Daily Archives: December 16, 2014

New York premiere of Sony’s “The Interview” canceled after online threats, Landmark Theatre confirms.

New York premiere of Sony’s “The Interview” canceled after online threats, Landmark Theatre confirms.


Microsoft rivals unite over data row

Microsoft rivals unite over data row http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30494562

UK Iraq abuse inquiry to report

UK Iraq abuse inquiry to report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30510098

Haiku-Papillon, poetic thought by George-B ©The Smudge and other poems Page -My poetry and art collection

Haiku- Papillon, poetic thought by George-B

Surrounding water

Crushes hopes on rocky shores,

freeing the Seventh Wave.

****In Memoriam/Dedicated: Henry Charriere, Author,
        Steve McQueen and  Dustin Hoffman,  Actors

©The Smudge and other poems Page -My poetry and art collection

Group ‘seeks Gandalf’ for president

Group ‘seeks Gandalf’ for president http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30480955

US group funds honeymoons to Israel

US group funds honeymoons to Israel http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30499186

Russia and US discuss Middle East

Russia and US discuss Middle East http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30471854

UK embassy in Egypt reopens to public

UK embassy in Egypt reopens to public http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30491821

Squirrels are ‘climate culprit’

Squirrels are ‘climate culprit’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30456869

Bill Cosby will not face LA charges

Bill Cosby will not face LA charges http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30509742

Federal Judge Calls Obama’s Immigration Actions Unlawful – NYTimes.com


Flash – Romania ‘to clear up’ allegations over CIA prisons – France 24

17 December 2014 – 00H45

Romania ‘to clear up’ allegations over CIA prisons


© AFP/File | The lectern stands empty as reporters await the arrival CIA director John Brennan for a press conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia on December 11, 2014


Romania is “ready to clear up” allegations that the country hosted secret CIA detention centres, the foreign ministry said Tuesday — though it stressed that Bucharest had “no proof” such prisons existed.

Romanian authorities were “fully available to clear up the allegations” that Bucharest colluded with the CIA on the transfer of terrorist suspects to CIA “black sites” established for the purposes of torture, the ministry said.

The ministry emphasised in a statement that the central European country was not named in the summary of last week’s bombshell US Senate report on the CIA’s mistreatment of Al-Qaeda suspects.

In fact, however, the summary redacted the names of all foreign countries that hosted the CIA “black sites” used to intern 119 people who were captured.

But previous news reports identified the countries which had the sites as Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Thailand and Afghanistan.

The Romanian foreign ministry said an investigation had been launched with a view to finding “a solution” to the issue that “respects the principles of the rule of law and human rights”.

via Flash – Romania ‘to clear up’ allegations over CIA prisons – France 24.

‘The last straw’ — Pakistan turns against terror

‘The last straw’ — Pakistan turns against terror

‘This is the last straw!”: That’s the message that Pakistanis all across the political spectrum, in a rare show of unanimity, are trying to send after the worst Islamic terror attacks the nation has suffered in more than a decade.

Tuesday’s attack on a school near Peshawar (in northwestern Pakistan) claimed at least 141 lives, most of them schoolchildren and teachers.

Not surprisingly, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed credit for the carnage. What was new was that even a number of jihadist groups and fellow-travelers joined the nationwide chorus of condemnation.

via ‘The last straw’ — Pakistan turns against terror.

BBC News – Dalai Lama concedes he may be the last

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said he realises that he may be the last to hold the title.

But he told the BBC it would be better that the centuries old tradition ceased “at the time of a popular Dalai Lama”.

He also suggested that the UK had taken a soft line with China over Hong Kong’s recent protests for financial reasons.

“Their pockets are more or less empty, so so it’s very important to them to have close links with China for money reasons,” he said.

The Dalai Lama was recently refused an audience with the Pope when he attended a conference of Nobel Peace Prize winners in Rome.

The Vatican said it was because of the “delicate situation” with China.

‘Moral responsibility’

via BBC News – Dalai Lama concedes he may be the last.

In Germany, anti-Islam voices grow louder, worrying leaders – CSMonitor.com

Paris — When German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned a rash of hate-mongering on the streets of Dresden yesterday, it was the second time in just months that she’s had to appeal to the public to act with tolerance.

While in both cases, protests against religious minorities have been led by fringe movements, they are suddenly testing a tradition of welcome that has been firmly in place in post-World War II Germany.

Ms. Merkel made her first plea this summer, after Israel’s actions in Gaza led to tense protests across Europe, some marked by anti-Semitism. But the hateful tone shocked Germany the most.

via In Germany, anti-Islam voices grow louder, worrying leaders – CSMonitor.com.

Texas Rangers investigate officer who killed suspect holding spoon

Texas Rangers investigate officer who killed suspect holding spoon

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas Rangers are investigating an incident in Texarkana in which a police officer responding to a reported burglary fatally shot a suspect who was holding a spoon, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident comes as increased scrutiny has been placed on police following the deaths of unarmed suspects at the hands of police that have sparked protests nationwide.

In Texarkana, the officer arrived at the scene of the reported burglary at about 2 a.m. Monday and found a suspect in the garage of a house, police in the East Texas city said.

“The suspect then came toward the officer in an aggressive manner with a metal object in his hand,” police said. The officer fired one shot, striking the suspect, Dennis Grigsby, 35, in the chest. He later died at a hospital.

The object Grigsby was holding was found to be a spoon.

via Texas Rangers investigate officer who killed suspect holding spoon.

