Daily Archives: January 4, 2017

Young Blackfoot woman. 1925.


Young Blackfoot woman. 1925.

Obama calls for ‘fight’ to save healthcare reform

Obama calls for ‘fight’ to save healthcare reform

US President Barack Obama called on congressional Democrats Wednesday to “fight” to preserve his signature health care reform, with its future in doubt as Donald Trump’s incoming administration vowed a swift repeal of the controversial law.

Obamacare, the fruit of an eight-year drive to extend medical coverage to tens of millions of Americans, will come under sustained assault when Trump takes office on January 20 with Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress.
But the debate over US health care began in earnest Wednesday at the highest levels, with Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence making duelling visits to Capitol Hill to urge their legislative foot soldiers to gird for battle.
“I envy you for the opportunity you are going to have to engage in this fight to protect health care for the American people,” the outgoing president told Senate and House Democrats, according to Senator Ed Markey, who attended the 100-minute meeting.
After a crushing election loss, Democrats may have limited options for stalling a repeal of Obamacare without significant Republican defections.
They also face criticism that Obama’s reforms have led to rising insurance premiums and a string of technical problems.
But certain elements of Obamacare remain popular, notably the provisions barring companies from refusing coverage due to pre-existing conditions and allowing children to retain coverage on family plans through age 26.
Repeal and then what?
Republican opposition in general to Obamacare is clear — “They broke the health care system,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said of Obama’s administration — but his party’s prescription to fix it is not.
Ryan has proposed a tax credit system as a possible replacement, but the costs to government and individuals remain vague.
The White House is betting that American voters will revolt if Trump moves to strip millions of their coverage with no viable alternative — forcing the incoming president to confront the most radical reformers within his own party.
While Pence addressed the issue gingerly in Congress, he stressed that Trump would make the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act one of the administration’s top priorities.
“The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Pence told reporters in the US Capitol shortly after meeting with House Republicans.
But Trump himself cautioned against over-hasty action.
“Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster,” the president-elect said on Twitter, warning Republicans to allow it to “fall of its own weight.”
While urging a full repeal of the law, Ryan also said Republicans should avoid putting millions of families in further financial jeopardy by gutting Obamacare without a viable alternative in place.
“We’ve got to fix this by replacing it with something better. In that transition, we want to make sure we don’t pull the rug out from anybody,” he said.
One Republican lawmaker, Chris Collins, said the party was looking at a six-month timeline for crafting an Obamacare alternative. Other Republicans said that was far too ambitious.
Senator John McCain expressed confidence that fellow Republicans would be able to forge a replacement plan to go along with legislative repeal action.
“We’ll be doing both,” McCain said. “We’ll know what the replacement is.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has already launched the legislative process for repeal, welcomed Pence to lunch with all Senate Republicans after his House huddle.
Pence, addressing reporters afterward, provided no details on the replacement plan being crafted by his party.
But “the architecture of the replacement of Obamacare will come together, as it should, through the legislative process in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.
‘A little queasy’
Republican legislators are eager to take charge after eight years spent fighting against Obama’s policies.
But some are wary that white working-class Americans, who helped send them to office, may bear the brunt of any reforms.
Dismantling Obamacare could also have knock-on effects for funding health care for retirees, a group essential to the Republican Party’s survival.
In these two issues, Democrats see pressure points they hope to exploit in defense of Obama’s plan.
“It’s not surprising to me that there are some Republicans who are now a little queasy about the prospect of the impact that repealing Obamacare would have on their own supporters,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
“We know there are people all across the country who benefit from this law, who are protected by this law, whose lives have been saved by this law.”
Democratic leaders voiced support for a stiff defense of the Affordable Care Act in the face of Republican attacks.
“Instead of working to further ensure affordable care for all Americans, they seek to rip health care away from millions of Americans, creating chaos in our entire economy,” charged Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Legalizing an out of control profitiering HEALTH INDUSTRY: BBC News: Obama urges fellow Democrats to fight for Obamacare

Obama urges fellow Democrats to fight for Obamacare – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38503413

Shooting Star. Dakota. Photo by David Frances Barry. 1880s.


