archaeologist Khaled al Asaad beheaded by ISIS fanatics : Khaled al-Asaad was born in Palmyra, Syria (1934) and served as director of antiquities at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra from 1963 until retirement in 2013. He had worked with UNESCO and the European Commission on various projects for Palmyra. He had also written and translated numerous books & articles on Palmyra and the Silk Road. He was fluent in many languages from Arabic, Aramaic to French & English and remains "one of the most important pioneers in Syrian archaeology". Though a supporter by family ties to Syria's despotic Assad regime his contribution to maintaining Palmyra as a World Heritage site was his life's work and accomplishment. ref. BBC WorldNews, The NewYorkTimes, TheGuardian & Wikipedia on Palmyra Syria, (jds)

PalmyraSyria  ♦ Archaeologist Khaled al Asaad (1934 - 2015) beheaded by fanatic ISIS ignorance...
cf. BBC WorldNews, TheNewYorkTimes, TheGuardian & Wikipedia on Palmyra, Syria
BBC_MiddleEast_Khaled al-Asaad murdered
NewYorkTimes_Palmyra Syria Antiquities scholar beheaded
TheGuardian_ISIS beheads Archaeologist in Syria TheGuardian_Khaled al-Asaad profile Syria & ISIS by Howard Carter
Wikipedia_Palmyra Syria World Heritage site

August 18th 2015: Islamic State: Maliki dismisses 'worthless' Mosul report :  "What happened in Mosul was a conspiracy planned in Ankara, then the conspiracy moved to Irbil," Mr. Maliki wrote referring to the capitals of Turkey and Iraq's Kurdistan. Whatever that certainly does not explain how in June 2014 about 800 Islamic State (ISIS) radicals could attack Mosul and 30,000 more or less Iraqi soldiers simply dropped their weapons and run for the hills. Something was wrong, seriously wrong with Iraq years before 2014 during Mr. Maliki's watch as Prime Minister.  ref. BBC Middle East & Iraqi News, (jds)

NouriMaliki  ♦ Iraq's Vice President Nouri al Maliki fights back ...
cf. BBC MiddleEast & IraqiNews...
BBC_MiddleEast_Nouri al Maliki report
IraqiNews_Maliki accusing fall of Mosul politicized

August 16th 2015: Iraq's ex-Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki blamed for fall of Mosul to ISIS   :  BBC Middle East reports : "an Iraqi parliamentary panel has called for former Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to face trial over the fall of the northern city of Mosul to the Islamic State (ISIS)." Whatever the outcome of this upcoming parliamentary panel it is unlikely that Mr. Maliki will maintain his current honorary position of Vice President in Iraq. Nouri al Maliki during his studies in Baghdad joined the Islamic Dawa Party in 1979, the same year of Iran's Islamic revolution under Ruhollah Khomeini. Mr. Maliki fled at first to Jordan, then Syria and later on to Iran in 1982. He remained in Tehran until 1990 and then moved on to Damascus, Syria where he served as the Islamic Dawa Party's political officer helping to solidify close ties with Hezbollah ("Party of Allah"), a Shi'a Islamist militant & political group in Lebanon sponsored by Iran. Mr. Maliki returned to Iraq when the U.S. coalition forces toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003. He quickly became the deputy leader of Iraq's National de Baath-ification Commission formed to purge all former Baath Party officials from the military and government. Later on in 2006 Nuri al Maliki was elected Iraq's Prime Minister mainly due to the strong influence of Qasem Soleimani of Iran's Quads Force and an apparent misjudgment of US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad who’d been misled to believe that Maliki was someone who would act completely "independent of Iran". Obviously, Maliki was not at all independent of Iran, which explains why Iraq has fallen backwards again into the pit of civil unrest and strife over the past 7 years... ref. BBC WorldMiddleEast, Wikipedia Nouri al Maliki, Islamic Dawa Party & Hezbollah, (jds)

QasemMaliki ♦ Iran's Qasem Sulimanie & Iraq's Nouri al Maliki ...
cf. BBC WorldNews, Wikipedia Nouri al Maliki, Islamic Dawa Party & Hezbollah
BBC_WorldMiddleEast_Nouri al Maliki
Wikipedia_Nouri al Maliki
Wikipedia_Islamic Dawa Party

August 15th 2015: Migrant crisis on Greek island of Kos :  Chris Buckler of the BBC News writes "When they leave the shores of Turkey to travel to Kos those seeking refuge do not think of this Greek Island of Kos as their destination...", but only of Europe. Kos is a paradise for tourism, not migrants & immigrants. The government is sending the Eleftherios Venizelos, a ferry boat that can house 2,500 people to the Island. Only Syrian refugees will be allowed aboard. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says at least 124,000 people reached Greece's shores by sea in the first seven months of 2015, seven times as many as in 2014. ref. BBC World Europe & UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), (jds)

WaitingOnHelp♦ Waiting on a new home & life...
cf. BBC World Europe & UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
BBC_World Europe Refugees Greek Island of Kos
BBC_WorldEurope_Refugees in Greece
UNRefugeeAgency_Refugees in Greece

August 15th 2015: Syrians & Afghans stream onto tiny Greek Island of Kos :  Joanna Kakissis for PBS parallels describes the hardship & difficulties of Syrian and Afghan refugees & migrants on the tiny Greek Island of Kos. The distance and danger by sea from southwestern Turkey to the Island Kos is not at all comparable to the dangers & vastness of crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe, yet nevertheless not without its own tribulations & hardships. Ms. Kakissis mentions that "More than 124,000 people have come by sea to the Greek islands this year..." and one might wonder what he would have thought or done for such an influx of desperate, homeless people. ref. NPR's parallels & Wikipedia the Island of Kos, (jds)

KosIslandGreece  ♦ Refugees arriving at Greece's Island of Kos at sunrise & their rafts abandoned in the harbor...  
cf. NPR's parallels & Wikipedia the Greek Island of Kos...
NPR_parallels Thousands of migrants escape to Greek island of Kos
Wikipedia_Greek Island Kos

August 15th 2015: This week's On The Media turns to the Fox News' GOP Debate (again)  : On The Media's Bob Garfield looks into the debate's "Vulgar Spectacle" that popped up between Donald Trump & Megyn Kelly and how Fox News president Roger Ailes was forced into making somewhat of an apology & compromise to the self-proclaimed presidential candidate Donald Trump. Also Bob Garfield talks with Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig who likewise is running for president, but simply to pass electoral reform and then resign from the office when and if elected. Maybe his Vice President will be Joe Biden and then finally become president himself. Then On The Media's Brooke Gladstone recalls Ferguson, Missouri's Michael Brown & talks with David Lipsky who once interviewed the author David Foster Wallace.  ref. OnTheMedia, The Brian Lehrer Show, Wikipedia on Megyn Kelly & David Forester Wallace,  (jds)

FoxDebateOnTheMedia  ♦  The Vulgar Spectacle of 24 million spectators ....
cf. This Week's OnTheMedia, The Brian Lehrer Show, Wikipedia Megyn Kelly & David Wallace ...
This Week's On The Media
TheBrianLehrerShow On The Media GOP Campaign
Wikipedia_/Megyn Kelly
Wikipedia_David Foster Wallace

August 15th 2015: This week's Inside Europe : "Turkey & US at odds over Incirlik Air Base, Russia destroys food imports, Germany tightens up on Balkan Refugees, etc..."  :Also Game of Thrones in Spain, Taking back Utoya, Tartar TV moves from Crimea to Kyiv, Flying electric planes in Slovenia and a tour of London's loos. ref. Deutsche Welle (DW) Inside Europe & Wikipedia, (jds)

TurkeyIncirlikAirBase  ♦ Turkey's Incirlik (NATO) Air Base squabble ...
cf. Inside Europe & Wikipedia on Incirlik Air Base
InsideEurope_This Week's Deutsche Welle
Wikipedia_Turkey's Incirlik (NATO) Air Base

August 15th 2015: NBC dumps TRUMP :  No more Apprentice or "you're fired" from Donald Trump anymore. He's been fired by NBC and won't be returning to the Apprentice this coming season unless he becomes President and issues an executive order to nationalize TV, NBC and others included. Of course, Mr. Trump claims it was he who fired NBC and not vice versa. No matter, NBC has already canceled Mr. Trump's TV hosting of Miss U.S.A & Universe pageants, so maybe now he'll start his own Mister President pageant & apprentice to keep himself busy..? Whatever the shows not over yet, that's for sure..!  ref. BBC Entertainment, BBC US News & Wikipedia on Donald Trump, (jds)

TrumpPageantsApprentice ♦ No more Pageants or Apprentices , only "The Donald Trump Show" from now on..!
cf. BBC Entertainment, BBC US News & Wikipedia on Donald Trump...
BBC_Entertainment Donald Trump "you're fired"
BBC_WorldNews Trump dominates GOP debate
Wikipedia_Donald Trump

August 14th 2015: ISIS suspected of using 'chemical weapons' on Kurds in Iraq : BBC reports: "Militants from Islamic State (IS) are suspected of using chemical weapons in an attack against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, officials say." After an attack near Irbil earlier this month officials said Kurdish troops suffered breathing difficulties. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday the 13th that the "Islamic State militants likely used mustard agent against Kurdish forces in Iraq this week, senior U.S. officials said in the first indication the militant group has obtained banned chemicals." If so, then this is quickly becoming another kind of war and enemy to "defeat & destroy", as if it wasn't already..? ref. BBC WorldMiddleEast & WSJ, (jds)

Kurds ♦ Mustard gas or agent (Sulphur mustard) was first employed in WW I
cf. BBCWorldNewsMiddleEast & TheWallStreetJournal
BBC_MiddleEast_Kurdish being attacked by chemcial weapons
WallStreetJournal_Islamic State suspected of using chemical weapon

August 13th 2015: Baghdad & Kabul hit with more car bombs & new mullah for the Taliban : All that's not exactly what one might call "defeat & destroy" (not to mention other nations such as Syria or Libya) ref. BBC Middle East & Asia, and the PBS NewsHour on "defeat & destroy, (jds)

BaghdadKabulTaliban ♦  Baghdad & Kabul get more car bombs and Taliban a new Mullah Akhtar Mansour...
UPDATE 14th: At least 67 killed by truck bomb in NEast Baghdad, officials say. BBC_WorldMiddleEast_Baghdad bombing
cf. PBS "defeat && destroy", BBC WorldMiddleEast Baghdad, BBC WorldAsia Kabul & BBC_WorldAsia Taliban Mullah Mansour
PBS_NewsHour_Obama's "defeat & destroy"
BBC_WorldMiddleEast Baghdad
BBC_WorldAsia Kabul
BBC_WorldAsia_Mullah Akhtar Mansour

August 12th 2015: A tale of two underdogs, the brothers Sanders  :  Both Larry & Bernie Sanders are no neophytes when it comes to social, ecological & political ambitions or movements. Larry the eldest represented the UK's Green Party of East Oxford for many years until his retirement in 2013. Then in a last ditch effort to regain status and some political oomph was defeated in his 2015 bid for the Green Party's West Oxford MP (member of parliament) seat. Far more adventurous than Larry is his younger brother Bernie, who is currently running full steam ahead to become the next president of the United States. He began as mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981, then the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and followed with U.S Senate in 2006. An accomplished independent, who wins elections like walking up the stairs one at a time. But this last step may be a bit too high for a man already 73 years old, especially with a world out there that's a lot younger & obviously confused... ref. BBC NewsMagazine, TheTelegraph, Guardian & Wikipedia, (jds)

BerneyLarry  ♦ Bernie Sanders (73) & Larry (80)  
cf. BBC NewsMagazine, TheTelegraph, TheGuardian & Wikipedia on Bernie Sanders... 
BBC_NewMagazine Tale of two underdogs
TheTelegraph I'm running for Parliament, my brother's running for President
TheGuardian_Bernie & Larry Sanders, brothers & politics
Wikipedia_Bernie Sanders

August 12th 2015: China devaluates its currency  :  Why..? Simply because the less a nation's currency is worth the more it can export and lesser it will import. China’s devaluation of its currency is apparently an attempt to adjust to the rest of the world's economic outlook which seems to be hovering over a worldwide recession, and China might just come out on top if other nations don't start devaluating their currencies also.  ref. BBC BusinessNews, TheNewYorkTimes & Bloomberg News, (jds)

China'sYuan  ♦ Yuan (or more properly Renminbi) falls for a 2nd day...
cf. BBC World News Business, NewYorkTimes International & Bloomberg on what a weaker Yuan means for the world....
BBC_BusinessNews_China's currency falls 2nd day
NewYorkTimes_China lowers value of its currency
Bloomberg_What a weaker Chinese Yuan means for the world

August 10th 2015: Is the Cosmos (our Universe) fading away...? :  Jonathan Webb of BBC Science reports "A team of astronomers has published a multi-colored survey of five chunks of space - and offered the best estimate yet of how fast the Universe is fading" away from us. Mr. Webb mentions Professor Driver's comments that wrapped the findings of the general assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu, Hawaii into a sad but cozy analogy saying : "The Universe will decline from here on in, like an old age that lasts forever. It has basically sat down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze." ref. BBC Science & International Center for Radio Astronomy Research & Fly through our GAMA Galaxy, (jds)

GamaGalaxySurvey   ♦ Fly through our GAMA Galaxy ...
cf. The BBC Cosmos Fading away, International Radio Astronomy Research & Fly through our GAMA Galaxy...
BBC_ScienceEnvironment_Our Universe fading away 
International Center for Radio Astronomy Reserch
Vimeo_Fly through our GAMA Galaxy

August 10th 2015: Jason Rezaian's Iranian Revolutionary court trial ends :  Mr. Rezaian is a Washington Post reporter who was arrested in July 2014 by Iran's revolutionary goon squad. He was charged with espionage and distributing propaganda against the Islamic Republic. Eventually he'll be released and set free, but when and how is yet to be decided. Iranians are pros when it comes to making "big deals" with Washington DC, and they'll surely get what they want out of the U.S. this time too. Yet isn't it an utter shame to lock up a man like Jason Rezaian who sincerely appreciated and enjoyed common, everyday, run of the mill Iranians far more than Iran’s Revolutionary goon squads or mullahs in power do. Mr. Rezaian was accused (among other things) of inspiring an Iranian version of Pharrell Williams's "Happy". That’s probably what ticked off Iran's court & mullahs the most, because they're obviously not very happy people at all..! ref. BBC U.S. World News and The NewYorkTimes, YouTube "Happy Iranians" & Wikipedia, (jds)

JasonRezaian  ♦ Jason Rezaian, an American Iranian in Iran's Revolutionary court & prison ...
cf. The BBC U.S World News, The NewYorkTimes, YouTube "Happy Iranians" & Wikipedia Jason Rezaian ...
BBC_US&CanadaNews_Jason Rezaian's trial
NewYorkTimes_Jason Rezaian's trial in Iran
YouTube_Happy Iranians
Wikipedia_Jason Rezaian

August 9th 2015: The man who saved Kyoto, Japan from the atomic bomb, Henry Stimson Secretary of War under President Truman : Weeks before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Nagasaki was not even on the list of possible targeted cities. However Kyoto, an ancient & historic city with a population a little more than 1 million was on the list being targeted. President Truman's Secretary of War Henry Stimson argued that it would be a serious mistake to bomb Kyoto, a city so important to Japanese history, culture & heritage and convinced President Truman not to allow such devastation. In the end Nagasaki, a far less historic & culturally important city was chosen in the place of Kyoto. Nagasaki was bombed on August 9th 1945 (3 days after Hiroshima) and the War in the Pacific with Japan ended 6 days later on August 15th and was officially signed on September 2nd, 1945... ref. BBC World, Wikipedia on Henry L. Stimson, Hiroshima & Nagasaki & Japan's Surrender, (jds)

HarryStimson  ♦ Henry Stimson (1867 - 1950)
cf. BBC World & Wikipedia on Henry Stimson, Hiroshima, Nagasaki & Japan
BBC_World The man who saved Kyoto, Japan
Wikipedia_Henry L. Stimson
Wikipedia_Hiroshima & Nagasaki
Wikipedia_End of War with Japan

August 8th 2015: Alice Rivlin & former Senator Pete Domenici set out to fix the broken congressional budget process ... : 1) Set caps on discretionary spending. 2) Enact explicit long-term budgets for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. 3) Periodic reviews of federal tax expenditures. 4) Establish a specified "debt-held-by-the-public" law & goal to be achieved by fixed dates to guide policy decisions. 5) Establish a biennial budgeting cycle to ensure Congress adopts a budget and all appropriation bills in the first (odd-numbered years) sessions that frees up time in the second session. 6) The debt ceiling should automatically be increased when a budget resolution is approved by Congress. 7) Planned congressional recesses should be canceled if Congress fails to adopt a biennial budget resolution. 8) Government programs and agencies should be automatically funded at the previous year’s level if Congress fails to adopt a biennial appropriation bill before the beginning of the first session of the biennial budget cycle. 9) The budget process should go through organizational restructuring and streamlining, of budget committees, Congressional Budget Office, Joint Committees on Taxation and budget resolution. 10) Presidential & Congressional commissions will report to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress on recommended accounting and budget concepts & changes. ref. BROOKINGS Institute Alice Rivlin & Senator Pete Domenici, (jds))

PDFdownload ♦ Proposal for Improving Congressional Budget Process

BudgetReform  ♦ Alice Rivlin & former Senator Pete Domenici
cf. BROOKINGS "10 ways to fix the broken congressional budget process" by Alice Rivlin & Pete Domenici
BOOKINGS_ 10 ways to fix congressional budget process Wikipedia_Alice Rivlin
Wkipedia_Pete Domenici

August 7th 2015: Who won the Fox News GOP (Grand Old Party) debate ...?  : Odds are Facebook won because they most likely didn't pay a dime to be there and got more free publicity than the candidates & Fox News put together. ref. BBC World US GOP debate, NewYorkTimes, FoxNews Debate & The NewYorker on Facebook's Worldwide ambition, (jds)

FoxNewsDebate ♦ Donald Trump, Fox News or Facebook's thumbs up & thumbs down...
cf. BBC_World US debate, NewYorkTimes, FoxNews Debate & The NewYorker on Facebook
BBC_World_Donald Trump criticises Fox debate
NewYorkTimes_Fox News moderators sharpened GOP debate
FoxNews_Watch a Replay of GOP Presidential Debate
TheNewYorker_The face of facebook

August 6th 2015: Too much junk in space :  Since the dawn of the Space age on October 4th 1957 by a Soviet R-7 missile launched Sputnik, there have been more than 5,000 launches carrying satellites, supplies, materials, communication devices, etc. resulting in an ever increasingly congested & contested outer space. Dr. Hugh Lewis of the U.K.'s University of Southampton and others suspect "there are tens of thousands of objects larger than a tennis ball orbiting above us, and one hundred million objects larger than 1 millimeter." Dr. Lewis also mentioned how the European Space Agency (Esa) is taking the lead next year (2016), and is currently working on a mission to remove a large European satellite from space.  ref. BBC Science & Environment & BBC Two Horizon "The Trouble with Space Junk", (jds)

SpaceJunk ♦  Too much junk in space surrounds us...
cf. BBC Science & Environment & BBC Two Horizon "The Trouble with Space Junk"
BBC_ScienceEnvironment "Trouble in orbit"
BBC_Two Horizon "The Trouble with Space Junk"

August 4th 2015: A fun guide : 10 Republicans who could make the debate :  BBC's North American reporter Anthony Zurcher welcomes everybody to the "longest electoral game show in the world, the first US presidential primary debate." Ten candidates will be on stage come Thursday the 6th of August, each not having much more than 11 minutes to say why they might imagine themselves capable of being the next president of the United States of America. From Donald Trump on down to John Kasich there are plenty others between them on the totem pole of presidential ambition. Mr. Zurcher of the BBC comments on each presidential aspirant. The actual election is 15 months away which doesn't seem to bother anybody, especially the main stream media. Likewise there’s another debate of 7 other aspirating candidates to the presidency (Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki & Jim Gilmore), only not at prime time because their polling scores were not up to par. ref. BBC US & Canada, (jds)

RepublicansCandidates  ♦ Trump, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Rubio, Carson, Cruz, Paul, Christie & Kasich...
cf. BBC US & Canada, CNN, Fox News & Huffingtonpost ...
BBC_US Presidential debate
CNN_US Presidential primary debate
FOXNEWS_Presidential primary debate
HuffingtonPost_First Republican debate

August 2nd 2015: European migrant crisis at Calais, France: UK Prime Minister David Cameron accused of 'playing politics' : Morgan Johansson the Swedish justice & migration minister accused David Cameron of "playing politics" with the migrant crisis in Calais. Thousands of migrants from Africa & the Middle East have attempted to reach the United Kingdom through the Eurotunnel, but with little success. Mr. Cameron has insisted that the U.K. will not become a "safe haven" for migrants from Calais, which puts enormous pressure upon France and eventually the rest of Europe. ref. BBC Europe, (jds)

CalaisFranceEurotunnel ♦  Arial view of Calais, France & the Eurotunnel ...
cf. BBC UK, Calais, France, the Eurotunnel & Europe
BBC_UK Calais Migrant crisis
BBC_Why is there a crisis in Calais?
BBC_Migrants hide in trucks going to the UK

August 2nd 2015: 25 Years in Iraq, with no end in sight :  Greg Myre, PBS's International editor goes over the past 25 years the United States spent in Iraq. The only word that comes to mind today is "failure". It all started on August 2nd 1990 when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, then again rekindled in 2003 and 2014 when confronted with the Islamic State (ISIS). Iraq dates back to 4000 BC and is known as the "Cradle of Civilization" that arose in the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The past 25 years will never be forgotten, only remembered as a colossal "failure" ref. PBS parallels & Wikipedia on Iraq, (jds)

25yearsUSinIraq ♦  From soldiers arrival to hopes of freedom as statues fall, then back again to destruction...
cf. NPR's parallels "25 years in Iraq..." by Greg & Wikipedia on Iraq... Myre ...
NPR_parallels 25 years in Iraq with no end in sight
Wikipedia_Iraq the "Cradle of Civilization"

August 1st 2015: "One minute World News":  BBC's One minute International News (Video & Audio) updated 24 hours per day. ref. BBC World News, (jds)
BBCWorldNews  ♦  One minute (Video & Audio) World News from the BBC
cf. BBC's One minute International News summary updated 24 hours / day
BBC International World News Video and Audio

August 1st 2015: The month of August : Originally August was called "Sextilis" because it was the 6th month in the 10 month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC. Around 700 BC August became the 8th month when January and February were added to the year ahead of March by Numa Pompilius. But Pompilius only gave August 29 days, and it wasn't until Julius Caesar's Julian calendar in 45 BC that August got the full 31 days it deserved. ref. Wikipedia on August, (jds)

RomulusRemusAugustHarvest ♦ Twins Romulus & Remus by Rubens c.1616 and August calendar Harvest c.1310
cf. Wikipedia August, Romulus & Remus, Pompilius and Julius Caesar...
Wikipedia_Romulus & Remus
Wikipedia_Julius Caesar

arrow August 2015

DownArrow  July 2015

July 31st 2015: 10 things we didn't know last week ...! :  BBC's weekly Magazine collected ten news snippets from various news sources such as 1) Why the Beatles never recorded dozens of songs. 2) Why you can't expect privacy if you "Butt" dial someone. 3) How Romantic kissing is practiced in less than 1/2 the world's cultures. 4) The U.K. can determine how short your shorts should be. 5) Sanitary towels in Venezuela sell for £140 ($218). 6) How Hackers evade virus scanners. 7) People who spend time in aquariums lower their blood pressure & feel happier. 8) People walking while texting take bigger swerves and lift their legs higher when stepping over things. 9) Pretending to eat chocolate can lessen one's cravings for it & number 10) Roosters follow a strict order to determine which one wakes everyone up on a farm. ref. BBC Magazine Monitor & other news sources listed below, (jds)

TenThingsWeDidn'tKnow ♦ 10 Things we didn't know from the Beatles to Roosters at dawn...
cf. BBC Magazine, TheGuardian, Slate, WashingtonPost, Campaigbseries, The BBC, Independant, Telegraph & The DailyMail
BBC_Magazine Monitor
TheGuardian_The Beatles forgot dozens of songs
SLATE_Butt (back pocket) dialing, No privacy
WashingtonPost_Romantic Kissing not shared in all cultures
Campaignseries_Wearing shorts that were too short
BBC_Venezuela prices outrageous
Independent_Why be wary of reading Jane Austen online
Telegraph_Text walkers evolve protective shuffle to prevent injuries
DailyMail_The Rooster that crows first at dawn

July 31st 2015: This week's On The Media goes after "Donald Trump": "David Leonhardt of The New York Times said "the political media did not create Donald Trump", but then who did...? Aside from "The Donald" , Brooke Gladstone of On The Media looks into bogus studies on chocolate and weight loss, how Marvel's latest films rakes in millions at the box office with outrageous anti-capitalist messages, and how 'Kung Fury' went from Karate Joke to kick start this year's Festival de Cannes. Maybe Mr. Trump was there also...? ref. On The Media with Brooke Gladstone, (jds)

Donald&KungFury  ♦  "The Donald" & "Kung Fury" On The Media...
cf. This week's On The Media with Brooke Gladstone & "Kung Fury" at Cannes...
OnTheMedia_Donald Trump, bogus studies & movies
Studio360_How Kung Fury kickstarted the Festival de Cannes

July 31st 2015: This week's Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle) focuses in on Turkey :  Then France's efforts to counter radical Islam, Jewish athletes in Berlin, the French Riviera's lockdown, Croatia & Slovenia, Denmark's world wind energy lead, the search for extraterrestrial life in Berlin and Italian grannies... ref. Deutsche Welle Inside Europe, (jds)

Turkey  ♦  Turkey targets Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)...
cf. DW's Inside Europe, Kurdistan's PKK, Denmark's Wind energy & Wikipedia...
DW's_This week's Inside Europe
Wikipedia_Kurdistan's PKK party
Denmark's_Wind Energy Official Website
Wikipedia_Wind Power in Denmark

July 31st 2015: The United Arab Emirates criticized the European Union for seeking Iranian cooperation to stabilizing the region, saying that "an aggressive Tehran was helping to polarize...", not stabilize the situation.  United Arab Emirates Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash said the UN's Foreign Affairs Representative Federica Mogherini "failed to understand Iran’s aims..." Furthermore, Mr. Gargash stated that Ms. Mogherini had simply not grasped the divisiveness of Iranian policy and "suggested her praise of the Iranian officials with whom she negotiated the deal was misplaced." ref. Arab News & Wikipedia, (jds)

AnwarGargashFedericaMoghenini ♦ United Emirates Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash & EU's Foreign Affairs Representative Federica Mogherini
cf. Arab News and Wikipedia on Frederica Mogherini & Anwar Gargash...
ArabNews_Iran polarizing the Middle East
Wikipedia_UN's Federica_Mogherini
Encyclopedia_Anwar Gargash, Phd

July 30th 2015: Beirut's residents suffer the stench of garbage :  Alice Fordham of NPR's parallels reports on how Beirut's political & urban dysfunction can't even collect garbage, so people walk streets that stink, as if Lebanon doesn't have enough problems of its own with more than more than 1.3 million refugees from Syria.  ref. NPR's parallels on Beirut & United Nations Refugee Agency, (jds)

BeirutStinks  ♦ Beirut's streets in political dysfunction....
LebanonRefugees  ♦ Lebanon's plus 1.3 million immigrants from Syria...
cf. NPR's parallels on Beirut's streets & United Nations Refugee Agency on immigrants from Syria...
NPRparallels_Beirut's Political dysfunction & streets

July 29th 2015: Maybe someone could suggest to Washington DC's White House that it's not a very good idea to show pictures of the President of the United States of America with his feet up on a desk or table... :  In most cultures (apparently other than the White House's) it's considered extremely uncouth, and therefore a somewhat inappropriate way to present an executive order to build the biggest and fastest supercomputer in the world by 2025. The Chinese have already done it and didn't even put their feet up on a table. Seriously, nations might come together and consider time sharing their supercomputers. All nations have got lots of problems to solve, and the faster the better many might be solved by time sharing super computers. ref. BBC Technology, The White House Office of Science & Technology, Wikipedia on China's Supercomputing, Tianhe-2 and the History of Supercomputing, (jds)

President'sFeet  ♦ The President's executive order for 2025 & China's "Tianhe-2"
cf. BBC Technology, The White House Office of Science & Technology, Wikipedia SuperComputing in China, Tianhe-2 & the history of SuperComputers...
BBC_Technology_New SuperComputer 2025
WhiteHouse_Office of Science & Technology
Wikipedia_Supercomputing in China
Wikipedia_China's Tianhe-2
Wikipedia_History of Supercomputing

July 28th 2015: 12 things President Obama mentioned during his trip to Kenya :  The BBC Africa reports that President Obama spent last few days speaking to Kenyans. Here are 12 things that he revealed: 1) On his first trip to Kenya the airline lost his bag. 2) He keeps discovering more members of his family. 3) His grandfather was a cook for the British army. 4) He gave health tips to Kenya's president. 5) He's slow at texting but thinks mobiles are the future. 6) He was corrected on poaching figures. 7) His Power Africa project, launched in 2013, has not generated any electricity yet. 8) He said corruption costs thousands of jobs. 9) He said women were "powerhouse entrepreneurs. 10) He sees a lottery of birth in Kenya. 11) He links good driving and gay rights. 12) He thinks Kenya is "on the move". John Page of BROOKINGS who is no stranger to Africa mentions on the other hand "What President Obama didn't see on his trip to Africa", which is well worth reading.  ref. BBC Africa, The New York Times, Politico & BROOKINGS "What President Obama didn't see on his trip to Africa" by John Page, (jds)

PresidentObamaKenya  ♦ Mr. Obama in Kenya : President, Preacher or Prophet..?
cf. BBC Africa, The New York Times and Politico...
BBC_WorldAfrica_President Obama
NewYorkTimes_Obama in Africa says he could win third term
Politico_Barack Obama & African Democracy in Ethiopia
BROOKINGS_"What President Obama didn't see on his trip to Africa" by John Page

