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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: 21,739

Journal Archives

Boris Johnson's father to apply for French citizenship

The father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will apply for French citizenship once Brexit is done, reported today's edition of the Sunday Times.

The request for French nationality by Stanley Johnson, 79, was revealed by his daughter Rachel in a book published last week.

In "Rake's Progress: My Political Midlife Crisis", Rachel Johnson wrote that her father "is on his way to become a French citizen, his mother being born in Versailles", reported the newspaper. "This is good news, I could become French too," the daughter added.

snip

"[Boris] said that we should avoid going to the pub but if I have to go to the pub, I will go to the pub," he told ITV last week.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/22/boris-johnson-s-father-to-apply-for-french-citizenship

French ought to deny it, or at the very least drag their feet.
He's another annoying jackass

A Crimea Rom-Com Brought Scathing Reviews - And Good Money For The Head Of RT, Report Says

In 2018, the film was voted one of the worst by Russian critics: a comedic love story taking place against the triumphant backdrop of the bridge linking Russia to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Moscow seized from Ukraine four years earlier.

snip

An investigation by anti-corruption crusader and Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny charged that Keosayan, his wife, Margarita Simonyan, and their relatives made around 46 million rubles on the project. At the time of the film's release in late 2018, that amounted to about $700,000.

Simonyan, who is credited with writing the screenplay, is the head of the state-funded TV channel RT, formerly known as Russia Today.

snip

Other relatives receiving salaries or payments for their work on the film include Keosayan's brother, identified as the general producer; Keosayan's nephew, identified as a unit production manager; and the nephew's wife, identified as an executive producer for the film.

https://www.rferl.org/a/crimea-rom-com-simonyan-navalny--report-scathing-reviews-state-money-for-the-head-of-rt/30509292.html

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Breakaway Abkhazia Set To Hold Election Under Cloud Of Controversy, Coronavirus

Just weeks ago, the leading contender in this election was lying in a Russian hospital bed recovering from the second mysterious bout of the flu to derail his bid to lead Abkhazia, prompting all candidates to suspend their campaigns.

But as voting day in the self-declared but globally unrecognized separatist republic in Georgia approached, even a looming pandemic was not threatening efforts to conclude a messy electoral process that started nearly a year ago.

After being rocked by poisoning scandals, protests, and the resignation of the territory's de facto president and the calling of a fresh vote, it appeared that the COVID-19 pandemic would not be enough to delay the March 22 election.

snip

Abkhazia has long sought statehood, having declared independence from Georgia in 1992, before a 1992-93 war with Tbilisi. Following Moscow's recognition of Abkhazia as independent in 2008, the territory has tried to join the international community, but has been shunned by all but a few countries.

https://www.rferl.org/a/georgia-abkhazia-election-controversy-coronavirus-/30500228.html


2. Russia’s Perm Opera-Ballet Stays Open -- For One Spectator At A Time

The famed Perm Opera and Ballet Theater in Russia's Urals region plans to continue performances despite restrictions forced by the coronavirus crisis -- by allowing one lucky spectator at a time to attend.

The group said on March 20 that the current situation had led it to establish its One On One performance policy beginning at the end of this month.

"A full-fledged performance cannot take place without public participation. But what happens if at least one person is present in the auditorium?” the company said on its website.

snip

The theater said it will soon begin accepting applications "from those who would like to receive a unique opportunity to become the only spectator in the hall."

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-perm-opera-ballet-theater-open-for-one-spectator/30500653.html


3. Enemies everywhere: photos show absurdity of life under the Stasi
East German secret police saw evidence of western sabotage in the most mundane events

A football kicked over a wall, a lightbulb thrown out of a window, a suspiciously unkempt lawn: for East Germany’s secret police, even the most mundane event was recorded as potential proof of the capitalist enemy trying to sabotage life in the socialist republic.

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, researchers at the Stasi Records Agency have for the first time systematically analysed the vast photographic archive the surveillance state amassed as a result of its untrammelled paranoia.

snip

They tell the story of three children who caused an incident when they kicked a football over the Berlin Wall on to Soviet soil in May 1978. The children, two girls and a boy from West Berlin, eventually managed to get their ball back, but not before the Stasi had thoroughly documented the ball’s position – “around 25 metres from the border markings” – and photographed the ceremonial return of the offending object.

snip

“In the 1950s, photography was still a relatively rare technology. But by the 80s cameras were more widely available and the Stasi discovered them as what they called a ‘weapon’. The number of photographs taken grew exponentially.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/20/enemies-everywhere-photos-show-absurdity-life-under-stasi-east-germany

4. German police arrest members of far-right group after state ban

German police have raided properties in 10 states and arrested members of a far-right group after it was banned by the government.

The United German Peoples and Tribes organisation belongs to the broader Reichsbürger or Citizens of the Reich movement, which rejects the authority of the modern German state and is driven by conspiracy theories. It is armed and considered extremely dangerous, the police said.

An interior ministry spokesman said on Thursday that its fight against rightwing extremism would not be halted even during the current global health emergency. “For the first time, the interior ministry has banned a Reichsbürger group,” the spokesman said. “Even in these days of crisis, we will continue to fight far-right extremism, racism and antisemitism.