Shooting Star. Dakota. Photo by David Frances Barry. 1880s.

The Gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome with the Statue of Ariadne Diego Velázquez (1630)


The Gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome with the Statue of Ariadne
Diego Velázquez (1630)

Constantin Artachino (1870-1954) – Sonde pe Valea Prahovei


Constantin Artachino (1870-1954) – Sonde pe Valea Prahovei

Number of unauthorized immigrants living in Illinois down 10 percent – Chicago Tribune


There’s a quote stenciled onto the wall of Michel Mora’s childhood bedroom: “Dream until your dream comes true.”
Chicago’s unauthorized immigrant community, three-quarters of which is Mexican, is growing older. With heightened border security and a slowed economy, the number of Mexican immigrants entering the U.S. illegally isn’t nearly as high as it was 10 years ago.

North American immigrants make up most of Illinois’ undocumented immigrants, with Asia and Europe contributing the next largest group, but a relative fraction.

Sometimes getting the perfect photo is all about being at the right place at the right time.


Sometimes getting the perfect photo is all about being at the right place at the right time.
While heading back home through Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, Josh Packer saw this gorgeous scene of a lone bison on a crisp morning. Not wanting to miss a chance at a great pic, he turned his car around and went back to take this shot, and we’re glad he did. Photo courtesy of Josh Packer.

Running Deer. Kiowa. Omaha, Nebraska, 1899. Photo by F.A. Rinehart.


Running Deer. Kiowa. Omaha, Nebraska, 1899. Photo by F.A. Rinehart.

” Madonna and Child in Glory With St. Mary Magdalene , St Bernard , Angels Cherubim and Seraphim ” Circa 1485 Artist : Francesco Botticini


” Madonna and Child in Glory With St. Mary Magdalene , St Bernard , Angels Cherubim and Seraphim ” Circa 1485
Artist : Francesco Botticini
Tempera on Poplar Wood
Location: Musée du Louvre , Paris , France

Chippewa man in Washington, D.C. 1862.


Chippewa man in Washington, D.C. 1862.

” Madonna of Bruges ” 1501-1504 ((( detail ))) Artist: Michelangelo Period: Haute Renaissance


” Madonna of Bruges ” 1501-1504 ((( detail )))
Artist: Michelangelo
Period: Haute Renaissance
Location: Church of our Lady , Bruges , Belgium
Marble Sculpture with dimensions 200 cm

It shares certain similarities with Michelangelo’s Pietà , wich was completed shortly before..the long oval face of Mary is also reminiscent of the Pietà.
The work also is notable in that it was the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime….

Mary Vierge Romane de Saugues, 1150. The Romanesque Period


The inscrutable Mary Vierge Romane de Saugues, 1150. In the Romanesque Period Mother Mary was much more important than in later time periods, in some she almost vanished. Makes you wonder why…….

Chemarea mea a fost, dintotdeauna, să devin pilot

Chemarea mea a fost, dintotdeauna, să devin pilot Teodora Iulia Grama a copilărit printre aviatori și, în ciuda faptului că familia avea alte planuri pentru cariera pe care să o urmeze, ea a ales A…

Source: Chemarea mea a fost, dintotdeauna, să devin pilot

Puține trăsături de caracter sânt în sânge… Restul sânt învățate de la părinți în primii ani de viață.

Puține trăsături de caracter sânt în sânge…
Restul sânt învățate de la părinți în primii ani de viață.

France 24 : UK’s ambassador to EU quits just months before Brexit talks

UK’s ambassador to EU quits just months before Brexit talks

Britain’s ambassador to the European Union resigned on Tuesday, adding uncertainty to the Brexit process less than three months before the UK is due to trigger its departure negotiations.

