Fabulous Performances: Sayaka Shoji – Tchaikovsky : Violin Concerto in D major op.35 (YouTube Viral – 2,429,203 [posted: Oct 14, 2011]


SOLD OUT! UNFORTUNATELY THIS VIDEO HAS BEEN DESIGNATED PRIVATE STATUS ON/BY YOUTUBE, RENDERING THE VIDEO UNWATCHABLE: WAY TO GO!


Sayaka Shoji is the first Japanese and youngest winner at the Paganini Competition in Genoa in 1999.
She was born into an artistic family and spent her childhood in Siena, Italy. She studied at Hochschule für Musik Köln under Zakhar Bron and graduated in 2004. Her other teachers have included Sashko Gawrillow, Uto Ughi and Shlomo Mintz.

Zubin Mehta has been her strong supporter. When Shoji auditioned for him in 2000, he immediately changed his schedule in order to make her first recording with the Israel Philharmonic possible in the following month, then invited her to perform with Bavarian State Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

New at euzicasa: Valentina Lisitsa – Franz Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No 12



[Quelle: Servus TV]

“The summer has finally arrived to Paris: balmy 30 degrees, sweaty tourists…. It is even more amazing that the moment music begins sounding all those people who a minute ago were hurrying along busily , those people suddenly stop in their tracks and dive into the magic of sound, like it was a cool pool. Enjoy this short report for http://www.streetpianos.com and next time you suddenly hear piano sounds on a hot summer day on a street – it’s not an aural mirage , it’s for real – come and join in !” Continue reading

WordPress.com: Should “Settings” Be Your Choice? (Please take part in this important survey)


[youtube.com/watch?v=EXbebkfAjSI]

I have recently experienced some unwanted activity on my website. To be more specific, some of the followers have associated with you too, my very welcome and followers.

In today’s world ,  I should think that the most fundamental right as a blog administrator would be to decides, upon revising the content who will, or not be approved to become your blogging family.
As I requested several times and through different avenues, WordPress.com so far dismissed my requests to implement Setting choices, allowing us to decide who will, or will not follow us, based upon subject matter, interests, language, and so many other valid criteria in existence here at WordPress.com.  

At this time WordPress.com has no way to allow us the choice of moderating access, compared to Twitter, or even Facebook.

I think that Twitter services have a direct, easy to use, friendly way of empowering a member to freedom of association, and everyone of us is entitled to, without having o ask WordPress.com administration to do that for us upon request (which as I said earlier does not work, or even worse to have to directly contact such followers, which is beneath me (at least).

Here is how Twitter deal with this issue, at a immediate action of the twitter user (highlighted in yellow): 

Twitter v. WordPress Settings

Twitter v. WordPress Settings

Following is a Poll (my first) asking for your input in this issue, and the question is:

“Should the administrator of a WordPress.com be allowed to decide upon the membership at their site?”

Should you need further clarification on this matter, please feel free to comment, before voting! 

Thank you Friends! (as you can see this is NOT about you, it is about us all, I am sure you can too see why

Following is one example for the reasons I requested that word.press.com, allow for administrators’ settings. It would save time, and allow one the peace and tranquility of not having to interact with unwitty profane and vulgar characters!

Phylospher's Stone

Phylospher’s Stone CURSING AND PROFANITY

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Hello World!


Air bridge overheadWelcome to: euzicasa.wordpress.com 

        This website is about art, artists and the way some of them  have influenced my whole life.
If at times the content may seem nostalgic, is only when it resonate in quality, in message and in power to influence human knowledge of one’s feelings.
        I am reminded of the little time we have to meditate upon the beauty around us, in an infinity of forms.
It is a duty, I think to share values, like leaflets over a monotonous life, and troubled civilization, away from the roll of coins that cannot buy neither a soul, nor that which makes us human.
        So happy trails, and I hope you too will find something in theses pages that you’ll like to share with others.

Thank You Friends,

George. Continue reading

Danee Robinson – Debussy’s 1883 “Mandoline”, L 29 (The poem of Paul Verlaine)



Danee Robinson is gifted with a pure, soprano angelic voice. She is an evolving presence in the world of classical music, and is getting more and more attention in the world of music, from an ever larger audience. 

