Tag Archives: Europe

Word: lissome


lissome

Definition: (adjective) Easily bent; supple.
Synonyms: lithe, supple, slender
Usage: There was a grace, which no austerity could diminish, about every movement of her lissome, slender form. Discuss.
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Biography: Pepe Romero, World Renouned Classic Guitar Player


Pepe Romero

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPepe Romero (born March 8, 1944 in Málaga, Spain) is a world-renowned classical and flamenco guitarist. He is particularly famous for his outstanding technique and colorful musical interpretations on the instrument.

Pepe Romero
Pepe Romero 2000.JPG

Pepe Romero in 2000
Background information
Born March 8, 1944 (age 71)
Málaga, Spain
Genres Classical music, flamenco
Occupation(s) Guitarist, arranger
Instruments Guitar
Years active fl. ca. 1959 – present
Labels Philips Records
Associated acts The Romero Guitar Quartet
Website www.peperomero.com
Notable instruments
Torres 1856

Biography

As a soloist Pepe Romero has appeared in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, and many countries around the world with the Toronto, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York, Bogota and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, I Musici, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Hungarica, the Hungarian State Orchestra, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Spanish National Radio/Television Orchestra, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, The New Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Springfiled Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the American Sinfonietta and the Bournemouth Symphony. He has been a special guest at the festivals of Salzburg, Israel, Schleswig-Holstein, Menuhin, Osaka, Granada, Istanbul, Ravinia, Garden State, Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Saratoga and Hong Kong.

Since his first recording (at the age of 15) he has recorded over 50 solo albums and 30 albums as part of the famed guitar quartet The Romeros. He has played for Presidents Carter and Nixon, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Prince of Wales and Pope John Paul II. He has numerous international recording awards to his credit and has received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from University of Victoria.

His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him, including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Rev. Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo, Michael Zearott, Enrique Diemecke, and Celedonio Romero.

Pepe Romero is the second son of Celedonio Romero, who was his only guitar teacher. His first professional appearance was in a shared concert with his father when Pepe was only seven years old. In 1957 Celedonio Romero left Franco‘s Spain for the United States with his family.

On February 11, 2000, King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted Pepe Romero and his brothers, Celin and Ángel, into the Order of “Isabel la Catolica.” The official ceremony of this high honor took place at the USC Thornton School of Music, and included a gala performance by The Romeros with the Thornton Chamber Orchestra. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Classical Guitar at the Thornton School, where he was named “Distinguished Artist in Residence” in 2004.[1][2]

Although originally a classical guitarist, he is talented in Flamenco and a popular Flamenco performer. His most famous Flamenco-only album is called ¡Flamenco Fenómeno!

The Romero Guitar Quartet

The Romero Guitar Quartet

Related Stories:    HERE

https://euzicasa.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/pepe-romero-plays-fantasia-para-un-gentilhombre-by-joaquin-rodrigo-great-compositionsperformances/


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

Today in History
May 5

1494   Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica, which he names Santa Gloria.
1814   British attack the American forces at Ft. Ontario, Oswego, New York.
1821   Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St. Helena.
1834   The first mainland railway line opens in Belgium.
1862   Union and Confederate forces clash at the Battle of Williamsburg, part of the Peninsula Campaign.
1862   Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeat troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla.
1865   The 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery.
1886   A bomb explodes on the fourth day of a workers’ strike in Chicago.
1912   Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda begins publishing.
1916   U.S. Marines invade the Dominican Republic.
1917   Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first African-American aviator when he earns a flying certificate with the French Air Service.
1920   Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for murder.
1935   American Jesse Owens sets the long jump record.
1942   General Joseph Stilwell learns that the Japanese have cut his railway out of China and is forced to lead his troops into India.
1945   Holland and Denmark are liberated from Nazi control.
1961   Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.
1965   173rd Airborne Brigade arrives in Bien Hoa-Vung, Vietnam, the first regular U.S. Army unit deployed to that country.
1968   U.S. Air Force planes hit Nhi Ha, South Vietnam in support of attacking infantrymen.
1969   Pulitzer Prize awarded to Norman Mailer for his ‘nonfiction novel’ Armies of the Night, an account of the 1967 anti-Vietnam War march on the Pentagon.
1987   Congress opens Iran-Contra hearings.
2000   The Sun, Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align – Earth’s moon is also almost in this alignment – leading to Doomsday predictions of massive natural disasters, although such a ‘grand confluence’ occurs about once in every century.
Born on May 5
1813   Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher.
1818   Karl Marx, German philosopher (The Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital).
1830   John B. Stetson, American hat maker.
1861   Peter Cooper Hewitt, electrical engineer, inventor of the mercury-vapor lamp.
1883   Charles Albert “Chief” Bender, baseball player.
1890   Christopher Morley, writer (Kitty Foyle).
1899   Freeman F. Gosden, radio comedy writer and performer (Amos ‘n’ Andy).
1909   Carlos Baker, biographer.
1943   Michael Palin, actor and screenwriter (Monty Python’s Flying Circus).

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.6DhlyMv5.dpuf

picture of the day



On August 2, 1944, a French ArmySherman‘ tank lands on a Normandy beach from USS LST-517 during the European Campaign during World War II.

Photo: U.S. Army Signal Corps

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.37P42IyP.dpuf

this day in the yesteryear: Kublai Khan Becomes Ruler of the Mongol Empire (1260)


Kublai Khan Becomes Ruler of the Mongol Empire (1260)

The grandson of Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan was a Mongol emperor who founded China’s Yuan Dynasty and became the first Yuan emperor in 1271.    In 1279, he completed his grandfather’s conquest of China by overthrowing the Sung dynasty. He promoted economic prosperity by rebuilding the Grand Canal, repairing public granaries, extending highways, and encouraging foreign commerce. His magnificent capital at Cambuluc—now Beijing—was visited by several Europeans, including what notable figure? More… Discuss

Read more about the expansion of the Mongol (Hordes) empire

Sunflowers


Sunflowers

The sunflower is a plant native to the New World and common throughout the US. Its stem can grow up to 10 ft (3 m) tall, and its flower head, commonly having yellow rays, can reach 1 ft (30 cm) in diameter. The sunflower was domesticated around 1000 BCE in the Americas, where the Incas venerated it as an image of their sun god, and it reached Europe in the 16th century. It is valued today for its oil-bearing seeds that can be made into bread. The sunflower is the state flower of what US state? More… Discuss

Migration Period (Migrarea popoarelor)


Migration Period

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Migration Period
Map of Europe, with colored lines denoting migration routes

Migrations
Time 376–700 AD
Place Europe and Northern Africa
Event Tribes invading the declining Roman Empire

The Migration Period, also known as the Völkerwanderung[1] (“migration of peoples” in German), was a period of intensified human migration in Europe often defined, from the period when it seriously impacted the Roman world, as running from about 376 to 800 AD[2][3] during the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. This period was marked by profound changes both within the Roman Empire and beyond its “barbarian frontier”. The migrants who came first were Germanic tribes such as the Goths, Vandals, Angles, Saxons, Lombards, Suebi, Frisii, Jutes and Franks; they were later pushed westwards by the Huns, Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Alans.[4] Later migrations (such as the Arab conquest and Viking, Norman, Hungarian, Moorish, Turkic, and Mongol invasions) also had significant effects (especially in North Africa, the Iberian peninsula, Anatolia and Central and Eastern Europe); however, they are outside the scope of the Migration Period.

Chronology

Origins of Germanic tribes

Germanic peoples moved out of southern Scandinavia and Germany[5][6] to the adjacent lands between the Elbe and Oder after 1000 BC. The first wave moved westward and southward (pushing the resident Celts west to the Rhine by about 200 BC) and moving into southern Germany up to the Roman province of Gaul by 100 BC, where they were stopped by Gaius Marius and Julius Caesar. It is this western group which was described by the Roman historian Tacitus (56–117 AD) and Julius Caesar (100–44 BC). A later wave of Germanic tribes migrated eastward and southward from Scandinavia between 600 and 300 BC to the opposite coast of the Baltic Sea, moving up the Vistula near the Carpathians. During Tacitus‘ era they included lesser known tribes such as the Tencteri, Cherusci, Hermunduri and Chatti; however, a period of federation and intermarriage resulted in the familiar groups known as the Alemanni, Franks, Saxons, Frisians and Thuringians.[7]

First phase

The Migration Period may be divided into two phases. The first phase, occurring between AD 300 and 500, is partly documented by Greek and Latin historians but difficult to verify archaeologically. It put Germanic peoples in control of most areas of the then-Western Roman Empire.[8] The Tervingi entered Roman territory (after a clash with the Huns) in 376. Some time thereafter in Marcianopolis, the escort to Fritigern (their leader) was killed while meeting with Lupicinus.[9] The Tervingi rebelled, and the Visigoths, a group derived either from the Tervingi or from a fusion of mainly Gothic groups, eventually invaded Italy and sacked Rome in 410, before settling in Iberia and founding a kingdom that lasted for 300 years. They were followed into Roman territory by the Ostrogoths, led by Theodoric the Great, who settled in Italy. In Gaul the Franks (a fusion of western Germanic tribes whose leaders had been aligned with Rome since the third century AD) entered Roman lands gradually and peacefully during the fifth century, and were accepted as rulers by the Roman-Gaulish population. Fending off challenges from the Allemanni, Burgundians, and Visigoths, the Frankish kingdom became the nucleus of the future France and Germany. The initial Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain occurred during the fifth century, when Roman control of Britain had come to an end.[10]

Second phase

The second phase took place between 500 and 700 and saw Slavic tribes settling in central and eastern Europe (particularly in eastern Magna Germania), gradually making it predominantly Slavic.[11] Additionally, Turkic tribes such as the Avars were involved in this phase. In 567, the Avars and the Lombards destroyed much of the Gepid Kingdom. The Lombards, a Germanic people, settled in northern Italy in the region now known as Lombardy. The Central Asian Bulgars had occupied the Pontic steppe north of Caucasus since the second century, but after, pushed by the Khazars, the majority of them migrated west and dominated Byzantine territories along the lower Danube in the seventh century.

