Daily Archives: October 8, 2016

Spiez in Autumn, Switzerland

Spiez in Autumn, Switzerland

Beautiful USA . Autumn in the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Beautiful USA . Autumn in the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Blue jay on a blue day

Blue jay on a blue day

White-crested Helmet Shrike (Prionops plumatus from Africa), by Allan Hopkins

White-crested Helmet Shrike (Prionops plumatus from Africa), by Allan Hopkins

Artemisia Gentileschi – Madalena Desmaiada

Artemisia Gentileschi – Madalena Desmaiada

BBC News: US election: Donald Trump says he will not quit over video

US election: Donald Trump says he will not quit over video – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37597756

Watch “Still Report #493 House Outlaws Criticism of Muslims?” on YouTube

House Dems Vow To Implement First Sharia Law


Inside Waikiki’s International Market Place, a new fancy shopping center | Hawaii Magazine


Very best if the best :  Watch “Top 10 Unforgettable Buffy The Vampire Slayer Moments” on YouTube

Great compositions: Watch “Buffy The Vampire Slayer Theme Song” on YouTube

Chiesa di San Nicola a Valencia, Spagna. Photo Paolo Folchitto ©

Chiesa di San Nicola a Valencia, Spagna. Photo Paolo Folchitto ©

Nicolas Poussin: El Parnaso

Nicolas Poussin: El Parnaso

Seljalandsfoss Falls, Iceland.

Seljalandsfoss Falls, Iceland.


Maurice Brazil Prendergast (October 10, 1858 – February 1, 1924) was an American Post-Impressionist artist.The Grand Canal, Venice, 1898–99

The Professional: Jean Reno and Natalie Portman first lesson: how to field strip your gun!

The Professional: Jean Reno and Natalie Portman first lesson: how to field strip your gun!

The Tibetan Bridge in Claviere, Piedmont, Italy.

The Tibetan Bridge in Claviere, Piedmont, Italy.

Watch “W. A. Mozart – Requiem (fantastic performance) [Arsys Bourgogne] [HD]” on YouTube

Watch “Give Peace A Chance (1969) – Official Video” on YouTube

Watch “Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World | BBC Documentary | with English Subtitles” on YouTube


BBC News: Hillary Clinton’s Wall St speeches published by Wikileaks

Hillary Clinton’s Wall St speeches published by Wikileaks – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37595047

BBC News: Hillary Clinton’s Wall St speeches published by Wikileaks

France 24 : French towns protest plan to relocate migrants from ‘Calais jungle’

French towns protest plan to relocate migrants from ‘Calais jungle’


French villagers are protesting the arrival of migrants who are being dispersed around the country as the government shuts down the slum-like camp in Calais that has become a flashpoint in Europe’s migrant crisis.

Three competing rallies are being held Saturday in Pierrefeu in southeast France. The mayor led several hundred people protesting the government’s plan to house migrants in an abandoned wing of a psychiatric hospital while they apply for asylum. Left-wing activists rallied to welcome the migrants instead.

The far-right National Front plans its own anti-migrant protest later. National Front politicians were also present at a protest Saturday in Forges-les-Bains south of Paris, where about 40 Afghan migrants recently were relocated from Calais.

The government plans to close the Calais camp in the coming weeks.


France 24 : Scores killed in Saudi-led airstrike on Yemen funeral

Scores killed in Saudi-led airstrike on Yemen funeral


An airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition on Saturday targeted a funeral hall packed with mourners in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, killing at least 82 people and turning the site into a “lake of blood,” according to a senior Health Ministry official.

Nasser al-Argaly, the Health Ministry’s undersecretary, told a news conference that the strike also left 534 people wounded. The casualty figures were not final, he added.