How to describe in words her presence in the universe that’s larger than any imagination, the universe of music:

‘I am therefore I sing’

I feel  her  message  throughout her musical career, in her album “Canto di Gioia” (Song of Joy) on stage, and in this beautiful interpretation of “Mandoline”, composed by Claude Debussy, in 1883, for piano and soloist on the poem of Paul Verlaine. A composition exuding youth, and its capacity of playfulness, freedom and happyness…Of love everlasting. Continue reading

Come to me 


Come to me

France 24 : Mexico rejects ‘hostile’ Trump immigration rules as US talks loom


Mexico rejects ‘hostile’ Trump immigration rules as US talks loom

http://f24.my/2lxb1cn

Mexico reacted with anger on Wednesday to what one official called “hostile” new U.S. immigration guidelines as senior Trump administration envoys began arriving in Mexico City for talks on the volatile issue.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans on Tuesday to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of nationality.

The tension over the timing of the rules mirrors an outcry when President Donald Trumptweeted that Mexico should pay for his plannedborder wall shortly before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was due at a Washington summit in January.

Trump, who took office last month, campaigned on a pledge to get tougher on the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, playing on fears of violent crime while promising to build the wall and stop potential terrorists from entering the country.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in Mexico City on Wednesday afternoon.

He was due to be joined by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly later for talks the White House said would “walk through” the implementation of Trump’s immigration orders.

Kelly signed the guidelines issued by his department on Monday.

Mexico’s lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

“I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other,” he told reporters at the Foreign Ministry.

He said the issue would dominate the talks, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. Mexico will insist that the United States proves the nationality of any person it wants to deport to Mexico, he said.

“We also have control of our borders and we will exercise it fully,” he said.

Roberto Campa, who heads the human rights department of the Interior Ministry, said the plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico was “hostile” and “unacceptable.”

‘Phenomenal’ relationship

White House spokesman Sean Spicer described U.S.-Mexico ties as healthy and robust and said he expected a “great discussion.”

“I think the relationship with Mexico is phenomenal right now,” Spicer told reporters.

Homeland Security’s guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that the Republican president signed on Jan. 25.

In Guatemala on Wednesday, Kelly told Guatemalans the immigration crackdown ordered by Trump meant undocumented immigrants would be caught and sent back quickly, advising them to stay at home.

He denied the administration was embarking on mass deportations.

Mexico’s agenda at the talks on Thursday includes border infrastructure, deportation strategies, Central American migration, narcotics, arms trafficking and terrorism, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, a senior official with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

(REUTERS)

BBC News: Adopted Romanian orphans ‘still suffering in adulthood’


I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Adopted Romanian orphans ‘still suffering in adulthood’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39055704

Watch “O Brother, Down to the river to pray” on YouTube


Two beauties: one more alive than the other…


Two beauties: one more alive than the other…

France 24 : French anti-terror police arrest three over ‘advanced’ plot


French anti-terror police arrest three over ‘advanced’ plot

http://f24.my/2lrDUGR

French police on Tuesday arrested three men suspected of planning a terror attack in raids in the Paris area, Marseille and the central city of Clermont-Ferrand, legal sources said.

In Clermont-Ferrand, a bomb-disposal operation was called in to sweep the home of a 37-year-old suspect for explosives, a source said.

“The suspects had a plot that was sufficiently advanced for the police to decide to arrest them,” another source said.

The raids were ordered by anti-terrorism prosecutors in Paris, according to a judicial source.

France, which has been rocked by a wave of deadly jihadist attacks from January 2015, remains on high alert.

On February 3, a 29-year-old Egyptian armed with machetes lunged at four soldiers on patrol outside the Louvre museum, crying “Allahu Akbar” (God Is Greatest).

He was shot and seriously injured by one of the soldiers.

A week later, police arrested four people in southern France, including a 16-year-old girl near Montpellier, on suspicion they were planning an “imminent” attack.

During the raid, the officers found ingredients used to make TATP, a highly unstable homemade explosive used in the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

The teenage girl, her partner and an older man described as their mentor were charged with terrorist offences.

(AFP)

Watch “George Enescu and Dinu Lipatti – Enescu Violin Sonata no.3 – I” on YouTube


Watch “Elgar – Cello Concerto – Jacqueline Du Pre (Cello)” on YouTube


Queen Elisabeth of Romania with George Enescu and Dimitrie Dinicu at Peleș Castle.


Queen Elisabeth of Romania with George Enescu and Dimitrie Dinicu at Peleș Castle.

Queen Elisabeth of Romania with George Enescu and Dimitrie Dinicu at Peleș Castle.

Masquerade 


Masquerade

France 24 : Years of war bring ‘man-made’ famine to South Sudan


Years of war bring ‘man-made’ famine to South Sudan

http://f24.my/2m0dWxj

South Sudan’s government said Monday that more than three years of war have led to famine in parts of the nation, a tragedy aid agencies criticised as “man-made”.