July 27th 2015: BBC reports : The UK's inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko is drawing to a close : On the 1st of November 9 years ago Alexander Litvinenko drank a cup tea spiked with a lethal dose of radioactive polonium-210 and died twenty-two days later. Richard Watson of the BBC tells the inside story of the perplexing murder that has been attributed to Andrei Lugovoi, Dmitry Kovtun and of course Vladimir Putin. It reads like a spy novel, yet it is not a novel, but fact. Why it took the U.K. so many years to thoroughly investigate Litvinenko's death is hard to understand. Litvinenko's wife Marina fought long and hard for a public inquiry into her husband's death which was granted in 2014, eight years after her husband's murder. ref. BBC Magazine & Wikipedia on Polonium & Alexander Litvinenko, (jds)

LitvinenkoLougoviPutin ♦ Alexander Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi & Vladimir Putin
cf. BBC Magazine, Alexander Litvinenko's cup of tea, Polonium-210 and 9 years of waiting on justice...
BBC_Magazine ALexander Litvinenko & Polonium-210
Wikipedia_Alexander Litvinenko

July 27th 2015: New York Times reports: "Turkey and U.S. Plan to create a ‘Safe Zone’ free of ISIS" : But they seem to have forgotten putting boots on the ground. Soldiers win wars and battles on the ground, not airplanes, rockets, drones or bombs. There are many different theories of what causes wars such as the Marxists quasi economic theory to the pure Demographics of Malthusian & Youth bulge theories, etc. Worse yet more civilians and children suffer and die in wars than soldiers, and today's fanatic religious wars in the middle east & Africa are no exceptions.  ref. The NewYorkTimes & Wikipedia on War, (jds)

IncirlikAirBaseTurkey  ♦ Turkey's Incirlik Air Base & boots made for the ground...
cf. The NewYorkTimes & Wikipedia on War...
NewYorkTimes_MiddleEast Turkey and US agree on plan
Wikipedia_on Wars

July 26th 2015: Iran's Embassy in Israel :  Before Ruhollah Khomeini created his Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, the Shah (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) had purchased land in Israel to build an Embassy. That land is still there today, untouched and waiting upon the day when normal relations, some common sense & sanity between the two nations can be restored. Jewish population in Iran dates back biblical times, the 6th century BC. During the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1925 - 1979) an estimated 140,000 to 150,000 Iranian Jews were living in Iran, today less than 10,000. Those of the Baha'i Faith in Iran, which was the second largest religion in Iran faired far worse than Iran's Jewish population. ref. NPR parallels & Wikipedia on Persian Jews, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi & Persecution of Persian Baha'i, (jds)

Iran'sEmbassyInIsrael ♦ Iran's provisional Embassy in Jerusalem, a cultural project by collective artists & Matan Pinkas...
cf. NPR parallels on Persian a Embassy in Israel (someday), Wikipedia Persian Jews, Baha'i & Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi...
NPRparallels_Jewish hope for peace with Iran
Wikipedia_Persian Jews
Wikipedia_Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Wikipedia_Baha'i in Iran

July 26th 2015: Istanbul takes to the streets as Kurds accuse Turkey of bombing Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) : Masoud Barzani President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region ever since 2005, as well as leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party since 1979 called for "peaceful means to preserve Kurds’ recent political gains in Turkey." In 2012 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish government started peace talks with the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan who on 21st of March 2013 declared a ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish state. "Let guns be silenced and politics dominate..." he said. At the time Prime Minister Erdogan welcomed the statement and sought a peaceful settlement until a few days ago. Kurdish people represent (+/-) 20% of Turkey's current population. ref. Rudaw News, Today's Zaman, Aljazeera, BBC World News & Wikipedia on Abdullah Ocalan and Masoud Barzani, (jds)

MasoudBarzani  ♦ Iraq's Masoud Barzani urges "peaceful means to preserve Kurds’ recent political gains in Turkey."  ...
cf. Turkish Rudaw, Today'sZaman, Aljazeera, Wikipedia Abdullah Ocalan & Masoud Barzani...
TodaysZaman_Turkish jets hit PKK targets
TodaysZaman_PKK military operations end peace settlement
Aljazeera_Iraqi Kurds PKK condemn Turkish air strikes
BBC_EuropeWorldNews_Kurds accuse Turkey of air attacks
Wikipedia_Abdullah Ocalan
Wikipedia_Masoud Barzani

July 23rd 2015: This week's Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle) is about Turkey, Iran's Nuclear Deal & more : DW's Helen Sweeny talks about a wave of terror attacks in Turkey, Iran's bonanza with the new Nuclear deal, a Nazi suspect discovered in Denmark, the Vatican & Church of England on climat change, a roving Rabbi in France and the rise of mental illness in the Netherlands. ref. Radio Deutsche Welle "Inside Europe", (jds)

Turkey  ♦ This week's Inside Europe, radio (DW) Deutsche Welle...
cf. Listen to this week's "Inside Europe", Radio Deutsche Welle ...
This week's Inside Europe on European Affairs

July 22nd 2015: Charlie Rose talks with Tom Friedman of the New York Times about Iran's Nuclear Deal & Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker about Argentine's Alberto Nisman who was found dead in his apartment last January 2015 :  ref. Charlie Rose with Tom Freidman & Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker and Wikipedia, (jds)

Tom Friedman  ♦ Tom Friedman of The New York Times on Iran's Nuclear Deal
DexterFilkins  ♦ New Yorker's Dexter Filkins on "Death of a Prosecutor", Argentine's Alberto Nisman...
cf. Charlie Rose, Tom Freidman, Dexter Filkins & Wikipedia
CharlieRose with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times
CharlieRose with Dexter Filkins of The New Yorker
NewYorker's_article on the death of Albero Nisman by Dexter Filkins
Wikipedia_on Argentine Israelite Mutual Associatio (AMIA) bombing

July 22nd 2015: India arrests 16 for beheading a 'witchcraft' woman : BBC India reports "Police in India say they have held 16 people in connection with the killing of a woman accused of practicing witchcraft." An elderly woman in her 60s was stripped naked and beheaded by villagers in Assam, located in India's north eastern region south of the eastern Himalayas. The BBC goes on to mention that branding elderly women, especially widows as witches is rather prevalent among tribal communities and tea plantation workers in the state of Assam. Many suspect such superstitious beliefs and attacks of elderly women are more about confiscating their land and properity than witchcraft or anything else for that matter. ref. BBC India & Wikipedia on Assam, (jds)

IndiaWitchCraft  ♦ Text Picture...
cf. BBC India & Wikipedia on Assam in north eastern India...
BBC_World India_Witchcraft
Wikipedia_Assam, India

July 21st 2015:  A singer, Archbishop, two Nuns & real estate agent fight over a convent worth millions  : Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times never thought he would have pleasure of writing: "Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez is sparring with elderly Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary over the pending sale of the nuns' former convent in Los Feliz to international superstar singer Katy Perry.." and he added "I swear on a Bible." Two of the last 5 remaining Sisters of the convent don't want to sell their convent to Archbishop Gomez's choice of Singer Katy Perry. Instead Sisters Catherine Rose & Rita Callanan prefer selling to a local locale real estate restaurateur who plans on turning the convent into a "boutique" hotel. ref. The Los Angeles Times, BBC Entertainment & Wikipedia on Katy Perry, (jds)

KatePerryAndNuns  ♦ International singer Kate Perry and Sisters Catherine & Rita ...
cf. The Los Angeles Times article by Steve Lopez, BBC Entertainment & Wikipedia on Kate Perry
LosAngelesTimes_Two nuns & a Convent for millions of dollars
BBC Entertainment & Arts

July 21st 2015: French prosecutor seeks end to murder inquiry into Yasser Arafat's death : Yasser Arafat's widow Suha Arafat alleged her husband had been poisoned with polonium 210 (a radioactive element) and an inquiry in France (Nanterre) was ordered in 2012, 8 years after his death. Today the prosecutor concluded that the case should be dismissed. Mr. Arafat in died at the age of 74 in 2004 in French military hospital. Medical records showed that he died of a heart attack due to a blood disorder, though many believe he was poisoned to death with polonium 210 as was the Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko two years later in 2006. ref. BBC (jds)

YasserArafat  ♦ Yasser Arafat's body had to be exhumed from its mausoleum....
cf. BBC World News Middle East, Yasser Arafat, polonium 210 & Alexander Litvinenko...
BBC_WorldMiddleEast_inquiry into Yasser Arafat's daeth
Wikipedia_Yasser Arafat
BBC_Health Polonium 210
Wikipedia_Alexander Litvinenko & Polonium 210

July 20th 2015: Charlie Rose talks with Ari Shavit, author & Israeli columnist for Haaretz : Mr. Shavit is a man who knows the middle east possibly even better than it knows itself and read from cover to cover the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom & United States plus Germany) Iranian Nuclear Agreement. Obviously someone who lives in the middle east can see and understand the implications of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of Iran's Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 a bit differently than others who live elsewhere than in Middle East, North Africa or even Asia. Of course everybody loves peace and prosperity, but as Ari Shavit points out that is only one of other possible outcomes of the agreement that P5+1 and Iran signed a week ago. ref. Charlie Rose & Ari Shavit, (jds)

AriShavit  ♦ Ari Shavit author & Israeli columnist of Haaretz ...
cf. Charlie Rose's interview with Ari Shavit, Wikipedia & My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit ...
CharlieRose_ interviews Ari Shavit
Wikipedia_Ari Shavit
Amazon_My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

July 20th 2015: BBC Culture polled film critics from around the world :  And the results were somewhat surprising given that "Gone With the Wind" by Victor Fleming appears as 97th best America film and Citizen Kane by Orsan Welles as number one... Personally, I kind of liked the "The Wizard of Oz" the best... ref. BBC Culture "The greatest American Films", (jds)

100GreatFilms  ♦ 100 great American films...
cf. BBC Culture: "Greatest American Films"
BBC_Culture_The 100 Greatest American Films

The 100 greatest American films
100. Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951)
99. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
98. Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 1980)
97. Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
96. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
95. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
94. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
93. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)
92. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
91. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
90. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
89. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)
88. West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961)
87. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
86. The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, 1994)
85. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
84. Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)
83. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
82. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
81. Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991)
80. Meet Me in St Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944)
79. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
78. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
77. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
76. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
75. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
74. Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)
73. Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)
72. The Shanghai Gesture (Josef von Sternberg, 1941)
71. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
70. The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli, 1953)
69. Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982)
68. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)
67. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
66. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)
65. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman, 1965)
64. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
63. Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984)
62. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
61. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
60. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
59. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Miloš Forman, 1975)
58. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940)
57. Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989)
56. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)
55. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
54. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
53. Grey Gardens (Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, 1975)
52. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
51. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
50. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
49. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
48. A Place in the Sun (George Stevens, 1951)
47. Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964)
46. It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
45. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962)
44. Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924)
43. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)
42. Dr Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
41. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)
40. Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, 1943)
39. The Birth of a Nation (DW Griffith, 1915)
38. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
37. Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
36. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
35. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
34. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)
33. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
32. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
31. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)
30. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
29. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
28. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
27. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
26. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978)
25. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
24. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
23. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
22. Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
21. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
20. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
19. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
18. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
17. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
16. McCabe & Mrs Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)
15. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946)
14. Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
13. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
12. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
11. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
6. Sunrise (FW Murnau, 1927)
5. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

July 19th 2015: BBC asks "Why do we Kiss..?"   BBC's Melissa Hogenboom writes "Half of human cultures don't practice romantic lip-on-lip kissing. Animals don't tend to bother either..." Animals for the most part use smell to choose a mate, and Ms.Hogenboom suggests maybe "... forego kissing and start smelling people instead. You'll find just as good a partner, and you won't get half as many germs." But she warns "Be prepared for some funny looks, though." ref. BBC Earth & AnthroSource, (jds)

Kissing_1♦ Kissing, smelling & Chimpanzees making up after a fight....
cf. BBC Earth on Kissing by Melissa Hogenboom & AnthroSource Anthropology News...
BBC_ Earth_Why do we kiss..?
AnthroSource Anthopology News

July 18th 2015: This week's On The Media has "A National Conversation" on race. :  On The Media's Brooke Gladstone moderates a discussion on racism in America. ref. This week's OnTheMedia, (jds)

OnTheMedia  ♦ On The Media on Racism in America...
cf. This week's On The Media by Brooke Gladstone...
OnTheMedia on Racism in America

July 17th 2015: Who won the big Deal...? : Who knows..? Both sides claim they won something if not everything. It's called a compromise which dates back to 15th century French "cómpromize" & 13th century Latin "compromittere" meaning a joint agreement, which has come to signify a settlement and surrender of part of each party’s claim. It also has a rather invidious sense of imputing discredit, so that being “compromised” commonly means injured in reputation. (cf. 1911's Encyclopædia Britannica). Today's American President was 18 years old at the outbreak of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979 while Iran's present Supreme Leader was 40 years old. The other heads of State of the P5+1 from Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Francois Hollande, Anglea Merkel to David Cameron were 27 to 13 years old in 1979. At first most Iranians were excited with the change from the Pahlavi monarchy to a supposed democracy, yet then came the brutal truth that Iran had become more of a radical Islamic State than Republic. And still is. What will eventually change Iran is demographics since more than 1/2 of Iran's population is under 35, ie. after the revolution. Jim Muir of the BBC's Beirut Middle East summarizes "How Iran fell out with the West" from Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution to 2015's "big deal compromise"  ref. BBC Beirut "How Iran fell...", WashingtonPost's "Two year imprisonment in Iran..." & Wikipedia on Iran's demographics, (jds)

PresidentAyatolah  ♦ US. President Barak Obama & Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei...
cf. BBC's "How Iran fell out with the West", WashingtonPost's "Two years in Iran's prison..." & Wikipedia Iran's Demographics...
BBC_"How Iran fell out with the West" by Jim Muir
WashingtonPost_2 years in Iran's prisons by Joshua Fattal
Wikipedia_Demographics of Iran

July 13th 2015: Tomorrow NASA's New Horizons visits Pluto :  Jonathan Amos of BBC Science explains how NASA's New Horizons probe will pass above the draft planet Pluto tomorrow Tuesday the 14th of July at 11:50 GMT (07:50 EDT). The space craft New Horizons was launch in January 2006 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It has taken the New Horizons 9 years to reach Pluto and from then on will voyage towards other objects in the Kuiper Belt. ref. BBC Science & NASA's New Horizons, (jds)

NewHorizonsPluto  ♦ BBC's Jonathan Amos explains Pluto & NASA's New Horizons mission...
cf. BBC's Science and Pluto & NASA's New Horizons mission ...
BBC_Science_New Horizons Pluto
BBC_Science_Kuiper Bely
NASA_The New Horizons mission

July 13th 2015: Pluto's little Angel :  The brother of Venetia Burney's father saw an article in The Times about a new planet's discovery and suggested to Venetia to try to find a name. And she did, choosing "Pluto" named after a Roman god of the Underworld who was able to make himself invisible. On May 1st 1930, the name "Pluto" was formally adopted for the new planet. She also has an asteroid "6235 Burney" named in her honor. Many people often confused the name of Walt Disney's dog "Pluto" with the planet's name, but mistakenly had the cart before the horse. Pluto was named after a Roman god while cartoon's dog was named after the planet's name. ref. BBC science & nature and Wikipedia on Venetia Burney's Pluto, (jds)

VenitiaBurney'sPluto  ♦ Venetia Burney (1918 - 2009) & Pluto, a Roman god of the underworld...
cf. BBC science & Wikipedia on Venetia Burney...
BBC_Science & Nature
Wikipedia_Venetia Burney's Pluto

July 12th 2015: Ian Bremmer discusses the Iranian nuclear negotiations with Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution & Gary Samore of Harvard Kennedy School : Standing in for Charlie Rose, Mr. Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group interviews Suzanne Maloney & Gary Samore on what's going on with the Iranians in Vienna and what are the chances of a deal. Both Ms. Maloney & Mr. Samore are well informed what progress has been made and what hasn't. The odds of somekind of agreement are probably 50-50 since neither Iran or the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom & United States plus Germany) wants to stand up and walk away from the negotiating table and be blamed for the failure. So maybe they'll make somekind of deal anyway and then go home and forget everything. Who cares..? The world isn't going to change very much no matter what happens.. ref. Charlie Rose and Ian Bremmer, Suzanne Maloney & Gary Samore, (jds)

CharlieRoseShow  ♦ Ian Bremmer, Suzanne Maloney & Gary Samore...
cf. Charlie Rose with Ian Bremmer, Suzanne Maloney & Gary Samore
CharlieRose_Iranian nuclear negotiations
Wikipedia_Ian Bremmer
Brookings_Suzanne Maloney
Wikipedia_Gary Samore

July 11th 2015: This week's Inside Europe looks at Greece's financial woes :  Helen Seeney of Deutsche Welle's Inside Europe describes how there's not all that much sympathy for Greece within the Euro Zone, especially from some Baltic states like Latvia. Also Ms. Seeney notes 20 years after Srebrenica massacre, Ukraine's WWII Jewish deaths, Spain taking down Madrid’s street signs named after Franco & his generals and finally France's unique Edith Piaf. ref. DW's Inside Europe & Wikipedia, (jds)

GreeceBamkRun  ♦ Inside Europe on Greece, Srebrenica, Ukrainian WWII Jewish deaths, Madrid street signs & Edith Piaf...
cf. Listen to this week's Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle) & Wikipedia on Srebrenica, Franco and France's Edith Piaf "Non, Je ne regrette rien"
DetscheWelle_Inside Europe
Wikipedia_Srebrenica massacre
Wikipedia_Francisco Franco
Wikipedia_Edith Piaf
YouTube_Edith Piaf "Non, Je ne regrette rien"

July 8th 2015: Maybe no deal is better than a deal ..?:   Rumor has it that Mr. Kerry & Mr. Zarif where alone in Vienna's Palais Coburg hotel conference room yelling at one another so loud that others outside the room could hear them shouting. That's not very civilized, but tempers do mount when patience falls, especially after nearly 12 years of fruitless negotiations. But there's a wise Iranian tradition that when people get all worked and heated up in arguments, someone usually takes a glass of water and holds it stubbornly before them until they finally break down, take the glass and drink the water. It's believed by simple Iranians to put out the fire of anger within someone, and it works. Whatever, whether or not there's a big deal in Vienna's Coburg hotel or elsewhere about nuclear weapons or not isn't going to change anything in Iran. The problem with Iran is that it’s an Islamic, Military, Parliamentary & Police State dictatorship that’s been around for 36 years and is not about ready to change no matter what happens with the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom & United States plus Germany) or even whose legacy is in question. Dorothy Wickenden of The New Yorker hosted a Podcast discussion called "The Iran Plan" with Robin Wright & staff writer Steve Coll. Ms. Wright is author of “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East”.  ref. The New Yorker's Iran Plan Podcast, ArmsControl & US Treasury Sanctions Programs, (jds)

KerryZarifDeal  ♦ US Secretary of State John Kerry & Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
cf. The NewYorker's Podcast "The Iran Plan", Arms Control Organization & US Treasury Sanctions programs...
TheNewYorker's_Podcast "The Iran Plan"
ArmsControl_Nuclear Proposals with Iran
US_Treasury_Sanctions Programs Iran

July 8th 2015: Guy Verhofstadt goes after Greece's Alexis Tsipras in European Union session : Former Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt goes after Greece's Alexis Tsipras as nobody has ever done until now, and no words were lost... ref. European Union Session on YouTube, (jds)

GuyVerhofstadt + Alexis Tsipars   ♦ No words were lost as Greece's Alexis Tsipras took it all sitting down...
cf. The YouTube rendition of the EU's Guy Verhofstadt confronting Greece's 40 year old rookie Prime Minister
YouTube_Guy Verhofstadt vs. Alexis Tsipras

July 7th 2015: Stephanie Flanders of J.P. Morgan explains what's going on & what's going to happen in Greece : Ms. Flander's article in Barron's was entitled :  "Greece Votes No to Austerity and Possibly the Euro", which is certainly worth reading by anyone concerned about the future of the eldest democracy in the world or the European Union's 28 sovereign member states & Euro Zone. ref. Barron's & Wikipedia, (jds)

AcropolisAthens  ♦ Acropolis of Athens by Leo von Klenze & J.P. Morgan's Stephanie Flanders
cf. Barron's article on Greece by Stephanie Flanders & Wikipedia on the History of Democracy from the 6th century BC and on...
BARRON'S_Greece votes No and now what by Stephanie Flanders
Wikipedia_History of Democracy from 6th century BC

July 6th 2015: Yanis Varoufakis resigns from Greece's Finance Ministry : Not only is Greece known for the origin of the word “democracy” but also “demagoguery” (ie. "people's manipulator"). A Game theorist by formation & practice, Mr. Varoufakis played his part as best as he could but practically alienated nearly everybody on the other side of the European Union’s negotiating table. He's a good showman, loves his country and way of life, but apparently failed as Greece’s Finance Minister. A rich kid by birth and good friend to the Galbraiths family of Texas University, he had everything going for him. While resigning this Monday Mr. Varoufakis wrote: "I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride" as if that's worth being proud of..? Sounds more like Greek “demagoguery” than tangible social & economic accomplishments. ref. BBC Europe's profile of Yanis Varoufakis by Giorgos Christides Thessaloniki & Wikipedia, (jds)

YanisVaroufakis  ♦ Yanis Varoufakis resigns from Greece's Finance Ministry...
cf. BBC Europe & Wikipedia on Yanis Varoufakis and of course Zorba The Greek...
BBC_Europe Yanis Varaofakis resigns
Wikipedia_Yanis Varoufakis
YouTube_Zorba The Greek

July 5th 2015: Greeks voted for a "Europe of solidarity & democracy" says Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras & Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis :  They won Sunday's referendum hands down with 61.3% vs. 38.7% of total votes cast. But Greece's financial & economic problems are not over and far from being solved. Their banks are rapidly running out of money and are in immediate need of more emergency funds from the European Central Bank, which cut off funding Greece last Monday, June 29th. Worse yet what's happening in Greece could become contagious and even break out in other European countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal. ref. BBC Europe, (jds)

Tsipras+Varoufakis  ♦ Greece's Alexis Tsipras & Yanis Varoufakis
cf. BBC Europe on Greece's Referendum & Zorba The Greek on YouTube...
BBC_Europe_Greece's Referendum Results
YouTube_Zorba The Greek

July 4th 2015: Independence Day, 4th of July 2015:   Fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, games, family reunions, politics, speeches & ceremonies, etc... The only glitch seems to be that the actual day of Independence from the British was declared on the 2nd of July, 1776 and not the 4th. Then too it took the 13 colonial states (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Road Island) probably until the 2nd of August 1776 to actually sign the Declaration of Independence. Yet for some reason or another Independence Day remains glued to the 4th of July over the past 239 years and isn't about ready to budge. So be it..! Also today the Tour de France got started in the Netherlands, which isn't exactly very French. France's own Bastille Day which is kind of like America's Independence Day is due the 14th of July with lots of fireworks, parades and politics... It's a busy and loud month, July. ref. Wikipedia on the 4th and 14th July, Independence Day, the Thirteen_Colonies & France's Bastille Day, (jds)

IndependenceDay  ♦ Independence Day, the 4th of July 2015
cf. Wikipedia Independence Day, the Thirteen Colonies, To the Fourth of July & French Bastille Day the 14th of July
Wikipedia_Independence Day 4th July
Wikipedia_Thirteen Colonies
Wikipedia_"To the Fourth of July" by Swami Vivekananda
Wikipedia_France's Bastille Day 14th July

July 2nd 2015: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg reckons the future is going to be "pretty wild" : Jennifer Booton of MarketWatch describes Mr. Zuckerberg visions from Virtual Reality to Telepathy, from Superhuman to Artificial Intelligence and Laser Beam internet communications. Tuesday night Mr. Zuckerberg hosted his own town hall like meeting on Facebook's social network and expressed his "pretty wild" ideas. Ms. Booton describes six of Mr. Zuckerberg "most mind-blowing predictions". Yet, one might well wonder if virtual reality, telepathy, superhuman & artificial intelligence are all that social..? Who knows...? "Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to see... que sera, sera"... ref. Market Place, Doris Day and Livingston & Evans "Que Sera, Sera", Wikipedia Facebook & Mark Zuckerberg, (jds)

MarkZuckerberg  ♦ Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has some "pretty wild" ideas..
cf. MarketPlace's article by Jennifer Booton, Doris Day and Livingston & Evans Que sera, sera, Wikipedia Facebook & Mark Zuckerberg...
MarketWatch_predictions by Mark Zuckerberg
YouTube_Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be
Livingston and Evans Home page
Wikipedia_Mark Zuckerberg

Doris Day "Que Sera, Sera", Whatever will be will be... by Livingston and Evans

When I was just a little girl,
I asked my mother, "What will I be?
Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?"
Here's what she said to me

"Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be"

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart, "What lies ahead?
Will we have rainbows day after day?"
Here's what my sweetheart said

"Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be"

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, "What will I be?"
Will I be handsome? Will I be rich?"
I tell them tenderly

"Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que Sera, Sera!"

July 1st 2015: "One minute World News":  BBC's One minute International News (Video & Audio) updated 24 hours per day. ref. BBC World News, (jds)
BBCWorldNews  ♦  One minute (Video & Audio) World News from the BBC
cf. BBC's One minute International News summary updated 24 hours / day
BBC International World News Video and Audio

July 1st 2015: The month of July comes from Julius Caesar, while tonight's "short" yet full Moon plus Venus & Jupiter reign as wondrous bright lights in tonight's sky : That we owe this month's name to a Roman dictator doesn't prevent anyone from looking up towards tonight's westward sky and seeing Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love and Jupiter shine bright from dusk to dawn. ref. Wikipedia July, Julius Caesar, his assassination, EarthSky and Skydate.org, (jds)

JuliusCaesar  ♦ Woodcut illustration of Julius Caesar's assassination by Johannes Zainer circa 1474
VenusJupiterMoon  ♦ EarthSky's presentation of Venus & Jupiter during Dusk & Nightfall July 1st 2015
cf. Wikipedia July, Julius Caesar & his assassination and EarthSky.org & Stardate.org
Wikipedia_Month of July
Wikipedia_Julius Caesar
Wikipedia_The Assassination of Julius Caesar
StarDate.org_the Nightsky

arrow July 2015

DownArrow  June 2015

June 30th 2015: One more second Tonight :  Midnight will come one second later tonight, thanks to atomic clocks which apparently don't have anything to do with Iran's nuclear talks or the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The last time a second was added was back in 2012, also during Iran's nuclear talks and Greece's bailout talks. Tonight's last minute before midnight (UTC) will have 31seconds instead of only 30, which ought to be enough time for the European Union (EU) & International Monetary Fund (IMF) to complete a deal with Greece as well as the P5 + 1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany) completing their nuclear deal with Iran. If not then we might as well turn our clocks back again. ref. BBC Science & Wikipedia on UTC Leap Second, (jds) 

OneMoreSecond  ♦ One more (leap) second tonight before midnight (UTC) ..!
cf. BBC Science on tonight's Leap Second & Wikipedia ...
BBC_Science 30 + 1 leap second tonight
Wikipedia_Leap second

June 29th 2015: Kurdish Rudaw Media Network reports: "Kobani refugees return home as Kurds drive out ISIS" : After a surprise attack on Kobani the 25th of June, Kurdish fighters have pushed back ISIS fighters and at present some Kobani refugees have started returning back home again from Turkish refugee camps. Syria's Kobani has been under siege by ISIS ever since September 2014. Prior to then Kobani's population was made up primarily of Kurds along with Arab, Turkmen & Armenian minorities. Most of the city (70%) has been destroyed and an estimated 200,000 have fled to southern Turkey's refugee camps. ref. Rudaw Network News & Wikipedia on Kobani, (jds)

KobaniReturn  ♦ Kurdish refugees returning to Kobani, Syria once again after another ISIS siege ..!
cf. Kurdish Rudaw Media Network News & Wikipedia on Kobani
RUDAW_News Kobani refugees return home
Wikipedia_Kobani, Syria

June 28th 2015:  BBC's Future presents "The Mystery of the Female Orgasm" by Linda Geddes : Linda Geddes is an accomplished British journalist & freelance author who's not afraid to tackle anything from female orgasms to pregnancies to cancer, the human genome or whatever within the realm of science & knowledge. A cellular Biologist by education and mother of two children herself, Ms. Geddes obviously knows what she is talking & writing about when it comes to women & children. Often our Diaspora Digest seems overly occupied with doings of men, the good, the bad & the ugly. So it is refreshing to hear from and about women. Afterall without women we men wouldn't be here at all, and maybe someday in the very distant future won't be. Who knows..?  ref. BBC Future magazine & Linda Geddes, (jds)

FemaleOrgasm  ♦ "The Mystery of the Female Orgasm"  by Linda Geddes
Bumpology  ♦ "The Myth-busting Pregnancy Book for Curious Parents-to-be"  by Linda Geddes
cf. BBC Future "The mystery of the Female Orgasm and Linda Geddes The Myth-busting Pregnancy book & home page ...
BBC_Future_The Mystery of the Female Orgasm
Amazon_ Bumpology a Myth-busting Pregnancy Book for Parents to be
Linda Geddes Home Page

June 27th 2015: The Dalai Lama turns 80 come July :  Steve Paulson from To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) talks with psychologist & author Daniel Goleman about the Dalai Lama who turns 80 July 6th. The Dalai Lama is said to "meditate 5 hours every day, and charms nearly everyone he meets..."  ref. TTBOOK.org, Daniel Goleman & Wikipedia, (jds)

DalaiLama  ♦ TTBOOK.org The Dalai Lama, "The Happy Buddist"
cf. TTBOOK.org and Daniel Goleman on the Dalai Lama & Wikipedia
TTBOOK.org_The Happy Buddist
Daniel Goleman Pyschologist & author
Wikipedia_the Dalai Lama