During the early Byzantine–Arab Wars the Arab armies attempted to invade southeast Europe via Asia Minor during the late seventh and early eighth centuries, but were defeated at the siege of Constantinople by the joint forces of Byzantium and the Bulgars. During the Khazar–Arab Wars, the Khazars stopped the Arab expansion into Europe across the Caucasus. At the same time, the Moors (consisting of Arabs and Berbers) invaded Europe via Gibraltar (conquering Hispania—the Iberian Peninsula—from the Visigothic Kingdom in 711), before being halted by the Franks at the Battle of Tours in 732. These battles largely fixed the frontier between Christendom and Islam for the next millennium. The following centuries saw the Muslims successful in conquering Sicily from the Christians.

The Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin from around 895, and the Viking expansion from the late 8th century may be taken to mark the last large movements of the period. All the barbarian peoples were gradually Christianized and integrated into the medieval Christian order.

Climatic factors

A number of contemporary historical references worldwide refer to an extended period of extreme weather during 535–536. Evidence of this cold period is also found in dendrochronology and ice cores. The consequences of this cold period are debated.

Discussions

Barbarian identity

The analysis of barbarian identity and how it was created and expressed during the Migration Age has elicited discussion among scholars. Herwig Wolfram (a historian of the Goths),[12] in discussing the equation of migratio gentium with Völkerwanderung, observes that Michael Schmidt introduced the equation in his 1778 history of the Germans. Wolfram observed that the significance of gens as a biological community was shifting even during the early Middle Ages; “to complicate matters, we have no way of devising a terminology that is not derived from the concept of nationhood created during the French Revolution“.

The “primordialistic”[13] paradigm prevailed during the 19th century. Scholars such as German linguist Johann Gottfried Herder viewed tribes as coherent biological (racial) entities, using the term to refer to discrete ethnic groups.[14] He believed that the Volk were an organic whole, with a core identity and spirit evident in art, literature and language. These were seen as intrinsic characteristics unaffected by external influences, even conquest.[15] Language, in particular, was seen as the most important expression of ethnicity. They argued that groups sharing the same (or similar) language possessed a common identity and ancestry.[16] The Romantic ideal that there had once been a single German, Celtic or Slavic people who originated from a common homeland and spoke a common tongue helped provide a conceptual framework for political movements of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism.[15]

Beginning in the 1960s a reinterpretation of archaeological and historic evidence prompted scholars (such as Goffart and Todd) to propose new models for explaining the construction of barbarian identity, maintaining that no sense of shared identity was perceived by the Germani;[17][18][19] a similar theory has been proposed for Celtic and Slavic groups.[20] This theory states that the primordialist mode of thinking was encouraged by a prima facie interpretation of Graeco-Roman sources, which grouped together many tribes under such labels as Germani, Keltoi or Sclavenoi (encouraging their perception as distinct peoples). Modernists argue that the uniqueness perceived by specific groups was based on common political and economic interests, rather than biological or racial distinctions.

The role of language in constructing and maintaining group identity can be ephemeral, since large-scale language shifts occur commonly in history.[21] Modernists propose the idea of “imagined communities”; the barbarian polities in late antiquity were social constructs, rather than changeless lines of blood kinship.[22] The process of forming tribal units was called “ethnogenesis“, a term coined by Soviet scholar Julian Bromley.[23] The Austrian school (led by Reinhard Wenskus) popularized this idea, which influenced medievalists such as Herwig Wolfram, Walter Pohl and Patrick Geary.[17] It argues that the stimulus for forming tribal polities was perpetuated by a small nucleus of people, known as the Traditionskern (“kernel of tradition”), who were a military or aristocratic elite. This core group formed a standard for larger units, gathering adherents by employing amalgamative metaphors such as kinship and aboriginal commonality and claiming that they perpetuated an ancient, divinely-sanctioned lineage.[24]

A capable soldier would be able to assume the group identity without being born into the “tribe”. “A victorious campaign confirmed [the leaders’] right to rule and drew [to] them an ever-growing people who accepted and shared in their identity”.[24] In time, these heterogeneous armies grew into a new people possessing “a strong belief in a common biological origin”.[25] Halsall argues that no objectively-definable criterion can be consistently used to distinguish ethnic groups from one another: language, social customs, geographic habitation, religion or a common origin. “The only common factor in defining ethnicity is belief: in the reality of your group and the difference to others”.[26]

Walter Pohl highlights the dynamic nature of group identity, proposing that during the Migration Period people could live in circumstances of “ethnic ambiguity”. Given that ethnicity was important for the upper classes, they could adopt multiple ethnicities to secure the allegiance of their partners and followers: a phenomenon referred to as “situational ethnicity”.[26] To advance socially, one needed to “grow into a dominating group with high prestige, to copy its lifestyle”.[27] The process of assimilation could produce “a wide variety of transitional stages”.[28] Followers could also disband from larger units. Factions arose, challenging the right to lead the people and uphold their traditions. Conversely defeat by an external power could mean the end of a ruler and his people, who were absorbed into the victorious confederacy.[29] “Seen in this light, ‘ethnic’ identity among barbarians was extraordinarily fluid, as new groups emerged and old ones disappeared”.

Peter Heather suggests that constructionism and modernism represent two extremes of the spectrum of possibilities. The process of assimilation and appropriation of new group identity varied from group to group. He alludes to literary sources, which describe two contrasting models of interaction: the Sclavenes were prepared (after a given period) to accept prisoners as full and free members of their tribal groups; on the other hand, the Huns (although incorporating non-Hun groups) kept them separate and subordinate. Rather than being aristocratic kernels, he argues that the identity of tribal groups was maintained by a contingent of “notables” and freemen. He clarifies that while groups like the Goths were multi-ethnic, full assimilation was not the rule.[30] He proposes that conquered groups held a subordinate status either as otherwise-autonomous tribute-payers or as disadvantaged strata within mixed settlements. Even when a homogeneous material culture arose, disparate groups were likely to preserve their unique identity and language.[31]

Whatever the case, this process of building large-scale group identity was particularly evident along the Roman frontier, prompted by the example of Roman provincial life and the threat of Roman attack.[32] Ethnicity was a complex, subjective and multi-layered process, and the Migration Period saw groups rise and fall. Confederations like the Huns and the Vandals arose, to vanish abruptly within a few generations. Other, previously-obscure groups (like the Angles and the Franks) created enduring polities. Even ancient groups like the Goths (who existed from late antiquity until the Middle Ages) underwent profound transformation. Given constant migrations, changing allegiances, and new cultural appropriations, all that remained constant was their Gothic name.[33] As Thomas Noble states, “tribes are no longer imagined to have been “marching for centuries at a time in ordered ranks with homogeneous ethnic compositions” from a distant, localized homeland across Europe into a settlement on Roman soil:

“The common, track-filled map of the Völkerwanderung may illustrate such [a] course of events, but it misleads. Unfolded over long periods of time, the changes of position that took place were necessarily irregular … (with) periods of emphatic discontinuity. For decades and possibly centuries, the tradition bearers idled, and the tradition itself hibernated. There was ample time for forgetfulness to do its work”.[34]

“Invasion” versus “migration”

Historians have postulated several explanations for the appearance of “barbarians” on the Roman frontier: weather and crops, population pressure, a “primeval urge” to push into the Mediterranean, or the “domino effect” (whereby the Huns fell upon the Goths who, in turn, pushed other Germanic tribes before them). Entire barbarian tribes (or nations) flooded into Roman provinces,[citation needed] ending classical urbanism and beginning new types of rural settlements.[35] In general, French and Italian scholars have tended to view this as a catastrophic event: the destruction of a civilization and the beginning of a “Dark Age” which set Europe back a millennium.[35] In contrast, German and English historians have tended to see it as the replacement of a “tired, effete and decadent Mediterranean civilization” with a “more virile, martial, Nordic one”.[35] Rather than “invasion”, German and Slavic scholars use the term “migration” (German: Völkerwanderung, Czech: Stěhování národů, Swedish: folkvandring and Hungarian: népvándorlás), Romanian: migrarea popoarelor, aspiring to the idea of a dynamic and “wandering Indo-Germanic people”.[36]