Isaiah Chol Aruai, the chairman of South Sudan National Bureau of Statistics, said some parts of the northern Greater Unity region “are classified in famine, or… risk of famine”.

A joint press statement from aid agencies said 100,000 people were affected by the famine, which threatened another one million people in the coming months.

“A formal famine declaration means people have already started dying of hunger. The situation is the worst hunger catastrophe since fighting erupted more than three years ago,” said the statement signed by the World Food Programme (WFP), UN children’s agency UNICEF and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, wasengulfed by civil war in 2013 after PresidentSalva Kiir accused his rival and former deputyRiek Machar of plotting a coup against him.

An August 2015 peace deal was left in tatters when fighting broke out in Juba in July last year.

Violence — initially between ethnic Dinka supporters of Kiir and ethnic Nuer supporters of Machar — has since spread to other parts of the country, engulfing other ethnic groups and grievances.

The United Nations has warned of potential genocide and ethnic cleansing, and there is no prospect of peace in sight.

Humanitarians under attack

Unity State, a traditional Nuer homeland and birthplace of Machar, has been one of the flashpoints in the conflict.

“The convergence of evidence shows that the long term effects of the conflict coupled with high food prices, economic crisis, low agricultural production and depleted livelihood options” have resulted in 4.9 million people going hungry, Aruai said.

That figure represents 42 percent of the country’s population.

The famine classification is according to an internationally recognised sliding scale of hunger in which an extreme lack of food has lead to starvation and death.

“The main tragedy of the report that has been launched today… is that the problem is man-made,” said Eugene Owusu, the United Nation’s Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.

“The underlining drivers have been there for some time and we have all known that we have a major food crisis.”

He said conflict and insecurity for humanitarian workers, who had suffered attacks while carrying out their work, and the looting of “humanitarian assets” had exacerbated the crisis.

“I would like to use this opportunity to call on the government, the warring parties and all actors to support humanitarians to provide the necessary access so we can continue to bring lifesaving services to those in need,” he said.

Agriculture disrupted

According to the joint press statement, the number of people facing hunger is expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the spread of the food crisis.

“Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive,” said FAO Representative in South Sudan Serge Tissot.

“The people are predominantly farmers and war has disrupted agriculture. They’ve lost their livestock, even their farming tools. For months there has been a total reliance on whatever plants they can find and fish they can catch.”

While the famine in South Sudan is man-made,millions more across the Horn of Africa are going hungry due to a devastating drought following two failed rainy seasons.

Famine early warning system FEWSNET has warned that if 2017 rains were again poor in Somalia — as forecast — “famine would be expected.” 

(AFP)

France 24 : Anti-terror police arrest three over ‘advanced’ plot


Anti-terror police arrest three over ‘advanced’ plot

http://f24.my/2lrDUGR

French police on Tuesday arrested three men suspected of planning a terror attack in raids in the Paris area, Marseille and the central city of Clermont-Ferrand, legal sources said.

In Clermont-Ferrand, a bomb-disposal operation was called in to sweep the home of a 37-year-old suspect for explosives, a source said.

“The suspects had a plot that was sufficiently advanced for the police to decide to arrest them,” another source said.

The raids were ordered by anti-terrorism prosecutors in Paris, according to a judicial source.

France, which has been rocked by a wave of deadly jihadist attacks from January 2015, remains on high alert.

On February 3, a 29-year-old Egyptian armed with machetes lunged at four soldiers on patrol outside the Louvre museum, crying “Allahu Akbar” (God Is Greatest).

He was shot and seriously injured by one of the soldiers.

A week later, police arrested four people in southern France, including a 16-year-old girl near Montpellier, on suspicion they were planning an “imminent” attack.

During the raid, the officers found ingredients used to make TATP, a highly unstable homemade explosive used in the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

The teenage girl, her partner and an older man described as their mentor were charged with terrorist offences.

(AFP)

BBC News: Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation


I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39042712

Water, daylight and beautiful flowers 


Water, daylight and beautiful flowers

Watch “Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down Lyrics (HQ)” on YouTube


France 24 : Staten Island, the New York borough where Trump is a hero


Staten Island, the New York borough where Trump is a hero

http://f24.my/2kTBnU8

Chaotic press conferences, questions over Russia and an aborted attempt at an immigration ban: For many observers, President Donald Trump’s first month in office has been a bumpy ride. But many in the New York borough of Staten Island disagree.