Ivan Rogers, a highly-regarded diplomat who had been due to end his four-year stint in October, stepped down as London prepares to invoke Article 50, which starts a two-year countdown to Britain leaving the EU.
Rogers came under fire last month for saying it could take 10 years for Britain to conclude a trade deal with the EU.
The government insisted, though, that he was only reporting back what was being said in European capitals.
“Sir Ivan Rogers has resigned a few months early as UK permanent representative to the European Union,” a British government spokeswoman said.
“Sir Ivan has taken this decision now to enable a successor to be appointed before the UK invokes Article 50 by the end of March. We are grateful for his work and commitment over the last three years.”
London is set to appoint a new ambassador and deputy ambassador shortly.
Rogers headed UKRep, the office which represents Britain in negotiations that take place in the EU.
In a resignation email to UKRep staff, he urged colleagues to provide British ministers with their “unvarnished” understanding through Brexit negotiations — “even where this is uncomfortable”.
“I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power,” Rogers said.
He also criticised the British government for its short supply of “serious multilateral negotiating experience” in London and said the structure of the UK’s negotiating team “needs rapid resolution”.
Concerns over timing
“His resignation is not a surprise for those who work with him,” a European diplomat told AFP.
“He was very competent, but not convinced by the Brexit decision and the British government line, leading the UK into an area of dangerous uncertainty.”
In the June 2016 referendum, 52 percent voted for Britain leave the EU.
Triggering Article 50 will start a two-year countdown after which Britain will leave all the institutions and the single market unless alternative arrangements have been agreed.
Hilary Benn, who chairs parliament’s Brexit scrutiny committee, told BBC radio the resignation was “not a good thing”.
“The hard work is going to start very soon,” he said.
“And having a handover in the middle of that, depending on when exactly he goes, is not ideal.”
Rogers had been in his post since November 2013, having previously served as prime minister David Cameron’s Europe adviser since 2011.
Aled Williams, the former spokesman for Britain’s EU embassy, said Rogers’ departure was a “big loss” to the Brexit negotiations.
“Sir Ivan never sugar-coated his advice: had the credibility to tell his political bosses how he saw it in Brussels,” he said.
The mild-mannered Rogers is widely respected in Brussels where he is known as a vastly experienced operator.
Critics accuse of him of being a europhile, but European diplomatic sources described him as being a realist.
British diplomatic sources at the time of the leaked “10 years” comments voiced suspicions that he may have been knifed in the back by pro-Brexit forces who wanted him out.
UK ministers ‘delude themselves’
Peter Mandelson, a British former trade commissioner for the EU, said Rogers was “second to none” in terms of knowledge and experience of Brussels.
Diplomats were being “increasingly inhibited in offering objective advice,” he added.
“Our negotiation as a whole will go nowhere if ministers are going to delude themselves about the immense difficulty and challenges Britain faces,” he said.
But Arron Banks, who chaired the Leave.EU campaign group in the referendum, said Rogers was a “pessimist” from the “pro-EU old guard”.
“It’s time now for someone who is optimistic about the future that lies ahead for Brexit Britain. Enough talk, we need to get on with getting out,” he said.
Brexit figurehead Nigel Farage also welcomed the resignation, saying the Foreign Office needed a “complete clear-out”.
The office of Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, declined to comment.

France 24 : France orders massive duck cull to contain bird flu

France orders massive duck cull to contain bird flu


France on Wednesday ordered a massive cull of ducks in three regions most affected by a severe episode of bird flu, as it tries to contain the virus which has been spreading quickly over the past month, the agriculture ministry said.

All free range ducks, as well as geese, will be slaughtered between Jan. 5 and approximatively Jan. 20 in an area in southwestern France comprising parts of the Gers, Landes and Hautes-Pyrenees administrative departments, it said in a statement.
Some farms will be exempted, however, including those which confine birds and those that perform full production cycles, from ducklings to transformation into end-products.
Southwestern France, home to most producers of foie gras made of duck and geese liver, had already been the centre of a severe episode of bird flu last year, although outbreaks involved other strains.
Several European countries and Israel have found cases of the contagious H5N8 strain over the past two months and some have ordered poultry flocks be kept indoors to prevent the disease spreading.