June 26th 2015: Tunisia, Kuwait & France: religious fanaticism strikes again...! : Tunisia: 39 people (mostly foreigners) killed & 36 injured in a beach attack at Sousse. Kuwait reported 27 dead during Friday prayers in a Shia mosque. And in France a van driver with ties to Islamist radicals caused an explosion by ramming his van into an area containing flammable liquids after beheading the manager of the delivery firm where he worked. Religious fanaticism strikes this time on a beach in Tunisia, during Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Kuwait and crashing into an industrial air & gas factory at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, south of Lyon, France. ref. BBC Africa, Middle East, Europe Worldwide, (jds)

TunisiaKuwaitFrance  ♦ Tunisia, Kuwait & France...
cf. BBC Africa, BBC Middle East, BBC Europe & BBC "France, Kuwait and Tunisia attacks: What we know"
BBC_Africa Tunisia
BBC_Middle East Kuwait
BBC_Europe France
BBC_World France, Kuwait & Tunisia

June 25th 2015: Iran's Leader says "Iran seeking a ‘good’ and ‘fair’ nuclear deal" : He is quoted as having said “Since the beginning we have said that we want the cruel sanctions be removed and in return we will give something under the condition that the nuclear industry would not be stopped and harmed...” Furthermore “The removal of sanctions should not be contingent on implementation of Iran’s commitments. They should not say that you fulfill your commitments and after that the Agency [International Atomic Energy Agency] should verify to remove sanctions. We do not accept this issue...”. Likewise he went onto say the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] "is not independent and fair”. Often the problem of translating Farsi into English is rather complex and hard to understand, especially when it comes from a mullah who knows how to use words like a magic wand. Persian is a very old and poetic language, rich in wisdom and nuances. Yet what Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei seems to be saying is that Iran wants "something for nothing", and he might very well get it..?  ref. The Tehran Times & Wikipedia on Ali Khamenei, (jds)

AliKhamenei  ♦ Iran wants a Supreme Deal for the Supreme Leader, and he might very well get it ..?
cf. The Tehran Times & Wikipedia on Ali Khamenei
TehranTimes_Supreme Leader wants "fair" deal
Wikipedia_Ali Khamenei

June 25th 2015: Charlie Rose interviews Ben Anderson of Vice Media :  Ben Anderson is a journalist, reporter, writer and winner of the Foreign Press Award. He works with Shane Smith's Vice Media and has covered Afghanistan for many years as well as other conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria and Libya. His half hour conversation with Charlie Rose highlights many of the problems and failures of western powers in the Middle East. ref. Charlie Rose, Vice Media, New York Times & Wikipedia, (jds)

BenAnderson  ♦ Charlie Rose interviews Ben Anderson
cf. Charlie Rose's interview, Vice Media, The New York Times article by David Carr on Vice Media & Wikipedia on Ben Anderson
CharlieRose and Ben Anderson
VICE media Home Page
NewYorkTimes_David Carr on Vice Media
Wikipedia_Ben Anderson

June 24th 2015: The French newspaper Le Figaro says: "The USA tapped Chirac, Sarkozy, Hollande" : BBC Europe reports Julian Assange's whistleblower website called "WikiLeaks" claims : "US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Mr. Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac between 2006-2012." What Assange's website forgets to mention is France’s own intelligence agencies which are well-tuned into domestic and international affairs. For example the DGSE: (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure), DGSI: (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure), DRM: (Direction du renseignement militaire), DPSD: (Direction de la protection et de la sécurite de la défense), BRGE: (Brigade de renseignement et de guerre électronique), ANSSI: (Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d'Information), DCPJ: (Direction centrale de la police judiciaire) & CNCIS: (Commission nationale de contrôle des interceptions de sécurité). Now whether or not the French were listening into US Presidents Clinton, Bush or Obama is a good question and one maybe the US National Security Agency ought to ask the French about...? ref. BBC Europe, Assange's whistleblowing WikiLeaks, Wikipedia on WikiLeaks & Julian Assange, (jds)

FrenchPresidents&NSA  ♦ French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Hollande & NSA
cf. BBC Europe, Assange's WikiLeaks on NSA vs France, Wikipedia on French Intelligence Agencies, US National Security Agency & Julian Assange...
BBC_Europe on Frencnh Presidents & NSA
WikiLeaks_NSA & France
Wikipedia_Intelligence Agencies of France
Wikipedia_NSA National Security Agency
Wikipedia_Julian Assange

UPDATE: June 26th: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announces bailout referendum cf. BBC Europe
UPDATE: June 24th: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras turns on creditors cf. BBC Europe
UPDATE: June 23rd: Greek government confident despite backlash over debt deal cf. Reuters
June 22nd 2015: Run on Greece's Banks :  Ever since last January when Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Syriza party took office Greeks have been taking more money out of their banks than putting in, which is not at all a good sign of confidence in the future or current government. The 41 year old Prime Minister Tsipras is in a very difficult situation. Alone the European Central Bank (ECB) is giving emergency support to Greece’s banks. If the European Central Bank pulls the plug on Greece, then country most likely will sink into a colossal financial default. Obviously nobody wants that, especially Greece’s creditors but it may well become inevitable. In a recent (June 26th) televised address Mr. Tsipras described the European Union's bailout plan as "humiliation" and condemned "unbearable" austerity measures demanded by Greece's creditors. . Looks like Greece's Prime Minister Tsipras is possibly more interested in his own Syriza political party's future than his country's ..? ref. BBC Europe, Reuters, New York Times & National Review's article by George Will, (jds)

RunOnGreekBanks  ♦ Prime Minister Tsipras, Greece's declining deposits & Greek Pensionires...
cf. BBC Europe, Reuters,The New York Times by James Kanter & National Review George Will's article...
BBC_Europe Tsipras calls for Greek referendum on austerity
BBC_Europe_Tsipras turns on Creditors
REUTERS_Greece speaker says concessions "social carnage"
TheNewYorkTimes_Greek Debt Crisis
NationalReview_Greece Default Socialism doesn't work

June 21st 2015: Reuters Photo Galleries of the day: World's displaced & Charleston, SC church shooting : Pictures can often say far more than words..! ref. Reuters by photographs Youssef Boudlal & Brian Snyder, (jds)

DisplacedChild  ♦ A displaced homeless Yazidi child in Northern Iraq (by Youssef Boudlal)
CharlestonChurchShooting  ♦ Charleston, SC church shooting (by Brian Snyder)
cf. Reuters Photo Galleries of the Day, Worlds displaced & Charleston SC church shooting ...
Reuters_The worlds displaced
Reuters_Charleston SC church shooting

June 20th 2015: "Africa's high coiffure wowed fashionistas at this year's Afrik show in the Ivorian city of Abidjan", while some young men still make a living washing everybody's cloths. Abidjan is the Ivory Coast's most prosperous economic center & largest urban city with a population of over 4.6 million registered in 2014. Nearly 50% of the Cote d'Ivoire's population is under 25 years of age. Freed from France's colonialism in 1960 and after having survived sporadic violence & civil wars, todays Ivory Coast is prospering remarkably well under its President Alassane Ouattara elected in 2010. ref. BBC Africa, Wikipedia & CIA's World Fact Book, (jds)

IvoryCoastFashions  ♦ Abidjan's pretty women coiffures on catwalks & young men washing clothes in rivers...
cf. BBC Africa, Wikipedia on Abidjan, Ivory Coast & President Alassane Quattara and CIA's World Fact Book
BBC_Africa Ivory Coast's High Fashion Coiffures
Wikipedia_Ivory Coast
Wikipedia_President Alassane Ouattara
CIA_World Fact Book Cote d'Ivoire

June 19th 2015: Pope calls for radical shift in 'Human-Nature Relationship' : Living on Earth's Steve Curwood talks with Christiana Peppard (Professor of Theology, Science & Ethics at Fordham University) about the Encyclical of Pope Francis: “Laudato Si" ("Praise be to you") taken from Saint Francis of Assisi's 13th-century "Canticle of the Sun" in which God is praised for the creation of different aspects & creatures of the earth such as Brother Sun, Sister Moon & Stars, Brother Wind & Air, Clouds & Storms, Sister Water & Brother Fire and Mother Earth, etc...) Legend has it that "Sister Death" was added onto the "Canticle of the Sun" just before Francis died. Two years later in 1228 Thomas of Celano (a Franciscan poet & author) makes reference to the "Canticle of the Sun" in his "Vita Beati Francisci" (The Life of Blessed Francis) commissioned by Pope Gregory IX at the time of Francis of Assisi's canonization. And here we are again today 787 years later with another Francis and "Laudato Si", only this one is 246 paragraphs long and not exactly what you would call a "Canticle". ref. NPR's Living on Earth, Fordham's Professor Christiana Peppard & Vatican's “Laudato Si", (jds)

PopeFrancis  ♦ Pope Francis & the Encyclical “Laudato Si", (Parsie be to you)
cf. NPR's Living on Earth, Fordham's Professor Christiana Peppard, Canticle of the Sun & Vatican's Encyclical “Laudato Si"  
LivingOnEarth_Pope's Encyclical "Laudato Si"
WashingtonPost_Fordham's Christiana Peppard on Pope's Encyclical
Wikipedia_Canticle of the Sun
Vatican_Enciclica "Laudato Si"

June 18th 2015: Number displaced worldwide hits record high :  BBC World reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that: "The number of people displaced by war, conflict or persecution reached a record high of nearly 60 million around the world in 2014". The Syrian conflict is considered to be the major cause behind the UNHCR's record numbers of displaced refugees. Antonio Guterres, UNHCR's high commissioner simply said the "world is a mess". He indicated that the number of displaced people had increased 30% to 42,500 per day in 2014, from 32,000 the year before. Germany remains the most favored European country for asylum seekers, followed by Sweden, Hungry, Italy & France. ref. BBC World News, UNHCR's refugee report, The UN Refugee Agency & Wikipedia, (jds)

UNHCR   ♦ UNHCR  UNHCR Mid-Year Trends in 2014
cf. ...BBC World News, The UN Refugee Agency & Wikipedia on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ....
BBC_World_UNHCR Mid-Year Trends 2014
The UN Refugee Agency
Wikipedia_United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

June 18th 2015: Most kangaroos are 'left-handed', while the majority of us humans are right-handed Curious, now who would have thought kangaroos are mostly left-handed..? BBC Science & Environment reports : "Russian scientists and Dr. Yegor Malashichev from Saint-Petersburg State University travelled to Australia..." and did the actual fieldwork and found "a consistent left-handed bias across eastern grey kangaroos, red kangaroos, and red -necked wallabies, no matter whether the animals were grooming, feeding, or propping themselves up..." The importance of such a find Dr. Malashichev suggested was that we now have likely proof "we are not alone in the Universe; we are two - humans and kangaroos". Of course kangaroos have bigger feet and a powerful tail, not to mention the females built in baby basket pouch for a little fellow. Whatever, left or right handedness seems to be related to standing upright on one's hind legs and using forelimbs for tasks other than walking, running or jumping. Likewise, "upright posture may have been key to primates developing handedness".  ref. BBC Science Environment, Dr. Yegor Malashichev & Janeane Ingram, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Tasmania & Current Biology at cell.com, (jds)

Kangaroo  ♦ A baby kangaroo tucked away in mama's pouch...
cf. BBC Science Environment article, Current Biology's cell.com web site & Wikipedia on Kangaroos
BBC_ScienceEnvironment Left-handed Kagaroos
CurrentBiology_Study on Handedness
Wikipedia_on Kangaroos

June 17th 2015: Presidential candidate Donald TRUMP tries to trump everybody with a phony "NET WORTH CLAIM" : Sure, he's rich but not worth what he says or thinks he is. Barrons, The Washington Post & Forbes magazine seriously question Mr. Trump's accounting skills. Whatever Mr. Trump is a good actor, especially on a podium playing himself and announcing that he's running for President of the United States. But apparently he thumped his Trump card with phony numbers & ambitions..! ref. Barrons, The Washington Post & Forbes magazine, (jds)

TrumpTrumps  ♦ TRUMP trumps everybody with phony numbers of net worth
cf. Barrons, Washington Post & Forbes magazine
BARRONS_Donald Trump Doesnt Add Up To The Financial Media
WashingtonPost_6 reasons you cant believe anything Donald Ttrump says
ForbesMagazine_Trump exaggerating his net worth

June 16th 2015: 4 million Syrian Refugees, the U.S. has taken fewer than 1,000 :  PBS's Michele Kelemen mentions that "The U.S. takes in about 70,000 refugees from around the world each year", but ever since September 11th 2001 refugees from the Middle East have had a hard time being accepted. Ms. Kelemen visited with the Halabi family in Baltimore, Maryland and describes her visit on NPR's parallels. The UN Refugee Agency currently counts 1,174,690 Syrian refugees in Lebanon alone and an overall total of 3,984,393 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt & North Africa. ref. NPR's parallels & UN Refugee Agency, (jds)

US.SyrianRefugees  ♦ A pretty little Syrian family now at home in Baltimore (thier only son was killed in Syria).
cf. NPR's parallels & UN Refugee Agency Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt & North Africa..
NPRparallels_4 million Syrian Refugees, U.S. takes less than 1,000
U.N.RefugeeAgency Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
U.N.RefugeeAgency_Syrian Refugees by country

June 15th 2015: Yuval Noah Harari talked with BBC's Anita Anand during the Hay Festival at Hay-on-Wye in Wales : Mr. Harari is best known for his book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind". He's a historian specialized in medieval & military history and has turned towards far more complicated questions such as the relationship between history & biology, the difference between Homo sapiens and other animals as well as is there discernable direction or justice to history and do people become happier or not as history unfolded..? These are difficult questions for anybody to answer, but Yuval Harari takes a rather unorthodox stance and challenges many of our embedded assumptions and beliefs, rightly so and well done. ref. BBC Culture, Yuval Noah Harari & Wikipedia, (jds)

YuvalNoahHarari  ♦ Yuval Noah Harari & BBC's Anita Anand at the Hay Festival
cf. BBC's Anita Anand's interview of Yuval Harari, Yuval Harari's Home Page & Wikipedia on the Hay Festival at Hay-on-Wye, Wales..
BBC_Culture Why imagination makes us human
YuvalNoahHarari Home page
Wikipedia_Hay Festival in U.K.'s Hay-on-Wye, Wales

June 14th 2015: Charlie Rose interviewed Michael Gordon of the New York Times, Dexter Filkins of The New Yorker, Peter Barker of the New York Times, Seth Jones of Rand Corporation, Kevin Sutcliffe of Vice News & Jeffery Goldberg of Bloomberg View and The Atlantic magazine on Iraq's troubled dilemma : It goes without saying that Charlie Rose's guests were of various somewhat different opinions concerning Iraq's current situation and future and all forgot to mention Colin Powell's famous expression "You break it, you own it". Who owns what in Iraq today is a good question..! ref. Charlie Rose & Colin Powell's quotes, (jds)

CharlieRoseInterviews  ♦  Who owns what is "broken" in Iraq today ..?.
cf. Charlie Rose's interview on whose breaking what and how & Collin Powell's quotes...!
CharlieRose_Interviews on Iraq
WikipediaWikiquotes of Colin Powell

June 14th 2015: BROOKINGS Michael O'Hanlon explains "Reasons not to dally in Iraq" anymore : Mr. O'Hanlon mentions 3 reasons: 1) Our strategy puts Abadi’s political future at risk. 2) Knowing this, Abadi has no choice but to tolerate many Shia militias 3) A military strategy of incrementalism gives the enemy time to adjust. Therefore it's no wonder that Iraq's Prime Minister Abadi is on his way to Tehran this Wednesday. He needs obviously help and knows where to get it. ref. BOOKINGS Institute & IraqiNews, (jds)

IraqToday  ♦ Two Sunni Arabs having tea before their store front locked closed to business...
cf. BROOKINGS Michael O'Hanlon, IraqiNews on Prime Minister visit to Iran & BBC Magazine "Is Iraq on the verge of falling apart?"
BROOKINGS_Michael O'Hanlon "Reason not to dally in Iraq"
IRAQINEWS_Abadi heads to Iran to discuss Relations
BBCmagazine_"Is Iraq on the verge of falling apart..?"

June 13th 2015: This week's Deutsche Welle (DW): "Inside Europe" focuses in on Turkey's election results last Sunday, a mother whose son joined IS, European Games in Azerbaijan, Iranians in Norway, Irish abortion laws and other current European topics : President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP party has ruled Turkey for 13 consecutive years (2002 - 2015). The government will have to form a new coalition with at least one of the other 3 elected parties: the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Republican People's Party (CHP) or the right-wing MHP party. Otherwise, Mr. Erdogan will have to call for another election. ref. Deutsche Welle (DW) Inside Europe, Reuters & Sunday' Zaman (jds)

TurkishElection  ♦ Turkish President Erdogan's AK Party got clobbered in last Sunday's elections...
cf. This week's Inside Europe, Reuters & Today's (Sunday) Zamam
DeutscheWelle_Inside Europe
Reuters_Turkey's Erdogan Government
Today'sZaman_Coalition Talks with Party Leaders

June 12th 2015: Aljazeera has been one of the most avid & determined sources of information on the Middle East, especially Syria’s conflict where millions have been displaced or fled to Lebanon, Jordan & Turkey :  Aljazeera's news department put together a descriptive series of videos called "Life on Hold" which recounts the current situation & struggles of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. ref. Aljazeera's "Life on Hold" & Wikipedia on Syrian Refugees, (jds)

LifeOnHold  ♦ Syrians in Lebanon, "Life on Hold" told by Aljazeera...
cf. Aljazeera's documentary of Syrians "Life on Hold" & Wikipedia on Syrian Refugees
Aljazeera_Syrian "Life on Hold"
Wikipedia_Refugees of the Syrian Civil War

June 11th 2015: Greek thunder storms overhead...  The IMF (International Monetary Fund) leaves talks amid 'major differences' and goes home : BBC reports "Greece's international creditors have raised the pressure on the Athens government, as IMF negotiators left talks in Brussels and flew home." Meanwhile, Mr. Tsipras has warned "that a failure to reach a deal on Greece's bailout by the end of June would be the beginning of the end for the eurozone." Maybe Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should have said "the end of Greece in the eurozone" instead. ref. BBC Europe, (jds)

GreekStorm  ♦ Looks like a storm is brewing over Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ..!
cf. BBC Europe NEWS & Reuters European News..
BBC_EuropeanNEWS_Greece & IMF
Reuters_Greece & International Monetary Fund

June 11th 2015: Valerie Amos, former Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator says "I feel a sense of shame" : Baroness Amos was interviewed by James Bays of Aljazeera recently after having served nearly 5 years as Undersecretary of the UN's Humanitarian & Emergency Relief organization. Her main concern has been Syria and the United Nations Security Council's inability to agree upon a proper aide & relief program for refugees. More than 200,000 Syrians have already lost their lives, men, women and children included and no end is in sight. Twelve million Syrians have been displaced of which nearly 4 million have sought refuge in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan & Turkey. No wonder she feels "a sense of shame", who wouldn't..?  ref. Aljazeera's James Bays, United Nations & Wikipedia, (jds)

ValerieAmos  ♦ Valerie Amos being interviewed by Aljazeera's James Bays
cf. Aljazeera's interview of Valerie Amos, The United Nations Senior Management Group & Wikipedia
Aljazeera_Interviews Valerie Amos
UnitedNations_Senior Management Group
Wikipedia_Baroness Valerie Amos

June 10th 2015: The 10 most dangerous cities in America :  Last year Market Watch (Dow Jones & Company) published a list of the most dangerous urban cities in America. Curiously enough, "the number of violent crimes reported in the U.S. fell by more than 4% in 2013" compared to the year before. Overall the total number of violent crimes is "down nearly 15% over the past 10 years". Nationwide an estimated average of 368 violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery & aggravated assault were committed per 100,000 people living in urban environments. So far preliminary results for 2014 show an estimated 4.6% decrease in violent crimes over 2013’s results. ref. Market Watch, 24/7 Wall St. & the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report, (jds)

UrbanCrime  ♦ 10 most violent U.S. cities from Detroit & Oakland down to Birmingham, Alabama...
cf. MarketWatch, 24/7 WallSrteet & FBI's preliminary crime report...
MarketWatch_U.S. 10 most dangerous cities
24/7WallStreet_10 states with most gun violence
FBI_preliminary 2014 Uniform Crime Report

June 9th 2015: Inside Mosul What's life like under Islamic State..? : The BBC reveals "exclusive footage of how the Islamic State wields power over people's everyday lives in Iraq's second city, Mosul, a year after it was captured." Basically the article centers in on: 1) The control of women, 2) Persecution of minorities, 3) Intimidation, punishment & torture, 4) The disruption of daily life, 5) Indoctrination & surveillance and 6) The tactics & logistics of a fanatic civil war. Meanwhile, Isaac Cohen in the National Review remarked that President Obama inaptly turned his back on Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the G7 summit in Germany's at the Schloss Elmau resort in the Bavarian Alps. Obviously an apology is in order because as much as the Middle East is in utter turmoil today, there's still a great amount of common courtesy and mutual respect alive in the culture. ref. BBC World, NPR's Alice Fordham on Mosul one year after seizure, National Review & Wikipedia on Mosul's fall, (jds)

ISISinMosulIraq  ♦ Women, Persecutions, Intimidations, Disruptions, Indoctrination & Weapons in Mosul, Iraq...
cf. BBC World Middle East, NPRparallels on Mosul, The National Review on common courtesy & Wikipedia on the Fall of Mosul...
BBC_WorldMiddleEastNews_Mosul, Iraq
NPRparallels_Mosul a year after ISIS seizure
NationalReview_President's back turned the wrong way
Wikipedia_Fall of Mosul, Iraq

June 8th 2015: Is the Pope a communist..?  Well he's a Jesuit and that's about as close as you can come to communism..! Seriously, Ed Stourton of the BBC News wrote an fine article describing Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio, S.J.) obvious concern for the poor as well as social & economic inequality. The Pope's roots go back to Juan Peron (1895-1976) who was president of Argentina (1946 & 1955 & 1973). Peron's political movement tagged "Peronism" sought: 1) social justice, 2) economic independence and 3) political sovereignty, which gave way in the 50's & 60's to what was and still is known as "Liberation Theology" that contends poverty is caused by social injustice. There is certainly little if any doubt that poverty is caused by racial, ethnic and/or religious prejudices, as well as a lack of education, economic opportunities and health care. But what does all that have to do with Theology (Theos + Logos)..? The two predecessors of Pope Francis (Benedict XVI & John Paul II) were not very favorable towards "Liberation Theology", nor was the present Pope sincerely enthralled with "Liberation Theology" while serving as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Yet, maybe the times are a changing..?  ref. BBC magazine & Wikipedia, (jds)

PopeCommunist  ♦ Pope Francis & Raul Castro, eye to eye at the Vatican ...
cf. BBC's magazine article by Ed Stourton & Wikipedia on Liberation Theology & Juan Peron
BBC_Magazine_Is the Pope a communist
Wikipedia_Liberation Theology

June 7th 2015: Living on Earth & the World Oceans Day Monday, June 8th, 2015 : Public Radio International's Steve Curwood of Boston's Living on Earth talks with Andrew Rosenberg, Tyler O'Brien, Sandra Whitehouse, Dave Duest, Neil Swidey and remembers the world renowned ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau (1910 - 1997). Oceans cover over 70% of the Earth's surface and often become a dumpsite of plastics. But worst of all is what Tyler O'Brien calls "Microplastics" which are "ingested by small animals and those animals are eaten by larger animals and it just moves its way up through the food web in the ocean..." and eventually is consumed by land animals and humans. Sandra Whitehouse, a biological oceanographer states "There are two major sources of ocean plastic. 20 percent is actually still coming from sea-based human activities, direct dumping of plastic in garbage off of boats, fishing gear..." etc., and "80 percent of plastic" in the oceans is originating from human land activities, of which 50% percent from leakage of five countries in Asia: "China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka." Ms. Whitehouse goes on to say the United States is 20th on the list of ocean polluters. ref. PBI's Living On Earth, (jds)

LivingOnEarthOceans  ♦ Living On Earth's World Oceans Day June 8th 2015
cf. Public Radio International's Living On Earth, The United Nations & World Ocean Day & Jacques Cousteau...
UnitedNations_World Oceans Day
WorldOceansDay_Events Monday June 8th
Wikipedia_Jacques Cousteau

UPDATE: June 9th 2015: Sepp Blatter resigns from FIFA presidency...!
June 5th 2015: FIFA's Soccer 'Embassy' in Paraguay, complete with Legal Immunity" :   It's called "CONMEBOL" & "governs soccer in South America and is one of FIFA's six continental confederations. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro explains: "When CONMEBOL decided to move to Paraguay in 1997, it was granted something no other private enterprise has anywhere else in the world — immunity. Just like an embassy gets." Two of CONMEBOL's former federation presidents, Nicolas Leoz & Eugenio Figueredo are under indictment for bribery and money laundering. ref. NPR's parallels & Wikipedia on CONMEBOL, (jds)

FIFAinParaguay  ♦ Sepp Blatter & Nicolas Leoz look up to FIFA's South American Paraguay headquarters & total legal immunity...
cf. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro & Wikipedia CONMEBOL...
NPRparallels_FIFA Soccer Embassy iin Paraguay

June 5th 2015: Iran's Brigader General Massoud Jazayen says "Any kind of inspection of Iran's military sites, including managed and restricted access, is unacceptable.." :  So then who really runs Iran today...? Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani or 1979's Revolutionary Guards or goon squads..? The odds are probably nobody runs the place very well anymore except whoever has got the most power, clubs (batons), guns & bombs.  ref. Reuters & Tasmine News, (jds)

MassoudJazayeri  ♦ Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, Deputy Chief of Staff Iran's Armed Forces
cf. Reuters & TasnimNews...
Reuters_Iran General rejects access to Military sites
TasnimNews_No access to Iran's Military sites

June 3rd 2015: BROOKINGS mentions Omer Karasapan's article "Will the Middle East’s displaced ever return..?" : Mr. Karasapan contents that "continued silence on ethnic cleansing" in the Middle East "will only ensure decades of turmoil in the region." He works for the World Bank and is the Middle East and North Africa Region's Knowledge and Learning Coordinator. As fighting continues in Iraq, Libya, Syria & Yemen an estimated 15 to 16 million men, women and children have been displaced taking refuge in countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia & Turkey. This represents an unprecedented amount people who for the most part will probably not return to their native homeland for years or decades to come. One might rightly call all this ethnic cleansing, chaos and displacement a type of third world war in the Middle East because it may well affect far more nations than those in conflict. ref. BROOKINGS Institute, The World Bank, The New York Times, Big News Network & BBC World, (jds)

RefugeesJohnKerry  ♦ U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looking down upon a vast Refugee site as far as the eye can see ..!
cf. BROOKINGS Omer Karasapan on refugees no return, The NewYorkTimes & Big News Network on Kurdish Peshmerga ...
BROOKINGS_Omer Karasapan
NewYorkTimes_Middle East plight continues
BigNewsNetwork_Kurdish Peshmerga

UPDATE: June 9th 2015: Sepp Blatter resigns from FIFA presidency...!
June 2nd 2015: Sepp Blatter to resign as FIFA chief :  ref. International New York Times & BBC Sports, (jds)

CircusMaximus  ♦ Andrew Zimbalist's "Circus Maximus", how Olympic Games & World Cups fell from noble sporting into exhibits of excess...
cf. The International New York Times, BBC Sports & Andrew Zimbalist's Circus Maximus
InternationalNewYorkTimes_Sepp Blatter to resign
BBC_Sports_Sepp Blatter to resign as Fifa president
Amazon_Circus Maximus by Andrew Zimbalist

June 1st 2015: "One minute World News":  BBC's One minute International News (Video & Audio) updated 24 hours per day. ref. BBC World News, (jds)
BBCWorldNews  ♦  One minute (Video & Audio) World News from the BBC
cf. BBC's One minute International News summary updated 24 hours / day
BBC International World News Video and Audio

June 1st 2015: June is named after the Roman Goddess Juno :  It's the month of marriage, Juno being the wife of Jupiter. And still is for that matter, except for some adjustments being made in many states, countries & nations on whom exactly plays the part of Juno and who plays the part of Jupiter. No matter, what's important is that everybody be happy and pleased, which may or may not be the exact case. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services published a survey report in 2012 which highlights some troubling facts and statistics. For example cohabitation is increasing and marriages decreasing, as well as the odds of making it to a 20th wedding anniversary are around 50-50% if not less. Then too, fewer kids are being born and those of us old fogies still around are becoming a heavy burden upon society. So what's solution..? Immigrants, for isn’t strength in diversity and weakness in uniformity..? ref. U.S Dept. of Health & Human Services & Wikipedia, (jds)

JunoAndJupiter  ♦ The Roman Goddess Juno & Jupiter by Annibale Caracci (1560 -1609)
cf. Wikipedia Month of June & Goddess Juno and U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services & Statistics
Wikipedia_ Month of June
Wikipedia_The Goddese Juno
USGovernment_CDC on Marriage & Divorce
USGovernement_NSFG Statistics

arrow June 2015

DownArrow May 2015

May 30th 2015: This week's To The Best Of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) solves "The Russian Postal System puzzle" with Sarah Flannery : Sarah Flannery, a mathematician and former child prodigy enjoys solving complicated problems from cryptography to Russia's Postal Services which once had a terrible reputation of being notoriously corrupt. The puzzle was how Boris in Moscow could send a valuable present to Natasha in Saint Petersburg without having it stolen. Boris knew the Postal people didn't open up boxes with locks, so he put Natasha's present in a box with a lock .But then how could Natasha open up her present from Boris when it arrives with no key. Boris could not mail the key or send the key in another box with a lock, so then what should they do..? Sarah Flannery doesn't seem too enthused simply giving out the solution like that, but will if you haven't already figured it out for yourself. Whatever, do listen to this week's To The Best Of Our Knowledge' on "The Russian Postal System puzzle" and hear how clever Natasha, Boris & Sarah Flannery are..! ref. TTBOOK.org, & "In Code: A Mathematical Journey" by Sarah Flannery and her father, (jds)

