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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: 21,891

Journal Archives

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Russian sisters reunite 78 years after wartime separation

Two Russian sisters have been reunited 78 years after being separated during the second world war, thanks to a television show and a police search.

In footage of their meeting late last month provided by the interior ministry, Yulia and Rozalina Kharitonova, now 92 and 94, hugged and kissed as their family members watched in tears.

snip

As teenagers, the sisters lived with their parents in Stalingrad, the city now known as Volgograd that was the site of one of the bloodiest battles the war. They were separated in 1942 during the civilian evacuation to escape Nazi encirclement.

Yulia, who was born in 1928, was evacuated with her mother to the city of Penza, about 310 miles (500km) to the north. And Rozalina was evacuated with her factory colleagues to the industrial city of Chelyabinsk, about 870 miles to the north-east in the Urals.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/07/russian-sisters-reunite-78-years-after-wartime-separation

2.Bulgaria Changes Legislation To Join Euro 'Waiting Room'

Bulgaria's parliament has adopted amendments to the country's central-bank law in order to ease its accession to the "waiting room" of the eurozone.

Bulgaria has operated an International Monetary Fund (IMF)-led currency-board arrangement since 1999 that pegs its national currency, the lev, to the euro at a fixed rate of 1.95583.

An EU member since 2007, Bulgaria would seek to join the ERM2 Exchange Rate Mechanism -- known as the "waiting room" to the eurozone -- at this rate as soon as April, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov announced.

ERM2 rules require that after admission, Bulgaria's central bank allow currency fluctuations of up to 15 percent above or below the central rate.

https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-changes-legislation-to-join-euro-waiting-room-/30420363.html

3.Hungarian Foreign Minister Visits Kyiv In Effort To Mend Relations

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says his country would like improve relations with Ukraine amid a dispute over a controversial language law.

The remarks came on February 7 during a visit to Kyiv by Szijjarto, his first trip to Hungary’s eastern neighbor since Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected last year.

"The Hungarian government is interested in renewing good neighborly relations with Ukraine," Szijjarto said during a news conference with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Kyiv in 2017 passed a law that emphasizes the instruction of Ukrainian in publicly funded schools and curtails the teaching of Russian and other minority languages, such as Romanian and Hungarian.

https://www.rferl.org/a/hungary-szijjarto-ukraine-language-law-nato-european-union/30423545.html

4. Romania braces for early elections as Ludovic Orban loses confidence vote

Romania faces the prospect of early elections after Ludovic Orban’s minority centrist government lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday.

The motion brought by the left-wing opposition Social Democrats (PSD) against Orban’s Liberal Party (PNL) – in protest at electoral reform – was backed by 261 lawmakers, well above the 233 needed to cause the government’s downfall.

Opposition parties are strongly against government moves to alter electoral laws ahead of elections for local mayors in the spring.

The PSD and the ethnic Hungarian UDMR fear they will be penalised by plans to introduce two rounds of voting instead of one – as this would give centre-right candidates the chance to form alliances against the left.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/02/05/romania-braces-for-early-elections-as-ludovic-orban-loses-confidence-vote

5. EU states clash over use of toxic mercury in light bulbs

A row over lamps is emerging as a first major test of the EU’s commitment to its much-vaunted European Green Deal and the bloc’s target of carbon neutrality by the middle of the century.

A debate over the continued use of mercury in fluorescent lighting has split the 27 member states with Germany’s industrial interests being pitted against the environmental concerns of Sweden, according to leaked correspondence.

The European commission is being asked by Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to continue to allow manufacturers to use mercury in light bulbs despite the potential damage to the environment and human health.

snip

Sweden, Finland and Bulgaria, among others, say the successful argument nine years ago that there was not a readily available alternative to mercury in the manufacture of fluorescent lamps is defunct. Mercury-free LED light bulbs were said to produce significantly poorer levels of lighting, but it is now claimed that the technology has sufficiently moved on.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/07/eu-states-clash-over-use-of-toxic-mercury-in-light-bulbs

When Americans Fought A War In Russia (with pics)

These U.S. troops (below) were among some 13,000 Americans sent to Russia's Far North and Eastern Siberia in 1918 to fight both against -- and alongside -- Russians in one of history's strangest conflicts.

After the revolutionist leader Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917 with the promise of "Peace, Land, and Bread," the country formally withdrew from World War I. Once Russian guns fell silent, Germany and its allies were able to redeploy hundreds of thousands of soldiers from their Eastern Front and hurl them at the exhausted Allied forces in France and Belgium.

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George expressed fear that the onslaught could mean "disaster" for the Allies. Britain and France began plotting to "reconstitute the fighting front in the East," possibly by linking up with a contingent of battle-hardened Czechoslovak soldiers stranded inside revolutionary Russia, and overturning Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution by force.

snip

Wilson's stated aim for the U.S. troops was to guard supplies and assist the stranded Czechoslovak forces, who were increasingly in danger as the civil war raged across the country following the Russian revolution. Wilson apparently opposed further military intervention, believing U.S. entanglement in the conflict would only "add to the present sad confusion in Russia rather than cure it."


U.S. troops (left) parade in front of allied Russian White Army fighters.


A U.S. soldier pauses for a photograph while loading supplies onto a ship bound for Russia in 1918.