The scholar Guy Halsall has seen the barbarian movement as the result of the fall of the Roman Empire, not as its cause.[35] Archaeological finds have confirmed that Germanic and Slavic tribes were settled agriculturalists[37] who were probably merely “drawn into the politics of an empire already falling apart for quite a few other causes”. The Crisis of the Third Century caused significant changes within the Roman Empire, in both its western and eastern portions.[38] In particular, economic fragmentation removed many of the political, cultural and economic forces which had held the empire together.[39] The rural population in Roman provinces became distanced from the metropolis, and there was little to differentiate them from other peasants across the Roman frontier. In addition, Rome increasingly used foreign mercenaries to defend itself. This “barbarisation” of the Empire was paralleled by changes within barbaricum. For example, the Roman Empire played a vital role in building up barbarian groups along its frontier. Propped up with imperial support and gifts, the armies of allied barbarian chieftains served as buffers against hostile barbarian groups. The disintegration of Roman economic power weakened groups that had come to depend on Roman gifts for the maintenance of their own power. With the arrival of the Huns, this prompted many groups to invade the provinces for economic reasons.[40]

The nature of the barbarian takeover of former Roman provinces varied from region to region. For example, in Aquitaine the provincial administration was largely self-reliant. Halsall has argued that local rulers simply “handed over” military rule to the Ostrogoths, acquiring the identity of the newcomers.[8] In Gaul the collapse of imperial rule resulted in anarchy: the Franks and Alemanni were pulled into the ensuing “power vacuum”,[41] resulting in conflict. In Spain local aristocrats maintained independent rule for some time, raising their own armies against the Vandals. Meanwhile, the Roman withdrawal from lowland England resulted in conflict between Saxons and the Brythonic chieftains (whose centres of power retreated westward as a result). The Eastern Roman Empire attempted to maintain control of the Balkan provinces, despite a thinly-spread imperial army that relied mainly on local militias and an extensive effort to re-fortify the Danubian limes. The ambitious fortification efforts collapsed, worsening the impoverished conditions of the local populace and resulting in colonization by Slavic warriors and their families.[42]

Halsall and Noble have argued that such changes stemmed from the breakdown in Roman political control, which exposed the weakness of local Roman rule. Instead of large-scale migrations, there were military takeovers by small groups of warriors and their families (who usually numbered in the tens of thousands). This process involved active, conscious decision-making by Roman provincial populations. The collapse of centralized control severely weakened the sense of Roman identity in the provinces, which may explain why the provinces underwent dramatic cultural changes at this time even though few barbarians settled in them.[43] Ultimately, the Germanic groups in the Western Roman Empire were accommodated without “dispossessing or overturning indigenous society” and maintained a structured and hierarchical (albeit attenuated) form of Roman administration.[44] Ironically, they lost their unique identity as a result of this accommodation and were absorbed into Latinhood. In contrast, in the east, Slavic tribes maintained a more “spartan and egalitarian”[45] existence bound to the land “even in times when they took their part in plundering Roman provinces”.[46] Their organizational models were not Roman, and their leaders were not normally dependent on Roman gold for success. Thus, they arguably had a greater effect on their region than the Goths, Franks or Saxons had on theirs.[47]

Ethnicity

Based on the belief that particular types of artifacts (generally elements of personal adornment found in a funerary context) are thought to indicate the race and/or ethnicity of the person buried, the “Culture-History” school of archaeology assumed that archaeological cultures represent the Urheimat (homeland) of tribal polities named in historical sources.[48] As a consequence, the shifting extensions of material cultures were interpreted as the expansion of peoples.[49] Influenced by constructionism, process-driven archaeologists rejected the Culture-Historical doctrine;[49] they marginalized the discussion of ethnicity altogether, and focused on the intragroup dynamics which generated such material remains. Moreover, they argued that adoption of new cultures could occur through trade or internal political developments rather than military takeovers.

Many scholars take a more moderate position. While recognizing that artifacts do not possess an inherent “ethnic ascription”, some artifacts may have been used as “emblems in identity and otherness – of belonging and exclusions”.[50] Peter Heather suggests that although shifts in culture should not solely rely on migratory explanations, there is no reason to a priori rule them out (especially if there is evidence from literary sources).[51] Profound changes in culture (and language) could occur through the influx of a ruling elite with minimal (or no) impact on overall population composition,[52] especially if it occurs when the indigenous population is receptive to such changes.

 

Strauss: The Beautiful Blue Danube André Rieu/ the Johann Strauss Orchestra, great compositions/performances


André Rieu – The Beautiful Blue Danube

this pressed: Les luminessences d’Avignon | Palais des Papes – Avignon


Seeing it in all its majesty, standing proud in the historical heart of Avignon, people often wonder: but what were popes doing here in Provence? Why did they leave the Roman hillsides to come to the banks of the Rhône? The monumental video projection, music and story-telling reveal the history of the building, the city and the region like never before. At the meeting of Europe’s great rivers, in the centre of old Avignon, come and experience an extraordinary 360° journey in time and space. For an unforgettable evening, on a unique and exceptional site: the cour d’Honneur of the Palais des Papes.

via Les luminessences d’Avignon | Palais des Papes – Avignon.

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 : St. Joan of Valois


Leonard Cohen – So long, Marianne [Studio Version] (“…I forget to pray for the angels And then the angels forget to pray for us…”)


Leonard Cohen – So long, Marianne [Studio Version]

Siege of Pleven (Plevna): The fight to disrupt the expansion of the ottoman empire costed many precios lives but for the most noble of causes: the right to self determination, Liberty and Independence from an evil empire


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Siege of Pleven
Part of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)
Grivita 1877.jpg
Date 20 July – 10 December 1877
Location Plevne, Ottoman Empire
(now Pleven, Bulgaria)

43°25′N 24°37′ECoordinates: 43°25′N 24°37′E
Result Russian/Romanian victory[1]
Belligerents
 Russian Empire
Romania Romania
Flag of Stiliana Paraskevova.svg Bulgarian volunteers
 Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russian Empire Tsar Alexander II[2]
Russian Empire Grand Duke Nicholas
Russian Empire Eduard Totleben
Romania Prince Carol I of Romania
Ottoman Empire Osman Nuri Pasha Surrendered
Strength
150,000 40,000
Casualties and losses
40,000 killed or wounded 10,000 killed or wounded
30,000 surrendered

 Map

The Siege of Plevna, or Siege of Pleven, was a major battle of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), fought by the joint army of Russia and Romania against the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman defense held up the main Russian advance southwards into Bulgaria, encouraging other great powers of the time to actively support the Ottoman cause. Eventually, superior Russian and Romanian numbers forced the garrison to capitulate.

Background

In July 1877 the Russian Army, under the command of Grand Duke Nicholas, moved toward the Danube River virtually unopposed, as the Ottomans had no sizable force in the area. The Ottoman high command sent an army under the command of Osman Nuri Pasha to reinforce Nikopol, but the city fell to the Russian vanguard in the Battle of Nikopol (16 July 1877) before Osman reached it. He settled on Plevna, a town among vineyards in a deep rocky valley some twenty miles to the south of Nikopol, as a defensive position. The Ottomans quickly created a strong fortress, raising earthworks with redoubts, digging trenches, and quarrying out gun emplacements. From Plevne (Plevna) Osman’s army dominated the main strategic routes into the heart of Bulgaria. As the Turks hurried to complete their defenses, Russian forces began to arrive.

The Siege

First Battle

Gen. Schilder-Schuldner, commanding the Russian 5th Division, IX Corps, received orders to occupy Plevna. Schilder-Schuldner arrived outside the town on 19 July and began bombarding the Ottoman defenses. The next day his troops attacked and succeeded in driving Ottoman forces from some of the outer defenses; however, Osman Pasha brought up reinforcements and launched a series of counterattacks, which drove the Russians from the captured trenches, inflicting 4,000 casualties at a cost of 1,000 of his own men.

Second Battle

Osman Pasha strengthened his defences and built more redoubts, his force growing to 20,000 men, while the Russians obtained reinforcements from the army of Prince Carol of Romania (later king Carol I of Romania), who made the stipulation that he be given command of the joint besieging force. Gen. Nikolai Kridener also arrived with the Russian IX Corps. On 31 July Russian headquarters ordered Kridener to assault the town, attacking from three sides, with every expectation of a Russo-Romanian triumph. General Schakofsky’s cavalry attacked the eastern redoubts, while an infantry division under General Mikhail Skobelev assailed the Grivitsa redoubt to the north. Schakofsky managed to take two redoubts, but by the end of the day the Ottoman forces succeeded in repulsing all the attacks and retaking lost ground. Russian losses amounted to 7,300, and the Ottomans’ to 2,000.

Third Battle

 King Carol I salutes the Romanian army crossing the Danube

After repulsing the Russian attacks, Osman failed to press his advantage and possibly drive off the besiegers; he did, however, make a cavalry sortie on 31 August that cost the Russian 1,300 casualties, and the Ottomans 1,000. The Russians continued to send reinforcements to Plevna, and their army swelled to 100,000 men, now personally led by the Grand Duke. On 3 September Skobelev reduced the Turkish garrison at Lovech, guarding the Ottoman supply lines, before Osman could move out to relieve it (see main article: Battle of Lovcha). The Ottoman army organized the survivors of Lovech into 3 battalions for the Plevna defenses. Osman also received a reinforcement of 13 battalions, bringing his total strength to 30,000—the highest it would reach during the siege.