Yemeni security and medical officials said the dead and wounded include military and security officials from the ranks of the Shiite Houthi rebels fighting the internationally-recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi as well as their allies, loyalists of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Among those killed was Maj-Gen. Abdul-Qader Hilal, head of the capital’s local council, according to the officials. Saturday’s funeral was held for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, father of Galal al-Rawishan, the interior minister in the rebel-led government. Galal Al-Rishwan was seriously wounded in the attack.

In the aftermath of the strike, hundreds of body parts were found strewn in and outside the hall. Rescuers collected them in sacks.

“The place has been turned into a lake of blood,” said one rescuer, Murad Tawfiq.

Ambulances rushed to the site to ferry the wounded to hospitals. In radio broadcasts, the Health Ministry summoned off-duty doctors and called on residents to donate blood. Rescuers, meanwhile, sifted through the rubble in search of more casualties, but a fire that erupted hindered their work.

Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the Houthis’ spokesman in Sanaa, angrily denounced the airstrike as the latest act of “genocide” by the Saudi-led coalition.

“The silence of the United Nations and the international community is the munition of the murderers,” he said. “Those murderers will not escape divine justice.”

The Saudi-led coalition backs Hadi’s government which, together with its own allies, is fighting the Houthis and Saleh loyalists in a civil war that broke out in 2014.

Roughly 3,799 civilians have been killed since the Saudi-led air campaign began in March of last year, according to a recent report by the U.N.’s human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein. The U.N. and rights groups estimate the conflict has claimed the lives of at least 9,000 people and displaced nearly 3 million more in the Arab world’s poorest country.

According to the report, coalition airstrikes were responsible for 60 percent of civilian deaths over a year-long span starting in July last year. Just under one-quarter – 475 – civilian deaths were attributed to rebel forces like those loyal to Saleh, and another 113 to affiliates of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.


France 24 : Russia vetoes French UN resolution on Aleppo truce

Russia vetoes French UN resolution on Aleppo truce


Russia vetoed a French-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution on Saturday that would have demanded an end to air strikes and military flights over Syria’s city of Aleppo, while a rival Russian draft text failed to get a minimum nine votes in favor.

Moscow’s text was effectively the French draftwith Russian amendments. It removed the demand for an end to air strikes on Aleppo and put the focus back on a failed Sept. 9 U.S./Russia ceasefire deal, which was annexed to the draft.

British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said ahead of the vote it would be a “bad day for Russia, but an even worse day for the people of Aleppo, because for as long as there is no council unity, there will be no end to this war.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russian war planes and Iranian support, have been battling to capture eastern Aleppo, the rebel-held half of Syria’s largest city, where more than 250,000 civilians are trapped.

“Russia has become one of the chief purveyors of terror in Aleppo, using tactics more commonly associated with thugs than governments,” U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations David Pressman told the council.

He said Russia was “intent on allowing the killing to continue and, indeed, participating in carrying it out” and that what was needed from Moscow was “less talk and more action from them to stop the slaughter.”

A U.N. resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes to be adopted. The veto powers are the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China. The Russian text only received four votes in favor, so a veto was not needed to block it.

The French draft received 11 votes in favor, while China and Angola abstained. Venezuela joined Russia in voting against it.
It was the fifth time Russia has used its veto on a U.N. resolution on Syria during the more than five-year conflict.

The previous four times China backed Moscow in protecting the Syrian government from council action, including vetoing a bid to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, president of the council for October, described the dual votes on Saturday as one of the “strangest spectacles in the history of the Security Council.”

“Given that the crisis in Syria is at a critical stage, when it is particularly important that there be a coordination of the political efforts of the international community, this waste of time is inadmissible,” Churkin told the council.

Russia only gained the support of China, Venezuela and Egypt for its draft resolution. Angola and Uruguay abstained, while the remaining nine council members voted against.

Syrian government forces recaptured territory from insurgents in several western areas on Saturday.

Both the French and Russian U.N. draft resolutions called for a truce and humanitarian aid access throughout Syria.

“If we don’t so something this town (Aleppo) will soon just be in ruins and will remain in history as a town in which the inhabitants were abandoned to their executioners,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said. “If the international community does not wake up it will share the responsibility.”