Herbert Reul, the interior minister of the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, where the group had its focus, said: “These people cannot consider themselves safe even in these times of the coronavirus.” He said he was grateful to the federal interior minister, Horst Seehofer, “for allowing us to proceed against this brown sauce”, in a reference to their Nazi-sympathies.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/19/german-police-arrest-members-of-far-right-group-reichsburger-after-state-ban

5. Armenia's Pashinian Kicks Off Campaign On Constitutional Reform

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has urged voters to back proposed changes to the constitution that would lead to the removal of a majority of Constitutional Court judges.

Pashinian made the call on March 10 as he kicked off his campaign ahead of next month’s referendum on the proposed reforms.

“I urge you to go to polling stations on April 5 and confirm that you are sending home this old Constitutional Court, which had patronized all electoral frauds in Armenia in the past,” he said in a speech in the town of Meghri.

If approved, the proposed constitutional amendments would lead to the dismissal of seven of the court’s nine members installed before nationwide protests swept Pashinian to power in 2018.

https://www.rferl.org/a/armenia-s-pashinian-kicks-off-campaign-on-constitutional-reform/30479766.html

Helping Hands: Iranians Unite To Help Those Suffering From Coronavirus

Facing one of the world's worst outbreaks of coronavirus, Iranians in local communities are coming together to help those affected as the country battles a disease that has claimed the lives of nearly 1,300 people and infected more than 18,000 across the country, according to official figures on March 19.

Doctors, nurses, celebrities, and others have been posting videos and online messages telling citizens to remain home while volunteers have sown masks, sanitized public places, and made care packages that include medicinal alcohol and masks for poorer families.

The private sector is also pitching in with a coalition of private businesses opening a clinic in the capital, Tehran, and donating protective gear to severely strained hospitals facing shortages of materiel due to the outbreak that has claimed the lives of many health-care workers.

https://www.rferl.org/a/helping-hands-iranians-unite-to-help-those-suffering-from-coronavirus/30498027.html

Nirbhaya case: Four Indian men executed for 2012 Delhi bus rape and murder

Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh were sentenced to death by a trial court in 2013.

The four were hanged in the capital's high-security Tihar prison in the first executions in India since 2015.

The victim died from her injuries days after being raped by six men on a moving bus. The incident caused outrage and led to new anti-rape laws in India.

snip

ix people were arrested for the attack. One of them, Ram Singh, was found dead in jail in March 2013, having apparently taken his own life.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51969961

From an interview by BBC

Along with three of the other attackers, Singh is now appealing against his death sentence. In 16 hours of interviews, Singh showed no remorse and kept expressing bewilderment that such a fuss was being made about this rape, when everyone was at it.

"A decent girl won't roam around at nine o'clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy," he said.

snip

People "had a right to teach them a lesson" he suggested - and he said the woman should have put up with it.

snip

One of the men I interviewed, Gaurav, had raped a five-year-old girl. I spent three hours filming his interview as he recounted in explicit detail how he had muffled her screams with his big hand.

snip

When I asked him how he could cross the line from imagining what he wanted to do, to actually doing it - given her height, her eyes, her screams - he looked at me as though I was crazy for even asking the question and said: "She was beggar girl. Her life was of no value."

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31698154

In pictures: Deserted cities as anti-coronavirus lockdowns introduced around the globe (8 pics)

Many cities and towns around the globe are looking completely deserted, as governments introduce tougher measures in a bid to contain the spread of deadly coronavirus COVID-19.

Tourist destinations and business hubs that used to be packed with people are now quieter than anyone could have imagined, locals say.



Gran Via - Madrid



Eiffel Tower - Paris



Madeleine Church - Paris



Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna - Rome



Medieval old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia



Wuhan Airport



Financial center - Quito, Ecuador



Santa Monica Pier

https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/18/in-pictures-deserted-cities-as-anti-coronavirus-lockdowns-introduced-around-the-globe

Which tree did voters root for in European Tree of the Year 2020? (5 pics)

Voters have rooted for a tree overseeing a flooded village in the Czech Republic in the European Tree of the Year competition.

The 350-year-old pine, called Guardian of the Flooded Village, sits above the village of Chudobín, which was flooded due to the construction of a dam.

Guardian of the Flooded Village received 47,226 votes to claim the prize. A tree in Croatia came second with 28,060, while third followed close behind in Russia.



Ginkgo from Daruvar, Croatia



Lonely Poplar, Russia



Some of the others

The Witches Yew - Ireland



Allerton Oak - UK



The rest (and some are amazing to see) at
https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/18/which-tree-did-voters-root-for-in-european-tree-of-the-year-2020

Coronavirus Vs. The Church: Orthodox Traditionalists Stand Behind The Holy Spoon

Efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus have rekindled a millennium-old debate within Christianity.

Should Eastern Orthodox priests use a shared spoon to distribute sacramental bread and wine to churchgoers?

The debate has resurfaced amid unprecedented coronavirus measures that are compelling religious institutions around the world to temporarily alter some traditional practices.

snip

"We believe that no virus or disease can be transmitted through communion," said Metropolitan Ilarion, of the Moscow Patriarchate, on Rossia-24 on March 7.


https://www.rferl.org/a/coronavirus-vs-the-church-orthodox-traditionalists-stand-behind-the-holy-spoon/30492749.html

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
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