News: M800 Royal Gold Raden        
The release of a new Raden model to follow-up on last year’s Sunrise has been expected but specific details have been lacking.  That changed this evening when De Roos gave us a glimpse of a new Raden model from Pelikan via their Instagram page.  De Roos is a fountain pen retailer based in Heemstede, Netherlands and has […]
          '..to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 (no replies)        
'..The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.'

- Chloe Farand, France will 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040', July 6, 2017


'..Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.'

'Britain will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of a bid to clean up the country's air.

The decision to phase out the internal combustion engine heralds a new era of low-emission technologies with major implications for the auto industry, society and the environment.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars," U.K. environment secretary Michael Gove told the BBC on Wednesday. "There is no alternative to embracing new technology."

Gove said the government's air quality plan, which is set to be officially announced later on Wednesday, was needed because gasoline and diesel engines contribute to health problems, "accelerate climate change, do damage to the planet and the next generation."

Roughly 40,000 deaths in Britain each year are attributable to outdoor air pollution, according to a study published last year by the Royal College of Physicians. Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.

The timeline for ending sales of internal combustion engines mirrors one proposed in early July by France. President Emmanuel Macron has given the auto industry the same deadline to make the switch to cleaner tech.

"We are quite rightly in a position of global leadership when it comes to shaping new technology," Gove said.

- Charles Riley, Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040, July 26, 2017


Context

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

(Global) - '..a revolutionary shift to net zero emissions by 2080..'


'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

'..to develop a series of electric and hybrid aircraft..'


The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.'

          '..Angela Merkel .. calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.' (no replies)        
'Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

'European leaders have told Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid inflammatory language while Ankara threatened sanctions against the Netherlands as diplomatic relations between Turkey and several EU members soured dramatically.

..

On Monday, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, responded by pledging her “full support and solidarity” to the Netherlands, calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.

..

The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland have cited security and other concerns for their reluctance to allow Turkish officials to campaign in their countries.

..

Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

- Jon Henley, EU tells Erdogan not to escalate diplomatic row over political rallies, March 13, 2017


Context

European Commission calls on Turkey to moderate its tone in row with Dutch, March 13, 2017

'.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..'

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          '.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..' (no replies)        
'French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron "strongly condemns" what he calls provocations from the Turkish government.

Macron has called on France to support its European partners and "reject the Turkish government's abuses." He says that "the European Union must have a united response."

He criticizes "unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities that target "European values," and Germany and the Netherlands.'

- French Candidate Macron Condemns Turkey, March 12, 2017


'Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke on Sunday called on his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to delay a planned March visit because of "tensions" between Ankara and the Netherlands.

"Such a visit could not take place in light of the current attacks by Turkey against the Netherlands. Therefore I proposed to my Turkish colleague to postpone our meeting," Lokke said in a statement.'

- Denmark calls on Turkish PM to delay planned visit, March 12, 2017


Context

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          Besplatna lutka        


 

 Odi na jedan od ovih proxy-a:
dutchproxyserver.com ili dutchproxy.nu ili teleport.to/Netherlands/
Zalijepi ovu adresu:
http://stardoll.com/en/contest
Ulogiraj se na stardoll i to je to :)

          Play Roulette On Your iPhone        
Online gambling on mobile devices is getting more popular these days. It wasn’t always possible to play such games on iPhones, because Apple didn’t allow users to play Flash-files. As a response, casinos decided to develop their own iPhone apps. In countries like The Netherlands casino-apps weren’t allowed in the App Store, but luckily a lot […]
          Law Enforcement Arrested The First Hansa Users In The Netherlands        

The Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office announced the first arrests conducted by law enforcement in the country regarding the takedown of the Hansa Market. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Netherlands, law enforcement authorities arrested one of the top sellers in the country. The 28-year-old man of Krimpen aan den Ijssel, the Netherlands allegedly ...

The post Law Enforcement Arrested The First Hansa Users In The Netherlands appeared first on Deep Dot Web.


          RE[4]: USD vs. EUR        
in my country, 999 euro translates to 1290 dollars. 999 US + TAX, is at most 1100 dollars, so 1290 is still 190 dollars more expensive. You are correct that sales tax in the US is usually in the 10% neighborhood (actually, 8% would be a better average). However, isn't the VAT in places like Germany, Netherlands, or Scandinavia more like 20%?
          RE[5]: USD vs. EUR        
However, isn't the VAT in places like Germany, Netherlands, or Scandinavia more like 20%? In my lovely little country the BTW (Belasting Toegevoegde Waarde, literally: Tax over Added Value) is 19%. Taxes deducted, th elow-end iMac costs 839.50 EUR, which is using current exchange rates, 1073.38 USD. So, we Dutch pay 75 USD more (+7.5%), which is a lot, but a lot more acceptable than it used to be. Apple is going the in right direction with this, probably taking the criticism they received about this to heart. However, things get a little nastier when we look at the Mac Mini. The low-end model costs 599 USD, and taxes deducted 520.17 EUR in The Netherlands. That's 665.05 USD. That's 65 USD more (+10.9%) which I just find a little too much. Here, a Mac Mini is ANYTHING but entry-level. On the iMac side, it's going in the right direction; the Mini is not (yet).
          Ace & Tate by OS & OOS, Eindhoven – Netherlands        

OS & OOS dismissed bland carpets and tiles reminiscent of medical examination rooms in favour of raw concrete in line with Eindhoven’s historical architecture style.
          Bottom of the canal: Pfizer’s billion-dollar tax ploy        
The Netherlands is where nearly $1 billion from Australia was sunk into two companies liquidated three years later. Alex de Haas/flickr, CC BY-NC Michael West, University of Sydney Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has engaged in a series of paper transactions to create a A$936 million loss in Australia. It is, for all intents and purposes, a […]
          Find your Friday: Softchoice volunteers at the Calgary Dream Centre        
The smell of a freshly waxed floor always brings me back to boot camp. No, not the type designed by some fitness guru, but the real deal. My military baptism – 28 weeks of blood, sweat and tears! When I first entered the massive gates of the Marines barracks at Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, the […]
      

          The European External Action Service and Public Diplomacy - by         

The European External Action Service and Public Diplomacy appears in the 'Discussion Papers in Diplomacy' series, published by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael'. The author is Dr Simon Duke, Professor, at the European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht. This paper, which is the first of its kind specifically on public diplomacy and the EEAS, considers the internal and external challenges involved in understanding, informing and influencing publics within and beyond the EU. The paper considers the role of both the EEAS headquarters as well as the delegations in forming and shaping impressions of the EU's external actions. The principal challenges identified for public diplomacy in this context are: the need for a keener idea of what is to be communicated; the need for enhanced coordination to avoid multiple and sometimes confusing communication; and, finally, the need for adequate expertise and resources. The paper concludes with ten specific policy recommendations.


          The European Asylum System and Minimum Standards: ‘Suggestions for practice and policy’ - by Dr Katerina - Marina Kyrieri, Aniel Pahladsingh        
Even though the phenomenon of refugees has changed over the course of recent decades, asylum remains an important issue for states all over the world. Whilst two-thirds of refugees live in developing countries, Western countries arguably have a special obligation due to their own value orientation. Thus, a common asylum policy looms large for the European Union (EU) for at least two reasons. Firstly, it has to ensure the maintenance of human rights within its territory and achieve common standards to avoid secondary refugee movements. Secondly, as the EU’s internal borders are increasingly disappearing, an adequate management of external borders becomes a common priority but requires burden-sharing among the Member States (MS).

In the first instance, the EU has drawn up various directives which oblige Member States to adopt minimum standards in the area of asylum. National policies and practices should be in line with those standards so as to promote the second phase of a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The authors aim to seek suggestions on how Member States’ practices and policies can strengthen the CEAS by complying and rising above the minimum standards and thus improving the protection of human rights for asylum seekers. Whilst seeking better practices and policies the authors use examples from the current situation in the Netherlands and Greece.

The paper is divided into four sections. The first section provides some background information on the international legislation which can be seen as a framework of the EU policies. The second looks into the need for European refugee protection and focuses on the concept of the CEAS. It introduces the main legislative instruments in the asylum process and discusses future possibilities. The third section examines examples of Dutch policies and practices in relation to the minimum standards instruments. In this framework, ‘good’ and ‘less good’ practices as well as problems with the application of the EU minimum standards will be highlighted. Additionally, the influence of human rights will be examined, thus demonstrating that the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is also important for asylum seekers’ policies and practices. The last section of the paper provides some policy recommendations and gives a summary of practices which may apply in asylum cases.

          Leiron reviews        
Leiron telescope binocular spotting scope and digiscoping reviews also contains other interesting topics for dubai uae asia netherlands australia uk
          Video of the Day: Netherlands vs England, October 1993        

The post Video of the Day: Netherlands vs England, October 1993 appeared first on Twohundredpercent.


          The 200% World Cup – Dotmund’s Red Card Frenzy: Parts 9 To 12        

Well, good morning, and welcome to the third instalments of our resident cartoonist Dotmund’s history of sendings off at the World Cup finals. We continue this morning with England, France, Germany/Netherlands and Ghana. You can follow Dotmund on Twitter by clicking here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking here.

The post The 200% World Cup – Dotmund’s Red Card Frenzy: Parts 9 To 12 appeared first on Twohundredpercent.


          Top 10 Lagu EDM 2015 Spinnin' Records Yearmix        
Hi Guys, hari ini saya akan memberikan artikel menarik seputar musik , Oke ... artikel ini berjudul "Top 10 Lagu EDM 2015 Spinnin' Records" Lagu EDM dari tahun ke tahun selalu berkembang, apalagi sekarang sering sekali bermunculan lagu lagu baru yakni lagu lagu EDM, tidak kalah dengan tahun 2014 di akhir tahun 2015 ini spinnin records (label rekaman asal belanda) telah meremix seluruh hasil karya producer roducer musik yang telah di ciptakan di tahun 2015.

Banyak sekali nama nama electronik musik produser yang bermunculan di remix tahunan dari spinnin records ini, untuk itu di artikel ini saya akan lagu lagu yang top di tahun 2015 milik spinnin' records, apa saja lagunya ? berikut.

Top 10 Lagu EDM 2015 Spinnin' Records


Top 10 Lagu EDM 2015 Spinnin Records Yearmix.png
Top 10 Lagu EDM 2015 Spinnin Records Yearmix.png


1. Sam Feldt feat. Kimberly Anne - Show Me Love 

Lagu yang top pertama versi saya yang dianggap top leh spinnin records d tahun 2015 adalah Sam Feldt feat. Kimberly Anne - Show Me Love , lagu ini merupakan lagu elektronik musik dengan genre tropical house, tidak hanya genre tropica huse, terdapat juga genre deep house yang di remix oleh "edx indian summer remix" 

Lagu Sam Feldt feat. Kimberly Anne - Show Me Love di youtube di upload pada tanggal 8 Mei 2015  Sampai saat ini sudah di tontong sebanyak kurang lebih 7.507.820 Viewers . Yang mau dengerin lagunya berikut lagunya yang diremix oleh edx indian summer remix.




2. Oliver Heldens & Shaun Frank feat. Delaney Jane - Shades Of Grey

Wow Oliver Heldens , Oliver heldens merupakan musik produser asal netherlands, lagu yang tela ia ciptakan tetunya tidak kalah enak dari lagu lagu hasil produser musik lainya. Untuk genre dari Oliver Heldens ini adalah Future House, lagu Shades Of grey ini sudah ada sejak bulan juni tepatnya  22 Jun 2015 yang pada tangga itu video clip dari shades of grey telah di terbitkan di youtube.

Bagi yang mau dengerin lagu dari Shades Of grey ini bisa kamu dengerin di bawah ini, lagu ini cocok buat santai juga, ngga kalah sama tropical house menurut saya... 


3. Sam Feldt & The Him feat. The Donnies The Amys - Drive You Home

Wow Wow , Lagu Favorit saya 2015 di Spinnin records ini judulnya adalah Drive You Home, dari Sam Feldt, Lagu ini bergenre Deep house, manteb banget lagu ini di dengerin waktu berpergian sob, kamu dijamin tidak bosan waktu berpergian saat mendengarkan lagu ini. 

Lagu dari Sam Feldt dengan judul Drive You home ini di youtube sudah di terbitkan sejak tanggal  31 Agt 2015, walaupun viewers nya hanya 1,1 juta, lagu ini memang enak sob. 



4. Martin Solveig feat. Sam White - +1 (Plus One) 

Martin solveig dengan lagunya plus one ini yang bergenre Future house juga telah mengisi lagu top Spinnin records di tahun 2015 ini, tidak kalah dengan lagu  lagu lalinya, lagu ini cocok didengerin waktu party, ataupun diputer di mobil juga cocok banget.

Lagu martin solveig dengan judul plus one telah di unggah di youtube pada tanggal 8 Juni 2015 yang sudah ada tayangan lebih dari 9 juta tayang.


5. Oliver Heldens - Melody 

Lagi agi Oliver heldens, lagu berikutnya dari oliver heldens berjudul melody, tidak ada lirik dalam lagu ini, ada campuran biola dan piano di dalamnya, yang disatukan dan keren banget menurut saya. bagi yang ingin mendengarkan lagunya berikut adalah lagunya yang sudahh diterbitkan di youtube dan tayang sekitar 15 juta tayangan. 


6. Oliver Heldens - Bunnydance

Lagu Oliver Heldnes berikutnyaa Bunnydance, juga tidak kalah terkenal di 2015 ini dibandingkan lagu lagu lainya oliver heldnes, lagu yang berjudul bunnydance ini sangatlah keren sekali, lagu dengan genre future house telah di dengarkan dan dilihat videonya sekitar 9 juta tayangan. 


7. Shaun Frank & KSHMR feat. Delaney Jane - Heaven

Ada 2 Dj top favorit saya , Sahun Frank dan KSHMR , kedua dj ini telah menciptakan lagu dengan judul Heaven yang gila keren banget.... Shaun Frank yang merupakan Dj kelahiran Canada serta KSHMR (Niles Hollowell-Dhar) Telah mencipatakan lagu heaven ini yang telah diterbitkan di youtube ini sejak tanggal 19 Okt 2015 yang Sudah di tonton sebanyak 3juta tayangan.

Yang ingin mendengarkan lagunya berikut adalah lagu dari  Shaun Frank & KSHMR feat. Delaney Jane - Heaven. 


8. Vicetone feat. Kat Nestel - No Way Out

Yang ke 8 sob, ini merupaan lagu dari Viceton . Viceton yang merupakan EDM dengan genre Electro House ini menciptakan lagu di 2015 ini dengan judul "No Way Out" . Lagu ini Saya rekomendasi untuk anda yang bisa digunakan sebagai soundtrack video liburan anda.

Lagu No Way Out di Youtube sudah di tonton sebanyak 1,7 juta tayangan. Walaupun cuman sejuta, lagu ini tidak kalah enak dari lagu lagu yang tayangannya di youtube sebanyak 10 jutaan. 


9. Tiësto & Don Diablo feat. Thomas Troelsen - Chemicals 

Dj Favorite saya juga Don Diablo dan Tiesto ini menciptakan lagu di tahun 2015 ini dengan judul Chemicals, entah mengapa mereka menciptakan lagu dengan judul Chemicals. Lagu ini RECOMENDED banget buat kamu yang lagi seneng seneng. 

Tiesto dan Don diablo tentunya kamu sebagai pencinta EDM sudah tahu apa ciri khas beberapa beat dari kedua DJ tersebut. bagi yang ingin mendengar lagunnya berkut adalah lagunya : 



10. Martin Garrix & Matisse & Sadko - Dragon

Wuhuuuu..... Martin Garrix DKK ini menciptakan lagu di 2015 ini berjudul "Dragon" , Manteb banget lagu yang sudah lama terdengar di telinga saya ini memang keren banget.  Tidak ada Lirik di lagu ini bukan menjadi masalah, lagu ini bisa buat kamu seneng seneng dan buat soundtrack video kegembiraan kamu. 

Lagu ini saya taruh di nomor 10 ini merupakan lagu yang recomended bagi pencinta EDM di tahun 2015 ini, berikut adalah lagunya . 



Other song (RECOMENDED) 2015 akhir taun : 
  • Martin Garrix vs Matisse & Sadko - Break Through The Silence  
  • Jay Hardway - Wake Up 
  • DubVision & Firebeatz feat. Ruby Prophet - Invincible 
  • Tiësto & KSHMR feat. Vassy - Secrets

BONUS : 

DVBBS - Never Leave 





Wah  sekian sob saya telah memberikan artikel baru saya akhir tahun ini dengan judul "Top 10 Lagu EDM 2015 dari Label Spinnin' Records Yearmix"  Mohon maaf kurang banyak lagu yang saya berikan , mungkin di hari hari berikutnya saya dapat memberikan artikel tentng lagu EDM lagi. tentunya selain saya memberikan judulnya saya akan menjelaskan terlebih dahulu. 


          Berkeley Energy Successfully Reaches a First Close for its Second Asian Renewable Energy Fund With Usd 112m of Committed Capital        
Berkeley Energy successfully reached a first close of its Renewable Energy Asia Fund II with $112m of committed capital for its 10 year closed end fund. Investors in the first close included the Netherlands Development Finance Corporation (FMO), the International Finance Company (IFC) and the IFC Catalyst Fund, a private equity fund managed by the IFC Asset Management Company (AMC) (who together contributed $60m), the European Investment Bank (EIB) managed Global Energy Efficiency and Renewab...
          Volunteer: Seal rehabilitation in Netherlands!!!        

The Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre (SRRC) in Pieterburen, the Netherlands, is looking for:

*Enthusiastic volunteers who are experienced in animal husbandry.*

The seals in the rehabilitation centre need intensive care treatment due to their health problems (mostly lungworm infections). We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who will work together with the SRRC staff in the seals care department. The SRRC is expecting many seals to be admitted during this coming winter season.

If you have experience with animal husbandry, and you are available in this coming winter, please send a letter to the SRRC info@zeehondencreche.nl

We require a minimum period of six weeks, but prefer a longer period. We offer food and accommodation at the centre and the chance to work with seals in a motivated group of international colleagues.

Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre

Hoofdstraat 94a

9968 AG PIETERBUREN

The Netherlands

Phone: (31) 595 - 526 526

Fax: (31) 595 - 528 389

Email: info@zeehondencreche.nl

Website: www.zeehondencreche.nl

English website: www.srrc.nl


          Dutch bluff        
The US publication The Hill has reported: The White House on Monday angered the Dutch Embassy by lumping the Netherlands in with a group of
Read the full article...
          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. 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*. Kembali ke NKRI (Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia)
Hasil persetujuan dalam KMB yang berakhir pada tanggal 2 November 1949
adalah dibentuknya satu negara federal di Indonesia yaitu Republik Indonesia
Serikat (RIS). Pada tanggal 19 Mei 1950, diadakan persetujuan antara RIS dengan
RI untuk mempersiapkan prosedur pembentukan negara kesatuan. Pada tanggal 15
Agustus 1950, Presiden Soekarno menandatangani Rancangan Undang-Undang
Dasar menjadi Undang-Undang Dasar Sementara (UUDS) dari Negara Kesatuan
Republik Indonesia yang kemudian lebih di kenal dengan sebutan UUDS 1950.
* Merebut Kembali Irian Barat
a.Melalui  Diplomasi
Pada tanggal 17 Agustus 1960, pemerintah Republik Indonesia menyatakan
pemutusan hubungan diplomatik dengan kerajaan Belanda.
b. Melalui Konfrontasi Ekonomi
Pada tanggal 18 November 1957, diadakan rapat umum di Jakarta, kemudian
dilanjutkan dengan aksi mogok para buruh yang bekerja pada perusahaanperusahaan
Belanda. Bank Escompto di ambil ahli oleh pemerintah Republik
Indonesia pada tanggal 9 Desember 1957, kemudian Netherlandsche Handel
Maatschappij NV diubah menjadi Bank Dagang Negara.
c. Tri Komando Rakyat (TRIKORA)
Pada tanggal 19 Desember 1961, Presiden Soekarno mengeluarkan suatu
perintah dalam rangka perjuangan pembebaskan Irian Barat. Perintah itu kemudian
terkenal dengan sebutan Tri Komando Rakyat (TRIKORA) yang isinya sebagai
berikut.
1. Gagalkan pembentukan Negara Papua buatan colonial Belanda.
2. Kibarkan Sang Merah Putih di Irian Barat Tanah Air Indonesia.
3. Bersiaplah untuk mobilitas umum mempertahankan kemerdekaan dan kesatuan
    tanah air Indonesia.
C. Perjuangan Menghadapi Pergolakan Dalam Negeri
1. Pemberontakan PKI Madiun Tahun 1948
Akibat Persetujuan renville, Kabinet Amir Syarifuddin jatuh karena
dianggap terlalu menguntungkan Belanda. Persetujuan Renville dianggap tidak
menjamin secara tegas kedudukan dan kelangsungan hidup Republik Indonesia. Hasil
persetujuan Renville membuat posisi Indonesia bertambah sulit. Wilayah Republik
Indonesia juga semakin berkurang sehingga wilayah kekuasaan Indonesia menjadi
sempit. Presiden kemudian menunjuk Moh. Hatta untuk membentuk kabinet. Hatta
menyusun kabinet tanpa campur tangan golongan sayap kiri atau sosialis.
          [news] Grudge Match: China vs. Europe + "It's Malaysia Time ..."        
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Dateline: China
 
This week marks the debut of my bi-weekly (or so) column for the AlwaysOn Network, Silicon Valley's premier online social networking venue (and unofficially linked to Silicon Valley's premier in person social networking venue, the Churchill Club; I'm a member of both).  I will be sharing "Letter from China" columnist duties with Paul Waide, the head of Pacific Epoch, a Shanghai-based boutique consultancy that advises hedge funds on alternative investments in China.  My first column is on Shanghai and a couple/few forthcoming columns will examine cultural differences between Chinese Nationals, Chinese-Americans and Anglo-Americans, especially within the context of IT and IT marketing.  I will post my AlwaysOn "Letter from China" columns to this blog/e-newsletter, although please be advised that my intended audience are readers based in Silicon Valley.
 
Grudge Match: China vs. Europe
 
Staying on topic, I'd like to make a comment about a recent "Grudge Match" on the AlwaysOn Network.  See the item marked "Grudge Match" for 08.05.04 (5 August 2004) at http://www.alwayson-network.com/polling/index.php .
 
In the referenced "Grudge Match," China was pitted against Europe.  China received 45% of the votes in contrast to Europe's 55%.  Frankly, I'm surprised that China did so well.  I've found that the AO "Grudge Match" results tend to indicate sentiment more so than reality.  For example, a recent match pitted SpaceShipOne against NASA and SSO absolutely clobbered NASA (besides, perhaps most of the votes for NASA came from either Ames or the Blue Cube).  Of course, SSO is a high school science experiment compared to what NASA is doing, but I believe the results accurately reflect sentiment. 
 
But what is amazing (to me, at least) is that China was pitted against Europe in the first place!  Let's face it, this is a rather goofy "grudge match."  For Europe to include First World nations such as Germany, France, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark (yes, some countries are intentionally left out) -- and to compare the collective whole of First World Europe (a.k.a. "Western Europe") to China is absurd.  If this was First World Europe vs. China circa 2020, okay.  But TODAY?  Yet, the sentiment indicator showed a strong vote in favor of China.  Europe "won," but barely.
 
I propose the following "grudge match":  China vs. "Eastern Europe" (i.e., the former Soviet Bloc).  Look, if China can do so well against Europe as a whole (including First World Europe), I'm sure China would absolutely kick Second World Europe's butt!!  And a China "grudge match" against Eastern Europe more accurately reflects current "history."
 
But even this is a bit misleading.  The real "grudge match" is this:  China + India vs. Second World Europe.  And given this choice, only someone stranded on Mars for the past decade might choose Second World Europe.  Yet, this is the real so-called "grudge match."  First World Europe is in descent, to be sure, but it's descending from a high altitude.  It will take at least a decade or two for China (and/or India) to truly match First World Europe.  But China ALREADY is superior to Second World Europe.  And don't rant about NATO and EU memberships; this is simply window dressing.  Then combine China with India versus Second World Europe, playing into my "Golden Triangle" theme, i.e., it's all about the U.S., India and China.  This is where the action is, ESPECIALLY in IT.
 
"It's Malaysia Time ..."
 
I must be getting punchy since I'm borrowing a theme from a beer commercial, but it seems that Malaysia is experiencing its 15 minutes of fame.  The Philippines has recently been "hot," and several articles of late have been touting Malaysia (see, for example, an article which appeared in Space Daily).  Frankly, I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.  Look, when it comes to ITO (IT outsourcing) in East Asia, there are just two choices, i.e., India and China.  And, it's not really a competition; both have their strengths and weaknesses.  A few crumbs to Singers (Singapore), maybe even a few crumbs to the Kiwis (New Zealand).  The Philippines deserves notice, albeit passing notice, and Malaysia might be okay for some BPO.  But ITO?  Come on, give me a break!!  See my Furl archive for more links.
 
The only thing I recently found interesting regarding Malaysia was an article on Satyam's IT boot camp in Malaysia.  This isn't really unique, after all, IBM has been doing this sort of thing for decades.  So does HP.  Kind of like training plus a bit of brainwashing, but the brainwashing is acceptable since it includes political survival skills -- and said skills are essential, especially in F500 corporations.  But I like the idea of SI (systems integrator)-based training:  This way SIs can focus on "real" versus theoretically perceived needs.
 
IT Tidbits
 
Which certifications have the best ROI (return on investment)?  Playing off the idea of SI-based training, which are the most important certifications?  Well, Cisco leads with three out of the top five, although Microsoft picks up a couple of "wins" when looking at fastest-growing ROI, with RedHat and Oracle getting one win each.  SIs in China may also want to benchmark how much U.S. employees are paid given a certain certification, e.g., Microsoft DBAs receive an annual average salary of US$80,600.  Think about how much SIs in China pay for a certified Microsoft DBA.  For example, what do they get paid in Jinan -- or even in Dalian?  Compare this to US$80,600.  Spot any opportunities?  See http://tinyurl.com/3nvpz and http://tinyurl.com/6r2s5 .
 
ITO in the news.  Two particularly noteworthy items.  First, ITO got Slashdotted.  The Slashdot links are worth a review.  Probably some good insight into what American software engineers are thinking and feeling.  The second is a review of Lou Dobbs' new book on ITO and BPO.  Mr. Dobbs is a well-respected host on CNN; his views shouldn't be taken lightly.  A couple of excerpts from the review:
 
"GE, as Dobbs makes clear in abundant detail, is only one of many companies outsourcing high-tech and professional jobs to India and other parts of the world where wage expectations are lower.  Among the others spotlighted by Dobbs for outsourcing jobs to India, the Philippines, Romania, Ireland, Poland and other countries are IBM, SAS Institute, Intel, Microsoft, Perot Systems, Apple, Computer Associates, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Sun Microsystems."  My comment:  Romania is the Changsha of Third World Europe, i.e., their programmers are about as cheap as programmers come.
 
"'India can provide our software; China can provide our toys; Sri Lanka can make our clothes; Japan make our cars.  But at some point we have to ask, what will we export?  At what will Americans work?  And for what kind of wages?  No one I've asked in government, business or academia has been able to answer those questions,' Dobbs writes."  See the review in the Tallahassee Democrat or my Furl link .
 
So-called infrastructure vendors beat out app vendors in terms of their ability to meet expected ROI and TCO (total cost of ownership) levels.  I don't really like the way infrastructure and application vendors are defined in this article and related survey, but top honors go to IBM and Microsoft.  There's a lot being written between the lines, but in general this plays into my "build-to-a-stack" strategy, albeit Oracle is left behind.  See http://tinyurl.com/3tpjo .
 
Speaking of Microsoft ...  A good, quick review of the various IBUs (independent business units) at Microsoft.  (See http://tinyurl.com/5rjtk .)  For a take on MBS, see http://tinyurl.com/6k4dp .
 
New marketing technologies.  Interesting article from the premier issue of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).  There are two ways to view this:  1) which marketing technologies can be used by SIs in China for their own marketing endeavors, and 2) which marketing technologies will likely be adopted by retailers, e-commerce sites, financial institutions and numerous other sectors -- and which in house skills does an SI in China need to implement these new technologies (all of which are IT-related)?  See http://tinyurl.com/57wvp .
 
Looking for partners in the utility computing space?  For a start, try the top 25 vendors.  (See http://tinyurl.com/48s9j .)  Yankee gives a quick look at utility computing ROI (see http://tinyurl.com/5fw88 ).  HP chimes in with their take, too (see http://tinyurl.com/58mhg ; it's a PDF).
 
The battle of the SI globals.  Two related articles both based on the same Forrester report.  (See http://tinyurl.com/6tfrn and http://tinyurl.com/5tljq .)  Issues being considered include scalability (i.e., handling US$100+ million accounts), the need for broad offerings (e.g., strategy consulting) and expanding geographical presence (hey, where is EDS in China?).   "(T)he (Forrester) study finds that Infosys and Wipro have melded together a mix of CMMI, P-CMM, Six Sigma and ISO 9000 to create a culture focused on consistent and repeatable processes and value-added tools."  For China's SIs, mostly food for thought -- and a bit of dreaming.
 
... and how to battle the globals.  The article was a bit silly, after all, G2000 firms joining forces to battle Accenture or Infosys doesn't really fit the notion of smaller firms joining forces.  But I believe that they're on the right track and that a myriad of partnerships will be formed to most effectively capture new business and battle the globals.  However, ISVs (independent software vendors) have to walk a very fine line.  SIs need to carefully consider ISV responses and existing alliances.  See http://tinyurl.com/7xj82 .
 
"Infosys to set up second outsourcing facility in China."  The article states that Infosys is running out of space in their Pudong facility and that they're scouting for additional digs.  Come on, guys, running out of space?  There's not enough space in the Shanghai Pudong Software Park?  I don't think so ...  The reality is that Infosys needs to find lower cost developers.  As my column on Shanghai for AO's "Letter from China" notes, developers in Shanghai are a bit pricey compared to other places in China.  Infosys China is primarily servicing their global customers in China and looking for high-end integration within the domestic market.  However, this is a tough nut to crack and Infosys will need another development center to lower their overall costs -- and this is why they are looking for additional space IN ANOTHER CITY.  The idea that they're running out of space in the SPSP is ridiculous.  (I've been to their Shanghai digs ...)  See http://tinyurl.com/6nz8d .
 
Zensar gets broader press coverage.  Kind of like watching a meme, a couple of non-Indian IT trades have picked up the Zensar/Broadengate announcement.  See http://tinyurl.com/65afx and http://tinyurl.com/3jh2r .
 
"Rethinking the business case for Java."  A good article.  Hmmm ... maybe not much of a case, eh?    Hey, I'm still a believer.  See http://tinyurl.com/5hbcn .  Of course, Java programming ain't what it used to be ...
 
"The selling of SOA."  Two-part series in Line56.  SUPERB!!  (I prefer the singular to the plural, i.e., "architecture" versus "architectures"; personal preference.)  Reviews various viewpoints on SOA.  See http://tinyurl.com/6xqdn and http://tinyurl.com/6tw9o .
 
Urls update.  Expect to see lots and lots of stuff on software engineering and development.  Great stuff, too!!  Later this week.
 
Cheers,
 
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
 
http://www.itestrategies.com (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x)
http://tinyurl.com/2r3pa (access to blog content archives in China)
http://tinyurl.com/2azkh (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW)
http://tinyurl.com/2hg2e (AvantGo channel)
 
 
To automatically subscribe click on http://tinyurl.com/388yf .
 

          Melody Rose Christmas        
We are getting ready for Christmas and thought we’d let you know, we’ve updated our last posting dates for you here. LAST CHRISTMAS POSTING DATES   UK – Dec 21st 2016 or 22nd Dec 2016 for Express Delivery Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg – December 16th 2016 USA/Canada/Finland for Christmas 2016 – 15th Dec […]
          Boy & Bear - Feeding Line (Live @ Lowlands 2012)        

This session was recorded in the FaceCulture cabin at the Lowlands festival in Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands, on August 19, 2012. Boy & Bear plays the song Feeding Line from their debut album Moonfire (2012).