France 24 : Manhunt in Brazil for 184 escaped inmates after riot

Manhunt in Brazil for 184 escaped inmates after riot

Brazilian police staged a massive manhunt Tuesday for scores of convicts who escaped during a prison riot that ended with 56 inmates killed by their rivals, many of them beheaded.

In all, 184 inmates escaped from two prisons in Amazonas state as a local drug gang took gruesome revenge on members of a rival gang, authorities said.
Of those, 130 remain at large and 54 have been recaptured, according to the latest count.
Police set up roadblocks in the area and deployed teams to track down the remaining convicts.
“We hope to have caught nearly all the prisoners by the end of the week,” the state security minister Sergio Fontes told reporters.
Escape tunnels
The initial riot at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex in the state capital, Manaus, was followed by uprisings at two other prisons.
Authorities swiftly brought them under control in a crack-down – but not before 72 had escaped from the nearby Antonio Trindade Penal Institute.
They joined the 112 who had already escaped through a network of tunnels discovered at the Anisio Jobim prison.
Besides the 56 inmates killed at Anisio Jobim, four were killed in fighting between prisoners at the Puraquequara Penitentiary Unit, also in Amazonas state.
Desperate relatives
Prisoners’ desperate relatives gathered outside a forensic building where experts were working to identify the bodies on Tuesday.
“I want news of my son, whether he is alive or dead. They are not telling me anything,” one of them, Ana Regina, 47, told AFP.
“I don’t know where he is or whether he fled.”
Fontes said the authorities would probably start handing over the bodies of the dead to their relatives on Tuesday.
‘Watch out single ladies’
Despite the massive manhunt, one alleged escapee appeared to mock the authorities on Facebook.
The man, Brayan Bremer, posted pictures of himself and other purported escapees giving the thumbs-up sign and feasting on fruit against a backdrop of thick vegetation.
“I’m coming, watch out single ladies,” said one post.
Officials have not confirmed the account belongs to an escaped prisoner.
But it went viral in Brazil, getting 14,000 “likes” on Facebook and inspiring instant memes of the prisoner’s face plastered on posters for famous jailbreak movies like “The Shawshank Redemption” and TV series “Prison Break.”
‘My son was cut to pieces’
The riot was no laughing matter, though.
Authorities described a horrifying scene of decapitated and brutalized bodies strewn around the prison when they regained control Monday morning after a riot that raged through the night.
Bloodied and burned bodies were stacked in a concrete prison yard and piled in carts, said an AFP photographer at the scene.
“My son and others were cut into pieces. They ended up without heads,” said one of the weeping relatives outside the forensic building, Raimundo Castro Leal.
“I want them to identify him quickly and release him.”
The prisoners took 12 guards hostage, who were later freed.
Prison authorities said they had transferred 130 gang members from various jails to a different facility after they received death threats.
The federal government said it was releasing funds to create 20,000 new places in Brazil’s overcrowded jails.
Gangland revenge
Authorities blamed the riot on fighting between the Family of the North (FDN), a powerful local gang, and rivals from the First Capital Command (PCC), one of Brazil’s largest gangs.
The riot was the deadliest in more than a decade in Brazil’s underfunded and overcrowded jails.
In October, prison riots triggered by fighting between rival gangs killed 33 people.
And in 1992, a riot in Sao Paulo’s Carandiru prison left 111 people dead.
Brazil’s justice ministry said in a 2014 report that the country’s prisons need 50 percent more capacity to handle the current number of inmates: 622,000.
That is the world’s fourth-largest prison population after the US, China and Russia, according to the report.

France 24 : Over 150 escape in Philippines prison break

Over 150 escape in Philippines prison break

More than 150 inmates of a southern Philippine jail escaped when suspected Muslim rebels stormed the dilapidated facility in a pre-dawn raid on Wednesday, killing one guard, authorities said.