In this corner of New York City, Trump‘s nascent presidency has been nothing short of a triumph for many of the Republican billionaire’s loyal supporters.

“We love him and he’s doing a great job!” says Aiman Youssef, a resident of Staten Island.

New York’s least and most sparsely populated borough, Staten Island can seem like a world away from the glitz of Manhattan or the brownstones of gentrified Brooklyn. Largely residential, blue-collar and white, the island has a distinct identity – something that remains true when it comes to politics.

While traditionally Democratic New York City voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in November’s election – with the former secretary of state and first lady winning 79 percent of the vote overall – Staten Island very much bucked the trend, with 57 percent of the borough’s residents backing Trump.

Law and order

Among them was Youssef. As a Syrian-American who moved to the United States in the 1980s seeking better opportunities, he may seem like an unlikely supporter of a president who has attempted to halt immigration, including refugees from Syria like himself.

However, Youssef believes Trump is simply providing the security that the country needs.

“Mr. Trump is imposing law and order. And some people, they just want the wild wild west,” says Youssef. “He’s protecting the country.”

So far, he is more than happy with Trump’s record since taking office in January.

“Everything he said he’d do during his campaign, he’s now doing it.”

In 2012, Youssef lost his home when Hurricane Sandy tore through Staten Island. The experience inspired him to start his own disaster relief charity, Half Table Man, which provides food, clothes and other goods and services to those in need.

But he sees no discrepancy between his own charity work and his support of Trump’s attempted immigrant and refugee ban.

“Let’s cover the needs in this country and then we cover the needs in other countries,” he says, as he delivers donated goods to a Staten Island church from where they will be distributed locally.

Families to feed

There is, however, a group of people on Youssef’s own doorstep who fear Trump’s policies could have a very real and damaging impact on their lives. Although Staten Island is New York’s only borough where non-Hispanic whites are the majority, there is still a sizeable immigrant population here.

Some of them have already felt the wrath of Trump’s presidency. Earlier this month, local media reported that five Mexican residents of Staten Island had been arrested in raids by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Luis, 23, works for an organisation that helps immigrants in Staten Island find work, including those who are in the US illegally.

“Usually, you’d see people waiting here and here,” he says, pointing to empty street corners known for being areas where illegal workers line up, hoping to land a job as a day labourer.

“Maybe it’s just the cold weather, but there haven’t been many since Trump.”

People in Staten Island’s immigrant community are scared for their livelihoods and over whether or not they will be able to stay in the United States.

“The fear is [of] impacts at so many levels – they rely on this. They have families to feed.”

At 4.6 percent, Staten Island’s unemployment rate hit a 10-year low at the tail end of 2016.

Nevertheless, it is fear of the effects of cheap immigrant labour on jobs and the economy that led many in the borough to back Trump at the ballot box last November, says Sal Oliva, 32.

The long-time Staten Island resident works at a hotel not far from Trump Tower in an upscale neighbourhood of Manhattan while making extra money as a painter and decorator.

“It affects me economically because I have to compete [with] cheap labour,” he says. “Illegal immigration is stealing American jobs and driving wages down. A lot of people [in Staten Island] are impacted by illegal immigration.”

Saving the country

Oliva does not shy away from showing his support for a president he believes is going to “save the country”: he even has a tattoo of Trump’s face on his arm.

“I got it done after he signed the executive order to start building the wall with Mexico. I was just so happy that he’d kept that promise,” he says. “The guy who did it was a Mexican; I think he ripped me off on the price.”

As a gay man, Oliva is aware that his support for Trump’s conservative administration might surprise some. But for him there is no dichotomy, particularly when it comes to taking a tough line on immigration from largely Muslim countries.

“I think gay people have a kind of Stockholm syndrome with Islam, always trying to defend it. But these people burn gay people in the streets in their countries,” he says.

Even in Staten Island, being an outspoken Trump supporter can come with a cost.

“I’ve lost friends, I’ve had people stop talking to me who I’ve known for years. It’s been harder to be a Trump supporter than a gay man, can you believe that?”