Sarah Flannery  ♦ A young woman's Mathematical Journey into "The Russian Postal System puzzle" ...
cf. This week's To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) & Shrah Flannery ...
TTBOOK.org_This Week's Russian Postal System puzzle
TTBOOK.org_Sarah Flannery and Russian Postal System puzzle
Amazon_In Code: A Mathematical Journey by Sarah Flannery

UPDATE: June 9th 2015: Sepp Blatter resigns from FIFA presidency...!
May 29th 2015: Sepp Blatter re-elected FIFA's president in spite of scandals : FIFA stands for "Fédération Internationale de Football Association" and Sepp Blatter is among its longest serving presidents. He's been through 3 wives and more financial scandals than he has hands, toes, fingers or feet. Born in Valais, Switzerland he's 79 years old today and will be a lot older when he retires from FIFA's presidency unless he gets convicted of fraud beforehand. He's a character to himself, an example to nobody and wields enormous power and privilege throughout the ever growing world of football, oops soccer (ie. Association football, a game in which two teams of eleven players contend to get a round ball into their opponent's goal primarily by kicking the ball with their feet or bouncing it off their head). What is a shame is that part of FIFA's agenda is to inspire young people to play football. Soccer is a sport far more accessible to young people than American football and less dangerous as far as injuries. ref. BBC, Wikipedia, etc., (jds)

FIFA  ♦ FIFA's President Sepp Blatter & 7 unlucky colleagues in trouble...
cf. BBC World News, FIFA, Sepp Blatter & the history of Football, oops soccer too.
BBC_World_Sepp Blatter wins FIFA president re-election
Wikipedia_Sepp Blatter
Wikipedia_History of Football

May 28th 2015: Nepal's child Goddess, the Kumari Devi :  She's Small, somewhat shy and totally Divine. Julie McCarthy (NPR's International Correspondent in New Delhi, India) explains Nepal's centuries old tradition of choosing a child deity, the "Kumari Devi". The custom is deeply rooted in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. The current Goddess or Kumari of Kathmandu is 9 years old and best known of several other young girls who likewise are worshipped in Nepal. The only problem with being a child Goddess in Nepal other than secretive, somewhat cloistered life is that when the child reaches puberty the title and honor of being the "Kumari Devi" is automatically relinquished. Julie McCarthy mentions to be a child Goddess in Nepal a child has to around 5 years old and have "thighs like a deer, chest like a lion, and eyelashes like a cow..." among 32 necessary characteristics. Five year old little girls are like princesses wherever they are except maybe in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley where some can become little Goddesses... ref. NPR's parallels Julie McCarthy & NPR's Neda Ulaby, (jds)

NepalChildGoddess  ♦ Nepal's "Kumari Devi", a 9 year old little girl Goddess.
cf. NPR's parallels Julie McCarthy & NPR's Neda Ulaby on Nepal's little "Kumari Devi"
NPRparallels_Neplas child Goddess
NPR_Nepal child Goddess

May 26th 2015: FRONTLINE presents: "Obama at War" :  A Truly Troubled President at War..! (jds)

ObamaAtWar  ♦ Obama at War
cf. President Obama at War & FRONTLINE "Syria at War"
FRONTLINE_ Obama at War
FRONTLINE_Syria at War

May 26th 2015: UN agency predicts 1/2 of the world's population will be using the Internet by the end of 2015 : BBC reports : "The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) predicts that 3.2 billion people will be online..." by the end of this year. Yet only about 89 million will come from least developed countries such as Afghanistan, Angola all the way down alphabetically to Yemen and Zambia. The 5th Generation of the Internet (5G) is expected to take foot hold around 2020. Until then there's a lot of work to be done many countries, our own included... ref. BBC, United Nations' ITU & Wikipedia, (jds)

InternetWWW  ♦ From Sir Tim Berners-Lee's WWW, to Wi-Fi laptops & now towards a 5th Generation Internet..!
cf. BBC's Technology, UN's Least Developed Countries, UN's (ITU) International Telecommunication Union's 2015 report & facts and Wikipedia Sir Tim Berners-Lee...
BBC_Technology 1/2 World's population soon using the Internet
UnitedNations_Least developed countries list
UnitedNations_ITU_2014 report
UnitedNations_ITC Facts
Wikipedia_Sir Tim Berners-Lee

May 25th 2015: The Brain Series on The Biology of Parenting :  With Eric Kandel of Columbia University, Catherine Dulac of Harvard University, Susanne Shultz of the University of Manchester, Charles Nelson of Harvard Medical School, Margaret Spinelli of Columbia University, and pediatrician David Levine. ref. Charlie Rose (jds)

Parenting  ♦ The Brain Series on The Biology of Parenting with Columbia University's Eric Kandel .
cf. Listen to Charlie Rose, "The Brain Series of Biology Parenting"   
CharlieRose_Brain Series on Parenting

May 24th 2015: This week's To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) is all about Cuba : Anne Strainchamps talks with Rosa Ricardo & Ann Bardach about Cuba's new dawn and Steve Paulson about Cuba's rainforest plants, music (son) and Baseball. ref. TTBOOK.org, All Music & Wikipedia, (jds)

Cuba  ♦ A local musical house called Casa de la Trova at Santiago de Cuba.
cf. This week's TTBOOK.org on Cuba, ALL MUSIC's Nueva Trova Cubana & Wikipedia on Cuba's history, music & baseball ...
ThisWeek's_TTBOOK.org on Cuba
AllMusic_Nueva Trova Cubana
Wikipedia_History of Cuba
Wikipedia_Music of Cuba
Wikipedia_Baseball in Cuba

May 23rd 2015: Yuval Noah Harari writes "History began when humans invented gods, and will end when humans become gods" : Mr. Harari is an accomplished historian & author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. His current thoughts touch upon many subjects: Power & Imagination, Science & Religion, Ecology, Money & Politics, the Future and Happiness. Likewise, he teaches a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) entitled "A Brief History of Humankind". Recently The Guardian published an article by Professor Harari's entitled "the theatre of terror" in which he explains the "... alarming future, of the fear factor on Terrorism.  ref. Yuval Noah Harari WebSite, The Guardian, RandomHouse, Amazon & Wikipedia, (jds)

YuvalNoahHarari  ♦ Yuval Noah Harari's Categories
Yuval Noah Harari  ♦ Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
cf. Yuval Noah Harari's web site, The Guardian's "the theater of terror, RandonHouse & "Sapiens: History of Humankind"
Yuval Noah Harari WebSite
TheGuardian_the theater of terror by Yuval Noah Harari
RandomHouse_Five things we learnt from "Sapiens"
Amazon_Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

May 22nd 2015: BROOKINGS Kenneth Pollack on : "How to avoid another unraveling of Iraq" : Mr. Pollack says: "The fall of Ramadi was an important setback for Iraq and the United States, but it does not have to be a catastrophe. Hopefully, it will prove to be a wake-up call for Baghdad and Washington, both of whom have become complacent in their approach to the civil war there." Furthermore, Mr. Pollack suggests: 1) Making a determined and sustained effort to engineer a new national reconciliation. 2) Providing additional American and other Western military personnel. 3) Expanding the program to arm and train Sunni tribesmen and 4) Expanding military and non-military assistance to Iraq and the Abadi government. ref. BROOKINGS, (jds)

RamadiAttack  ♦ ISIS rises, Ramadi falls & how to avoid another unraveling Iraq..?
KennnethPollack  ♦ Kenneth M. Pollack & his book "Unthinkable"
cf. BROOKINGS "How to avoid another unraveling of Iraq" & Mr.Pollack's book "Unthinkable" :
BROOKINGS_Ramadi, Iraq and ISIS Islamic State in Iraq
Kenneth Pollack's book "Unthinkable"

May 20th 2015: Iran's Khamenei rules out interviews with scientists :  Iran's Supreme Leader was speaking at Imam Hossein University (Daneshgah-e Jam-e Emam Hossein) which opened in 1986, seven years after Iran's 1979 revolution. It's basically a military university affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guard and associated with Iran's Ministries of Science, Research, Technology, Defense & Armed Forces. The first one to say "Iran won't allow inspection of Military sites " was probably General Qasem Suleiman, who runs the Quds Force (ie. a Special Forces unit of the Iran's Revolutionary Guard) and is supposedly very close to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Whatever, the curious nuance that Mr. Ali Khamenei gave was "We will never yield to pressure ... We will not accept unreasonable demands ... Iran will not give access to its (nuclear) scientists, We will not allow the privacy of our nuclear scientists or any other important issue to be violated." Khamenei, who has the final say for Iran on any deal, last month ruled out any "extraordinary supervision measures" over nuclear activities and said military sites could not be inspected. ref. Tehran Times & Reuters, (jds)

TehranTimes  ♦ Iran's Supreme Leader speaks out at Military University
cf. The Tehran Times, Reuters World NEWS & Wikipedia
TehranTimes_Iran won't allow inspections...
Reuters_Iran Nuclear Khamenei
Wikipedia_Imam Hossein University

May 19th 2015: ISIS seizes large weapons arsenal in Ramadi. And Iraqi News reports: "The Pentagon published a statement in which it accused the Iraqi army that it left behind, during its withdrawal from Ramadi, six tanks mostly usable, and a similar number of heavy guns, along with dozens of personnel carriers, and nearly 100 “Humvee” armored vehicles, in addition to unknown quantities of medium and heavy ammunition, etc.." At the same time the United Nations reported "that about 25 thousand people have fled the city of Ramadi in Anbar province after ISIS attacked the city..." and warned of possibly running out of adequate funds for aid operations in Iraq. So could it be that the United States government is more concerned about a handful of used tanks, armored vehicles, guns, ammunition and junk more than 50 thousand people who have already fled from Ramadi, leaving behind their own homes & livelihoods with nowhere to go but on foot 70 miles east to Baghdad..? Wasn’t the sack of Northern Iraq’s Mosul by ISIS last year adequate warning of the ruthless nature & evil of such despotic & religious sects or organizations...? And now Ramadi falls into the blood stained hands of such tyrants. ref. Iraqi News, UN & BBC WorldNews, (jds)

RamadiRefugees  ♦ Ramadi Refugees waiting to cross the Euphrates River Bridge to Baghdad
cf. Iraqi News & The BBC World News...
IraqiNews_Pentagon accused Iraqi Army of leaving Ramadi
IraqiNews_UN running out of funds for Iraqi Refugees

May 18th 2015: Charlie Rose interviews Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates : Not only is Mr. Gates among the most highly educated people who have served in the United States Government, but also one of the most experienced. He has served in the Air Force, the Strategic Air Command, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense and other various commissions during the terms of many different presidents. So when Robert Gates sits down with Charlie Rose for nearly an hour, it's certainly worth listening to what he has to say. ref. Charlie Rose & Wikipedia, (jds)

RobertGates  ♦ Former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates
cf. Charlie Rose interview with Mr. Gates, Wikipedia & Mr. Gate's book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War"
CharlieRose_Interviews Robert Gates
Wikipedia_Robert Gates
Wikipedia_Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

May 17th 2015: Iraq's Ramadi falls to ISIS (Islamic State Iraq & Syria) :  Ramadi, Iraq's capital of Ambar Province less than 70 miles west of Baghdad fell into ISIS's hands Sunday the 17th. Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al Abadi was forced into calling up Iranian-backed Shia militias again, the same who had been instrumental in recapturing Tikrit a month ago. Iraq unfortunately has become heavily dependent upon Shia militias, which for the most part are supported by Iran. The population of Ramadi is +/- 500 thousand, while the United Nations estimates at least 25,000 have already fled the city. The New York Times suggested a sandstorm facilitated the invasion of Ramadi by ISIS given that all aircraft had been grounded. ref. UN, BBC, Reuters & The New York Times, (jds)

QasemSuleimanRamadiFlee  ♦ Iran's General Qasem Suleiman & Sunnis families fleeing Ramadi for Baghdad on foot...
cf. BBC World NEWS, Reuters, The New York Times & The United Nations News Center...
BBC_WorldNews_Ramadi, Iraq
Reuters_US mideast crisis Iiraq
NewYorkTimes_ISIS attacks Ramadi during sandstorm
UnitedNationsNewsCenter_Ramadi, Iraq

May 17th 2015: BBC reports on: "Bangladesh & Myanmar (Burma) refugee trafficking", which is as bad if not worse than Mediterranean migrant trafficking. The majority of refugees on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea belong to an Islamic sect known as Rohingya (Sunni Islamic with elements of Sufism). They have often been described as “among the world’s least wanted” & “most persecuted minorities". They are fleeing from Bangladesh & Myanmar towards Thailand or Malaysia where they are being refused. An estimated thousands of migrants are adrift in Southern Asian waters having been denied permission to land.  ref. BBC Asia, (jds)

TraffickingRefugees  ♦ Asian Rohingya immigrants from Bangladesh & Myanmar with nowhere to go...
cf. BBC World NEWS Asia, Wikipedia Rohingya Islam, Bangladesh & Myanmar
BBC_WorldNews_Refugee Trafficking Update
BBC_WorldNews_Refugee Trafficking
Wikipedia_Rohingya People
Wikipedia_Myanmar Burma

May 16th 2015: This week's On The Media: Seymour Hersh on Osama bin Laden's murder, New York City's Nail Salons scandal & Ebola-Free Liberia, at last.  Bob Garfield interviews Seymour Hersh on what he thinks really happened in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Generally it is known and accepted that "The United States had direct evidence that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Lt. General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, knew of bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad." Seymour Hersh contends that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had kept bin Laden under house arrest at Abbottabad ever since 2006.The White House apparently denied Hersh's report. Mr. Garfield also calls attention to The New York Times exposé on labor abuses and health risks for the City's mostly foreign manicurists and how it drew the public’s attention and outrage. Finally Brooke Gladstone recalls her visit to Ebola ridden, now free Liberia months ago. ref. Seymour Hersh, Wikipeda, & The New York Times. (jds)

binLadenNYCNailsEbola  ♦ On The Media, Osama bin Laden, NYC's manicurists & Liberia's Ebola
cf. This week's On The Media, bin Laden's death, Seymour Hersh & The New York Time's "The Price of Nails"
ThisWeek's On The Media
Wikipedia_Death of Osama bin Laden
Wikipedia_Seymour Hersh
NewYorkTimes_The Price of Nails

May 15th 2015: President Obama called together The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman : But only two heads of State from Qatar & Kuwait actually showed up, the rest sent delegates. It goes without saying that the countries most concerned with Iran's nuclear development are not the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom & United States plus Germany) but the Gulf States. Whether or not Mr. Obama was able to assure the Gulf Cooperation Council of the United States continued support in matters of defense is a good question. It may well not have been addressed adequately at this conference, and may well not be again during the President's term..? (jds)

ObamaArabs  ♦ President Obama & Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef
cf. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian & The White House's press release.
NewYorkTimes_Gulf Cooperation Council conference
WallStreetJournal_Gulf Cooperation Council summit
TheGuardian_Gulf leaders at Camp David summit
WhiteHouse_US Gulf Cooperation Council Camp David

May 14th 2015: Chrystia Freeland on post-Soviet "kleptocracy"Everybody knows who President Vladimir Putin and his Little Green Men are, but maybe not who Chrystia Freeland is. She's a Ukrainian-Canadian and member of Canada's Parliament representing Toronto Centre in the House of Commons as well as journalist, author and editor. For BROOKINGS Ms. Freeland went all the way back to the breakup of the Soviet Union under Boris Yeltsin to the rise of Vladimir Putin and his little Green men who took over Ukraine's Crimea right after the Sochi Olympics last year. She calls it Putin's "kleptocracy" (from the Greek κλέπτης + κράτος) or the "rule by thieves". ref. BROOKINGS & Wikipedia. (jds)

ChrystiaFreeland  ♦ Chrystia Freeland, President Vladimir Putin & Russia's Little Green Men
cf. Chrystia Freeland "My Ukraine" A personal reflection on a nation's dream of independence and the nightmare Vladimir Putin has visited upon it & Wikipedia.
BROOKINGS_Chrystia Freeland My Ukraine
Wikipedia_Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation

May 13th 2015: Pakistan gunmen kill 45 on Karachi Ismaili Shia bus :  BBC Asia reports: "At least 45 people have been killed and 13 injured in a gun attack on a bus carrying Ismaili Shia Muslims in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Police said "six gunmen on motorcycles had stopped the bus and fired indiscriminately at passengers. It is the second deadliest militant attack in Pakistan this year after 62 Shia Muslims were killed in a suicide bombing in January." Ismailism shares its beginnings with other early Shi‘ah sects that emerged during the succession crisis that spread throughout the early Muslim community. From the beginning, the Shi‘ah asserted the right of ‘Ali, Muhammad's cousin, to have both political and spiritual control over the community. This also included his two sons, who were the grandsons of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima az-Zahra. Today's Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan (IV) is considered the direct descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law Ali, the first Imam in Shia Islam. He's also considered as around the 10th richest man in the world, which unfortunately didn't help these 45 people from being killed on a bus in Karachi, Pakistan today. ref. BBC Asia NEWS, & Wikipedia. (jds)

KarachiPakistan  ♦ 45 Ismaili Shia killed on a Karachi bus in Pakistan...
cf. BBC Asia NEWS Karachi, Pakistan, Ismailism & Aga Khan IV
BBC_Asia_NEWS_Ismaili Shia Muslims killed on bus
Wikipedia_Shia Ismailism
Wikipedia_Aga Khan IV

May 12th 2015: BROOKINGS Michael O'Hanlon says Next steps in Iraq "beyond the 'easy part" : Mr. O'Hanlon talked with former Deputy Prime Minister Rafe al Issawi, one of Iraq's best Sunni politicians recently who had 3 important topics to highlight: 1) The Shia militias in Iraq are as brutal, corrupt & threatening to Iraq's future as ISIL. 2) Iraq's army and police have to be rebuilt equitably and 3) Iraq should develop a National Guard. The major problem is Iraq's Shia militias which are unruly, poorly trained and not likely to easily demilitarize. ref. BROOKINGS & Wikipedia. (jds)

Rafe-al-Issawi  ♦ Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister Rafe al Issawi
cf. BROOKINGS Michael O'Hanlon's article, Wikipedia Rafi al Issawi & List of private Shia militias in Iraq :
BOOKINGS_Michael O'Hanlon
Wikipedia_Rafi al Issawi
Wikipedia_Private militias in Iraq

May 12th 2015: Another Earthquake (magnitude of 7.3) in Nepal  AnotherEarthquakeTuesdayThe12th
May 10th 2015: This week's ON THE MEDIA, Nepal's earthquake mistakes, Patriot Act, Police body cameras, Veeps & Texas Takeover : Brooke Gladstone talks with Jonathan Katz of the New York Times who wrote "How Not to Report on an Earthquake" like Haiti's 2010 earthquake or Nepal's last month. University of Chicago's Geoff Stone examines NSA's Patriot Act, Bob Garfield talks about police cameras with Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic, about VEEP's with Armando Iannucci and with NPR's Wade Goodwyn about Texas. Fifty full minutes of this week's ON THE MEDIA from Katmandu to Washington DC to Texas. (jds)

NepalAfter  ♦ Katmandu, Nepal's earthquake offically at 8,452 dead & 19,000 injured
cf. This Week's On The Media, The New York Times Jonathan Katz's article on "How not to Report on an Earthquake" & The Guardian
This Week's OnTheMedia
TheNewYorkTimes_How not to Report on an Earthquake
TheGuardian_Nepal's Earthquake Village & everyone dead

May 9th 2015: Russia remembers WWII 70 years ago and 27 million dead :  That's right, says Boris Makarenko of Moscow to PBS's Corey Flintoff; "Twenty-seven million Soviets died in World War II" which is the largest toll of any single nation during the war. As Russian jets flew through Moscow's clear blue sky, everyone looked up and saw 70, seventy years ago. And then came the parades of soldiers, tanks, missiles and whatnot for today's wars.  (jds)

RussianVictory  ♦ 70 years ago 27 million Soviets dead in WW II
cf. BBC World Russia's WWII Parade, PBS's Corey Flintoff in Moscow & Wikipedida WWII casualties...
BBC_World Russia's WWII Parade
PBS_parallels_Russia's WWII remembrance
Wikipedia_World War II casualties

May 8th 2015: Charlie Rose interviews Ernest Moniz :  Mr. Moniz is the United States Secretary of Energy working on the P5+1 commission (5 permanent United Nations Security Council members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom & United States plus Germany) working to establish limits of Iran's Atomic Energy program. His main interlocutor is Iran's Ali Akbar Salehi who is the current head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI). Mr. Salehi proceeded and then later replaced Fereydoon Abbasi Davani as head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization in 2013. Fereydoon Abbasi Davani is the protégée of Iran's Revoutionary Guard General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the acclaimed "Father" of Iran's Atomic Bomb efforts. The ongoing discussions between Mr. Moniz & Mr. Salehi are rather technical, but basically center around what is called a "breakout" time or point, which represents the amount of time needed to produce enough weapons grade uranium to make one nuclear bomb or weapon. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Jarif already mentioned during an interview with Charlie Rose last month that Iran's AEOI (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran) had enough weapons grade uranium to make a handful of booms years ago, but didn't. Now that's a curious & good question and probably will never be answered except by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani and Iran's Revolutionary Guard who are apparently more interested in weapons than talks. (jds)

ErnestMoniz  ♦ U.S Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz on Charlie Rose
AbbasiSalehi  ♦ Iran's 2 nuclear aces: Fereydoon Abbasi Davani & Ali Akbar Salehi 
IranRevolutionGuard  ♦ Iran's Revolutionary Guard, "The Power behind Iran's Islamic Republic"
cf. Charlie Rose and Ernest Moniz, Iran's Breakout Time, Ali Akbar Salehi, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh & Iran's Revolutionary Guard...
CharlieRose and Ernest Moniz
Washington_Institute_Iran's nuclear breakout time
Wikipedia_Ali Akbar Salehi
Wikipedia_Fereydoon Abbasi Davani
IranWatch_Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
IranNewsUpdate_Khamenei hails Fakhrizadeh
Iran's Revolutionary Guards

May 8th 2015: David Cameron, 5 more years Prime Minister of Great Britain :  After having visited Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, David Cameron promised to make "Great Britain greater". The Conservatives (often referred to as Tories) won 331 seats, five more than needed for a House of Commons majority. And the run up to the election only took about 4 months, while America's mass media election has already gobbled up 4 months and is going to take another 18 more months before anybody casts a vote. Maybe we should change to a parliamentary system like the United Kingdom, hire a King or Queen and stop collecting, spending and wasting so much money on politics & politicians..? Maybe, yet highly unlikely..!  (jds)

DavidCameron  ♦ David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain re-elected 7th May 2015 for 5 more years...
cf. BBC's UK's election results, David Cameron & The Parliamentary System of Government.
BBC_UK's Election results
Wikipedia_David Cameron
Wikipedia_Parliamentary system of Government

May 7th 2015: BBC Travel flew over North & South western American with Jeff Greenwald in a small open air plane not much bigger or heavier than a glider: That's an adventure, even for a photographer, journalist & author like Jeff Greenwald. The airplane is called an Aircam which comes in a kit that almost anybody can put together & fly who wants to learn and discover what North & South western America looks like from the sky. (jds)

AirCamOverAmerica  ♦  Jeff Greenwald flys over North & South western America taking pictures...
cf. BBC's Travel, Jeff Greenwald & Aircam airplanes
BBC_Travel Photos over North & South western America
Jeff Greenwald, photographer, journalist & author
Aircam airplanes in kits

May 6th 2015: BBC's World News updated 24 hours / day:  The BBC (British Broadcasting Company) has a 1 minute World News Video summary that is updated 24 hours / day. Otherwise, the BBC's homepage delves into everything from News to Business, Sports, Entertainment, Arts, Health, Technology, Science, Environment, Autos, Culture, Future, Travel, etc..., which for the most part changes daily. Today's Earth article takes a close look at Ladybirds or bugs which apparently are not as cute & clean as imagined..! (jds)

BBCWorldNews  ♦  BBC's one minute World News summary
BBCHomepage  ♦  BBC's Internet Homepage, which changes every day...
LadyBugs& ♦  BBC's Earth article on Ladybirds or bugs...
cf. BBC's One minute World News summary & BBC's International Homepage with Ladybirds or bugs...
BBC_One minute World News
BBC_Ladybirds or bugs

May 5th 2015: The New York Times reports: "Nepal Asks Foreign Rescuers to Leave as Hopes Fade" : The official death toll of Nepal's earthquake now exceeds 7,673 and 17,200 injured. So far foreign rescuers workers have saved 16 or more people, while the World Health Organization has saved hundreds of lives and injured. About half of the 4,000 foreign search & rescuer workers have already left Nepal given that chances of finding other people alive under the rubble are very slim, if any at all. The New York Times presents a series photos before and after April 25th quake, which visually presents the amplitude & destruction of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake now known as the "Gorkha earthquake". (jds)

 NepalNow ♦  Nepal's April 25th 7.8 magnitude "Gorkha earthquake"
cf. The New York Times, photos, landmarks, maps & Wikipedia Gorkha earthquake...
NewYorkTimes_Nepal's earthquake
NewYorkTimes_Nepal's earthquake Photos
NewYorkTimes_Nepal's earthquake Photos Before & After
NewYorkTimes_Nepal's earthquake Maps
Wikipedia_Nepal earthquake April 25th 2015

May 4th 2015: Three men on America's urban & social problems, Allport, Alinsky & Moyniham :  Gordon Allport defined the Nature of Prejudice, Saul Alinsky held that the first obligation of a community organizer was to work his or her self out of the job and lastly Daniel Moyniham's 1965 "Moynihan Report" still remains a questionable truth. Best start with Gordon W. Allport's "The Nature of Prejudice", then look into Saul Alinsky's concept & tactics for organizing a community to take care of itself, and lastly the "Moyniham Report" that almost everybody disagrees with for one reason or another. American's poor inner cities don't need any more preachers, lawyers, politicians, gangs, or cops. What it needs is more brains, social respect & responsibility, which is what these three men (and others less well known) tried to help install decades ago. (jds)

GordonAlport NatureOfPrejudice ♦ Gordon Allport (1897 - 1967)
SaulAlinsky SaulAlinsky ♦ Saul Alinsky (1909 - 1972)
Moyniham MoynihamReport ♦ Daniel Patrick Moyniham (1927 - 2003)
cf. Gordon Allport, Saul Allinsky & Daniel Patrick Moynihma ...
Wikipedia_Gordon Allport
Wikipedia_Saul Alinsky
Wikipedia_Daniel Patrick Moynihan

May 3rd 2015: Reuters Moving Pictures Video of the last few months : From Syria to Flight 9525's (Barcelona to Dusseldorf) co-piolet's suicide crash in the Alps, to Mardi Gras and France's Charlie Hebdo from April, March, February & January 2015 and more, a true Kaleidoscope of mixed memories and images both good & bad, often forgotten and even unknown. (jds)

ReutersPictures  ♦  REUTERS' Kaleidoscope of mixed memories...
cf. REUTERS Moving Picture Video of April, March, February, January & more...
REUTERS_Moving Pictures Video

May 2nd 2015: This week's On The Media :  Brooke Gladstone talks with Tufts University's Peniel Joseph about Baltimore's current racial problems, then about US drone strikes with New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo & California's House Representative Adam Schiff as well as the White House’s rather lax response to the Freedom of Information Act. Ms. Gladstone also talked with Eliyanna Kaiser & Rachel Aimee, two editors of the now defunct $pread magazine designed for and by sex workers.  (jds)

PenielJoseph  ♦  Professor Peniel Joseph of Tuft's University
cf. NPR's On The Media, Peniel Joseph,  &  wikipedia $pread
Professor Peniel Joseph
Wikipedia_$pread magazine

May 1st 2015: The Greek goddess Maia & month of May :  Lots happens worldwide during the month of May from May Day celebrations to Constitution days, Liberation days, Independence days, Victory days, Revolution days, Memorial days, Religious, Mothers, Nurses and Children days, etc., etc., not to forget the Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500 and far more ancient Maypole celebrations. It all adds up to a bundle of holidays and a well-known Wall Street investment saying "Sell in May and go away". Whatever, maybe this May and summer months to come will be less troubled and more humane than past days, months & years (jds)

May  ♦  May's Greek goddess Maia & Vulcan , the god of fire by Bartholomäus Spranger (1585)
cf. Jose Feliciano's "Light My Fire", Wikipedia The month of May, Greek goddess Maia & Vulcan, the god of fire.
YouTube_Jose Feliciano "Light My Fire"
Wikipedia_Month of May
Wikipedia_Greek goddess Maia
Wikipedia_Vulcan, Greek god of fire

arrow May 2015

DownArrow  April 2015

April 30th 2015: This week Charlie Rose interviewed Iran's one and only Javad Jarif : which was a rather curious exercise & excursion into Iranian logic. What Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Jarif had to say was Iran "... wants mutual respect & mutual trust", which is all fine and good. Yet on the other hand he says "We (Iran) don't trust anybody". Now how Iran can arrive at mutual respect & trust from everybody without respecting or trusting anybody is a good question. But curiously enough it's pure & simple Iranian logic; certainly not Aristotle's or anybody else's for that matter. In Part II of the interview Mr. Jarif accuses Israel as the major problem in the Middle East. Obviously Israel will never trust Iran's present regime and Iran's present government will never trust Israel. Prior to 1979 more than 100,000 Jews lived in Iran, today far less than 20 thousand. Furthermore Mr. Jarif admits that over the past 8 years Iran had enough enriched uranium to build 8 nuclear bombs, but never did. Seeing is believing, though Iran's Foreign Minister seems to want the P5+1 to believe without seeing. Anyway, following Mr. Zarif's curious and rather adamant interview, Charlie Rose rebroadcast a previous interview with Mohammad Javad Larijani, the eldest son of Iran's most powerful Larijani family. There was an expression in Iran before 1979 that said "They ruined Iran to build Tehran" which today seems more likely "They ruined Iran to build an Islamic Republic's of Iran", which brings to a mind a dear past friend of mine, Terence O'Donnell who years ago wrote "The Garden of the Brave in War". Below is a brief selection from the preface to Terry's book, which is not only a literary treasure, but also profound & humane. Terry believed 1979's "fanaticism of their revolution will be short-lived", but as an old Iranian friend once told him "A foreigner may live here a hundred years, but he will never really understand us".  (jds)

JavadJarif  ♦ Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Jarif
MohammadJavadLari  ♦ Mohammad Javad Larijani from Iran's most powerful family.
TerryO'Donnell'sGarden  ♦ Garden of the Brave in War by Terry O'Donnell 
cf. Charlie Rose Interviews of Javad Jarif & Mohammad Larijani and Terence O'Donnell's "Garden of the Brave in War"
CharlieRose_interviews Javad Jarif Part I
CharlieRose_interviews Javard Jarif Part II
Amazon_Garden of the Brave in War by Terence O'Donnell

Sections from the preface to "Garden of the Brave in War" by Terence O'Donnell
"There are two motifs in the revolution that decidedly do not appear in these pages for the reason that they are so uncommon as to be aberrations. One is puritanism of the religious regime. Iranians are voluptuaries and delight in the flesh. Their conversation, their poetry (which means everything to them after their God and sometimes before), their folklore, and their traditions – all reflect a love of earthly pleasures. The execution of prostitutes following the revolution could only have horrified the ordinary, susceptible, forgiving Iranian heart. The second aberration, a cousin to the first, is fanaticism. From the beginnings of Iranian history, from the times of Cyrus, toleration has again and again been the hallmark of the Iranian state and also one of the most pronounced and common traits in the individual Iranian. Nonetheless, and however much an aberration, fanaticism certainly played a part in the revolution. Perhaps revolutions cannot take place without it.

