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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: 21,771

Journal Archives

Thailand's Fugitive Ex-Prime Minister Gets Serbian Citizenship

Serbia has granted citizenship to Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who fled the Southeastern Asian country nearly two years ago to avoid prosecution.

Serbia’s Official Gazette published the notice about the decision on August 8.

The government decided to grant Yingluck citizenship on June 27, citing a legal provision that a foreign citizen can be granted Serbian citizenship if that’s in line with the country's interest.

snip

With a Serbian passport, the ex-prime minister can travel without a visa to more than 100 countries, including most of members of the European Union.

link:
https://www.rferl.org/a/thailand-s-fugitive-ex-prime-minister-gets-serbian-citizenship/30100018.html

Good for Serbia

Poland's parliament speaker Kuchcinski to resign in private flight scandal

Poland's parliament speaker, Marek Kuchcinski, said on Thursday he would resign after it was revealed that he used government aircraft for private trips by family members.

With elections set for October, the scandal has embarrassed the ruling right-wing nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has said it is cleaning up an alleged legacy of graft and communist influence tolerated by previous governments.

snip

Political analysts said that until Thursday the PiS had adopted a wait and see approach, hoping the scandal would die off amidst the summer holiday lull.

But after Polish media published further details of the flights and pointed to discrepancies in explanations by Kuchcinski and the government, the potential damage became too serious to gloss over.

link
https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/08/poland-s-parliament-speaker-kuchcinski-to-resign-in-private-flight-scandal

'Useless to go ahead with daily quarrels': Italy's coalition government on brink of collapse

Source: euronews

Italy's ruling League party said on Thursday the only alternative to the current government was a fresh election, as it ruled out another cabinet reshuffle in the wake of growing policy differences with its coalition partner.

In reply, 5-Star said in a statement: ""The League note is incomprehensible. They have to clearly state what they want to do. They have to be clear".

The government looked to be nearing the brink of collapse yesterday, when the Italian Senate rejected a motion by 5-Star to block an alpine rail link with France, paving the way for the long-contested project to continue.

snip

League's leader Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday that tensions with 5-Star meant the government could soon collapse, and the parliamentary debate ahead of the Senate vote exposed the growing gulf between the two parties.

Read more: https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/08/useless-to-go-ahead-with-daily-quarrels-italy-s-coalition-government-on-brink-of-collapse

Has Anyone Seen The Turkmen President Lately?

The big news from Turkmenistan in the last few weeks has been that the country's mercurial president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, has been absent from the news for large periods of time.

snip

While officially on vacation, that has never stopped Turkmen state media from following Berdymukhammedov around in previous years.

But his absence from nightly Turkmen television newscasts and daily reports in state print media have some people seriously considering rumors that Berdymukhammedov is in poor health or possibly even dead.

snip

And RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk, noted that Berdymukhammedov was wearing exactly the same suit and tie as he wore in a May 10 broadcast on state television, which is strange because he never wears the same suit -- or even the same clothes -- twice in his television appearances.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/has-anyone-seen-turkmenistan-president/30095576.html

on edit:
Sounds like it's time for Acme Detective Agency to get going
Personally, it's likely he's dead or pretty close
But we'll see if he attends the Caspian Economic Forum, we'll know

Zoran Lazarevic has been crowned the mustache king

At a festival in rural Serbia, retired construction worker Zoran Lazarevic has been crowned the mustache king with white whiskers measuring 140 centimeters.

Video of the man, his 'stache and story at link

https://www.rferl.org/a/serbia-mustache-man/30097954.html

One Dead As Kyrgyz Forces Leave Ex-President's Compound, Hostages Freed

Source: rferl

KOI-TASH, Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz forces withdrew from the village where former President Almazbek Atambaev resides early on August 8 after an unsuccessful attempt to arrest him in a raid that left one serviceman dead and 45 people hospitalized with injuries.

The decision was based on negotiations with Atambaev supporters who agreed to free all six servicemen whom they had taken hostage during the failed special forces operation on August 7.

Authorities moved on the former president’s compound to carry out a subpoena in an unspecified investigation, but were met with bloody resistance by Atambaev’s supporters.

snip

After parliament on June 27 voted to strip immunity from prosecution for former presidents, the embattled Atambaev has spent most of his time at his residential compound and has publicly stated that he has weapons.