More video's: http://www.FaceCulture.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/_FaceCulture
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FaceCulture

Autor: avatarFaceCulture
Tags: boy bear feeding line live session lowlands 2012 moonfire faceculture music
gepostet: 27 August 2012


          Euro 2017: England Women Crash Out After Semi-Defeat Against Netherlands (Video)        

          Benelux trip – Useful links        
Luxembourg
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Luxembourg
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Luxembourg_(city) 
Luxembourg tourism: http://www.visitluxembourg.com
Luxembourg card: http://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/entities-luxembourg-card
Luxembourg train planner: http://www.cfl.lu/en/home
Luxembourg bus planner: http://travelplanner.mobiliteit.lu/hafas/query.exe/en?
Luxembourg city bus route: http://www.vdl.lu/Mobilit%C3%A9/Autobus/Horaires_+lignes+et+trajets-p-158686/Les+31+lignes+d_autobus.html
Luxembourg city bus map: http://www.vdl.lu/vdl_multimedia/Mobilit%C3%A9/autobus/Plan+du+r%C3%A9seau+AVL.pdf
Transport from Luxembourg airport: http://www.lux-airport.lu/en/Access--park/By-bus.4.html
Casemates bock: http://www.lcto.lu/en/place/monument/bock-casemates

Vianden
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Vianden
Vianden tourism: http://www.vianden-info.lu/english/home 
Vianden castle: http://www.castle-vianden.lu/english

Echternach
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Echternach
Echternach tourism: http://www.echternach-tourist.lu/en
Echternach walk: http://echternach-tourist.lu//sites/echternach-tourist.lu/files/files/CULTURAL%20WALK%20EN.pdf

Belgium
Rail: http://www.belgianrail.be/en/Default.aspx 

Brussels
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Brussels
Brussel Metro map: https://www.brussels.be/dwnld/74415427/Plan_M_10-2015.pdf

Ghent
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Ghent
Ghent tourism: https://visit.gent.be/en/home
Ghent tram map: https://static.delijn.be/Images/Stadsnet%20Gent13%20maart%202016_tcm5-5313.pdf

Bruges
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Bruges
Bruges tourism: https://bezoekers.brugge.be/en
Bruges city card: https://bezoekers.brugge.be/en/bruggecitycard

Antwerp
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Antwerp
Antwerp tourism: http://www.visitantwerpen.be
Antwerp bus map: https://static.delijn.be/Images/Antwerpen%20centrum%201op7500_tcm5-5301.pdf
Antwerp tram map: https://static.delijn.be/Images/Flanders%20Tramschema_tcm5-5304.pdf

Netherlands
Rail: http://www.ns.nl/en 


          Benelux trip – Prologue        
I have mentioned in 2013 Europe Epilogue that I would love to return to Europe if there is cheap airfare. We almost visit Eastern Europe in Mar 2016 but due to hubby's work commitment, we forfeited our Lufthansa air tickets of $736.

Swiss Airline is having irresistible airfare to Europe from $777 with the addition of Boeing 777-300ER into their aircraft fleet. I was so tempted and persuade hubby to visit Central Europe in May 2017. Then I plan another trip to Europe this year and decided on Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg) after discussing with my sis who will be my travel partner for this trip. We have split the planning so I will research on Luxembourg and Belgium while my sis will research on Netherlands.
Destinations in Benelux

As Swiss airline flies direct from Singapore to Zurich, it involves transiting in Zurich before continuing to other European cities. As the open jaw ticket is about the same price as the round trip ticket, it's make sense to buy an open jaw ticket to save travelling time and save on the transport cost back to the starting point.

Luxembourg card comes in 1, 2 or 3 days card and includes free access to over 70 museums and free train and buses on the national public transport network. The Luxembourg card is available from the Tourist Office in Luxembourg city or can be purchased online with a postage charge of â‚¬3. As there is no Tourist Office in the airport, I decided to purchase it online as the single trip bus ticket (€2) from the airport to hotel is included in the Luxembourg card. I received the card in registered mail within a week after ordering online.

From Luxembourg, we will be taking inter city train to Brussels which takes 3hr. Advance booking is not necessary since the train departs hourly and no seat reservation is required. The train from Luxembourg will stops at all the 5 stations in Brussels: Bruxelles-Luxembourg, Bruxelles Schuman/Brussel Schuman, Brussel Noord/ Bruxelles Nord (Brussels-North)Bruxelles Central/ Brussel Centraal and Bruxelles Midi (Brussels-South).

Prior reservation and booking for intercity train within Belgium is not required hence I will be purchasing the train tickets on the spot. There is a rail pass which cost â‚¬76 and is valid for 10 journeys in 2nd class within any destination in Belgium. This can be use by 1 or more passengers. However I did not purchase the rail pass as the total trips we will be taking is less than 10 journeys so it's not worth purchasing.

In Brussel, we will get around using Metro. I will buy single trip ticket instead of Metro pass since we will be only taking 3 Metro rides. In Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp, we will get around using tram and bus. I have calculated that Lijn card (€14 for 10 rides) is cheaper compared to single trip ticket which cost â‚¬3. 

In Bruges, I will be getting the 48 hours Brugge City Card which included free admission to many attractions and include canal boat ride (sailings guaranteed from 1 Mar to 15 Nov). The Brugge City Card can be purchased in Bruges at the official tourist information offices: Historium, Station and Concertgebouw (Concert Hall). 

Then from Antwerp to Amsterdam, I have booked the Thalys train which will takes 1hr compared to intercity train which takes 2hrs. The reservation opens 3 months in advance and fares start from â‚¬29. As we only confirmed this trip 2 months earlier, the cheapest fare was not available. Although the fare which we booked is â‚¬8 more expensive than the intercity train, we still proceed with booking Thalys train to save travelling time.

We will be getting the OV-chipkaart and Unlimited GVB travel ticket (48 hours) from Amsterdam Schipol airport. The OV-chipkaart works like our Ezlink card and is valid for bus, tram and train rides. It has a non refundable deposit of â‚¬7.50. We will be using Unlimited GVB travel ticket in Amsterdam and OV-chipkaart outside Amsterdam.

My sis has purchased the tickets for Madurodam online since it's â‚¬2 cheaper. She has also bought the tickets for Amsterdam highlights (Adam Lookout, Blue Boat and Heineken Experience) online to avoid the queue.   

Throughout the 14 days trips, we will be staying at the ibis hotels except in Brussels. I have budgeted S$100 per room per day and the hotels which we will be staying is within 10 min walking distance to the train stations except the hotel in Amsterdam. We choose not to stay in Amsterdam Central as the accommodation is at least S$200 per night. We end up booking 5 nights stay at the airport Ibis budget hotel which is 15min train ride to Amsterdam Central. Since we will only be spending 2 days in Amsterdam Central with the remaining 3 days at Hague, Haarlem and Zaanse Schans, we save significantly even after deducting the transport to and fro Amsterdam Central. Breakfast is not included in all the hotels except ibis Styles Luxembourg Centre Gare.

Itinerary for this trip:

Day 1: Reach Luxembourg at 10.05am (GMT+2)
Attractions: Monument of Remembrance, Casemates Bock, Neumünster Abbey, Barrio Grund, Corniche and old town, Viaduc (Passerelle), Place Guillaume II, Hotel de Ville (City Hall), Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Grand Ducal Palace
Accommodation: ibis Styles Luxembourg Centre Gare (€72)
Transport & Pass: 2 days Luxembourg card (€20)

Day 2: Vianden & Echternach
Attractions: Trinitarian church, Vianden Chairlift, Vianden Castle, Echternach Old Abbey, Echternach Town Square
Accommodation: ibis Styles Luxembourg Centre Gare
Transport & Pass: 2 days Luxembourg card

Day 3: Brussels
Attractions: Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark, Espace Léopold (European Parliament), Place Royale (Royal Palace of Brussels), Palais de Justice/Justitiepaleis (Law Courts of Brussels), Atomium
Accommodation: Maxhotel (€59)
Transport & Pass: Train from Luxembourg to Brussel Noord (€41), Single trip metro ticket (€2.10 per ride)

Day 4: Brussels
Attractions: Jeanneke-Pis, Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule (St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral), Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Grand Place-Grote Markt, Manneken Pis, The Bourse
Accommodation: Maxhotel

Day 5: Ghent
Attractions: Sint-Elisabeth Begijnhof, Het Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts), Patershol, Kraanlei, Graslei, Het Groot Vleeshuis, St Michael's Bridge, Korenmarkt Gent (Post Plaza), Sint-Niklaaskerk (St Nicholas's Church), Stadhuis (Ghent Market Hall), Belfort en Lakenhalle (Belfry and Cloth Hall), Sint-Baafskathedraal (St. Bavo's Cathedral), Langemunt (Shopping Street)
Accommodation: ibis budget Brugge Centrum Station (€54)
Transport & Pass: Train from Bruxelles Nord to Gent-Sint-Pieters (€14), Train from Gent-Sint-Pieters to Bruges (€6.60), Lijn card (€14)

Day 6: Bruges
Attractions: Grote Markt, Belfry, Brug Square, Stadhuis, Basilica of the Holy Blood, Choco-Story Museum, Lumina Domestica (Lamp Museum), The Friet Museum, Ezelpoort (Donkey's Gate)
Accommodation: ibis budget Brugge Centrum Station
Transport & Pass: Lijn card, Brugge City Card 48 hours (€47)

Day 7: Bruges
Attractions: Koeleweimolen (Koelewei Mill), Sint-Janshuismolen (Sint-Janshuis Mill), Diamant Museum, Brewery De Halve Maan, Beguinage, St. John's Hospital, Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk (Church of Our Lady Bruges)
Accommodation: ibis budget Brugge Centrum Station
Transport & Pass: Lijn card

Day 8: Antwerp
Attractions: Cogels Osylei, MAS Museum aan de Stroom, Vlaaikensgang, Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal), City Hall/Old Market Square (Stadhuis/Grote Markt), Saint Paul's Church (Sint-Paulusparochie), Carolus Borromeus Church (St. Carolus Borromeuskerk)
Accommodation: ibis budget Amsterdam Airport  (€62)
Transport & Pass: Train from Bruges to Antwerp (€15), Lijn card, Thalys from Antwerp to Schiphol Airport (€40)

Day 9: Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam
Attractions: Zaanse Schans Windmills, Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, A’DAM Lookout, Heineken Experience 
Accommodation: ibis budget Amsterdam Airport
Transport & Pass: OV-chipkaart

Day 10: The Hague
Attractions: Madurodam, Statue of Willam of Orange, Binnenhof, Ridderzaal, Noordeinde Palace, Museumcafé Panorama Mesdag, Vredespaleis (Peace Palace)
Accommodation: ibis budget Amsterdam Airport
Transport & Pass: OV-chipkaart

Day 11: Amsterdam
Attractions: Zevenlandenhuizen, Rijksmuseum, Begijnhof 34, Schuttersgallery, Bloemenmarkt, Munttoren, Church of Saint Nicholas, Trompettersteeg, Singel 7, Python Bridge, De Gooyer
Accommodation: ibis budget Amsterdam Airport
Transport & Pass: Unlimited GVB travel ticket 48 hours (€12.50)

Day 12: Amsterdam
Attractions: Albert Cuyp Market, NAP bezoekerscentrum, Nationale Opera & Ballet, Houseboat Museum, Electric Ladyland Fluorescent Art, Torensluis, Royal Palace Amsterdam
Accommodation: ibis budget Amsterdam Airport
Transport & Pass: Unlimited GVB travel ticket 48 hours 

Day 13: Harleem, Depart Amsterdam at 8.05pm (GMT +2)
Attractions: Corrie Ten Boomhuis, Hofje In den Groenen Tuin, St. Bavo Church, Town Hall Haarlem, Haarlem, Station
Transport & Pass: OV-chipkaart

Budget for this trip is S$2,400:
- S$550 for accommodation
- S$300 for transportation
- S$200 for admission fees and pass
- S$850 for meals
- S$500 for souvenirs & shopping
>>Day 1: 16 Sep 16

          Ireland bids to host start of 2014 Giro d'Italia        

Ireland could host the Giro d’Italia in a little over 18 months’ time with tourism bosses on bothe sides of the border putting together a joint bid to bring the start of the 2014 edition of the Corsa Rosa - the Pink Race - to the Emerald Isle.

According to a report in the Belfast Telegraph, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Failte Ireland are co-operating on the bid £3.8 million bid, which has the backing of governments on both sides of the border.

It is believed that staging the opening days of the race, planned for the bank holiday weekend from 2 to 4 May, 2014, could benefit the local economy to the tune of £10 million.

Under former race director Angelo Zomegnan and his successor Michele Acquarone, the Giro has pursued a strategy of internationalisation, including increasing the frequency of the Grande Partenza being held outside Italy.

This year’s race began in Denmark, while two years ago the opening stages were held in The Netherlands, with Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins taking the maglia rosa in the Amsterdam Prologue.

The bid to bring the Giro to Ireland, which is reportedly yet to be formally submitted, is being co-ordinated by Shade Tree Sports, a company co-founded and managed by Darach McQuaid, brother of UCI president Pat McQuaid.

The company, which has offices in Dublin and Richmond, Virginia, was also behind the successful bid by the latter for the UCI Road World Championships in 2015.

A spokesman for the company said, “It is an ongoing project" and added that further details might be made public in early November.

The Republic of Ireland hosted the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 1998, and in Stephen Roche has a former Giro d’Italia champion.
 

Home Page Teaser: 
Tourism boards on both sides of the border co-operate to try and bring the Corsa Rosa to the Emerald Isle
Story weight: 
2

          Marcus Abrahamsson player stats from Eliteprospects.com        
Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 1992-1993 Skövde IKDivision 212 1 23 4|        
 1993-1994 Skövde IKDivision 223 3 36 36|        
 1994-1995 Skövde IKDivision 228 2 46 59|        
 1995-1996 Skövde IKDivision 238 1 45 28|        
 1996-1997 IFK MunkforsDivision 128 3 47 22|        
 1997-1998 Mariestad BoISDivision 114 2 810 6|        
 1998-1999 Skövde IKDivision 235 4 48 34|        
 1999-2000 Väsby IKDivision 136 6 1218 16|        
 2000-2001 Väsby IKDivision 137 7 1522 34|        
 2001-2002 EHC MemmingenGermany449 4 1620 32|        
 2002-2003 EHC MemmingenGermany323 5 1116 57|        
 2003-2004 DijonFrance28 0 77 26|Playoffs5 4 15
 2004-2005 Nijmegen DevilsNetherlands37 5 1217 72|        
 2005-2006 EC BregenzerwaldAustria231 10 1828 100|        
 2006-2007 EC BregenzerwaldAustria232 10 3343 83|        
 2007-2008 Linden HockeyDivision 130 4 2428 48|        
 2008-2009 Linden HockeyDivision 135 4 1822 36|        
 2009-2010 Linden HockeyDivision 134 2 810 66|        
 2010-2011 Linden HockeyDivision 226 5 1924 52|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com
          live: Six Organs of Admittance 9/19/2010        
Live


Beautiful live Six Organs of Admittance recording taken from Ben Chasney's performance at the Pauluschurch in Tilburg, the Netherlands on September 19th, 2010. Thanks to the Incubate Festival, from which this performance was a part of, for sharing this crystalline collection of audio.

Six Organs of Admittance - Live at Incubate 2010 - 19/09/2010 by incubate
          World: Dorcas: Annual Report 2016        
Source: Dorcas Aid International
Country: Ethiopia, Greece, Kenya, Lebanon, Moldova, Romania, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, World

Highlights
- A new story: We worked on a new story for Dorcas in 2016, with various departments and stakeholders giving their input.
- Strategic plan: We prepared for our new strategic plan (2017-2021) through a focused process of completing a SWOT analysis. The key element of the new strategic plan is to expand inclusive community development in all of our projects. In addition, we are seeking to build a Dorcas “community” in The Netherlands. During an intensive process, which included a SWOT analysis, we prepared ourselves for a new strategic plan for the period 2017 to 2021. Our plan is to develop our work further in inclusive community development. Furthermore, we are building a Dorcas community in the Netherlands.
- Influencing Policy: In 2016 we had a number of productive meetings with members of the Dutch House of Representatives. To support that we showed the film Face Down that concerns the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and which we made at the start of 2016.
- Visits to Field Project: Two groups visited Dorcas projects in 2016, one to Moldova with 23 sponsors visiting their grannies and children and the other group to Romania.
- New Dorcas shops: The Dorcas shops in the Netherlands are doing well. Four new Dorcas shops were opened in 2016. A total of 2,000 volunteers share the work to operate these shops.
- Dorcas Academy: In 2016 we prepared for establishing the Dorcas Academy, through which we will invest in our staff’s knowledge and skill level. Preparations were made in 2016 for setting up the Dorcas Academy, through which we will be investing in the knowledge and skills of our co-workers.


          A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Viergut        
In 1981, eleven-year-old Saba Hafezi watches as her mother and twin sister, Mahtab, board a plane to America, leaving her in a seaside village in northern Iran. Though she is certain of what she saw, Saba's broken father and colorful slew of surrogate grandmothers claim that Mahtab is dead and that Saba should forget about her troublesome mother; nevertheless, there are others who attribute Saba's belief in her sister's survival to “twin-sense” and relish the possibility that Mahtab might still be alive. Over the next seventeen years, Saba immerses herself in illegal western books, movies, and magazines, and weaves an exquisite parallel American life for her twin sister, one that mirrors her own in bizarre and unlikely ways—and rivals the fates of Ivy-League western shahs—a life that the bookish Saba too might have lived if she'd been allowed to get on that plane.

Beginning with small tokens of adolescence and moving to larger coincidences of unrequited love, the violent consequences of forced marriage to a much older man, and motherhood, Mahtab’s hazier American story keeps pace with her sister like a shadow. Mahtab loses a lover when Saba does. Mahtab finds unexpected wealth in the same way as Saba. But whereas Saba’s story has all the grit and brutality of real life in post-revolution Iran, Mahtab’s is like an American television show as imagined under an Iranian storyteller’s blanket, always returning power and control to the heroine’s hands.

A TEASPOON OF EARTH AND SEA uses strong, colorful characters, a unique narrative voice, and rural eastern storytelling techniques with western-style prose to convey a sense of mystery and a compelling message about identity and being the mistress of one's own fate while living and battling within the fantasy of our other "selves." The bittersweet ending leaves the reader wondering if it matters at all where life takes us or why. Maybe the soul is unchanging and—as the old saying goes—life is written in the veins.


[Riverhead (World English) 2012; Edizioni Piemme (Italy) 2012; Rocco (Brazil) 2012; De Bezige Bij (Netherlands) 2012; Editions Calmann-Levy (France) 2012; Gyldendal (Norway) 2012; Damm (Sweden) 2012; Mare (Germany) 2012; Grup (Turkey) 2012; Modern Press (China) 2012; Wydawnictwo Otwarte (Poland) 2012; Thaning & Appel (Denmark)].



About the author
Dina N. Viergutz was born to a controversial family of doctors and poets in Iran in 1979 and lived and traveled there throughout the Iran-Iraq war. Having escaped the country on the day of her mother’s intended execution, Dina spent some years in Europe before moving to the United States. She speaks three languages and recently became a citizen of France (dual with U.S.), and has spent the last three years living in Paris and Amsterdam with her husband where she researched and wrote A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea. She is a graduate of Princeton and holds two masters degrees from Harvard, and she has just been accepted to the Iowa Writers Workshop beginning in the fall 2011. She has done an array of work, including leading strategic projects for Saks Fifth Avenue and McKinsey in New York City. As a Zuckerman Fellow at Harvard, she has discussed public policy with world leaders, and as a Teaching Fellow and keynote speaker (also at Harvard) she gave speeches to audiences of hundreds before she turned thirty.

picture taken from http://apps.facebook.com/facebookshelf/people/1700632880



                  
Δελτίο Τύπου

Έκθεση

ΠΑΝΤΕΛΗΣ ΜΑΚΚΑΣ
ΚΑΤΑΣΚΕΥΑΖΟΝΤΑΣ ΤΗ ΜΝΗΜΗ ΜΕΣΩ ΤΗΣ ΚΙΝΟΥΜΕΝΗΣ ΕΙΚΟΝΑΣ

Επιμέλεια Έκθεσης : Ντένης Ζαχαρόπουλος
Διάρκεια : 14 Σεπτεμβρίου έως 20 Νοεμβρίου 2011
Εγκαίνια : Παρασκευή, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011, 20:00

Το Μουσείο Άλεξ Μυλωνά – Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης παρουσιάζει την έκθεση του Παντελή Μάκκα Κατασκευάζοντας τη Μνήμη μέσω της Κινούμενης Εικόνας, σε επιμέλεια Ντένη Ζαχαρόπουλου. Η έκθεση είναι μια παραγωγή του Μακεδονικού Μουσείου Σύγχρονης Τέχνης και του Παντελή Μάκκα, και θα παρουσιαστεί από τις 14 Σεπτεμβρίου έως και τις 20 Νοεμβρίου 2011. Η έκθεση εντάσσεται στο παράλληλο πρόγραμμα της 3ης Μπιενάλε της Αθήνας ΜΟΝΟΔΡΟΜΟΣ (22 Οκτωβρίου-11 Δεκεμβρίου 2011) και θα εγκαινιαστεί την Παρασκευή, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου στις 20:00.

Η έκθεση αποτελεί την πρώτη παρουσίαση καλλιτεχνικής έρευνας στην Ελλάδα, που ορίζεται σαν συνδυασμός ορισμένων από τις διαδικασίες της επιστημονικής έρευνας και της καλλιτεχνικής δημιουργίας. Η καλλιτεχνική έρευνα μπορεί να βοηθήσει στην παραγωγή ενός έργου τέχνης που βασίζεται σε μια βαθύτερη ανάλυση απ’ ότι συνήθως, και μπορεί επίσης να χρησιμοποιηθεί για την παραγωγή θεωρίας, προς όφελος των άλλων καλλιτεχνών. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, η έρευνα είναι άρρηκτα συνδεδεμένη με το πρακτικό σχεδιασμό και την κατασκευή ενός νέου έργου τέχνης.

Στο έργο του ο Παντελής Μάκκας ασχολείται με ένα θέμα που σε μεγάλο βαθμό κυριαρχεί στη σύγχρονη ζωή. Το ταχέως μεταβαλλόμενο περιβάλλον, το υψηλό ποσοστό αναπλήρωσης μεταξύ των κτιρίων στο αστικό περιβάλλον γύρω μας διαβρώνουν τη μνήμη, επομένως και την ύπαρξή μας.

Όπως αναφέρει ο επιμελητής της έκθεσης Ντένης Ζαχαρόπουλος:

“Ο Παντελής Μάκκας είναι μια ιδιότυπη περίπτωση καλλιτέχνη τόσο στα ελληνικά πράγματα όσο και διεθνώς. Με μεγάλο θαυμασμό ανακάλυψα το σημερινό του έργο, που εδώ και κάποια χρόνια συνέλαβε και πραγματοποίησε στην Ολλανδία και το Παρίσι. Το έργο αυτό παρουσιάζουμε συνολικά σήμερα για πρώτη φορά στο Μουσείο Αλεξ Μυλωνά-Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης, εναποθέτοντας στην έκθεσή του μεγάλες προσδοκίες σχετικά με τη σημασία και το μέγεθος της πρότασης που ολοκληρώνει καλλιτεχνικά και επιστημονικά.

Στα έργα αυτά ο Μάκκας, πέρα από το αναμφισβήτητο ταλέντο και την αισθητική και καλλιτεχνική αρτιότητα που πετυχαίνει με την προσωπική του γραφή, οριοθετεί και εμβαθύνει μια σπάνια πνευματική προσωπικότητα και κοινωνικό μέγεθος. Με ιδιαίτερη χαρά συναντά κανείς ένα νέο καλλιτέχνη που έχει τόσο ξεκάθαρα αναλάβει μαζί με το έργο του και το μέλημα του ανθρώπου στην εποχή μας. Η ερευνητική διάσταση και συστηματικότητα φέρνουν τον Παντελή Μάκκα κοντά σε διεθνώς σημαντικά επιστημονικά εργαστήρια και ερευνητές χωρίς να αναιρεί από το θέμα που επεξεργάζεται και από την προσέγγιση με την οποία το πλησιάζει, τη συγκίνηση με την οποία αντιμετωπίζει τον άνθρωπο και τη ζωή. Μέσα από τη μελέτη της μνήμης και τις δυσλειτουργίες της, ο Μάκκας θέτει σχεδόν εξ αρχής την οντολογία του σύγχρονου ανθρώπου επί τάπητος. Με τα ερωτηματικά που θέτει συγκεκριμένα σε άτομα με πραγματικά προβλήματα αναλογίζεται παράλληλα και χωρίς μεγαλοστομία, πάνω στο πλαίσιο της ύπαρξής μας, της συνείδησης και της άνοιας, του εαυτού μας και του κόσμου.

Ψυχική και σωματική μνήμη δομούν, αποδομούν κι αναδομούν αυτό που είμαστε κι αυτό που δεν είμαστε, αυτό που θα μπορούσαμε κι αυτό που δε μπορούμε να είμαστε. Μέσα από μια συνεχή μέριμνα και παρατήρηση του άλλου, ο Μάκκας μας θυμίζει με άμεσο τρόπο, πως κάθε καλλιτέχνης που φτάνει να ολοκληρώσει έργο ουσιαστικό μπορεί να νομίζουμε πως ασχολείται με τον εαυτό του, κυρίως όμως απασχολείται έντονα και συστηματικά με τη μετάθεση αυτού που εννοούμε και καταλαβαίνουμε ως εαυτό σε κάτι άλλο... Δεν ασχολείται αναγκαστικά με το πενιχρό κι εγωιστικό μας "εγώ", αλλά περιεργάζεται κι εξερευνά απροσπέλαστες περιοχές της ετερότητας κι αντικαθιστά το "κοινότυπο εγώ" με έναν "ιδιότυπο άλλο" που δίνει το λόγο στο έργο του και στην έννοια του ανθρώπου τον οποία μας προτείνει και συνδυαλέγεται πνευματικά και προσωπικά μαζί της.

Χωρίς να θέλω να βγάλω βιαστικά συμπεράσματα ,το έργο του κι η καριέρα του Μάκκα αν είναι σήμερα τόσο σημαντικά είναι γιατί μέσα από τη στάση του προέχει μια ερευνητική δύναμη και δυναμική που διατρέχουν με ιδιαίτερα χαμηλούς τόνους τον αχανή χώρο της γνώσης και τα ερωτηματικά που τον ακολουθούν, εστιάζουν στην αγωνία του άλλου και αγκαλιάζουν ένα είδος ανθρώπου που αν και όλοι μας εξορκίζουμε, μοιάζει τελικά να είναι ο πλέον κοντινός και οικείος σε σχέση με αυτό που τείνουμε να είμαστε στο σύγχρονο κόσμο. ΄Ετσι, εδώ, όχι χωρίς μια τρυφερή τραγικότητα, ο Μάκκας παρουσιάζει μαζί με τη δύσκολη θέση του "άλλου" την προοπτική που απειλεί οργανικά τη θέση του εαυτού μας σήμερα : τον άνθρωπο χωρίς μνήμη”.

Η μνήμη είναι ένα πεδίο όπου παρελθόν, παρόν και μέλλον συνυπάρχουν στην ίδια χρονική στιγμή. Στην ουσία, η υπενθύμιση της μνήμης είναι μια διαδικασία προσφυγής στο μέλλον και όχι στο παρελθόν. Τη στιγμή που θυμόμαστε μια εμπειρία του παρελθόντος ή του συμβάντος, η μνήμη τίθεται σε λειτουργία και αυτό μας παίρνει από την παρούσα στιγμή στο μέλλον, υποστηρίζει ο Μάκκας. Με την ατομική του έκθεση στο Μουσείο Άλεξ Μυλωνά-Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης βάζει μια άνω τελεία στην καλλιτεχνική του έρευνα και μας παρουσιάζει τα αποτελέσματα των τριών τελευταίων χρόνων.

Αυτό το θέμα δεν επαναλαμβάνεται μόνο σε μια προσωπική ερμηνεία στην οπτική γλώσσα του Μάκκα, αλλά και στον τρόπο με τον οποίο κατασκευάζει τις δομές αυτών των εικόνων και εγκαθιστά το έργο του.
Προς το παρόν δουλεύω κυρίως με εγκαταστάσεις βίντεο/φιλμ. Τελευταία έργα μου ήταν το αποτέλεσμα μιας μακράς περιόδου έρευνας σε αμνησία, απώλεια μνήμης, καθώς και ο τρόπος με τον οποίο η μνήμη λειτουργεί σε άτομα με σωματικά και εγκεφαλικά προβλήματα. Στόχος μου είναι να συλλάβω τον τρόπο με τον οποίο η εικόνα έρχεται σε επαφή με τη μνήμη - ποιο είναι το διάστημα μεταξύ της μνήμης του εγκεφάλου και της μνήμης του σώματος - και πώς η μνήμη κατασκευάζεται από τις εικόνες που βιώνουμε, καταλήγει ο Παντελής Μάκκας.

Blank Slate
Τι είναι μια εικόνα; Μπορεί μια φωτογραφία να έχει υπόσταση, όπως ακριβώς και το άτομο που αναγράφεται στη φωτογραφία; Αυτά είναι μόνο μερικά από τα βαθιά ερωτήματα τα οποία τα παιδιά των οκτώ, εννέα και δέκα ετών κατάφεραν να απαντήσουν με μεγάλο πνεύμα σε αυτήν την ταινία. Τρία παιδιά μιλούν με τη δημοσιογράφο Corinne Moutout σχετικά με το ρόλο της κινούμενης εικόνας και της φωτογραφίας στην ανάπτυξη της ανθρώπινης μνήμης, ένα θέμα που επαναλαμβάνεται συνεχώς στη δουλειά του Μάκκα. Τα ερωτήματα που τίθενται είναι πολύ απλά, αλλά κρύβουν σύνθετα φιλοσοφικά ζητήματα για το χρόνο και το χώρο, την τέχνη και τη ζωή. Στο Blank Slate ο Μάκκας συνεχίζει το τηλεοπτικό ντοκιμαντέρ France/tour/detour/deux/enfants (1977) από τον σκηνοθέτη Jean-Luc Goddard που αμφισβήτησε κριτικά δύο παιδιά για συναφή θέματα. Εν τω μεταξύ, ο τρόπος με τον οποίο τα παιδιά αποκτούν πληροφορίες και ιδέες έχει αλλάξει πάρα πολύ. Ενώ στη δεκαετία του 1970 ήταν εξαρτημένα από το σχολείο, από τους γονείς, την τηλεόραση και τη φαντασία τους, το 2011 χρησιμοποιούν επίσης το διαδίκτυο. Μήπως αυτό σημαίνει ότι χειρίζονται τις πληροφορίες με διαφορετικό τρόπο; Μήπως δεν τολμούν πλέον να βασιστούν στη φαντασία τους, ή μήπως στην πραγματικότητα σημαίνει ότι είναι σοφότερα από τους συμμαθητές τους του 1977;



Video, HD, 43 min, color, sound
With: Corinne Moutout, Augustin Arnal, Rachel Boa, Ulysse Arnal
Camera-Sound-Editing-Production: Pantelis Makkas
Written and Directed by Pantelis Makkas
2010

Mono Logue
H M. και Clive Wearing έχουν μία από τις πιο σοβαρές περιπτώσεις αμνησίας που έχει ποτέ παρατηρηθεί. Ο H.M. έχει ακολουθηθεί για περισσότερα από 40 χρόνια από το κόσμο της έρευνας και οι δύο τους, αποτελούν θέμα δεκάδων επιστημονικών δημοσιεύσεων, βιβλίων και βίντεο ντοκιμαντέρ.

"Mono Logue" είναι ένα βίντεο έρευνας που αποτελείται από ένα λεπτό διάλογου μεταξύ δύο ανθρώπων κάθε φορά. Σχεδόν είκοσι άτομα -ηθοποιοί, χορευτές, σκηνοθέτες, παραγωγοί ραδιοφώνου, τραγουδιστές- επαναλαμβάνουν το ίδιο κείμενο. Όλοι τους κατέχουν μια ισχυρή σωματικά μνήμη, ενώ το κείμενο προέρχεται από την απόλυτη εγκεφαλική εκκένωση.
Video, HD, 16:30 min, color, sound
With: Alexadra Paulidou, Anna Karamitsou, Antonis Fragakis, Konstantinos Avarikiotis,
Dimitris Daskas, Vangelis Hatzinikolaou, Theodora Tzinou, Maria Panourgia, Nestor Kopsidas, Pantelis Makkas, Roxani Zogana, Kiara Karadima, Paris Tselios, Angelos Petroutsas, Maria Kllimani, Kallirroe Myriagou
Camera-Sound-Lights-Editing-Production: Pantelis Makkas
Written and Directed by Pantelis Makkas

Dissertortion
Το Dissertortion πραγματεύεται τον τρόπο με τον οποίο επηρεάζεται η μνήμη από τη μετάδοση του μηνύματος, δηλαδή το πώς ένα μήνυμα διαστρεβλώνεται και ποιος είναι ο ρόλος της μνήμης σε αυτή τη διαδικασία. Υπενθυμίζει το παιχνίδι των παιδιών του Χαλασμένου Τηλεφώνου (Κινέζικοι Ψίθυροι), όπου η μνήμη της φράσης αλλάζει τελικά την έννοια της.

Το βίντεο δείχνει μια γυναίκα (Θεοδώρα Τζήμου) που παρακολουθεί την αμερικανική ταινία Blue Velvet του David Lynch, στο αγγλικό πρωτότυπο του, σε μια οθόνη τηλεόρασης. Η γυναίκα διαβάζει φωναχτά τους ελληνικούς υπότιτλους ολόκληρης της ταινίας, ο θεατής έχει τη δυνατότητα να ακούσει το πρωτότυπο soundtrack και τα λόγια της ηθοποιού κατά την ανάγνωση. Το αρχικό μήνυμα που έρχεται από την τηλεόραση περνά από την ηθοποιό και τελικά έρχεται στον θεατή.