However from all that I know of the Iranians, I believe that the fanaticism of their revolution will be short-lived. I can think of no better support for this than the nature of Iranian pilgrimage and shrines which are its object. Iranians are much prone to pilgrimage, for though they love the flesh, they love the spirit too – perhaps not quite the contradiction that some in the West might think. And they certainly have much opportunity for pilgrimage since Iran is covered with shrines, everything from little wayside places to the great edifices in the holy cities – some of the latter among the most dazzling buildings in the East. Not one of these thousands of shrines honors a soldier or a political figure. All are dedicated to either saints or poets. In the end, these, rather than the bullhorns, are the voices that the Iranians heed and venerate. In the meantime what, it might be asked, will be the effects of the revolution on the kinds of country places and country people described in this book? There is an old tag in the East that says that the emperor’s writ ends at the village gate. So does the revolution’s. By and large, who rules will not make much difference to these people and places – whether it be a shah, an ayatollah, a president or a commissar. What does, and will make a difference slipped through the village gate some years ago – a tandem to two simple, mundane things: the transistor radio and the motorbike. These, more than all the edicts of parties, councils, and rulers, will transform the countryside, not only of Iran but of all the Middle East, transform it by ending that isolation which fosters and protects the traditional life.

This brings me to the reason for this book. Isolation and the traditional life have by no means disappeared from the Iranian countryside, but they are on their way. In many respects this will be for the best. On the other hand, there are certain features of the traditional life of Iranians that I believe good and that I have loved with all my heart. Watching these things pass, I suppose it seemed to me that the only way to keep them – for myself and perhaps for others – was to gather them together into a book of recollection such as this. I hope it is a just recollection. A westerner in Iran inevitably misunderstands the country to some degree; his past and present are too different from those of the Iranian. “A foreigner may live here a hundred years, but he will never really understand us,” an old Iranian once said to me. And by then I knew enough to know that he was right. This leads me to make an apology to the Iranians, my kind hosts for many years. Surely in some of the things I say about them I shall be wide off the mark; I hope they will forgive me."
 Terence O'Donnell, "Garden of the Brave in War"

April 28th 2015: "Louie Louie, oh no !" Kingsmen's Jack Ely said "we gotta go" :  Jack Ely of the 1960's Kingsmen died Monday in Redmond, Oregon. His 1963 rendition of Richard Berry's 1955 "Louie Louie" broke all records and even inaugurated an International "Louie Louie Day" that's celebrated April 11th every year. But song's lyrics were so muddled up under the drums & guitars that the FBI actually investigated the song's track looking for something either obscene or anti-American and naturally found nothing other than a waste of Director J. Edgar Hoover's time. (jds)

JackElyKingsmen  ♦ Jack Ely (1943 - 2014)
cf. BBC's Kingsmen "Louie Louie", Wikipedia's Jack Ely & Richard Berry and YouTube "Louie Louie"...
BBC_Kingsmen Jack Ely "Louie Louie"
Wikipedia_Jack Ely
Wikipedia_Richard Berry
YouTube_Kingsmen's Louie Louie

Louie Louie, oh no
Sayin' we gotta go, yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
Said Louie Louie, oh baby
Said we gotta go

A fine little girl, she waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it home

Louie Louie, oh no no no
Sayin' we gotta go, oh no
Said Louie Louie, oh baby
Said we gotta go

Three nights and days I sail the sea
Think of girl, all constantly
On that ship I dream she's there
I smell the rose in her hair

Louie Louie, oh no
Sayin' we gotta go, yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
Said Louie Louie, oh baby
Said we gotta go
Okay, let's give it to 'em, right now!

See, see Jamaica, the moon above
It won't be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
I'll tell her I'll never leave again

Louie Louie, oh no
Sayin' we gotta go, yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
Said Louie Louie, oh baby
Said we gotta go

I said we gotta go now
Let's take this on outta here
Let's go!

April 28th 2015: Baltimore street riots :  The population of the city of Baltimore is over 600 thousands of which 63% are Black, 29% White and 8% others. Since Blacks (Afro Americans) represent only about 13% of United States' overall population the city of Baltimore's population is highly disproportionate. Most other big cities are a little less disproportionate than Baltimore when it comes down to racial and ethnic populations. For example: Chicago: Whites 45%, Blacks 32%, and 23% others (Hispanics, Asians, etc.). New York City: Whites 44%, Blacks 25%, and 31% others (Hispanics, Asians, etc.). So maybe someone should invent a formula for proportional urban civility & stability in which the more a city represents the overall population of the United States the better off socially & economically it can become. Baltimore sure needs a formula like that, otherwise it may well become another "Tale of Two Cities" in Baltimore, Maryland. (jds)

Baltimore  ♦ Baltimore Maryland yesterday, Monday April 27th
UScensus  ♦ Baltimore Maryland's average Afro-American Income < 35 thousand. (US Census Bureau)
CensusPopulation  ♦ Baltimore Maryland's & Washington, D.C.'s Afro-American population > 63%. (US Census Bureau)
cf. BBC World News, The New York Times, US Census Bureau & Baltimore, Maryland...
BBC_World_Balitmore Riots
NewYorkTimes_Baltimore Police & minors
Wikipedia_Baltimore Maryland

April 27th 2015: Nepal's 7.8 magnitude Earthquake, Saturday 25th of April at 11:41AM Nepal Standard Time :  The death toll is expected to rise. Nepal's population is + 26 million, Kathmandu the most populated city (+ 1 million) and Pokhara the second largest ( + 260 thousand). To date the most devastating earthquake to hit Nepal was 1934's 8.2 magnitude Nepal–Bihar earthquake, which reached a death toll of nearly 12 thousand in Nepal and more than 7 thousand dead in India's northeastern boarding state of Bihar. So far the International humanitarian response to Nepal's present earthquake has been overwhelming positive. (jds)

Nepal  ♦ The Earthquake’s epicenter was approximately 60 km Northwest from Kathmandu, Nepal's vibrant capital ...
UPDATE 29th April : Nepal's Earthquake survivores in urgent need of food & water, and more than 5,000 counted dead already.
cf. BBC's Nepal's earthquake, Wikipedia Nepal's 2015 & 1934 earthquakes, and Nepal
BBC_World_Nepal's Earthquake Update
Wikipedia_Nepal's Earthquake 2015
Wikipedia_Nepal's Earthquake 1934

April 26th 2015: Turkey’s President Erdogan slams nations recognizing Armenian 'genocide' : Mr. Erdogan said: "They (other nations) should first, one-by-one, clean the stains on their own histories", which is certainly a good point and obviously even a good idea for Turkey and its past Ottoman Empire's history with Armenians. The term 'genocide' was developed by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer who immigrated to the United States in 1941. The term combines the Greek word "genos" (meaning family, race or tribe) and Latin word "cide" meaning to kill. So far the Holocaust, Armenia's "Medz Yeghern" or Great Crime, Rwandan & Bosnia's Srebrenica and Zepa are considered genocides by the world community. At present Turkey refuses to accept the term "genocide" for what the Ottoman Turks did to the Armenians 100 years ago. Regardless, Peter Kenyon, NPR's International Correspondent in Istanbul discovered some "hidden Armenians" emerging in the ancient city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey, and even heard ringing church bells from St. Giragos, an Armenian Church restored & reopened only 4 years ago in 2011... (jds)

PresidentErdogan  ♦ Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
cf. NPR's Hidden Armenians, Todays Zaman Newspaper on Erdogan & diplomatic measures and Wikipedia on genocide:
NPR_parallels Hidden Armenians emerge from hidding
TodaysZaman_Erdogan slams nations recognizing Armenian genocide
TodaysZaman_Turkey to take diplomatic measures against countries recognizing genocide
Wikipedia_on Genocide

April 25th 2015: To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) on "The Quantified Self" :  Gadgets galore to keep track of one's self from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography to Apple Watches and back again to Nicholas Felton "annual reports" & Sarah Manguso 20 years of keeping a diary. (jds)

BenFranklin  SarahManguso  ♦ Benjamin Franklin's 1791 autobiography & Sarah Manguso's 20 years diary
cf. To the Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org), Nicholas Felton's "annual reports", Franklin's autobiography & Sarah Manguso's diary...
TTBOOK.org_The Quantified Self
NicholasFelton's_annual reports
Wikipedia_Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography
Sarah Manguso 20 years diary

April 24th 2015: Edwin Hubble, his Universe & Telescope :  Until 1929 a near majority of astronomers were more or less convinced that stars & planets were all within our Milky Way Galaxy. Edwin Hubble was not so sure and went to California’s Mount Wilson Observatory in 1919 where with his assistant Milton Humason he determined that some nebulae (ie. interstellar clouds of dust, hydrogen, helium & ionized gases) were actually galaxies outside of the Milky Way. After measuring the distance and Doppler shift or effect of these newly discovered galaxies Hubble & Humanson determined that these galaxies were moving away from us, so in 1929 Edwin Hubble wrote an article to announce that the Universe is Expanding. Ever since then numerous astronomers have confirmed Hubble’s discovery and 25 years ago the Hubble Space Telescope took its place in the Universe looking out into deep space. (jds)

EdwinHubble  ♦ Edwin Hubble (1889 - 1953)
cf. Space Telescope Edwin Hubble, Carnegie Science, TheNewYorkTimes Science Video & BBC Science Photos :
SpaceTelescope_Edwin Hubble
CarnegieScience_Edwin Hubble
TheNewYorkTimes_Science Hubble Telescope Videos
BBC_Science Hubble Telescope Photos

April 23rd 2015: Armenia 'commemorates' & Turkey 'celebrates' :  Tomorrow, Friday April 24th Armenia commemorates 1915's "Medz Yeghern" (Great Crime) while Turkey celebrates the victory over WWI's allies Russia, Britain & France at the Battle of Gallipoli, often referred to as the Dardanelles. Both Armenia's commemoration and Turkey's celebration have to do with the Ottoman Empire's alinement with Germany during WWI. The WWI defense of Constantinople (today's Istanbul) is worthy of sincere remembrance & thought, while the Ottoman Empire's massacre of Armenians was a Great Crime and a disgrace to civilization. Apparently, the Turkish government moved the date for celebrating the 100 year anniversary of defending Constantinople to April 24th for the purpose of avoiding too much mention of Armenia’s commemoration of "Medz Yeghern", that is the Great Crime of the Ottoman Empire. (jds)

OttamanDefense  ♦ Ottoman soldiers defending Gallipoli (the Dardannelles) during WW I
Yerevan  ♦ Yerevan, the Capital of Armenia at the foot of Biblic Mount Ararat.
cf. The Ottoman Empire's defense of Constantinople, The "Medz Yeghern" Great Crime against Armenians & Yerevan, the Capital of Armenia
Wikipedia_Battle of Gallipoli for Constantinople
Wikipedia_Armenian Genocide
Wikipedia_Yerevan the Capital of Armenia

April 22nd 2015: Charlie Rose interviewed Michael Vickers, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence : Secretary Vickers goes all the way back to Charlie Wilson's War and worked for CIA's Gust Avrakotos. He plans to retire form governmental service this April, but before leaving he sat down with Charlie Rose and talked about the Middle East & Russia as few know as well as he does.  (jds)

MichaelVickers  ♦ Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers
cf. Charlie Rose's 1st interview with Michael Vickers, a Washington Post article & Wikipedia
CharlieRose_Michael Vickers
TheWashingtonPost_Michael Vickers back in Defense Dept.
Wikipedia_Michael Vickers

April 21st 2015: Meet Our Man in Tehran :  His name is Thomas Erdbrinkm. He's from the Netherlands, lives with his wife Newsha in Tehran and is bureau chief for The New York Times. Mr Erdbrink and Roel van Broekhoven, director of the series on Dutch television channel VPRO have filmed 7 Episodes about living & reporting in Iran, all of which present Iranians from somewhat different vantage points than most of us are accustom to seeing. (jds)

ThomasErdbrinkmAndNewsha  ♦ Thomas Erdbrinkm & his wife Newsha
cf. The different Episodes of Our Man in Tehran (the 6th & 7th Episodes will be online April 28th & May 5th rsepectively) :
TheNewYorkTimes_Episode #1 Our Man in Tehran
TheNewYorkTimes_Episode #2 The Martyr’s Daughter
TheNewYorkTimes_Episode #3 Big City Life
TheNewYorkTimes_Episode #4 Mr. Big Mouth
TheNewYorkTimes_Episode #5 An Eye for an Eye

April 20th 2015: Jason Rezaian faces "Iranian spy trial" : Mr. Rezaian is a U.S. & Iranian citizen by birth and the Tehran correspondent for the Washington Post. He has been accused of "collaborating with hostile governments" & spreading "propaganda" and will be tried this May in Iran's infamous Revolutionary Court by an even more infamous Judge called Abolghassem Salavati. Mr. Rezaian has already spent 9 months in prison without council, his lovely wife Saleh was released from prison after 3 months. Aside from the outrageous accusations of supposedly collaborating with hostile governments etc.., the spreading of "propaganda" may refer to an Iranian version of Pharrell Williams's "Happy", which also got some fun loving young Iranians into trouble. It should be noted that there are two Irans today, one of 1979's Islamic Revolution and the other of 2009's rigged re-election of Ahmadinejad when thousands upon thousands of young Iranians took to the streets & rooftops of Tehran to protest against their government's abuse of power. Unfortunately even today the 1979 Islamic crew is still aboard and in place running Iran's government, television & radio media, elections, courts, revolutionary guards, military, etc. with steel fists, which most likely explains why so many "Happy Iranians" may not be so happy today..! (jds)

JasonRezaian  ♦ Jason Rezaian was only 3 years old when Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution broke out ..!
cf. The Washington Post, The New Yorker, YouTube "Happy Iranians" & Wikipedia on Jason Rezaian ...
TheWashingtonPost_Jason Rezaian jailed
TheNewYorker_Why Jason Rezaian
YouTube_"Happy Iranians" not so happy now
Wikipedia_Jason Rezaian

April 20th 2015: The Tehran Times quotes Iran's General Qasem Suleimani as saying : "Not only will we not grant foreigners the permission to inspect our military sites, we will not even give them permission to think about such a subject..." Well now that's rather clear, but if everybody has to start asking General Suleimani for "permission to think about such a subject" then something is wrong either in the General's head or his military sites. (jds)

QuasemSuleimani  ♦ General Qasem Soleimani : Iran’s rising star...
cf. The Tehran Times, Iran's rising star & Wikipedia on Qasem Soleimani...
TheTehranTimes_General Qasem Suleimani
BBC_World_Iran's rising star Qasem Suleimani
Wikipedia_Qasem Soleimani

April 19th 2015: Sunday's CBS 60 minutes: "A Crime Against Humanity, TED Talks & Basketball Hoop Dreams" : Crimes Against Humanity recounts Bashar al Assad's use of lethal sarin gas in Syria, Ted Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a global set of conferences is how to "stir your curiosity" and Basketball Hoops, an unquenchable imagination of a man who's memory forgets nothing. Aside from an endless floppy of advertising commercials sandwiched between each segment, this Sunday's 60 minutes touches upon unforgivable war crimes, Ted Talks global "Ideas Worth Spreading" and Bob Petrella's fantasies, imagination & memory. (jds)

60minutes  ♦ 60 minutes: from sarin gas to Ted Talks to Basketball Memory
cf. 60 Minutes Syrian sarin gas, Charlie Rose, Basketball Hoops and TED Talks, Bob Petrella & Wikipedia 60 Minutes... 
CBS60minutes_Bashar al Assad's Crime Against Humanity
CBS60minutes_Charlie Rose on TED Talks
CBS60minutes_Basketball Hoops & Dreams
TED_(Technology Entertainment Design) Talks
BobPetrella_Memory Imagination Fantasy

April 19th 2015: North African Migrant Boat disaster in the Mediterranean :  A boat of possibly 700 migrants from North Africa capsized in the Mediterranean last night around midnight GMT. So far only 28 people are reported as having been rescued. Since January an estimated 900 other migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean. This disaster will bring the number of migrants lost at sea this year to well over a thousand. The Mediterranean in late Spring & Summer is usually calmer than now, yet the vessels being used by migrants are overcrowded and not sea worthy. (jds)

BBC NEWS: Mediterranean boat disaster  ♦ BBC NEWS: "Boat disaster in the Mediterranean"
cf. BBC NEWS Europe & TheGuardian ...
BBC_NEWS_Europe_Migrant boat disaster
TheGuardian_Migrants feared dead worst yet

April 18th 2015: NPR's parallels on Syria's minorities & Greek WWII reparations :  NPR's Alison Meuse explains how Syria is controlled by Bashar al Assad's Alawite community (an offshoot of Shiite Islam) which represents about 10% of Syria's population. Other Syrian minorities are Christians, Druze and Ismaili that all together add up to about another 10% of Syria's population. That leaves 65% of Syria's population to Sunni Arabs and around 15% to Kurds, who for the most part are Sunni also. After 4 years of civil war & conflict almost half of Syria's population (10 million) has been displaced and nearly 4 million sought refuge in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. As for Greece the recently elected government is claiming 303 billion dollars of WWII war reparations from Germany, which is about 61 billion dollars more than Greece's own Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As someone whom PBS's Joanna Kakissis interviewed said, "you could forgive but we cannot forget". Greece's problem is not forgiving or forgetting or WWII. It's pure and simple economics & politics today, and not 70 some years ago.  (jds)

SyriaAndGreece  ♦ Syria & Greece: two 21st century unsolved problems...
cf. NPR's (Nation Public Radio) parallels on Syria's minorities & Greece's forgive & forget ...
NPR_parallels Minorities in Syria
NPR_parallels Greek & German reparations

April 18th 2015: This week's "ON THE MEDIA" discusses :  2016's presidential candidates and their quirks, cameras recording police & Washington DC's "nerd's prom" or annual red carpet Correspondents' dinner which takes place next Saturday the 25th of April. On The Media's Bob Garfield actually "goes (or rather went) to Washington DC" Correspondents' dinner and made a video of what it was like, a nerd's red carpet prom in Washington DC..! (jds)

OnTheMedia  ♦ On The Media goes to Washington...
cf. This week's ON THE MEDIA & Bob Garfield in Washington, DC...
YouTube_Bob Garfield On The Media goes to Washington

April 18th 2015: Deutsche Welle: "Inside Europe"  This week's DW radio "Inside Europe" remembers Günter Grass who died last Monday, the 13th of April, Russia supplying anti-aircraft rocket systems to Iran, Europe & North Africa working together to fight terrorism, etc... (jds)

GunterGrass  ♦ Günter Grass (1927 - 2015)
cf. Deutsche Welle "Inside Europe", Salman Rushdie's NewYorker's article on Günter Grass & Wikipedia's biography...
DW_InsideEurope radio
TheNewYorker_Salman Rushdie on Günter Grass
Wikipedia_Günter Grass

April 17th 2015: PBS's NATURE lances a 3 part series on "Animal Homes", where birds & animals live and reproduce. : With spring why not take a break from our world's human troubles and appreciate some other somewhat simpler creatures like birds, animals or even insects. They've all been around as long if not longer than we have and can teach us a lot, like how to build a home, hatch an egg & raise a family. The first Episode of PBS NATURE "Animal Homes: The Nest" came out April 8th, the second April 15th and the third premiers next week April 22nd. All of PBS NATURE's Episodes can be viewed online by simply clicking on the pictures below or on TV by referring to your local PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) schedule... (jds)

TheNest  ♦ PBS Animal Homes: "The Nest" Episode #1
TheLocation  ♦ PBS Animal Homes: "The Location" Episode #2
TheNestCity  ♦ PBS Animal Homes: "The City" Episode #3
TheNestTeam  ♦ PBS Animal Homes: "Behind the Scenes" in a New Haven, Connecticut warehouse"
cf. Episode 1, "The Nest", Episode 2: "The Location", Episode 3 "The City" & Behind the Scenes: in a New Haven Connecticut warehouse
PBS_NATURE_The Nest Episode #1
PBS_NATURE_The Location Episode #2
PBS_NATURE_The City Episode #3
PBS_NATURE_Behind The Scenes

April 17th 2015: Charlie Rose interviews Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al Abadi who says what he really needs is support, support that is consistent & that he can rely upon. (jds)

Haider al Abadi  ♦ Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al Abadi
cf. Charlie Rose interviews Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al Abadi & Wikipedia
CharlieRose & Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al Abadi
Wikipedia_Haideral Abadi

April 16th 2015: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash Fragments from eastern Ukraine :  Jeroen Akkermans a RTL (Radio Television Luxembourg) reporter from the Netherlands visited the site of July 17th 2014 Malaysian Airliner crash in eastern Ukraine serval times and after months of seeing small metal fragments left on the ground took a few back home to be examined. After months of investigation, British defense analysts at IHS Jane's (named after founder Fred Janes) linked a fragment found in the wreckage to a 9N314 warhead, which arms at least one type of Russian made Buk system's missiles. (jds)

MH17Crash ♦ MH17's wreckage & 2 mm. fragment of what hit the Airliner marked with the Cyrillic (Russian) letter Ц 
cf. BBC World NEWS, RTL, Metabunk.org & Wikipedia Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur
BBC_WorldNews_MalausiaAirlinesFlight MH17
RTL_Flight MH17 taken down by buk missile
Metabunk.org on MH17 BUK missile Fragment
Wikipedia_Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

April 16th 2015: Russian President Vladimir Putin's 13th TV telephone marathon lasted only 4 hours..! What an accomplishment, Mr. Putin solved nearly all of Russia's current problems in four short hours. First of all, "there are no Russian troops in Ukraine" and then cane some advice to business leaders and farmers that "We need to use the situation to reach a new level of development" & "the growth of internal agricultural production is inevitable" given that the economy is in actual recession. Mr. Putin also mentioned that the assassins of Boris Nemtsov who was shot dead last February will probably never be found. Well he's the one who should know...! (jds)

PutinTelevision  ♦ President Vladimir Putin's 4 hour long TV marathon...
cf. BBC's World NEWS, REUTERS & Russia's Sputnik International News
BBC_WorldNews_President Putin's TV marathon
REUTERS_U.S. Ukrain Russia crisis
RUSSIAN_Sputnik International

April 14th 2015: Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al Abadi comes to Washington :  Kenneth Pollack of BROOKINGS highlights the importance of the Iraqi Prime Minister's visit to Washington D.C. today. Iraq is in serious need of military, political & economic assistance and unless forthcoming the country may well fall back into disarray. The U.S.'s 2010 premature withdrawal from Iraq reopened closed doors to civil unrest & sectarian violence. These doors have to be closed once again, which is why Iraq's Prime Minister is here in Washington D.C. today. Also that's why Mr. Pollack wrote an excellent article for today on what Washington D.C. should do... (jds)

Haider-al-Abadi  ♦ Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al Abadi ...
cf. BROOKINGS Kenneth Pollack's article, TheNewYorkTimes & Wikipedia on Haider al Abadi ...
BROOKINGS_Haider al Abadi in Washington DC 
TheNewYorkTimes_Iraqi Prime Minister in Washington
Wikipedia_Haider al Abadi

April 13th 2015: Russia to arm Iran with S-300 missiles  A Russian presidential decree concerning S-300 missile systems "...lifts the ban on transit through Russian territory, including airlift, and the export from the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also the transfer to the Islamic Republic of Iran outside the territory of the Russian Federation, both by sea and by air, of air defense missile systems S-300...”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented that Moscow’s voluntary embargo on S-300 deliveries was no longer necessary, due to the progress in Iran’s nuclear talks made in Lausanne last April 2nd, adding that the S-300 missile systems is uniquely for air defense missile and “will not put at risk the security of any state in the region, including Israel..." What this apparently means is that Russia needs the money and Iran is willing to pay the price to prevent anybody from blowing up their nuclear sites. Maybe it's time the p5+1 go down to a P4+1...? (jds)

RussianS-300missiles  ♦ Russian S-300 missile defense system on its way to the Islamic Republic of Iran
cf. Russia Today, BBC's World News, Yahoo, Reuters Blog & Wikipedia on Russia's S-300 missile system
RussiaToday_s300 missiles delivery to Iran
BBC_WorldNews_Russia lifts Iran Missile Ban
YahooNews_Israel slams Russian decision to lift Iran missile ban
REUTERS_Russia's S-300 & Israel
Wikipedia_S-300 missile system

April 13th 2015: Taxes & Inequality by David Wessel :  BROOKINGS' David Wessel explains the 5 classes or quintiles of income in United States and the amount of Federal taxes each group pays. With April 15th only a few days away Mr. Wessel's Legos illustrate how unequal U.S. personal income or revenue is before taxes and how the Federal tax code sort of equals things out. Nothing is perfect, but Federal taxes are far better than States with sales taxes which make few if any distinctions concerning income. (jds)

IncomeTaxes  ♦  Legos & Incomes & Taxes ...
cf. BROOKINGS David Wessel and Thomas Jefferson on Taxation & Fiscal Responsibility and Wikipedia on State Sales Taxes
BROOKINGS_David Wessel on Income & Taxes
Thomas Jefferson on Taxes & Fiscal Responsibility
Wikipedia_State Sales Taxes

April 12th 2015: BROOKINGS' Suzanne Maloney questions Iran's intentions concerning "The Big Deal" : Ms. Maloney writes "In the absence of an official text beyond the leading negotiators' brief statement, it was apparent that there were major inconsistencies between the American narrative of what had been concluded in Lausanne and that articulated by Iranian officials. Yesterday's remarks by Khamenei, as well as a separate speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, only deepened the gulf between the dueling two sides' interpretations on several key issues, most notably sanctions relief. "  (jds)

AliKhamenei  ♦  The Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran's Islamic Republic, Sayyid Ali Khamenei
cf. BROOKINGS's Suzanne Maloney's article & The Supreme Leader's Web page and Wikipedia...
BOOKINGS_Suzanne Maloney on US & Iran inconsistencies
IRAN_Office of the Supreme Leader
Wikipedia_Ali Khamenei

April 12th 2015: IRAQI NEWS: ISIS destroys Assyrian city of Nimrud : Iraqi News shows the Video ISIS released of Nimrud's destruction. The ancient city of Nimrud near Mosul was first louted, statues & monuments broken then destroyed by barrels of explosives. Near nothing remains now above ground of the 13th century BC city once known as Kalh. (jds)

NimrudDestroy  ♦  in front of barrels of explosives & murals an ISIS vandal threatens the world ...
cf. Iraqi News, The Daily Mail, BBC World News & Wikipedia on Nimrud's ancient history
IRAQI_NEWS_ISIS destroys Nimrud
TheDailyMail_Video of ISIS destroys Nimrud
BBC_MiddleEastNews_ISIS destroys Nimrud

April 11th 2015: Reuters: "Photos of the Week" :  two little girls who survived a recent rocket attack by Bashar al-Assad's forces in Aleppo, Syria. Now what have they done to merit such terror and so many other children who have suffered from Syria's civil war over the past 5 years..? Nothing..! Children don't merit wars, only adults do...! (jds)

AleppoSyria  ♦  two frighten little girls in Aleppo, Syria after a rocket attack ...
cf. Syria's civil war, Reuters Photos of the Week & History of Syria ...
Wikipedia_Syrian Civil War
Reuters_Photos of the Week

April 10th 2015: Charlie Rose interviews Philip Mudd:  Mr. Mudd worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for 20 years and then became Deputy Director of the FBI's National Security Branch from 2005 to 2010 after which he left governmental service. His new book, “The Head Game: High Efficiency Analytic Decision-Making and the Art of Solving Complex Problems” may not be for everybody but obviously of great interest to those who work within the fields of National Intelligence & Security. (jds)

PhilipMudd  ♦  Philip Mudd former CIA Intelligence Officer & FBI Deputy Director of National Security.
cf. Charlie Rose's interview with Philip Mudd & The New America Foundation..!
CharlieRose inverviews Philip Mudd
NewAmericaFoundation_Philip Mudd

April 9th 2015: Iran's Ali Khamenei says : "I have never been optmistic about negotiations with America..." : Well that's too bad, but what he really means is that he wants far more concessions out of America than America and the P5+1 are prepared to give him. Ali Khamenei has been the "Supreme Leader" of Iran for 26 years (1989 - 2015). Maybe he ought to be called the "Supreme dictator" instead of "Leader". His predecessor Ruhollah Khomeini who started Iran's Islamic Republic was Iran’s Supreme Leader for about 10 years (1979 - 1989). So maybe it's about time Ali Khamenei step down and Iran start becoming a simple Republic instead of some kind of mullah's thingamajig. Religions, mullahs, priests, preachers, monks, etc. belong in holy places like mosques, churches & temples and not in governments that are elected by all kinds of people of all kinds of faith.  (jds)

