Două inimi când se-mbină,
Când cufund pe tu cu eu,
E lumină din lumină,
Dumnezeu din Dumnezeu.
Două inimi când se-mbină,
Când cufund pe tu cu eu,
E lumină din lumină,
Dumnezeu din Dumnezeu.
Danny Ungrue got this close-up of a Dall sheep ram that came down near the road along Turnagain Arm recently.
King Kamehameha the Great was Hawaiʻi’s first Mōʻī,
the first chief to rule over the entire Hawaiian Island chain. This statue resides in North Kohala, where Kamehameha was born. Photo: Ethan B.
Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts)
Police arrest five in Spain, Hungary anti-terrorism sweep
Spain’s interior ministry said police detained a Moroccan man with Dutch identity documents in the northwestern city of Figueras suspected of belonging to IS who recently returned to Spain from Turkey.
The authorities are investigating whether his return “was motivated by a desire to carry out some sort of action in Europe,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said Spanish police were able to locate the man thanks to the help of Dutch authorities and of the intelligence services of several unnamed countries.
“Investigators are currently trying to determine the degree of radicalization of the detainee, his possible links in Europe, the activities he has been carrying out for Daesh and what his purpose was since his arrival in Spain,” the statement said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
In a separate operation, police detained two Spanish men who were part of a group “that had reached a very high level of determination to carry out terrorist activities”.
The group was “fully aligned with the strategy of the terrorist organisation Daesh,” the ministry said in a separate statement.
Police seized a long gun and three knives during searches of six houses carried out as part of the operation in Ceuta, the tiny Spanish territory bordered by Morocco on one side and the Mediterranean Sea.
Meanwhile, Hungarian authorities said they arrested two young women from France and Belgium allegedly seeking to join IS in Syria.
The Belgian, 18, and the French national, 19, were trying to cross into Serbia early Friday, a police spokesperson told Hungarian news agency MTI.
The women, who were not named, were travelling on a bus from Vienna to Sofia from where they planned to reach Syria and join IS.
They were subject to warrants issued for previous “acts in connection with terrorism,” Gyorgy Bakondi, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban‘s chief security advisor, told public television. No further details were released.
Spanish police have arrested 181 people accused of connections to Islamist militant groups since 2015 when Spain raised its terror alert level to four on a scale of five following deadly attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.
It is the highest alert level since Al-Qaeda-inspired bombers blew up four packed commuter trains and killed 191 people in Madrid on March 11, 2004.
Spain has been mentioned on extremist websites as a possible attack target for historical reasons, given much of its territory was under Muslim rule from 711 to 1492.
US Congress approves steps to end Obamacare
The House’s near party-line vote of 227 to 198 approved a budget blueprint which providesRepublicans, who control both chambers of Congress, with a framework for dismantling the Affordable Care Act.
But one week before Republican President-elect Donald Trump takes office, a sense of urgency has swept over Washington about what his party will put forward as a replacement for the law, with Democrats warning of disastrous consequences should Republicans act too hastily.
“This resolution essentially fires the starting pistol… for repealing Obamacare,” said Representative Bill Johnson, an Ohio Republican.
“This is a critical first step to deliver relief to Americans struggling under this law,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow members, describing as a “rescue mission” the latest effort to unwind Obamacare.
“This experiment has failed,” and “we have to step in before things get worse.”
The Senate passed the resolution Thursday. It received no Democratic support in either chamber, highlighting the intensely partisan fight that lies ahead.
The resolution provides Republicans with a powerful tool, called reconciliation, which allows repeal legislation to proceed through the 100-member Senate with a simple majority, protected from a Democratic filibuster that requires a 60-vote threshold to overcome.
Trump made repeal of the law a central plank of his insurgent campaign, and he sounded triumphant ahead of the vote.
“The ‘Unaffordable’ Care Act will soon be history!” he tweeted early Friday.
Days earlier he said the Republicans ought to repeal and replace Obamacare quickly and “simultaneously.”
During a Thursday town hall style event Ryan said he was on board, and that he envisioned action on a plan “within the first hundred days.”
‘Cut’ and run?
Unwinding Obamacare will be a monumental task. Republican leadership is moving carefully, stressing it does not want to “pull the rug out from anyone” who might lose coverage if there is no replacement plan on offer.