Video, 01:46:00 min, Color, Sound
With: Theodora Tzimou
Camera-Sound-Light-Editing-Production: Pantelis Makkas
Directed by Pantelis Makkas

Βιογραφικά στοιχεία
Γεννήθηκε στην Ελλάδα το 1976.
Eκπαίδευση

2009- Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, PHD
2005-2007 Ateliers, resident program, Amsterdam MA Fine art
2001-2004 Rietvelt academy, fine art, Amsterdam BA Fine art
2000-2001 F.A.M.U., film masters studies, Prague MA course Photography
1997-2000 E.S.P., BA photography, Athens BA photography

Εκθέσεις (ενδεικτικά)

2011 ‘Mono Logue’ New Questions festival, The Hague
2011 ‘Blank Slate’, De Appel Amsterdam
2011 ‘The Room’, Athens festival
2010 “FaDe”, OZON, Ίδρυμα Μιχάλη Κακογιάννη
2010 “Mono Logue”, “Blank Slate”, Brainscapes, Key Of Life, Leiden, Netherlands
2010 “FaDe”, Stoa, Αθήνα
2010 “Blank Slate, Twenty-four, Twenty-five”, Symposium ‘The artist as researcher’, The Hague
2010 “Decalogue”, Dead Darlings Rotterdam
2009 “14.jpg”, Dead Darlings IV, Amsterdam
2009 "+ TWO", Dead Darlings III, Mediamatic Bank, Amsterdam
2008 "In Between" Beijing Today Art Museum
2008 "In Between" De Buren, Brussels
2008 "In Between" Luigi Pecci Center, Prato, Italy
2008 "Twenty-six" , "...of City and Time"
Moving Image in Contemporary Greek Art, Akademski Filmski Centar, Belgrade
2008 "Connecting Cultures"-Greek artistic presence in the
Netherlands, WTC Art Gallery, Rotterdam
2007 “Mistermotley”, LOWLANDS, Netherlands
2007 “Daywatch/Nightwatch”, SMBA, Amsterdam
2007 “Memoria” Ateliers, Amsterdam
2006 “Man about crowd”, Postivism-SMBA, club 11, Amsterdam
2005 “Structure of matter” Videoformes, France
2004 “In between” PSWAR, film academy, Amsterdam
2003 “Non-stop” Oneminuteaward, Paradiso, Amsterdam

Υποτροφίες & διακρίσεις
2005-2007 Two years scholarship from the art resident De Ateliers
2003 One minute video award, "moving photography"

Εκδόσεις (ενδεικτικά)
Bulletin, Mister motley, Nrc-next, The Htv, De witte Raaf

Έχει συνεργαστεί Î
          â–  Netherlands  ING House 懸空鞋的聯想        
http://www.archdaily.com/568127/ing-house-mvsa-architects/54678ef6e58eceecb500028e_ing-house-mvsa-ar...

           Interesting My Citadel sinkhole of one botnet shows me 100 pourcents infections are in Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Germany        
2012-09-06 19:14:06 - Kleissner : Interesting My Citadel sinkhole of one botnet shows me 100 pourcents infections are in Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Germany
           Towards an integrative phylogeography of invasive marine seaweeds, based on multiple lines of evidence         
Zanolla, Marianela, and Andreakis, Nikos (2016) Towards an integrative phylogeography of invasive marine seaweeds, based on multiple lines of evidence. In: Hu, Zi-Min, and Fraser, Ceridwen, (eds.) Seaweed Phylogeography: adaptation and evolution of seaweeds under environmental change. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 187-207.
          Kirkups: Vitol mērÄ·is ir pārtraukt AS Latvijas kuÄ£niecÄ«ba akciju kotāciju biržā        
Vitol Netherlands B.V. mērķis ir pārtraukt AS Latvijas kuģniecība akciju kotāciju biržā pēc akciju atpirkšanas noslēgšanas, intervijā pauda Latvijas kuģniecības valdes priekšsēdētājs Roberts Kirkups.
          MetrixLab / Macromill Merger        
Originally published via Greenbook Today it was announced that Netherlands-based global research firm MetrixLab and Asia-Pac research technology behemoth Macromill are merging. The combined company will be the largest new-generation research organization in the world. Here is an excerpt from the … Continue reading
          Piet Oudolf's Favourite Perennials        
Another one of my favourite stops while visiting the Netherlands, was the garden and nursery of Piet Oudolf. He had this unforgettable, high and multi-layered hedge at the front of his property behind which was his main garden. In the picture below, he is moving a clump of Monarda (Bee Balm).























He has since become a renowned garden designer with many projects, both public and private, in Europe and North America. You can see some of his very cool work and photography on Flickr and on his website.

Virginia Small recently listed his favourite perennials here. It is tellingly divided into three groups: plants the provide structure, produce attractive seed heads, and maintain a distinct winter shape. Ultimately, the goal is to provide an abundance of multi-season interest.

I find a few things however, interesting to note in this list. Firstly, most are relatively tall plants -- you will not find any "cute" Campanula carpatica or Dianthus here. Second, there is mix of both native and non-native species. And finally, the list appears to be missing the most popular genera, specifically Geranium, Heuchera and Hosta. I would certainly love to share a pint with this great artist to discuss this last point!

Well, here's to dirt under your nails -- I hear spring has sprung in certain parts of the continent.

Mark, the coolplantsguy
          Not Necessarily New But....        
For a change of pace from all the brand new and up-coming plants, here's a collection of less common, at least here in North America, plants offered by Hans Kramer's De Hessenhof nursery. This was another of my favourite stops while visiting the Netherlands.

First, is Amsonia 'Ernst Pagels' a hybrid of A. hubrichtii and A. ciliata, with fine foliage that turns bright golden-yellow in the autumn, and relatively large clusters of lavender-blue flowers during the summer. Named by Rob Leopold for the esteemed German plantsman.























Next is Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Babi Lom', a beautiful selection from the Czech Republic with perfect mounds of steely-blue foliage, covered with electric-pink flowers in early summer. It's beautiful, but doesn't look that much different from the popular 'Firewitch'.


This (below) is Helenium 'Baudirektor Linne', an old German variety that has performed well over the years and recently received an AGM from the trials at Wisley.


Helenium 'Loysder Wieck' (below) is a unique form with quilled petals, developed by Paul Wilmink, a former professor of Horticulture at Utrecht. Loysder is the ancient name for the Dutch city of Leusden.























Finally for Helenium (yes, the Europeans love this North American native), is H. 'Ring of Fire', another AGM recipient, with beautiful red-brown, yellow-edged flowers. Why these Helenium, especially the award-winning varieties, are not available in North America is beyond me.


This is Nepeta 'Blue Danube', a selection or hybrid involving N. grandiflora, made by plantsman Christian Kress of Austria. It is a relative low form, growing to only 60cm (24"), and produces condensed clusters of purple-blue flowers for a strong impression. I like the contrast with reddish stems and calyxes.























This is Phlox (Paniculata) 'Oljenka', apparently developed in Russia in the 1930s, with beautiful, almost tri-coloured pink, white and red, flowers. For some amazing photography of this variety, and other Phlox (and Helenium), check out this very cool German website.























Finally, is Rodgersia 'Ideal', introduced by German breeder Peter zur Linden in 1987. The emerging foliage in spring is a deep red-brown, that slowly fades to green with a darker edge by mid-summer. The pinkish flowers are produced on a tall and narrow, but heavily branched plume. Hans calls this "graceful".























Here's to dirt under your nails.

Mark, the coolplantsguy
          Comment on Blitters Plonja wins Watba Stud Farm Cup opener The Netherlands by Pamela@horsereporter        
Hello Rita, Thanks for your comments. Wow, Mexico City would be an interesting venue. Let's hear more! Pamela
          Cash: American IV Album Review        

I know I am a little behind the times in reviewing this album, since it has been out since November of 2002. So I thought I would bring some of my thoughts (having just purchased the album) along with some other thoughts retrieved from Amazon.com reviews.

I personally love the CD. I won't listen to it very often though. It does not have songs on it that you listen to over and over again. Frankly, it is a depressing album. There are a number of covers in it, that arguably Cash makes his own. Hurt, originally done by Nine Inch Nails becomes another song entirely when Cash does it. Yet, like I said there are no feel-good songs here. Listener beware, you need to be in the right mood for this album. When you are though, its fantastic in an "end me now" kind of way.

Here are what some other reviewers said:

(retrieved from Amazon.com on 9/5/09)
By A Customer
First of all, I'm a Johnny Cash nut. So, I tend to be a little more critical than most people when it comes to reviewing his albums. His fourth album in the American series is by far the weakest. Although the title track is by easily one of the best Cash songs ever, the remainder of the album is evidence that Cash needs to ditch Rick Rubin and start writing his own songs. Has anyone noticed how every American album Cash puts out seems to have more covers than the previous one? Sure, some like "Rusty Cage" and "Personal Jesus" (which is featured on this album) work beautifully, but it seems that Rubin has gotten a litte too cover-happy these days. Cash's own tunes are always the best. This album is, however worth every cent, if only for the wonderful title track. For casual Cash fans, its best to buy one of the earlier American albums, or just buy one of the live prison albums.

(retrieved from Amazon.com on 9/5/09)
By Bram Janssen
I am the least capable person to review this album. This man had been writing and singing songs for forty years and all I'd heard of him was "Ring Of Fire". I knew the song. I did not know who sang it. It was all but another one of these inevitable songs on every compilation, and one of these songs every channel my parents loved so much would play. I never noticed. Today, I still know hardly more.

One late-summer evening as I was zapping through the music channels here in The Netherlands, my thumb froze over the remote. On the screen singing was, not the usual parade of lewd, crafted, playbacking little mouths seemingly right of production lines, not good capable singers only better than the rest because of management and advertisement skills; it was a man dressed in black, looking old as death, with a voice raw as a crow's. I did not know it was he, if it had mattered. It was Cash, singing "Hurt". I looked, listened but then more. It was so unspeakably sad, so unfathomably melancholic. How can I describe the emotions hearing that song? Haunted and moved don't seem adequate.

Enchantment. I was a youth with a passion for music: metal, symphonic, classic, techno. Give it to me, give it to me every day, all day long. I'll be satisfied. I was a youth, looking at an old man, singing for me, singing of his life and emotions. Music moves me always, but it was this music, barely more than a voice and an acoustic guitar, that drew a tear, dropped into my heart - then another and another. Silent, invisible tears filling hollows, and all that showed on the outside, were a sniff of the nose and a blink of the eyes. I was a youth.

Many of the songs on this final album, including "Hurt", are covers, even though some are his own. Cash here also covers Paul Simon, Hank Williams and John Lennon. Not all of his arrangements are better than the originals. Technically. But Cash performs with such feeling, such sway, such voice, that this is the most cherished music I've bought in a lifetime.

Then, as I sat there oblivious, and wishing I had seen the whole thing, the clip ended and I saw Cash's name. I turned off the set, stood, and hoped I would hear it again. Weeks later, Cash was dead. Today, I still know hardly more.

Now back to me.

I would recommend purchasing this album or any of the four other American Recordings albums. They show a good view of Johnny Cash in the last days of his long and difficult life.
          Transforming the Cleaning Business with Microsoft Technology        
ISS Netherlands wanted to improve its competitiveness in a crowded facilities services market. With the help of Microsoft technology including Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365, the company has built a solution that automatically notifies workers when facilities need to be maintained, improving client service while reducing customer costs. We recently spoke with Martijn Jansen, Business Technology Manager at ISS Netherlands, to learn how this solution is transforming the facilities services business. Q: Please tell us about ISS Netherlands. Martijn Jansen: ISS Netherlands is part of ISS, which is a leading global provider of facility services. In the Netherlands, we offer services to hospitals, factories, government offices, and companies of all sizes. ISS Netherlands has 12,000 employees who work with a broad spectrum of clients ranging from small Dutch companies to large global enterprises. Q: What challenges were you facing that led you to build a solution using Windows Azure and Office 365? Jansen:   Facilities services is a very competitive market, especially in the area of pricing. In the past few years, the focus has primarily been on pricing, since it’s been hard to differentiate oneself in other areas. With Windows Azure and Office 365, we can easily scale up and down. This was important to us given the changing nature of our business. In addition, Windows Azure and Office 365 enabled us to innovate without a lot of risk to our company.  ISS Netherlands has a relatively small IT department. We didn’t want to make a large investment that would require us to purchase and maintain our own hardware and software.  Instead, we wanted to build a cloud-based solution that was both adaptable and flexible. Windows Azure and Office 365 met all of these needs. Q: What solution did you build? Jansen:   In a traditional cleaning environment, for example an office building, the standard proposition is that you clean each rest room twice a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, whether it’s needed or not. So even if no one is there, you’d still clean the toilets twice a day. We wanted to improve our efficiency by only cleaning where it was needed, and doing so right when it was needed. To do that, we created a simple “on-off” sensor that records every time a toilet, soap dispenser, or towel dispenser has been used, and then sends a message to our SQL Server database, which is run as a virtual machine within the Windows Azure cloud platform. We then created business rules so that after a specified number of visits, Windows Azure sends a message to all of the mobile phones used by the employees responsible for working in the area informing them that a particular toilet or towel dispenser needs to be serviced. Using Microsoft BizTalk Server, we send this information to our Financial Management Information System and to our customer SharePoint portals to keep track of our progress. We are using the same system to measure whether a plant needs water, whether a door has inadvertently been left opened at night, or whether a mouse trap needs to be reset. The minute the threshold is reached, we know what has to be done in a specific room of a given building. So we're no longer doing a standard routine of cleaning—only when it’s required. Q: That seems like a lot of information to track. How is the ability to process big data playing into your solution? Jansen:   The ability to cost-effectively process big data has made the solution possible. Each sensor captures multiple messages on an hourly basis, and we have thousands of sensors set up across all the facilities we manage.  Our database holds several terabytes of data, and that quantity is growing exponentially with every customer we add. None of this would have been possible five years ago. The amount of processing power that we would have needed and the amount of data that needs to be stored would have made the investment cost-prohibitive. Q: What role do Office 365 and SharePoint Online play in the solution? Jansen:   We’ve developed a customized portal for each customer using SharePoint Online, which they can view using Office Web Apps. The portal shows when we are coming to service the facility. It incorporates a map with all the inspection points, including mouse traps, toilets, towel dispensers, etcetera. It highlights all current issues as well as those that already have been fixed. And it displays the sensor data as easy-to-read bar charts searchable by topic via drop-down menus. This allows clients to get a high-level overview of what’s happening, while also reviewing the detailed data. So, for example, a manager can get a summary of pest control issues in his building, and then click through the portal to see the status of a specific room or even a specific trap.  We’ve also built a new feature into the SharePoint portal that allows customers to communicate with us. Initially, we’ll be deploying it at one of the hospitals we manage so that our client can inform us when a patient leaves and the bed needs to be made. Most Dutch hospitals have a shortage of beds, so it’s paramount that they be turned around quickly. Once the bed is made, our workers can send a message via their mobile phone back to the SharePoint portal. This will enable the hospital to put its bed space to more efficient use. Q: How has your automated solution improved customer service? Jansen:   It’s improved our customer service by enabling us to offer a higher-quality service at a lower price. By using the sensors, we’re focusing on the jobs that need to be done at that moment and eliminating unnecessary work. For example, we used to visit one of our pest control contacts every week.  But with the sensors, we now know the number of mousetraps going off without actually visiting the site.  So we can now simply visit the site when a mouse is caught rather than checking whether or not it’s happened. That’s reduced our hours and thus our cost to the customer. What’s more, customers now feel we are helping them 24/7 rather than just a few days a month. We’re also providing our customers with better information. With all the sensory data at our disposal, we can tell our clients what’s actually happening rather than using our gut feeling. Customers really like that because they now have precise data that they can present to their managers as well. Q:  What benefits has ISS Netherlands derived from the solution? Jansen:   It’s made us more competitive. By using web portals and other technology we’re on top of the league. With our automated solution, we’ve been able to serve more customers at lower cost with the same number of workers. But we’re not stopping there. Each day we’re examining how we can expand the uses of our solution to further improve our services. Using Microsoft technology, we’ve created a whole different way of managing facilities—one that’s highly efficient and provides top value for our customers. 
          Virtuele applicatieomgeving juiste oplossing voor The British School in The Netherlands         
Situatie De verouderde IT-omgeving leidde tot honderden onbeheerde applicaties op de werkplekken, lange inlogtijden, slechte netwerkprestaties en grote ontevredenheid bij beheerders, leraren en studenten.
          Hottest Hats at the Royal Wedding        
1. Queen Elizabeth II

2. Victoria Beckham

3. Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (British socialite)

4. Miriam Gonzalez (Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's wife)

5. Norma Major (wife of former British Prime Minister John Major)

6. Sally Bercow (wife of House of Commons Speaker John Bercow)
7. Frances Osborne (wife of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne)

8. Zara Phillips (daughter of Princess Anne)


9. Marina Fogle (the wife of the television presenter Ben Fogle)

10. Princess Letizia of Asturias

11. Princess Anne

12. Charlene Wittstock (wife of Prince Albert II of Monaco)
13. Princess Beatrice (right) and Princess Eugenie (left)
14. Carole Middleton (Kate's mother)

15. Queen Sofia of Spain

16. Camilla, (Duchess of Cornwall )

17. Princess Victoria of Sweden

18. Princess Michael of Kent

19. Princess Maxima of the Netherlands

20. Sophie, (Countess of Wessex)

21. Sophie Winkleman, (Lady Frederick Windsor )

22. Lady Helen Taylor

23. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

24. Santa Palmer-Tomkinson, (socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson's sister)

Exclusive Zara Philips
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          jadwal pertandingan sepak bola seluruh liga luar negri        

updated every 1 min., don't refresh Last Update: 25/04/2010 15:12:46
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25 April
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18:30
          Debate triggered on whether to allow Dutch merchant vessels hire private protection against piracy        
Debate triggered on whether to allow Dutch merchant vessels hire private protection against piracy English.news.cn   2013-09-23 19:54:39 by Christien van den Brink THE HAGUE, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — The Netherlands is one of the last European countries that doesn’t allow … Continue reading
          So Long and Thanks for All The Fish... and Crabs... and Bacon...        
This is it, the final post!  The last one of the whole damn blog.  It's a weird milestone, but it wasn't a sudden decision. Actually, I decided this somewhere during my madcap overview of state foods, somewhere between Georgia and Illinois (I can’t remember exactly), and well after I realized that I just no longer had the money, time or gas to go back around the Beltway again.  But still, after 6 ½ years (exactly - the first two posts were on September 12, 2006), 1,780 posts, 2,977 comments (as of this posting), about 310 recipes attempted (most of which were somebody else's recipes I was interpreting) and about 810 eateries, festivals, markets and food trucks visited, it’s time to pack it in.  The “blog fatigue” has taken a strong hold, and just like Ray Lewis (RAVENS W00000000T!!!!!!), Tina Fey (30 ROCK W00000000T!!!!!!) and Benedict XVI (zuh? Er, RAVENS W00000000T!!!!!!), I want to go out on a high.

No, not “I want to go out high”.  I want to go out ON A high.  Good grief. 


I’ve learned a lot these past several years of being part of the Baltimore food blogging community. I’ve tried to winnow that down to a list, with items in no particular order.  Some are more particular than others.  To wit:

1. There are a lot of good crab cakes in this city. And a lot of bad ones.  But the bad ones are usually still better than the ones you find elsewhere.

2. You just can’t buy a stand mixer cheap, even from your favorite thrift store.  You just can’t.  Don’t do it.

3. You can really smoke pork barbecue in the slow cooker.  And in the oven.  Beef brisket, too.

4. Eating something you’ve grown is pretty damn satisfying, even if all you got from several broccoli seeds was one head the size of your fist.

5. Restaurants can actually improve, though how much so is debatable.

6. They can also get worse.

7. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get excellent food or service.

8. But you CAN end up spending a fortune and get craptastic service instead.

9. Chinese food in the US is a bit different than it is in the UK or in the Netherlands. Or, especially, in China.

10. You can actually pop sorghum at home.  Amaranth, too.  And while a dome popper (that rotates the kernels) might be preferable, you can get away with using just a stainless steel stockpot.

11. I now know how to make poi.

12. And sushi.

13. And beer. 

14. And New York, New Haven and Chicago style pizzas.  I just need to make sure they stay flat. 

15. There are some good eats from food trucks.  Here and in DC.  And LA.

16. Recipes are there for a reason.  Use them.

17. And read through them first!

18. That said, so long as you know where to improvise (and what to search for on the internet), you don’t have to follow the recipe to the letter.

19. As much as the woman irritates the hell out of me, I have to admit that Sandra Lee’s heart is in the right place in trying to help home chefs without a lot of scratch make something edible.  She doesn’t always succeed (ahem), but at least she tries.  To paraphrase Sophia Petrillo, her heart’s in the right place but I don’t know where her brain is.

20. Still, what’s up with those goddamn tablescapes!?

21. Guy Fieri, on the other hand... I have no friggin’ clue why he’s still on TV.

22. Hooray for the people who thought up Restaurant Week.  And brewpubs.  And Dogfish 90 Minute IPA.

23. I now know that people in South Dakota deep fry raw beef and eat it on toothpicks.  That’s about as All American as you can get.

24. I have grown an appreciation for wine, but I will always be a beer person at heart.  Double IPA please, only one if I have to drive somewhere, and only water until I can drive.

25.  Oh yes, don’t drink and drive.

26. Homemade tomato sauce has totally ruined the stuff in a jar for me forever.  No high fructose corn syrup! (Seriously, look at the ingredients the next time you buy store bought.)

27. Locally sourced really does taste better than the stuff they ship 2,000 miles across three time zones just so we can have cauliflower out of season.

28. Sometimes all you want is a nice, juicy hot dog. Without bacon.  That’s right, I said “without”.

29. Yes, I love bacon, don’t get me wrong.  But everything in moderation.  If you have bacon all the time, it’s not special.  (Didn’t Margaret Cho say that once?)

30. That said, this blog has re-introduced me to the pleasures of cooking with bacon grease.  In moderation.

31. That Bitchin’ Kitchen show is pretty damn strange, and it rocks.

32. Nigella Lawson has such a great way of phrasing things on her shows and in her cookbooks.  It’s such fun to read her.


33. If you have the time to explore food in local places you never get to visit, take it.  Otherwise someone raised in Lansdowne won’t find the excellent hot dogs in Dundalk, fried oysters in Edgewood or Chinese and Japanese food in Overlea that he should be discovering (or the pit beef in Lansdowne and Arbutus that folks in Dundalk, Edgewood and Overlea are missing, too - and yes there is also good pit beef in Dundalk and off Route 40).

34. The internet is a great repository for recipes, but there will always be a place for cookbooks.

35. I wish there were more people out there like Jolene Sugarbaker, the Trailer Park Queen.  Someone at LOGO get her a cooking show, dammit.

36. Seriously, what is up with this ridiculous "throw it up overnight Frozen Yogurt shop" craze? It has to end sometime. So long as the people working all of them find other work. Don't want anybody out of a job.


37. It's El-li-KIT City, not El-li-COT City! Jeez Louise, people.

38. A few things I regret not having blogged about these past few years:
  • Jamaican food, particularly jerk chicken
  • The Charleston, though that one is because I could not afford it. Still can't afford it. Likely never will. Wah waah.
  • How to steam crabs. Sure we all know how to do that here, but I never actually got around to writing an actual how-to post.
  • The Museum Restaurant, now snuggled in the former space where the Brass Elephant used to be.
  • More family recipes, and maybe an exploration of the hallowed Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery.
  • More posts about food, food production and nutrition writing. I've read and/or listened to on audiobook more than a few lately that really deserve more of a mention on a site like this one:
    • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and family
    • The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentleman Farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
    • The American Way of Eating by Tracie MacMillan
    • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (also been meaning to check out Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation. That one's next on the bucket list).
39. This city needs more Ethiopian restaurants. And Nigerian ones, too. And barbecue joints.

40. If you want an array of free cookbooks, go to the Book Thing in Waverly. Not just cookbooks but any books: you can take your old books that you don't want anymore and take home with you whatever you want. Granted, the selection skews towards the older stuff (hello, cookbooks for 600 watt microwaves from the early 80's), but it's still a fascinating bevy of cookbooks.

41. You want the essence of "Smalltimore"? When you are out with your friends getting pizza at Iggie's and you see a member of the Ace of Cakes show outside the window, then you mention it on the blog, and then she comments afterwards! Please keep rockin' this town, Mary Alice, and all y'all at Charm City Cakes. That's Smalltimore.

And that’s it.  I can’t really sum up 78 months worth of posts in one post much less one paragraph, so I’m not even going to try. But I will say that I have met a lot of interesting and talented people in this Baltimore food blog community, and made friends and shared experiences I am lucky to have.  Keep reading their food blogs, because they have forged into directions I had only thought about once in a long while, and many have been able to profit off of the experience (some of them have actual books you can buy now).  I am horrified at the thought of forgetting somebody and not going back to correct it, with this being in my final post and all.  So instead I thank all of you in the Baltimore food blog community as a whole. Y’all are awesome (yes, I meant "awesome" :D ), and you make me hungry.

I finish the blog very fortunate to have even had the money to do this. There are so many people in this country and in this world who just go hungry, who don't have access to anything healthy and have to worry about whether or not to buy food for themselves and their families, and here I am blogging about what I ate last week downtown. Reflecting on that kind of puts some things in perspective for me.

I’ve also learned (in large part on my own) a lot that I did not know, and probably would not have made the time to know were it not for this blog.  Eats around the Beltway that the food reviewers don’t often look at when they’re focusing on the finer and kitschier dining options in the city.  Specific foods in specific parts of the country that I’d never even known existed (from three different kinds of Native American frybread, to what a New York chocolate egg cream actually is, to how to make an honest-to-goodness sabayon for your Seattle sea scallops, to how long it actually takes to boil crawfish Louisiana-style).  Ditto for the world (from Papua New Guinea to Tanzania to leading 2010 World Cup contenders.  I’m looking at you, Uruguay).  The variety of festivals in the Baltimore area that are a cheap way to explore the area’s cultural diversity (and food), the original motivation for this blog in the first place back when it started as the Charm City Snacker.  The silliness of live-blogging a cooking competition show in real time, MST3K-style.  

And of course, this:




Ah yes, Aunt Sandy's infamous Kwanzaa cake video. You didn’t think I’d end the blog without slipping that in one more time, did you?

I am incredibly lucky to have undergone this experiment, and I thank everyone who has been a fan these past 6 ½ years, and the hardworking people who make and serve the food I’ve talked about.

So what does the future hold for me?  Danged if I know.  Work, family, hopefully some romance here and there, definitely some food.  I will say this: I am heading to New Orleans for a conference in May and getting some delicious food there, and hopefully in my down time seeing the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (particularly their Maryland exhibit - they do indeed have one).  Plus I’ll be eating locally and growing locally more often than I have in the past.  Most exciting, however, is a trip to Dublin for my birthday (the one in Ireland).  I normally would not do this or even bother to scrounge up the money, but it’s one of those "big" birthdays and I wanted to do something special.  Again, I’m incredibly thankful and lucky that I even get to do this.

Apart from all that, I will just continue cooking food, growing food, investigating recipes from my own backyard and from around the world, but without telling cyberspace about it (alright, I might mention a few of these things on Twitter, but not on here).  Before I decided to finish the blog, I got a hold of my Great Great Aunt Florence’s old recipe book.  I had thought of working through each recipe and seeing how it turned out (there are two crab cake recipes in there, plus one for a Dream Whip Cake).  Maybe I should write a blog about it?

Nah, done that already ;)

 

And so, this is John, signing off for the last time.  Don't worry - I'm not taking the blog down. It's staying up for the foreseeable future, and probably longer than that. I will check and moderate the comments for a while and maybe add a few jump breaks to some of the longer posts (now that they've bothered to add that capability when I need it the least). Oh, and I should direct you to the newly-indexed State-by-State page to the right.  But I’m not posting anymore.  Seriously, I’m done.  I am pooped. I will miss this blog, but I’m really looking forward to missing it. And finishing it.  Really.

Now what better way to finish than with one of those crazy food haiku?

Time to close up shop.
Bawlmer Snacker is complete.
Now, what’s for dinner? :)

(No the smiley face doesn’t count as an extra syllable!  It’s still a haiku.  Sheesh.)

          Best Of: Restaurants        
I have had a lot of great experiences eating out these last few years, and it's difficult to winnow this list down as well.  What were my favorite eating out experiences during The Baltimore Snacker?  Well, I could not list all of them, but I tried to list about 20-to-30-ish in the Baltimore area (plus a handful of others elsewhere).  They're in alphabetical order by type of cuisine, and I try to do one of each type of eating establishment for variety.  Also note: yes, I am missing a lot of places, in a lot of neighborhoods.  This reflects my favorites.  That doesn't mean yours isn't any good.  Believe you me, I may not have even gotten to eat at your favorite in all the years I've been writing this blog.

Favorite African: Dukem (Ethiopian - Mount Vernon, with another location in Washington, DC; featured in the post "Dukem #2", published December 17, 2006) - Always a good place for some filling beef wot and lamb fitfit.  Get an Ethiopian lager or stout while you're at it.
  • Honorable mention: The Yabba Pot (vegan/soul food - Station North/Charles Village - apparently it's now closed); Peju's Kitchen & Lounge (Nigerian / West African / Caribbean - Woodlawn); I'm still meaning to try Tam Tam (Senegalese - Rosebank) on York Road.

Favorite African-American/Southern/Barbecue: TIE: Reginald F. Lewis Museum Café (Little Italy/Downtown - first featured in the post "Not a Festival - Reginald F. Lewis Museum", published July 10, 2007) and Miss Shirley's (various locations and food truck - first featured in the post "Food Truck Fight!!!!!", published June 26, 2012) - The café at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History is one of the best museum cafés I've ever eaten at: some of the tastiest fried catfish and macaroni and cheese in the area.  As for Miss Shirley's, they have lovely grits, especially with the unexpected addition of mascarpone.  Fascinating.
  • Honorable mention: Andy Nelson's BBQ Restaurant (Cockeysville - surprising enough, I've never blogged about this one either); Blacksauce Kitchen (food truck, often at Waverly farmer's market - not blogged about this one either.  I'm slackin'...)
Favorite American/Eclectic/"New American" (the last of which could be anything really, since nobody knows what the hell it means): The Food Market (Hampden - first featured in the post "The Food Market in Hampden") - Chef Chad Gauss used to be at the City Café, which had some wonderful food while he was there.  Sure the food there is still pretty good, but Gauss definitely took the best stuff with him to his new Hampden location.  It's pricey and super-busy, so go on a weeknight, preferably during Restaurant Week.
  • Honorable mention: City Café (Mount Vernon); Owl Bar (Mount Vernon); Mount Vernon Stable (Mount Vernon); Rocket 2 Venus (Hampden)
Favorite Baked Goods: Iced Gems Baking (cupcakes - Reisterstown & food truck; first featured in the post "Iced Gems Baking", published May 13, 2010) - Love their English rose cupcakes - with real rosewater, I might add - and their vanilla chocolate, chocolate vanilla and vanilla vanilla offerings.
Favorite Brewpub: Heavy Seas Alehouse (Little Italy - first featured in the post "Random Bites: December Edition", published December 26, 2012) - My sister and her husband just loved this place when they stopped here from Savannah over Christmas.  So many good recommendations from the waitstaff, and so many good beers, made right in Halethorpe, I might add.

Favorite Burger: Alonso's (Roland Park; first featured in the post "Exit 25: MD-139 (Charles Street, to area colleges)", published February 22, 2008) - This was a tough one to winnow down, and the ones in the "Honorable Mention" category were justthisclose to being at the top.  But I have to go with the easy choice: their one pound burger is definitely one to take home and finish later, but it's still a yummy burger.
  • Honorable mention: So, sooooo many: City Café (Mount Vernon); Gino's (Towson); Marie Louise Bistro (Mount Vernon); Owl Bar (Mount Vernon); Shake Shack (various locations, including Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, and Downtown, Washington, DC); Sláinte (Fells Point)
Favorite Candies: Rheb's Candies (Violetville; first featured in the post "Rheb's Candies", published December 8. 2007) - Family lore has it that my grandmother worked there for a short time in the 50's.  Such wonderful candies they have there, all homemade, hon.
Favorite Central Asian/Middle Eastern: The Helmand (Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "The Helmand", published September 23, 2006) - I wasn't sure how to formulate this category.  Where to put the Helmand: South Asian?  Central Asian?  I settled on this.  Or I could just create a category just for Baltimore's favorite Afghan restaurant.  Wonderful pilau, shawerma and my favorite dish of course, the kaddo borawni.  This was the second restaurant I ever blogged about, by the way.
Favorite Chinese (Americanized or otherwise): TIE - Asian Court (Ellicott City - first featured in the post "Asian Court", October 1, 2011) and Golden Gate (Catonsville/Arbutus - first featured in the post "Exits 12B-C - MD-372 (Wilkens Ave., East and West)", published September 12, 2007) - Asian Court is one of the few (but becoming more common) places to find food that would be recognizable as "Chinese food" in China.  Wonderful dim sum.  Golden Gate is a more Americanized Chinese place, with the reliable old orange chicken (my favorite of theirs), though they, too, are starting to make more "Chinese Chinese" dishes available to the public.
Favorite Crab Cake: G & M (Linthicum; first featured in the post "G & M", published April 5, 2007) - Yes, I went there.  I chose a favorite crab cake place.  I've had other good ones in this city but there's a reason why G & M keeps making Top 5 lists all over Bawlmer: big ass crabcake with so little filler it'll amaze you how they got it so big.  Complete with cole slaw and those bright red pickled apple slices that are so ubiquitous in Charm City.
  • Honorable mention: Faidley's (Lexington Market); Lansdowne Inn (Lansdowne - No, it's not the best crab cake, but it holds a very special place for me since my father often walked there from the house to get himself and Mom crab cakes.  Again, not the best crab cake in the area, but they are a sentimental favorite of mine.  Plus we held Dad's wake there after his funeral.  We had spaghetti that time though.  Again, sentimental favorite.).  
  • Avoid: Royal Farms Crab Cake (seriously, Royal Farms?)
Favorite Deli: Attman's Delicatessen (Little Italy/Corned Beef Row - first featured in the post "Trekkin' around Little Italy and Corned Beef Row", published October 13, 2008) - A Bawlmer institution that I've been lucky to know since childhood, when my father would drag my sister and I there to get a few pounds of kosher dogs, lots of bologna and corned beef.  Oooooh, I can still taste it.
Favorite Diner: Towson Diner (Towson - first featured in the post "Exit 26A and B: MD-45 (York Road, to Lutherville and Towson)", published March 6, 2008) - Snappy, friendly service and good, filling pancakes, Reubens and the like.  Still haven't ventured to try the mile-high cakes yet.  So much cake.