AliKhamenei  ♦  Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader for the last 26 years...
cf. Wikipedia Ali Khamenei, on Twitter, Iran's Leader, TheGuardian & NewYorkTimes photos of Tehran by Newsha Tavakolian...
Wikipedia_Ali Kamenei
Twitter_Ali Khamenei
IranSupremeLeader_Ali Khamenei
TheGuardian_Ali Khamenei
NewYorkTimes_Photos from Tehran

April 8th 2015: Don McLean and "American Pie"  It is hard to find lyrics the likes of Don McLean's "American Pie" or his "Vincent" Starry Night. They are dated in time but everlasting in memory. The 60's & 70's were a wonderful world of music all to itself, nuanced with hints of wisdom and values. Good memories for those of us growing older in todays troubled waters.  (jds)

DonMcLean  ♦   Don McLean back in the 70's with an "American Pie"
cf. YouTube "American Pie" by Don McLean, The Washington Post , WND Diversions, Wikipedia on American Pie & Don McLean ...
YouTube_Don McLean & American Pie
WashingtonPost_Meaning of Don McLean's America Pie
WND_Diversions_American Pie by Don McLean
Wikipedia_American Pie by Don McLean
Wikipedia_Don McLean

They were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die"

April 8th 2015: President Putin said: "Greece did not seek financial aid from Russia" : But Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must have gotten something he wanted from President Putin else why would he have openly called for an end to the "vicious cycle of sanctions" imposed upon Russia by the European Union..? Manos Karagiannis, a Greece-born specialist on Russian foreign policy at King's College, London said "My feeling is that the Greek government is playing the 'Russian card' in order to improve its bargaining position in the current negotiations". Whatever, Greece has to repay the IMF (International Monetary Fund) 448 million Euros tomorrow, Thursday the 9th of April. If Greece can't pay the 448 million Euros then they'll probably blame Germany for not paying WWII war reparations that they recently & quite outrageously claimed to be 279 billion Euros.  (jds)

GreeceRussia  ♦  Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras & Russian President Vladimir Putin
cf. BCC World Europe News, Reuters & BBC.s last update on Greece :
BBC_EuropeNews_Greece & Russia
REUTERS_Russia & Greece
BBC_Update Greece & Russia

April 7th 2015: FRONTLINE: "The Fight for Yemen" : Not only is Yemen one of the poorest & most divided countries in the middle east, but also one of the most corrupt. Safa Al Ahmad, a young woman born and raised in Saudi Arabia started reporting on Yemen in 2010 and her work has been aired as "The Fight for Yemen" by PBS's FRONTLINE. (jds)

TheFightforYemen  ♦  A group of hardened Sunni warriors stand against Yemen's Shia Houthis
cf. FRONTLINE "The Fight for Yemen", Who's who in Yemen's fight, Days go bad to worse & Safa al Ahmad ...
PBS_FRONTLINE_The Fight for Yemen
PBS_FRONTLINE_Who's who in the Fight for Yemen
PBS_FRONTLINE_Yemen from bad to worse

April 6th 2015: Charlie Rose interviews Garry Wills : Garry Wills in his new book “The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis” contends only by examining the history of the church can one understand Pope Francis's challenges today. (jds)

GaryWills  ♦  Garry Wills & the challenges facing the Catholic Church today...
cf. Charlie Rose's interview with Garry Wills, “The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis” & Garry Wills
CharlieRose_Garry Wills interview
Amazon_Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis
Wikipedia_Garry Wills

April 6th 2015: Henry J. Arron of BROOKINGS found 4 ways to reduce U.S. deficit. : Mr. Arron suggests finding and punishing "...fraud, tax evasion, and plain old bureaucratic mistakes..." : 1) Nearly 10% of Medicare's budget is lost in "improper payments" (ie. +/- $60 billion). 2) As for outright fraud Florida's Miami-Dade County is the nation's capital for overly expensive and not needed medical equipment and home health care. 3) Then comes taxes with $540 billion owed and not paid, which if collected & paid would cover more than 2015's projected deficit of $468 billion 4) Lastly Disability Insurance which often is continuously paid even when the actual disability has vanished. Why, because there are 13 million people with disabling conditions and the Social Security Administration does not have enough staff to review their conditions. (jds)

USdebtClock  ♦  US Debt Clock
HenryArron  ♦  How to reduce US Debt by Henry J. Arron of BROOKINGS Institute
cf. The US Debt Clock, BROOKINGS' Henry Arron on Deficit reduction & Henry Arron at BROOKINGS :
US_Debt Clock.org
BOOKINGS_Henry Arron on Deficit reduction
BOOKINGS'_Henry Arron

April 5th 2015: Hadron Collider restarts after 2 years:  This is a bit more complicated than Easter egg hunting, but the objectives are basically the same, finding something..! A Hadron is "a composite particle made of quarks held together by a strong force" (ref. Lev Okun, a Russian theoretical physicist). A Collider is a collider. So the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) after having confirmed by collisions the Higgs Boson, now plans on colliding more particles (protons) together at near speed of light to discover & learn more about the universe we live within. (jds)

Hadron Collider  ♦  The CERN's Large Hadron Collider restarts ..!
cf. The BBC's Science, Hadron Collider's Accelerators, & the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research).
BBC_Science_Hadron Collider
CERN_Hadron Collider's Accelerators
CERN_European Organization for Nuclear Research

April 5th 2015: Easter Sunday's Easter Eggs:  Surprisingly enough the tradition of decorating Easter eggs dates back to pre-Christian times. The Christian custom of using dyed or painted chicken eggs became official in the early 17th century. Today's Easter egg hunts are made up of children running to find chocolate eggs, candies, jelly beans and goodies. There are also many games like egg rolling, egg tapping or whatnot to celebrate Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is by far the most important day of the Christian calendar, and the chocolate eggs for little kids. (jds)

EasterEggs  ♦  Easter eggs in a basket & Easter Sunday
cf. Easter Eggs & Easter Sunday...
Wikipedia_Easter Eggs
Wikipedia_Easter Sunday

April 4th 2015: NYT's Thomas Friedman interviews President Barak Obama on "Nuclear Deal with Iran" :
 Listening to the full interview & reading Thomas Friedman's NYT article on the interview is an adventure into the president's way of thinking & reasoning. When asked about a so called "Obama Doctrine", the President said "We are powerful enough to test a proposition without putting ourselves at risk". That’s fine & good, but what about everybody else in the middle east being at risk...?  (jds)

FriedmanObama  ♦  Thomas Friedman interviews President Obama
cf. The New York Time's Video & interview with President Obama :
NYTinterview_Thomas Friedman & President Obama

April 4th 2015: Charlie Rose interviewed Admiral Michael Mullen & White House communication advisor Ben Rhodes : The difference between Admiral Mullen & Ben Rhodes is not only experience and age but the way they wear their rose ties. Seriously, both interviews are of interest. Mr. Rhodes speaks for the White House with conviction while Admiral Mullen from experience somewhat less convinced that we as a nation always make the best decisions in the world.  (jds)

AdmiralMullenBenRhodes  ♦ Admiral Mullen & Ben Rhodes on Charlie Rose
cf. Charlie Rose interviews of Admiral Michael Mullen, Ben Rhodes and Wikipedia Michael Mullen & Ben Rhodes
CharlieRose_Admiral Mullen
CharlieRose_Ben Rhodes
Wikipedia_Michael Mullen
Wikipedia_Ben Rhodes

April 4th 2015: The real Isis was an Egyptian goddess : not ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) or anywhere else for that matter..!  She (Isis of Egypt) was the ideal mother and wife, a patroness of nature and magic, a friend to slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden as well as goddess of children and protector of the dead. The problem here is the difference between states and religions. Religions are for people, states for governing. Throughout history whenever religions started governing people problems usually arose. And still do every time one uses the name of God, Allah, Buddha, Yahweh, Ahura Mazda or whatever out of context of our universe and origin so vastly beyond the limits of human conception, science, reason and imagination. So here's to Isis, the Egyptian goddess. Upon her head is a throne, possibly a symbol that leaders, nations & religions should learn more from humanity's past virtues & failures. (jds)

ISIS  ♦  Egyptian goddess Isis, unquestionably prettier & more virtuous than  ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria)
cf. The Egyptain goddess Isis, Ancient Egypt & Egyptian hieroglyphs
Wikipedia_Egyptian goddess Isis
Wikipedia_Ancient Egypt
Wikipedia_Egyptian hieroglyphs

April 3rd 2015: Good Friday in the Katholikon (assembly room) of Greece's Holy Trinity Monastery in Meteora.

HolyTrinityMonastery  ♦  The Katholikon of Holy Trinity Monastery in Meteora, Greece
cf. Good Friday & Greece's Monastery
Wikipedia_Good Friday
Wikipedia_Holy Trinity Monastery in Meteora, Greece

April 3rd 2015: BROOKINGS's Suzanne Maloney takes a close look at yersterday's "BIG DEAL" "It is not a final deal — not by a long shot — but the framework announced on Thursday was far more substantive than many had been expecting..." Suzanne Maloney wrote. The remaining hurdles to cross are many. Ms. Maloney stated: "One of the biggest red flags about today’s announcement is that while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a brief and relatively vague joint statement, there was no official text released that outlines any actual agreement among the seven parties..." until news of the deal began to trickle out in Iran & the White House. The basic problem is that the official narratives of Iran and the White House differ, which of course could be expected given that each nation has its own unique population to “placate” (for lack of a better word). (jds)

Zarif'sVictory  ♦  Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif Tehran homecoming "Victory Parade"
cf. BROOKINGS Suazanne Maloney, The TehranTimes & The Guardian
BROOKINGS_Suzanne Maloney The Deal not Done yet
TehranTimes_Iran's Nuclear Deal Framework
TheGuardian_Mohammad Zarif's Victory lap

April 2nd 2015: 'Framework' for the final deal of Iran nuclear talks supposedly reached at Lausanne, Switzerland... So maybe everybody can go home now for Easter & Iran's 13th day after the New Year "Nou Ruz" نوروز‎ called "Sizdah be dar" سیزده بدر and relax just until the next deadline of July 1st. Then maybe everybody can go back home again for summer vacation..? (jds)

Framework  ♦  The P5+1 (US, UK, France, China, Russia plus Germany and the EU) vs. Iran
cf. BBC World News, Reuters & President Obama's "a good deal" ...
BBC_WorldNews_Framework reached
REUTERS_Iran's Framework
REUTERS_Prsident Obama says "a good deal"

April 1st 2015: Iraq declares Tikrit 'Victory':  Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi parades on the streets of Tikrit with Iraq's flag held high after a month-long battle to recapture the city from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria. Iraq's Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban said "Most of Tikrit today is liberated, only small parts remain (outside our control)...". Meanwhile ISIS is parading tanks & weapons on the streets of Mosul while Iraq celebrates victory over Tikrit. (jds)

TikritVictory  ♦  Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (center) bearing the flag of Victory
cf. The BBC MiddleEast News, Reuters Iraq Crisis, Al Jazeera & Kurdish Rudah News...
BBC_MiddleEastNews_Iraq takes back Tikrit
Reuters_Mideast Iraq Crisis
AlJazeera_Iisil falls Iraq regains Tikrit

April 1st 2015: April 1st Fools' Day possibly dates back to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392) He wrote in the "Nun's Priest's Tale "Since March began thirty days and two" which probably means 32 days after March (ie. King Richard II & Anne of Bohemia engagement anniversary) instead of April 1st and Chaucer's "The story of Chanticleer (a rooster) & the fox". Chaucer's story is about how Chanticleer, a rooster was caught by a fox and how Chanticleer tricks the fox to get free again. Whatever, from Chaucer and then on the 1st of April was solidy rooted in a Fools' Day and not Chaucer's tale of Chanticleer & the fox. Even a 16th century French poet (Eloy d'Amerval) made the 1st of April into a "Poisson d’Avril" (April Fish) day. Later on in 17th century John Aubrey, an English historian & natural science philosopher referred to April 1st as a "Fooles holy day". (jds)

Chaucer'sChanticleerAndFox  ♦  Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century tale: "Chanticleer and the Fox"
cf. Wikipedia April Fools' Day, Chaucer's Chanticleer & the fox
Wikipedia_April Fools' Day
Wikipedia_Chaucer's Chanticleer & Fox Tale

arrow April 2015

DownArrow  March 2015

March 31st 2015: Charlie Rose interviewed Evan Osnos of The New Yorker on China's President Xi Jinping. Mr. Evan Osnos lived in China during 8 years and wrote the "Letter from China" for The New Yorker magazine for a handful of years. Along with Charlie he shares some key insights into the strong personality and character of China's President Xi Jinping. (jds)

EvanOsnos  ♦ Charlie Rose interviews Evan Osnos about China's Xi Jinping
cf. Charlie Rose's interview, Evan Osnos & Xi Jinping...
CharlieRose_Evan Osnos & China's Xi Jinping
TheNewYorker_Evan Osnos

March 31st 2015: "The Big Deal" flops so far...! :  Bargaining with Iranians is a true art. It takes time and patience, lots of patience and time. And one should never let on a direr need for something, be it shopping in the bazar or nuclear discussions in Lausanne. Why, because you'll usually get what you want, but at a very high price to pay. (jds)

TheBigDeal  ♦ The Big Deal & dealers...
cf. Talks continue after deadline, Bloomberg News, Key points of talks & What Iran's people want and The Tehran Times...
BBC_Nuclear Talks continue to Thursday
Bloomberg_Nuclear talks pushed to Wednesday
BBC_Nuclear Talks key points
BBC_What Iran's people want
Iran's_Tehran Times

March 29th 2015: Charlie Rose's interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during the interview with Charlie Rose mentions a few times that he's "human", which apparently is not the best compliment the human race has ever had. Assad also claimed the war in Syria is "... not a traditional war. It's not about capturing land and gaining land. It's about winning the hearts and minds of the Syrians. We cannot win the heart and minds of the Syrians while we are killing Syrians." Now that might be good logic, but why then has Bashar al-Assad, his family & cohorts been killing and torturing Syrians for over the past 4 years...? (jds)

CharlieRoseBasharAlAssad  ♦  Charlie Rose interviews President Bashar al-Assad
cf. Charlie Rose's interview with Bashar al-Assad & discussion on CBS 60 Minutes :
CharlieRose & Bashar al-Assad
CBS_60 Minutes Charlie Rose & Bashar al-Assad

March 27th 2015: Children spend six hours or more a day on screens :  Jane Wakefield of BBC's Technology reports: "Children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen... according to market research firm ChildWise in the UK." Screen time is defined as "watching TV, playing games consoles, using a mobile, computer or tablet." Whatever, 6 1/2 hours watching digitalized screens per day probably means lots of kids are going to be wearing glasses later on. A little less digitalized and obviously more constructive see Jane Wakefield's other article on Kids building robots from drinking straws. (jds)

KidsAndGadgets  ♦  Kids & screens and hours known per day...
KidsAndStraws  ♦  Kids & straws and hours unknown per day...
cf. BBC Technology by Jane Wakefield, screens & straws and ChildWise reports...
BBC_Technology Kids & screens
BBC_Technology Kids & straws
UK's_ChildWise Research & Surveys

March 27th 2015: US Senator Harry Reid will not seek re-election Senator Harry Reid has been the Democratic majority leader of the Senate for the last 9 years. At present he is minority leader. Mr. Reid served for 4 years (1983-1987) in the US House of Representatives, and so far 28 years in United States Senate (1987-2015). He will step down in 2016 with more than 30 some years of governmental service. (jds)

HarryReid  ♦  US Senator Harry Reid steps down in 2016 ...
cf. BBC US News, USA Today, Senator Reid's government web site & Wikipedia Harry Reid :
BBC_US NEWS_ Senator Harry Reid announces
USA Today_Senator Harry Reid retires in 2016
SenateGovernment_ Harry Reid
Wikipedia_Senator Harry Reid

March 26th 2015: Yemen's Chaos Stretches Beyond its Borders :  Greg Myre of NPR's parallels writes: "Yemen's downward spiral toward civil war is a disaster for the poorest country in the Arab world". A week or so ago when the US pulled out of Yemen Saudi Arabia proposed to "pull in" and has with a coalition far bigger in numbers than a handful of drones. Jeremy Shapiro of BROOKINGS wrote an article on "Why are 10 countries attacking Yemen..?" and quoted Mark Twain as having once said: "God created wars so that Americans could learn geography". Whatever, both Jeremy Shapiro & Mark Twain are well worth reading as "Yemen's Chaos Stretches Beyond its Borders". (jds)

YemenHouthiShiites  ♦  Young Houthi Yemenites backed by Iran and ready for battle ...
cf. BROOKINGS, NPR's parallels, BBC MiddleEast News & Reuters ...
BROOKINGS_Jeremy Shapiro on Yemen
NPRparallels_Yemen's chaos
Reuters_Yemen & USA security

March 26th 2015: Saudi Arabia launches air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen: The BBC reports Saudi jets targeted Houthi (Shia) positions, missile batteries and warplanes in Yemen's capital Sanaa overnight. Beforehand, Saudi Arabia had formed coalition with 7 countries: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan with Egypt, Jordan, Sudan & Pakistan offering to take part in any eventual ground offensive in Yemen. Yemen is one if not the poorest country in the Middle East. The Houthi (Shia) rebels of Yemen have been actively supported by Iran.  (jds)

YemenSaudiArabi  ♦  BBC's Breaking News: Yemen & Saudi Arabia crisis begins...
cf. BBC Middle East NEWS & Yemen
BBC_MiddleEastNews_Yemen & Saudi Arabia

March 26th 2015: Amnesty International says "Hamas rocket attacks amounted to war crimes" : Last summer's 50 day conflict between Gaza & Israel left at least 2,189 Palestinians dead compared to Israel's 73 (67 soldiers and 6 civilians). This enormous disparity in fatalities is due in part to tactics & weaponry. Israel's weapons and self-defense were by far superior to Hamas, but Hamas's public media tactics were more effective than Israel's. Nevertheless, Amnesty International accused Hamas of "flagrant disregard" for civilian lives and property during the 50-day war. Apparently Hamas was storing rockets and munitions in civilian and some United Nations buildings and firing them from there as well as from civilian shelters. This drew near immediate retaliation from Israel to the exact launching sites of Hamas's unguided missiles, which more than not caused many civilian casualties and deaths. According to data from the United Nations more than 4,800 rockets and nearly 2 thousand mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel, yet only couple hundred or so supposedly hit Israeli residential areas. (jds)

HamasRockets  ♦  Rockets from Gaza to Israel from July 8th 2014 until August 26th 2014 ...
cf. BBC's Middle East Amnesty International & 2014's 50 day war's end...
BBC_MiddleEast_Amnesty vs Gaza's Hamas
BBC_MiddleEast_Hamas & Israel 50 day war's end
Wikipedia_about Hamas

March 27th 2015: "co-pilot crashed jet deliberately" says prosecutor from Marseille, France (Reuters)
March 26th 2015: "co-pilot likely crashed jet deliberately", says prosecutor from Marseille, France (Reuters)
March 25th 2015: Pilot "locked out of cockpit" on Flight 4U 9525 Hence, the other pilot in the cockpit took the lives of 149 people (children & adults)...(jds)
March 24th 2015: Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona Spain to Dusseldorf Germany: The altitude graph is in feet & GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) pictured alongside the already recovered cockpit voice recorder.  Citizens from Germany, Spain, the UK, Australia, Japan, Israel, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Denmark, the Netherlands, the USA, Belgium & Argentina are considered among the dead. In total 150 people lost their lives, (144 passengers, 4 cabin crew plus 2 pilots).  (jds)

FlightRecorded  ♦  Flight 4U 9525
UPDATE 27th March: "co-pilot crashed jet deliberately"  (Reuters) (NYT) & (BBC)C)
cf. UPDATES: Reuters, The NewYorkTimes & BBC reportage of Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona Spain to Dusseldorf Germany
Reuters_co-pilot likely crashed jet deliberately
TheNewYorkTimes_Update Flight 4U 9525
BBC_Flight 4U 9525 co-pilot
BBC_Flight 4U 9525

March 23rd 2015: Charlie Rose interviewed Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore in October 2000Lee Kuan Yew was the first Prime Minister of Singapore and remained so during 3 decades (1959 to 1990). He is considered the founding father of modern Singapore and had a great influence upon Deng Xiaoping efforts to modernize China's economy. He was a man not afraid to say and do what he thought best for Singapore.  (jds)

LeeKuanYew  ♦ Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015)
cf. Charlie Rose's October 2000 interview with Lee Kuan Yew & his long life and influence ...
CharlieRose_Lee Kuan Yew
Wikipedia_Lee Kuan Yew

March 23rd 2015: Prior to meeting together, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested to Greece's Prime Minister Alxeis Tsipras: "it's better to talk to - not about - each other..!"   Greece's enormous debt, 25% loss in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 60% youth unemployment are near insurmountable economic problems, especially given a somewhat radical socialistic concept of government. Apparently there seems to be no suitable solutions to Greece's economic and social dilemmas other than buckling down and redressing itself. Otherwise, both Greece and the European Union may well be at a great loss. (jds)

TsiprasMerkel  ♦ Greece's Prime Minister Alxeis Tsipras & German Chancellor Angela Merkel
cf. BBC News, The NewYorkTimes, Alexis Tsipras, Greece's Debt & long History
BBC_NEWS_ Alxeis Tsipras & Angela Merkel
The NewYorkTimes_Alxeis Tsipras & Angela Merkel
Wikipedia_Alexis Tsipras
Wikipedia_Greek debt crisis
Wikipedia_Greek history

March 22nd 2015: Two men who uncovered much of Iraq's Assyrian past 170 years ago by the BBC's Daniel Silas AdamsonMr. Adamson describes how Austen Layard & Hormuzd Rassam worked together in Iraq's ancient cities of Mosul, Nineveh and Nimrud unearthing Iraq's Assyrian past and treasures. Much of what they discovered can be found in the British Museum or Iraq's National Museum in Baghdad today. Most important of all were the cuneiform tablets Hormuzd Rassam uncovered which opened up the door to Iraq's ancient past and records. Especially the Epic of Gilgamesh that George Smith, a brilliant young man was able to decipher. Mr. Adamson's article reads as an exciting adventure into the past, yet deeply troubled by the ignorant destruction of Iraq's rich past & heritage by current ISIS militants.  (jds)

LaylardRassam  ♦ Austen Layard (1817 - 1894) & Hormuzd Rassam (1826 - 1910)
GeorgeSmithGilgamesh  ♦ George Smith (1840 - 1876) & Epic of Gilgamesh
cf. BBC's Daniel Adamson's article, Austen Layard, Hormuzd Rassam, George Smith, Epic of Gilgamesh & Daniel Adamson's web page
BBC_Magazine_Daniel Adamson's article
Wikipedia_Austen Henry Layard
Wikipedia_Hormuzd Rassam
Wikipedia_/George Smith Assyriologist
Wikipedia_Epic of Gilgamesh
Daniel Silas Adamson's web page

March 22nd 2015: Young woman killed by mob in Kabul was innocent, says investigatorThe young woman Farkhunda who'd been studying to become a teacher was killed for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran. A mob attacked her with sticks and stones and beat her to death before setting her body on fire. Aparently she was wrongly accused and entirely innocent General Mohammad Zahir of Kabul's interior ministry told Associated Press reporters. Only women carried Farkhunda's coffin to the grave, which entirely broke with Afghanistan's & normal Islamic funeral traditions. (jds)
BBC UPDATED 23rd of March: Farkhunda killed for arguing with a mullah who was selling worthless charms to women at a shrine...
Farkhunda  ♦ Afghanistan's women putting unjustly accused & killed Farkhunda to rest.
UPDATED 23rd of March: "... Farkhunda killed for arguing with a mullah selling wothless charms to women ..." 
cf. BBC's Upadte, BBC Asisa NEWS & Today's Zaman News :
BBC_UPDATE_Afghan Young Woman & mullah
BBC_AsiaNews_Afgan Young Woman killed by mob
TodaysZaman_Afghan Young Woman killed by mob

March 21st 2015: Iran nuclear talks: "Deal can be reached", says Rouhani: Hamid Azimi, of the Iranian American Community of Northern California said "The Problem is the Mullahs, not the nukes". Well that’s probably true given that if there hadn't been Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution then there wouldn't be so many mullahs in governmental positions as there are today. They'd be in their mosques where they belong, instead of preaching politics, making nuclear bombs and commanding Revolutionary Guards & Quds Forces...  (jds)

Rouhani  ♦ Iran's Hassan Rouhani, deals & dreams & doubts...
cf. BBC's Middle East NEWS, Iran Focus, TehranTimes and Wikipedia Hassan Rouhani & Ali Khamenei ...
IranFocus_Problem is Mullahs
TehranTimes_Iran's Supreme Leader comments
Wikipedia_Hassan Rouhani
Wikipedia_Ali Khamenei

March 20th 2015: David Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq: Liz Sly of The Washington Post interviewed David Petraeus about what happened in Iraq and what's happening today. Contrary to popular belief, ISIS is not the major problem in Iraq, Iran is. Liz Sly's interview with David Petraeus is remarkably blunt, to the point and well worth reading to better understand what’s really going on in the Middle East. (jds)

SoleimaniPetraeus  ♦ Iran's General Qasem Soleimani & David Petraeus
cf. The Washington Post, Qasem Soleimani & David Petraeus:
TheWashingtonPost_David Patraeus on Iraq & Iran
TheWashingtonPost_David Petraeus on the Middle East
Wikipedia_David Petraeus
Wikipedia_Qasem Soleimani

March 19th 2015: To The Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org): Anne Strainchamps interviews Hermione Lee on her book Penelope Fitzgerald A Life, rated among the 10 best books of year in 2014 by The New York Times Book Review. Penelope Fitzgerald herself was rated among the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. She started writing in her late 50s and wrote 9 novels, 3 biographies and a few collections of short stories.  (jds)

PenelopeFitzgerald  ♦ Penelope Fitzgerald A Life (1916 - 2000) by Hermione Lee
cf. TTBOOK.org, Amazon & Wikipedia :
TTBOOK_Penelope Fitzgerald
Amazon_Penelope Fitzgerald by Hermione Lee
Wikipedia_Penelope Fitzgerald

March 19th 2015: Deutsche Welle: "Inside Europe":  This week's program: Tensions between Greece & Germany, Anti-Semitism in Scandinavia, France's far right National Front party, Britain's teenage talent, Scotland sectarianism & Football, Turkey's atheists face threats & legal problems, Latvia & abortion, Ireland's Saint Patrick's Day and Prague's jukebox poetry. (jds)

GreeceAndGermany  ♦ Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble & Greece's Yanis Varoufakis ...
cf. DW's "Inside Europe" & The Economist on Germany, Greece squabbles & history
Deutsche Welle: Inside Europe
TheEcononmist: Germany & Greece squabbles & history

March 19th 2015: Iranians Negotiate while President Obama sends "Nou Ruz" ( نوروز‎ ) greetings ... The Persian feast of "Nou Ruz" (New Day) is rooted in ancient Zoroastrianism. It's the first day of spring or Equinox and beginning of the Persian calendar's new year. Iran's "Solar Hejri" calendar (SH) has been adapted to coincide with the Hijra of Muhammad from Mecca to Madina in 622 AD. Therefore today in Iran it's actually 1393 until Nou Ruz ushers in the New Year 1394. Afterwards comes 13 days of celebration visiting friends and family and on the thirteenth day everyone forgets the past and puts on the new, cloths, hopes, ideas, dreams, whatever and leaves the house and spends the day outdoors having a good time. It's obviously not the most appropriate time of the year to be talking about sanctions & bombs until after Iran's 13th day "Sizdah Be dar" ( سیزده بدر )  (jds)

IransNegotiators  ♦ Iranians Zarif & Salehi argue while President sends greetings
cf. BBC World NEWS and Wikipedia Equinox, Nowruz, Solar Hijri calendar & Sizdah be dar...
BBC_WorldNews_President Obama & Iran
Wikipedia_Sizdah Be dar

March 18th 2015: BROOKINGS Institute: The impact of Sesame Street & Workshop around the world: Jenny Robinson & Daniela Petrova explain Sesame Street's Workshop, how it got started, why millions are interested, and how Sesame Street's Local approach, Research and data, Partnerships, Financing and Technology works. After 45 years of TV broadcasting Sesame Street has accomplished what nobody could have ever imagined, especially little kids. And all preschoolers (and their couch potato parents) need to know is "How to Get to Sesame Street" to see & learn more... (jds)

SesameStreet  ♦ "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street ..?"
cf. Sesame Street, BROOKINGS, "Can you tell me How to Get to Sesame Street" & Wikipedia Sesame Street... 
Sesame Street Home
BROOKINGS_Sesame Street & Workshop
Wikipedia_Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street
Wikipedia_Sesame Street

March 17th 2015: Saint Patrick's Day...  Outside of folklore not much is known about Saint Patrick other than he dates back to the 5th century. Everybody has probably heard about the Shamrocks (3 leaf clovers) he used to preach with or all the snakes he chased out of Ireland. But that really doesn't explain all the Saint Patrick's Day parades, green ties and hats, bonnets and beer. What does is Lent, since if you gave up drinking, smoking, swearing, sweets or meats or whatever during lent you're dispensed on Saint Patrick's Day. Or at least that's what the Irish say, believe and do. (jds)

SaintPatrick  ♦ Saint Patrick, Shamrock & wooden cane that took root.
cf. Saint Patrick, Saint Patrick's day & parades
Wikipedia_Saint Patrick
Wikipedia_Saint Patrick Day Parades