A beautiful flower today no.2 


A beautiful flower today no.2

My beautiful flower today 


My beautiful flower today

My pot with flowers today no.2 


My pot with flowers today no.2

My Chakra today 


My Chakra today

Watch “”Our House”- Crosby Stills and Nash – Lyrics (HD)” on YouTube


At the gallery


At the gallery

A beautiful flower today no.2 


A beautiful flower today no.2

My beautiful flower today 


My beautiful flower today

My pot with flowers today 


My pot with flowers today

Heron in stork immitative stand


Heron in stork immitative stand

BBC News: YouTube ditches unskippable 30-second ads


I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

YouTube ditches unskippable 30-second ads – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39027650

BBC News: Day Without Immigrants: ‘More than 100 workers’ fired over strike


I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Day Without Immigrants: ‘More than 100 workers’ fired over strike – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39032051

France 24 : Trump picks McMaster to replace Flynn as national security adviser


Trump picks McMaster to replace Flynn as national security adviser

http://f24.my/2lodxBT

President Donald Trump has tapped Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, replacing the ousted Michael Flynn.

Trump announced the pick Monday at his Palm Beach club and said McMaster is “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.”

The president, who has no military experience, has shown a preference for generals in the top security roles. McMaster, who wore his uniform for the announcement, joins Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, both retired generals.

Trump says retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg who had been his acting adviser, will now serve as the National Security Council chief of staff. He also said he would be asking John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to work with them in a “somewhat different capacity.”

Trump made the announcement from a luxurious living room, sitting on a couch between McMaster and Kellogg. The president told reporters as he exited the room that Vice President Mike Pence had been involved in the process.

Trump brought four candidates for the position to Mar-a-Lago over the weekend for in-person interviews, McMaster among them. McMaster called the appointment a “privilege.”

McMaster served in the first Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. Considered a scholarly officer, he holds a Ph.D. in military history, and has authored a book called “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.” He has also written articles questioning the planning for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The position of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.

Trump pushed out Flynn a week ago after revelations that the adviser had misled Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday that he was disappointed by how Flynn had treated Pence, but did not believe Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.

Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn, retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned down the offer.

(AP)

Watch “The Man Comes Around” on YouTube


Watch “James Spader perfection in The Blacklist: Anslo Garrick” on YouTube:  Liten and feel: the ultimate monologue by James Spader


My Duck today 


My Duck today

My birds on the wire today 


My birds on the wire today

Şi eu mă opun: este colonialism legiferat! Jos cu colonialismul! 


Şi eu mă opun: este colonialism legiferat! Jos cu colonialismul!

Watch “Alphas (SyFy) Opening Theme “People Like Me” – FULL VERSION! (Lyrics in Description)” on YouTube


No one understands anyone else! 

Watch “Yoga Pranayama : exercices de respiration alternée” on YouTube


It’s a way of life! 

Watch “Prana Yoga College – Flow Two” on YouTube


Life is about breathing:  Exhsling and inhaling…exhaling and inhaling…exhaling and inhaling…

And so on!

A pair of curious Great horned Owls in Northern Colorado, USA. Prints available by messaging the photographer Blake Hess Photography. More about Great Horned Owls here –> http://owlpag.es/GreatHornedOwl


A pair of curious Great horned Owls in Northern Colorado, USA. Prints available by messaging the photographer Blake Hess Photography. More about Great Horned Owls here –> http://owlpag.es/GreatHornedOwl

France 24 : Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure


Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure

http://f24.my/2lrXg0G

Libya’s transition has been bogged down by insecurity and chaos, leaving the country looking like a “failed state” six years after the uprising and Western military intervention that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

“We got rid of one dictator only to see 10,000 others take his place,” said Fatma al-Zawi, a Tripoli housewife, bemoaning the multitude of warlords and militias which have run the North African country since the armed revolt which erupted in mid-February 2011.

Ordinary Libyans were showing little enthusiasm in the lead-up to the anniversary, which authorities marked on Thursday with cultural and sporting events in Martyrs’ Square in the capital.

“It’s not entirely a failed state. There is a government structure in place which more or less operates,” said FRANCE 24’s chief foreign editor Robert Parsons. “But if you’re an ordinary Libyan at the moment, the picture is certainly not a pretty one,” he said. “Six years after the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, they would have hoped for something much better. They were optimistic six years ago and that optimism was quite clearly been misplaced.”

Living conditions have deteriorated badly through a combination of insecurity, power cuts, water shortages, a cash crunch and the plunging value of the Libyan dinar.

Libya‘s executive and legislative branches have been paralysed by fierce rivalries between political movements, ideologies and tribes.

“The protagonists have not understood that no single ideological branch or political or tribal clan can govern the country on its own” in the post-Gaddafi era, said Rachid Khechana, director of the Mediterranean Centre for Libyan Studies in Tunis.

“This is why the country is not ready for ‘classic’ democratic competition” through elections, he said.