Read more: https://www.rferl.org/a/kyrgyz-police-storm-ex-president-s-house-near-bishkek/30097824.html



Video at link

'I am really shy': introducing Phoenix, the world's first hijab-wearing champion wrestler

Nor Diana can remember vividly the first time she stepped out to make her wrestling debut. Outside the ropes she had always been a quiet and studious hijab-wearing Malaysian woman, but here in the ring, dressed in black leather embossed with flames and as the crowd roared, she suddenly felt like a fire burst from inside her: here she was Phoenix.

Nor, who last month won Malaysia’s biggest wrestling tournament – defeating four men for the title – cuts an unlikely figure for a pro wrestler. A 19-year-old who is just 152cm (5ft) tall and weighs 43kg (94lbs), she speaks softly as she sits in her training centre in the town of Puchong, close to Kuala Lumpur, dressed in her hijab, wide glasses and floral baju kurung, traditional Malaysian dress.

snip

Indeed, over the past four years Phoenix has steadily grown to be one of the biggest names in Malaysian pro-wrestling, defying stigmas and the expectations often placed on Muslim women in Malaysian society and bringing in a whole new female crowd to the male-dominated sport. “The response has been amazing,” says Nor. “Last year, we had all-female wrestling tryouts and no one turned up. But this week we had tryouts and three hijabi girls came to the training.”

link
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/07/i-am-really-shy-introducing-phoenix-the-worlds-first-hijab-wearing-champion-wrestler

Tsunami Pool at Chinese water park lives up to name, injures dozens with bone-breaking giant wave

snip

Like a lot of similar facilities, Yulong Shuiyun Water Amusement Park has a wave pool. The park seems particularly proud of the intensity of its attraction, gong so far as to call it the “Tsunami Pool.” Unfortunately, last Monday that turned out to not really be much of an exaggeration, as this video, shot inside the park, shows.

After sending a series of normal-sized waves swimmers’ way, suddenly a much larger mass of water swells. Several times higher than the heads of the people in the pool, the giant wave doesn’t give them a playful push, but slams into them simultaneously from the front and above, carrying the first row of swimmers crashing into the people behind them. People further back can be seen struggling to get out of the way of the advancing mix of water, bodies, and flat rings, but you can only run so fast in water, and it’s only the guests at the far end of the pool, opposite where the wave formed, who aren’t caught in the mess.

In total, 44 guests were injured, including three who suffered broken ribs or legs.

snip

The Longjiang city government has denied early rumors that operator error was to blame, and is instead saying that its initial findings show that a power cut damaged the Tsunami Pool’s electronic equipment and caused a malfunction, though it’s not currently clear how a loss of power had the end result of making the machine-produced waves larger than intended.

https://soranews24.com/2019/08/02/tsunami-pool-at-chinese-water-park-lives-up-to-name-injures-dozens-with-bone-breaking-giant-wave/

Communist Berlin: Then And Now (pic heavy)

To mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we revisited the precise locations of 14 memorable photos taken when half of the city lay behind the Iron Curtain.

The pictures here are some of the older structures. You must go to the site to see what East Berlin looks like today



The Reichstag in 1962, as seen from behind a ragged barbed-wire fence that would become the Berlin Wall. Before the barrier’s construction in 1961, some 3.5 million people -- 20 percent of the population of Soviet-administered East Germany -- had fled West. // Photo: Fortepan/Gyula Nagy



A woman poses in the center of East Berlin in 1974. From 1949 until 1990, the eastern half of Berlin was ruled by a communist government that was overseen by Moscow. // Photo: Fortepan/Chuckyeager Tumblr



A postal worker on Karl-Marx-Allee in 1961. Public postboxes like this were a favorite stalking ground for the communist secret police, who furtively shot photographs at such sites to help them track who posted what, and to whom. // Photo: Fortepan/Gyula Nagy



The Brandenburg Gate is shrouded in fog as a man looks over the newly erected Berlin Wall to the eastern part of the divided city in November 1961. // Photo: AP/Heinrich Sanden Sr.