Favorite Farmers' Market / Local Food (Farm-Affiliated) Store: 32nd Street Farmers' Market (Waverly; first featured in the post "Waverly Farmers' Market", published June 7, 2008) - Open every Saturday (except, maybe, in a snowpocalypse), they've got good stuff there - not just the myriad of fresh veggies and fruit but so much more!  Everything from buffalo (Gunpowder Bison) to meat pies (Curry Shack) to milk, butter and so on (South Mountain Creamery).
Favorite Gay/Lesbian Bar: The Club Hippo (bar/gay & lesbian - Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "The Hippo", published October 11, 2006) - With a wide selection of beers on tap (DeClaw, Dogfish, New Belgium, Leininkugel, Shiner, Natty Boh, all the usual suspects) plus a big dance floor (that I never use 'cuz I can't dance, and don't ask me) that doubles as the scene for many a drag or leather competition, this is my go-to place in Mount Vernon.  See it fill up Monday nights for RuPaul's Drag Race or Wednesday nights for BINGO!
  • Honorable mention: Grand Central (across the street - are we really everywhere or just at the corner of Charles and Eager?); Nellie's Sports Bar (Shaw/U Street, Washington, DC); DC Eagle (Washington, DC)
Favorite Hot Dog: Haute Dog Carte (hot dogs - Mount Washington; first featured in the post "Haute Dog Carte", published September 3, 2010) - Hands down.  Just the "regular" dog is special enough, but those special dogs?  Oh my.
  • Honorable mention: Ann's Dari-Creme (Glen Burnie); Weenie World (Dundalk - now closed) 
Favorite Indian/South Asian: Indigma (Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "Indigma", published September 2, 2007) - Oh, this was a tough one.  There are so many good Indian places in and around Baltimore these days it's difficult to choose.  But you gotta hand it to Indigma: they suffered a massive fire and bounced back bigger than ever.  Their buffet is one of the most interesting, though not terribly pricier than the others.

Favorite Irish Pub: Sláinte Pub (pub/Irish - Fells Point; first featured in the post "Sláinte Pub and the Amazing Last Minute Goal", published June 23, 2010) - Yes I go there for the soccer.  And I stay there for the food (Irish bibimbap and Friday $1 oysters, anyone?  Plus their fish and chips are definitely worth a look or two) and the Guinness.  They do have other beers, too.

Favorite Italian (non-pizza): TIE: Sotto Sopra (Italian/Sardinian - Downtown; first featured in the post "Sotto Sopra", published June 13, 2008) and Chiapparelli's (Little Italy - last featured in the post "Tidbits: Boys of Summer Edition", published August 29, 2010) - Have had very good service in both places.  At Sotto Sopra the food is real Sardinian home cookin'.  Can't afford Opera Night, but I try to eat cheap anyway.  Chiapparelli's for Restaurant Week is also a beautiful thing.
Favorite Japanese: Minato (Japanese - Mount Vernon; featured several times, including "Minato the Threequel", published September 1, 2007) - My go-to place for sushi and friendly service.  Their Maryland roll is fascinating, especially on $7 special maki roll night.  Try not to miss happy hour.

Favorite Korean: Jong Kak (Korean - Koreatown/Charles Village; first published in the post "Jong Kak", published April 20, 2008) - My friends and I don't even have to say where when one of us suggests "Korean".  The barbecue is always filling and flavorful, the pajeon never too greasy, and the panchan goes well with a nice crisp bottle of Hite beer.
Favorite Local Grocery Store, Hon, Ethnic or Otherwise: Geresbeck's (supermarket - Middle River; first featured in the post "A Dangerous Love Affair with Geresbeck's Bakery", published October 18, 2007) - Their cakes are just wonderful, and the smearcase is legendary.  And don't forget some chocolate top cookies.  Yes, I'm specifically raving about their bakery here.  Yum.

Favorite Mexican: TIE: El Nayar (Catonsville and Elkridge - first featured in the post "El Nayar", published June 16, 2009) and R&R Taquería (Jessup/Elkridge - first featured in the post "Random Bites: December Edition", published December 26, 2012) - It's tough to find authentic Mexican in this area, but thankfully it's becoming easier!  El Nayar's taco plate is some of the more authentic I've had in the area, while R&R has the best cochinita pibil in Baltimore hands down.
Favorite Pit Beef: Chaps Pit Beef (Armistead Gardens/Hopkins Bayview - I have not yet blogged about this, though watch this weekend) - Yes, we should bow to the king here - Chaps Pit Beef is a local legend, and it should be: wide selection of pit beef and BBQ, though I have to zero in on the pit beef.  Just plop some horseradish and "tiger sauce" on it and a little bit of hots.  Woh-ho-ho. Lansdowne is really getting built up these days.  But right near the new Wal-Mart and the Home Depot is a long-standing SoWeBaltCo (Did I just make up a new term?) tradition: that wonderful little pit beef truck with juicy pit beef and lots of horseradish and barbecue sauce to go with.  If only I was in the area more often when it's there.
Favorite Pizza/Pizza and Subs: Vito's Pizza (Cedarcroft/Lake Walker; first featured in the post "Vito's Pizza", published April 8, 2009) - Good pizza of all kinds, since the owner - from Naples - knows what he's doing.  Delicious.
  • Honorable mention: Pasta Mista (various locations, including Canton and Towson - New Yorkers who live down here swear by it); Iggie's (Mount Vernon)
Favorite Tapas/Small Plates: 13.5% Wine Bar (Hampden; first featured in the post "13.5% Wine Bar", published August 24, 2009) - A job hunt at the time didn't deter me from one of my favorite Hampden eateries.  Their wall o' wine is intimidating unless you just stick to cocktails or beer.  They have wonderful selections of cheese, pizzas and many different finger foods. 
  • Honorable mention: Tapas Teatro (Station North/Charles Village - this was, in fact, the very first restaurant I ever blogged about).  
  • Avoid: La Tasca (Inner Harbor- warmed-over frozen mixed veggies from a bag - yum.  Easily the most bleh, half-assed tapas I have ever had.  But that's what I get for eating at a chain restaurant in the most touristy part of the city)
Favorite Thai: Thai Restaurant (Waverly; first featured in the post "Thai Restaurant", published April 14, 2010) - the fried crab wings (yes, crab wings) alone are reason to go there.  The pad thai is good but explore their many other offerings, will ya?
Favorite Vegetarian/Vegan: Mango Grove (Columbia; first featured in the post "Mango Grove", published February 16, 2008) - It's not often I will go out of my way to eat vegetarian food, but when I do, I prefer Mango Grove.  Two words: bread pakora.  And the dosa?  Lovely.


Favorite Vietnamese: Pho Miss Saigon (Glen Burnie - first featured in the post "Exit 3B - MD 2 South (Ritchie Hwy to Glen Burnie)", published June 11, 2007) - Good filling phò and not that pricey.

Favorite Wine/Beer/Liquor Store: The Wine Source (Hampden; featured several times, including "Baltimore Beer Week Continues...", published October 14, 2009, "Get this wine - but I DARE you to close it back up!", published July 14, 2008), and "Sake, Sake Everywhere (Post #999)", April 17, 2009) - They have always been so knowledgeable about any wine that this non-wine person might ask about.  Wondrous selection of beers, too.  Also sample the cheese and charcuterie section while you're there.
Also worth noting...


Favorite Dearly Departed Restaurant: Zodiac Restaurant (American - Station North [now closed]; last featured in the post "Last Call at the Zodiac", published August 9, 2008) - For a quick bite before a show at the Charles Theatre or (now relocated) Everyman, I loved this place for its goofy decor, its line of vegan desserts and very non-vegan entrées (I so fondly remember their hamburger, and the mashed potatoes even more so), and its apparent hauntings which I had never experienced.  Since they shut down operations in 2008, apparently the Club Charles next door carries some of their same menu offerings.  The Zodiac still exists, though not as a restaurant: it's now a comedy club.  Maybe that ghost is having fun pushing patrons down the stairs again?

Favorite Coddies:  I hate coddies.  Never liked 'em.  I have no favorites.  There, I said it.

And now, just a handful of favorite eats out in other parts of the country and the world...


Aroma (Chinese/Malaysian - Soho, London, England, UK; featured in post "Aroma", published January 6, 2007)

BCD Tofu House (Korean - various locations, including Los Angeles' Koreatown; featured in the post "From Bulgogi Tacos to Avocado Salsa: A Day of Eating in LA", published May 26, 2010)

Bojo (Indonesian - Leidesplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands; featured in post "Amsterdam Trip Part Drie: Little Bites Here and There", published March 25, 2008)


Bool BBQ (Korean/Mexican - food truck, Los Angeles; featured in the post "From Bulgogi Tacos to Avocado Salsa: A Day of Eating in LA", published May 26, 2010)

Casa Maya (Mexican/Yucatecan/Maya - Mentone, California; first featured in the post "Casa Maya", April 7, 2007)

The Castaway Restaurant (American/brunch - San Bernardino, California; first featured in the post "Easter Sunday Eatin' Part 1: Castaway of San Bernardino", published April 9, 2007)

Duplex Diner (American/gay and lesbian - Adams Morgan, Washington, DC; featured in the post "Adams Morgan for Capital Pride", June 17, 2011)


Meskerem (Ethiopian - Washington, DC; first featured in the post "Day at the Smithsonian / Meskerem (or, "Hey, where did all the Ethiopian restaurants go?")", published December 31, 2008)

Moon River Brewing Company (brewpub/American/Southern - Savannah, Georgia; first featured in the post "Georgia on My GPS Part 3: Moon River Brewing Company / Savannah Candy Kitchen", published June 27, 2009)

Pig & Fish (pub/American - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; first featured in the post "Tidbits: Rehoboth in August Edition", published August 6, 2011)


Rudy's Barbecue (barbecue - Austin, Texas; first featured in the post "Austin City, Unlimited Part I - Of Barbecue and Barbacoa", published June 5, 2012)

Shake Shack (hamburgers/shakes - most locations in New York, New York, with locations in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; first featured in the post "Weekend in New York: The Food", published July 17, 2009)


Wagamama (Japanese/ramen - various locations, mostly in the UK and continental Europe, with three stateside locations, all in Boston, Massachusetts; featured in several posts, including "Wedding in Provincetown Part II: Back to Boston", published September 23, 2011)
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The tournament hosts suffered a remarkable 7-1 defeat to Germany in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday, having trailed5-0 after just 29 minutes in one of the most comprehensive beatings in World Cup history. David Luiz apologised immediately after the match, as did Dani Alves, while even Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger said sorry to the Brazilian fans. Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has now followed suit, acknowledging that it will take time to come to terms with the shock result. "I'm not sure how long it will take for me to get over this. This pain is big, big," he said. "The people wanted a good result, a win, the title, but we lost in the semi-final and all we can do is say sorry." Fernandinho said he had no explanation for Brazil's defensive woes, which sawthemsensationally shipfour goals in six minutes. "The first half was unbelievable," he said. "Incredible things happened out there. We can try for the rest of our lives to explain what happened, but we won't find the words. "I've never experienced anything like that in my life." The 29-year-old believeswinning the third-place play-off against the Netherlands in Brasilia on Saturday could be pivotal to the nation's recovery. "The best way for us now is to try to finish in third position," he said. "The most important thing now is the psychological recovery. We have to recover for Saturday, to play to finish the World Cup in the best way we can. "We have three or four days to take some rest and think just about the next game."
          Medel provides resistance, but Neymar and Brazil edge through: how Stats Zone saw Brazil 1-1 Chile (3-2 pens)        
This match was a fitting beginning to this World Cup's knockout stages: a meeting between the hosts and one of the most exciting teams in the group stage. As expected, the game started brightly, with both teams looking to commit men forward and attack at speed. However, in the first 15 minutes there were few goal-scoring chances to speak of, with the best falling to Brazilian full-back Marcelo, who shot wide of the near post. Ironically, given the open nature of the early stages of the match, the first goal came from a set-piece. Neymar's in-swinging corner was flicked on by centre-back Thiago Silva, with his defensive partner David Luiz bundling in at the far post. It may have looked scrappy, but it will have been a pre-planned routine. Brazil were ahead, but if anything that appeared to make them more nervous. Sloppy mistakes started to creep into their play, and it was always likely they'd be made to pay. They did when Hulk miscontrolled Marcelo's quickly taken throw-in. The Zenit striker was promptly dispossessed by Eduardo Vargas, who pulled the ball back to Alexis Sanchez. The Barcelona forward was immediately under pressure from Brazil keeper Julio Cesar, but did brilliantly to calmly tuck the ball into the bottom corner. The equaliser seemed to draw Brazil out of their shell a bit more, but they still weren't having things all their own way. With Chile particularly strong in central areas (more on that later), Brazil were forced to go wide. Over the course of the match, it was full-backs Marcelo and Dani Alves who attempted the most passes in the attacking third - although they were only able to create 1 opening each. One major obstacle for Brazil was Chile midfielder-come-defender Gary Medel. The Cardiff City man has been superb all tournament, and his showing against Brazil was no different. Not only did he make 12 clearances, 3 interceptions and 2 blocks - he was also the game's top passer. And all this while carrying a muscle injury. It seems unlikely he'll be turning out in the Championship with the Bluebirds next season. It wasn't quite such a productive afternoon for another Premier League midfielder - Manchester City's Fernandinho. The 29-year-old replaced the out-of-sorts Paulinho at half-time in Brazil's previous match against Cameroon and made a huge difference, but he couldn't match it against Chile. He completed just 10 passes in 72 minutes - in fact, he made nearly as many fouls, somehow avoiding a booking. The second half was far cagier than the first. Hulk had the best 2 chances. The first saw him denied by referee Howard Webb, who ruled out what initially looked a perfectly good goal for handball. The second saw the burly forward drop a shoulder to beat two men, then hammer in a shot that was saved by Claudio Bravo in the Chile goal. Chile's best chance came in extra-time, when substitute Mauricio Pinilla rattled the crossbar from the edge of the box with just seconds left on the clock. Pinilla may still have been thinking of that chance when he stepped up to take Chile's first penalty of the shootout. His relatively tame and central penalty was comfortably saved by Cesar. If that one was routine, Cesar's second save certainly wasn't. He did superbly to get down to Sanchez's placed shot. Misses from Willian and Hulk meant the pressure was on posterboy Neymar to bury Brazil's fifth penalty - and he did just that to give the hosts a 3-2 lead. Former West Brom, Brighton and Nottingham Forest man Gonzalo Jara then struck the post, and Brazil scraped through. Facts and figures Brazil’s last 4 World Cup extra-time appearances have all gone to penalties: Last 16 vs Chile 2014 (Won), semi final vs Netherlands 1998 (Won), Final vs Italy 1994 (Won), quarter-final vs France 1986 (Lost). Brazil have failed to score a single goal in any of their last 6 appearances in World Cup extra-time. Brazil have lost just 1 of their last 16 World Cup games when they had scored first (W13 D2). Alexis Sanchez has scored 5 goals in his last 6 competitive games for Chile. Chile have never kept a clean sheet against South American opposition at the World Cup (5 games). Chile have conceded 12 goals in their 4 meetings with Brazil at the World Cup finals, an average of 3 per game. Chile have never beaten the Seleção on Brazilian soil, losing 20 and drawing 7. Brazil are unbeaten in 41 successive matches in Brazil, with their last defeat coming against Paraguay (0-1 in a friendly) in August 2002. The last 8 World Cup shootouts have been won by the team going first. Brazil have progressed in each of their last 6 second round matches at the World Cup. Brazil’s passing accuracy of 72.9% was their second lowest in a World Cup match from 1966 onwards (lowest 72.4% in 2002 final, against Germany). Analyse Brazil 1-1 Chile yourself using Stats Zone
          Chemical Dependency Treatment Potent Foods        
Soups
Soup is good for you! Maybe not the canned varieties from the store - but old-fashioned, homemade soup promotes weight loss. A study by Dr. John Foreyt of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, found that dieters who ate a bowl of soup before lunch and dinner lost more weight than dieters who didn’t. In fact, the more soup they ate, the more weight they lost. And soup eaters tend to keep the weight off longer.

Naturally, the type of soup you eat makes a difference. Cream soups or those made of beef or pork are not your best bets. But here’s a great recipe:

Slice three large onions, three carrots, four stalks of celery, one zucchini and one yellow squash. Place in a kettle. Add three cans crushed tomatoes, two packets low-sodium chicken bouillon, three cans water and one cup white wine (optional). Add tarragon, basil, oregano, thyme and garlic powder. Boil, then simmer for an hour. Serves six.
Beans
Beans are one of the best sources of plant protein. Peas, beans and chickpeas are collectively known as legumes. Most common beans have 215 calories per cooked cup (lima beans go up to 260). They have the most protein with the least fat of any food, and they’re high in potassium but low in sodium.

Plant protein is incomplete, which means that you need to add something to make it complete. Combine beans with a whole grain - rice, barley, wheat, corn - to provide the amino acids necessary to form a complete protein. Then you get the same top-quality protein as in meat with just a fraction of the fat.

Studies at the University of Kentucky and in the Netherlands show that eating beans regularly can lower cholesterol levels.

The most common complaint about beans is that they cause gas. Here’s how to contain that problem, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): Before cooking, rinse the beans and remove foreign particles, put in a kettle and cover with boiling water, soak for four hours or longer, remove any beans that float to the top, then cook the beans in fresh water.
The Alternative To Meds Center specializes in chemical dependency treatment and detox and rehab
          Indonesian churches criticise far-right anti-Muslim film        

The Council of Churches in Indonesia has joined calls for a controversial Dutch film about Islam made by far-right politician Geert Wilders not to be shown. In the past he called for the Qur'an to be banned.

The Council of Churches in Indonesia has joined a growing chorus of calls for a controversial Dutch film about Islam not to be shown - writes Andreas Havinga from Utrecht, Netherlands.

The film, made by far-right politician Geert Wilders, is entitled "Fitna", an Arabic word used to describe strife or discord, usually religious. Wilders has said the 15-minute film, expected to be released later in March, will show how the Qur'an is "an inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror".

The Indonesian council has asked the Protestant Church in the Netherlands to lobby the Dutch prime minister, Jan-Peter Balkenende, to intervene and so prevent "very great problems". The request was made in a letter handed to the Dutch church's general secretary, Bas Plaisier, during a recent visit to Indonesia.

The Council of Churches in Indonesia has 87 member churches with millions of Christian believers. Indonesia was the largest Dutch colony, which became independent after the Second World War.

The Indonesian council in its letter also asks the Dutch church to make clear to Wilders that his film will "seriously disturb" relations between Christians and moderate Muslims in Indonesia. It asks that he not release the film.

Wilders has repeatedly said he is determined to release the film despite government warnings that this would damage Dutch businesses and endanger Dutch nationals living abroad.

In February, the main governing body of the World Council of Churches, its central committee, added its voice to the concern expressed in the Netherlands and in other parts of the world about the release of the film. It urged Christian communities "to seek common cause with other religious communities to respond to crises that occur in such a way as to model a non-violent and respectful solution".

During his visit to Indonesia, Plaisier spoke with both Christians and Muslims about the possible consequences of the film's release.

The Protestant Church sent Wilders a letter in January, asking to meet with him, but had not yet received a reply. In a 5 March statement, the Protestant church quoted its general secretary Plaisier as saying, "Freedom of speech is great, but when we see what immense consequences Wilder's film could have, also and especially abroad, then surely he has to consider not releasing the film."

Wilders' film will not be broadcast on Dutch television, the national daily Volkskrant newspaper reported on 6 March. No channel wants to agree to Wilders' condition that the film must be shown in its entirety.

Wilders said in February that his film will at least be released on a Web site dedicated to the film. The Web site went on-line on 6 March at www.fitnathemovie.com.

In the past, Wilders has called for the Qur'an to be banned and likened it to Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf", written before he took power in Germany in 1933. Wilders leads the Freedom Party, which has nine seats in the Dutch parliament and he has had police protection since Dutch film-director Theo Van Gogh was killed by an extremist Islamist in 2004.

[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches.]


          Dutch students 'grow' a biodegradable car made of beet sugar and flax        
The next step in environmentally-friendly motoring is here, thanks to a team of students in The Netherlands. Members of the TU/Ecomotive team at the Eindhoven University of Technology successfully created a biodegradable car made out of beet sugar and flax. Weighing just 684 pounds (310 kg), the lightweight, eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 50 miles (80 km) per hour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTEuJP5jeqE According to Reuters, the only components not made of bio-based materials...
          Dutch engineers unveil floating island to combat rising sea levels        
As a result of climate change which is propelled by mankind’s unsustainable habits, sea levels are rising and land is becoming even more scarce. In The Netherlands, specifically, this is a sobering reality considering two-thirds of the country is situated below sea level. Fortunately, Dutch engineers are already developing solutions, one of the most newsworthy being a “floating mega-island” which is comprised of 87 floating triangles tethered to the ocean floor. https://youtu.be/BYUvegKa1TQ Engineers...
          UNDP's Human Development Index: Top 10 countries        

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday declared its report on the Human Development Index (HDI) which ranked India at 130, an improvement of 5 positions from its previous ranking.

The report, compiled on the basis of estimates for 2014, ranked Norway at the top.

ALSO READ: India ranks 130th in Human Development Index: UNDP

So, which countries are in the top 10? Check out the list below.

  • Norway (1)
  • Australia (2)
  • Switzerland (4)
  • Netherlands (4)
  • United States (5)
  • Germany (6)
  • New Zealand (7)
  • Canada (8)
  • Singapore (9)
  • Denmark (10)
  • India (130)
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UNDP's Human Development Index: Top 10 countries

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          Harrison on Religon        

After years of interviewing hundreds of believers of more than a dozen religions around the world, Guy P. Harrison has written a book entitled 50 reasons people give for believing in a god (1) in which he strives to be a kinder and gentler religious skeptic than the so-called "new atheists." (2) Harrison writes:

This (book) is a respectful reply to the friendly people around the world who shared with me their reasons for believing... My fifty replies to common justifications for belief can be read as friendly chats designed to do nothing more than stimulate critical thinking. (p. 14)

Let's take a look at three of the reasons which believers gave Harrison and his replies.

Firstly, believers say, it is obvious that god exists. After all, god is everywhere, god made everything, god answers prayers, and god runs the universe. But how can god's existence be so obvious, Harrison asks, when you consider that between 500 million and 750 million people on our planet are non-believers and that 93% of the elite scientists in the United States are non-believers? And how do you explain that beliefs about god in the two largest religions – Christianity and Islam – contradict one another? Christians insist that Jesus is god and the Bible is god's revelation while Muslims insist that Allah is god and the Koran is god's revelation. (3) (pp. 17-22)

Secondly, believers claim that "Society would fall apart without religion." (p. 295) If this is true, Harrison replies, then we would expect to find the least religious nations to be "bastions of crime, poverty and disease" and the most religious ones to be "models of societal health" but this isn't the case. He cites reports by the United Nations and research by social scientists which show that indicators of societal health are highest in the least religious nations and lowest in the most religious ones. The most secular nations – Sweden, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada – lead the world in life expectancy, adult literacy, per-capita income, educational attainment, and the status of women, and have the lowest rates of homicides, AIDS, and HIV. By contrast, the worst performing nations on these same indicators are among the most religious ones. (pp. 295-301)

Thirdly, believers say that the age of their religion is evidence of its merit. "A lie or a mistake," they declare, "could not have endured for so long." (p. 303) The problem with this justification, Harrison argues, is that many religions are old and many are not. If age is pivotal, he notes, we should all be Hindus because Hinduism is at least 6,000 years old and has roots in prehistory, and we should abandon "relatively young religions" such as Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, and Scientology. (pp. 303-307)

During his travels and interviews, Harrison made important discoveries. One is that, when it comes to religion, comparison shopping is non-existent. Nearly all believers follow the religion of their parents and their geographical region. Another is that most followers of a given religion have little or no knowledge of other religions. (4)

It remains to be seen whether Harrison's 50 reasons will spur the self-assessment and critical thinking that he hopes for in religious circles. That aside, the book is a helpful and informative guide to the deeply felt convictions of believers around the world and one observer's measured response to them.


 

  1.  Prometheus Books, 2008, p. 14. Future references to this book are by page number.
  2. The "new atheists" include Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens. Many readers, both religious and non-religious, have judged their work to be arrogant, dismissive, and insulting. For instance, see John F. Haught, God and the New Atheism, Westminister John Knox Press, 2008, and Chris Hedges, I Don't Believe in Atheists, Free Press, 2008.
  3. Harrison also notes that half the world's population rejects both Jesus and Allah.
  4. Harrison also mentions a third, namely, most believers rely on faith and have little interest in formulating or evaluating arguments. (p. 13)

© 2012 Tom Shipka


          A Lesson from Scandinavia        
  • During the years 2005 and 2006, American sociologist Phil Zuckerman spent fourteen months in Denmark and Sweden to study these two societies. In a recent book, he reports these findings: (1)
  • Denmark and Sweden have among the lowest rates of violent crime in the world. (pp. 28-29) (2)
  • Denmark and Sweden have the lowest rates of HIV and AIDS in the world. (p. 27)
  • Sweden is third and Denmark is fifth in the world in economic competitiveness. (p. 27)
  • On gender equality, Denmark is second and Sweden is third in the world. (p. 27)
  • On access to the Internet, Sweden is third and Denmark is fourth in the world. (p. 28)
  • Denmark and Sweden are tied for the lowest infant mortality rates in the world with Norway, Iceland, Japan, and Singapore. (p. 26)
  • Denmark and Sweden are tied for first place with the Netherlands in the health and safety of children. (p. 26)
  • Denmark ranks fourth and Sweden ranks eighth in the world in the standard of living. (p. 27)
  • Political corruption is virtually non-existent in Denmark and Sweden. (p. 28)
  • Denmark and Sweden are tied for first in the world in a recent international study of social justice (p. 30) (3), and
  • Denmark ranks second and Sweden ranks third in the world in financial aid to poor nations. (p. 29)


Thus, according to Zuckerman, Danes and Swedes are among the most contented and generous people on the planet. But that's not all that Zuckerman has to report about these two nations. Remarkably, he notes, two of the most prosperous societies in the world are also two of the least religious. (4) Indeed, a huge majority in both countries are atheists or agnostics. Only 24% of Danes and 16% of Swedes believe in a personal God compared to more than 90% in the United States. (p. 24) Only 18% of Danes and 33% of Swedes believe in heaven compared to 80% of Americans. Only 10% of Danes and Swedes believe in hell compared to 75% of Americans. (p. 11, pp. 24-25) This is the lowest rate of belief in hell in the entire world! (p. 25) Next, only 7% of Danes and 3% of Swedes believe that the Bible is the literal word of God compared to 33% in the United States. (p. 25) Further, Danes and Swedes have the lowest church attendance in the world with only 3% of Danes and 7% of Swedes attending regularly. (p. 25, p. 162) (5) Also, only 8% of Danes and 15% of Swedes consider it important for a politician to believe in God compared to 64% of Americans who do (p. 12), and contrary to public and private practice in America, very few Danes and Swedes pray. (p. 2) Finally, more than 80% of Danes and Swedes accept evolution while less than half our population does. (p. 10) (6)

Professor Zuckerman sees an important lesson for us in his study of Denmark and Sweden. Contrary to what we've heard from "certain outspoken conservative Christians" (7), the sociologist suggests, a secular society need not be a scene of violence and depravity. (p. 4, pp. 17-18) Denmark and Sweden, he says, are not only "impressive models of societal health" (p. 17) but living proof that humans can survive and prosper without religion. (pp. 55-56) (8)


 

  1. Zuckerman reports his findings in Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment, New York University Press, 2008. All references hereinafter are to page numbers of this book.
  2. For instance, in Aarhus, Denmark, a city of 250,000 residents, there was a total of one murder in 2004. (p. 6)
  3. This study was done by a German group of social scientists associated with an institute called Hans-Bocker Stiftung. (p. 30) Denmark and Sweden are not without problems, however. Taxes are high, there is social friction due to recent waves of immigration, children eat too much candy, rates of bicycle thefts are high, fertility rates are low, and alcohol consumption is high. (p. 34)
  4. Other irreligious societies are the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Estonia, France, Japan, Bulgaria, Norway, England, Scotland, Wales, Hungary, and Belgium. (p. 25) Zuckerman points out that in all of these relatively secular societies the citizens freely gravitated from a religious to an irreligious perspective unlike North Korea, the former Soviet Union, China, and Albania where the governments attempted to impose secularism on the citizens. Zuckerman says that forced secularism doesn't work. See pp. 20-22.
  5. Paradoxically, despite the fact that most Danes and Swedes are atheists or agnostics and don't attend church regularly, 83% of Danes and 80% of Swedes continue voluntarily to pay a tax to the National Church, which is Lutheran (p. 112), and many hold traditional events such as weddings, baptisms, confirmations, and funerals in church. Zuckerman says that Danes and Swedes, while rejecting the supernatural dimensions of Christianity - Jesus performed miracles, Jesus was God, Jesus rose from the dead, the Bible is God's revelation, the Genesis account of creation is accurate, there is an afterlife with a heaven and a hell, etc. – maintain a "cultural religion" similar to many Jews. (pp. 153-155) Oddly, in Denmark a person may be a pastor and an atheist. (p. 154)
  6. Despite the fact that Danes and Swedes are irreligious, they are not hostile to religion, they shun serious discussions of it, they deem a person's views about religion a private matter, and many non-believers dislike being labeled an atheist because they take the term to imply hostility to religion. Further, many non-believers self-identify as "Christians." When one asks them what it means to be a Christian, they say it means being kind, helping people who need help, not hurting others, etc. As a rule they reject the supernatural components. See Chapter 8, "Cultural Religion," pp. 150-166. Also, see pp. 97-109.
  7. Zuckerman lists the following examples of Christian conservatives who claim that a society that is irreligious will fail: Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Schlesinger, William Bennett, Rush Limbaugh, and Paul Weyrich. (p. 4, pp. 17-18)
  8. American fundamentalists will no doubt object to Zuckerman's strongly favorable evaluation of Denmark and Sweden by noting that in these countries abortion has been legal for more than thirty years, prostitution is legal, and homosexuality is tolerated.

© 2008 Tom Shipka


          Religion and Morality        

The popular view among religious people is that religion is indispensable to morality in that religion affirms the existence of a God who has revealed a law to direct humans how to live. (1) There are problems with this position, however, from the perspective of philosophy. Religion relies on faith while philosophy relies on reason. The three central beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam which have a bearing on morality and which are embraced on faith are that 1) There is a God, 2) God is good and not evil, and 3) God has ordained rules for living which humans can learn. Although some believers past and present have accepted the challenge of philosophy to prove these beliefs by reason, their efforts have fared poorly in the judgment of professional philosophers.
The third belief - that God has issued a moral law which humans can learn - is particularly intriguing.
On the one hand, there are strong differences within and among the religious traditions as to where one should look to find this law. Shall we turn to scripture? If so, should we consult the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, or another holy writing? Shall we turn to a prophet? If so, should we consult the teachings of Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahaullah, or another holy person? Or shall we turn to our local pastor or a famous televangelist or to our central church administration or to ourselves?
On the other hand, within the same religion, it is difficult to find a moral consensus. There are often strong differences over issues such as divorce, plurality of spouses, the status of women, abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, birth control, stem cell research, and how to deal with followers of other religions, sects, and the non-religious. On this point consider the gulf between Episcopalians and Baptists in America, and Sunni and Shia in Iraq.
The fact is that religion is not nearly as important to morality as widely believed. Consider these points:
Firstly, some of the most perceptive and inspiring discussions of ethics in the past generation have come from seculars such as Paul Kurtz, Kai Nielsen, Peter Singer, and Arthur Kaplan.
Secondly, largely secular groups, such as scientists, and largely secular societies, such as the Netherlands, are at least as well-behaved as predominately religious groups and societies.
Thirdly, Utilitarianism (Always seek the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people) and Ethical Egoism (Always seek your own long-term happiness), the major classical teleological or consequence-based moral theories, and Kantianism (Always act on a maxim that you can wish to universalize), the major classical deontological or duty-based moral theory, are all products of reason.
Fourthly, the Constitution of the United States and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, documents which set out moral frameworks for modern living, make no reference to God or religion except to guarantee freedom to practice religion.
Fifthly, research by Harvard anthropologist Marc Hauser shows that religious and non-religious people have the same moral intuitions when faced with the same ethical dilemmas. (2)
Finally, the Golden Rule, the only moral rule which all the world's religions affirm, has been established on entirely rational grounds by Immanuel Kant, arguably the most important writer on ethics in modern history, as what he called the categorical imperative.
______
1. One prominent science, Stephen Jay Gould, also seems to support the view that we should turn to religion to learn how to live. See "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," Natural History 106 (March 1997): 16-22. Here Gould argues that science and religion are not in conflict for their teachings occupy different domains or magisteria. Science tells us how the universe works and religion tells us how to live. Science tells us how the heavens go and religion tells us how to get to heaven.
2. Marc Hauser, Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. Also, see M. Hauser and P. Singer, "Morality without religion," Free Inquiry 26: 1, 2006, 18-19.