But there is debate among Republicans about how — and how fast — to proceed.
Charlie Dent, one of nine House Republicans who voted against the resolution, expressed “reservations” about quickly repealing parts of Obamacare without a credible replacement at the ready.
“I think the repeal plan needs to be fully developed and better articulated prior to moving forward,” he told CNN.
The White House touts Obamacare as a success, saying more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance through the law.
The Affordable Care Act forbids insurance companies from denying health care due to pre-existing conditions, abolishes lifetime caps on care, and allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, three provisions that have proved popular nationwide.
Ryan insists the Republican plan that moves forward will include its own versions of such provisions.
Democrats warn that scrapping the law could result in tens of millions of Americans losing coverage.
“They want to cut benefits and run. They want to cut access and run,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said of Republicans, and accused Ryan of peddling “mythology” about the law.
House Democrat Hakeem Jeffries offered harsher criticism about Republican efforts to swiftly dismantle the reforms, despite not formulating a viable replacement plan in the last six years.
“All you have is smoke and mirrors, and the American people are getting ready to get screwed,” Jeffries said on the House floor.
John Dos Passos (1896)
Dos Passos was an American writer whose World War I service as an ambulance driver and later work as a journalist led him to see the US as “two nations”—one for the rich and one for the poor. An artist to boot, he created many of the illustrations and covers for his books. His reputation as a social historian, radical critic of American life, and major novelist of the postwar “Lost Generation” rests primarily on his powerful U.S.A. trilogy, which includes what three novels?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch
This Day in History:
Felice Orsini Attempts to Assassinate French Emperor Napoleon III (1858)
Orsini was an Italian revolutionary in the movement for Italian unification. In 1858, he made an attempt on the life of Napoleon III, whom he held responsible for the failure of the Italian revolutions of 1848 to 1849. Although ably defended by French statesman Jules Favre, Orsini was executed. His act, designed to arouse world interest in the Italian cause, paradoxically influenced Napoleon’s own decision to intervene in favor of Italian unification. How did Orsini try to kill Napoleon?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch
Quote of the Day:
Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration … and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his purpose—as, in fact, not good enough for his insistent emotion. From laughter and tears the descent is easy to sniveling and giggles.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch
Article of the Day:
Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice. Although there are multiple theories about how it was developed, the first sakes were likely made from rice, millet, chestnuts, and acorns that people chewed and spit into a tub. The enzymes from the saliva converted the starches to sugars, resulting in a sweet mixture that was combined with freshly cooked grain and allowed to ferment. What does drinking sake from another’s cup signify in Japanese culture?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch
Word of the Day:
Definition: (noun) A buttress that stands apart from the main structure and connected to it by an arch.
Synonyms: flying buttress
Usage: The architect favors the arc-boutant in his designs because it is practical and aesthetically pleasing.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch
Eliza Dushku is Echo, in Dollhouse
Détours d’art…Buste de sainte, Allemagne, début XVIe siècle, bois, collection particulière.
Elisa Dushku is Echo, of the Dollhouse – a color pencil sketch 2
Ușa milostivirii deschide-o nouă, binecuvântată Născătoare de Dumnezeu Fecioară, ca să nu pierim cei ce nădajduim întru Tine, ci să ne mântuim prin Tine din nevoi, că Tu ești mântuirea neamului creștinesc.
Shame on the Senators below! This afternoon, they voted against an amendment from Senator Bernie Sanders “To prevent the Senate from breaking Donald Trump’s promise that ‘there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid’.”
If one or more of them is your Senator, please call their office at 202-224-3121 and ask them why they want to cut the American people’s vital benefits.
Alice Viglioglia, crayon sketch 2
Hike of the week: Lost Palms Oasis
Lost Palms Oasis is the perfect trail to visit in winter. The trailhead begins near the Cottonwood Visitor Center, which is at lower elevation than most of the park. In the summer this 7.5 mi roundtrip trail is often too hot to be hiked safely. The winter is a great time to enjoy Lost Palms Oasis with perfect hiking weather.
The oasis is a critical environment for desert flora and fauna. Help protect the park by staying on the trail.
[Photo by NPS/Robb Hannawacker; a trail with a group of palm trees in the distance.]