The attack added to a long history of daring jailbreaks in the strife-torn south, home to a decades-old Muslim separatist insurgency as well as extremist gangs that have recently declared allegiance to the Islamic State group.
A two-hour long firefight broke out when more than 100 armed men believed to have been led by a local Muslim rebel commander attacked the jail in Kidapawan city at about 1:00am, jail authorities said.
“It’s to rescue their comrades under our custody. It is a rescue operation,” jail warden Peter John Bonggat told local ABS-CBN television.
Bonggat said the attackers were believed to be a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the nation’s largest Muslim rebel organisation that is in peace talks with the government.
At least 158 prisoners had escaped, Bonggat told AFP, although it was unclear how many of those were linked to the attackers or were just other inmates who took advantage of the chaos.
“The (inmates) took chances because of the volume of fire… they used their bedding, piled them on top of each other to escape,” Bonggat said.
Bonggat said the jail, which housed 1,511 inmates, lacked guards and was a dilapidated former school building located in a forested, secluded area.
Three inmates facing charges of illegal possession of explosives and drugs escaped from the jail last year.
Kidapawan, 950 kilometres (590 miles) south of Manila, is home to various Muslim rebel groups, criminal gangs and communist insurgents.
“We have many Muslim personalities (in the jail) that are members of various organised, syndicated groups,” Bonggat told AFP.
Security forces pursued the assailants and the escapees throughout Wednesday morning, with local authorities reporting up to six had been killed in the hunt.
MILF spokesman Von al-Haq told AFP the group did not know who the attackers were and was contacting its members to get more information.
The MILF has about 10,000 armed followers, but they have been observing a ceasefire with the government as part of the peace efforts.
The southern region of Mindanao is the ancestral homeland of the Muslim minority in the largely Catholic Philippines.
More than 120,000 people have been killed in the rebellion.
While the MILF is aiming for peace, there are various breakaway groups that are determined to continue fighting and have declared allegiance to the IS group.
The Maute group, regarded as one of the most dangerous extremist organisations, freed 23 inmates in a jailbreak last year in a nearby city.

France 24 : Republicans back down on curtailing ethics office after outcry

Republicans back down on curtailing ethics office after outcry

US House Republicans scrapped Tuesday a controversial rules change that would have gutted a congressional ethics office, after President-elect Donald Trump rebuked the strategy hours before lawmakers were to vote on the measure.

“The amendment was removed from the rules package by unanimous consent of the conference,” a Republican leadership aide told AFP.
Party lawmakers earlier took bold action just before the new Republican-controlled Congress was seated, acting late Monday night — and without participation by Democrats — to hobble an independent ethics office which has investigated corruption allegations against members of Congress.
The move was severely criticized by Democrats and some Republicans as undermining transparency, and it put Republicans on a collision course with Trump, who expressed skepticism about the move on Day One of the 115th Congress.
“With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
“Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!”
The move, had it passed the Republican-led House of Representatives, would have taken ethics oversight away from an independent group and given much of the authority to the lawmakers themselves.
The proposal by Republican congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia would have gutted the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.
House Speaker Paul Ryan opposed changing ethics rules but legislators disregarded his leadership on the issue.
Goodlatte maintained that altering the ethics review process “strengthens the mission” of the office.
Several in his party, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, stressed that pressing ahead with such changes at the dawn of a new era in Washington — with Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress and Trump taking the White House on January 20 — was lousy optics.
An outcry from some members of Congress, as well as messages from the public, helped reverse the Republican action, Democratic lawmakers said.
“@HouseGOP tried to weaken ethics oversight. The people fought back,” House Democrat John Sarbanes wrote on Twitter.

France 24 : French 105-year-old cyclist set to break world record

French 105-year-old cyclist set to break world record

Robert Marchand is chasing another world record when he jumps on his bike to compete in the senior hour endurance on Wednesday.