© Tom Shipka 2007


          Ayaan Hirsi Ali : A Voice of Dissent in Islam        

For many Western political leaders, the problem in today's world is not Islam, which they see as a religion of peace, but religious extremists who subvert it. But this viewpoint is coming under fire from a growing list of writers (1), including Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Though a young woman at 36, Ayaan Hirsi Ali has received no less than a dozen major awards in Europe and the United States for her advocacy of Muslim women and in 2005 she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. Recently she was the subject of one of George F. Will's syndicated columns (September 21, 2006).

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia and raised a Muslim. She lived there and in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, until, at the age of 22, she ducked an arranged marriage to her father's cousin and settled in the Netherlands where she learned the language, completed her education, and eventually became a member of Parliament. In 2004 Ali published a book in Dutch which was recently translated and published in the West the under the title, The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam. Ali also wrote the script for a short film "Submission: Part I " which highlights passages in the Koran which disparage women. Theo van Gogh, director of the film, was murdered by a Muslim fundamentalist shortly after the film was shown and Ali was herself threatened with death. Ali holds that in the name of religion, Muslim women "are enslaved in their homes" (p. 7) (2) subjected to genital mutilation and "disownment" (or abandonment) by their families for any real or imagined offense, and denied education and other opportunities for personal and professional growth.

But Ali's critique of Islam goes beyond this. She says that Islamic culture most needs what it most abhors : skepticism. She calls for an enlightenment in the Islamic world much the same as the one in the Christian world centuries ago. She writes: "(W)e Muslims are already imbued with faith and superstition. What we need are schools of philosophy"(p. 15) "Let Us Have a Voltaire" is the title of a chapter in her book. (pp. 35-41) "(A)ll Muslims," she says, "share the conviction that the fundamental principles of Islam cannot be criticized, revised, or in any way contradicted." (p. 9) This dogmatism explains virtually all the defects in Islamic culture, she says, including the 'fanaticism' of terrorists, sectarian strife, lagging the West in "technology, finance, health, and culture" (p. 15), lack of respect for individual autonomy and women's rights (p. 14), the political authority of mullahs, the failure of Muslims to read important Western thinkers, the lack of "a credible and workable political model" (p. 19), and Muslim hypersensitivity to criticism. On the last point, she writes "I am outraged that Muslims are not more offended by the invocation of Allah and 'God is great' for murder (by terrorists) than by cartoons." (p. xv) Her own skepticism is evident. "I have come to realize," she writes, "that the existence of Allah, of angels, demons, and a life after death, is at the very least disputable." (xi)

Ali recently left Europe for her own safety and accepted an appointment at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., where she is now working on a new book in which the Prophet Muhammad has an imaginary dialogue with John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, and Karl Popper. No doubt we can expect more sparks to fly once she publishes it.


 

  1. These include Muslims and non-Muslims such as Salman Rushdie, Irshad Manji, Ibn Warraq, Taslima Nasreen, Muhammad Abu Zaid, Bernard Lewis, and Sam Harris, among others.
  2. Quotes are from "The Caged Virgin"

Copyright © 2006 by Tom Shipka


          Comment on It’s Repair Café’s birthday by At Repair Cafes, ‘Beloved but Broken’ Possessions Find New Life – Meek Voices        
[…] The Repair Cafe concept has its roots in Amsterdam, where Martine Postma, a former journalist, came up with the idea after the birth of her second child prompted her to think more about ways to reduce the waste going into landfills. Repair Cafe started in 2009 and spread across the Netherlands. Today, it has more than 1,100 sites in almost 30 countries. […]
          Denmark captain wants more after Germany women’s Euro win        

Bavel (Netherlands) (AFP) – A day after a stunning win over eight-time champions Germany at the women’s Euro, Denmark skipper Pernille Harder said the scalp had left her team were hungry for more.

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          Denmark stun Germany France crash out of women’s Euro        

Tilburg (Netherlands) (AFP) – Germany’s hopes of a seventh successive European women’s title were shattered on Sunday when second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen gave Denmark a shock 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

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          Denmark stun Germany England beat France for first time in 43 years in Euro        

Tilburg (Netherlands) (AFP) – Germany’s hopes of a seventh successive European women’s title were shattered on Sunday when second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen gave Denmark a shock 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

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          Denmark stun Germany in women’s Euro quarters        

Tilburg (Netherlands) (AFP) – Second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen stunned holders Germany who bow out of the women’s Euro after a 2-1 loss to Denmark in Rotterdam on Sunday.

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          Netherlands ease past Sweden into Euro semi-finals        

Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema handed hosts the Netherlands a 2-0 win over Sweden and a spot in the women’s Euro semi-finals on Saturday.

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          Dutch into Euro semi-finals Germany v Denmark postponed        

Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema handed the Netherlands a 2-0 win over Sweden and a spot in the women’s Euro semi-finals Saturday before the quarter-final pitting Germany against Denmark was postponed to Sunday because of heavy rain.

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          Confident England face France at women’s Euro        

Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – A confident England will seek to extend their perfect record at the women’s Euro against France while Spain will take on newcomers Austria on the second day of quarter-finals on Sunday.

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          Women’s Euro Championship minnows Austria spark excitement at home        

Wageningen (Netherlands) (AFP) – Newcomers Austria have comfortably sailed into the women’s Euro quarter-finals past France, Iceland and Switzerland, turning ...

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          France Austria reach women’s Euro quarter-finals        

Rotterdam (Netherlands) (AFP) – A late Camille Abily free-kick sent 10-woman France through to the women’s Euro quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, alongside newcomers Austria who routed Iceland 3-0 on Wednesday.

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          Germany Sweden into women’s Euro quarter-finals        

Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Holders Germany beat Russia 2-0 to set up a women’s Euro quarter-final clash with Denmark while Sweden also advanced to the ...

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          Business for Galaxy Note 3 will be getting better in Netherlands in favour of customers tomorrow | FinestAndroid.com        

Galaxy Note 3, Samsung’s powerful smartphone purchases in Netherlands this Saturday will receive €125 discount ($170), and free 64GB microSD worth €50 = $68. There will be a number of participating stores, so if you happen to be in the country you can purchase your Galaxy Note 3 from one of this stores to benefit […]

The post Business for Galaxy Note 3 will be getting better in Netherlands in favour of customers tomorrow | FinestAndroid.com appeared first on FinestAndroid.com - top new android apps 2016.


          Bicycle school bus in Netherlands        

We hope no one planned to sleep on the school bus that morning.

          Getting Back at It        
Had my buddy Anthony Bennett in town for a
game as we got back to work this week at Tempo.
What are very popular here in Europe are summer "holidays", when the locals enjoy hitting the road with family or friends to head to mountain or lake homes, the beach or nearby cities with good night scenes.

Most baseball leagues across the continent will take anywhere from 3-6 weeks off between their regular season and postseason, a gap I think is a bit ridiculous for three reasons; teams lose momentum gained throughout the four-month regular season; play is sloppy early in the playoffs as teams work themselves back in game shape; and the best time of the year for baseball, weather-wise, is wasted.

That being said, I gave our guys two weeks off, and we started back this week with a four-day training camp in the mornings as well as single games on Tuesday and Thursday here in Prague and a doubleheader on Saturday in Bratislava, Slovakia. The first week away from the club was much-needed ... they needed to get away from me as much as I needed to get away from them. But the second week, I was itching to get back at it, and sat around most of the time playing with practice plans, figuring out our pitching rotation, and pretty much doing everything than I should have been doing during my time off, which is relaxing. 
 
The training camp, in my opinion, was a huge success. Our junior (16-18 year old) players, whose commitment I've openly questioned since I arrived in the Czech Republic, was fantastic. First guys to practice, sprinting everywhere, doing everything that was asked of them, they were like a completely different group than I had come to know.

One player in particular, an outfielder named Pavel, went from buried on the bench because of his lack of attendance at practices (most guys here are at about 90 percent attendance; some guys unfortunately don't approach that number) to in a position now with a few players unavailable to travel with us this weekend where he'll be starting in center field in our game against the Hungarian national team. For a young guy, what a great opportunity.

If any of you junior guys are reading this, I hope you keep the same work ethic you've demonstrated this week for the remainder of the season.

On Tuesday, we welcomed Anthony Bennett, a good buddy of mine from Hungary who is now coaching the Robur '58 club in Holland. As everyone around the baseball community knows, baseball in Holland is as good as it gets in Europe, and the Netherlands hangs with the big boys worldwide as well (they won the Baseball World Cup last year). Those guys did not disappoint, coming into to our yard and proving to be everything you'd expect from a club from over there; fundamentally-sound, talented and chalked full of guys who know how to compete. We ended up making a late run to make the final score 10-8, but they beat us up pretty good for the most part and were an example of what kind of club we're striving to become. Anthony, to no surprise of mine, has done a great job in his first year with the team.

On Thursday, we traveled across town to take on the A team from KRC Eagles Praha, which finished third in the regular season in the ExtraLeague, which we are seeking a return to after three seasons spent in the Českomoravská liga, the second-division here in Czech. Our guys set the tone early and we jumped to a 4-0 lead, but the big inning was our undoing, as they touched us up for six runs in the fourth and coasted to a 13-6 win. The score might not indicate it, but I thought we looked like a different team from the one that took a 14-3 loss to the Eagles in our first game of the season in their tournament back in March. Our guys were more confident at the plate, attacking fastballs early, and even when they had scored eight unanswered runs against us after our initial lead, we answered with two runs and had the game at 8-6 in the sixth. Earlier this season, we may have folded up shop in that situation.

This weekend, we'll conclude our week back on the field with games in Bratislava against one of their local clubs, Apollo Bratislava, as well as a game against the national team from Hungary, which is coached by another American buddy of mine, Justin Prinstein. Two more good tests as we look to face as many quality teams and as much good pitching in "friendly" games as we can before our first game in the ÄŒeskomoravská liga semifinals on September 8.

It feels good to be back on the field, and everyone's batteries seem to be recharged for the last, most-important leg what will be a nine-and-a-half month season for our guys by the time we wrap up in October.
          Snow White at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival        
No, it’s not the ever-famous animated feature...it’s the live action 1916 feature film that served as a young Walt Disney’s inspiration!

Snow White (1916)
The fine folks at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival have scheduled the rare silent feature Snow White (1916) to play this coming Saturday, February 16th, 2013. The film was directed by J. Searle Dawley and stars Margeurite Clark, Dorothy Cumming, Creighton Hale, Lionel Braham, and Alice Washburn. Silent film accompanist Donald Sosin will be playing on the grand piano for this marvelous presentation.

What makes this film so important, and especially of interest to animation historians? The story goes that in 1917, a 16 year old Walt Disney saw the film which was being shown in a free event at the Kansas City Convention Center. It was one of the first features Walt saw, and the experience was an inspirational one. Twenty years later, in 1937, Walt’s studio released the first major sound-era animated feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a subject that marked an extremely important turning point in animation history.

I recall seeing a brief clip of the film in a 1950s-era retrospective from the Disney studio but the film had been considered lost in recent decades. Thankfully, materials surfaced in the Netherlands and a print was preserved by the George Eastman House film archive. This is a screening anyone in the San Francisco area should attend--I wish I was going to be there!

The film is being shown in conjunction with the impressive Walt Disney Family Museum, which I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting, but it has been highly recommended to me by all colleagues who have been there. An introduction for the film is to be given by a leading Disney historian I am proud to know, J.B. Kaufman. Mr. Kaufman has two new excellent books out, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Film and The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Be sure to attend this fabulous event!


          Comment on Merry Christmas by Wouter Jansen        
Freedom is not knowing your limits but realising you have none! Merry x mas Wouter Netherlands
          Amsterdam Jul 06, 2011 — Amsterdam, Netherlands        
Europe 11
                  

Goodbye Fukuoka

So, that's it! The time has come for me to leave Japan and with it must also end The Daily Shashin. It's been a fun little project and I'd like to thank all of you who have regularly visited this page and kept me motivated and encouraged by your comments and kind words.

I am now embarking on The Heneghan Half-World Tour which, after brief visits to Taipei and Hong Kong, will see me undertake the 14,000 km journey from Singapore to London by train and bus.

From Singapore I'll be passing through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and finally the UK, so it promises to be a fantastic adventure, especially from a photographic perspective. I will leave Singapore on August 1st and I aim to arrive back in the UK in the first or second week of September. You can keep up-to-date on my trip via my other blog and I will try to make posts there as often as possible as I make my way home.

In the meantime if you want to see more photos please feel free to check out my Flickr page.

That's all for now, I'll be embarking on a new project in the autumn once I get back to sunny England!

Take care everyone!
          Comment on Dual Citizens of Sweden, France, Netherlands, Denmark & Canada take note! Your Country WILL NOT Collect for the U.S. by The Isaac Brock Society | Dual Citizens of Sweden, France, Netherlands, Denmark & Canada take note! Your Country WILL NOT Collect for the U.S.        
[…] cross-posted from citizenshiptaxation.ca […]
          Blondie - Sunday Girl (1979)        

Blondie - Sunday Girl 1979

"Sunday Girl" was a UK number-one single by Blondie for three weeks in May 1979. It was Blondie's second UK number-one single after "Heart of Glass"; it was, however, never released as a single in the US.
[edit] Song information

The song was written by Chris Stein and was the fourth single to be taken from the album Parallel Lines in the UK and most other parts of the world. The French language version of the track was first released in the UK on the "Sunday Girl" 12" single; in France and the Netherlands, it was the B-side of the 7". For Blondie's first greatest hits album The Best of Blondie in 1981, producer Mike Chapman created a special mix which incorporated one verse sung in French. The bilingual version appears on the 2002 compilation Greatest Hits.

The single had an unusual release in Australia, with some dispute among fans as to whether it reached #1 there or failed to chart. This is because of its initial release as the lead single from Parallel Lines, due to its being reminiscent of "In The Flesh", Blondie's first hit in Australia. "Sunday Girl" failed to chart, however, and was later re-released as a double A-Side with "Heart of Glass", on the back of its UK success. As a result, it was eclipsed by the disco track, and is rarely recognised as having charted in its own right.

(11 votes - 0 comments - 1464 views)

          Dutch arrest 2 suspects in investigation into tainted eggs        
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) " Dutch investigators on Thursday detained two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of pesticide at poultry farms that sparked a food safety scare in several European countries.The detentions and a series of coordinated raids in the Netherlands and Belgium marked another escalation in a widening scandal that has seen eggs tainted with the pesticide Fipronil stripped from shelves in countries including the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. [...]
          The Latest: Romania seizes eggs imported from Germany        
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) " The Latest on an investigation of eggs tainted with an illegal pesticide in Europe (all times local):7:35 p.m.Romanian authorities say they have seized a ton of imported eggs suspected of being contaminated.The Veterinary Health Authority said in a statement that authorities discovered 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of eggs before they had reached supermarket shelves. They had arrived in the western city of Timisoara from Germany.It [...]
          Images Referencing Samsung’s Upcoming Galaxy S7 Edge Surface On The Internet        
Images Referencing Samsung’s Upcoming Galaxy S7 Edge Surface In The Internet

It appears that Samsung itself had leaked the existence of the Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone. Images referencing the upcoming Galaxy S7 Edge appeared on a Samsung developers web page, as well as last year’s Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. The images were then reportedly changed so that the Galaxy S7 Edge reference could no longer be seen.

It is a good thing that Galaxy Club, a website based in the Netherlands, had grabbed screenshots of the developers web page before the reference was removed. Galaxy Club then posted its screenshots, which also included an upcoming feature that should roll out once the South Korean tech giant upgrades its handsets to Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow mobile operating system. What feature exactly? It comes in the form of a small vertical strip of information that should display along the side of the Galaxy S7 Edge. Users can swipe that strip to expanded the information presented, whether it be business news or the latest NBA scores. With this mind, Android users can fairly expect the upcoming Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone to ship with Marshmallow.

Unfortunately, the images could not clearly show if the Galaxy S7 Edge’s design has been altered compared to its predecessor, the current Galaxy S6 Edge. Specs notwithstanding, Samsung is expecting a lot from the Galaxy S7 Edge, and whatever Galaxy S7 devices will be unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress to be held in the beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain. Last year’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices were considered two of the finest handsets Samsung has ever produced, but the smartphones did not sell enough to improve Samsung’s sales figures (the company’s sales had dropped 3 percent in the final quarter of 2015). With continuing threat from rival Apple (who is expected to announce its new iPhone 7 later this year, and possibly a 4 inch iPhone next month that will feature the A9 chip) and from Chinese phone makers (Huawei, Xiaomi), Samsung really needs to step up its game.

The South Korean mobile manufacturer has already set a launch event on February 21st, a day before the 2016 Mobile World Congress is to start. Many industry watchers believe that Samsung will be announcing new flagship devices during this event. Speculation abounds that the new Galaxy S7 devices may feature even larger display screens, and may even come with a pressure sensitive screen (just like Apple’s 3D Touch technology in its current iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices). More than a week ago, benchmark scores were also leaked.

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          READING COMPREHENSION        

1.HATES CRIMES

            The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.

            Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes

            The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.

  1. How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
  2. How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
  3. Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
  4. How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
  5. How many hate groups are there nationwide?
  6. What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
  7. How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
  8. Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
  9. What was the increase in hate groups last year?
  10. Who is Hillary Shelton?         

2.PILOT  ACCUSED

            Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .

            Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"

            Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

            Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"

  1. When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
  2. How long has he been held in jail?
  3. Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
  4. What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
  5. What did he hide in 1993?
  6. Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
  7. What are the conditions of his bail?
  8. What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
  9. Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?

3.BOSNIA INJURIES

            On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .

            NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.

            In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"

             And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".

  1. How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
  2. Where were the two American soldiers inured?
  3. Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
  4. Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
  5. How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
  6. Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
  7. What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
  8. Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
  9. Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
  10. Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


4. CLONE SYSTEM

            Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?

            Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid . as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .

            After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.

            A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.

  1. What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
  2. What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
  3. What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
  4. Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
  5. What is the main problem of cloning system?
  6. What does Australian scientist claim?
  7. What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
  8. For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
  9. What is the specific with mitochondria??
  10. Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?


5. ARSON IN THE VILLAGE


            On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.

            The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 

            The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.

            The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.

            The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.

            The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.

1.      When did the car stolen?
2.      What was the lost property?
3.      What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.      What was the demand of political party?
5.      What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.      What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.      How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.      En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.      What was the monitor action on the scene?
  10. what action did the local police take ?

6. Authoritarian regime


            President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.

            "We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.

            It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 

            The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.

            The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.

            The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.

             Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

  1. Which countries are called golden triangle country?
  2. Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
  3. What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
  4. Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
  5. What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
  6. Where is the international court of Justice located?
  7. why were the thousands of people jailed ?
  8. What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
  9. How many political prisoners were jailed?
     10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?

7.  GAMBLE

            November 27, 2001 Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.

            Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports. And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.

             Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.  The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.

            The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved.

1.      How may gang members arrested?
2.      What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.      Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.      How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.      How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.      What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.      What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.      What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.      What were weapons confiscated.
          10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?

8.  EBOLA

            Sunday, December 9, 2001 An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in  France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.      What did government request to Media?
2.      Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.      Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.      When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.      What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.      What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.      How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.      What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.      Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    


9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

            US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .

            There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country

            It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.  Who is Taras?


10. THE UNITED NATION

            The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states. After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs
1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat
                                        1. International court of justice.

            The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

            America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

            Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


1.HATES CRIMES

            The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.

            Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes

            The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.


  1. How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
  2. How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
  3. Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
  4. How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
  5. How many hate groups are there nationwide?
  6. What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
  7. How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
  8. Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
  9. What was the increase in hate groups last year?
  10. Who is Hillary Shelton?         

2.PILOT  ACCUSED

            Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .

            Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"

            Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

            Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"

  1. When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
  2. How long has he been held in jail?
  3. Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
  4. What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
  5. What did he hide in 1993?
  6. Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
  7. What are the conditions of his bail?
  8. What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
  9. Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?

3.BOSNIA INJURIES

            On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .

            NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.

            In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"

             And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".

  1. How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
  2. Where were the two American soldiers inured?
  3. Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
  4. Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
  5. How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
  6. Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
  7. What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
  8. Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
  9. Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
  10. Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


4. CLONE SYSTEM

            Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?

            Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid . as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .

            After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.

            A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.

  1. What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
  2. What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
  3. What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
  4. Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
  5. What is the main problem of cloning system?
  6. What does Australian scientist claim?
  7. What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
  8. For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
  9. What is the specific with mitochondria??
  10. Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?


5. ARSON IN THE VILLAGE

            On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.

            The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 

            The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.

            The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.

            The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.

            The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.

1.      When did the car stolen?
2.      What was the lost property?
3.      What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.      What was the demand of political party?
5.      What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.      What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.      How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.      En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.      What was the monitor action on the scene?
  10. what action did the local police take ?
6. Authoritarian regime

            President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.

            "We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.

            It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 

            The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.

            The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.

            The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.

             Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

  1. Which countries are called golden triangle country?
  2. Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
  3. What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
  4. Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
  5. What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
  6. Where is the international court of Justice located?
  7. why were the thousands of people jailed ?
  8. What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
  9. How many political prisoners were jailed?
     10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?
7.  GAMBLE

            November 27, 2001 Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.

            Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports. And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.

             Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.  The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.

            The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved.

1.      How may gang members arrested?
2.      What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.      Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.      How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.      How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.      What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.      What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.      What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.      What were weapons confiscated.
          10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?

8.  EBOLA

            Sunday, December 9, 2001 An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in  France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.      What did government request to Media?
2.      Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.      Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.      When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.      What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.      What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.      How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.      What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.      Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    


9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

            US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .

            There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country

            It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.  Who is Taras?
  
10. THE UNITED NATION

            The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states. After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs
1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat
        
              1. International court of justice.

            The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

            America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

            Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.






1.HATES CRIMES

The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.
Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes
The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.





1.    How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
2.    How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
3.    Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
4.    How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
5.    How many hate groups are there nationwide?
6.    What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
7.    How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
8.    Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
9.    What was the increase in hate groups last year?
10.    Who is Hillary Shelton?   


2.PILOT  ACCUSED

Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .
 Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"
Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"
1.    When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
2.    How long has he been held in jail?
3.    Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
4.    What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
5.    What did he hide in 1993?
6.    Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
7.    What are the conditions of his bail?
8.    What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
9.    Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?



3.BOSNIA INJURIES

On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .
NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.
In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"
 And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".


1.    How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
2.    Where were the two American soldiers inured?
3.    Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
4.    Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
5.    How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
6.    Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
7.    What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
8.    Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
9.    Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
10.    Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


4.CLONE SYSTEM

Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?
Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid .
as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .
After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.
A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.


1.    What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
2.    What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
3.    What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
4.    Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
5.    What is the main problem of cloning system?
6.    What does Australian scientist claim?
7.    What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
8.    For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
9.    What is the specific with mitochondria??
10.    Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?
5.    ARSON IN THE VILLAGE

On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.
The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 
 The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.
The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.
The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.
 The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.
1.    When did the car stolen?
2.    What was the lost property?
3.    What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.    What was the demand of political party?
5.    What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.    What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.    How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.    En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.    What was the monitor action on the scene?
10. what action did the local police take ?

    

6.    Authoritarian regime

President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.
"We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.
It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 
The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.
The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.
    The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.
      Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

1.    Which countries are called golden triangle country?
2.    Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
3.    What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
4.    Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
5.    What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
6.    Where is the international court of Justice located?
7.    why were the thousands of people jailed ?
8.    What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
9.    How many political prisoners were jailed?
 10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?


7.  GAMBLE

November 27, 2001
Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.
Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested  one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports . And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.
 Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.
 The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.
The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved. 
1.    How may gang members arrested?
2.    What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.    Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.    How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.    How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.    What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.    What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.    What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.    What were weapons confiscated.
        10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?


8.  EBOLA

Sunday, December 9, 2001
An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in
France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.    What did government request to Media?
2.    Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.    Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.    When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.    What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.    What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.    How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.    What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.    Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    

9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

    US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .
    There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country .
    It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.    Who is Taras?

10. THE UNITED NATION

The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states.
    After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs

1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat

                                        1. International court of justice.

    The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

    America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

    Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


11.  UN FAILURE IN BOSNIA

    A long -awaited report into the failure of a Dutch UN peacekeeping force to prevent the murder of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Brebrenica will be published on Wednesday. The Netherlands is bracing itself for the results of the inquiry in to the worst massacre in Europe since world War second. The
    BBC's Europe correspondent says Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for their part in event leading up to the 1995 slaughter. In July 1995, Srebrenica was being protected by 110 Dutch troops who were supposed to ensure the safety of the town's mainly Muslim population against surrounding Bosnian Serb forces. The United Nations had declared it a safe area but when it  was attacked, the town fill with out the Dutch UN troops firings shot . Up to 8000 Muslim men and boys were then murdered.

Five years of research

                  While the Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for letting the town fall without a fight , fault is also set to be found with the over all UN commander for failing to order air strikes to protect the enclave. The report is also understood to criticize the Dutch government for showing lack of political will. The 7000-pages report by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation is the official Dutch history of events in Srebrenica. It has taken more than five years to produce. In a 1999 report, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blamed the international community for its failure to protect the enclave but insisted that it was impossible " to say whether a more decisive action by the Dutch would have saved lives" .A report two weeks ago by the Interchurch Peace Council ( IKV) in the Netherlands condemned Dutch troops, generals and politicians for failing to evacuate and protect the Muslims.

Scenes from hell

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague has ruled that the massacre was genocide. Last August it sentenced Bosnian Serb General Radisav Krstic, considered a key commander in the episode, to 46 years in prison. The judge in the case said the massacre was characterized by " scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history" Survivors' reports, aerial photography and grisly evidence exhumed from mass graves indicate the most victims in the massacre were summarily executed ,Dutch MPs may now call for a public inquiry. Seven military commanders of Royal Dutch army have been sentenced to seven years jail . Ten army personnel have been fired from the service and 20 have been restricted from the promotion as per the report of the criminal tribunal.   The BBC's correspondent Mr. Havel Eastward has been facilitated by the Dutch Government as a friends of mankind . After the massacre in the Srebrenica the Dutch government begs pardon with the Bosnian people and saying that her troops could not do any thing to save the life of the people and she is responsible to the accident.


1. How many Dutch troops were protecting Srebrenica?
2. What ethnic group were the people of Srebrenica?
3. Why the Dutch government begs pardon with the people of Bosnia ?
4. How many people were killed in Srebrenica?
5. How many army personnel were punished?
6. Who is criticized in the report?
7. Where is the International Criminal Tribunal based?
8. Would more positive action by the Dutch troops have saved lives?
9    What sentence was General Krstic given?
10    Who was facilitated by the Dutch government and why?


12.  SWARM ATTACK

    Six people were hospitalized after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in Singapore, a news report said on Tuesday. The bees attacked contractors who were trying to remove a beehive in the tropical city-state .Two police officers who were on the scene to keep back the public, were among those attacked and hospitalized. Police public affairs officers could not immediately be contacted to confirm the report. The incident occurred at approximately 12:30PM on Tuesday afternoon. Two of the people who were injured in the attack were still in the hospital on Tuesday night at 10:00 PM; however they were in good condition. Such incidents are rare in heavily urbanized Singapore. But two years ago , a 51 years old taxi driver died after he was stung by a swarm bees .The driver was changing his back left tire and he removed the deflated tire , a beehive was in the wheel well . Witnesses said that the swarm covered the man's face and hands and repeatedly sting him as he cried out in pain .He died later that night while being hospitalized. Singapore is a very small country covered by the see in the east of Asia and known as a well industrialized country.
    The big industry installations have many nooks and corners where the swarm bees get shelters. firstly people do not care about it because it seems harmless and small in the beginning but after  a year it  appeared in large scale and bees become escort free so they undermine their stung so they try to destroy their hives and got stung and the result  become very adverse. The same accident happened in The US in 1990 when a farmer had gone to his farmhouse to clean the room , he saw that there is a bee hive in the ceiling of the room he thought it was full of honey , unfortunately it was poisonous  swarm bee's hive.  He collected his two sons and a black servant to take the honey . In the mean time when they lit a fire to fly the bees , the swarm bees started stung them . The younger son who was in the door side escaped from the room after having a look at the victims and called the police . The house got in to the gutter by the fire and three injured had been hospitalize in the city centre . The house owner Mr. Kally died during the medical treatment and two had been discharged after 2 weeks with swollen face and bruises for the whole life.  The same accident happened in Nepal too on 23 September 2002. The Raute , who are famous for honey hunter ,had tried to collect honey from the very steep hill near Manang District. they made rope ladder to climb the hill and with the aid of fire they started collecting the honey .
    It was a documentary program filmed by Scottish Director visualized to broadcast in Britain  by BBC. Al together there were 15 men. When the honey hunter was climbing down from the steep hill after the successful visualization of the film. Unfortunately, one of the hunters touched the bees hive. Due to the finished job, they did not prepare for next attack and they all were on very thin cloths and without cloves . Three among five hunters fall down from the cliff and died. Two were severely bitten by the bees were died on the way to hospital and ten crew members of the visualization  were admitted in the hospital and discharged after 2 weeks .  It is said that the bees seems so calm if they are not hurt and if anyone hurt their queen , they become so terrifying and take revenge from the hunter . The queen is the most powerful among the bees. if the queen of the bees  safely removed from the hive it will be so easy to get the honey from the hive   which is considered as medicine  in eastern countries . The working bees always follow the queen bee , if she abandon the hive silently , all the bees left the hive with out revenge. so if you want to get honey remove the queen tactically and calmly.
         
1.    How many people had been killed according to the passage.?
2.    How many people had been injured according to the passage?
3.    Where was the bees's hive in the taxi?
4.    Who was the authentic person to provide informations about injured police officers according to the passage.
5.    What had happened to the two Americans who escaped from the death?
6.    What is the ideal idea to get honey?
7.    What did the team doing in Manning District?
8.    How did the taxi driver killed?
9.    Where was the bees's hive in the room?
10.    Who is the most powerful in the hive?

13.  ARAFAT POLITICS
    Arafat is not the point. As Israelis and Palestinians use ever more lethal means against each other's civilians, the question being asked in Israel and the US is not how to end the occupation, but whether or not to end the career, or even the life, of Arafat. At the time of writing this coverage trend in early February 2002, in a further escalation Israeli tanks have confined Arafat in an area of 200m square in Ram Allah. And have destroyed the remainder of his helicopter fleet that it began to destroy on the attack of his compound on 3 December 2001.
    If Israel killed Arafat or sent in to exile, nothing would change. It seems almost absurd to have to point out that forcing millions of people to live for decades under hostile military rule with no end on sight inevitably produces violent resistance. Only a mind -set that steadfastly refuses to recognize this can become captivated by a lone figure who's real and imagined failings became a smoke screen that obscures the machinery that actually drives the conflict.
    If Israel truly seeks the moral high ground it invokes in the international arena, it should stop seeking a relative high ground whose only elevation stems from the weakness and failing of its historical enemies. Rather Israel should address the most obvious things it dies to perpetuate the conflict.
    The bottom line is that the single most identifiable factor that perpetuates the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in all its forms, both legitimate, is the Israeli military occupation that exists to protect the continuing Israeli colonization of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Jerusalem.
    Comparisons of Arafat with Bin Laden serve to legitimize Israel's continuing repression of the Palestinians and bear no reality to the dynamics that this particular conflicts, dynamics that Israel has played no small part in creating.
    Israel's killing of civilians is a form of terrorism. The United States  tacit support of Israel's so called retaliation in US support of terrorism .Although Israeli officials are occasionally note don record " apologizing" for the latest " accidental" death of a child , there comes a point -- after a year in which one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed were children and 50 percent of these children were killed for away from clashes- that it becomes imperative to note that Israel could always simply stop killing children , instead of merely apologizing for it.
    Israel's nightly shelling of Palestinian neighborhoods has accounted for one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed during the first year of the Second Intifada .  Israel's regular killing of innocent civilians including children as a "by product " of its ironically titled" targeted killings " of Palestinian activists most commonly with rockets fired from combat helicopters at these leader's vehicles while in cit streets offer more examples of the indiscriminate violence that characterizes 'terrorism' as most people understand the word.
    Following a series of suicide bomb attacks in February / March 1996, then Israeli President Weizmann bluntly described Israel's practice of using closure to turn Palestinian towns in to prisons for the entire population: "Sometimes, when you are searching for a needle in a haystack, you have to burn the haystack".
    Israel has been encouraged to carry out similar "retaliation" as in the case of the December 2001bombing, by the knowledge that the United States would not condemn it. America must refrain from "understanding" Israel's violence. This can only have the effect of encouraging the continued Israeli killing of innocent Palestinian civilians.

1.    How many Palestinian children have been killed this year?
2.    How many Palestinians have been killed during nightly shelling?
3.    Are children targeted by the Israelis?
4.    Who is Arafat compared to and why?
5.    Where is Arafat confined, and what size of area?
6.    How many people live under hostile military rule in Palestine?
7.    What is the question being asked in Israel and the US?
8.    Why is Israel not afraid to carry out retaliation attacks on Palestinians?
9.    What happened in 1996?
10.    What dies Israel do when it is faced with suicide bomb attacks?