The Security Council negotiated for a week on the text drafted by France. The vote was called after Ayrault visited Moscow on Thursday and Washington on Friday to discuss the resolution. Russia circulated its own draft on Friday and said it would be put to a vote immediately after the French draft.

A crackdown by Assad on pro-democracy protesters in 2011 sparked a civil war and Islamic State militants have used the chaos to seize territory in Syria and Iraq. Half of Syria’s 22 million people have been uprooted and more than 400,000 killed.



France 24 : German police hunt Syrian man over suspected bomb plot

German police hunt Syrian man over suspected bomb plot


German police were carrying out a huge manhunt Saturday for a 22-year-old Syrian suspected of planning a bomb attack, after finding “highly explosive” materials in his apartment.

Security has been boosted at Berlin’s two airports and at train stations in the capital.

The suspect, Jaber Albakr, could have had “an Islamist motive”, police sources told AFP. German news agency DPA, citing security sources, reported that Albakr had links to the Islamic State (IS) group.

Police said “several hundred grams” of an “explosive substance even more dangerous than TNT” were found in Albakr’s apartment in the eastern city of Chemnitz, about 260 kilometres south of Berlin.

“Even a small quantity of this substance could have caused enormous damage,” police said.

Three people with links to Albakr, who arrived in Germany last year as a refugee, have been arrested in Chemnitz.

Heavily-armed officers, some wearing balaclavas, carried out a vast operation in the neighbourhood where Albakr had been living.

Around 100 local residents were evacuated from the area, and a loud explosion was heard in the leafy suburb as police forced their way into the apartment with an entry device.

Germany has been on edge after suffering two attacks claimed by IS in July — an axe rampage on a train in Wuerzburg that injured five and a suicide bombing in Ansbach that left 15 wounded.

Those two attacks rattled Germans’ sense of security and fuelled concerns over the country’s record influx of nearly 900,000 migrants and refugees last year.

Under surveillance

In Chemnitz, part of the city’s main station was sealed off by officers as a remote-controlled robot was deployed to inspect a suspect package on a platform which turned out to be harmless.

Police destroyed the explosives found in the apartment in specially-dug holes on land nearby.

Albakr had been under surveillance for some time, with the magazine Focus reporting that he was suspected of plotting to attack an airport.

Two of his associates were arrested close to Chemnitz’s railway station while a third was taken into custody in the city centre. A package belonging to one of those arrested was undergoing analysis, police added.

“They were known to the suspect we are looking for and were arrested and detained,” said Bernhardt, who added that the trio were being questioned.

Albakr was living in a neighbourhood of Chemnitz whose communist-era housing estates are home to many recently arrived refugees.

Police in the state of Saxony, where the city is located, issued a search warrant for Albakr after officers received information from domestic intelligence services, a police spokesman said, saying he was born in Syria in January 1994.

They added that Albakr was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and was “suspected of preparing a bomb attack”, issuing an image of the man.

“At present we do not know where (the suspect) is or what he is carrying,” police said on Twitter, urging residents to be cautious.

Security threats

German police said previously they had identified 523 people who posed a security threat to the country, around half of whom were known to be currently in Germany.

On September 21 German officials said a 16-year-old Syrian refugee had been arrested on suspicion of planning a bomb attack in the name of IS.

The youngster, thought to have been radicalised only recently, was detained in a special forces operation at a shelter for asylum seekers in the western city of Cologne, police and prosecutors said.

Initial information gathered from the teenager’s mobile phone showed that he had expressed an “unmistakeable willingness” to carry out an attack, Klaus-Stephan Becker of the Cologne police told reporters.

A week earlier, German police detained three men with forged Syrian passports accused of being IS militants and labelled a possible “sleeper cell” with links to the assailants behind the November attacks in Paris.

More than 200 police took part in pre-dawn raids in northern Germany to detain the men, suspected of either plotting an attack or awaiting orders to commit one.