March 17th 2015: "Iran and U.S. differ on Optimism about Nuclear Talks"  says Michael Gordon of The New York Times. Aside from Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Zarif of Iran, two others have joined the Nuclear talks; Ernest Moniz, US Energy Secretary and Ali Akbar Salehi of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization. Ali Salehi has been around for a long time and held various academic, political & diplomatic positions for Iran. Mr. Moniz the same in the United States and both are nuclear physicists by profession, which adds another more technical dimension to the talks going on between Mr. Kerry and Mr. Zarif. The big deal seems to be no bombs, no sanctions or no sanctions, no bombs. It's kind of like a poker game when nobody wants to call the other's bluff. (jds)

NukeTalks  ♦ Monsieurs Ernest Moniz, John Kerry, Mohammad Javad Zarif & Ali Akbar Salehi
cf. The New York Times, Salehi, Zarif & Ernest Moniz...
NewYorkTimes_Nuclear Talks
Wikipedia_Ali Akbar Salehi
Wikipedia_Mohammad Javad Zarif
Wikipedia_Ernest Moniz

March 16th 2015: Kurds concerned over Iranian backed Shia militias in Iraq:   Efforts to recapture Tikrit (140 km northwest of Baghdad on the Tigris River) from the Islamic State (IS) is being led by around 20 thousand Shia militias and 3 thousand Iraqi soldiers. Masrour Barzani, Chancellor of Kurdistan's Region Security is concerned that Shia militias may create some serious problems between Sunni & Shia Moslems in Iraq. The militias are being led by Iraqi General Jamal Jaafar Mohammed and General Qassem Soleimani of the Quds Force, a special forces unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Barzani is quoted as saying "... if revenge, retaliation between sects or religions, ethnic groups happens then this will become a much more difficult problem and its control is going to be even more difficult..." This may already be about to happen given that ISIS is held up in the center of Tikrit while Shia militias and Iraqi soldiers are positioned on the outskirts of Tikrit preparing to attack. Mr. Barani also complained that the Iraqi government in Bagdad is helping financing the Shia militias and Quds Force, but not at all the Kurdish Peshmerga. (jds)

MasrourBarzani  ♦ Masrour Barzani, Chancellor of Kurdistan's Security is worried ..!
cf. BBC Middle East News, The Washington Post on past Ethnic problems, and Wikipedia on Masrour Barzani, The Quds Force & Tikrit ...
BBC_MiddleEast_Tikrit Attack
TheWashingtonPost_Iraq's Ethnic problems
Wikipedia_/Masrour Barzani
Wikipedia_Quds Force

March 15th 2015: Russian President Vladimir Putin is back after Sunday's two and a half hour TV documentary on how & why he ransacked Ukraine's Crimean peninsula:  The state owned Rossiya 1 TV station broadcast President Putin's documentary which appeared to be more of a two and half hour marathon in self-delusion and admiration than a factual account of his unquenchable appetite for land grabbing and power. So be it, since nobody outside of Russia seemed to pay much attention to Mr. Putin other than his absence from the media except for Ukraine, who came out with its own documentary and version of what really happened to Crimea. (jds)

PutinIsBack  ♦ President Putin's back on the media again after days of absence ...
cf. The Russian & Ukrainian Crimean documentaries, Japan Times and how President Putin rose to Power...
YouTube_Russian Version
YouTube_Ukrainian Version
JapanTimes_Version of Russia & Ukraine
YouTube_How Putin Rose to Power

March 14th 2015: John Kerry says "... it is possible to reach an interim deal with Iran ...": Everything may be possible but what is probable given that Iran recently appointed Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi an 83 year old hardliner to head Iran's powerful Assembly of Experts. Iran's Assembly of Experts is a bunch of mullahs who run the country like a Religious Supreme Court and appoint the Supreme Leader. Since the current 75 year old Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is supposedly not in the best of health, the appointment of Yazdi to head the Assembly of Experts is most likely a step backwards instead of forwards. Yazdi goes all the way back to Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, which was not the most glorious epoch of Iran's long history.  (jds)

YazdiKerry   ♦ Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi & Secretary of State John Kerry
cf. Reuters & The BBC Middle East News :
Reuters_John Kerry on Iran
BBC_MiddleEast_Mohammad Yazdi

March 14th 2015: This week's To The Best Of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK.org) on Race & Justice: Anne Strainchamps talks with Alex Gee, Erica Nelson, Charles Monroe- Kane, Jill Leovy, Bryan Stevenson & John Safran about Race and Justice. (jds)

RaceJustcie  ♦ NPR's To The Best Of Our Knowledge
cf. NPR's TTBOOK.org broacasting out of Madison, Wisconsin
ToTheBestOfOurKnowledge_On Race & Justice

March 14th 2015: Pope's Financial Reforms Rattle Vatican's Old Guard:  NPR's Sylvia Poggioli mentions how the "Vatican Bank closed down thousands of suspicious bank accounts, and signed cooperation agreements with countries for full transparency and exchange of information to combat tax evasion and money laundering." The Vatican's major financial reforms were the work of Cardinal George Pell from Australia. Pope Francis also recently mentioned in an interview that he planned on retiring from the papacy possibly in three or four more years. (jds)

PopeFrancis  ♦ Pope Francis & Vatican's Financial Reforms
cf. NPR's Parallels with Syvia Poggioli, BBC Europe & Ireland's RTE news
NPR_parallels_Pope's Vatican Reforms 
BBC_Europe_Pope Francis
Ireland's RTE_Pope Francis anniversary

March 13th 2015: Deutsche Welle: "Inside Europe, The inside take on European affairs": This week who killed Boris Nemtsov..? pro-Moscow schools in Crimea, Syrian refugees in Turkey, London's red telephone booths, Berlin's Jewish community, Vatican excomunicates Mafia, and more... (jds)

BorisNemtsov  ♦ Deutsche Welle (DW): Inside Europe
cf. listen to DW Radio Inside Europe
DW_Radio Inside Europe

March 12th 2015: The Ideology of the Islamic State by Cole Bunzel: BROOKINGS introduction: "While the Islamic State dominates headlines through its brutal tactics and pervasive propaganda, there is little awareness of the unique ideology driving the group's strategy. Drawing from private correspondence, statements, speeches, and Islamic theology, Cole Bunzel unpacks the ideology of the Islamic State in a new analysis paper."  ref. BROOKINGS Institution, NB. Cole Bunzel's paper is in PDF (Public Document Format) (jds)

IslamicState  ColeBunzel 
cf. The Ideology of the Islamic State by Cole Bunzel  and his arrticle on: "Jihadi leaders aren't billiard balls"
BROOKINGS_Jihadi leaders aren't billard balls

March 12th 2015: Albino murders: "More than 200 witchdoctors arrested" in Tanzania. BBC Africa reports in Tanzania: "More than 200 witchdoctors and traditional healers have been arrested in a crackdown on the murder of albinos." Across some parts of Africa, especially Tanzania & Malawi albinos are killed for their body parts, which are then sold to witchdoctors for rituals and potions. The superstition is that Albino body parts have special properties that assure wealth and wellbeing. In Tanzania Albinism occurs about one in 1,400 births while elsewhere about one in 20,000. Tanzania's high rate is possibly due to over inbreeding. (jds)

Albinos  ♦ Young albino boys lives threaten in Tanzania & Malawi
cf. The BBC's Africa News, The Daily Mail & Wikipedia on Albinism
BBC_Africa Young Albinos threatened
DailyMail_Africa's Albinos threatened

March 11th 2015: Churchill's plan to give Magna Carta copy to US:  The United Kingdom this June will celebrate 800 years of the Magna Carte. "The Magna Carta was authorized the 15th of June 1215. It is considered one of the first steps towards parliamentary democracy. It included the principle that no one was above the law, including the King." Churchill planned to give the Lincoln Cathedral copy of the Magna Carta to the US to boost wartime support during WWII. The Magna Carta copy that Churchill wanted to give the United States ended up in Fort Knox until 1946 when it was properly returned to England. ref. BBC Arts, (jds)

KingJohn  ♦ King John looks rather troubled, not even he was above the law...!"
cf. BBC Arts and Wikipedia Magna Carta & King John's reign (1199 - 1216)
BBC_Churchill & The Magna Carta
Wikipedia_ Magna Carta
Wikipedia_King John

March 11th 2015: Boris Nemtsov's murder suspects confessions 'forced':  A member of Russia's advisory human rights council and a journalist visited the suspects of Boris Memtsov's murder in prison. They came to the conclusion there is reason to believe the two charged suspects (Zaur Dadayev & Anzor Gubashev) were forced into confessing to Nemtsov's murder. Furthermore in an interview with the BBC Nemtsov's daughter Zhanna said she holds President Putin 'politically' to blame for her father's death. So far there are many tangled and contradictory accounts of what exactly happened and why, which Reuters News Service attempts to untangle in a timeline of 13 days since the February 27th shooting of Boris Nemtsov. (jds)

NemtsovCharged  ♦ Zaur Dadayev behind bars & accused of Nemtsov's murder ...
cf. Reuters Timeline, The NewYorkTimes & BBC News of Nemtsov Affair ...
Reuters_Nemtsov's Investigation Timeline
TheNewYorkTimes_Murder Suspects Confessions
BBC_WorldNews_Boris Nemtsov Affair
BBC_WorldNews_Boris Nemtsov's Daughter

March 11th 2015: Greece threatens to seize German property as WWII compensation. Greece has been after Germany to pay WWII compensation ever since the war ended. Germany did in 1960 and then again in 1990 just before German reunification with East Germany. Nevertheless the issue is alive again today after having been before courts in Greece, Italy, Germany and The Hague. (jds)

GreeceDemands  ♦ Greeks seeking Germany compensation for WWII crimes
cf. BBC World News, compensations & court decisions and Greece's Distomo massacre
BBC_EuropeNews_Greece compensations
BBC_EuropeNews_Greece court decisions
Wikipedia_WWII Distomo massacre

March 10th 2015: Wikimedia sues NSA over surveillance.  "Wikimedia's non profit Foundation is taking action against the NSA's so-called "upstream" surveillance which targets communication with people not in the United States. NSA is apparently tapping into the Internet's principle data routes or hubs that Internet Service Providers (ISP) use as major transit points and therefore knows who goes where, when and how on the internet. Within the United States NSA has to have somekind of warrant for snooping around, but elsewhere it's the wild, wild West (or East). And that's what troubles Wikimedia's Foundation since people from all over the world are visitors and users of their encyclopedia, Wikipedia. (jds)

NSA  ♦ Wikimedia v. NSA. U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, No. 1:15-cv-00662
cf. BBC Technology, Reuters, TheNewYorkTimes & Wikipedia J. Wales, L. Tretikov and list of countries & languages :
BBC_Technology Wikimedia vs. NSA
Reuters_Wikimedia vs. NSA
NewYorkTimes_Jimmy Wales & Lila Tretikov
Wikipedia_Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia_Lila Tretikov
Wikipedia_List of Countries & Languages

March 9th 2015: Apple's Watches, no tick tock only money honey ...!  For those of us who love gadgets and fashionable things, this is paradise from $349 to $17,000. Seriously however, Apple continues to mimic its talented founder's most famous phrase "... and the price is only ... " (jds)

AppleWatches  ♦  "... and the price is only $349 to $17,000 ..."
cf. BBC Technology Reviews & Apple's online Publicity
BBC_Technology Apple's Watches
BBC_Technology Apple's Presentation
Apple's Publicity

March 9th 2015: Putin reveals secrets of Russia's Crimea takeover plot. Speaking on a forthcoming TV documentary, Mr. Putin made it known that he ordered the plan to annex Crimea weeks in advance to the referendum on Crimea's (somewhat bogus) vote for self-determination. The full documentary will be broadcast soon on a Russian state-run TV channel called Rossiya-1, and no doubt will uncover more of Mr. Putin's plans for Ukraine, Donestk, Mariupol, Crimea and the rest of the world. (jds)

PutinAndCrimea  ♦ President Vladimir Putin and how he pushed Ukraine's Crimea back into Russia ..!
cf. The BBC WolrdNews, TheGuardian & Wikpedia Crimean Crisis ..
BBC_WorldNews_Mr.Putin's Crimea
TheGuardian_Mr. Putin's Crimea
Wikipedia_The Crimean Crisis

March 9th 2015: Greek's Finance minister says Greece may resort to a referendum or election if the European Union rejects the country's debt renegotiation plans.  Then Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tells his Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to use "fewer words and more action". Apparently Greece is in for "A Hard Day's Night" of negotiations with the European Union today. (jds)

GreekFinanceMinister  ♦ Greece's vivacious Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
Update March 9th: Greece told to "stop wasting time" over debt deal ...
cf. BBC Update, Deutsche Welle, The BBC Europe & Beatles "Hard Day's Night"
BBC_Update_Greece "Stop Wasting Time"
DeutscheWelle_Greece's Debt Plans
BBC_NewsEurope_Greece's Debt Plans
YouTube_Beatles Hard Day's Night

"It's been a hard day's night, and I been working like a dog"
"It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log"
"But when I get home to you I find the things that you do"
"Will make me feel alright..."

March 7th 2015: Chinese authorities removed Chai Jing's documentary "Under the Dome" from websites. Chai Jing’s film is more than a simple documentary. It's a hard-hitting account of China's air pollution that has been afflicting urban dwellers mercilessly for decades.  (jds)

ChinaPollution  ♦ "Under the Dome" of air pollution by Chai Jing
cf. The Guardian, YouTube, Wikipedia Under the Dome & Chai Jing...
TheGuardian_China air pollution documentary
YouTube_Under the Dome by Chai Jing
Wkipedia_Chai Jing
Wikipedia_Under the Dome

March 7th 2015: Two suspects in Boris Nemtsov's murder detained.  Alexander Bortnikov, the director of Russia's FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) announced that two residents of Russia's Caucasus region have been detained "on suspicion of committing the crime". The two suspects of Chechen origin were charged with the murder of Boris Nemstov by a district court in Moscow Sunday, the 8th of March. Given Mr. Bortnikov's past KGB experience and current reputation at Russia's FSB, the case of who exactly killed Boris Nemtsov and why may have been solved even before it happened. (jds)

BorisNemtsov  ♦  Boris Nemtsov (1959 -2015)
Update March 8th: Russia court charges two men of Chechen origin with murder of Boris Nemtsov
cf. BBC's Update, Radio Free Europe, BBC Europe NEWS & Alexander Bortnikov
BBC_Upadte Chechen men charged with Nemtsov's murder
RadioFreeEurope_Boris Nemtsov's Assassination
BBC_EuropeNews_Boris Nemtsov's Assassination
Wikipedia_Alexander Bortnikov

March 6th 2015: Edward Snowden seeks asylum in Switzerland.  In 2013 Snowden disclosed classified documents of global surveillance programs that he acquired while working as an NSA (National Security Agency) contractor. He fled and ended up in Russia with a temporary residency permit. He has been seeking asylum within the European Union ever since. While speaking via a video link to a Geneva audience from Russia, Snowden mentioned that he had requested asylum in at least 21 countries with little success, and added "I would love to return to Switzerland". He forgot to mention to his audience that he'd previously worked undercover for the CIA in Geneva. (jds)

EdwardSnowden  ♦  Edward Snowden from Russia with love for Geneva ...
cf. BBC World News, The International Business Times & Wikipedia on Edward Snowden...
BBC_WorldNews_ Edward Snowden
InternationalBusinessTimes_Edward Snowden
Wikipedia_Edward Snowden

March 5th 2015: Islamic State militants bulldoze ancient city of Nimrud near Mosul, Iraq. There is nothing "Islamic" or "Stately" about destroying a nation's past history and culture. It's only blind ignorance & arrogant hatred of what others have accomplished that can foster such folly. Nimrud historically known as Assyrian Kahul has been around for thousands of centuries and will rise up again out of its own ruins to conquer such utter ignorance, vandalism & useless destruction. (jds)

Nimrud  ♦  an old man shaking hands with the guardians of his nation's past ...
cf. Reuters, TheGuardian, BBC MiddleEast & Wikipedia Nimrud ...

March 5th 2015: Charlie Rose & Brain Series III on "Aggression": With David Anderson of the California Institute of Technology, Richard Tremblay of University of Montreal, Johanna Ray Vollhardt of Clark University, Emil Coccaro of University of Chicago, Adrian Raine of University of Pennsylvania, and Eric Kandel. The 1st Brain Series dealt with the Normal brain's perception, learning & memory. The 2nd dealt with some of the brain's Abnormalities such as Schizophrenia, Depression, Parkinson’s & Alzheimer's disease. Eric Kandel, the “brain” behind Charlie Rose's Brain Series explains the 3rd series will be concerned about various social issues, such as today's emission on aggression. (jds)

BrainSeries3  ♦  Charlie Rose's Brain Series III episode 1 on "Aggression"
cf. The Brain Series III on Aggression :
CharlieRose_Brain Series III "Aggression"

March 4th 2015: Argentina accuses dead prosecutor of 'destabilizing' country Not only did the government accuse the dead prosecutor Albert Nisam of destabilizing the country, but also took out ads in newspapers praising the judge who dismissed the case Nisam planned to present on the day he was found dead in his apartment with a bullet in his head. Then the day after the government's advertising campaign praising Judge Daniel Rafecas for dismissing Nisam’s case concerning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires as without merit, another young prosecutor (Gerardo Pollicita) stood up and challenged the judge’s decision. It should be noted that de Kirchner's government controls about 80% of Argentina's media and isn't very apt at giving up anything, especially control of public opinion. (jds)

FernadezNisam  ♦  Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner & Alberto Nisam (1963 - 2015)
UPDATE March 5th: Alberto Nisman's family say he was murdered (independent tests ruled out accident or suicide).
cf. The BBC breakings news, Deutsche Welle (DW), TheGuardian, BuenosAiresHerald & Wikipedia ...
BBC_Breaking News Alberto Nisman murdered
DeutscheWelle_Albert Nisam Case
TheGuradian_Alberto Nisam
BuenosAiresHerald_Alberto Nisam Case
Wikipedia_Alberto Nisman
Wikipedia_Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

March 4th 2015: US President Obama says "nothing new" in Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to Congress. Of course Israel's Prime Minister lives closer to Iran than the so called P5+1 does (ie. the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: US, Russia, China, UK & France plus Germany). So maybe Mr. Netanyahu knows a little more about Iran and its plans than the others do..? Whatever, getting Iran to agree and adhere to the UN's Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) isn't going to be all that simple. (jds)

Netanyahu  ♦  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
cf. BBC's News & reactions, The China Daily & UN's Non-Proliferation Treaty
BBC_News_Netanyahu's Speech
TheChinaDaily_Netanyahu's Speech

March 3rd 2015: Charlie Rose talks with Tom Friedman about Prime Minister Netanyahu visit to US Congress. 

TomFriedman  ♦  Charlie Rose and Thomas Friedman on Iran & Israel
cf. Charlie Rose & Tom Freidman's interview & Wikipedia...
CharlieRose_Tom Friedman
Wikipedia_Thomas Freidman

March 3rd 2015: Charlie Rose interviews James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. Mr. Clapper has had his ups and downs when appearing before Congress, but had a much better time with Charlie Rose. This was a rare interview with the Director of National Intelligence & well worth watching. (jds)

JamesClapper  ♦  James Robert Clapper on Charlie Rose
cf. Charlie Rose's interview & James Clapper
CharlieRose_James Clapper
Wikipedia_James Clapper

March 2nd 2015: Precious Chinese artefacts stolen from France's Chateau de Fontainebleau Thieves, apparently professionals spent barely seven minutes in the Empress' Chinese Museum of Fontainebleau stealing 15 precious Chinese artefacts from one of the most secure and well equipped parts of the Chateau with surveillance devices & alarms. Among the stolen items was a replica of the King of Siam's crown (now Thailand) given to Emperor Napoleon III in 1861. (jds)

Fontainebleau ♦  Fontainebleau's Chinese Museum & Napoleon III's Siamese Embassy reception in 1861
cf. The BBC Fontainebleau Robbery, Chateau de Fontainebleau, Napoleon's auction
BBC_EuropeNews_Fontainebleau Robbery
Wikipedia_Chateau de Fontainebleau

March 2nd 2015: Singapore remains world's most expensive city... Karachi, Pakistan the cheapest... Every year The Economist's Intelligence Unit (EIU) comes out with an estimation of the most and least expensive urban cities in the world. The survey is based on 133 major cities worldwide with New York City as the the major reference point. (jds)

CostlyAndCheapCities  ♦  The World's most Expensive & Cheapest cities from Singapore to Karachi...
cf. BBC News, Channel News Asisa, Singapore's StraitsNewsAsisa & The Economist's Intelligence Unit ..:
BBC_Worlds Most and Least Expensive Cities
TheEconomist's Intelligence Unit

March 2nd 2015: Natalia Revuelta, a Cuban socialite & onetime mistress of Fidel Castro died at the age of 89 in Havana, Cuba. Married to a much older man, she became enamored by Castro and his cause. She lent him her home for meetings supporting his movement, gave him money and pawned her jewelry for his cause. He on the other hand gave her a child out of wedlock and refused to recognize her as his daughter for many years. Once Natalia Revuelta said "it took years to get him out of my heart", while her daughter Alina Fernández Revuelta who lives and works in Miami, Florida probably has had few problems getting her father, Fidel Castro out of her heart. Fidel Castro has 4 known children, Alejando & Antonio Castro Soto del Valle, Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, and Natalia Revuelta's daughter Alina.  (jds)

NataliaRevvelta  ♦  Natalia Revuelta Clews (1926 - 2015)
cf. BBC Latin America, The Washington Post, LatinAmericanStudies & Wikipedia
BBC_LatinAmerica_Natalia Revuelta
TheWashingtonPost_Natalia Revuelta
LatinAmericanStudies_Fidel Castro Family
Wikipedia_Alina Fernandez Revuelta

March 2nd 2015: Iraq moves against Islamic State in Tikrit...  Iraq launches an operation to recapture Tikrit (140 km northwest of Baghdad) from the Islamic State (IS) and its allies. Supposedly a force of about 30,000 troops & militia backed by Iraqi air strikes are involved in the offensive. Qasem Soleimani, and Iranian general & commander of Iran's Quds Force (a branch Iran's Revolutionary Guards) is also said to be active in the operation. (jds)

GeneralSoleimani  ♦  Iran's Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani
cf. BBC's Middle East NEWS Operation Recapture Tikrit_1 & 2, Qasem Soleimani and Tikrit, Iraq ...

March 1st 2015: Sunday thousands marched in Moscow where Boris Nemtsov was shot dead 2 nights agoMoscow's police were also present Sunday on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge where Mr. Nemtsov had been killed. Mr. Nemtsov after having served as Deputy Prime Minister under President Boris Yeltsin in the 90's became an outspoken critic of President Putin, Yeltsin's successor. One may rightfully anticipate that the odds of a fair and clear cut investigation into Mr. Nemtsov's murder are rather poor at present. (jds)

BolshoyMoskvoretskyBridge  ♦  The Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge's Demonstration & Police
cf. The BBC World NEWS, The Guardian, SkyNews & Boris Nemtsov Wikipedia ...
BBCWorldNews_Boris Nemtsov
TheGuardian_Boris Nemtsov
SkyNews_Boris Nemstov
Wikipedia_Boris Nemtsov

March 1st 2015: The month of March comes from the Latin "Martius" named after the Roman god "Mars". Within the Northern hemisphere March is the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, which draws to an end come October at the harvest & Halloween. (jds)

March  ♦  The early 15th century "Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry"
cf. Wikipedia The month of March & The Duc de Berry...
Wikipedia_Duc de Berry

arrow  March 2015

DownArrow  February 2015

February 28th 2015: NPR's new "parallels" remembers "The Relics and Rich History of Mosul before ISIS" NPR's Alice Fordham recalls her 2010 visit to Mosul's Museum with Ambassador Christopher Hill and other dignitaries. She remembers "...when I visited the Mosul museum in 2010, it was as cool and damp as any tomb. It was winter; the power was out and the lights were off..." But today far worse than her first visit to Mosul's Museum she states: "... despite claims to the contrary, the statues and friezes ISIS destroyed are all originals, thousands of years old ..." A former Museum employee mentioned to Ms. Fordham: "We expected this... they did what they want..." and destroyed thousands of years of ancient history & precious artifacts. Such fanatic ignorance and vandalism is unforgivable..! (jds)

MosulAssyrian bull   The Winged Assyrian Bull
cf. NPR's Alice Fordham, The Daily Beast Christopher Dickry, YouTube's ISIS Video and Mosul & Nineveh...

February 27th 2015: NPR's new "parallels" on Erbil, Kurdistan:  NPR's Ari Shapiro points out that Erbil in Iraq's Kurdistan dates back to 6000 BC and is among one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The history of Erbil reads like an endless spool of conquests and the rise and fall of defunct dynasties. Yet the Kurds are still there and planning to rebuild and renovate Erbil's central citadel.  Erbil in Arabic is pronounced as "Arbil" & in Kurdish "Hawler" or "Hewler"...(jds)

KurdistanErbil   The siege of Erbil's citadel by the Mongols (1258-59)
cf. NPR's parallels, audio & transcript and Wikipedia on Erbil...

February 27th 2015: Boris Nemtsov (former Deputy Prime Minister under Russian President Boris Yeltsin) shot dead in Moscow. He was gunned down near the Kremlin on a bridge heavily policed and with security cameras almost everywhere. Speaking earlier this month Mr. Nemtsov mentioned that there was reason to fear for his life, or rather that his mother feared for his life. Right away after the murder President Putin promptly sent a telegram to Nemtsov's mother saying: "Everything will be done so that the organizers and executors of this vile and cynical murder are punished..." One might well question the sincerity of such a message from the acting President of Russia..! Only too often President Putin says one thing and then does another.  (jds)

BorisNemtsov   Boris Nemtsov (1959 - 2015)
cf. BCC World NEWS, The NewYorkTimes, SkyNews, The Telegraph & Wikipedia ...

February 26th 2015: The Islamic so called "state" destroys Mosul's ancient statues & books. Years ago in 2001 the world saw this same sort of ignorant vandalism when Taliban radicals destroyed Afghanistan's Buddhas of Bamiyan. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) called it a "crime against culture". It seemed more a crime against past civilizations. Iraq's civilizations and artifacts also go back a long way, even further than Afghanistan's 6th century Buddhas. So no good shall come out of destroying Mosul's heritage, only more ignorance and unforgivable vandalism. (jds)

Vandalism   Ignorant unforgivable Vandalism
cf. BBC Middle East NEWS, The Guardian, Al Jazeera & The Buddhas of Bamiyan ...

February 26th 2015: Avijit Roy, an Amercian author of Bangladesh origin was hacked to death in Dhaka last night by a band of religious fanatics. Roy and his wife Rafida were returning home from Dhaka's Ekushe Book Fair on foot when they were attacked. He was hit and stabbed, his wife also and both were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Roy's wife survived but he died of serious wounds soon after arriving at the hospital. A relatively unknown extremists' group called Ansar Bangla 7 claimed responsibility for the killing. Bangladesh is the world's 4th largest Islamic nation with Muslims making up nearly 90% of the country's 160 million population. Avijit Roy was an advocate of atheism, science, & naturalism. His recent book "Biswasher Virus" (The Virus of Faith) is possibly his most famous work. Today's translation of Avijit Roy's blog Mukto-Mona.com simply read: "We mourn, But we are not out" (jds)

AvijitRoyAndWife    Avijit & Rafida Roy at Niagara Falls
cf. BBC's Asia NEWS, Dhaka Tribune, The Telegraph, Observer & Wikipedia...

February 26th 2015: Charlie Rose recently interviewed National security adviser Susan Rice & Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. Ms. Rice was rather adamant defending the US government’s current position and efforts in Syria & Iraq, while Mr. Judeh expressed his government’s greater concern about the actual situation in the middle east. Already Jordan hosts more than 800 thousand refugees from Syria & Iraq. Also it goes without mention that the closer one is to a fire the hotter it gets. (jds)

SusanRiceHasserJudeh   Susan Rice & Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh
cf. Charlie Rose's interviews with Susan Rice & Nasser Judeh and The Washington Post...

February 25th 2015: Google warns Blogger users over upcoming porn rules: Google affirms that blogs containing sexually explicit images and/or videos will be made private on the 23rd of March. That's a good idea because nobody can't get into a private blog unless accepted or invited by the owner or administrator. Public blogs are open to everybody, while private blogs are not. That doesn't resolve the problems of censorship but at least helps assure that little kids won't get caught up in such stuff. (jds)

Picture   This is simply a pretty provocative picture, not a blog private or public or censored ...
UPDATE 27th: Google backs down over Blogger porn rule change:
cf. BBC's Technology NEWS, Google's New Blog Policy, ZD Net's opposition & Wikipedia on Pornography,

February 24th 2015: Facebook's privacy policy questioned by Belgian data watchdog:  Facebook has been accused of breaking European data-protection laws by Belgium's privacy watchdog ICRI (Interdisciplinary Centre for Law & ICT). Last January 30th Facebook published its new policies authorizing itself to: (1) Track its users across websites and devices, (2) Use profile pictures for both commercial and non-commercial purposes and (3) Collect information about its users’ whereabouts on a continuous basis. There's nothing very new about Facebook's policies other than being more explicit now than before, yet Belgian's ICRI watchdog still seems to find fault with Facebook's methodology and practices. (jds)

Facebook    Facebook, a world to itself...
cf. BBC's Technology, Belgium's Watchdog, Facebook's criticisms & skyrocket history...

February 24th 2015: "President Obama vetoes Congress's Keystone Oil Pipeline bill"  This is not the best or most practical way for the US to treat its Northern Canadian neighbors, yet President Obama did for obvious political & somewhat fuzzy ecological reasons. Oil sands are simply bituminous rocks, more commonly called tar or asphalt. It's what we make streets, waterproofing, roofs, etc. out of just to mention a few applications. And it's very abundant. Naturally occurring crude asphalt (bitumen) in sedimentary rock is currently being used in Alberta, Canada for producing petroleum and other divers products. Canada actually has the world's largest supply of natural asphalt covering an estimated 140,000 square kilometere. Therefore Canada's oil reserves rank among the world's largest, either second or third to Venezuela or Saudi Arabia. The Keystone pipeline project was simply a way for Canada to get some of its production to the Gulf of Mexico and market, but the president said no. So Canada will have to do it by railroad, which is rather stupid, more costly & dangerous.  (jds)

PresidentObamaPrimeMinisterHarper    President Obama & Canada's Prime Minister Harper
cf. BBC's US & Canada NEWS, Oil Sands, Asphalt, World's Oil Reserves & Canada's Prime Minister Harper...

