Tag Archives: Russia

Skylab Is Launched (1973)


Skylab Is Launched (1973)

Launched into orbit in 1973, Skylab was the first US space station. It carried a laboratory for studying the human body’s adaptation to weightlessness and a powerful solar telescope. Three successive astronaut crews conducted research aboard Skylab for a total of 171 days in 1973–74. Though Skylab was intended to be reused, increased solar activity caused its orbit to degrade faster than expected. In 1979, the 75-tonne station reentered Earth’s atmosphere and broke up. Where did the debris land? More… Discuss

Merkava


Merkava

The Merkava series of main battle tanks is developed and manufactured by Israel Military Industries, Ltd for the Israel Defense Forces. It is designed to ensure crew survival, battle perseverance, and quick revival in case of bad damage, though it is still is vulnerable to remotely operated land mines. The heavily shielded engine is placed at the front of the tank, while the crew is able to escape through doors at the rear. When and why did Israel decide to develop the Merkava? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Soviet Union Lifts Blockade of Berlin (1949)


Soviet Union Lifts Blockade of Berlin (1949)

One of the first major crises of the Cold War, the Berlin blockade began in June 1948 during the multinational occupation of post-WWII Germany. In an attempt to force its former wartime allies—the US, the UK, and France—out of Berlin, the USSR began a blockade of all rail, road, and water traffic through East Germany to West Berlin. Rather than withdraw, the Western powers bypassed the blockade by airlifting thousands of tons of supplies into the city each day. What was Operation Little Vittles? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Victory Day (1945)


Victory Day (1945)

Still celebrated in most of the Soviet successor states, Victory Day marks Nazi Germany‘s capitulation to the USSR in WWII. Signed on the evening of May 8, 1945—May 9 in Moscow’s time zone—the surrender followed Germany’s initial capitulation to the Allies. When the first surrender document was being signed, only one Soviet representative was present, and he had no instructions from Moscow nor any means of immediate contact with Soviet leaders. Was he punished or lauded for deciding to sign it? More… Discuss

Pope Francis and the drink of Peace: Yerba Mate | Look South


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Ucranian immigrants cropping yerba mate in Tre...

Ucranian immigrants cropping yerba mate in Tres Capones, Misiones, Argentina. House of V. Hnatiuk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plantation in Misiones, Argentina.

Plantation in Misiones, Argentina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis and the drink of Peace: Yerba Mate

 

June 21, 2013 · by Look South · in Argentina, South America, Tourism, Tours, Travel. ·

 

In the midst of political, religious, national, economic or personal problems, there is one thing that unites all Argentines: Mate.

Mate (pronounced máh-teh) despite what many people may say, is NOT in fact a herbal green tea although it is similar to one. Mate is a tea-like drink made from a green-colored jerboa (herb) that is a lot more robust than tea. For Argentines, mate is the very heart of life and is part of their tradition. It is drunk by the old and young, rich and poor, Peronists and Radicals, parents and children, during winter and summer

After years of conflict, Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner greeted the new Pope Francis with a beautiful mate set – el “mate de la paz” – after which the pope asked her to stay for lunch with “unos mates” to follow”. Rocco Palmo noted on the occasion that: “A longstanding Vatican protocol forbids the Pope being seen consuming anything but the Eucharist”, but this did not stop him being photographed enjoying the drink.

via Pope Francis and the drink of Peace: Yerba Mate | Look South.

 

 

today’s picture: Nicholas II, Czar of Russia


Nicholas II, Czar of Russia, was forced to sign a document of abdication on March 16, 1917, after being brought down by political unrest and widespread starvation stemming from Russia’s staggering losses in WWI. The czar, his wife Alexandra, their four daughters and son Alexis, heir to the throne, were held prisoner by the Bolsheviks for several months at Tsarskoye Selo palace near Petrograd. This photograph shows Nicholas II under guard in the park at Tsarskoye Selo. In August 1917, the family was transported to distant Siberia to prevent any attempt to restore them to the throne. In July 1918, the entire royal family was executed by local Bolsheviks.