Make that uber-senior – for, while still sprightly, the Frenchman is 105 years old and racing in a category all of his own.
Three years ago he managed to ride 26.927 kilometres (nearly 17 miles) at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome outside Paris, a record for someone aged over 100.
He says surpassing that distance inside an hour will be tough but he’s determined to give it a go, even if the modest centenarian insists: “I’m not in such good shape as I was a couple of years back.
“If I were, I’d be a phenomenon, and I’m not.”
Admirers contest that assessment as he finalises preparations for the challenge, his gaze alert, his gait steady.
“He’s a Martian, he’s phenomenal,” says Jean Ridel, a mere whippersnapper at “just” 84 who will himself try to set a mark in the 85-year-old category next year.
At his age, never mind Marchand’s, “you have to be able to keep your balance on a bike and anticipate the bends,” says Ridel.
Marchand’s current feat may be well shy of Bradley Wiggins’ 54.526 kilometres, yet this veteran among veterans earns no less admiration.
In any case, “I am not here to be champion. I am here to prove that at 105 years old you can still ride a bike,” rasps Marchand, who completed 110 laps in his 2014 effort.
Gerard Mistler, a cycling coach who advises Marchand, remains impressed as ever.
“He is very regular in his pedalling. Nothing to excess – he is efficient.”
Jean-Michel Richefort, another coach keeping a watchful eye on Marchand, adds: “His heart is exceptional.
“He has the heart of a 60 year old and above all his cardiac rhythm is very slow and regular. Yesterday we did a 20-minute test and over the 20 minutes his pulse rate never rose above 100.”
Marchand, a former national gymnastics champion, boxer and firefighter, puts his enduring fitness down to lifestyle, including a healthy diet and no smoking.
“I’ve done sport all my life, eaten loads of fruit and vegetables, not too much coffee.
“I do between 10 and 20 kilometres a day (cycling), but I don’t train outside. I’m afraid I might catch the flu!”
‘Great example’
Marchand’s bike takes pride of place in his modest Parisian studio flat. A widower since 1943, he has no children – yet he does not want for friends or admirers.
“He’s lucky, he’s never been ill,” says fellow amateur cyclist Christian Bouchard.
“He did have an operation for cataracts – he had turned 100. He only wears glasses for reading the paper!”
Marchand, looking very much the athlete in his yellow and mauve gear, admits he fears the day when he cannot cycle or exercise.
Yet to judge by his performances on the bike, that day remains a long way off.
On Wednesday he’ll be looking at least to come close to his old mark, even if he fails to beat it.
“If I did 30 kilometres they’d say I had been doping!” he quips.
University professor and physiologist Veronique Billat, who has been following Marchand’s progress since he turned 100, says admiringly: “His body mass is small but he has a heart which pulses as much blood per minute as someone larger.
“And he’s not afraid to try things.”
That determination will stand him in good stead on Wednesday as he jumps back in the saddle once more and heads for the cycling track.
In the words of the coach Mistler, Robert Marchand is quite simply a “great example for humanity”.

BBC News: Donald Trump backs Julian Assange over Russia hacking claim

Donald Trump backs Julian Assange over Russia hacking claim – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38505398

Christ and Mary Magdalene ( Noli Me Tangere ) Artist : Titian Date : 1511- 1512


Kindly let your posts only about Renaissance period , i made a group for Baroque Art and Architecture and you can post in it

Christ and Mary Magdalene ( Noli Me Tangere )
Artist : Titian
Date : 1511- 1512
Period : Haute Renaissance
National Gallery , London , UK

” The Visitation ” 1445 Artist :Luca della Robbia


” The Visitation ” 1445
Artist :Luca della Robbia
Period : Early Renaissance
Location: Church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas in Pistoia , Tuscany, Italy
Type : White Glazed Terracotta group

La țesătoare: Afară-i frig şi cer noros, În casă ţesem frumos ;)


Afară-i frig şi cer noros,
În casă ţesem frumos 😉


Totu-i nou…


Fagarasi 1961 _Din nou in creasta In Fereastra Mare a Sambetei dupa 2 zile de ploaie si ninsoare _2_


Fagarasi 1961 Din nou in creasta In Fereastra Mare a Sambetei dupa 2 zile de ploaie si ninsoare _2

Never give up. Great things take time.


Never give up. Great things take time.