Smugglers and desperate migrants

In the absence of a strong regular army, the oil-rich country with long, porous borders has turned into rich terrain for smugglers of arms and people from sub-Saharan Africa desperate to reach Europe via perilous Mediterranean crossings.

Also stepping into the void have been jihadists, especially the Islamic State group which has seized swathes of Libya, although it was expelled in December from its bastion of Sirte, a city on the Mediterranean.

Hopes raised by a Government of National Accord (GNA), set up under a December 2015 agreement brokered by the United Nations and signed in Morocco, proved short-lived.

It set up shop in Tripoli in March 2016 but has failed to extend its authority, even in the capital itself which is controlled by dozens of militias of shifting allegiances.

The authority of the GNA headed by Fayez al-Sarraj is also challenged by a rival administration in eastern Libya, much of which is under the control of armed forces commanded by controversial Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The general in his 70s was overlooked in the Morocco accord but has returned to the forefront with his forces’ capture of four oil terminals in the east from which most of Libya’s oil lifeline is exported.

Haftar, a sworn foe of Islamist militants, has so far failed to get full Western support.

But a rapprochement with Russia and the backing he enjoys from regional states such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are prompting the international community to review its position.

The UN envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, said last week that talks had made progress on “possible amendments” to the December 2015 agreement, and notably on a future role for the military strongman.

Prospects of ‘failed state’

But analysts remain sceptical over the prospects for Libya to avoid becoming a “failed state”.

“It’s now been six years that the international community is trying to impose a democratic, united government when there is nothing on which they can build it,” said Federica Saini Fasanotti, an analyst with the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Fasanotti stressed that “not a single remotely unifying political leader has emerged for the country”.

Claudia Gazzini of the International Crisis Group was also downbeat, ruling out any major political or military settlement in 2017.

“Whether or not this state of suspended animation marks the beginning of Libya as a ‘failed state’ depends primarily on its economic standing,” she said.

“The risk of a further deterioration of the country’s economy is real despite the uptick in oil production,” which has climbed to 700,000 barrels per day, was her bleak assessment.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

France 24 : Huge storm slams southern California


Huge storm slams southern California

http://f24.my/2ltaKJH

A huge Pacific storm parked itself over Southern California and unloaded, ravaging roads, opening sinkholes and leading to the deaths of at least two people.

The storm feeding on an atmospheric river of moisture stretching far out into the ocean was at its most fierce late Friday afternoon, dropping over 8 inches of rain in one area, and was expected to last until Saturday afternoon.

The region appeared to dodge any major disasters, but in the desert town of Victorville, several cars were washed down a flooded street, and one man was found dead in a submerged vehicle after others were rescued, San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

And in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted when a tree falling in heavy rain downed power lines that hit his car.

Later in the same neighborhood, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in. Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, and the driver got out of the second before it fell. No one was injured.

Inland at the Cajon Pass, the shoulder of Interstate 15 crumbled and sent a parked firetruck spilling over the side, but no one was hurt.

There were several traffic deaths on slick and flooded roads also, but it was difficult to say which were a direct result of the storm.

Other forms of travel were tough too. Amtrak canceled its rail trips for a long stretch of the state’s southern and central coast, and more than 300 arriving and departing flights were delayed or canceled at Los Angeles International Airport.

Winds gusting to 70 mph or more lashed parts of the region. Heavy rains turned creeks and rivers into brown torrents and released slews of mud from hillsides burned barren by wildfires.

“At one point the wind was so strong I’m surprised it didn’t blow my windows out,” retiree Phoenix Hocking said from Carpinteria. “I now have a pond in my patio. And my dog is starting to grow flippers so he can go out and do his business.”

Several stretches of freeways and highways were closed by flooding, including very busy arteries like Interstate 5 and Interstate 10.

“It’s crazy,” said Robin Johnson, an academic adviser at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s just pouring down rain. The wind is just going nuts.”

In LA’s Sun Valley, 10 cars were trapped in swift-moving water on a roadway and 15 people had to be rescued, the Fire Department reported.

Using ropes and inflatable boats, firefighters rescued seven people and two dogs from the Sepulveda basin, a recreation and flood-control area along the Los Angeles River. One person was taken to a hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

The storm took aim at Southern California but also spread precipitation north into the San Joaquin Valley and up to San Francisco. It was not expected to bring significant rain in the far north where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.

The National Weather Service said it could end up being the strongest storm to hit Southern California since January 1995.