Photo: Library of Congress

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Russia : Documentary on How the Russian Empire was Built from Novgorod to Moscow


Russia : Documentary on How the Russian Empire was Built

Most Facebook content censored 1 India 2 Turkey 3 Pakistan 4 Germany 5 Russia — Conrad Hackett


quotation: Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) Discuss

Just a thought: “AUSTERITY is the direct result of cannibalistic banking (lender’s) schemes.”


Just a thought: “AUSTERITY is the direct result of cannibalistic Banking (Lender’s) schemes.”

-George-B.


Copyright © 2015 [George-B]. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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

Tchaikovsky – Andante Cantabile for Cello and String Orchestra


Tchaikovsky – Andante Cantabile in B major,  for Cello and String Orchestra

NASA: Commercial Space Flights Will Save Millions


NASA: Commercial Space Flights Will Save Millions

Contracting private space flight companies Boeing and SpaceX to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) will save NASA $12 million per person per flight, the US space agency announced last week. Since retiring its space shuttles in 2011, NASA has relied on the Russian space agency Roscosmos to transport US astronauts to the ISS at a cost of $70 million a head. The need for that taxi service could end as early as 2017, however, with the private flights estimated to cost $58 million per person. More… Discuss

Christoph Gluck: Iphigénie en Aulide, Wq. 40: VIII. Gavotte in A Major


Iphigénie en Aulide, Wq. 40: VIII. Gavotte in A Major

Scenes de Ballet for Orchestra in A Major, Op. 52, VII Valse, VIII Polonaise , great compositions/performances


Scenes de Ballet for Orchestra in A Major, Op. 52, VII Valse, VIII Polonaise

picture of the day: Gulf War Patriot Missiles Intercept Iraqi Scuds (Image: Raytheon Company)



Gulf War Patriot Missiles Intercept Iraqi Scuds

On January 17, 1991, the first Iraqi Scud missile attacks on Israel were launched. There were reports of death and injury, and possibly even chemical weapons being used. For a few tense hours, it looked as though Israel would retaliate against Iraq, causing the allied coalition to break up. Six months of preparation and diplomacy might be undone by a few poorly aimed, 1950s-vintage ballistic missiles. Later that evening, U.S. Patriot surface-to-air missiles were launched against the incoming Scuds, and for the first time in history, a ballistic missile was shot down by another missile. The use of Patriot missiles in Israel’s defense helped to keep that country out of the Gulf War, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the American-European-Arab coalition.

Image: Raytheon Company

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this pressed for your information: Obama and Cameron warn Congress over Iran sanctions vote | US news | The Guardian


barack obama david cameron

President Barack Obama, right, and the British prime minister, David Cameron, presented a united front about Iran in their White House press conference on Friday. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Barack Obama and David Cameron have warned of possible military confrontation with Iran if Congress succeeds in passing new sanctions legislation rather than giving nuclear non-proliferation talks more time.

In a joint press conference characterised by unusually blunt pressure on US lawmakers, the president said he would veto their proposed legislation if it reached his desk. The British prime minister revealed he was making personal calls to senators during his visit to Washington to dissuade them from passing the bill in the first place.

via Obama and Cameron warn Congress over Iran sanctions vote | US news | The Guardian.

this day in the yesteryear: Ivan the Terrible Crowned Tsar of Russia (1547)


Ivan the Terrible Crowned Tsar of Russia (1547)

Following his parents’ deaths, Ivan IV became the first ruler of Russia to assume the title “czar” and to pursue a czarist autocracy by limiting the power of the Russian nobility. He also expanded Russian influence by conquering Kazan and Astrakhan, acquiring Siberia, and seeking better access to the Baltic Sea. A serious illness and the death of his wife, however, caused Ivan to become increasingly tyrannical and volatile. Why did Ivan murder his son—and only viable heir—in 1581? More… Discuss

Melodie for cello and orchestra Op.20 No.1 by Alexander Glazunov


Melodie for cello and orchestra Op.20 No.1 by Alexander Glazunov

this day in the yesteryear: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Formed (1922)


Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Formed (1922)

Traditionally considered the successor state of the Russian Empire, the USSR was established in 1922 and unified the Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Transcaucasian Soviet republics under one government. The largest country in the world, the USSR occupied a seventh of the land surface on Earth. It became a superpower that rivaled the US in domination of global affairs until its collapse and dissolution in 1991. In what year were diplomatic relations between the US and USSR first established? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Helmut Schmidt (1918)


Helmut Schmidt (1918)

Schmidt is a German Social Democratic statesman who was the chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982. His administration was characterized by a tough approach to the worldwide economic recession of the era. He was committed to improving relations with East Germany and the USSR, and he succeeded in cultivating ties with France, encouraging economic cooperation among western European nations, and maintaining close relations with the US. Why was he the subject of a police inquiry in 2008? More… Discuss

this pressed: BP in Russia: The Nightmare Continues – Bloomberg


BP Plc (BP/) Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley has endured many scrapes in Russia during the past decade.