U.S. soldiers land in Russia's Arkhangelsk in September 1918. Their ship was painted in "dazzle camouflage" designed to make it hard for enemy submarine crews to estimate the ship's direction and speed.


A Bolshevik shot dead after attempting a late-night raid on a U.S. outpost in Russia's Far North.


A U.S. soldier looks across to the Bolshevik-held village of Shenkursk in the distance. The Americans' position was captured by the Bolsheviks two weeks after this photo was taken.

Many more pictures and the full story at
https://www.rferl.org/a/when-american-soldiers-fought-a-war-in-russia/30410353.html

Russian State TV Spreads Crazy Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

Russia's state TV Channel One has broadcast conspiracy theories blaming U.S. President Donald Trump or "international corporations" for the coronavirus. The report was broadcast on the main evening news show watched by millions on February 5.

video at link

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-state-tv-spreads-baseless-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories/30422879.html

Be prepared for the weirdness

All 3,700 on cruise ship will be quarantined up to 14 days after virus cases confirmed

Japan said Wednesday 10 people on a cruise ship have tested positive for a new virus and were being taken to hospitals.

Health Minister Nobukatsu Kato said all the 3,700 people and passengers on the ship will be quarantined on board for up to 14 days under Japanese law. The 10 are among 273 people tested after one man who got off the ship in Hong Kong was confirmed to have the virus.

Some tests are still pending. Those tested either had a cough or fever, which are symptoms of the new coronavirus, or had close contact with the man who stopped in Hong Kong. But the transmission isn't clear, and the others may have gotten the virus when they got off the ship at other port calls in Vietnam, Taiwan, Kagoshima and Okinawa. The ship returned to Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday.

link
https://qconline.com/news/world/all-on-cruise-ship-will-be-quarantined-up-to-days/article_696ce77f-92ce-59ae-9bcc-e5718333695a.html#tracking-source=home-just-in

Grandma With Dementia Never Forgets Her Dog's Name

The first is sad. Both for the old woman and the dog
The second one is a bit happier but still sad
Remember when reading subtitles: In Korea all old people are referred to as grandfather and grandmother




video 2: Grandma With Dementia Reunites With Dog Who Waits At Her Abandoned Home

Sinn Fin surges past Fine Gael, levels with Fianna Fil in latest opinion poll

Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil have leveled out in a recent Red C opinion poll for the Sunday Business Post which was conducted just over a week before Ireland’s General Election on February 8, 2020.

1,000 people were polled over six days, concluding on January 30, for the new Business Post / Red C poll which was published on February 2. The poll revealed that Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil have equal amounts of support - 24 percent each - while Fine Gael trails in third with 21 percent.

RTE notes that this is the first time in the history of Red C polls that Sinn Féin is polling ahead of Fine Gael.

The poll further found that Independents are polling at 12 percent, the Green Party is polling at 7 percent, Labour at 5 percent, Social Democrats at 3 percent, Aontú is at 2 percent, and Solidarity - PBP at 1 percent. Other parties are listed as having 1 percent.

link
https://www.irishcentral.com/news/sinn-fein-fianna-fail-level?utm_campaign=Best+of+IC+-+Feb+2+-+2020-02-02&utm_content=Story1&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Mailjet

I would have posted the link to the Business Post / Red C poll, but it's got a pay wall

Mango the cat making itself comfortable at a police station

This is a police station in Korea
If you've never seen Korean TV before, the writing that is added (similar to thought bubbles) is common in Korean feel good stories and made to tell us what the animal is thinking or saying (The thoughts are in Korean and English)
The backstory of the cat and the police station is very cute. (It's toward the end)

The Promise: Why Albanians Saved So Many Jews During World War II

While millions of Jews were being exterminated across Europe during World War II, many Jewish families found refuge and safety in Albania, despite German occupation. The local Jewish population increased from a few hundred to 2,000. Two Albanians recall how their families sheltered Jews and how a centuries-old tradition called Besa kept them alive.

video at
https://www.rferl.org/a/the-promise-why-albanians-saved-so-many-jews-during-world-war-ii/30395615.html

cross-post in GD

The Promise: Why Albanians Saved So Many Jews During World War II

While millions of Jews were being exterminated across Europe during World War II, many Jewish families found refuge and safety in Albania, despite German occupation. The local Jewish population increased from a few hundred to 2,000. Two Albanians recall how their families sheltered Jews and how a centuries-old tradition called Besa kept them alive.

video at
https://www.rferl.org/a/the-promise-why-albanians-saved-so-many-jews-during-world-war-ii/30395615.html

Outspoken Senior Russian Clergyman Dies Unexpectedly At 51

A high-ranking Russian clergyman known for his outspoken social and political commentary and wavering support for the government has died of unknown causes.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, 51, died on January 26 while sitting on a bench at the Church of Theodore the Studite at the Nikitsky Gate in Moscow where he was the rector, the press service of the Moscow Patriarchate told Russian media.

For years, Chaplin was a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration’s policies. Lately, however, Chaplin had made critical statements targeting the country’s leadership. Most notable was his opposition to pension reform last year. In March, he took part in a rally against the government’s social and economic policies.

snip

Bestowing lavish gifts on the church’s hierarchy “is a manifestation of love, which is completely natural,” Chaplin said at a news conference in Stavropol on August 27, 2012.

https://www.rferl.org/a/outspoken-senior-russian-clergyman-dies-at-51/30398763.html
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