Hundreds of trees and dozens of power lines had toppled in the Los Angeles area and about 150,000 customers were without electricity across the region.

Another tree smashed a carport and vehicles in the Santa Barbara suburb of Goleta.

By evening, Ventura County and northern Los Angeles County had seen 24-hour rain totals of up to 7 ½ inches, with the San Marcos mountain pass in Santa Barbara County receiving nearly 8 ½ inches.

The city of Duarte, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, ordered evacuation of 180 homes below a burn scar.

(AP)

The tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany Artist Antonio and Giovanni Giusti (also known in France as the Juste brothers)1515-31Location Basilique Saint-Denis


The tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany 

Artist Antonio and Giovanni Giusti (also known in France as the Juste brothers)
1515-31

Location  Basilique Saint-Denis 

Commissioned by Francis I (the successor to Louis XII), this tomb was designed by Florentine sculptors, the Guisti, residing in France. Scholars comment on its echo of Michelangelo’s first plan for the tomb of Pope Julius, another freestanding scheme with multiple figures. The arched canopy, underneath which the two are shown dead, is decorated with statues of the Apostles (see Saint Peter below) as well as the four cardinal virtues at the corners. The reliefs on the side depict the king’s deeds (battle relief is shown below) while above the couple kneels in prayer–a symbol of their resurrection. Zerner comments on the development of kneeling effigy, what Panofsky called “the activation of the effigy”: “The deceased ceased to be represented lying on a parade bed. The older formula had the advantage of gracefully articulating the passage from one life to another, recalling the exhibition of the corpse during funeral rites, while anticipating an awakening to eternal life. Suddenly, the effigy drew itself upright and knelt in prayer. However, the statue did not pray in a void; these kneeling individuals turn toward the altar and to the divine figures placed on it. Such funeral portraits are only comprehensible within the transcendental space–both real and fictional–of the church, shared by the faithful and statues

Hermione: Besides…it’s Harry Poter… 


Hermione: Besides…it’s Harry Poter…

France 24 : Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure


Six years after uprising, Libya’s struggles endure

http://f24.my/2lrXg0G

Libya’s transition has been bogged down by insecurity and chaos, leaving the country looking like a “failed state” six years after the uprising and Western military intervention that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

“We got rid of one dictator only to see 10,000 others take his place,” said Fatma al-Zawi, a Tripoli housewife, bemoaning the multitude of warlords and militias which have run the North African country since the armed revolt which erupted in mid-February 2011.

Ordinary Libyans were showing little enthusiasm in the lead-up to the anniversary, which authorities marked on Thursday with cultural and sporting events in Martyrs’ Square in the capital.

“It’s not entirely a failed state. There is a government structure in place which more or less operates,” said FRANCE 24’s chief foreign editor Robert Parsons. “But if you’re an ordinary Libyan at the moment, the picture is certainly not a pretty one,” he said. “Six years after the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, they would have hoped for something much better. They were optimistic six years ago and that optimism was quite clearly been misplaced.”

Living conditions have deteriorated badly through a combination of insecurity, power cuts, water shortages, a cash crunch and the plunging value of the Libyan dinar.

Libya‘s executive and legislative branches have been paralysed by fierce rivalries between political movements, ideologies and tribes.

“The protagonists have not understood that no single ideological branch or political or tribal clan can govern the country on its own” in the post-Gaddafi era, said Rachid Khechana, director of the Mediterranean Centre for Libyan Studies in Tunis.

“This is why the country is not ready for ‘classic’ democratic competition” through elections, he said.

Smugglers and desperate migrants

In the absence of a strong regular army, the oil-rich country with long, porous borders has turned into rich terrain for smugglers of arms and people from sub-Saharan Africa desperate to reach Europe via perilous Mediterranean crossings.

Also stepping into the void have been jihadists, especially the Islamic State group which has seized swathes of Libya, although it was expelled in December from its bastion of Sirte, a city on the Mediterranean.

Hopes raised by a Government of National Accord (GNA), set up under a December 2015 agreement brokered by the United Nations and signed in Morocco, proved short-lived.

It set up shop in Tripoli in March 2016 but has failed to extend its authority, even in the capital itself which is controlled by dozens of militias of shifting allegiances.

The authority of the GNA headed by Fayez al-Sarraj is also challenged by a rival administration in eastern Libya, much of which is under the control of armed forces commanded by controversial Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The general in his 70s was overlooked in the Morocco accord but has returned to the forefront with his forces’ capture of four oil terminals in the east from which most of Libya’s oil lifeline is exported.

