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Last Update: March 27th 2015

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DownArrow  March 2015

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 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 26th March: "co-pilot likely 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 stared 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 BB'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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