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rpannier

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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 21,880

Journal Archives

Coronavirus: Satellite data shows Italy's pollution plummet amid COVID-19 lockdown

Newly released satellite images show how Italy's coronavirus lockdown has prompted pollution to plummet, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

The animation, compiled using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, shows a reduction in the north of the country.

Rome locked down northern towns at the centre of Italy's outbreak in late February, before extending it nationwide last week.

“The decline in nitrogen dioxide emissions over the Po Valley in northern Italy is particularly evident," said Claus Zehner, ESA's Sentinel-5P mission manager.

video at link
https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/14/coronavirus-satellite-data-shows-italy-s-pollution-plummet-amid-covid-19-lockdown

Map of the Spread of Covid-19 (Worldwide)

https://www.rferl.org/a/30490414.html

The map provides information on each country.
Click 'Show Map' to access

Teen models, powerful men and private dinners: when Trump hosted Look of the Year

On 1 September 1991, a large private yacht cruised towards the Statue of Liberty. It was a clear, breezy evening, and from the upper deck of the Spirit of New York, a golden sunset could be seen glinting off the Manhattan skyline. Downstairs, a party was in flow. Scores of teenage girls in evening dresses and miniskirts, some as young as 14, danced under disco lights. It could have been a high school prom, were it not for the crowd of older men surrounding them.

As the evening wore on, some of the men – many old enough to be the girls’ fathers, or even grandfathers – joined them on the dance floor, pressing themselves against the girls. One balding man in a suit wrapped his arms around two young models, leering into a film camera that was documenting the evening: “Can you get some beautiful women around me, please?”


The party aboard the Spirit of New York was one of several events that Donald Trump, then 45, attended with a group of 58 aspiring young models that September. They had travelled from around the world to compete in Elite’s Look of the Year competition, an annual event that had been running since 1983 and was already credited with launching the careers of Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen and Stephanie Seymour. At stake was a life-changing prize: a $150,000 contract with the world’s then leading modelling agency, Elite Model Management, run by John Casablancas.

snip

Another contestant, who was 15 at the time, also remembers being asked to walk for Trump, Casablancas and other men on the boat in September 1992. She says an organiser told her that if she refused, she would be excluded from the competition. “I knew in my gut it wasn’t right,” she recalls. “This wasn’t being judged or part of the competition – it was for their entertainment.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/14/teen-models-powerful-men-when-donald-trump-hosted-look-of-the-year

How the world's fattest parrot came back from the brink

New Zealand’s kākāpō has long been endangered, but when a deadly fungal disease struck the country’s vets came to the rescue

Growing up in the north of England, Dr James Chatterton was enthralled by the books of the pioneering zookeeper and conservationist Gerald Durrell and dreamed of saving endangered species. Now, on the other side of the world, Chatterton has done just that, helping to bring the world’s fattest parrot back from the brink.

Chatterton and his team spent the best part of a year bringing in quarantine conditions and trialling new treatments on the frontline of a killer disease afflicting New Zealand’s kākāpō.

snip

The respiratory disease aspergillosis began to spread through the endangered kākāpō population last April, threatening to reverse the gains of the bird’s most successful breeding season in living memory.

Kākāpōs are not just rare, they are also deeply weird: flightless, nocturnal, with fragrant feathers and a comical waddling run. Males “boom” to attract females, and they only breed every three to six years when the native rimu trees “mast”, or produce large numbers of seeds. Last year was a “mega-mast”, the ripe fruit carpeting the ground, and the kākāpōs responded by laying eggs earlier than ever before.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/14/worlds-fattest-parrot-comeback-from-extinction-aoe

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. EU unveiled its new circular economy plan

What may sound like a rather dry headline is actually a new rather controversial new EU-strategy that would make some tech providers, such as Apple, very unhappy.

The action plan includes policies to make sure products have a longer shelf life, make information available to consumers on how repairable products are, as well as improving the treatment of waste (especially in electronics).

According to the plan, the EU plans to halve municipal waste by 2030 and offer consumers the "right to repair" for computers and smartphones.

The European Commission's idea to mandate a universal charger for mobile phones is likely to trigger resistance from Apple, f.ex.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/12/five-stories-you-may-have-missed-because-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic


2. Video Implicates Serbian Orthodox Priest As Graffiti Targets Montenegro

PODGORICA -- As public structures in Montenegro were being splashed with the red, blue, and white stripes of neighboring Serbia's flag earlier this year, there was little doubt about the vandals' motives.

Montenegro's government had just rushed a contentious new law on religions and faith through parliament in time for the Orthodox holidays, and the Serbian Orthodox Church that has mostly dominated religious life among Montenegrins for a century was furious.

snip

Montenegrin officials like President Milo Djukanovic, who regards the Serbian church and its leadership as deeply hostile to Montenegrin national interests, have rejected the criticism even as they stump publicly for a greater role for a mostly unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church that arose in the 1990s.

snip

In the Serbian-language clip, which was shared and viewed more than 11,000 times on YouTube, a handheld video camera shows a Serbian Orthodox priest who tends to worshipers in Montenegro, Radomir Nikcevic.

https://www.rferl.org/a/video-implicates-serbian-orthodox-priest-as-graffiti-targets-montenegro/30484227.html


3. Former Chief Of Lukashenka's Security Pleads Guilty To Bribe-Taking

MINSK -- The former chief of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's security has pleaded guilty to bribe-taking along with more than a dozen others.