14.  BUS LOOTED
    A bus, which started off in Kathmandu , at 5:30 PM , traveling to Biratnagar , was looted by some Indian dacoits, which had crossed the boarder in order to escape the authorities there. They had been in Nepal for at least a month and had been regularly stopping night buses and robbing the passengers of all their belongings as well as money.
    When the bus number Ba Ga 3987, first started off from Gongabu Bus Park there was a total of 30 passengers. Just near Thankot 3 more passengers got on. The journey was uneventful until they reached Muggling, where they stopped for dinner. Here, the bus conductor managed to find 4 more people wanting to travel to Biratnagar . After about half an hour stop for dinner, they set off again. At Bharatpur 2 of the passengers got off as they had only booked up to this point. The bus had to wait for about one hour as the engine had trouble and the driver had to fix it .After this they started  of again and had a short tea break at Hetauda where another 2 people got off and one got on.
    At about 2:00 PM in the morning, when most of the passengers were asleep, the driver suddenly stopped as there was a tree across the main road. The passengers all wake up as the bus had come to a sudden stop, and were all looking out of the windows. Two Indian men dressed in black were behind the fallen tree with country made rifles; at the same time 2 also came from the back and two on each side of the bus. At once they told all the passengers to come out of the bus and line up in front of the bus, even though it as a moonlight night, no body could make out the faces of the dacoits, and could tell only by the way they spoke that they were from India. Everybody was told to remove their watches, jewelries and to empty out their pockets and moneybags. One of the men colleted all this while the others told all the passengers to lie down with their faces facing down. During this time the dacoits all disappeared, as nobody wanted to follow them as they might get shot

1.    How many passengers were on the bus when it was robbed?

2.    How many dacoits were there in total?

3.    How long did they stop for dinner?

4.    Why did they stop a second time before the robbery?

5.    How did the passengers know that the dacoits were not Nepali?

5.    Where did the bus start first?

6.    How many got in the Baratpur?

7.    Why did the bus have to stop suddenly?

8.    How many we on the bus at Muggling?

9.    Although it was night time how could the passengers make out how many dacoits there were?  
15.    KOSOVO POLICE

    On Monday 17 March 2003 , at 0745 hours , two Kosovo Police Officers were on patrol duty in a police vehicle when they observed a white van type vehicle , license 496KS858 driving very fast. The officers stopped the white van type vehicle for questioning using their blue flash lights. When the driver stopped, the patrol team stopped five meters behind his vehicle, however the van did not turn off its engine. As the officers exited their vehicle, the drivers of the white van type vehicle sped away very quickly. The officers ran back to their vehicle and chased the white vehicle .They were driving on the road to the airport. The police vehicle was driving at almost 120 km/hour but was unable to catch up to the van. Suddenly, the van turned north on to an unpaved roadway. The officers continued the pursuit. The van drove for approximately a hundred meters more. There was a big hole by the side of the road which the van fell into as the driver had lost control of the van, then it rolled upside down into a deep ditch on the south side of the roadway at grid reference 184-846. The officers stopped their vehicle on the opposite side of the roadway and proceeded cautiously toward the offender's vehicle. When they were approximately two meters away form the white van type vehicle they could see that the offender was still in his vehicle but was not moving. There were no sign of blood or injury  to the offender .As the officers got closer they could see three bundles, approximately 35 cm by 20cm by 25cm in the rare cargo area of the vehicle . One of the bundles was ripped open and a dark green plant material was showing, the officers assumed that it was marijuana. The first officer proceeded to the front of the vehicle to check the physical condition to the driver. The offender was breathing but didn't respond to any of the officer's verbal commands.  The officer radioed for an ambulance and the offender was taken to the local hospital. The second officer searched the offender's vehicle and found another bundle under the front seat with a knife. The Knife was 20 cm long with old blood stains. There were no papers or registration found in the vehicle. All material were seized as evidence and taken to police station.

1.    What were the 2 officers doing at 0745 Hrs?
2.    Why did they ask the van to stop?
3.    What was their reason for stopping the van?
4.    At what distance behind did the police stop?
5.    How many bundles were seen?
6.    Approximately what speed was the van traveling when in pursuit?
7.    What did the officers assume it to be?
8.    Was the knife found before or after the suspect was taken to hospital?
9.    What distance did the van travel on the dirt road?
10.    How did the man crash the vehicle?
16.    GERMANY SOOTING

Germany was in shock yesterday after 19 years old, masked gunman shot 17 people, including two female students, before killing himself in a school massacre in the eastern city of Erfurt.
The black -clad gunman a recently - expelled student of the Gutenberg secondary school, burst into a classroom during an exam yesterday morning around 11 AM and started shooting with a pump action rifle mounted on his back. "He passed us in the corridor with out paying any attention and walked straight into the secretary's office and started shooting." He said. Witnesses said the gunman walked through the building, opening classroom doors and targeting staff, killing nine male teachers, four female teachers, a secretary and two female students all within minutes. Caretakers heard the shots and notified the local police. Two officers arrived on the scene and discovered two dead bodies in the entrance hall. Moments later the gunman appeared and opened fire, shooting dead one of the policemen. A special commando unit immediately surrounded the school, which has nearly 700 students. As the shooting continued, around 180 students were still trapped in the building. Commandos stormed the building shortly before noon and came upon what was described as terrible scenes. 'Bodies lay in the halls, in bathrooms and classrooms' said Mr.Rainer Grube, a police spokesman. The gunman, who had barricaded himself into a room, shot himself as officers approached. 'The gunman killed himself when he saw that there was no way out for him' said Mr., Grube.
    For the students trapped inside the building, their ordeals ended nearly three hours later when they were led, pale and shaking, out of the school to worried parents at the gate. They were all receiving counseling yesterday evening, while four people injured in the attack were brought to hospital. Police were last night still investigating students reports that there was a second gunman. They had no motive for the shootings yesterday evening. Friends of the as yet unidentified gunman described him as an intelligent student who was ' full of life' and often spoke of his wish to become famous. The massacre is one of the most violent attacks in German post -war history, and ranks alongside the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane and the 1999 massacre in Columbine , Arkansas. Yesterday evening Erfurt residents were in shock and German politicians speechless .
'We are stunned at this horrific crime. No explanation we could give would go far enough right now ' said the Chancellor, Mr. Gerhard Schroeder, expressing his sympathy for the families of the victims and the students who witnessed the attack. He ordered the German flag on the Reichstag in Berlin to flown to be flown at half mast. 'We are all in one room .One teacher is dead, we are crying.



1.    Which two other massacres are mentioned?
2.    How many people were injured in the attack?
3.    What time did the shooting start?
4.    What weapons were used?
5.    How many teachers were killed?
6.    Did the gunman target students?
7.     Who notified the police about the shooting?
8.    Who stormed the building and when?
9.    How many police men entered the building initially?
10.    How long it take to gunman to kill the people and was there only one gunman?



17.  DEAD BODY FOUND

Mr. John Edwards lives alone in his cottage in the southern part of Cambridge, UK. He was a retired officer who previously worked for the finance office which was based in London. He had been retired for 5 years now and spent most of his time in Cambridge. He had worked for 34 years and during that time lived in London. By the sides of his cottage, there was a husband and wife living who used to work for Mr. Edwards. The woman would cook his meals and the man would attend to the garden. Mr. Edwards had no close family or friends who would come to visit him regularly .On December 15 , 2002 ,Mr. Edwards was found dead in his study at 0700 hrs. His body was fund by the woman who did his cooking. She had informed the police when she had seen him lying on his desk at 0700hrs. All the doors were closed from the inside so the woman thought in quite suspicious so she looked through the window. This is when she saw Mr. Edwards at his desk. When the police arrived at 0730 hrs. They broke open the door and checked the body. Mr. Edwards was confirmed dead and his body sent for post mortem. By the side of the table there was a bottle and a letter which said that he was taking his life as he was fed up and didn't see any future in continuing. All these materials were sent to the police lab for the necessary testing. The reports all confirmed that Mr. Edwards did take the poison, traces of which were found in his blood and on his lips. On the latter, apart from Mr. Edward's finger prints, there were other prints found as well. When the police checked up they found that it belonged to the husband the woman who cooked for Mr. Edwards. The police found this very suspicious as the husband had said that he never came into the study at any time. The police brought the man in for questioning and under interrogation he at first denied that he had gone to the house ant any time. After 2 hours, he changed his story and said that he
          Mix : Easily Embarrassed – 4 Years Like Yesterday        
The Easily Embarrassed project is a Netherlands group consisting of three electronic musicians – Jeffrey van der Schilden, Nick van der Schilden, and Peter Spaargaren. The crew have been producing for the past four years, releasing full length albums and EPs on labels like Cardamar, Cosmicleaf and Soundmute. For this Headphone Commute podcast, Easily Embarrassed […]
          Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp        

SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05
Someone starts shooting.
This explosive, emotional, page-turning debut about a high school held hostage is told from the perspective of four teens—each with their own reason to fear the boy with the gun.
Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, the founder of DiversifYA, and a founding contributor to YA Misfits. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at mariekenijkamp.com.

MY TAKE:
This is a tricky subject to write about so I was curious to see how it would be presented.

In This is Where it Ends, four characters narrate, as it happens, the events of a mass shooting at Opportunity High School. Each of them have ties to the shooter, and they all wonder if they had spoken up or done things differently, could they have stopped him in time?

The use of multiple narrators doesn't always work, but here it does because it shows you different perspectives. Two of them have positive memories of the shooter and can't believe he'd do something like this. The other two have negative memories of him, and as such, already dislike him.

Tyler's idea of trapping people in the auditorium and the way he chooses who he shoots shows a guy who knows exactly what he's doing, even though his reasoning may not make sense to rational people. The description of the students' and teachers' reactions, the victims' varied reactions prior to being shot, were consistent with what I imagine the reality to be. It certainly had my heart pounding through most of it.

The only real break from the action were the flashbacks wherein the narrators share their memories of Tyler. Tyler didn't seem like a bad guy at first, especially when he was with Claire. However, the abuse and bullying pushed him further over the edge, to the point where he would do terrible things just so he could keep Autumn close to him.

Of the four narrators, I liked Claire the best, even though her denial over Tyler was painful to read. Tomas was also okay, though his single-mindedness when it came to protecting his sister stressed me out. It was a good thing Fareed was there. Out of all the characters in the book, he was, by far, my favorite. He was able to keep a clear head and did what needed to be done. He was the real hero in this book, in my opinion.

My original rating for this book was 3.5. I debated on whether to round it down to 3 or round it up to 4. The reason why I was even considering a 3 rating was because of Autumn and Sylv. During the first half of the book, I didn't like Autumn. I didn't get why she couldn't have stopped her brother during the start of the shooting. At the very least, she could have tried to reason with him. There was at least one life lost as a direct result of her not confronting her brother right away. As the story progressed, though, my dislike of her lessened. My dislike of Sylv, though, increased. There were a quite a few times when I rolled my eyes while Sylv was narrating. It was like she had no sense of self-preservation. I was especially pissed off that she disobeyed her brother's instructions at the end. Granted, no harm was done, but still, after everything was said and done, it came off as disrespectful to me.

The reason I'm giving this book 4 stars, then, is the ending. The epilogue was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. It was a good note to end a book like this on.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's heart-pounding.
  2. It shows the inner conflict that people who were close to the shooter would probably feel in instances like this.
  3. The ending was heart-wrenching and beautiful. 

THE BAD:

  1. Autumn and Sylv can be frustrating sometimes. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You've wondered what those who are close to shooters feel when they find out that something like this has happened.
  2. You are looking for a good cry.
  3. You are interested in books with complex relationships. 

RATING:
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SOUNDS INTERESTING?

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          assignment...(International Business)        

~" NETHERLANDS "~

·Population ^> 16,296,000
·
Capital Amsterdam; ^> 1,145,000
· Area ^> 41,528 square kilometers (16,034 square miles)
· Language ^> Dutch, Frisian
· Religion ^> Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim
· Currency ^> Euro
· Life Expectancy ^> 78
· GDP per Capita ^> U.S. $27,200
· Literacy Percent ^> 99



~" i've an assignment; a forum to present...
~" do u know what is d forum bout??
~" it's bout Netherlands...
~" i've to present the country's geographical features, outstanding about the country and bla..bla.. more than 40 questions to finish by next Wednesday...
~" act, it's a group assignment..so i'm not really worry since my group members are excited to make it the best...
~" so frens... do u have any idea bout this European country??





           Device Space Design for Efficient Scale-Space Edge Detection         
Scotney, BW, Coleman, SA and Herron, MG (2002) Device Space Design for Efficient Scale-Space Edge Detection. In: International Conference on Computational Science (ICCS 2002), Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Springer-Verlag. Vol LNCS 2 10 pp. [Conference contribution]
          Links of interest        
  1. The billionaire-financed rise of the thought leader (and decline of the public-financed public intellectual) combined with the continued decline in access to academic research and the rise of high-tech (low labor) additive manufacturing may favor Europe over the US (or China).
  2. Magical warfare technologies help "irrational" people win
  3. Economics of the populist backlash
  4. "The Photographic electronic Narrative (PeN) project shares photographs taken by current and ex-offenders on placement at LandWorks: an independent charity which provides a supported route back into the community for people in or recently released from prison"
  5. The hightech war on scientific fraud in the place that's had troubles: The Netherlands
  6. Trump and Pruitt appear not to care about the environment people who live in environments (kinda everyone)
  7. A poetic 1970 essay California water management from Joan Didion
  8. A contemporary plea for mercy from Venezuela
  9. An economist brings realism to the discussion of human behavior (spoiler: math doesnt' hack it)
H/T to DL

          Masters of Useless        
NB: I originally wrote this for The Guardian's Academics Anonymous, but they passed. I am publishing it now because our students are graduating today, and they may want to think about incentives before they rush into masters programs. My thoughts here have nothing to do with official policy or perspective at Leiden University.

Millennials (born 1985-2005) should pay attention to 2002 and 2007. The first year coincides with implementation of Europe's Bologna Accords harmonizing higher education standards into three-year bachelors and one- or two-year masters programs. For some European countries, this meant chopping their traditional, longer programs for first university degrees into separate bachelors and masters degrees. Future students would be encouraged to take one degree in one university and their second -- should they not take a job -- at another university. This reform promised students a greater diversity in their education as well as graduate titles more familiar to North American academics and employers.

The year 2007 is important as the first year of the Great Recession, a time of falling housing prices, market panics, and political turmoil. For Millennials, the Great Recession has been a true disaster: under-25 unemployment rose faster than already intolerable average unemployment rates. Young graduates got to choose among unpaid internships, zero-hour temporary contracts, and staying home. Many bachelors graduates faced competition from masters graduates for the same jobs. Even worse, their parents -- the ones who had earned traditional, "rigorous" 6-year degrees -- didn't respect their training or ability.

You can see how going back for a masters looked like a good choice. It is thus unfortunate that these students may have getting a worse education than the university's promised or they expected.

The Bologna process meant that bachelors programs needed to recruit two cohorts of students every 6 years to maintain their budgets. This pressure meant that over-worked staff are more likely to promise what they cannot deliver. They could let bachelors students have an easy pass, since "the masters program is where you really finish your qualification."

Masters programs, likewise, needed to accept many applicants to pay for their programs -- and they  had to recruit an entire student body every year or two. Would they make sure that masters students worked hard and earned their degrees? Not if they were trying to fill seats. It was easier to let the students pass (even award them honors!) because every -- and any -- graduate provided revenue. So they started more and more masters (over 1,000 in the Netherlands), each promising a bold, keyword-laden future.

Who is responsible for who when reciprocation is unclear?
In the past, it had made sense to invest in relationships, training and reputation because the university and student worked as partners. The addition of a third wheel added well-known friction to those dynamics.

Turning from the administration, how did students and professors respond to the reforms?

For students, the logic was easy. They needed masters degrees and they were being praised for "excellent work." Some of them wanted to make sure they got a good education that would lead to good job, but how would they know? Their inexperience works against them.

Professors might have had more perspective on these changes, but they carried their own burdens. Some had to raise more funding, others needed to do more marketing of the school (or themselves). Everyone needed more (often worse) publications. The only students worth their time where PhD students (with funding!), so teaching took the hit. Could they do more to help their students find jobs? Maybe, but perhaps that was someone else's job? Their divided priorities mean lower quality teaching.

So now we arrive at a rising threat to educational excellence, with students getting shunted through shoddy bachelors and masters programs by universities trying to fill seats, professors worried about other things, and parents hoping  their children would learn find jobs. What about employers and taxpayers? Employers are displeased by the need to sort through indebted, entitled, needs-a-bit-of-finish youngsters. Taxpayers surely worry that their earnings are directed to keyword-laden uselessness. But neither group is in charge of education policies or decisions.

How are the students doing? Some are blithely sailing through the wreckage, as the young can. Some are betrayed and poorer. The majority are probably complaining via memes to their social networks -- an ironic way to complain as social networks are pretty bad for organizing the collective action that the young would need to take to force educational bodies to deliver value rather than marketing.

Bottom Line: Students need to take time to find the right masters program because nobody else is going to help them make that choice. Then they need to suck all the learning and advice they can get out of that program that they can, as the programs are designed for mass consumption, not individual achievement. The penalty for poor choices is not just a bad education given to the wrong people by programs that do not deserve to exist at the expense of taxpayers, but a false start to a young life that needs all the help it can get.

          The evolution of the Dutch drinking water sector        
We just finished revisions of this paper to meet the deadline for a journal's special issue, BUT we would love to hear you thoughts or feedback on the paper, the sector in the Netherlands, or how these themes relate to systems you know better. We will surely have a chance to improve the paper (probably if it's accepted for the special issue and certainly if it isn't ;), so please do send comments.

The evolution of the Dutch drinking water sector <== link to download

David Zetland and Bene Colenbrander

Abstract: Dutch drinking water companies (DWCs) have brought more water of better quality to more people over the past 160 years, but their institutional environment has changed with social priorities. We divide these changes into four eras in which an initial solution leads to a new constraint that forces a change in priorities and thus DWC actions. The first era begins around 1850 when polluted common pool water attracts sellers of drinking water as a private good. Priorities changed around 1900 as the government pushed for a network expansion that would bring drinking water services to all as a public good. The third era began around 1950 as strains on common-pool budgets and water supplies shifted the focus to rationalization and efficiency. The fourth and current era began around 1970 with DWCs being asked to restore ecosystems and play a larger role in the community. These shifts demonstrate how the path towards clean, safe drinking water may twist and turn as new opportunities eclipse past successes and changing priorities shift the relative costs and benefits of different actions.

As a preview, check out the figure on infant mortality and death rates that drives our narrative:





          Juliette Bergmann Ms. Olympia 2001        

Name: Juillette Maria Suzanna Bergmann
Born: November 30, 1958, Vlaardingen, Netherlands (Holland)

Juliette's father is Indonesian and mother is Dutch. She finished school and studied financial management, journalism, aerobic and fitness training. When Juliette had started to compete as a professional her name was Juliette Meijer because she used her first husband's family name - Meijer. In 1985 she used her maiden name again having moved to Middelharnis where she still lives with her friend, sister and daughter Roxanne. Juliette owned a publishing company, travel agency and Ironman Gym. She does a lot of guest posing.

Juliette started training in 1981. She just wanted to lose weight and not at all to become a bodybuilder. But when she saw a bodybuilding contest in 1983 she decided that it is time. She did her first and second contest the end of that same year and won both shows. In 1984 Juliette placed second after Erica Mes and Ellen van Maris at the National Championship.
At the World Championships 1988 one hour before the show her drugs test showed positive. As she assured it was impossible but she did not pass.

In 2000, joined an act called the Circus Wonder, a group a five women with special talets, traveling to art shows performing, and Juliette is the ringmaster and the bodybuilder. Juliette works as an accountant and financial advisor for Intermag, a Dutch publishing house (2001).

2001 Ms. Olympia LW 1st & Overall
1989 World Pro 15th
1988 Ms. Olympia 13th
1988 Pro World disq.
1987 Ms. Olympia 9th
1987 Pro World 7th
1986 Ms. Olympia 6th
1986 Ms. International 2nd
1986 World Pro 1st
1985 Ms. Olympia 15th
Juliette Bergmann
Ms. Olympia
Meets the Challenge
Juliette Bergmann
Training with
Juliette (DVD)
          Amsterdam Group Meeting Trends        

After entering 2107 with a 5% increase in average room rates, Amsterdam has continued to hold the highest average room and occupancy rates in the Netherlands. Increased tourism to the market has helped absorb new room supply over the past few years, keeping Amsterdam’s growth on-pace with demand. However, STR reported that there are 167,543 rooms and 1,074 hotels under contract in Europe as of May 2017. Amsterdam will see some significant changes, including the first Kimpton and Hyatt Regency brands outside the US, plus the opening of The Maritime, one of the largest conference hotels in Europe that features 579 rooms and space for 4,000 conference attendees.

Using data on actualized group business in the Amsterdam market, Knowland observed trends in industry segments and sub-segments to help hoteliers identify drivers of group business in Amsterdam and prepare for the impending changes. 


          A Different Vision on Fashion Photography | Peter Lindbergh        
A Different Vision on Fashion Photography | Peter Lindbergh

A Different Vision on Fashion Photography | Peter Lindbergh

When German photographer Peter Lindbergh shot five young models in downtown New York City in 1989, he produced not only the iconic British Vogue January 1990 cover but also the birth certificate of the supermodels. The image didn’t just bring revered faces together for the first time, it marked the beginning of a new fashion era and a new understanding of female beauty. Coinciding with his major retrospective at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, Netherlands, this book gathers more than 400 images from four decades of Lindbergh’s photography to celebrate his unique and game-changing storytelling and the new romantic and narrative vision it brought to art and fashion. In a testimony to Lindbergh’s illustrious status in the fashion world, his images are contextualized by commentaries from collaborators such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicole Kidman, Grace Coddington, Cindy Crawford, and Anna Wintour, who chose Lindbergh to shoot her first US Vogue cover. Their tributes explain just what makes Lindbergh’s images so unique and powerful.


          iPhone dessert table {Real party submission}        

I love receiving beautiful feedback from our reader's and when this party arrived in our inbox all the way from the Netherlands I just had to share it! Elianne created this iphone inspired dessert table for one of her clients and incorporated romantic flowers with some neon accents. Some of the sweet treats included mini chocolate fondue and ice coffee with brownies.



Thank you for sharing your work with us Elianne! 

Visit Elianne's website here

          Germany & Norway formally join Netherlands & Luxembourg to operate pooled fleet of NATO-owned A330 MRTT tankers        
Madrid -  Germany and Norway officially joined the European/NATO program to acquire Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft along with Netherlands and Luxembourg. The two nations committed to participating in the project through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at NATO HQ in Brussels today. Known as the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) the programme was initiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2012. Europe’s organization for the management o...
          Athens Photo Festival 2017        
La documenta14 se inauguró en Atenas el 8 de abril de 2017, una exposición que se sucede cada cinco años en Kassel, nacida en 1955 como respuesta  catártica  a la consideración por los nazis del arte contemporáneo como “arte degenerado”.  


En la decimocuarta edición de la documenta, el comisario Adam Szymczyk, no sólo ha decidido deslocalizar las exposiciones, como ya había sucedido en la anterior edición, sino que esta vez traslada la sede a otra ciudad, tan simbólica como Atenas, lo que ha suscitado cierta agitación en Alemania.

Adam Szymczyk traslada Alemania a Grecia con intenciones de reforzar el papel político del arte, capaz de generar diálogo y reflexión sobre los conflictos y las crisis actuales, que obliguen a pensar en la deriva de los acontecimientos mundiales, frente a tanto desasosiego, para crear nuevos puertos donde pueda seguir atracando la razón y la esperanza.

El Museo Benakis Pireo, una de las sedes de la documenta 14, comparte espacio con la exposición principal del Athens Photo Festival, que cumple treinta años y es una de los festivales europeos con más solera –Photo España celebra su XX edición– y que  ha pasado casi de puntillas frente al despliegue mediático de la documenta.

De nuevo vuelvo a preguntarme por qué la fotografía aparece como hermano menor dentro de lo que llamamos arte, y por qué la edición de este año del Athens Photo, que celebra un aniversario importante, no ha unido sus fuerzas a lo que estaba pasando en la ciudad de Atenas, e incluso cubierta bajo la misma sede, que muestra una de las exposiciones de tesis de la d14, se mantenga completamente al margen.

Tampoco la fotografía ocupa un papel relevante en las exposiciones de la documenta 14 de Atenas, siendo casi siempre relegada como documento de acciones artísticas.

Aunque fuera de los circuitos, más o menos especializados del arte, la documenta14 no parecía atrapar a la ciudad.

Hans Eijkelboom(1949, Arhem, Netherlands), presente en Kassel y Atenas, pertenece a la generación de fotógrafos amparados bajo la Escuela de Düsseldorf y podría ser uno de los fotógrafos más interesantes, con su obra The Street&Modern Life, Birmingham, U.K. presente en el Museo Nacional de Arte contemporáneo de Atenas, y Photo Notes 1992-2017 en el Stadtmuseum de Kassel.
Hans Eijkelboom

        Le gusta calificarse como street photograp, empleando la repetición y la serialidad con la vocación antropológica de August Sanders  y una puesta en escena muy espectacular y atractiva, casi hipnótica, que atrapa al espectador, aunque a su trabajo se le pueda hacer la crítica que se hace a la mítica exposición The family of men, que en este mundo globalizado las gentes que pasean por las calles, se puedan uniformizar por su manera de vestir, no significa necesariamente que cada vez todos seamos mas iguales. 

Hans Eijkelboom
Volviendo al Athens Photo, la muestra principal manifiesta querer reflexionar sobre el impacto social que provocan los cambios que se producen en la cultura visual.

Bajo el nombre Still Searching, se agrupan 85 fotógrafos de 30 países diferentes, y como todo festival que se precie tiene revisión de porfolios, encuentros, conversaciones y muestra de fotolibros.

El espacio que continua buscando la fotografía no puede seguir manteniéndose al margen de lo que ocurre en el arte en general, aunque tome una ciudad entera como Arles.

En Still Searching  hay trabajos excelentes, como los de los cinco españoles que incluye y que fue una grata sorpresa encontrar, pero al  agrupar los proyectos bajo epígrafes, que funcionan casi como exposiciones independientes, el inmenso espacio de las salas, no lograba dotar de coherencia al conjunto.





Los epígrafes podrían haber ido marcando el ritmo, y la introducción al siguiente apartado, con cruces que permitieran una narración menos sincopada.  Quizá se podría haber jugado más con la arquitectura de la sala, que resultaba demasiado fría y sin ángel, poco amable para ser transitada, y en la que a pesar de los apartados los trabajos se mezclan caóticamente.


Es realmente difícil conseguir no aburrir, ni saturar al espectador mostrando 85 proyectos diferentes.
A su vez, hay ocasiones en que cada proyecto  parece tratado como una  exposición individual, ya sea producida por la European Month of Photography, o por extensiones culturales de las embajadas de los países a los que pertenecen los fotógrafos.



Solo dos de los apartados están comisariado explícitamente, Role Play,  por Apóstolos Zerdevas, que figura como artista en lo que parece el inicio de Still Searching, Looking for the clouds y Old Revolutions de Thanasus Moutsopoulos, sin que haya logrado explicarme la lógica de que tan sólo dos estén comisariados.


Swen Renault, de Francia tiene dos proyectos, 11 y Gaza summer 2014, coherentes en el mismo artista, si se tratara de una exposición individual, pero incoherentes dentro de una exposición colectiva, que a su vez agrupa a 12 fotógrafos  bajo el lema Looking for the clouds.

No me cabe duda, pese a lo fallido del montaje, que algunos de los autores expuestos tienen una extraordinaria calidad, y tendrán una larga trayectoria, como Yannis Karpouzis, premio descubrimientos PHE2016, o los españoles Bubi Canal -que vive y trabaja en Nueva York, y cuya obra  Chrystellesirve de anuncio de la muestra-, Gloria Oyarzabal, Jorge  Fuembuena, Daniel Mayrity Susana Cabañero.

Daniel Mayrit


Yannis Karpouzis


Jorge Fuembuena


Gloria Oyarzabal



Los temas de la exposición parecen un repaso a los intereses  actuales en los que trabajan las nuevas generaciones de fotógrafos:  la fotografía de apropiación, la revisión del paisaje, la relectura del pasado, la memoria, o el cuerpo, la mirada hacia el otro, la precaria naturaleza y el broche final lo pone la crisis griega.

Los trabajos son como un resumen de todos los que se han podido ver en los visionados de los festivales de los últimos años, y una bien escogida muestra de la generación que se encaja entre los 30 y 40 años de edad. No está mal como oportunidad a tanto trabajo bien hecho que ves muchas veces, y que resulta difícil luego llevar a pared.

En uno de los capítulos de la muestra, Looking for the clouds,  entre las sombras de los drones de James Bridle, las sombras de las dudas de David Birkin,  las nubes de Anna Jermolaewa, que se cuelan oníricas en el interior de un avión, las nubes de las bombas sobre Gaza, las nubes del terror y la violencia digitales de Sean Thomas Foulkes, hay  trabajos vistos desde el cielo como 404 not found sobre apropiación de GoogleStreet View  para escanear la violencia de la ciudad fronteriza mexicana de Juárez. Quizá potenciar  la trasversalidad del cielo y las nubes resta potencia los mensajes más políticos y sociales.
Swen Renault


Imágenes apropiadas, imágenes construidas, imágenes fruto de escenificaciones o que documentan performances, unidas por el cielo y las nubes, que muestran el terror, el miedo, la manipulación y el mundo regido por lo invisible, ya sean los poderosos de la city londinense - You haven,t seen their faces de Daniel Mayrit- , o lo espiado a través de drones y satélites, todo salta por los aires con la violencia de las guerras y el estallido de las torres gemelas.

Cierra esta pequeña exposición, dentro de la gran exposición, Chaos, entre la oscuridad y la luz  y  Time del fotógrafo griego Phanos Tsagaris, que consiste en mostrar la evanescencia de la línea del tiempo, al inyectar en tinta muy saturada la portada de la revista Time, que se va desvaneciendo con las siguientes copias hasta desaparecer.


   
Phanos Tsagaris
La fotografía a veces sirve para conjurar el verso de Borges:
Ya somos el olvido que seremos

haciéndonos partícipes de los registros y de las claves del mundo.

          (DF) Eurojust's Bulgarian Bureau Has Coordinated Several Successful Investigations        
August 7 (BTA) - Eurojust's Bulgarian bureau coordinated several investigations having resulted in successful international operations in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, the Prosecution's Press Office said. This is the first such case in the organization's practice.
          Protective Genes Play Crucial Role in Defense Against HIV        

This year marks two milestones for 1) the number of abstracts submitted for presentation on this subject, and 2) the number of international collaborating clinical research teams -- such as the "CASCADE Collaboration": team members from France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The abstracts are representative of eight groups working together across many disciplines and institutions to unlock the mysteries of viral control. In fact, in the many years I've been following developments on this field, I've never seen as many abstracts or so many countries contribute -- last count was 16 -- to the body of knowledge being accumulated on the HC/LTNP group. It's tremendous!

I am grateful for the invitation from the fabulous editorial staff at The Body to highlight a few of the most intriguing abstracts (posted here in abbreviated form) with brief comments on why I believe they are important, not only to members of the HC/LTNP community, but to the entire PLWHA population.

Read more ...


          8/10/2017: REPORT ON BUSINESS: Altice readying takeover offer for Charter, sources say        
CEO aims to expand the Dutch company’s U.S. cable empire by using public stock as currency for acquisitions Netherlands-based telecom conglomerate Altice NV and its U.S. cable unit are in the early stages of working on an offer to buy Charter...
          Press statement by PM @NajibRazak Regarding The MAS Flight MH17 #Pray4MH17 #Pray4Gaza        






Statement by Prime Minister Najib Razak:
Malaysian Airlines flight 17 (18 July 2014)

Yesterday evening, I was informed of the terrible and deeply shocking news that a Malaysia Airlines jet went down in eastern Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the jet was Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The flight departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm, local time. It was scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 am, local, Malaysian time.
The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200.
The aircraft’s flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
And International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.
Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft did not make a distress call.
The flight was carrying a total number of 295 people – comprising 280 passengers and 15 crew members.
Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew. All possible care will be provided to the next-of-kin.
The Government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team.
According to information provided by Kiev Air Traffic Control, the location of the plane’s emergency locator beacon is 48 degrees 7 minutes and 23 seconds North; and 38 degrees 31 minutes and 33 seconds East.
The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down.
At this early stage, however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy.
But we must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight.
No stone can be left unturned.
If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.
Emergency operations centres have been established. In the last few hours, Malaysian officials have been in constant contact with their counterparts in Ukraine and elsewhere.
And I will be speaking to a number of world leaders over the coming hours.
I have had several conversations with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
I have also spoken to the President of Ukraine. He has pledged that there will be a full, thorough and independent investigation, and Malaysian officials will be invited to take part.
The Ukrainian president also confirmed that his government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country, in order to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site.
Just now, I received a call from President Obama.
He and I both agreed that the investigation must not be hindered in anyway.
An international team must have full access to the crash site.
And no one should interfere with the area, or move any debris, including the black box.
This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia.
As we work to understand what happened, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those onboard the flight.
I cannot imagine what they must be going through at this painful time.
The flight’s passengers and crew came from many different countries.
But today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief.

          Another Viable Option Is To Offer Parents The Opportunity Of Checking Out Their Child's Daycare Facilities.        