In 2008, when he was CEO of TNK-BP, a joint venture between the British oil major and a group of Russian billionaires, Dudley faced a stream of lawsuits and tax probes: administrative bullying, Russian style. He couldn’t even get his work visa renewed.

In July of that year, he fled Moscow, saying in a bitter statement that he’d suffered “sustained harassment” by Russian authorities and his partners. He told the U.S. ambassador at the time that he thought then–Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin was behind the attacks, according to a U.S. embassy cable released by WikiLeaks.

Now, Dudley’s fate hinges on Sechin once again as he watches BP’s $16 billion Russia bet get mauled by plunging oil prices and Ukraine-related sanctions, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its February issue. BP is the biggest foreign investor in Russia through its 20 percent stake in OAO Rosneft (ROSN), the state-controlled oil giant led by Sechin.

The U.S. and the European Union have locked Rosneft out of capital markets in response to Russian intervention in Ukraine. Washington has gone a step further and blacklisted Sechin, banning him, for example, from traveling to the U.S. Dudley now sits on the board of Rosneft with a man the U.S. government has deemed a pariah.

via

BP in Russia: The Nightmare Continues – Bloomberg.

Rimsky Korsakov – Dance Of The Tumblers -: make music pat of your life series


Rimsky Korsakov – Dance Of The Tumblers –

check this sad story: Follow the story “Three Ukraine soldiers dead in first casualties since ceasefire”|via France 24


this pressed: Ukraine, Russia and the ceasefire that never was|By Fergal Keane BBC News, eastern Ukraine via BBC News-on Twitter


“Ukraine, Russia and the ceasefire that never was

But It Is a Teorethical Hope-via BBC

“But It Is a Theoretical Hope-via BBC”

this pressed: Putin in Turkey Amid Syria Differences (Him and Pope Francis!)


Putin in Turkey Amid Syria Differences

Putin will be welcomed at Erdogan‘s new mega-palace that has drawn the ire of Turkish opposition parties, environmentalists and activists who say the 1,000-room complex is too costly and extravagant and went ahead despite a court ruling. Putin is the second foreign dignitary to receive an official welcome at the palace, after Pope Francis who visited on Friday.

01/12/2014 13:21 by: ABC News: Top

via Putin in Turkey Amid Syria Differences.

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.

36 Million Slaves Worldwide


36 Million Slaves Worldwide

Slavery may seem like a relic of the past, but in fact 0.5 percent of the world’s population—36 million people—are currently enslaved. The survey, by anti-slavery group Walk Free, identifies as slaves those subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, trafficking, sexual exploitation for money, and forced or servile marriage. India hosts the greatest number of slaves of any country, with 14 million, followed by China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and then Russia. Mauritania, meanwhile, has the ignominious distinction of having the highest percentage of slaves, at 4 percent of its population. More… Discuss

this pressed: Tiny Baltic States Prepare to Hit Back at Mighty Russia


RTR4BK9D

A jet fighter from the Su-30 SM “Sokoly Rossii” (Falcons of Russia) aerobatic team performs during a show in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, October 25, 2014. Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

Earlier this month, a Russian warship entered Latvia’s exclusive economic zone, some nine nautical miles from the country’s territorial waters. Considering that Russian warships have already approached Latvian waters some 50 times this year, according to figures from Latvia’s Ministry of Defence, it was not an altogether unsurprising visit. Russian military planes, meanwhile, have come close to Latvian airspace some 200 times this year. Latvia’s defence minister Raimonds Vejonis tells Newsweek at his office in Riga, that his country is prepared should its mighty neighbour to the east decide to invade: “We have special plans of action. Working with the Ministry of Interior, we conduct exercises to train our troops and policemen for different scenarios. But of course we need more co-operation with our neighbours and our Nato allies as well.”

via Tiny Baltic States Prepare to Hit Back at Mighty Russia.

this pressed for your right to know: The broken-down beauty of Eastern Ukraine, 25 years after the end of the USSR | Where do We go from Here?