Haftar, a sworn foe of Islamist militants, has so far failed to get full Western support.

But a rapprochement with Russia and the backing he enjoys from regional states such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are prompting the international community to review its position.

The UN envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, said last week that talks had made progress on “possible amendments” to the December 2015 agreement, and notably on a future role for the military strongman.

Prospects of ‘failed state’

But analysts remain sceptical over the prospects for Libya to avoid becoming a “failed state”.

“It’s now been six years that the international community is trying to impose a democratic, united government when there is nothing on which they can build it,” said Federica Saini Fasanotti, an analyst with the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Fasanotti stressed that “not a single remotely unifying political leader has emerged for the country”.

Claudia Gazzini of the International Crisis Group was also downbeat, ruling out any major political or military settlement in 2017.

“Whether or not this state of suspended animation marks the beginning of Libya as a ‘failed state’ depends primarily on its economic standing,” she said.

“The risk of a further deterioration of the country’s economy is real despite the uptick in oil production,” which has climbed to 700,000 barrels per day, was her bleak assessment.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

France 24 : Huge storm slams southern California


Huge storm slams southern California

http://f24.my/2ltaKJH

A huge Pacific storm parked itself over Southern California and unloaded, ravaging roads, opening sinkholes and leading to the deaths of at least two people.

The storm feeding on an atmospheric river of moisture stretching far out into the ocean was at its most fierce late Friday afternoon, dropping over 8 inches of rain in one area, and was expected to last until Saturday afternoon.

The region appeared to dodge any major disasters, but in the desert town of Victorville, several cars were washed down a flooded street, and one man was found dead in a submerged vehicle after others were rescued, San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

And in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted when a tree falling in heavy rain downed power lines that hit his car.

Later in the same neighborhood, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in. Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, and the driver got out of the second before it fell. No one was injured.

Inland at the Cajon Pass, the shoulder of Interstate 15 crumbled and sent a parked firetruck spilling over the side, but no one was hurt.

There were several traffic deaths on slick and flooded roads also, but it was difficult to say which were a direct result of the storm.

Other forms of travel were tough too. Amtrak canceled its rail trips for a long stretch of the state’s southern and central coast, and more than 300 arriving and departing flights were delayed or canceled at Los Angeles International Airport.

Winds gusting to 70 mph or more lashed parts of the region. Heavy rains turned creeks and rivers into brown torrents and released slews of mud from hillsides burned barren by wildfires.

“At one point the wind was so strong I’m surprised it didn’t blow my windows out,” retiree Phoenix Hocking said from Carpinteria. “I now have a pond in my patio. And my dog is starting to grow flippers so he can go out and do his business.”

Several stretches of freeways and highways were closed by flooding, including very busy arteries like Interstate 5 and Interstate 10.

“It’s crazy,” said Robin Johnson, an academic adviser at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s just pouring down rain. The wind is just going nuts.”

In LA’s Sun Valley, 10 cars were trapped in swift-moving water on a roadway and 15 people had to be rescued, the Fire Department reported.

Using ropes and inflatable boats, firefighters rescued seven people and two dogs from the Sepulveda basin, a recreation and flood-control area along the Los Angeles River. One person was taken to a hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

The storm took aim at Southern California but also spread precipitation north into the San Joaquin Valley and up to San Francisco. It was not expected to bring significant rain in the far north where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.

The National Weather Service said it could end up being the strongest storm to hit Southern California since January 1995.

Hundreds of trees and dozens of power lines had toppled in the Los Angeles area and about 150,000 customers were without electricity across the region.

Another tree smashed a carport and vehicles in the Santa Barbara suburb of Goleta.

By evening, Ventura County and northern Los Angeles County had seen 24-hour rain totals of up to 7 ½ inches, with the San Marcos mountain pass in Santa Barbara County receiving nearly 8 ½ inches.

The city of Duarte, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, ordered evacuation of 180 homes below a burn scar.

(AP)

William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905, French)


William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905, French)

À bientot!


À bientot!

Taos Pueblo. New Mexico. 1890-1900. Source – Denver Public Library.


Taos Pueblo. New Mexico. 1890-1900. Source – Denver Public Library.

Adam and Eve of the tree 


Adam and Eve of the tree

Adam and Eve of the tree

Knowing oneself…


Knowing oneself…

White Hawk.  Cheyenne.  1905. Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana. Photo by Richard Throssel.  Source – University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.


White Hawk. Cheyenne. 1905. Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana. Photo by Richard Throssel. Source – University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.