In August, Romanian troops led by General Alexandru Cernat crossed the Danube and entered the battle with 43,414 men.[3]

On 11 September the Russians and Romanians made a large-scale assault on Plevna. The Ottoman forces were dug in and equipped with German Krupp-manufactured steel breech-loading artillery and American-manufactured Winchester repeaters[4] and Peabody-Martini rifles. For three hours they poured murderous fire into the waves of advancing Russians.[5] Czar Alexander II and his brother Grand Duke Nicolas watched from a pavilion built on a hillside out of the line of fire.[6] Skobelev took two southern redoubts. The Romanian 4th division lead by General George Manu took the Grivitsa redoubt after 4 bloody assaults, personally assisted by Prince Carol. The next day, the Turks retook the southern redoubts, but could not dislodge the Romanians, who repelled three counterattacks. From the beginning of September, Russian losses had amounted to roughly 20,000, while the Ottomans lost only 5,000.

 The Plevna Chapel on St Elijah’s Square in Moscow, opened in 1882, commemorates the Russian soldiers who died in the Battle of Plevna.

Fourth Battle

Growing Russian and Romanian casualties put a halt to frontal assaults. Gen. Eduard Ivanovich Todleben arrived to oversee the conduct of the siege as the army chief of staff. Todleben had proven command experience in siege warfare, having gained renown for his defense of Sevastopol (1854–1855) during the Crimean War. He decided on a complete encirclement of the city and its defenders. Osman requested permission from his superiors to abandon Plevna and retreat, but the Ottoman high command would not allow him to do so. By 24 October the Russians and Romanians had closed the ring. Supplies began to run low in the city, and Osman finally made an attempt to break the Russian siege in the direction of Opanets. On 9 December the Ottoman forces silently emerged at dead of night, threw bridges over and crossed the Vit River, attacked on a two-mile front, and broke through the first line of Russian trenches. Here they fought hand to hand and bayonet to bayonet, with, at first, little advantage to either side; however, outnumbering the Ottoman forces almost 5 to 1, the Russians eventually drove them back across the Vit, wounding Osman in the process (he was hit in the leg by a stray bullet, which killed his horse beneath him). Rumours of his death created panic. After making a brief stand, the Ottoman forces found themselves driven back into the city, losing 5,000 men to the Russians’ 2,000. The next day Osman surrendered the city, the garrison and his sword to Romanian Col. Mihail Cerchez. He was treated honorably, but his troops perished in the snows by the thousands as they straggled off into captivity.

Results

 Sword surrendered by Edhem Pasha after the defeat at Plevna.

 The monument 2008

“Plevna is one of the few engagements which changed the course of history” A. J. P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848-1918, (Oxford 1954) p. 245. The Siege of Plevna seriously delayed the main Russian advance into Bulgaria, but its end freed up Russian reinforcements, which were sent to Gen. Joseph Vladimirovich Gourko, who then decisively defeated the Ottoman forces in the fourth battle of Shipka Pass. The siege was widely reported on and followed by the public in Europe and beyond. Although the declining Ottoman Empire was by this time often regarded as “the sick man of Europe”, the Ottoman Army’s five-month-long resistance in the face of overwhelming odds earned a degree of admiration, which may have contributed to the unsympathetic treatment of the Russian Empire at the Congress of Berlin. The siege of Plevna also signalled the introduction of the repeating rifle into European warfare.[5] Russian troops at Plevna were largely armed with the M1869 Krnka, a single shot lifting breech block conversion of the muzzle loading M1857 rifled musket even though some units had been reequipped with the more modern, but still single shot, Berdan rifle.[5] The old Krnka was soundly outperformed by the more modern single shot Turkish Peabody-Martini rifles and it became clear that the new Berdan rifle had also been rendered obsolete even as it was being introduced into service, outclassed by the Turkish Winchester repeaters. Reports of the heavy losses suffered by the Russian army at the hands of the Turks at Plevna forced armies across Europe to begin the process of either reequipping with repeating rifles or finding a way to convert their existing single shot rifles into magazine fed weapons.

Legacy

  • A large new factory building, completed in 1877, of the Finlayson & Co cotton mill in Tampere, Finland was named Plevna commemorating the battle and the Guard of Finland that took part.[7]
  • The city of Plevna, Montana in the United States was given its name by Bulgarian immigrants building the railroad there in honor of the battle of Plevna.
  • In other countries, there are five cities and towns named after Plevna, and there are eighteen Plevna streets in Britain alone.
  • At least one main Street in Bucharest Romania has received the name the  PLevna’s Way (Calea Plevnei)  to comemmorate the marching regiments of Dorobants (Romanian Army),  of which many have never returned home!

In popular culture

  • The best-selling Russian detective novel The Turkish Gambit, the second book in the Erast Fandorin series, is set at the Siege of Plevna.
  • A famous Mehteran (Ottoman military band) piece “Osman Paşa Marşı” (Osman Pasha March) honors the courageous defense of the Plevna; and is one of the most well-known marches in Turkey.
  • Under the Red Crescent by Charles Snodgrass Ryan, Australian Surgeon at the Siege of Plevna, who later operated in the Gallipoli campaign and negotiated with his old friends for burial armistices.

Islam in Europe: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Islam in Europe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Islam in Europe
by percentage of country population[1]

 
 
FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe

FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe (click to enlarge)

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Iberia and Southern France

 
A manuscript page of the Qur’an in the script developed in al-Andalus, 12th century.
Main articles: Al-Andalus and Moors

 
The Moors request permission from James I of Aragon, Spain, 13th century

Muslim forays into Europe began shortly after the religion’s inception, with a short lived invasion of Byzantine Sicily by a small Arab and Berber force that landed in 652. Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe from 711 onward, with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The invaders named their land Al-Andalus, which expanded to include what is now Portugal and Spain except for the northern highlands of Asturias, Basque country, Navarra and few other places protected by mountain chains from southward invasions.

Al-Andalus has been estimated to have had a Muslim majority by the 10th century after most of the local population converted to Islam.[3]:42 This coincided with the La Convivencia period of the Iberian Peninsula as well as the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. Pelayo of Asturias began the Christian counter-offensive known as the Reconquista after the Battle of Covadonga in 722. Slowly, the Christian forces began a conquest of the fractured taifa kingdoms of al-Andalus. By 1236, practically all that remained of Muslim Spain was the southern province of Granada.

In the 8th century, Muslim forces pushed beyond Spain into Aquitaine, in southern France, but suffered a temporary setback when defeated by Eudes, Duke of Aquitaine, at the Battle of Toulouse (721). In 725 Muslim forces captured Autun in France. The town would be the easternmost point of expansion of Umayyad forces into Europe; just seven years later in 732, the Umayyads would be forced to begin their withdrawal to al-Andalus after facing defeat at the Battle of Tours by Frankish King Charles Martel. From 719 to 759, Septimania was one of the five administrative areas of al-Andalus. The last Muslim forces were driven from France in 759, but maintained a presence, especially in Fraxinet all the way into Switzerland until the 10th century.[4] At the same time, Muslim forces managed to capture Sicily and portions of southern Italy, and even sacked Rome in 846 and later sacked Pisa in 1004.

Sicily

Muslim musicians at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, 12th century

Sicily was gradually conquered by the Arabs and Berbers from 827 onward, and the Emirate of Sicily was established in 965. They held onto the region until their expulsion by the Normans in 1072.[5][6]

The local population conquered by the Muslims were Romanized Catholic Sicilians in Western Sicily and partially Greek speaking Christians, mainly in the eastern half of the island, but there were also a significant number of Jews.[7] These conquered people were afforded a limited freedom of religion under the Muslims as dhimmi, but were subject to some restrictions. The dhimmi were also required to pay the jizya, or poll tax, and the kharaj or land tax, but were exempt from the tax that Muslims had to pay (Zakaat). Under Arab rule there were different categories of Jizya payers, but their common denominator was the payment of the Jizya as a mark of subjection to Muslim rule in exchange for protection against foreign and internal aggression. The conquered population could avoid this subservient status simply by converting to Islam. Whether by honest religious conviction or societal compulsion large numbers of native Sicilians converted to Islam. However, even after 100 years of Islamic rule, numerous Greek speaking Christian communities prospered, especially in north-eastern Sicily, as dhimmi. This was largely a result of the Jizya system which allowed co-existence. This co-existence with the conquered population fell apart after the reconquest of Sicily, particularly following the death of King William II of Sicily in 1189.

Cultural impact and Christian interaction

“Araz” coat of arms of Polish Tatar nobility. Tatar coats of arms often included motifs related to Islam.

 
Mosque of Rome, in Rome, the largest in the EU

 
The East London Mosque is the first mosque which was allowed to broadcast the adhan in European Union.

The Christian reconquests the Iberian peninsula and southern Italy helped to reintroduce ideas and concepts lost to the Western World after the fall of Rome in A.D. 476. Arab speaking Christian scholars saved influential pre-Christian texts and this coupled with the introduction of aspects of medieval Islamic culture (including the arts, agriculture, economics, philosophy, science and technology) assisted with fomenting conditions required for a rebirth of European thought and art (Renaissance). (See Latin translations of the 12th century and Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe for more information).

Muslim rule endured in the Emirate of Granada, from 1238 as a vassal state of the Christian Kingdom of Castile, until the completion of La Reconquista in 1492.[3]:41 The Moriscos (Moorish in Spanish) were finally expelled from Spain between 1609 (Castile) and 1614 (rest of Spain), by Philip III during the Spanish Inquisition.