Before there was a raging civil war that devastated the region’s infrastructure and polarized its population, the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine was an economically depressed area, far removed from the authority of the central government in Kiev.

Historically, Donbass—known officially as the Donets Basin, which encompasses the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts—was the center of Soviet industrialism, a region that symbolized the power of Soviet might where towns and cities sprung up alongside coal mines and factories. Following the USSR’s collapse, however, much of the region lay in ruins.

The AllFall- Donbass Romanticism

The AllFall- Donbass Romanticism

That’s the theme behind the series, “Donbass Romanticism,” by Moldovan-born photojournalist Misha Friedman, who photographed the region in 2010 and 2011 while living in Kiev. Friedman set out to depict the ruined, crumbling infrastructure as a symbol of government neglect and the collapse of Soviet ideals.

via The broken-down beauty of Eastern Ukraine, 25 years after the end of the USSR | Where do We go from Here?.

Russia says Ukraine monitors biased


Russia says Ukraine monitors biased http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30056604

Prokofiev “War” Sonata #7 Valentina Lisitsa 1st mov. Allegro Inquieto: Great compositions/performaces


Prokofiev “War” Sonata #7 Valentina Lisitsa 1st mov. Allegro Inquieto

today’s birthday: Bernie Ecclestone (1930)


Bernie Ecclestone (1930)

Ecclestone is a controversial British business magnate and one of the most powerful people in the world of Formula One (F1) racing. Briefly a racer, he gave up the sport after several accidents but later returned as a manager and team owner. In the 1970s, he secured his position in the F1 organization by negotiating TV broadcasting rights, vastly increasing the sport’s popularity. In 2004, the billionaire’s home became the most expensive ever sold when a steel magnate bought it for how much? More… Discuss

None but the Lonely Heart – Pyotr Tchaikovsky, make music part of your life series


None but the Lonely Heart – Pyotr Tchaikovsky

George Balanchine


George Balanchine

Balanchine was one of the 20th century’s foremost choreographers. His stark ballets emphasized “pure” dance and formed a bridge between classical and modern ballet. Born in Russia, he moved to the US in 1933 and became director of ballet for the Metropolitan Opera House and co-founder of the School of American Ballet. He later helped found the company that would become the New York City Ballet and was named its artistic director and principal choreographer. What disease ended Balanchine’s life? More… Discuss

this pressed-for the record: Flash – Ukraine president replaces Donetsk governor with hardline general – France 24


AFP

A woman walks past grafitti reading

A woman walks past grafitti reading “Donetsk will be free”, and bearing a Russian flag in Donetsk on October 10, 2014

A woman walks past grafitti reading “Donetsk will be free”, and bearing a Russian flag in Donetsk on October 10, 2014

Ukraine’s president on Friday fired a millionaire businessman who failed to stop the advance of pro-Russian rebels while governor of war-torn Donetsk and replaced him with a hardline nationalist general.

via Flash – Ukraine president replaces Donetsk governor with hardline general – France 24.

this day in the yesteryear: Boris Yeltsin Orders Tanks to Storm Russian Parliament (1993)


Boris Yeltsin Orders Tanks to Storm Russian Parliament (1993)

As president of an independent Russia, Boris Yeltsin sought to end state control of the economy but clashed with parliament, which was controlled by former Communists. When Yeltsin suspended the parliament, it retaliated by naming Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi as acting president, and anti-Yeltsin forces barricaded themselves inside the parliament building. The military interceded on Yeltsin’s side and, after a bloody battle, troops recaptured the parliament building. What was the death toll? More… Discuss

Svetlanov conducts Tchaikovsky – Capriccio italien, Op. 45: great compositions/performances