February 24th 2015: Internet Neutrality: Mozilla (FireFox, etc.) reminds us that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) will vote on "Net Neutrality" the 26th of February. The term "Net Neutrality" meaning common carriers should treat all data on the Internet equally was coined by Tim Wu of Columbia University in 2003. The question is whether net neutrality should be required by law or not and Mozilla reminds us the FCC is scheduled to decide this Thursday. (jds)

NetNeutrality   A visual representations of various routing paths of Internet traffic
cf. Mozilla, Mozilla Advocacy for Net Neutrality & Wikipedia

February 24th 2015: "Europe's finance ministers approve Greece's reform proposals & extended Greece's bailout 4 more months..." Then what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt..! (jds)

Varoufakis_Schaeuble    Greece's Yanis Varoufakis & Germany's Wolfgang Schaeuble...
cf. BBC European NEWS, The NewYorkTimes, Bloomberg & Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons":
Tennessee Ernie Ford "Sixteen Tons"

Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't a-get you
Then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

February 23rd 2015: Deadline looms for Greek fiscal reforms.  Greece's national debt is at 175% of its GDP, unemployment at 50% for young people, 25% for older and the country has borrowed €240bn Euros from the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Today Greece's government is expected to say it will clamp down on tax evasion & smuggling of cigarettes and oil, increase taxes on the rich, collect lots of unpaid back taxes, etc. for a total of around €7.3bn Euros. That won't put a big dent into Greece's €240bn loan, but might buy the poor country some more time. Eventually Greece will have to pay up or shut up, and that's a real shame. (jds)

AlexisTsipras    Greece's new 40 year old Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras...
UPDATE February 24th:  cf. BBC's European NEWS, Alexis Tsipras & Yanis Varoufakis and the Hellenic Republic of Greece

February 23rd 2015: Ukraine cannot withdraw from the Donetsk's Rebels or Russia's Russians. So far there is still no "ceasefire" in Ukraine after last weekend's summit in Minsk, Belarus between Vladimir Putin on one hand and Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande & Petro Poroshenko on the other. There is No immediate and full bilateral ceasefire, No withdrawal of all heavy weapons by both sides, No effective monitoring and verification regime for the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons, No from day one of the withdrawal begin a dialogue on the holding of local elections, No pardon and amnesty by banning any prosecution of figures involved in the Donetsk and Luhansk conflict, No release of all hostages and other illegally detained people, No unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy, internationally supervised, No restoration of full social and economic links with affected areas, No full Ukrainian government control will be restored over the state border, throughout the conflict zone, No withdrawal of all foreign armed groups, weapons and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory and No constitutional reform in Ukraine, with adoption of a new constitution by the end of 2015. So then what is really new... other than at least 5,000 Ukrainians dead and a million who have fled their homes..? Not much..! (jds)

RocketsAway   Rockets make more noise than words & ceasefires ...!
UPDATE February 24th:  cf. The BBC European NEWS & Reuters ...

February 21st 2015: 50 years ago today Malcolm X was assassinated. He was a rebel with a cause and humble enough to learn from Islam during the Hajj, his pilgrimage to Mecca. After returning from the Mecca & Africa he broke with Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam and in 1965 was assassinated in Manhattan's Audubon Theatre and Ballroom, which now houses The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. Malcolm X's daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz recently wrote a New York Times opinion article entitled "What Would Malcolm X Think...?" about today's civil rights problems & progress. (jds)

MalcolmX   Malcolm X (1925 - 1965)
cf. The New York Times, Malcolm X, his Autobiography & Assassination, The Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad & Louis Farrakhan

February 20th 2015: This week's On The Media examines:  Language & terrorism, Chapel Hill shootings of 3 Muslim students, The French Revolution's history of the word "terror", American main stream media's "parking lot" story of Chapel Hill’s shootings and criticism of the President's evasive choice of words concerning terrorism... (jds)

ReligionsAndTerror    Words matter, and so do religions and people of sincere faith ...
cf. On the Media by Brooke Gladstone & Bob Garfield

February 20th 2015: NPR's "parallels: culture - politics & policy - conflict zones - marketplace - postcards, etc..."  NPR's new parallels is a giant step forward in diffusion of news and information over the internet. It is remarkably well done and organized into audio renditions and transcripts of NPR's most important broadcasts. One can either read or listen to NPR's interviews & commentaries over the internet by day, month or even years. National Public Radio has become a virtual library of its own prized interviews, emissions & broadcasts, and is more than welcome... (jds)

NPRparallels    NPR's parallels: culture, politics, policy, conflicts, markets, postcards, etc...
cf. NPR's parallels: culture, politics, policy, conflicts, markets, postcards, etc...

19th February 2015: "The 2015 Economic Report of the President."  In 2008 + 2009 the United States lost -722 thousand jobs and from 2010 to 2014 created +909 thousand jobs. It took 5 years to catch up with the jobs America lost in 2008 & 2009. Yet more troubling is the Labor Force's diminution from 2009 to 2014. Less and less people are looking for work, especially aging and residual workers... (jds)

EconomicReport   2015's Economic Report
cf. The President's Economic Report...

19th February 2015: " Germany rejects Greek loan request.  Germany has rejected a Greek request for a six-month extension to its Eurozone loan. A popular German tabloid called Bild showed Vladimir Putin & Alexis Tsipras with the headline: " The Russian or the Greek: who is more dangerous for us..?". Europe is confronted with two difficult problems, Russia's involvement in Ukraine and Greece's unwillingness to undertake financial & social reform. (jds)

RussiaOrGreece   "The Russian or the Greek: who is more dangerous for us?"
cf. The BBC Europe NEWS & Reuters latest news...

February 18th 2015: "US White House spokeman accuses Israel of leaking information about Iran's nuclear negotiations...!" The US along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are currently working on an interim agreement planned for the end of March. The talks originally had been scheduled to end in November 2014, but were extended to June 2015 after failure to reach a suitable agreement.  (jds)

NetanyahuRouhani   Prime Minister Netanyahu & Iran's Rouhani
cf. The BBC's Middle East NEWS on negotiations with Iran & BBC's Nuclear Fuel Cycle demonstration...  

February 18th 2015: "The Year of Sheep"  The Lunar New Year for China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet & Viet Nam start with January or February's new moon, this year being the 18th of February. Most other Asian or Middle Eastern countries have different dates for their Lunar New Year. Yet China tops all with hundreds of millions of people travelling home in what is called: "The World's Biggest Annual Human Migration". (jds)

LunarNewYear   China's Lunar New Year: "The World's Biggest Annual Human Migration"
cf. China's New Year, The Lunar New Year & Lunar calendar..

18th February 2015: The United Nations estimates: The number of civilian deaths and injuries in Afghanistan rose by 22% in 2014. Since the UN began recording civilian casualties in 2009, it has recorded around 18,000 deaths and nearly 30,000 injuries. That means around: 3,000 deaths/year & 5,000 injuries/year. (jds)

AfghanBoy   A little Afghan boy still recuperating from a roadside bomb blast...
cf. BBC UN report on Afghanistan & the recent assassination of Angiza Shinwari, a provincial council of north eastern Afghanistan.

February 17th 2015: Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said: "We are ready and willing to do whatever it takes" Sounds kind of familiar. Didn't Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank say "we'll do whatever it takes" years ago and ever since not much was done other than kicking Europe's financial can further down the road. As for Greece it's already the 17th of February and only 11 more days remain for Varoufakis to wiggle his way out of his country's financial problems or default. The BBC's Theo Leggett wrote: "That doesn't mean a compromise is impossible. It simply means any deal (between Greece & the European Union) would have to be presented as both an end to current austerity program and a continuation of it." Now that might make everybody happy for a couple more months or a year or so, but there's no way out of debt other than pay up and shut up, or taking the consequences... (jds)

YanisVaroufakis   Greece's rising star & Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis...
cf. The BBC, The New York Times & International Op-Ed Opinion, and Wikipedia Yanis Varoufakis

February 16th 2015: Iran's Jafar Panahi wins Berlin Film Festival's top prize for " Taxi " "Taxi is Panahi's third film. In “Taxi” Panahi plays a Tehran cab driver who films & talks with a diverse mix of passengers as they confide their woes, including the recent court case of a young Iranian woman jailed for trying to get into a men’s volleyball match. Since Panahi has been banned from traveling outside of Iran or making films, his young niece accepted the Berlin Film Festival's award for him. (jds)

PanahiNiece   Jafar Panahi's niece accepting Taxi's Berlin Film Festival's award for him...
cf. BBC, The Guardian, Variety & Jafar Panahi Wikipedia...

February 16th 2015  US opens a three-day summit on countering violent extremism.  On Wednesday, President Obama will address the conference and then on Thursday the 18th at the state department speak to a gathering from around 60 countries, including Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and France... ref. BBC, (jds)

VicePresidentBiden   Vice President Biden & guests...
cf. BBC US News, The BOOKINGS Institute & The Washington Post on how to deal with extremism...
BOOKINGS Institute

February 16th 2015: 
Michael Morell revisits Charlie Rose. While the White House hosts a summit on countering violent extremism former CIA Deputy Michael Morell talks with Charlie Rose about Iran's extremism. Unlike today's religious fanatics like ISIS (Daesh) or Boko Haram, Iran is a nation whose violent extremism and fanaticism goes back 40 years... (jds)

MichaelMorell   Charlie Rose interviews Michael Morell, former CIA Deupty Director...
cf. Charlie Rose's interview with Micahel Morell, The New York Daily News & Capital New York

February 16th 2015: Iran's Supreme Leader tells his Foreign minister Javad Zarif to smile more at the nuclear talks....What next...? Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has never been known for smiling very much and all of a sudden he wants his Foreign minister Javad Zarif smile more often. Supposedly Khamenei said to Zarif: "... why do you shout at meetings? Smile as you do, and say what you have to say... speak with logic and don't argue". Translation from Farsi into plain & simple English "be sly & devious ..!" In the meantime the Supreme Leader actually started sending friendly letters to our President Obama. There's an expression in Persian (Farsi) which says "a stone is free, a crow is free". That means if you throw a stone up in the air maybe it will hit a crow. Or more simply put, what do you got to lose...? (jds)

JavadZarif   Iran's smiling Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, all set for the next round of nuclear talks ...!
cf. The BBC, Iran's Islamic Republic's News, The Wall Street Journal & Wikipedia's Javad Zarif...

February 15th 2015: The Drake Equation:  N=R*=fp=ne=fl=fi=fc=L, meaning N = the number of civilizations in The Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable. R* = the rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life. fp = the fraction of those stars with planetary systems. ne = the number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life. fl = the fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears. fi = the fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges. fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space. L = the length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space. "The Drake Equation is a simple, effective tool for stimulating intellectual curiosity about the universe, helping us to understand that life as we know it is the end product of cosmic evolution and that we are a part of that product... ref. SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, (jds) 

DrakeEquation   Dr. Frank Drake & his 1961 equation: N=R*=fp=ne=fl=fi=fc=L
cf. The Drake Equation, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) & The Milky Way Galaxy

February 14th 2015: The week's Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle) is not very optimistic about the Minsk, Belarus ceasefire accords due take effect at 22:00 GMT today the 14th of February.  The ceasefire peace accord was made up of 11 specific points: 1) Immediate and full bilateral ceasefire, 2) Withdrawal of all heavy weapons by both sides, 3) Effective monitoring and verification regime for the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons, 4) From day one of the withdrawal begin a dialogue on the holding of local elections, 5) Pardon and amnesty by banning any prosecution of figures involved in the Donetsk and Luhansk conflict, 6) Release of all hostages and other illegally detained people, 7) Unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy, internationally supervised, 8) Restoration of full social and economic links with affected areas, 9) Full Ukrainian government control will be restored over the state border, throughout the conflict zone, 10) Withdrawal of all foreign armed groups, weapons and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory and 11) Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with adoption of a new constitution by the end of 2015. All in all, a rather ambitious agenda for Russia, Donetsk People’s Republic and Ukraine. (jds) 

MInskCeaseFire   Alexander Lukashenko, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande & Petro Poroshenko .
UPDATE: Feb.17th cf. Inside Europe, BBC's Europe NEWS, The Guardian & Wall Street Journal International...

February 12th 2015: President Vladimir Putin got up earlier this morning and announced another ceasefire for Ukraine. Since the last one (September 2014) didn't work there's not much hope this one will either, given that Alexander Zakharchenko is still running Donetsk People’s Republic and Vladimir Putin running Russia. (jds)

PutinZakharchenko   Russian President Putin & Donetsk's Zakharchenko
cf. Today's ceasefire agreement, its details, The Washington Post, Moscow Times & Alexander Zakharchenko

February 10th 2015: President Bashar al-Assad defends his actions against Syrians ever since 2011. BBC's Jeremy Bowen was granted an exclusive interview with President Assad who adamantly denied dropping bombs indiscriminately on rebel-held areas killing thousands of civilians. War is war he said as Syria's overall death toll has nearly reached 200,000 and homeless refugees in the millions.

Bashar-al-Assad   Syria's President Bashar al-Assad & his family's failed state...
cf. BBC's Jeremy Bowen interview of Bashar al-Assad & The Syrian conflict's story from 2011...

February 7th 2015: Al Sharpton  by Eli Saslow of The Washington Post: Eli Saslow did an amazing job of following Al Sharpton around New York City from his office in Harlem to his Radio & TV stations, various meetings and strategy sessions as well to the penthouse of New York's exclusive 5th Street Grand Havana Room to relax and smoke a cigar. Reverend Sharpton runs a nationwide National Action Network for social justice with chapters in 38 States among other things. As Mr. Saslow suggests, Sharpton's power depends in part on publicity and the civil rights movement depends in part on upon Sharpton's power. Maybe the best Sharpton quote was “I’m dealing with the White House. I’m talking to the mayor. I’m on TV. I’m organizing the marches. If I didn’t exist, they’d have to invent me.”. Saslow recalls Sharpton when referring to Ferguson as saying “... if we lose this spotlight, then our whole opportunity here, our historic moment — it’s dead..!” One may well doubt such will be the case with Reverend Al Sharpton around and active. (jds)

AlSharpton    Al Sharpton, from Harlem to Radio & TV, to meetings & rallies, and cigar smoking penthouse...
cf. The Washington Post's article by Eli Saslow & Wikipedia on Al Sharpton

February 7th 2015: "Fethullah Gulen sees: Turkey’s Eroding Democracy" : Turkey's President Recep Erdogan continues to perpetuate an ongoing defamation & smear campaign against Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen" Gülen and the Hizmet movement that he inspired were recently targeted due to an op-ed article published in The New York Times. (jds)

HizmetSupporters    Istanbul supporters of Fethullah Gülen's Hizmet movement...
cf. The New York Times, The English version of Today's Zaman Newspaper & Wikipedia:

February 6th 2015: "Obama’s What-Me-Worry Social Security Plan": Jim McTague of Barrons shows how the President's budget leaves the country’s biggest, most pressing fiscal problems to his successor." Ever since 2012 the United State's total debt has been superior of 100% of the nation's GDP, which puts us in the same basket as countries like Greece. Italy and Japan also, but they do not rely heavily upon foreign investments like America. (jds)

SocialSecurity    Social Security & Medicare are America's fiscals time booms ticking away each day...
cf. Barrons, The National Debt & Bowles-Simpson commission

February 5th 2015: PBS's On The Media's Bob Garfield looks into the measles outbreak... "and how the media, politicians, and even celebrities have quarantined the country in a vortex of paranoia & fear. A combination of false science & government distrust has given a pedestal to the irrational, and the self-evident necessity of vaccines has come under attack..." ref. OnTheMedia, (jds)

McCarthyWakefield  Jenny McCarthy & Andrew Wakefield vs. Vaccinations ...
cf. On The Merdia, Web Medical, The Week & Wikipedia

February 4th 2015: National Security Advisor Susan Rice spent the week explaining the government's National Security Strategy. In so many words was quoted as saying: "... the United States cannot be buffeted by alarmism in nearly instantaneous news cycle..." and that "...it is vital not to lose sight of other challenges which are even more important, including climate change and non-proliferation...". As if that wasn't enough, she came up with  “... what's missing here in Washington is a sense of perspective. Yes, there is a lot going on. Still, while the dangers we face may be more numerous and varied, they are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or during the Cold War...” Since Susan Rice was born in 1964 her memory of WWII, the Cold War and European existentialism may not be all that keen, which is understandable. No doubt she ran into history & philosophy courses throughout her brilliant academic career, but seriously existentialism is a rather curious confused concept. Existence and essence is like the chicken and egg. Whatever it really means and what came first is a good question. Simpler and more pertinent is our National Security framework. Imagine the whole population of Chicago evacuating the city, apartments, homes, schools, hospitals, stores, businesses, everything, etc... Then try to imagine more than 3 million Syrians refugees doing the same thing. That's far more people than Chicago's total population, and there's nothing "existential" or not about it. It's for real and is causing great suffering and hardship, not only in Syria, but in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Germany, Algeria, Sweden, Bahrain, Libya, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, etc... Even though this has nothing to do with our National Security Strategy, it certainly has something to do us and our nation... (jds)

NationalSecurityStrategy  NationalSecurityStrategy
SusabnRice    Susan Rice National Security Advisor
Existentialists    Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche & Sartre
cf. Brookings, The Hill, Susuan Rice & Existentialism

February 2nd 2015: Vox Media Interviews President Barack Obama on his Domestic & Foreign Policies. Part two of the interviews with President Obama touches upon Foreign Policy and the President's original 2008 conviction & campaign promise to redraw from the conflict in Iraq and concentrate more upon Afghanistan. There were and still are disagreements concerning the President's Foreign Policy decisions, yet the large majority of Americans supported Mr. Obama during his first term and now. The Vox Media interview and transcript sheds light upon the President's thoughts and convictions concerning his administration's Foreign Policy decisions and actions. (jds)

PresidentObama    President Obama on his Administration's Foreign Policy...
cf. Vox Media's Obama Interviews & transcripts & FRONTLINE's "Losing Iraq"

February 1st 2015: Meskel Square in Addis, Abeba is the perfect place to learn how to drive "without having any accidents", guaranteed...!  This came from Nahid Behnan, a dear friend of ours who lives & learned how to drive in Norway. (jds)

MeskelSquare    Abeda's Addis Meskel Square Driving School, guaranteed safe without accidents...!
cf. Meskel Square in Abeda, seeing is believing...!

arrow  February 2015

DownArrow  January 2015

January 31st 2015: NPR's "parallels: culture - politics & policy - conflict zones - marketplace - postcards, etc..."  NPR's new parallels is a giant step forward in diffusion of news and information over the internet. It is remarkably well done and organized into audio renditions and transcripts of NPR's most important broadcasts. One can either read or listen to NPR's interviews & commentaries over the internet by day, month or even years. National Public Radio has become a virtual library of its own prized interviews, emissions & broadcasts, and is more than welcome... (jds)

NPRparallels    NPR's parallels: culture, politics, policy, conflicts, markets, postcards, etc...
cf. NPR's parallels: culture, politics, policy, conflicts, markets, postcards, etc...

January 31st 2015: The "Swedish" Schindler who disappeared after WWII was Raoul Wallenberg from one of Sweden's most known families. He diappeared in 1945 when the Soviet Union captured eastern Budapest. Wallenberg was immediately detained by Soviet troops and was never seen again in public. During World War II Wallenberg had saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis only to be arrested in January 1945 by the Soviets and has never been seen since... (jds)

Wallenberg    Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish Schindler who saved tens of thousands Hungarian Jews ...
cf. BBC's article on Rauol Wallenberg, his biography & Wikpedia

January 30th 2015:  Catching up on two of Charlie Rose's Interviews...

CharlieRose   Robert Worth, Gregory Johnsen and Matthew Waxman
BillMelindaGates   Bill & Melinda Gates
cf. The 4 year anniversary of the Arab Spring and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

January 29th 2015: Itamar Rabinovich explores the complexity of Israel’s relationship with the Middle East leading up to this year's March elections."Itamar Rabinovich is an expert on the policies and politics of the Middle East, with a particular interest in Syria, Arab-Israeli relations, and the U.S.-Israel relationship. He served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States and as chief negotiator with Syria from 1992 to 1996. He holds distinguished positions on the boards of several international foundations and on the faculty of leading academic institutions, serving as professor emeritus of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University" ref. BROOKINGS Institution, (jds)
Israel  IsraelAndChangingMiddleEast
Rabinovich    Itamar Rabinovich: "Israel & the Changing Middle East"
cf. Israel and the Changing Middle East, Itamar Rabinovich & "Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003" ...

January 28th 2015:  Argentine's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner  seems to be spinning tales faster than Argentine's press can print them concerning the death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead with a bullet in his head hours before presenting evidence before Argentine's Congress against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman concerning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires. Supposedly, Mrs. de Kirchner and Mr. Timerman were involvement in a plan to cover up Iran's alleged role in a 1994 attack on a Jewish community centre which killed 84 people for the purpose importing oil from Iran at a very advantagous price. Alberto Nisman had spent years investigating the affair and the very day he was scheduled present his finding is found dead in his apartment. (jds)

deKirchner     Argentine's President de Kirchner explaining away reality...
cf. BBC's Latin America NEWS...

January 27th 2015: "Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi"  which means in so many words: When in Rome do as the Romans do, when elsewhere do as elsewhere. Obviously, a simple headscarf might have been more appropriate for the First Lady than not, since the occasion for the President & wife's visit to Saudi Arabia was to pay respect to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who died the 23rd of January as well as the peaceful succession to the throne of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz. It certainly wasn't a very opportune occasion to be preaching to the House of Saud even though you happen to be the wife of the President of the United States of America. Maybe some sort of discreet apology is due..? (jds)

TheObamas    The President & First Lady in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia meeting the House of Saud...
cf. The Washington Post, King Abdullah, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz & The House of Saud...

January 26th 2015:  US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva.. and Iran's parliamentarians summoned and questioned Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for publicly walking with US Secretary of State John Kerry during the nuclear negotiations. The two top diplomats were seen strolling together in public in Geneva on 14 January during the international discussions over Iran's nuclear programme. The group of Iranian lawmakers have signed a petition calling for an explanation from Zarif, who has been spearheading the Iranian delegation to push for a permanent deal. ref. The International Business Times, (jds)

KerryZarif   Secretary of State John Kerry & Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
cf. International Business Times & Wikipedia on Iran's Nuclear Program ...

January 23rd 2015: This week's Inside Europe (Deutsche Welle) looks at Ukraine on the brink of further escalation, anti-Islamism in Denmark, France & Russia as well as tensions between Islamist and nationalist Kurds in Turkey and Greece preparing for elections, etc...

Putin'sWay    Putin's Way...
cf. On the Media & FRONTLINE's Putin's Way

January 16th 2015: On the Media rexamines the double standards for free speech in France. "On Wednesday with the calls of “Je Suis Charlie” still echoing throughout France, French stand-up comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala was arrested for posting the message “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly” on Facebook. Coulibaly being the name of the terrorist who killed four people in the kosher supermarket last week. Brooke speaks to Celestine Bohlen, a columnist for the International New York Times, about how the cries of double standards are competing with those of free speech for all."

FrenchFreeSpeech    Freedom of Speech "On The Media"...
cf. On The Media and Freedom of Speech ...

January 14th 2015: "Je suis Charlie Hebdo" ("I am Charlie Hebdo"). Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical weekly magazine, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics, and jokes. Irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, the publication describes itself as above all secular and atheist, far-left-wing and anti-racist publishing articles on the extreme right, religions, politics, culture, etc. According to its former editor Stéphane Charbonnier, the magazine's editorial viewpoint reflects "all components of left wing pluralism, and even abstainers". The magazine has been the target of two terrorist attacks, in 2011 and in 2015, presumed to be in response to a number of controversial Muhammad cartoons it published. In the second of these attacks, 12 people were killed, including Charbonnier and several contributors. Charlie Hebdo first appeared in 1970 as a successor to the Hara-Kiri magazine, which was banned for mocking the death of former French President Charles de Gaulle. In 1981 publication ceased, but the magazine was resurrected in 1992. The magazine's current editor-in-chief is Gerard Biard. The previous editors were François Cavanna (1969–1981) and Philippe Val (1992–2009). The magazine is published every Wednesday, with special some editions issued on an unscheduled basis. January 7th 2015, two Islamist gunmen forced their way into and opened fire in the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, killing twelve: staff cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Honoré, Tignous and Wolinski, economist Bernard Maris, editors Elsa Cayat and Mustapha Ourrad, guest Michel Renaud, maintenance worker Frédéric Boisseau and police officers Brinsolaro and Merabet, as well as wounding eleven others, four of them seriously. ref. Wikipedia, (jds)

IamChalieHebdo    "Je suis Charlie, Tout est Pardonne..."
cf. Charlie Hebdo in French, English & at Wikipedia ...

January 13th 2015: FRONTLINE presents "Putin's Way"  This is unquestionably the most damning documentary President Vladimir Putin has ever gotten and certainly merits. It tells the ambitious and devious story of how he maneuvers his way from his KGB post in East Germany after the collapse of the Berlin wall to Saint Petersburg (1990–1996) to advise Mayor Anatoly Sobchakand. Afterwards he moves to Moscow, becomes the prime minister (1996–1999) and eventually replaces Boris Yeltsin as president of Russia. This might at first glance appear as normal ambitious steps of a capable man towards power, but each step is often tarnished with dubious financial and quasi-military activity. He apparently knows no limits and rules with bribes and threats. As always, someday his past will catch up with him and Russia may once again have a chance at democracy instead of Vladimir Putin’s dictatorship.  (jds)

Putin"sWay    KGB's Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
cf. FRONTLINE "Putin's Way"

January 12th 2015: What did Peanut's Charlie Brown have to do with France's Charlie Hebdo..? Nothing...! Peanuts was a syndicated daily comic strip written and illustrated by Charles Schulz. It ran from October 1950 until February 2000, making it "arguably the longest story ever told by one human being". The main character, Charlie Brown was presented as meek, nervous, and lacking in self-confidence. Everybody loved him but nobody took him too serious... ref. Wikipedia, (jds)

Peanuts     Yes, I'm Charlie Brown..!
cf. Peanuts & Wikipedia ...

January 11th 2015: World leaders march side by side in unity as millions rally for unity throughout France after the Charlie Hebdo attack January 8th.The BBC reports "More than three million people have taken part in unity marches across France after 17 people died during three days of deadly attacks in Paris." ref. BBC Europe, (jds)

FrenchPresidentHolland    French President Hollande flanked by Chancellor Merkel & Malian President Keita, etc ...
cf. BBC NEWS Europe & The Paris Attacks ...

January 9th 2015: PBS's On the Media after the massacre at the French weekly Charlie Hebdo looks at the symbolic weight of French satire and the true meaning of freedom of speech.  "Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society..." ref. Wikipedia, (jds)

CharlieHebdo    On The Media examines satire & freedom of speech ...
cf. PBS's On The Media about freedom of speech & Wikipedia on satire ...

January 9th 2015: This week's Deutsche Welle "Inside Europe" examines the shooting at Paris's Charlie Hebdo magazine and the shocks it caused throughout Europe and the world as well as the rise of anti-immigration movements in Denmark, Sweden and Germany and Turkey's role smuggling immigrants into western Europe, etc...

Paris    Armed soldiers guarding the glass pyramid in the inner courtyard of the Louvre in Paris, France
cf. Inside Europe, Germany's award winning European news channel...

January 8th 2015: BBC recounts "Charlie Hebdo attack: As it happened"  The BBC has put together a collection of 15 videos that try to show and explain what really happened and why. The roots of this outrageous slaughter are old and go down deep into the not forgotten past, which continues to haunt the present as some sort of incurable disease. (jds)

CharlieHebdoChoas    Two days and too many people dead & wounded. For what, a cartoon ..?
cf. What really happened, How When, Where and Why ..?

January 7th 2015: Two (French Algerian born) Islamist forced their way inside the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo (a Parisian weekly satire newspaper), and killed 12 individuals: staff cartoonists, editors, guest, janitor, and police officers as well as seriously wounding eleven others... The motive of these two assassins was irrational outrage at the French publication's satire of the prophet Mohamed & Islam. One should recall the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini who in 1989 issued a fatwa (legal opinion) calling for the execution of Salman Rushdie as well as all those involved in the publication of Rushdie's book (ie. novel) "The Satanic Verses". Khomeini created a serious and yet still unresolved dilemma between Western and Islamic cultures. The core Western value of freedom of expression advocates no one should face death for what they say or write while the wide spread Islamic opinion does not tolerate any insults or belittling of their Prophet Muhammad or faith. (jds)

CharlieHebdo    Charlie Hebdo, rue Nicolas Appert le XIe arrondissement, Paris France...
cf. The Charlie Hebdo shooting, lieu, consequences & 1989's origines ...

January 1st 2015: What next in the 21st century...? First of all it might be a good idea to correct the imagery of evolution a little bit. Obviously males had far less to do with the evolution of the human species than females. Secondly, anatomist Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago uncovered how our bodies have become the complicated, quirky, amazing machines they are today thanks to our ancient legacy of having once been fish, reptiles and primates. Of course the Bible's book of Genesis tells a far less complicated and more damning story of where we came from and how we so badly screwed up in the garden of paradise. Such colorful and well told stories like Genesis are certainly a lot easier to remember than the names and anatomy of Professor Shubin's ancient fish, reptiles and primates. So science & research often take the back door to popular myths and story telling... (jds)

HumanEvolution    A rather simplistic graphic look at Human Evolution
cf. Your Inner Fish, Evolution & The Book of Genesis...

UpArrow January 2015

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