Throughout the 16th to 19th centuries, the Barbary States sent Barbary pirates to raid nearby parts of Europe in order to capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in the Arab World throughout the Renaissance period.[8][9] According to Robert Davis, from the 16th to 19th centuries, pirates captured 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans as slaves. These slaves were captured mainly from the crews of captured vessels[10] and from coastal villages in Spain and Portugal, and from farther places like Italy, France or England, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Azores Islands, and even Iceland.[8]

For a long time, until the early 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East.[11] The Crimean Tatars frequently mounted raids into the Danubian principalities, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia to enslave people whom they could capture.[12]

The Great Mosque of Paris, built after World War I.

The Balkans, Russia and Ukraine

 
Log pod Mangartom Mosque was the only mosque ever built in Slovenia, in the town of Log pod Mangartom, during World War I.

There are accounts of the trade connections between the Muslims and the Rus, apparently people from Baltic region who made their way towards the Black Sea through Central Russia. On his way to Volga Bulgaria, Ibn Fadlan brought detailed reports of the Rus, claiming that some had converted to Islam. “They are very fond of pork and many of them who have assumed the path of Islam miss it very much.” The Rus also relished their nabidh, a fermented drink Ibn Fadlan often mentioned as part of their daily fare.[13]

The Ottoman campaign for territorial expansion in Europe in 1566, Crimean Tatars as vanguard.

The Mongols began their conquest of Rus’, Volga Bulgaria, and the Cuman-Kipchak Confederation (present day Russia and Ukraine) in the 13th century. After the Mongol empire split, the eastern European section became known as the Golden Horde. Despite the fact that they were not Muslim at the time, the western Mongols adopted Islam as their religion in the early 14th century under Berke Khan, and later Uzbeg Khan who established it as the official religion of the state. Much of the mostly Turkic-speaking population of the Horde, as well as the small Mongol aristocracy, were Islamized (if they were not already Muslim, such as the Volga Bulgars) and became known to Russians and Europeans as the Tatars. More than half[14] of the European portion of what is now Russia and Ukraine, were under suzerainty of Muslim Tatars and Turks from the 13th to 15th centuries. The Crimean Khanate became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire in 1475 and subjugated what remained of the Great Horde by 1502. The Khanate of Kazan was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552.

Balkans during the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, awaits the arrival of his Greek Muslim Grand Vizier Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha at Buda, in the year 1529.

 
Medieval Bulgaria particularly the city of Sofia, was the administrative centre of almost all Ottoman possessions in the Balkans also known as Rumelia.[15]

The Ottoman Empire began its expansion into Europe by taking the European portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries up until the 1453 capture of Constantinople, establishing Islam as the state religion in the region. The Ottoman Empire continued to stretch northwards, taking Hungary in the 16th century, and reaching as far north as the Podolia in the mid-17th century (Peace of Buczacz), by which time most of the Balkans was under Ottoman control. Ottoman expansion in Europe ended with their defeat in the Great Turkish War. In the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), the Ottoman Empire lost most of its conquests in Central Europe. The Crimean Khanate was later annexed by Russia in 1783.[16] Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922, when the former empire was transformed into the nation of Turkey.

Between 1354 (when the Ottomans crossed into Europe at Gallipolli) and 1526, the Empire had conquered the territory of present day Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hungary. The Empire laid siege to Vienna in 1683. The intervention of the Polish King broke the siege, and from then afterwards the Ottomans battled the Habsburg Emperors until 1699, when the Treaty of Karlowitz forced them to surrender Hungary and portions of present day Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia. From 1699 to 1913, wars and insurrections pushed the Ottoman Empire further back until it reached the current European border of present-day Turkey.

For most of this period, the Ottoman retreats were accompanied by Muslim refugees from these province (in almost all cases converts from the previous subject populations), leaving few Muslim inhabitants in Hungary, Croatia, and the Transylvania region of present day Romania. Bulgaria remained under Ottoman rule until around 1878, and currently its population includes about 131,000 Muslims (2001 Census) (see Pomaks).

Painting of the bazaar at Athens, Ottoman Greece, early 19th century

Bosnia was conquered by the Ottomans in 1463, and a large portion of the population converted to Islam in the first 200 years of Ottoman domination. By the time Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia in 1878, the Habsburgs had shed the desire to re-Christianize new provinces. As a result, a sizable Muslim population in Bosnia survived into the 20th century. Albania and the Kosovo area remained under Ottoman rule until 1913. Previous to the Ottoman conquest, the northern Albanians were Roman Catholic and the southern Albanians were Christian Orthodox, but by 1913 the majority were Muslim.

Conversion to Islam

Apart from the effect of a lengthy period under Ottoman domination, many of the subject population were converted to Islam as a result of a deliberate move by the Ottomans as part of a policy of ensuring the loyalty of the population against a potential Venetian invasion. However, Islam was spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan through devşirme and jizya.[17][18]

Rather Arnold explains Islam’s spread by quoting 17th-century pro-Muslim[citation needed] author Johannes Scheffler who stated:

Meanwhile he (i.e. the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity… What then has become of the Christians? They are not expelled from the country, neither are they forced to embrace the Turkish faith: then they must of themselves have been converted into Turks.[19]

Cultural influences

Islam piqued interest among European scholars, setting off the movement of Orientalism. The founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe was Ignác Goldziher, who began studying Islam in the late 19th century. For instance, Sir Richard Francis Burton, 19th-century English explorer, scholar, and orientalist, and translator of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, disguised himself as a Pashtun and visited both Medina and Mecca during the Hajj, as described in his book A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah.

Islamic architecture influenced European architecture in various ways (for example, the Türkischer Tempel synagogue in Vienna). During the 12th-century Renaissance in Europe, Latin translations of Arabic texts were introduced. The Koran was also translated (for example, Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete).

Current population and its perception

Muslim-majority areas in Europe

According to the Pew Forum, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2010 was about 44 million (6%),[20] excluding Turkey. The total number of Muslims in the European Union in 2010 was about 19 million (3.8%).[20] Approximately 9 million Turks are living in Europe, excluding the Turkish population of Turkey, which makes up the largest Muslim immigrant community in Europe.[21] However the real number of Muslims in Europe is not well-known. The percentage of Muslims in Russia (the biggest group of Muslims in Europe) varies from 5[22] to 11.7%,[20] depending on sources. It also depends on if only observant Muslims or all people of Muslim descent are counted.[citation needed]

The Mosque of Sultan Mehmet Fatih in Pristina, Kosovo

The Muslim population in Europe is extremely diverse with varied histories and origins. Today, the Muslim-majority regions of Europe are Albania, Kosovo, parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Bulgaria and Macedonia, as well as some Russian regions in Northern Caucasus and the Volga region. The Muslim-dominated Sandžak of Novi Pazar is divided between Serbia and Montenegro. They consist predominantly of indigenous Europeans of the Muslim faith whose religious tradition dates back several hundred years. The transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also are Muslim majority.

The Muslim population in Western Europe is composed primarily of peoples who arrived to the European continent in or after (1945), when France declared itself a country of immigration. Muslim emigration to metropolitan France surged during the Algerian War of Independence. In 1961, West German Government invited first Gastarbeiters. Similar contracts were offered by Switzerland. A 2013 poll by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung says that Islamic fundamentalism is widespread among European Muslims with the majority saying religious rules are more important than civil laws and three quarters rejecting religious pluralism within Islam.[23] The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia reports that the Muslim population tends to suffer Islamophobia all over Europe, although the perceptions and views of Muslims may vary.[24]

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 70% of the people of Albania [25][26][27] are Muslim, 91% in Kosovo, and 30% of them in Macedonia are Muslim. Bosnia has a Muslim plurality. In transcontinental countries such as Turkey 99%, and 93% in Azerbaijan[28] of the population is Muslim respectively. Muslims also form about one sixth of the population of Montenegro. In Russia, Moscow is home to an estimated 1.5 million Muslims.[29][30][31]

Projections

 
According to the Pew Research Center, Europe’s population was 6% Muslim in 2010, and is projected to be 8% Muslim by 2030.[20]

Don Melvin wrote in 2004 that, excluding Russia, Europe’s Muslim population will double by 2020. He also says that almost 85% of Europe’s total population growth in 2005 was due to immigration in general.[30][32] Omer Taspinar predicted in 2001 that the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015, while the non-Muslim will shrink by 3.5%, if the higher Muslim birth rate persists.[33] In the UK, between 2001 and 2009, the Muslim population increased roughly 10 times faster than the rest of the population.[34]

A 2007 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report argued that some Muslim population projections are overestimated.[35] Philip Jenkins of Penn State University estimates that by 2100, Muslims will compose about 25% of Europe’s population. Jenkins states this figure does not take account divergent birthrates amongst Europe’s immigrant Christians.[36] Other analysts are skeptical about the accuracy of the claimed Muslim population growth, stating that because many European countries do not ask a person’s religion on official forms or in censuses, it has been difficult to obtain accurate estimates, and arguing that there has been a decrease in Muslim fertility rates in Morocco, the Netherlands and Turkey.[37] A Pew Research Center study, published in January 2011, forecast an increase of Muslims in European population from 6% in 2010 to 8% in 2030.[20] Pew also found that Muslim fertility rate in Europe would drop from 2.2 in 2010 to 2.0 in 2030. On the other hand, the non-Muslim fertility rate in Europe would increase from 1.5 in 2010 to 1.6 in 2030.[20]

by percentage of country population[1]
  < 1%
  1–2%
  2–4%
  4–5%
  5–10%
  10–20%
  20–30%
Cyprus
  30–40%
Rep. of Macedonia
  40–50%
Bosnia–Herzegovina
  80–90%
Albania
  90–95%
Kosovo
  95–100%

MORE READING: HERE

this pressed from VOA: Tsipras Names Austerity Critic as Greek Finance Chief


https://i2.wp.com/gdb.voanews.com/B5E67C27-2191-46E9-86D0-F8CA46613F52_w640_r1_s_cx0_cy7_cw0.jpg

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras poses for the photographers after taking a secular oath at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Jan. 26, 2015.