Svetlanov conducts Tchaikovsky – Capriccio italien, Op. 45

today’s birthday: Ivan Pavlov (1849) Russian physiologist and Nobel laureate Ivan Pavlov is chiefly known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex, a reflex developed gradually by training in association with a specific repeated external stimulus. In the 1890s, he was investigating the gastric function of dogs when he noticed that the animals began salivating at the mere sound of the bell that preceded their feedings. He made this phenomenon the focus of his research. What other experimental subjects did he use in his research? More… Discuss


Ivan Pavlov (1849)

Russian physiologist and Nobel laureate Ivan Pavlov is chiefly known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex, a reflex developed gradually by training in association with a specific repeated external stimulus. In the 1890s, he was investigating the gastric function of dogs when he noticed that the animals began salivating at the mere sound of the bell that preceded their feedings. He made this phenomenon the focus of his research. What other experimental subjects did he use in his research? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Treaty of Fredrikshamn Signed (1809)


Treaty of Fredrikshamn Signed (1809)

In the 17th century, Sweden was a major European power and controlled most of the Baltic coast. However, its expansion in the Baltic Sea coastlands antagonized Russia, Denmark-Norway, and Saxony-Poland, which formed an anti-Swedish coalition. The resultant Great Northern War cost Sweden much of its territory and marked the emergence of Russia as a major power. After Russia and Sweden clashed again in the 19th century, the 1809 Treaty of Fredrikshamn forced Sweden to cede all of what country? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov (1745)


Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov (1745)

Kutuzov was a Russian field marshal who commanded the Russian army during major engagements with Napoleon between 1805 and 1812, including the battles of Austerlitz and Borodino. Though his forces suffered great losses in both of these engagements, Kutuzov nevertheless managed to rout the French, forcing them to leave along the path they had devastated when they entered the country. For Napoleon, this was the beginning of the end. In what epic novel does Kutuzov appear as a major character? 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.

September 14
1146   Zangi of the Near East is murdered. The Sultan Nur ad-Din, his son, pursues the conquest of Edessa.
1321   Dante Alighieri dies of malaria just hours after finishing writing Paradiso.
1544   Henry VIII’s forces take Boulogne, France.
1773   Russian forces under Aleksandr Suvorov successfully storm a Turkish fort at Hirsov, Turkey.
1791   Louis XVI swears his allegiance to the French constitution.
1812   Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia reaches its climax as his Grande Armee enters Moscow–only to find the enemy capital deserted and burning, set afire by the few Russians who remained.
1814   Francis Scott Key writes the words to the “Star Spangled Banner” as he waits aboard a British launch in the Chesapeake Bay for the outcome of the British assault on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
1847   U.S. forces under Gen. Winfield Scott capture Mexico City, virtually bringing the two-year Mexican War to a close.
1853   The Allies land at Eupatoria on the west coast of Crimea.
1862   At the battles of South Mountain and Crampton’s Gap, Maryland Union troops smash into the Confederates as they close in on what will become the Antietam battleground.
1901   Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as the 26th President of the United States upon the death of William McKinley, who was shot eight days earlier.
1911   Russian Premier Piotr Stolypin is mortally wounded in an assassination attempt at the Kiev opera house.
1943   German troops abandon the Salerno front in Italy..
1960   Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia form OPEC.
1966   Operation Attleboro, designed as a training exercise for American troops, becomes a month-long struggle against the Viet Cong.
1975   Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton becomes the first native-born American saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
1979   Nur Muhammad Taraki, president and former prime minister of Afghanistan, is assassinated in a coup in which prime minister Hafizullah Amin seizes power.
1982   Bachir Gemayel, president-elect of Lebanon, is killed along with 26 others in a bomb blast in Beirut.
1984   Joe Kittinger, a former USAF fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, becomes the first person to pilot a gas balloon solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
1994   Major League Baseball players strike over a salary cap and other proposed changes, forcing the cancellation of the entire postseason and the World Series.
2007   Northern Rock Bank suffers the UK’s first bank run in 150 years.
Born on September 14
1769   Baron Freidrich von Humbolt, German naturalist and explorer who made the first isothermic and isobaric maps.
1849   Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist who studied dogs’ responsiveness.
1860   Hamlin Garland, author who wrote about the Midwest in novles such as A Son of the Middle Border and The Book of the American Indian.
1864   Lord Robert Cecil, one of the founders of the League of Nations and its president from 1923 to 1945.
1867   Charles Dana Gibson, illustrator, creator of the ‘Gibson Girl.’
1879   Margaret Sanger, birth-control advocate and founder of Planned Parenthood.
1898   Hal B. Wallis, film producer (The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca).
1921   Constance Baker Motley, first African-American woman to be appointed a federal judge.
1930   Allan Bloom, writer (The Closing of the American Mind).
1934   Kate Millet, feminist writer, author of Sexual Politics.
1936   Ferid Murad, Albanian-American physician and pharmacologist, is co-winner of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on nitroglycerin’s effects the cardiovascular system.
1948   Marc Reisner, author and environmentalist best known for his book Cadillac Desert, a history of water management in the Western portion of the US.
1955   Geraldine Brooks, Australian-American journalist and author; her novel March won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2005).
1961   Wendy Thomas (Melinda “Wendy” Thomas Morse), namesake, mascot and spokesperson for the Wendy’s chain of fast-food restaurants.
1983   Amy Winehouse, singer-songwriter; her five Grammy wins (out of six nominations) for her Back to Black album (2006) tied the existing record for most wins by a female artist in a single night; won Brit Award for Best British Female Artist (2007).