German authorities have urged the public not to confuse migrants with “terrorists”, but have acknowledged that more jihadists may have entered the country among the nearly one million asylum seekers who arrived last year.


Natalie Portman, New Haven, Connecticut, 1990

Natalie Portman, New Haven, Connecticut, 1990

If you only have time…only time…

If you only have time…only time…

Today’s Holiday:Eo e Emalani i Alaka’i Festival

Today’s Holiday:
Eo e Emalani i Alaka’i Festival

This annual outdoor celebration takes place on the second Saturday in October in Koke’e State Park, Kaua’i, Hawaii. It is a joyous commemoration of the journey of Queen Emma Naea Rooke in 1871 to the upper reaches of Kilohana Viewpoint. At the festival, a woman from the Halau and an entourage re-enact Queen Emma’s entrance to the mountain meadow, where they are greeted by hula dancers who offer ancient chants and special dances to the party. The day’s activities also include demonstrations of local crafts, including lauhala (fan and mat) weaving and Ni’ihau shell lei-making.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday:Harriet Taylor Mill (1807)

Today’s Birthday:
Harriet Taylor Mill (1807)

Harriet Taylor Mill was a philosopher and women’s rights advocate who is largely remembered for the influence she had on her second husband, John Stuart Mill, one of the preeminent thinkers of the 19th century. The two met while Harriet was still married. Two years after her first husband died, Harriet and John married following a 20-year friendship. She read and commented on all of his material, and he considered her an equal collaborator. What essays did Harriet write during their marriage?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History:San Marino Adopts Its Constitution (1600)

This Day in History:
San Marino Adopts Its Constitution (1600)

Occupying just 24 sq mi (62 sq km), San Marino is the world’s smallest republic and, having enacted a constitution in 1600, perhaps Europe’s oldest existing republic. According to tradition, St. Marinus, a Christian stonecutter, took refuge in the 4th century on Mount Titano, and the community of San Marino was soon formed. Because of its relatively inaccessible location, it has since maintained its independence with only a few brief interruptions. Who did San Marino harbor during WWII?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day:Ambrose Bierce

Quote of the Day:
Ambrose Bierce
An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins.

Article of the Day:The Capgras Delusion

Article of the Day:
The Capgras Delusion

The Capgras Delusion is a rare disorder in which a person holds the delusional belief that an acquaintance—usually a spouse or other close family member—has been replaced by an identical impostor. Found in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, dementia, or those suffering from a brain injury, the disorder is named after Joseph Capgras, the French psychiatrist who first described it in 1923. What have researchers since learned about the disorder?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day:jurist

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) A public official authorized to decide questions brought before a court of justice.
Synonyms: judge, magistrate, justice
Usage: A very humane jurist once said, “The worst use you can put a man to is to hang him.”: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Lavender in Lavender. Provence,France.

Lavender in Lavender. Provence,France.

Lavender in Lavender. Provence,France.


Merry CompanyHendrik Gerritsz. Pot – circa 1633

Only a kiss darling…

Only a kiss darling

Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)

Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)

France 24 : Questions remain a decade after Russian journalist’s murder

Questions remain a decade after Russian journalist’s murder


An empty chair and a small potted palm still stand in late journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s former office, preserved as a shrine by her colleagues at the Novaya Gazeta opposition newspaper.

An uncompromising critic of Russia‘s bloody suppression of its opponents inChechnya, Politkovskaya was gunned down on October 7, 2006 in the entrance hall of her apartment block. She was 48.

The murder, committed on President Vladimir Putin’s birthday, caused shockwaves round the world particularly in the West, where Politkovskaya was widely known for her investigative reporting on Chechnya.

“We asked her many times to stop covering Chechnya because it had grown too dangerous,” said the newspaper’s deputy editor Sergei Sokolov, her former colleague.

“But Anna said she could not turn a blind eye to what the Russian authorities were doing there,” he told AFP.