Tsipras Names Austerity Critic as Greek Finance Chief

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Anti-austerity Leftists Winning Greek Election

VOA News

January 27, 2015 8:30 AM

An economist who has been an outspoken critic of Greece’s bailout deal with international lenders was named Tuesday as the country’s finance minister in the new leftist government.

Anti-austerity Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras picked Yanis Varoufakis for the key economic portfolio as he named other political supporters to his Cabinet after his Syriza party swept to victory in Sunday’s election.

via Tsipras Names Austerity Critic as Greek Finance Chief.

today’s holiday: Mozart Week (Mozartwoche) (2015)


Mozart Week (Mozartwoche) (2015)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756. Every January since 1956, his birthday has been celebrated by the people of Salzburg, Austria, where he was born, with a music festival devoted entirely to his works. The festival also prides itself on presenting many of his lesser known works, which are seldom performed elsewhere. Concerts are given in a number of sites associated with Mozart’s life, including the Mozarteum Building, St. Peter’s Church, the Salzburg Cathedral, and even Mozart’s home. More… Discuss

Thinking of a tune: Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life


Europe’s “Tuberculosis Capital” May Surprise You


Europe’s “Tuberculosis Capital” May Surprise You

Tuberculosis (TB), the lung disease that was among the most common causes of death before the advent of antibiotics, is still prevalent in England, with London known as Europe’s “TB capital.” In an effort to combat one of the highest TB rates in western Europe—nearly five times that of the US—British health officials launched an 11.5 million pound ($17.4 million) plan this week to increase TB screening and treatment. Among the challenges facing the initiative are the highly contagious nature of TB—which is transmitted simply through coughing and sneezing—and new, drug-resistant strains of the illness. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Sunday, January 18th, 2015: St. Volusian St. Volusian


Farage: Should British taxpayers be paying for child benefit in Warsaw, Mr Tusk?


Farage: Should British taxpayers be paying for child benefit in Warsaw, Mr Tusk?

UKIP Nigel Farage on Fox News – Responding to the Paris attack?


UKIP Nigel Farage on Fox News – Responding to the Paris attack?

people-places-civilizations: Gurkha


Gurkha

The Gurkha are members of a Nepali ethnic group who claim descent from the Rajputs and Brahmins of North India. They entered Nepal from the west after being driven from India and, in the early 16th century, conquered the small state of Gurkha. They then expanded eastward and established their authority over all of Nepal by the mid-18th century, although a subsequent war with the British in India brought a strong British influence to Nepal. What is the name of their famed curved knife? More… Discuss

Today In History: What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

Today in History
January 7

1327   King Edward II of England is deposed.
1558   The French, under the Duke of Guise, finally take the port of Calais from the English.
1785   Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American Dr. John Jeffries make the first crossing of the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon.
1807   Responding to Napoleon Bonaparte’s attempted blockade of the British Isles, the British blockade Continental Europe.
1865   Cheyenne and Sioux warriors attack Julesburg, Colo., in retaliation for the Sand Creek Massacre.
1901   New York stock exchange trading exceeds two million shares for the first time in history.
1902   Imperial Court of China returns to Peking. The Empress Dowager resumes her reign.
1918   The Germans move 75,000 troops from the Eastern Front to the Western Front.
1934   Six thousand pastors in Berlin defy the Nazis insisting that they will not be silenced.
1944   The U.S. Air Force announces the production of the first jet-fighter, Bell P-59 Airacomet.
1945   U.S. air ace Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. is killed in the Pacific.
1952   French forces in Indochina launch Operation Violette in an effort to push Viet Minh forces away from the town of Ba Vi.
1955   Marian Anderson becomes the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House.
1975   Vietnamese troops take Phuoc Binh in new full-scale offensive.
1979   Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge are overthrown when Vietnamese troops seize the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
1980   US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation providing $1.5 billion in loans to salvage Chrysler Corporation.
1985   Vietnam seizes the Khmer National Liberation Front headquarters near the Thai border.
1985   Japan launches its first interplanetary spacecraft, Sakigake, the first deep space probe launched by any nation other than the US or the USSR.
1989   Prince Akihito sworn in as Emperor of Japan, following the death of his father, Hirohito.
1990   Safety concerns over structural problems force the Leaning Tower of Pisa to be closed to the public.
1993   The Bosnian Army carries out a surprise attack on the village of Kravica in Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.
1999   The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton opens in the US Senate.
Born on January 7
1718   Israel Putnam, American Revolutionary War hero.
1745   Etienne Montgolfier, French inventor who, with his brother, launched the first successful hot-air balloon.
1800   Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States.
1845   Louis III, last King of Bavaria.
1911   Butterfly McQueen (Thelma McQueen), actress best known for her role as Scarlett O’Hara’s maid Prissy in Gone with the Wind (1939); won Daytime Emmy portraying Aunt Thelma, a fairy godmother in “The Seven Wishes of Joanna Peabody,” an ABC Afterschool Special.
1912   Charles Addams, cartoonist, creator of the Addams Family.
1922   Jean-Pierre Rampal, flautist.
1930   Jack Greene, country singer, musician; won Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year for “There Goes My Everything” (1967).
1939   Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark.
1948   Kenny Loggins, singer, songwriter; half of Loggins and Messina duo.
1957   Katie Couric, journalist, author; has hosted news and talk shows on all three major TV networks.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.bInOmWCg.dpuf

Special Feature: Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points



Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points
On January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson addressed a hastily convened joint session of Congress, publicly stating the Fourteen Points–his idealistic plan for a world forever free from conflict. Most of Wilson’s Fourteen Points addressed specific European territorial concerns, but he also called for fair and generous treatment of Germany, absolute freedom of the seas, national boundaries determined on the basis of language, and the establishment of a general assembly of nations. When World War I ended in November 1918, Wilson personally attended the peace negotiations, believing that with his guidance, ‘peace without victory’ was possible and a new world order was at hand. What he had not counted on was the bitterness and cynicism of his allies, who had lost much. As the negotiations progressed, more and more of the Fourteen Points were sacrificed to vengeance and a grab for land. The German magazine Simplicissimus remarked on Wilson’s betrayal of his principles in June 1919 with God asking, ‘Woodrow Wilson, where are your 14 Points?’ Wilson responds, ‘Don’t get excited, Lord, we didn’t keep your Ten Commandments either!’ – See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.8Ilgr56s.dpuf

Brahms Piano Concerto No 1 – Barenboim, Celibidache, 1991, great compositions/performances


Brahms Piano Concerto No 1 – Barenboim, Celibidache, 1991

today’s holiday: Carnival of Blacks and Whites (2015)


English: Blacks and Whites Pasto Carnival Play...

English: Blacks and Whites Pasto Carnival Players Français : Joueurs du Carnaval des Blancs et Noirs de Pasto en Colombie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carnival of Blacks and Whites (2015)

The Carnival of Blacks and Whites, held each year in Pasto, Colombia, is one of the oldest Carnival celebrations in South America. The Carnival officially opens on January 4 with a parade commemorating the arrival in Pasto of the Castañeda family, who are presented as a zany group overburdened with luggage, mattresses, and cooking equipment. The following day is the Day of the Blacks. Using special paints and cosmetics, revelers paint themselves and their friends black. Festivities continue on January 6 with the Day of the Whites, in which white paints and cosmetics are used. More… Discuss

environment: Bear, Wolves Thriving in Europe


Brown Bear, the National Animal of Finland

Brown Bear, the National Animal of Finland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bear, Wolves Thriving in Europe

Large predator species, long considered vulnerable, are now rebounding in Europe, according to a new study in the journal Science. Europe has twice the number of gray wolves as the United States, with more than 12,000 of them spread among 28 different countries. Even more widespread is the brown bear, whose population numbers more than 17,000 among 22 different countries. Both animals can be found around 10 major population centers in Europe. The study also highlights thriving populations of Eurasian lynx and wolverines. More… Discuss

Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms


Pope Francis greets pilgrims during the General Audience held Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during the General Audience held Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA

Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms

Credit for this message of Hope and Peace >>  here <<

.- In an address on Sunday to Italy’s National Numerous Family Association, Pope Francis thanked the members of large families for their cultivation of virtues that benefit society at large, as well as themselves.

“The fact of having brothers and sisters is good for you,” he said Dec. 28 to the children among the some 7,000 members of large families from across Italy at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“The sons and daughters of large families are more inclined to fraternal communion from early childhood. In a world that is frequently marred by selfishness, a large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and these attitudes are of benefit to all society.”

The audience was on the occasion of the association’s tenth anniversary, and marked the feast of the Holy Family.

“You have come here with the most beautiful fruits of your love,” he said to the parents of the families. “Maternity and paternity are gifts from God, but your task is to receive this gift, to be amazed by its beauty and to let it shine in society. Each of your children is a unique creation that will never be repeated in the history of humanity. When we understand this, that each person is willed by God, we are astonished by the great miracle that is a child! A child changes your life!”