 

this pressed: Moscow will review its military strategy in face of NATO plan for rapid-reaction force – The Washington Post


Moscow will review its military strategy in face of NATO plan for rapid-reaction force –

The Washington Post.

this pressed: Ukraine: Nato hält Niederlage für Kiew für sicher – SPIEGEL ONLINE (Analysis of the military situation: NATO sees Ukraine as already loser)



Ukraine: Prorussische Separatisten auf dem Vormarsch

Ukraine: Nato hält Niederlage für Kiew für sicher – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

(Analysis of the military situation: NATO sees Ukraine as already loser)

Excerpts from article:  “Kiev / Moscow NATO has changed its military assessment of the situation in eastern Ukraine fundamentally. A week ago, the strategists of the Alliance assumed that Russia has strengthened the separatists with covert troops only because the pro-Russian rebels had to retreat under pressure of the Ukrainian army.

When the generals of the alliance but then late last week to a crisis meeting on the situation of the army of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko came together, they painted a grim picture. Militarily, the conflict for Kiev is already lost,” stated a senior NATO general. Poroshenko, the judgment, were really only talks to withdraw his men alive from the pliers of the Russians“.

The location descriptions behind closed doors were far more dramatic than the few images that NATO published mid-week. On large maps were marked with thick arrows Russian units, which now from the north, the west and the south on the border of eastern Ukraine are at least 20 Battalions  with a minimum of 500 men and heavy guns are the scouts of NATO.”
(translation from German to English with the aid of Google Translate online service)

quotation: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “One can know a man from his laugh…”


One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Discuss


NATO Says Russian Troops in Ukraine

NATO says more than 1,000 Russian troops are now operating inside Ukraine and released satellite images purporting to show Russian combat forces and heavy weapons engaging in military activity within Ukraine to support its claims. It also asserts that Russia has transferred large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks, and armored personnel carriers to Ukrainian separatists in the east of the country. The Kremlin, meanwhile, denies these accusations. The UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis. More… Discuss

this pressed watch video here: Ukraine detains Russian paratroopers; U.S. ambassador warns of ‘counteroffensive’ – The Washington Post (“davai ceas, davai palton”…) the never ending story


Ukraine detains Russian paratroopers; U.S. ambassador warns of ‘counteroffensive’ – The Washington Post.

this pressed from CNet: Edward Snowden a ‘uniquely postmodern breed of whistle-blower’ – CNET


Edward Snowden a ‘uniquely postmodern breed of whistle-blower’ – CNET.

More Mystery Holes Appear in Siberia


More Mystery Holes Appear in Siberia

Two more mysterious craters have cropped up—or, perhaps more accurately, down—in an isolated region of Siberia north of the Arctic Circle. Earlier this month, the first such crater, nicknamed the “Yamal black hole” for its location on the Yamal peninsula, was discovered in the region. The area is rich in natural gas, leading to speculation that the holes are the result of underground gas explosions. However, this is not the only theory. Meteorites, stray missiles, and even aliens have all been cited as potential causes for the mysterious craters. More… Discuss