Federal judge: Obama immigration actions ‘unconstitutional’ | Fox News


District court declares Obama immigration action unconstitutional (Updated)


From NPR News: ‘Torture Report’: A Closer Look At When And What President Bush Knew

‘Torture Report’: A Closer Look At When And What President Bush Knew http://n.pr/12uLUvL

Yoga may protect heart, study finds

Yoga may protect heart, study finds http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30475999

Obama will sign new Russia sanctions

Obama will sign new Russia sanctions http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30508944

Pakistan mourns its school dead

Pakistan mourns its school dead http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-30507836

From France 24: Police raids dismantle French jihadist network

Police raids dismantle French jihadist network


From France 24: Video: Denmark ‘rehabilitates’ returning jihadists

Video: Denmark ‘rehabilitates’ returning jihadists


From Frànce 24: ‘We will survive sanctions,’ says Russian foreign minister

‘We will survive sanctions,’ says Russian foreign minister


From France 24: Israel seeks US block of Palestinian statehood drive

Israel seeks US block of Palestinian statehood drive


Bergen: Pakistan’s 9/11

Bergen: Pakistan’s 9/11

Jefferson Airplane -White Rabbit- 23,914,451 views in 6 years>>>>!WOW!<<<<<

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 16th, 2014: St. Ado of Vienne

Image of St. Ado of Vienne

St. Ado of Vienne

An archbishop and scholar, Ado was born in Sens and educated at the Benedictine abbey of Ferrieres. Abbot Lupus Servatus, an outstanding humanist of the time, trained Ado, and was impressed with the … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s holiday: Misa de Gallo (2014)

Misa de Gallo (2014)

Misa de Gallo is the start of the Christmas season in the Philippines, blending Christian tradition with the harvest thanksgiving of the ancient Filipinos. As the first cockcrows are heard at dawn on December 16, bells of the Roman Catholic churches ring, brass bands parade through towns, and skyrockets burst—all to awaken people for the Misa de Gallo (Cock’s Mass in English and Simbang Gabi in Tagalog) each morning of the festival. On December 24 there is a midnight mass, after which people congregate in food stalls or go home for traditional breakfasts of rice cakes and ginger tea. More… Discuss

quotation: Democracy … arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal. Aristotle

Democracy … arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.

Aristotle (384 BC322 BC) Discuss

today’s birthday: Catherine of Aragon (1485)

Catherine of Aragon (1485)

Catherine of Aragon was queen consort of England and the first of King Henry VIII’s six wives. When, after 18 years of marriage, Catherine had not produced a male heir, Henry resolved to have the marriage annulled and marry Anne Boleyn. When the Pope refused his request, Henry had Parliament pass the Act of Supremacy, repudiating Papal jurisdiction in England and making the king the head of the English church—beginning the English Reformation. Did Catherine accept the annulment? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Battle of the Bulge Begins (1944)

Battle of the Bulge Begins (1944)

This major German counter-offensive on the Western Front during World War II was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the US Army during the war. Taking advantage of foggy weather, German forces attacked the thinly held American front in the Belgian Ardennes sector, catching the Allied forces unprepared. The Germans penetrated deep into the Allied lines. However, an American force held out at Bastogne, and the arrival of reinforcements turned the tide. How did the battle get its name? More… Discuss

Environment: Plastics Pervade Planet’s Oceans

Plastics Pervade Planet’s Oceans

The world’s oceans are clogged with 269,000 tons of plastic objects, according to a new report by a group of marine researchers. The estimate is based on data from 24 expeditions over six years, during which they studied gyres—regions with extremely strong currents—in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. When a large plastic object is introduced into the ocean, it often gets sucked into the whirling currents of a gyre. These objects are then eroded into “microplastics.” According to the researchers, these particles account for more than 90 percent of the plastic in the ocean. More… Discuss

Japanese Cherry Blossoms: YouTube video 1,275,662 in 6 years

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

Ornamental cherry trees and their blossoms are a major symbol of Japan, where they are called sakura and are considered a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. As such, they are frequently depicted in art and are associated with both the samurai and kamikaze. In 1912, Japan gave 3,000 sakura as a gift to the US to celebrate the two nations’ growing friendship. These trees have since lined the shore of the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. What is the practice of hanami? More… Discuss

Sakura “Cherry Blossoms”;Traditional Music of Japan, Classical Koto Music 日本の伝統音楽

The lemon Pipers Green Tambourine: Sony Music Entertainment Audio 254,184 views 6 years ago

word: enfeeble


Definition: (verb) To make weak; deprive of strength.
Synonyms: debilitate, drain
Usage: Although his age enfeebled him, he could still walk long distances without tiring. Discuss.



Spain targets IS women recruiters

Spain targets IS women recruiters http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30492509

Kerry to discuss Israel pull-out bid

Kerry to discuss Israel pull-out bid http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30498850

Cheaper fuel cuts UK inflation to 1%

Cheaper fuel cuts UK inflation to 1% http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30493967

Taliban storm Pakistan school, kill 130

Taliban storm Pakistan school, kill 130

Thwarting retail’s ‘returnaholics’

Thwarting retail’s ‘returnaholics’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30382234

Cheney: ‘No problem’ with detaining innocents

Cheney: ‘No problem’ with detaining innocents http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-30485999

Islamic State crisis: How Jalawla became a changed town

Islamic State crisis: How Jalawla became a changed town http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30477040

Why do Americans love ancient grains?

Why do Americans love ancient grains? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30458761

Why do Americans love ancient grains?

Why do Americans love ancient grains? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30458761

NSA spying prompts security changes

NSA spying prompts security changes http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30492826

Failed London bombers lose appeal

Failed London bombers lose appeal http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30493640

Taliban school massacre kills scores

Taliban school massacre kills scores http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-30491435