We have all seen, he reminded them, men and women who have profoundly changed “when a child arrives,” adding that a child is “the unique fruit of love,” coming from and growing in love.

“You, children and young people, are the fruit of the tree that is the family: you are good fruit when the tree has good roots – grandparents – and a good trunk – the parents,” Pope Francis said. “The great human family is like a forest, in which the trees bear solidarity, communion, fidelity, support, security, happy moderation, friendship. The presence of large families is a hope for society.”

This, he said, “is why the presence of grandparents is very important: a valuable presence both in terms of practical assistance, but above all for their contribution to education. Grandparents conserve the values of a people, of a family, and they help parents transmit them to their children. Throughout the last century, in many countries in Europe, it was the grandparents who transmitted the faith.”

“Dear parents, thank you for your example of love for life that you protect from conception to its natural end, in spite of all the difficulties and burdens of life, that unfortunately public institutions do not always help you to bear.”

He lamented that while the Italian constitution calls for particular regard for large families, this is only “words” and is “not adequately reflected in the facts.”

Considering Italy’s low birth rate, he voiced hope that it’s politicians and public administrators would give large families “all due support.”

“Every family is a cell of society, but the large family is a richer, more vital cell, and the state has much to gain by investing in it.”

In light of this, he affirmed the National Numerous Family Association, and groups like it, for advocating for large families in the European nations, and for being “present and visible in society and in politics.”

He concluded by praying in particular “for those families most affected by the economic crisis, those in which the mother or father have lost their jobs and in which the young are unable to find work, and those families in which the closest relationships are marked by suffering and who are tempted to give in to loneliness and separation.”

quotation: You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends. Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)


You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends.Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) Discuss

Europe’s Noise Problem


Europe’s Noise Problem

One in four people in Europe are impacted by dangerously loud traffic noise that contributes to insomnia, heart disease, distraction, and general malaise, according to a new study by the European Environmental Agency. Such noise also has a detrimental effect on the environment, as it drowns out the mating songs of birds. Researchers attribute most of the noise to road traffic, although airplanes and railroads factor in as well. They found that cities in Luxembourg, Bulgaria, and Belgium had the largest percentages of people exposed to high road noise. More… Discuss

FROM FRANCE 24: How a string of ‘isolated’ attacks put France on high alert!


How a string of ‘isolated’ attacks put France on high alert

http://f24.my/13C47bk 

or HERE

Saint of the Day for Monday, December 15th, 2014: St. Mary Di Rosa


Image of St. Mary Di Rosa  St. Mary Di Rosa

Saint Mary (Paula) Di Rosa December 15 The pounding on the barricaded door of the military hospital sent every heart thudding in terror. In the middle of the war in Brescia (Italy) in 1848, the … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

this embed for your enjoyment: The best drone pictures of 2014 — BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld)


this pressed: #Hagupit in tweets and pictures – timeline of a typhoon— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld)


Eastern Christianity From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Eastern Christianity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Africa, India, and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity.

The term is generally used in Western Christianity to describe all Christian traditions that did not develop in Western Europe. As such, the term does not describe any single communion or common religious tradition, and in fact some “Eastern” Churches have more in common historically and theologically with “Western” Christianity than with one another. The various “Eastern” Churches do not normally refer to themselves as “Eastern,” with the exception of the Assyrian Church of the East and its offshoots.

The terms “Eastern” and “Western” in this regard originated with divisions in the Church mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latinate west and the political divide between the weak Western and strong Eastern Roman empires. Because the most powerful Church in the East was what has become known as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the term “Orthodox” is often used in a similarly loose fashion as “Eastern”, although strictly speaking most Churches consider themselves part of an Orthodox and Catholic communion.

Families of churches

 

Countries by number of Orthodox Christians in 2010

  More than 100 million
  More than 20 million
  More than 10 million
  More than 5 million
  More than 1 million

Eastern Christians do not share the same religious traditions, but do share many cultural traditions. Christianity divided itself in the East during its early centuries both within and outside of the Roman Empire in disputes about Christology and fundamental theology, as well as national divisions (Roman, Persian, etc.). It would be many centuries later that Western Christianity fully split from these traditions as its own communion. Today there are four main branches or families of Eastern Christianity, each of which has distinct theology and dogma.

In many Eastern churches, some parish priests administer the sacrament of chrismation to infants after baptism, and priests are allowed to marry before ordination. While all the Eastern Catholic Churches recognize the authority of the Pope, some of them who having originally been part of the Orthodox Church or Oriental Orthodox Church closely follow the traditions of Orthodoxy or Oriental Orthodoxy, including the tradition of allowing married men to become priests.

The Eastern churches’ differences from Western Christianity have as much, if not more, to do with culture, language, and politics, as theology. For the non-Catholic Eastern churches, a definitive date for the commencement of schism cannot usually be given (see East-West Schism). The Church of the East declared independence from the churches of the Roman Empire at its general council in 424, which was before the Council of Ephesus in 431, and so had nothing to do with the theology declared at that Council. Oriental Orthodoxy separated after the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Since the time of the historian Edward Gibbon, the split between the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church has been conveniently dated to 1054,though the reality is more complex. This split is sometimes referred to as the Great Schism, but now more usually referred to as the East-West Schism. This final schism reflected a larger cultural and political division which had developed in Europe and southwest Asia during the Middle Ages and coincided with Western Europe’s re-emergence from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

Eastern Orthodox Church

 

Christ Pantocrator, detail of the Deesis mosaic in Hagia SophiaConstantinople (Istanbul) 12th century

The Orthodox Church is a Christian body whose adherents are largely based in the Middle East (particularly Syria and Iraq), Russia, Greece, Eastern Europe and The Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Ossetia etc), with a growing presence in the western world. Orthodox Christians accept the decisions of the First seven Ecumenical Councils.

Orthodox Christianity identifies itself as the original Christian church (see early centers of Christianity) founded by Christ and the Apostles, and traces its lineage back to the early church through the process of Apostolic Succession and unchanged theology and practice. Distinguishing characteristics of the Orthodox Church (shared with some of the Eastern Catholic Churches) include the Divine Liturgy, the Mysteries or Sacraments, and an emphasis on the preservation of Tradition, which it holds to be Apostolic in nature.

The Orthodox Church is organized into self-governing jurisdictions along geographical, national, ethnic, and/or linguistic lines. Orthodoxy is thus made up of 15 or 16 autocephalous bodies. Smaller churches are autonomous and each have a mother church that is autocephalous.

The Orthodox Church includes the following jurisdictions:

All Orthodox are united in doctrinal agreement with each other, though a few are not in communion at present, for non-doctrinal reasons. This is in contrast to the Roman Catholic Church and its various rites. Members of the latter are all in communion with each other, parts of a top-down hierarchy (see primus inter pares).

The majority of Catholics accept both the Filioque clause and, since 1950, the Assumption of Mary. This puts them in sharp contrast with the Orthodox. Yet some Catholics who are not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church side with the Orthodox here and reject these teachings, putting them in theological disagreement with the others.

It may also be noted that the Church of Rome was once in communion with the Orthodox Church, but the two were split after the East-West Schism and thus it is no longer in communion with the Orthodox Church.

It is estimated that there are approximately 240 million Orthodox Christians in the world.[1] Today, many adherents shun the term “Eastern” as denying the church’s universal character. They refer to Eastern Orthodoxy simply as the Orthodox Church.

Oriental Orthodox Churches

Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian tradition that keep the faith of the first three Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church: the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325), the First Council of Constantinople (381) and the Council of Ephesus (431), while rejecting the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon (451). Hence, these churches are also called Old Oriental Churches.

Oriental Orthodoxy developed in reaction to Chalcedon on the eastern limit of the Byzantine Empire and in Egypt and Syria and Mesopotamia. In those locations, there are also Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs, but the rivalry between the two has largely vanished in the centuries since the schism.

The following Oriental Orthodox churches are autocephalous and in full communion:

The Oriental Orthodox churches which are autocephalous but not in communion with other Oriental Orthodox churches are :

Read more: HERE    HERE

 

Guide Dogs


Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are service dogs that have been specially trained to help the visually impaired safely navigate their environments. The first school for guide dogs was established by the German government after World War I to provide service dogs to blinded veterans. Schools now exist in several European countries and in the US, where the pioneer Seeing Eye, Inc., founded by Dorothy Harrison Eustis in 1929, is one of the best known. What breeds are most frequently trained to be guide dogs? More… Discuss

Netanyahu lashes out at moves to recognize an independent Palestine – CSMonitor.com


news_flash_animated1World Security Watch Terrorism & Security

Netanyahu lashes out at moves to recognize an independent Palestine

csmonitor

Editors’ Picks

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called the European initiatives a ‘big mistake for peace.’ Meanwhile, a bill to codify Israel’s identity as a ‘Jewish state’ is drawing fire.

By Dan Murphy, Staff writer November 26, 2014

Jim Hollander/AP

A daily roundup of terrorism and security issues.

For years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid lip service to the idea of two states for two peoples in the Holy Land. But recently, he and members of his government have been lashing out at recognition of independent Palestine, with one senior diplomat saying that a Palestinian state would be a “terror-ocracy.”