For two days after Politkovskaya’s murder, Putin pointedly made no public comment despite the storm of media interest. He finally broke his silence to promise an “objective investigation.”

The investigation and the trial saw a series of dramatic twists: the authorities unexpectedly replaced the investigative team, the suspected killer fled to Siberia, three suspects were acquitted and then the Supreme Court overturned the verdict.

“It was very hard,” Politkovskaya’s son Ilya told AFP. “And in the end, there was no kind of justice.”

‘Justice not done’

In June 2014, eight years after the murder, a Moscow court finally handed long sentences to the five defendants — four of whom were ethnic Chechens.

Rustam Makhmudov, who fired the fatal shots, and his uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, identified as the murder’s organiser, are serving life terms.

The court also handed long sentences to their accomplices: 20 years for former Moscow police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and 12 and 13 1/2 years respectively for the gunman’s two brothers Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudov.

But despite the harshness of the sentences, the verdict did not provide the exhaustive explanation demanded by Politkovskaya’s loved ones.

“Justice has not been done,” said her colleague Sokolov. “Yes, those who killed her are in prison, but not their boss, nor the boss of their boss.”

For her son Ilya, “justice stopped halfway.”

“Many politicians say the case is closed, but that’s a lie. We’re nowhere near. The organisers have yet to go on trial,” Politkovskaya’s son said.

And a group of investigators set up to identify the masterminds has made no breakthrough for two years.

“All the trails lead back to Chechnya, to the highest level of its elite, but the Russian authorities are stalling the investigation,” said Pavel Kanygin, a journalist at Novaya Gazeta.

“Until there is a change of political regime in Russia, those who gave the order will remain free.”

Similarities to Nemtsov murder

The gunning down of the opposition politician and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov close to the Kremlin on February 27, 2015, revived painful memories for Politkovskaya’s relatives.

“We quickly noticed a large number of similarities in the way (Nemtsov’s) murder was carried out,” said Ilya Politkovskaya.

“They caught the guys who killed him immediately and made them testify in front of television cameras before arresting them very quickly, plus they are mainly Chechens,” he said.

“Even the court process, which has just started, is very similar.”

For Politkovskaya’s son, Nemtsov’s murder leads to an uncomfortable conclusion — “that nothing has changed.”

On Friday, to mark the 10th anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder, Novaya Gazeta invited her supporters to gather beside the memorial plaque at the entrance to the newspaper’s offices.

Even though six of its staff and stringers have been killed since its foundation in 1993, Novaya Gazeta has never lost heart, said Sokolov.

“There was just one occasion,” he admitted. “It was just after Anna’s murder. We got together and decided to close the newspaper. Because no newspaper is worth sacrificing human lives for.”

“But the younger people on staff were against this. And we decided to continue, on condition that we found those guilty for the deaths of our journalists,” he recalls.

“Sooner or later, we will get there.”

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Kristen Ritter pencil sketch 

Kristen Ritter pencil sketch

Kristen Ritter print sketch 

Kristen Ritter print sketch

Regina Spector, Ladies and Gentlemen

Regina Spector, Ladies and Gentlemen

Regina Spector, Ladies and Gentlemen



“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”Edgar Allan Poe (Boston, 19 january 1809 – Baltimora, 7 october 1849) RIP

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
Edgar Allan Poe (Boston, 19 january 1809 – Baltimora, 7 october 1849)  RIP



Correggio (eigentl. Antonio Allegri) – Maria adoring the child

Correggio (eigentl. Antonio Allegri) – Maria adoring the child

Regina Spector 

Regina Spector

#fbf to sound check at The Greek in LA during the “What We Saw From The Cheap Seats” tour…  borrowed bass + photo credit Mike Elizondo 💕🎶

*I don’t actually know how to play the bass (unless it’s on a keyboard;-) I just like messing around with instruments I don’t know how to play… And this particular bass is beautiful… Good evening to all!