A gun-toting communist “combat group” seals off a boundary between East and West Berlin in preparation for the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. // Photo: Creative Commons/Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive) Peter Heinz Junge

***I thought the guy next to last on the right in the sun glasses looks like Al Bundy



The view from Berlin’s television tower, looking east up Karl-Marx-Allee in 1970. The area was almost completely rebuilt in the Stalinist architectural style after being pummeled into rubble by Allied bombing during World War II. // Photo: Fortepan/Gyula Nagy



A group of rain-specked tourists poses next to the beginnings of the Berlin Wall, a few meters east of the Reichstag, in 1962. The historic building, which housed the German parliament from 1894 to 1933, lay in ruins after World War II and was in the process of being rebuilt when this photo was taken. The Bundestag, the federal parliament of a unified Germany, has met there since April 1999, the year that reconstruction – carried out by British architect Norman Foster -- was finally completed. It’s now one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions. // Photo: Fortepan/Gyula Nagy


https://www.rferl.org/a/communist-berlin-then-and-now-slider-gallery/30075023.html

5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen

1.Though it involves the UAE royal family, it is playing out in a British court
Dubai ruler's wife seeks 'forced marriage protection order' in British court


Princess Haya, the wife of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has applied for a "non-molestation order" and a "forced marriage protection order" in a British court, according to court documents.

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the 45-year-old daughter of late King Hussein of Jordan and half-sister to King Abdullah, also applied for the wardship of the children.

For weeks now, media reports have suggested Haya was hiding in the British capital after escaping the Gulf Emirate and her billionaire husband. She allegedly took her two children with her when she left Dubai.

snip

A "non-molestation order" protects from harassment or threats. A forced marriage protection order helps if someone says they have been forced into marriage or already in a forced marriage, according to official British legal definitions.

link
https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/30/dubai-ruler-s-wife-seeks-forced-marriage-protection-order-in-british-court

2. Romania's interior minister quits over murdered teenagers scandal

Romania’s interior minister has quit as the fallout from the murder of two teenage girls intensifies.

There is public outrage over the killings of Alexandra Macesanu, 15, and Luiza Melencu, 18, in the southern town of Caracal.

Macesanu phoned the European emergency number 112 but it took authorities 19 hours to locate where she was as they struggled to trace her calls and secure unnecessary search warrants.

Nicolae Moga, who had only been in the post six days, resigned as Romania’s interior minister on Tuesday.

********This resignation seemed ridiculous since Moga had only just taken the job.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/30/romania-s-interior-minister-quits-over-murdered-teenagers-scandal

3. Belarusian Diplomat Shot In Ankara Remains In Serious Condition After Surgery

MINSK -- Belarus's Foreign Ministry says a Belarusian diplomat who was shot in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and operated on at a local clinic remains in a very serious condition.

Spokesman Anatol Hlaz told RFE/RL on July 25 that doctors had evaluated the operation on Alyaksandr Pahanshau, an adviser to the Belarusian Embassy in Ankara, as "successful," though he remains in an intensive care unit.

Pahanshau was walking home with his son late on July 24 when he was shot several times.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said after Pahanshau's surgery that the diplomat was attacked by his neighbor, a retired military officer, with whom Pahanshau had a personal dispute.

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarusian-diplomat-shot-in-turkey-said-to-be-in-critical-condition-/30074215.html


4. Ze Academy: Ukraine lawmakers’ first assignment is a crash course in politics

snip

When the plan to run such a course broke late last week, it raised eyebrows. For some, the Ze Academy was a prospect that made Leslie Nielsen look serious. Many questioned the durability of rookie MPs plucked from the public without so much as a political ABC.

snip

The Servants found their guru in Timofei Milovanov, the energetic president of Kiev’s respected School of Economics and a deputy head of the National Bank of Ukraine.

On Facebook, Mr Milovanov proudly announced his plan to subject the nation’s MPs to five, 13-hour “intensive, harsh, complete” sessions. They cover the full range of government business from economy to infrastructure, security and defence.

snip

For some, the learning curve will come quicker than others. A fair number of Mr Zelensky’s Servants are sharp, well educated and will likely form an expert core in important committees. Fifth in the official party pecking order, for example, is the cerebral anti-corruption campaigner Halyna Yanchenko. She claimed to be “inspired” by the quality of her fellow MPs after getting to know them over the previous 24 hours.

link
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-ze-academy-parliament-zelensky-president-mps-servant-people-a9026426.html

5. Vucic Praises Putin For 'Strengthening' Serbia's Military

NIS, Serbia -- Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for "strengthening" the combat capability of the Balkan nation's armed forces.

Vucic made the comments on July 29 as he inspected the delivery of 10 recently arrived Russian armored patrol vehicles at a Serbian Army military base in Nis.

Speaking at the ceremony, Russia's Ambassador Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said that Moscow "is ready and will always be ready for military and technical cooperation with Serbia."

snip

The 10 BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicles have been delivered to Serbia despite neighboring Romania's refusal to let them transit via the Danube River because of European Union sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/vucic-praises-putin-for-strengthening-serbia-s-military/30081538.html
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