In October, Sweden recognized an independent Palestine, and the European Union postponed a vote on the question yesterday. MPs in the UK, Ireland, and Spain have also voted for recognition of Palestine in the past six weeks, and it appears that the rest of Western Europe is not far behind.

via Netanyahu lashes out at moves to recognize an independent Palestine – CSMonitor.com.

this presses: for your right to know (publicat pentru dreptul de a stii: Ukraine Being Watched by Moldova


The former Soviet Union State of Moldova is holding an election next weekend and will vote to make a decision about if it will continue down the road to European integration, opposing Russia and risking war like Ukraine is. Moldova is being watchful of the happenings between Russia and Ukraine since their former Soviet sibling may show them what to expect by defying the Russian wishes.

Moldova is one of the smallest countries in eastern Europe and one of the poorest. The country, located on the western edge of what use to be the Soviet Union, has made large strides towards integration into the West and separating themselves from the Russian way more than any other ex-Soviet states.

The parliamentary election will take place on November 30 and as it gets closer, polls showing the opinion of Moldova’s citizens appear divided on if they should remain loyal to Russia or continue moving towards inclusion with the European Union (EU) nations. The decision is not a simple one, and one that has already hurt the country and its people.

Moving towards inclusion in the EU, the three-party group that comprises the Alliance for European Integration that formed in 2009 has earned the landlocked country a ban on imports of wines, meats and vegetables from Russia. This has affected the 3.5 million people living in Moldova, which is bordered by Romania, a member of the EU, and Ukraine.

via Ukraine Being Watched by Moldova

Google translator (Romanian)

Fostul stat sovietic a Moldovei organizează alegeri viitor week-end și va vota pentru a face o decizie cu privire la cazul în care va continua pe drumul spre integrarea europeană, opunându-Rusia și riscul de război ca Ucraina este. Moldova fiind atentă a ce se intampla dintre Rusia și Ucraina de la fostul lor frate sovietic putea arăta ce să se aștepte de sfidarea dorințele rusești.

Moldova este una dintre cele mai mici țări din Europa de Est și unul dintre cele mai sărace. Țara, situat la marginea de vest a ceea ce folosesc pentru a fi Uniunea Sovietică, a făcut pași mari către integrarea în Occident și se separă de modul rus mai mult decât orice alte state ex-sovietice.

Alegerile parlamentare vor avea loc la 30 noiembrie și cum se apropie, sondajele arată opinia cetățenilor Republicii Moldova par împărțite asupra în cazul în care ar trebui să rămână loiali Rusia sau de a continua deplasarea spre includere cu Uniunea Europeană (UE) națiuni. Decizia nu este una simplă, și una care a rănit deja țara și oamenii ei.

Mutarea spre includere în UE, grupul trei partide care cuprinde Alianța pentru Integrare Europeană, care a format în 2009, a câștigat țara fără ieșire la mare o interdicție asupra importurilor de vinuri, carne și legume din Rusia. Acest lucru a afectat 3,5 milioane de oameni care trăiesc în Republica Moldova, care este marginita de România, membră a Uniunii Europene, și Ucraina.
prin Ucraina Fiind urmarit de Republica Moldova.

Ethics, Environmental, Health: IS YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW ENOUGH? Effects of Feeding GMO Potatoes To Rats (Pt. 1)


Effects of Feeding GMO Potatoes To Rats (Pt. 1)

Imported Pets Probably Brought Flesh-Eating Fungus to Europe


Imported Pets Probably Brought Flesh-Eating Fungus to Europe

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has turned public attention to the threat of disease transmission across borders and oceans, but people are not the only ones at risk in this age of international travel. Europe’s newts and salamanders are in danger of being wiped out by a flesh-eating fungus likely brought to the continent by pet amphibians imported from Asia. Asian salamanders are capable of carrying Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans without suffering serious illness, but the fungus is lethal to most European species and has already devastated the Netherlands‘ fire salamander population. More… Discuss

Chocolate


Chocolate

Chocolate is prepared in a complex process from ground, roasted cacao beans. The Maya had a chocolate beverage perhaps as early as 900 BCE, and the Aztecs prized the cacao tree. In the 16th century, Montezuma II served Hernán Cortés a cacao-bean drink called xocoatl—”bitter water”—that Cortés then introduced to Europe. It became a fashionable drink there, and chocolate shops thrived, becoming centers of political discussion. When did London’s first chocolate shop open? More… Discuss

Farage: The Last European Commission that Governs Britain |europarl


Farage: The Last European Commission that Governs Britain

today’s birthday: Pelé (1940)


Pelé (1940)

In 1999, Brazilian footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. Over the course of his 21-year career from 1956 to 1977, he scored 1,281 goals, captured every scoring record in Brazil, and led his national team to three World Cup victories. After his superb first World Cup appearance in 1958, Brazilian officials feared that their star player might be poached by a European club and did what prevent this? More… Discuss

FOCUS – ‘These are children, not terrorists,’ say Belgian parents of Syria jihadists – France 24


to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

FOCUS

FOCUS

Syria

jihad

Belgium

Latest update : 2014-01-31

‘These are children, not terrorists,’ say Belgian parents of Syria jihadists

inShare1

This week, two French teenagers were arrested trying to reach Syria to join fighting against President Bashar al-Assad. Three men from Paris went on trial on Thursday on similar charges. Now Belgian parents tell France 24 about losing their children to jihad.

It is a situation not unique to France. Young people from all across Europe have travelled to Syria to join the ‘Holy War’ against Assad, often leaving without warning, their parents unaware to their sons’ and daughters’ plans to become soldiers in a foreign land.

In Belgium, an estimated 300 citizens have left their country for the Syrian battlegrounds. Many parents believe their children, young and impressionable, have been manipulated into taking up the jihadist cause.

Gathered in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, a group of mothers with children in Syria have staged a protest to press the authorities into tackling the problem.

They are making a stand against what they claim is a lack of action by the authorities.

“We’re the parents of jihad fighters, of terrorists. People are afraid of them, of us. But we’re not the ones who’ve sent our children over there,” says Veronique, one of several protesters wearing masks they say symbolise “misunderstanding”.

“Our children were tricked into this,” says another. “They didn’t go to Syria of their own free will. I mean: it’s not normal, that a kid who had no problems finds himself over there, that’s not normal. These are children, Belgian children… They’re not terrorists!”

via FOCUS – ‘These are children, not terrorists,’ say Belgian parents of Syria jihadists – France 24.

this pressed for your right to know: Where Do the World’s Wealthiest People Live? – Real Time Economics – WSJ


Of course, the U.S. has a lot of wealthy people because it’s a big country. But the analysis suggests that the U.S. is punching above its weight, even after accounting for population. Total wealth per adult increased by $340,340 in North America, or an increase of 10.2% from the prior year. Total wealth per adult grew by nearly $146,000 in Europe, an increase of 10.4%.

By contrast, wealth per adult grew just 2.3% in China and it fell 1.9% in Latin America and 3.1% in India.

via Where Do the World’s Wealthiest People Live? – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

Cave Paintings Redraw History of Human Art


Cave Paintings Redraw History of Human Art

Experts are rethinking the theory of the origins of human artistic activity after cave paintings on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi were dated to 40,000 years ago. Until now, it had been thought that cave art emerged in Western Europe about 40,000 years ago, but it would seem that it in fact emerged simultaneously in various regions of the globe. The paintings in question contain stencils of human hands and naturalistic depictions of animals. More… Discuss

New widget at Euzicasa: Judicial Watch (Because no one is above the law!): look it up on the Primary Widget Area: Enjoy


Judicial Watch: Access here

Judicial Watch: Access here!

this pressed-for your right to information: Flash – EU anti-trust chief slams ‘irrational’ views towards Google – France 24


AFP

Google is the most widely used search engine with a market share of over 90% in most European countries, according to preliminary findings by the European Commission

Google is the most widely used search engine with a market share of over 90% in most European countries, according to preliminary findings by the European Commission

The EU’s top anti-trust official sharply criticized the “irrational” response by European politicians to the Brussels investigation of search engine giant Google, a report said on Thursday.

“Google has provoked a lot of emotions and in some cases … some kind of irrational emotions,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told the Wall Street Journal.

Critics of Google see “this leviathan that will eliminate all our freedoms, all our privacy, all our rights and I think it isn’t logical,” he said.

Google is being investigated by the European Commission in response to complaints that its search engine, the world’s biggest, was squeezing out competitors in Europe.

Google and Almunia have made three attempts to resolve the dispute, but in each case intense pressure by national governments, Internet rivals and privacy advocates scuppered the effort.

Almunia, who steps down at the end of the month, told the newspaper he regretted the investigation had been muddied by politics.

via Flash – EU anti-trust chief slams ‘irrational’ views towards Google – France 24.

euzicasa: Is Google the ultimate “STEP ASIDE I’M COMMING THROUGH” AMBITIOUS CORPORATION?

this day in the yesteryear: Churchill Proposes Creation of Council of Europe (1946)


Churchill Proposes Creation of Council of Europe (1946)

After World War II, a strong revulsion to national rivalries developed in Europe. Speaking at the University of Zurich on September 19, 1946, Winston Churchill urged European states to establish a “United States of Europe,” and his speech helped spur the creation of the Council of Europe in 1949. The Council works to promote unity between its members, defend human rights, and increase social and economic progress. Today, it has 47 member nations. Which European states have not joined? More… Discuss