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           The Amsterdam Jam Global Underscore, a little experiment        

It has already been almost a month since the Global Underscore; sorry this contribution is so late. Also it is a pity we did not take pictures, but... we did turn the day into a successful little experiment in Amsterdam:
 

The G.U.S. worldwide timing happened to almost match our weekly Saturday Amsterdam Jam
…
So for this occasion we had extended the open jam time, to offer the possibility to dance a full Underscore in coexistence with this regular jam.


Everything about the Underscore was optional. It is important that one could still also just jam like any given Saturday; join and leave whenever you liked etc. ...because I believe the regularity of this jam to be the life-blood of CI in Amsterdam or even The Netherlands. Only we asked everyone who would be dancing at 19:15 to join in finding the “resolution of the whole room”, an ending of the dance, together…which worked out beautifully.


The class before the jam transistioned into the assembly. After this the talk-through was held in the hall-way, where an annotated version of the Underscore's phases/states and meetings hung on the wall, so that the regular jam could start undisturbed.
Inside the jam-space copies of the same A4's (but without the annotation) were hanging from slacked lines, like washing-lines or birthday-day decorations of the room: the Underscore's phases in red, the meetings in yellow, and the anytime all-of-the-time aspects were mixed in on blue A4's where the two lines crossed. It all in all looked joyously festive.
The centre of the room was marked with a piece of tape; from there the NESW directions were marked on the walls. (I myself really enjoyed this idea: it really gave me a feeling of global orientation in the jam, knowing / noticing when I moved North, or East ...toward Germany ...or toward the 'South-side' or the 'West-side' of the jam : )
Just off to the left of the West-A4, hung an A3 with information and pictures of the location of the Toronto GUS-site, taken from the internet ...Also thanks to this / internet I feel like Vivek Patel and I became distant friends on this day. Likewise, just to the right of the East-A4 hung information about the Leipzig site... I already knew Uli personally!


Amsterdam Jam G.U.S. dancers
In the “sharing/thanksgiving” at the end, we were still a big group: Amit Azaz, Joshua Pieter, Mischa van Dullemen, Katie-Lee Weille, Masta, Hannah Dye, Claudia Kratzheller, Alex Weinstein, Tim, Monika Forster, Diederik, Thijs Mullink, Michèle, Nora, Sebas van Wetten, Lieke van Heck, Kees Lemmens ...and many more Amsterdam Jam dancers were with us today but didn't have the time to stay for the whole Global Underscore. 
Central inside the studio hung the GUS Google-maps of the world and these 3 green A4 with the main timings of the day (which were also
hanging in the hall-way and in the "birthday-decoration" of the studio.) Everything was optional, only of those of us dancing at 19:15 in this
we did ask to all join the final resolution of the room.


Sharing ...fruits of the Harvest: In the sharing there was lots of praise for Nancy Stark Smith's Underscore. ... The dancers had enjoyed the overall focus it brought to the dancing, and that dances link together in it so that it didn’t feel like a collection of separate dances …the unity of experience and the experience of a unity.

Also the interesting interplay between an understanding at “word-level” and the physical experience of it all was mentioned explicitly as well as implicitly more than once...

Several dancers particularly recounted that powerful moment of the first ‘stand’ at 16:50, the first Small Dance of today’s Global UnderScore. ...NB Also this stand had been optional: it was certainly allowed, even welcome, to just jam on and stick with your momentary dance in the regular jam during these few minutes. Yet the stand did bring up and draw together everyone in the room and we were eventually all standing, facing generally East toward Leipzig Germany. (At the moment of the sharing, we of course hadn't yet faced Toronto too.) I really liked how one duet in front of everyone standing went on, for a long time in an extended lift. I could just imagine they would just dance on, and that would also have been beautiful, but then they found an even more beautiful way to transition: to standing, only just leaning together lightly still, and eventually each into their own individual small dance ...with the rest of the world.

If there is confluence of ideas: The Underscore and the Amsterdam Jam did confluence on the day of the GUS ! ...or maybe it was only a tangential moment: after all aren't we already, the other 51 weeks, and each year, the Saturday Amsterdam Jam. Anyway: it did feel to me like worlds were coming together, or like we came together with The World ...and some new dancers have been introduced to the idea of the Underscore.

My conclusion, based on my own experience and the sharing:

All in all it was clear that the Underscore had very much been experienced as an Underscore, and that the GUS had been experienced as a special occasion. …This had been the intention, of course, yet it still pleasantly surprised me or relieved me: I had always thought one of the decisive factors of an Underscore feeling like an Underscore is that, differently from many jams, everyone is in it for the whole duration from the start to the end. It probably indeed is. And of course this group at the sharing had been. But it was good to find out that also through the coming and going of the other Amsterdam Jam dancers, we all had experienced very clearly an Underscore. ...I personally believe the (Global) Underscore this year could flourish better than ever in Amsterdam, thanks to this coalition with the weekly Saturday Amsterdam Jam: the jam had a brought more dancers together than it, or maybe either, would have done on its own …The regular jam as such had a positive influence on the Underscore, and I think also the other way around: more than a co-existence, it has been a successful symbiosis. Of course "symbiosis" or "confluence" is relative here: because we already were and still are, all of us, the Saturday Amsterdam Jam !_________________________

It's been a joy again to occasionally do something extra with and around the Amsterdam Jam +It is inspiring me to do something such again in the future... Thank you all very much!

Kees Lemmens,  18th of July 2017

Flyer-fronts of the four "Amsterdam 4-day CI weekends", as organised around the Saturday Amsterdam Jam between 2013 and 2016. [Besides these also smaller things such as Christmas & New Year Jams were organised around this jam, and a 12:00-24:00 experimental jam-plus-workshop-Sunday for which the CI-community and some teachers from Brussels/Belgium were invited in 2014.] ... Hopefully another, similar but different, international event can be organised around the Amsterdam Saturday Jam again soon: probably in 2018











 
          Dutch government allocates over $8.5 million to establishing Holocaust museum        

AMSTERDAM (JTA) – The Dutch government allocated more than $8.5 million to the ongoing establishment of a Holocaust museum in Amsterdam and a commemorative wall for victims. The Cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte last week announced the funding — one of the largest expenditures ever undertaken in the Netherlands on Holocaust commemoration — of the museum of...


          Dutch workers discover Jewish graves thought relocated decades ago        

(JTA) — Construction workers in the Netherlands discovered bodies at a former Jewish cemetery that were believed to have been relocated in their entirety decades ago. The 11 bodies, which were buried sometime before 1828, were reburied Monday at a newer Jewish cemetery. They were found earlier this month during groundwork in Winschoten, a town in the...


          El Al plane damaged in Amsterdam with passengers aboard, none injured        

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — An El Al plane was badly damaged in an accident caused by a local employee of Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands’ main hub for international traffic. The accident Friday morning at Schiphol, in which no one was injured, ruptured the tip of the wing of the El Al Boeing 737 airplane as it taxied...


          The case to leave the EU is about openness, tolerance, kindness and freedom        
The shocking murder of Labour MP Jo Cox may well prove decisive in the referendum on EU membership.   Tommy Mair appears to have repeatedly shot and stabbed the MP and for all we now know, when asked for his name he shouted out “Death to Traitors, Freedom for Britain", but Mr Mair doesn't believe in freedom.

It appears he is a fascist, and so of course, the new narrative has been that “politics are too angry” and that the anti-EU campaign has “fuelled” this murder.  Of course, those claiming the hate tend to be on the left/Remain side, like legendary leftwing polemicist Polly Toynbee, who once claimed Conservative welfare cuts were like The Final Solution for the disabled.  You can’t do much more in hate than accuse your opponents of being Nazis can you?  Of course Labour is led by a man who used to go to the funerals of IRA terrorists and invite their leaders for meetings, all the time it was waging war against the UK public and UK government (and had killed several MPs).  Corbyn’s statements against hate and violence are as duplicitous as they are disgusting.  The late Jo Cox had a range of views across the spectrum, including a belief that the world shouldn't let Assad barrel bomb and drop chemical weapons on civilians, which saw her be damned by the mediocre "Madame Mao" Labour front bencher Diane Abbott as a "warmongering Tory".  She faced a campaign for de-selection, which Labour has carefully airbrushed away, as her tragic murder becomes politicised.  She did support remaining in the EU, quite vehemently, so it has become easy to claim that the other side were opposed to her.

Yet, the narrative that links the murder to leaving the EU may well stick among undecided voters, especially as polls have been close throughout the campaign, and most recently have put Leave ahead by a few points.  

It’s grossly simplistic and opportunistic to claim, as Remain advocates are, that their side is about kindness, tolerance and openness, when the EU is neither open, nor particularly tolerant and kind with its trade policies, or indeed with diversity of opinion about itself.

The EU isn't open when it maintains a fortress around it trading with the world, especially on services and agriculture.  It has been a force for openness in trade within with enormous resistance from one of its founding members, France, which sees the EU as a tool for "solidarity" - code for spending ever more taxpayers' money on its dirigiste vanity led economic nationalism and absurd profligacy for 19th century farming enterprises.

The EU isn't tolerant when it ignores referenda in France, Ireland, the Netherlands on EU Treaties and simply demands their governments ignore them.  It isn't tolerant when it says that it wont allow "extremists" to be in government in Member States even if democratically elected.

The EU isn't kind when it continues to flood world markets with subsidised agricultural produce, undermining exports and domestic production in developing countries, and so impoverishing poor country producers, whilst funding subsidies for Prince Charles's farming empire.  

Do I think leaving the EU will mean the UK will embark on some free market libertarian revolution of less government?  No, not really.  However, within the EU the only certainty is that there will be growth in EU spending programmes, growth in regulation and ever less accountability for the new laws and spending from Brussels/Strasbourg (don’t forget the EU has two locations for its Parliament, because France wanted an impoverished area to get a boost, so monthly the entire Parliament relocates between cities, at a cost of over €330 million annually).

For all of the relatively mild rhetoric about immigration, the Leave campaign is led by politicians who have mostly been sceptical about government power and all are advancing an agenda of more free trade, more openness to the world and greater engagement with the world.  Leaving the EU is not the fascist/socialist vision of a self-sufficient island that waves a flag and shuts out the world (although those who hold those views want to the leave the EU because its own internal market is an anathema).

I don’t doubt a vote to leave the EU will be a shock, initially to financial markets, more fundamentally to the EU and to the UK Government.  However, the shock need not last for the UK, when there are many years to negotiate leaving the EU and a new trade relationship.  It wont give succour to Putin, nor will it mean a loss of influence for the world’s fifth largest economy.



Given that the EU has proved that it is structurally incapable of reform, we now have a choice. Do we cave in, because we’re too scared to leave? Or do we vote to retrieve our sovereignty, walk away from the whole racket and engage with the world on our own terms? A vote to leave would represent an extraordinary vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom and the principle of national self-determination. It would also show reform-minded Europeans that theirs is not a lost cause. And that we stand willing to help forge a Europe based on freedom, co–operation and respect for sovereignty.

It isn't a vote for UKIP politicians, for leaving the EU will put most of them out of a job.  Nigel Farage isn't even an MP, and the one UKIP MP, Douglas Cardwell, is very much a libertarian.

I urge all those in the UK eligible to vote, to Vote Leave.  It is time to break free, for a more open, a more tolerant and a kinder UK. 

          The Letter T - Train Station and more...all in a kind of "Television Box"        
tekeningThis week we made a "Kijkdoos" (show box or diorama).
I grew up in The Netherlands, and I remember making these boxes with all kind of themes...and it was so much fun! And so simple to do!

This time we made 2 boxes. The first one was a Train Station, and the second one was just full of objects that starts with the letter T.



Train Station
Here is how I made this one.
All you need is:
  • A shoe box (the ones with a hole in front are the best)
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • My Train Template you can download here...Free!
train set kijkdoos c
I will draw more templates in the future! Hope you like it!

NOTE: You can download this template and use it anytime, but please don't copy it anywhere else without my permission. I worked on it and a simple link to this page would be a great way to share it. Thanks!!!






Step by Step:
kleuren knippen
Print the Template and let your child color and cut it.

tekeningplakken
Decorate the inside of the box as you wish. You can use anything, paint, stickers, etc. We used Tissue paper. It gives a colorful and nice effect.
rechts
Then glue the cutouts inside the box. You can back them with cardboard if they are too thin to stand by themselves. Remember to fold the paper and put only glue on the bottom.
Another important step is to work from back to front. Place the largest cutouts in the back and the smallest in the front. Since our box was too narrow, we decided to put the train on a wall...it didn't fit in the back where I thought would look good...anyway...
links
This is how it will look like...
knip T
Open some windows on the lid of the box. You get the best effect if you make two rectangulars, one in front and one back. But we made also the letter T to reinforce the letter of the week.
Letter T
Glue some tissue paper inside the lid and close the box.
klaar
...and take a close look!!!!


For the Letter T Objects Box.

Let your child look for little objects that start with the letter T and glue them or use tape to place them in the box.

We found:

  • Telephone
  • Train
  • Tape
  • Tomato
  • Tiger
  • Teaspoon
  • Turquese Crayon
  • Turttles
  • Teddybear
  • Triangle
Letter T Objects

This box has a flying Tiger inside...left...
links tiger
Center...
center tiger
Right...
rechts tiger
My daughter found this so funny....
Kijkdoos T
Have fun making yours! You can create so many nice boxes!!!!

          Spiceworld 2011 No sound coming through?        

Only hearing sound out of my left earbud, running on the latest mozilla from the Netherlands

- Fixed ( connected my earbuds correctly hehe)


          Vietnam’s response to climate change? A shrimp and mangrove cocktail        

Like other shrimp farmers here in this lush, canal-lined province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Nguyen Van A can instantly rattle off the precise percentage of saltwater in which crustaceans grow best. And at the moment, he insists with a smile, everybody knows that Ben Tre Province has the best brackish water in the world.

“Shrimp and crabs in Ben Tre are always better than shrimp and crabs elsewhere, because the saltwater percentage is the best, so the meat tastes better,” he said.

But Nguyen Van A also knows the percentage at which they begin to die.

Last year, when the delta was devastated by the worst drought in recorded history, the amount of salt in Ben Tre’s water hit that target, and kept shooting up. The province's rice crops were the first to die, followed by hardier fruit trees and coconut palms. But eventually, even his salt water shrimp were all lost.

“The weather has been unstable for the past two or three years,” he said. “I lost money. It’s like gambling.”
 
Nguyen Van A is one of millions of people gambling with the impact of climate change in the Mekong Delta.
 
As sea levels and temperatures rise, rice farmers are losing crops to salt water intrusion. While salinisation could offer more opportunities to switch to shrimp farming, that industry is notorious for destroying mangroves – the tangled forests that grow in brackish water and are key to protecting coastlines from storms, which are increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change.
 
About 280 kilometres south of Nguyen Van A’s shrimp farm, in Ca Mau Province, conservationists are teaming up with locals and companies on a project that could provide part of the answer to the climate change conundrum Vietnam and other countries are facing.
 
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Netherlands Development Agency have launched a programme  to incentivise farmers along the coast to preserve the trees by setting up what are known as “shrimp-mangrove systems”. The initial phase of the Mangroves and Markets project enlisted 2,000 families living in two protected mangrove forests that were losing tree cover to aquaculture.  
 
The shrimp farmers promised to maintain at least 50 percent mangrove cover. In exchange, they got help certifying their shrimp as organic, which allows them to sell it internationally at a premium. This more than repays them for the effort of planting and caring for additional trees.
 
The Mangroves and Markets project has recently begun working with farmers in Ben Tre Province and neighboring Tra Vinh. Andrew Wyatt, a programme manager at IUCN, said there is little point in fighting the salinisation that is destroying rice farming; a better strategy would be to figure out how to work with salt water.
 
“We need to live with salinity and treat it as an opportunity rather than a threat,” he said.
 

Sinking delta

 
It’s often said there are no climate change deniers in Vietnam. The long, skinny country of 95 million people hugs the coast for thousands of kilometres, much of that at low elevations. The Mekong Delta in the country’s south is one of the most fertile areas of the world, an estimated 39,000 square kilometres of loamy, wet soil.
 
It is also sinking, according to experts, including Duong Van Ni, a professor at Can Tho University who focuses on climate issues.
 
The subsidence is due to a combination of rising sea levels and erosion, caused by a complex cocktail of factors, including increasing climate volatility, more groundwater extraction and hydroelectric dams being built upstream on the Mekong.
 
But the effects are clear.
 
“Because of the impact of both climate change and upstream hydropower dams, environmental disaster happens very often and it pushes poor people to migrate,” he said. “This is happening heavily in the coastal areas of the Mekong Delta.”
 
The Mekong Delta has long been central to the Vietnamese government’s “Rice First” policy, which encouraged intensive rice cultivation as a means of catching up economically — and feeding its citizens — after decades of war.
 
The policy achieved these goals, but in the process the fertile delta soil has been depleted. At the same time, rising seas are causing saline intrusion that kills the relatively delicate crop.
 

Living with saltwater

 
Wyatt, of the IUCN, argues that a paradigm shift is needed in how saltwater is seen.
 
Since the reunification of the north and south in 1976, the government has pursued an aggressive water management policy designed to support its rice cultivation targets. This has led to the construction of more and more sluice gates, dams, and dykes to keep freshwater in and saltwater out.
 
But Wyatt says this is unsustainable. The infrastructure is increasingly ineffective against rising seas, even as the Vietnamese government is taking on more and more debt to build and reinforce it. Opening sluice gates also flushes agrochemicals into coastal areas.
 
Instead of treating salinity as an enemy, Wyatt says, residents of the Mekong Delta need to learn to embrace it. Counter-intuitively, giving up the fight and letting in the rising seas can even have environmental benefits.
 
“We also need to keep these ecosystems open instead of sluicing off these rivers,” he said. “Then we have better biodiversity outcomes.”
 
Farmers are increasingly recognising this: in some areas, they are even demanding that sluice gates be opened and salty water be allowed to flow in so they can begin growing shrimp. But official policy has lagged behind.
 

Shrimp-mangrove cocktail

 
Ca Mau, the province at the southernmost tip of Vietnam, is surrounded by ocean on three sides, making it especially vulnerable to rising seas and typhoons. The location also makes it a particularly good place to start a shrimp farm. But shrimp farming could destroy many of the same mangrove forests the province depends on for protection.
 
Those working on the Mangroves and Markets project hope to change that by switching to shrimp-mangrove systems. “Before the project, around 10 years ago, the trend was for the shrimp to expand and the forest to dwindle,” Wyatt said. 
 
In contrast to large, boxy industrial shrimp farms, shrimp-mangrove systems are long and thin, with brackish pools of water alternating with strips of mangrove trees. In addition to providing a more sustainable way to protect the coast than concrete seawalls, shrimp-mangrove farms actually raise the level of the earth by trapping sediment. In some cases they can accumulate as much as 25 centimetres of earth annually, which is greater than sea level rise and subsidence combined.
 
Unlike intensive shrimp farms or shrimp grown in rice paddy fields, they also cool themselves, which requires less groundwater pumping and makes them more resilient. During last year’s drought, many mangrove-shrimp systems escaped unscathed even as shrimp on other types of farms died in droves, according to Wyatt.
 
Mangroves and Markets has been so successful that it is now working with thousands of additional shrimp farmers Ben Tre and Tra Vinh, where mangroves are also under threat and erosion is a major problem – up to 60 metres of shoreline per year are lost in some areas.
 
This will be good news for farmers along the coast like Nguyen Bin A, who says he knows mangroves are ecologically important, but isn’t quite clear on why.
 
But there’s one thing he’s sure of: “In the future, if the sea levels rise, it doesn’t matter if you build a dam higher. It will destroy your farm.”
 
jw/jf/ag
 
(TOP PHOTO: Farmers plant mangroves in their shrimp pond in Vietnam's Ca Mau Province in May 2014. CREDIT: IUCN Vietnam)
vietnam_mangroves.jpg Feature Solutions and Innovations Environment and Disasters Climate change Food Vietnam’s response to climate change? A shrimp and mangrove cocktail Julia Wallace IRIN BA TRI DISTRICT VIETNAM Asia Vietnam
          World Made by Nuts        
So yesterday was one of those days when you just know you're going to waste a bunch of time attending to annoying, but sort-of necessary, stuff.

The car has been giving some trouble, and nobody in town was able to pin it down. Yeah, it is an almost 20 year-old Corolla, so some repair work comes with the territory. It's still a whole lot cheaper than the repayments on a new or newer car, and I greatly doubt I'd find another car with similar longevity, resale value and overall reliability. But I digress...

To get the car diagnosed and fixed I took it to Dr Quincy the Car Wizard in George (he's brilliant!) which meant hanging around his office for a few hours while he sorted things out. While waiting I hobbled down the road to buy a snack – a bag of delicious mixed nuts. On the back of the bag was printed a message that made me feel eerily like Wonko the Sane.

"This product was packed in a factory that uses tree nuts."

Well, yes. I'd think so. It is, after all, a bag of mixed tree nuts.

What sort of insane, fucked up society have we become that somebody felt compelled to print a legalistic cop-out warning that the product might contain traces of nuts, on an actual bag of nuts? I don't doubt that there are some unfortunate individuals so violently allergic to nuts that they need such warnings about products that might possibly contain traces of nuts. They have my deepest sympathy. But if such a person should go out and buy and eat an actual bag of nuts,... well, that would look suspiciously like a suicide attempt.


A couple of weeks ago the news broke that the ungrounding of ice sheets in Western Antarctica is inevitable and unstoppable. We should expect a rise of about 1.2m in global sea-levels. In the words of the original paper, “this sector of West Antarctica is undergoing a marine ice sheet instability that will significantly contribute to sea level rise in decades to centuries to come.” In NASA's slightly easier-to-read synopsis, glaciologist and lead author of the paper, Eric Rignot: “The collapse of this sector of West Antarctica appears to be unstoppable”.

So. Flooding in many major cities. Goodbye to swathes of The Netherlands and Belgium, Bangladesh, south-eastern parts of the USA, and many, many more. Huge displacement of people and infrastructure. Loss of farmland. Loss of biodiversity. And that's probably just the beginning. Unstoppable.



Expect more.

Denialist nut-jobs notwithstanding, we've known for decades that this is coming. Yet we've done absolutely nothing to stop, or even slow, the process, despite the clear and incontrovertible evidence that it is the industrial-capitalist economy that is the primary driver of current global climate change.

You may note that, when we chose our farm, the altitude of the land above sea-level was an explicit selection criterion. We're above 200m. I've made plans for a jetty1.

We've known for decades that this is one inevitable result of unremittingly pouring millions of tonnes of Carbon into the atmosphere year after year. We've known and done nothing. We totally ignored the warnings printed on the packet. Well, that looks suspiciously like a suicide attempt.

My personal conclusion is that nothing can save the mass of us humans from a massive population reduction short of the total, immediate shutdown of industrial activity. And, even if we did manage to implement such a shutdown, we're still in for a solid smack from our mother Earth. Not going to happen, though, is it?

And even as we speak, Eskom, our state-owned electricity monopoly is forging ahead with their plans for three new nuclear power stations, even though the selected sites are likely to be inundated before construction is complete. What sort of insanity is this that ignores incontrovertible evidence before us, yet persists in selecting against survival in favour of this quarter's profits; in favour of stupendous, largely useless, personal "wealth"; in favour of some mythical "progress" chimerical "economic growth"?

Remember, too, that nature seldom works in a gradual, incremental manner. She works by catastrophe: One heavy rain and the Goukamma River changed course overnight, taking a section of the Buffalo Bay Road with it; one heavy rainfall and the slope beneath the George-Wilderness railway line slid into the sea taking the rails to Dave Jones' locker; one smallish earthquake and the town of Ceres was nearly wiped off the map. This is how natural forces normally work. So the statement that we can expect 1.2m of sea-level rise by the end of the century should not give too much comfort. No doubt politicians will read it as "plenty of time, and my term of office will be over long before anything has to be done," but I'll remind them that the major part of that sea-level rise could just as easily happen over mere days or weeks. It will still be "by the end of the century," just a lot more abrupt than any worldly-wise scientist would be willing to put their name to.

Is there anything we can say or do to wake people up from the collective insanity of sitting on our hands doing nothing? I sadly, dejectedly confess that I can't think of anything.

Written from Outside The Asylum.

[1] Joking.
          Clap! Clap! – DIG! DELVE! DAMN! (Dutch Archive Edition)        

Clap! Clap!

“DIG! DELVE! DAMN! (Dutch Archive Edition)”

“To have the honour of digging through the Dutch audio archives was like a dream come true! I was very excited to delve in and explore the vast differences between those countries. It was also an important responsibility to approach the project with respect for the sources of recordings, as many were from the ex-Colonies of the Netherlands.” -Clap! Clap!

Unlocking Sounds revives Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum audio collection which features thousands of original field recordings from around the globe dating back to the 1920s. This collection was started by Dutch conservationist J.C. Lamster and Jaap Kunst, who would eventually coin the term ‘ethnomusicology’.

To connect with the source material and explore the multitude of intricacies that accompany topics like ethnomusicology, anthropology and cultural appropriation, all the artists visited the Netherlands where they conferred with leading researchers from the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Leiden University, and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies.

Much like the sampled source material, each artist translates the world sounds through their individual styles. Clap! Clap! – DIG! DELVE! DAMN! (Dutch Archive Edition) strips down his bombastic, multilayered take on global rhythms, jazz, and footwork, letting the samples take center stage. Drawing on the archive’s recordings from Afghanistan, Suriname, Zambia, Bali, Libya, India, Uzbekistan & Morocco, accompanying and accentuating them with his singular voice.
credits

released July 28, 2017

Sampled sounds provided by the Tropenmuseum

www.revivethis.org
materialculture.nl
www.tropenmuseum.nl


          Weak Growth: Agency Strips Netherlands' AAA Rating        
The Netherlands lost its top credit rating on Friday as S&P moved to downgrade the country as a result of its weak economy. Holland had previously been a stable point in the euro crisis. Only 10 countries, including Germany, still retain AAA status worldwide.
          From Stable to Negative: Moody's Cuts Outlook for Germany's Top Rating        
The debt crisis is threatening Germany's top credit rating. Moody's changed its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to negative from stable late on Monday. The German Finance Ministry said the country would remain an anchor of stability in the 17-nation euro zone.
          Reactie op essence adventskalender en cadeausets door Tamara Korstanje        
I wasn't able to get the essence advent calendar. It was not available in the Netherlands :-(
          Margaret's Brian Gavin Blue Becomes a Work of Art        

Moving to a different country is a huge accomplishment in and of itself, so Margaret only found it appropriate to commemorate her 10th anniversary of living in the Netherlands with a beautiful diamond. She searched long hours online looking for the perfect cut with blue fluorescence until stumbled on Brian Gavin Diamonds. Margaret chose a […]

The post Margaret's Brian Gavin Blue Becomes a Work of Art appeared first on Brian Gavin.


          ZeeVee Launches ZyPer4K™ CATx Video Distribution Solution over 10G Ethernet with ExtremeUSB® and SwitchableUSB™ Technologies at ISE 2016        

BURNABY, BC Icron Technologies Corporation, a leader in USB and video extension technology, announced today that ZeeVee, Inc., a global manufacturer of video and signal distribution technology, will be launching its ZyPer4K™ CATx video distribution solution with patented ExtremeUSB® technology from Icron at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) Show 2016 from February 9th through 12th, stand 10-N151 at Amsterdam RAI in the Netherlands.

 

The new ZyPer4K CATx expands upon the ZyPer4K platform becoming the only available solution to switch and distribute uncompressed 4K video, audio, RS232/IR control signals and USB 2.0 using off-the-shelf 10G Ethernet switches in a CATx infrastructure. Additionally, the existing ZyPer4K for fiber system will now be equipped with ExtremeUSB technology for USB 2.0 operation over any 10G fiber network switch spanning up to 10km and beyond.


Both ZyPer4K distribution solutions support Icron's patented SwitchableUSB™ technology enabling USB signals to dynamically switch in conjunction with video, and include the ExtremeUSB suite of features, such as transparent USB extension, true plug and play (no software drivers required) and compatibility with all major operating systems: Windows®, OS X® and Linux®.


"Our two ZyPer4K distribution solutions incorporate 4K video technology from AptoVision and ExtremeUSB technology from Icron," said Chris Scurto, Vice President of Marketing and North American Sales at ZeeVee. "When adding our versatile management platform to the mix, we are making good on our promise to deliver any source over any network to unlimited displays."


"We are very pleased our ExtremeUSB and Switchable extension technologies were incorporated into ZyPer4K designs both for copper and fiber networks," said Glenn Antonelli, Vice President of Marketing at Icron. "ZeeVee customers will benefit having uncompressed 4K video with full USB 2.0 480 Mbps support capable of switching dynamically over any off-the-shelf 10G Ethernet switch."


A live demonstration of both ZyPer4K solutions will be on display using a 65-inch interactive kapp iQ display panel from SMART at ZeeVee booth 10-N151 from February 9th to 12th during the ISE show in Amsterdam.


About Icron Technologies

Icron Technologies is the leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance USB and video extension solutions for commercial and industrial markets worldwide. Icron's patented extension technology extends USB and video devices over many media types including CAT 5e, Fiber, Wireless, DisplayPort® and over a corporate LAN while featuring the ExtremeUSB® suite of features such as transparent USB extension, true plug and play (no software drivers required) and compatibility with Windows®, OS X® and Linux® operating systems. Icron's extension products are deployed in a wide range of applications including pro AV, industrial automation, machine vision, medical imaging, aerospace, interactive whiteboards, digital signage, remote desktop extension, security, enterprise computing and isolated USB, or anywhere a computer needs to be remotely located from a display or peripheral device.


About ZeeVee

ZeeVee is a global manufacturer of video and signal distribution technology for the ProAV and IT marketplace. As the only manufacturer today that can deliver multimedia content over coax, fiber, and CATx, ZeeVee has transformed the digital video industry with its award-winning, HD to Ultra-HD/4K solutions. The company offers a variety of innovative, cost effective and easy to install distribution platforms. ZeeVee is installed in thousands of facilities worldwide where there is a need to transport HD/UHD content from multiple sources to multiple displays over long distances.


For more information, please visit: zeevee.com

Media Contact:

ZeeVee:

Tricia Hawkins

Bob Gold & Associates

tricia@bobgoldpr.com


          100 announcements (!) from Google Cloud Next '17        

San Francisco — What a week! Google Cloud Next ‘17 has come to the end, but really, it’s just the beginning. We welcomed 10,000+ attendees including customers, partners, developers, IT leaders, engineers, press, analysts, cloud enthusiasts (and skeptics). Together we engaged in 3 days of keynotes, 200+ sessions, and 4 invitation-only summits. Hard to believe this was our first show as all of Google Cloud with GCP, G Suite, Chrome, Maps and Education. Thank you to all who were here with us in San Francisco this week, and we hope to see you next year.

If you’re a fan of video highlights, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Day 1 keynote (in less than 4 minutes) and Day 2 keynote (in under 5!).

One of the common refrains from customers and partners throughout the conference was “Wow, you’ve been busy. I can’t believe how many announcements you’ve had at Next!” So we decided to count all the announcements from across Google Cloud and in fact we had 100 (!) announcements this week.

For the list lovers amongst you, we’ve compiled a handy-dandy run-down of our announcements from the past few days:

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Google Cloud is excited to welcome two new acquisitions to the Google Cloud family this week, Kaggle and AppBridge.

1. Kaggle - Kaggle is one of the world's largest communities of data scientists and machine learning enthusiasts. Kaggle and Google Cloud will continue to support machine learning training and deployment services in addition to offering the community the ability to store and query large datasets.

2. AppBridge - Google Cloud acquired Vancouver-based AppBridge this week, which helps you migrate data from on-prem file servers into G Suite and Google Drive.

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Google Cloud brings a suite of new security features to Google Cloud Platform and G Suite designed to help safeguard your company’s assets and prevent disruption to your business: 

3. Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP) for Google Cloud Platform (Beta) - Identity-Aware Proxy lets you provide access to applications based on risk, rather than using a VPN. It provides secure application access from anywhere, restricts access by user, identity and group, deploys with integrated phishing resistant Security Key and is easier to setup than end-user VPN.

4. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Google Cloud Platform (Beta) - Data Loss Prevention API lets you scan data for 40+ sensitive data types, and is used as part of DLP in Gmail and Drive. You can find and redact sensitive data stored in GCP, invigorate old applications with new sensitive data sensing “smarts” and use predefined detectors as well as customize your own.

5. Key Management Service (KMS) for Google Cloud Platform (GA) - Key Management Service allows you to generate, use, rotate, and destroy symmetric encryption keys for use in the cloud.

6. Security Key Enforcement (SKE) for Google Cloud Platform (GA) - Security Key Enforcement allows you to require security keys be used as the 2-Step verification factor for enhanced anti-phishing security whenever a GCP application is accessed.

7. Vault for Google Drive (GA) - Google Vault is the eDiscovery and archiving solution for G Suite. Vault enables admins to easily manage their G Suite data lifecycle and search, preview and export the G Suite data in their domain. Vault for Drive enables full support for Google Drive content, including Team Drive files.

8. Google-designed security chip, Titan - Google uses Titan to establish hardware root of trust, allowing us to securely identify and authenticate legitimate access at the hardware level. Titan includes a hardware random number generator, performs cryptographic operations in the isolated memory, and has a dedicated secure processor (on-chip).