Andrey Utsyurin said on March 11, the second day of his trial, that although he was pleading guilty, he has "doubts" about whether his actions were what the court claimed and that he will talk about the subject at a later date.

Utsyurin and 15 other defendants, including former employees of state entities, financial institutions, and private businesses, went on trial on March 10.

Utsyurin was arrested in April last year. He is charged with accepting at least $190,000 in bribes and instigation of a bribe-giving during the handling of a state project on buying communications equipment, computers, and software.

https://www.rferl.org/a/former-chief-of-lukashenka-s-security-pleads-guilty-to-bribe-taking/30483616.html


4. Danube boat crash: Ukrainian captain on trial for deadly collision

The captain of a boat involved in a deadly collision on the River Danube has gone on trial in Hungary.
A Ukrainian man, named in court as Yuriy Chaplinsky, is charged with "endangerment" under the river code "resulting in numerous deaths".
Just seven of the 33 South Korean tourists on board the smaller tour boat survived the collision, while two Hungarian crew members also died. The bodies of 27 victims were later found during weeks of searching. One person remains missing.
Chaplinsky also faces 35 other charges, including failure to assist a person in danger. He denied responsibility for the collision.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/11/danube-boat-crash-ukrainian-captain-on-trial-for-deadly-collision


5. Feminist activists in France accuse riot police of attacking them

Feminist activists in France who have accused riot police of taunting and attacking them at a march for International Women’s Day have called for an independent inquiry into the violence.

Film footage showed French riot police storming what organisers insist was a peaceful demonstration, firing tear gas into the crowds, throwing marchers to the ground and dragging women down steps into the Paris underground by their hair or in a neck lock.

Videos of the police action at the end of the march on the eve of International Women’s Day spread quickly on social media, causing widespread outrage.

The Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, declared it “unacceptable and incomprehensible violence”. Julien Bayou, the national secretary of the Europe Ecology/Green party said the police violence was “absolutely unjustifiable”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/13/feminist-activists-in-france-accuse-riot-police-of-attacking-them

Romanian government enters 14-day isolation after senator tests positive for coronavirus

Romania’s government has is to be isolated for 14 days after a senator tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus,

Vergil Chitac was in parliament in recent days while right-wing parties were trying to form a new cabinet.

Interim Prime Minister Ludovic Orban told a news conference that all government members, as well as some members of his National Liberal Party (PNL) will self-quarantine.

"We asked the health minister to quickly create an epidemiological investigation mechanism for all our colleagues. They will all be tested. As for me, I will stay self-isolated at Villa Lac 1 where I will continue to perform my duties," Orban said.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/13/romanian-government-enters-14-day-isolation-after-senator-tests-positive-for-coronavirus?fromBreakingNews=1

Grime artist Solo 45 found guilty of raping four women

The grime artist Andy Anokye, who performs as Solo 45, has been found guilty of subjecting four women to a horrifying campaign of rape.

Anokye’s victims described how he beat them, threatened them with weapons, held them against their will and even waterboarded them.

The 33-year-old artist, who was part of the collective Boy Better Know, admitted in court that he liked to “terrorise” women but insisted that they always consented to his “rape game”.

snip

Quinlan said there were striking similarities in the accounts given by the women, who did not know each other. These included the use of weapons, being held against their will, having cloth with bleach applied forcibly to their face, and waterboarding. Anokye filmed much of the abuse on his mobile phone.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/11/grime-artist-solo-45-found-guilty-of-raping-four-women

Grenade Destroys Studio Of Afghan Artist Praised For Trudeau Portrait

The works of a well-known Kabul artist have been destroyed in a grenade attack on her studio. Rubaba Mohammadi made a name for herself as a teenager, painting portraits of famous foreigners such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, despite having no use of her arms. She says she will keep doing what she loves.

video at
https://www.rferl.org/a/grenade-destroys-studio-of-afghan-artist-praised-for-trudeau-portrait/30480035.html

Steve Bullock is Running for the U.S. Senate from Montana

Makes me happy

'Tremendous Uncertainty' As Competing Presidential Oaths Plunge Afghanistan Deeper Into Crisis

Afghanistan has descended into a full-blown political crisis after the two main contenders in a bitterly disputed presidential election -- each claiming victory -- were sworn in as president in rival ceremonies.

President Ashraf Ghani, the officially declared winner of the vote, was sworn in for a second term by the country's chief justice in Kabul on March 9. Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive officer after a power-sharing deal settled another election dispute five years ago, took an oath administered by a senior cleric in his own inauguration ceremony nearby at the same time.

The unprecedented move has plunged the country into further uncertainty, with experts warning that the dispute could descend into violence and derail a historic deal to end fighting between the United States and fundamentalist Taliban militants.

As part of that agreement, direct peace talks between the Western-backed Kabul government and the Taliban were scheduled to begin on March 10. But the political crisis in Kabul has thrown those plans into disarray.

https://www.rferl.org/a/tremendous-uncertainty-as-competing-presidential-oaths-plunge-afghanistan-deeper-into-crisis/30477968.html
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