100-announcements-7

New GCP data analytics products and services help organizations solve business problems with data, rather than spending time and resources building, integrating and managing the underlying infrastructure:

9. BigQuery Data Transfer Service (Private Beta) - BigQuery Data Transfer Service makes it easy for users to quickly get value from all their Google-managed advertising datasets. With just a few clicks, marketing analysts can schedule data imports from Google Adwords, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick for Publishers and YouTube Content and Channel Owner reports.

10. Cloud Dataprep (Private Beta) - Cloud Dataprep is a new managed data service, built in collaboration with Trifacta, that makes it faster and easier for BigQuery end-users to visually explore and prepare data for analysis without the need for dedicated data engineer resources.

11. New Commercial Datasets - Businesses often look for datasets (public or commercial) outside their organizational boundaries. Commercial datasets offered include financial market data from Xignite, residential real-estate valuations (historical and projected) from HouseCanary, predictions for when a house will go on sale from Remine, historical weather data from AccuWeather, and news archives from Dow Jones, all immediately ready for use in BigQuery (with more to come as new partners join the program).

12. Python for Google Cloud Dataflow in GA - Cloud Dataflow is a fully managed data processing service supporting both batch and stream execution of pipelines. Until recently, these benefits have been available solely to Java developers. Now there’s a Python SDK for Cloud Dataflow in GA.

13. Stackdriver Monitoring for Cloud Dataflow (Beta) - We’ve integrated Cloud Dataflow with Stackdriver Monitoring so that you can access and analyze Cloud Dataflow job metrics and create alerts for specific Dataflow job conditions.

14. Google Cloud Datalab in GA - This interactive data science workflow tool makes it easy to do iterative model and data analysis in a Jupyter notebook-based environment using standard SQL, Python and shell commands.

15. Cloud Dataproc updates - Our fully managed service for running Apache Spark, Flink and Hadoop pipelines has new support for restarting failed jobs (including automatic restart as needed) in beta, the ability to create single-node clusters for lightweight sandbox development, in beta, GPU support, and the cloud labels feature, for more flexibility managing your Dataproc resources, is now GA.

100-announcements-9

New GCP databases and database features round out a platform on which developers can build great applications across a spectrum of use cases:

16. Cloud SQL for Postgre SQL (Beta) - Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL implements the same design principles currently reflected in Cloud SQL for MySQL, namely, the ability to securely store and connect to your relational data via open standards.

17. Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise (GA) - Available on Google Compute Engine, plus support for Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) and SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability (GA).

18. Cloud SQL for MySQL improvements - Increased performance for demanding workloads via 32-core instances with up to 208GB of RAM, and central management of resources via Identity and Access Management (IAM) controls.

19. Cloud Spanner - Launched a month ago, but still, it would be remiss not to mention it because, hello, it’s Cloud Spanner! The industry’s first horizontally scalable, globally consistent, relational database service.

20. SSD persistent-disk performance improvements - SSD persistent disks now have increased throughput and IOPS performance, which are particularly beneficial for database and analytics workloads. Read these docs for complete details about persistent-disk performance.

21. Federated query on Cloud Bigtable - We’ve extended BigQuery’s reach to query data inside Cloud Bigtable, the NoSQL database service for massive analytic or operational workloads that require low latency and high throughput (particularly common in Financial Services and IoT use cases).

100-announcements-11

New GCP Cloud Machine Learning services bolster our efforts to make machine learning accessible to organizations of all sizes and sophistication:

22.  Cloud Machine Learning Engine (GA) - Cloud ML Engine, now generally available, is for organizations that want to train and deploy their own models into production in the cloud.

23. Cloud Video Intelligence API (Private Beta) - A first of its kind, Cloud Video Intelligence API lets developers easily search and discover video content by providing information about entities (nouns such as “dog,” “flower”, or “human” or verbs such as “run,” “swim,” or “fly”) inside video content.

24. Cloud Vision API (GA) - Cloud Vision API reaches GA and offers new capabilities for enterprises and partners to classify a more diverse set of images. The API can now recognize millions of entities from Google’s Knowledge Graph and offers enhanced OCR capabilities that can extract text from scans of text-heavy documents such as legal contracts or research papers or books.

25. Machine learning Advanced Solution Lab (ASL) - ASL provides dedicated facilities for our customers to directly collaborate with Google’s machine-learning experts to apply ML to their most pressing challenges.

26. Cloud Jobs API - A powerful aid to job search and discovery, Cloud Jobs API now has new features such as Commute Search, which will return relevant jobs based on desired commute time and preferred mode of transportation.

27. Machine Learning Startup Competition - We announced a Machine Learning Startup Competition in collaboration with venture capital firms Data Collective and Emergence Capital, and with additional support from a16z, Greylock Partners, GV, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.

100-announcements-10

New GCP pricing continues our intention to create customer-friendly pricing that’s as smart as our products; and support services that are geared towards meeting our customers where they are:

28. Compute Engine price cuts - Continuing our history of pricing leadership, we’ve cut Google Compute Engine prices by up to 8%.

29. Committed Use Discounts - With Committed Use Discounts, customers can receive a discount of up to 57% off our list price, in exchange for a one or three year purchase commitment paid monthly, with no upfront costs.

30. Free trial extended to 12 months - We’ve extended our free trial from 60 days to 12 months, allowing you to use your $300 credit across all GCP services and APIs, at your own pace and schedule. Plus, we’re introduced new Always Free products -- non-expiring usage limits that you can use to test and develop applications at no cost. Visit the Google Cloud Platform Free Tier page for details.

31. Engineering Support - Our new Engineering Support offering is a role-based subscription model that allows us to match engineer to engineer, to meet you where your business is, no matter what stage of development you’re in. It has 3 tiers:

  • Development engineering support - ideal for developers or QA engineers that can manage with a response within four to eight business hours, priced at $100/user per month.
  • Production engineering support provides a one-hour response time for critical issues at $250/user per month.
  • On-call engineering support pages a Google engineer and delivers a 15-minute response time 24x7 for critical issues at $1,500/user per month.

32. Cloud.google.com/community site - Google Cloud Platform Community is a new site to learn, connect and share with other people like you, who are interested in GCP. You can follow along with tutorials or submit one yourself, find meetups in your area, and learn about community resources for GCP support, open source projects and more.

100-announcements-8

New GCP developer platforms and tools reinforce our commitment to openness and choice and giving you what you need to move fast and focus on great code.

33. Google AppEngine Flex (GA) - We announced a major expansion of our popular App Engine platform to new developer communities that emphasizes openness, developer choice, and application portability.

34. Cloud Functions (Beta) - Google Cloud Functions has launched into public beta. It is a serverless environment for creating event-driven applications and microservices, letting you build and connect cloud services with code.

35. Firebase integration with GCP (GA) - Firebase Storage is now Google Cloud Storage for Firebase and adds support for multiple buckets, support for linking to existing buckets, and integrates with Google Cloud Functions.

36. Cloud Container Builder - Cloud Container Builder is a standalone tool that lets you build your Docker containers on GCP regardless of deployment environment. It’s a fast, reliable, and consistent way to package your software into containers as part of an automated workflow.

37. Community Tutorials (Beta)  - With community tutorials, anyone can now submit or request a technical how-to for Google Cloud Platform.

100-announcements-9

Secure, global and high-performance, we’ve built our cloud for the long haul. This week we announced a slew of new infrastructure updates. 

38. New data center region: California - This new GCP region delivers lower latency for customers on the West Coast of the U.S. and adjacent geographic areas. Like other Google Cloud regions, it will feature a minimum of three zones, benefit from Google’s global, private fibre network, and offer a complement of GCP services.

39. New data center region: Montreal - This new GCP region delivers lower latency for customers in Canada and adjacent geographic areas. Like other Google Cloud regions, it will feature a minimum of three zones, benefit from Google’s global, private fibre network, and offer a complement of GCP services.

40. New data center region: Netherlands - This new GCP region delivers lower latency for customers in Western Europe and adjacent geographic areas. Like other Google Cloud regions, it will feature a minimum of three zones, benefit from Google’s global, private fibre network, and offer a complement of GCP services.

41. Google Container Engine - Managed Nodes - Google Container Engine (GKE) has added Automated Monitoring and Repair of your GKE nodes, letting you focus on your applications while Google ensures your cluster is available and up-to-date.

42. 64 Core machines + more memory - We have doubled the number of vCPUs you can run in an instance from 32 to 64 and up to 416GB of memory per instance.

43. Internal Load balancing (GA) - Internal Load Balancing, now GA, lets you run and scale your services behind a private load balancing IP address which is accessible only to your internal instances, not the internet.

44. Cross-Project Networking (Beta) - Cross-Project Networking (XPN), now in beta, is a virtual network that provides a common network across several Google Cloud Platform projects, enabling simple multi-tenant deployments.

100-announcements-16

In the past year, we’ve launched 300+ features and updates for G Suite and this week we announced our next generation of collaboration and communication tools.

45. Team Drives (GA for G Suite Business, Education and Enterprise customers) - Team Drives help teams simply and securely manage permissions, ownership and file access for an organization within Google Drive.

46. Drive File Stream (EAP) - Drive File Stream is a way to quickly stream files directly from the cloud to your computer With Drive File Steam, company data can be accessed directly from your laptop, even if you don’t have much space on your hard drive.

47. Google Vault for Drive (GA for G Suite Business, Education and Enterprise customers) - Google Vault for Drive now gives admins the governance controls they need to manage and secure all of their files, including employee Drives and Team Drives. Google Vault for Drive also lets admins set retention policies that automatically keep what’s needed and delete what’s not.

48. Quick Access in Team Drives (GA) - powered by Google’s machine intelligence, Quick Access helps to surface the right information for employees at the right time within Google Drive. Quick Access now works with Team Drives on iOS and Android devices, and is coming soon to the web.

49. Hangouts Meet (GA to existing customers) - Hangouts Meet is a new video meeting experience built on the Hangouts that can run 30-person video conferences without accounts, plugins or downloads. For G Suite Enterprise customers, each call comes with a dedicated dial-in phone number so that team members on the road can join meetings without wifi or data issues.

50. Hangouts Chat (EAP) - Hangouts Chat is an intelligent communication app in Hangouts with dedicated, virtual rooms that connect cross-functional enterprise teams. Hangouts Chat integrates with G Suite apps like Drive and Docs, as well as photos, videos and other third-party enterprise apps.

51. @meet - @meet is an intelligent bot built on top of the Hangouts platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings for your team with Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar.

52. Gmail Add-ons for G Suite (Developer Preview) - Gmail Add-ons provide a way to surface the functionality of your app or service directly in Gmail. With Add-ons, developers only build their integration once, and it runs natively in Gmail on web, Android and iOS.

53. Edit Opportunities in Google Sheets - with Edit Opportunities in Google Sheets, sales reps can sync a Salesforce Opportunity List View to Sheets to bulk edit data and changes are synced automatically to Salesforce, no upload required.

54. Jamboard - Our whiteboard in the cloud goes GA in May! Jamboard merges the worlds of physical and digital creativity. It’s real time collaboration on a brilliant scale, whether your team is together in the conference room or spread all over the world.

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Building on the momentum from a growing number of businesses using Chrome digital signage and kiosks, we added new management tools and APIs in addition to introducing support for Android Kiosk apps on supported Chrome devices. 

55. Android Kiosk Apps for Chrome - Android Kiosk for Chrome lets users manage and deploy Chrome digital signage and kiosks for both web and Android apps. And with Public Session Kiosks, IT admins can now add a number of Chrome packaged apps alongside hosted apps.

56. Chrome Kiosk Management Free trial - This free trial gives customers an easy way to test out Chrome for signage and kiosk deployments.

57. Chrome Device Management (CDM) APIs for Kiosks - These APIs offer programmatic access to various Kiosk policies. IT admins can schedule a device reboot through the new APIs and integrate that functionality directly in a third- party console.

58. Chrome Stability API - This new API allows Kiosk app developers to improve the reliability of the application and the system.

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Attendees at Google Cloud Next ‘17 heard stories from many of our valued customers:

59. Colgate - Colgate-Palmolive partnered with Google Cloud and SAP to bring thousands of employees together through G Suite collaboration and productivity tools. The company deployed G Suite to 28,000 employees in less than six months.

60. Disney Consumer Products & Interactive (DCPI) - DCPI is on target to migrate out of its legacy infrastructure this year, and is leveraging machine learning to power next generation guest experiences.

61. eBay - eBay uses Google Cloud technologies including Google Container Engine, Machine Learning and AI for its ShopBot, a personal shopping bot on Facebook Messenger.

62. HSBC - HSBC is one of the world's largest financial and banking institutions and making a large investment in transforming its global IT. The company is working closely with Google to deploy Cloud DataFlow, BigQuery and other data services to power critical proof of concept projects.

63. LUSH - LUSH migrated its global e-commerce site from AWS to GCP in less than six weeks, significantly improving the reliability and stability of its site. LUSH benefits from GCP’s ability to scale as transaction volume surges, which is critical for a retail business. In addition, Google's commitment to renewable energy sources aligns with LUSH's ethical principles.

64. Oden Technologies - Oden was part of Google Cloud’s startup program, and switched its entire platform to GCP from AWS. GCP offers Oden the ability to reliably scale while keeping costs low, perform under heavy loads and consistently delivers sophisticated features including machine learning and data analytics.

65. Planet - Planet migrated to GCP in February, looking to accelerate their workloads and leverage Google Cloud for several key advantages: price stability and predictability, custom instances, first-class Kubernetes support, and Machine Learning technology. Planet also announced the beta release of their Explorer platform.

66. Schlumberger - Schlumberger is making a critical investment in the cloud, turning to GCP to enable high-performance computing, remote visualization and development velocity. GCP is helping Schlumberger deliver innovative products and services to its customers by using HPC to scale data processing, workflow and advanced algorithms.

67. The Home Depot - The Home Depot collaborated with GCP’s Customer Reliability Engineering team to migrate HomeDepot.com to the cloud in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Moving to GCP has allowed the company to better manage huge traffic spikes at peak shopping times throughout the year.

68. Verizon - Verizon is deploying G Suite to more than 150,000 of its employees, allowing for collaboration and flexibility in the workplace while maintaining security and compliance standards. Verizon and Google Cloud have been working together for more than a year to bring simple and secure productivity solutions to Verizon’s workforce.

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We brought together Google Cloud partners from our growing ecosystem across G Suite, GCP, Maps, Devices and Education. Our partnering philosophy is driven by a set of principles that emphasize openness, innovation, fairness, transparency and shared success in the cloud market. Here are some of our partners who were out in force at the show:

69. Accenture - Accenture announced that it has designed a mobility solution for Rentokil, a global pest control company, built in collaboration with Google as part of the partnership announced at Horizon in September.

70. Alooma - Alooma announced the integration of the Alooma service with Google Cloud SQL and BigQuery.

71. Authorized Training Partner Program - To help companies scale their training offerings more quickly, and to enable Google to add other training partners to the ecosystem, we are introducing a new track within our partner program to support their unique offerings and needs.

72. Check Point - Check Point® Software Technologies announced Check Point vSEC for Google Cloud Platform, delivering advanced security integrated with GCP as well as their joining of the Google Cloud Technology Partner Program.

73. CloudEndure - We’re collaborating with CloudEndure to offer a no cost, self-service migration tool for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers.

74. Coursera - Coursera announced that it is collaborating with Google Cloud Platform to provide an extensive range of Google Cloud training course. To celebrate this announcement  Coursera is offering all NEXT attendees a 100% discount for the GCP fundamentals class.

75. DocuSign - DocuSign announced deeper integrations with Google Docs.

76. Egnyte - Egnyte announced an enhanced integration with Google Docs that will allow our joint customers to create, edit, and store Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files right from within the Egnyte Connect.

77. Google Cloud Global Partner Awards - We recognized 12 Google Cloud partners that demonstrated strong customer success and solution innovation over the past year: Accenture, Pivotal, LumApps, Slack, Looker, Palo Alto Networks, Virtru, SoftBank, DoIT, Snowdrop Solutions, CDW Corporation, and SYNNEX Corporation.

78. iCharts - iCharts announced additional support for several GCP databases, free pivot tables for current Google BigQuery users, and a new product dubbed “iCharts for SaaS.”

79. Intel - In addition to the progress with Skylake, Intel and Google Cloud launched several technology initiatives and market education efforts covering IoT, Kubernetes and TensorFlow, including optimizations, a developer program and tool kits.

80. Intuit - Intuit announced Gmail Add-Ons, which are designed to integrate custom workflows into Gmail based on the context of a given email.

81. Liftigniter - Liftigniter is a member of Google Cloud’s startup program and focused on machine learning personalization using predictive analytics to improve CTR on web and in-app.

82. Looker - Looker launched a suite of Looker Blocks, compatible with Google BigQuery Data Transfer Service, designed to give marketers the tools to enhance analysis of their critical data.

83. Low interest loans for partners - To help Premier Partners grow their teams, Google announced that capital investment are available to qualified partners in the form of low interest loans.

84. MicroStrategy - MicroStrategy announced an integration with Google Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL and Google Cloud SQL for MySQL.

85. New incentives to accelerate partner growth - We are increasing our investments in multiple existing and new incentive programs; including, low interest loans to help Premier Partners grow their teams, increasing co-funding to accelerate deals, and expanding our rebate programs.

86. Orbitera Test Drives for GCP Partners - Test Drives allow customers to try partners’ software and generate high quality leads that can be passed directly to the partners’ sales teams. Google is offering Premier Cloud Partners one year of free Test Drives on Orbitera.

87. Partner specializations - Partners demonstrating strong customer success and technical proficiency in certain solution areas will now qualify to apply for a specialization. We’re launching specializations in application development, data analytics, machine learning and infrastructure.

88. Pivotal - GCP announced Pivotal as our first CRE technology partner. CRE technology partners will work hand-in-hand with Google to thoroughly review their solutions and implement changes to address identified risks to reliability.

89. ProsperWorks - ProsperWorks announced Gmail Add-Ons, which are designed to integrate custom workflows into Gmail based on the context of a given email.

90. Qwiklabs - This recent acquisition will provide Authorized Training Partners the ability to offer hands-on labs and comprehensive courses developed by Google experts to our customers.

91. Rackspace - Rackspace announced a strategic relationship with Google Cloud to become its first managed services support partner for GCP, with plans to collaborate on a new managed services offering for GCP customers set to launch later this year.

92. Rocket.Chat - Rocket.Chat, a member of Google Cloud’s startup program, is adding a number of new product integrations with GCP including Autotranslate via Translate API, integration with Vision API to screen for inappropriate content, integration to NLP API to perform sentiment analysis on public channels, integration with GSuite for authentication and a full move of back-end storage to Google Cloud Storage.

93. Salesforce - Salesforce announced Gmail Add-Ons, which are designed to integrate custom workflows into Gmail based on the context of a given email.

94. SAP - This strategic partnership includes certification of SAP HANA on GCP, new G Suite integrations and future collaboration on building machine learning features into intelligent applications like conversational apps that guide users through complex workflows and transactions.

95. Smyte - Smyte participated in the Google Cloud startup program and protects millions of actions a day on websites and mobile applications. Smyte recently moved from self-hosted Kubernetes to Google Container Engine (GKE).

96. Veritas - Veritas expanded its partnership with Google Cloud to provide joint customers with 360 Data Management capabilities. The partnership will help reduce data storage costs, increase compliance and eDiscovery readiness and accelerate the customer’s journey to Google Cloud Platform.

97. VMware Airwatch - Airwatch provides enterprise mobility management solutions for Android and continues to drive the Google Device ecosystem to enterprise customers.

98. Windows Partner Program- We’re working with top systems integrators in the Windows community to help GCP customers take full advantage of Windows and .NET apps and services on our platform.

99. Xplenty - Xplenty announced the addition of two new services from Google Cloud into their available integrations: Google Cloud Spanner and Google Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL.

100. Zoomdata - Zoomdata announced support for Google’s Cloud Spanner and PostgreSQL on GCP, as well as enhancements to the existing Zoomdata Smart Connector for Google BigQuery. With these new capabilities Zoomdata offers deeply integrated and optimized support for Google Cloud Platform’s Cloud Spanner, PostgreSQL, Google BigQuery, and Cloud DataProc services.

We’re thrilled to have so many new products and partners that can help all of our customers grow. And as our final announcement for Google Cloud Next ’17 — please save the date for Next 2018: June 4–6 in San Francisco.

I guess that makes it 101. :-)



          Trailer Trash Tracys announce new album 'Althaea'; share video for 'Eden Machine'        

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Five years after their debut album Ester, Trailer Trash Tracys are happy to announce Althaea, a new full-length record that marks their return to the spotlight. Along with the announcement, Trailer Trash Tracys have shared song 'Eden Machine', watch the video below. Althaea will be out August 11, 2017 via Domino imprint Double Six.

Over the course of their lush, strange album “Althaea”, London duo Trailer Trash Tracys condense a number of disparate styles into music that thrillingly broaches the void between figuration and abstraction. While undeniably beautiful and quite often infectious in parts, this is certainly not pop music by any traditional definition; rather, it appeals to the more intuitive of mind and wild at heart. More than simply becoming a philosophical exercise however, the result is their most ambitious and idiosyncratic body of work to date, one which operates at the very limits of what pop music can be.

Their debut, “Ester”, released in 2012, manifested the band’s approach to making music as a fine balance between chaos and order, laying out a dense and dreamlike ecosystem of Sufi poetry, Solfeggio scales and, floating above it all, Susanne Aztoria’s otherworldly yet emotionally charged vocals. Early singles such as “Strangling Good Guys” and “You Wish You Were Red” proved to be outliers – rather than simply making lo-fi dream pop, the band were instead aiming for something far more subconscious and esoteric. 

With “Althaea”, the band continue their investigations into the farther flung reaches of pop music, with stunning results. Spanning 10 deeply esoteric tracks, “Althaea” sees the band drift further afield from traditional song structures to create a new aural lexicon of their own, one as influenced by Filipino carnival music and Latin rhythms as it was by Japanese tropical music from the 80s. Even at their most outwardly pop – the pristine “Eden Machine” for instance, or the swooning “Kalesa”, there is a baroque splendour, and heightened sensuality. The interplay of light and dark, the foreign and the familiar, brings forth an album with manifold pleasures, one which rewards repeated listening and further exploration.

Watch the video for new single “Eden Machine” below aalongside the trailer for the short film of Althaea - as premiered last week at the Whirled Cinema in Brixton.

Althaea Tracklisting:

01 Smoked Silver          
02 Eden Machine          
03 Gong Gardens          
04 Siebenkäs                
05 Money For Moondogs  
06 Betty's Cavatina        
07 Casadora  
08 Singdrome                
09 Kalesa                      
10 100 Aspects Of The Moon  

Althaea Pre-order:

Althaea is available to pre-order now on limited heavyweight green vinyl, CD, and digital download.

Domino Mart pre-order: http://smarturl.it/AlthaeaDM 
Digital pre-order: http://smarturl.it/AlthaeaDL 

Trailer Trash Tracys 2017 Tour Dates:

09/11 Manchester, UK - Soup Kitchen
09/19 Glasgow, UK - Hug & Pint
09/20 Newcastle, UK - Think Tank
09/21 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Games Room
09/22 Birmingham, UK - Actress & Bishop
09/23 Brighton, UK - The Hope
09/24 Bristol, UK - Louisiana
09/26 Paris, France - Point Ephemere
10/01 Rotterdam, Netherlands - V11
10/02 Amsterdam, Netherlands - U/S Melkweg
10/03 Antwerp, Belgium - Trix Bar
10/04 Cologne, Germany - Blue Shell
10/05 Hamburg, Germany - Nochwache
10/06 Copenhagen, Denmark - Ideal Bar
10/07 Berlin, Germany - Auster Club
10/09 Munich, Germany - Milla
10/10 Vienna, Austria - Chelsea
10/18 London, UK - Camden Assembly
10/27 Rome, Italy - Monk
10/28 Bologna, Italy - Covo 


          Color your own Real Estate's "Stained Glass" music video; new US dates!        

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Real Estate have shared an immersive new music video for “Stained Glass” – the second video to be released from their latest album In Mind out now. Directed by Craig Allen, the interactive experience allows fans to color and share their own animated kaleidoscope-like video, creating something unique and experimental. Watch the band’s own color creation below and create your own here: stainedglassvideo.com

In addition to the video release, Real Estate has announced a headlining tour this fall. The band’s expansive tour this spring resulted in their biggest shows to date, including sold out stops at D.C.’s 9:30 Club, The Vic Theatre in Chicago, a 2-night stand at NYC’s Brooklyn Steel + more. The fall tour will feature performances at iconic venues such as The Theatre at The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles and First Avenue in Minneapolis. Presale begins on Monday, May 22 with code “STAINEDGLASS”, with tickets officially on sale May 25. See full tour dates below.

Allen says of the video: “We were collectively excited by making a video that the band could create with their fans rather than for them. I've always been excited to find new ways of making content and this video is a fun—dare I say therapeutic—thing to play with, where you actually get to feel like you accomplish something at the end. That's what is exciting to all of us and we're extremely proud of what we've been able to create with the help of the fabulous MediaMonks team.”

A limited edition 7” for “Stained Glass” backed with an exclusive track, the instrumental "Two Part, Part Two”, is also available to purchase now from Real Estate’s store. Much like its video counterpart, each 7” is a one of kind mix of colors.

The band recently performed another In Mind's first single “Darling” on Conan, which has earned widespread praise from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the NY Times, SPIN, Vice, Salon + more. Watch the performance and revisit the orignial music video, directed by Weird Days, below.

Real Estate 2017 Tour Dates:

Jun 13 – Roundhouse – London, UK #
Jun 14 – Le Café De La Danse – Paris, France #
Jun 15 – Orangerie – Brussels, Belgium #
Jun 16 – Best Kept Secret Festival – Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
Jun 18 – Lido – Berlin, Germany #
Jun 19 – Molotow – Hamburg, Germany #
Jun 20 – Pumpehuset – Copenhagen West, Denmark #
Jun 21 – Debaser Strand – Stockholm, Sweden #
Jun 23 – Piknik I Parken – Oslo, Norway #
Jun 27 – Cambridge Junction – Cambridge, UK #
Jun 28 – O2 Ritz – Manchester, UK #
Jun 30 –Vida Festival – Barcelona, Spain
Jul 14 – Forecastle Festival – Louisville, KY
Jul 15-16 – Cobblestone Live – Buffalo, NY
Jul 21 – Splendour in the Grass - Byron Bay NSW, Australia
Jul 22 – The Croxton Bandroom – Thornbury, Australia
Jul 25 – The Edinburgh Castle Hotel – Adelaide, Australia
Jul 27 – The Metro Theatre – Sydney, Australia
Jul 30 – Fuji Rock Festival – Yuzawa, Japan
Aug 11-13 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA
Aug 12-13 – Traveler’s Rest Festival – Missoula MT
Aug 25-26 – Huichica East Festival – Pine Plains, NY
Aug 31-Sept 3 – End of the Road Festival – North Dorset District, UK
Sept 1-3 – Electric Picnic Festival – Kilmacthomas, Ireland
Sept 1-2 – Electric Fields Festival – Dumfries, UK
Oct 19 – SoHO Music Club – Santa Barbara, CA*
Oct 20 – Theatre at Ace Hotel – Los Angeles, CA*
Oct 22 – Lost Lake Festival – Phoenix, AZ
Oct 23 – Observatory – Santa Ana, CA*
Oct 24 – Music Box – San Diego, CA*
Oct 26 – Loma Vista Gardens – Big Sur, CA*
Oct 28 – Jub Jub’s – Reno, NV*
Oct 30 – Fox Theater – Boulder, CO*
Nov 1 – The Slowdown – Omaha, NE*
Nov 2 – Castle Theater – Bloomington, IL*
Nov 3 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN*
Nov 4 – Englert Theater – Iowa City, IA*
Nov 5 – Turner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI*

# w/ Spinning Coin
* w/ Lucy Dacus 


          How Panama Papers' sponsor George Soros made billions offshore        
 
The Independent provided this 1994 glimpse into how George Soros made billions with an offshore Netherlands Antilles fund using tax breaks which are now villified under the Panama Papers by the International Consortium of Journalists he sponsors.  The Quantum fund was formed by Citco (Curacao Investment Trust Co) instead of a Panama law firm.


Lifting the lid of the Soros money machine: 
In an exclusive journey through the labyrinthine empire of the master speculator, Stephanie Cooke and Charles Raw find gains are 'reallocated' to a charmed circle of associates

STEPHANIE COOKE and CHARLES RAW Saturday 5 March 1994


'I STILL consider myself selfish and greedy,' says George Soros. 'I am not putting myself forward as any kind of saint. I have very healthy appetites and I put myself first.'
Mr Soros is the man who made dollars 1bn when Britain left the European exchange rate mechanism in September 1992, earning him the status of a legendary investor. But that status was tarnished last month, when he lost a similar sum on the yen.

Nevertheless, he has set the tone for a new generation of large-scale professional investors who run so-called hedge funds on behalf of wealthy private clients. Markets regularly hang on his predictions for the course of gold, currencies and shares.

The size of these hedge funds means they are regularly singled out as the cause of seismic shifts in financial markets. That is putting Mr Soros into sharper focus, simply because he is the leader of the pack. If he should falter, the knock-on effect could be widespread.

That is why central banks have started to ask questions about unregulated offshore operations such as his.

Ever the master of public relations, Mr Soros welcomed the central banks' probe. 'I feel there is an innate instability in unregulated markets,' he told the Reuters news agency.

Until now, however, remarkably little has been known about how the Soros financial empire is organised.

The first detailed analysis of the funds' published documents reveals that he has created a complex and bizarre financial creature in which the interests of Mr Soros, his family, close friends and key executives in the business are incestuously intertwined with those of his public investors.

Some of those investors may not have noticed that in the past few years Mr Soros has altered the structure of the organisation so as to reallocate some of the profits in favour of his private circle.

Mr Soros started his offshore fund operation with dollars 4m in 1969, at the age of 39, after learning the arbitrage and investment business in London and New York.

He appears from the start to have aimed at wealthy individuals and professional European investors. He told prospective clients that the purpose of his key Quantum fund was 'to enable sophisticated investors to participate in an internationally diversified investment portfolio'. The Quantum fund is active in currency, commodity and interest- rate markets as well as equities and fixed-interest securities.

Later, in the early 1980s, Soros honed to perfection the technique of charging buyers a premium based on the supply and demand of fund shares.

Normally an open-ended investment fund is sold or redeemed at net asset value, with a sales charge added or an administrative charge deducted. But the Quantum fund can issue shares at a premium to its net asset value. The premium, however, is not based on an open market value.

Instead it is set by the fund's managing director, Citco (Curacao Investment Trust Co) in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. This is declared to be 'by or at the direction of the fund's board of supervisory directors', which is chaired by Alberto Foglia of the Banca del Ceresio in Lugano, Switzerland. Its seven other members are mainly European bankers and brokers, including in London the renowned fund manager Nils Taube of Lord Rothschild's St James's Place Capital.

In the late 1980s the Quantum fund's documents stated that the premium would not rise above 25 per cent. As the premium for buying the fund was as low as 1 per cent during that period, it was not an unduly onerous restriction. But in the past few years, as the fund's fortunes have risen, the restriction has been quietly dropped and the premium soared at one point to nearly 40 per cent. After the Japanese loss last month, it dropped four points to 35 per cent, but is now back to 36 per cent.

Possibly to avoid problems with the US authorities, Soros states that his funds are barred to Americans - whether in the US or abroad. At least one exception to this is Soros himself, who became a US citizen in 1961.

By 1972 the fund was worth dollars 20m. For reasons not made clear in recent documents, the operation was relaunched under the Quantum name in 1973. The fund was registered in the Netherlands Antilles, but Soros ran it from New York through Soros Fund Management. No information is given about this firm's precise corporate status, other than that it has always been wholly owned by him personally.

Although Soros now leaves the running of SFM to his executives, the documents state that in his 'personal capacity, he manages a securities trading partnership formed for the benefit of members of the Soros family and several other family accounts'.

By the end of 1980 the fund was worth more than dollars 380m and the net asset value of each share had risen by almost 4,400 per cent. In 1981 Quantum shares fell by 23 per cent, their first drop in value, and the fund nearly halved to dollars 193m. The following year a new category of share was created - the B share - in which Soros placed money invested by himself and his trusts and charities. His own main investment in the fund is now via these shares. It is through them that he apparently exercises control over the fund, although the voting rights of these shares are not explained in more recent documents. He can and does convert B into A shares from time to time, but these are primarily held by outsiders. No single external investor is allowed to exercise more than 4.9 per cent of the votes.

Although the fund recovered and grew once more, it hit another rocky patch in the late 1980s when more investors were selling Quantum shares than were buying. Around this time Soros made serious efforts to expand his operation.

In 1989, in spite of the fact that very few investors came into the fund, the net asset value of Quantum increased by 31.6 per cent.

Mr Soros had demonstrated the magical effect of simple mathematics, something not immediately apparent to laymen. Because of the high number of redemptions during 1989, the benefits were divided among fewer shares, so the net asset value still rose.

By then the operation was working as follows. Under an agreement approved by shareholders in 1988, Soros Fund Management is paid a basic investment advisory fee of 1 per cent a year, payable monthly. But the real cash cow is the annual performance fee. The fee is mainly composed of a sum equal to 15 per cent of any increase in net assets resulting from the fund's operation - before the deduction of the performance fee itself, of course.

There is another element in the fee - 15 per cent 'in net assets resulting from premiums realised on fund share subscriptions and premiums or discounts realised on fund share redemptions'.

Although the fund can issue shares at a premium direct to investors and - as is normal with open-ended funds - redeem them, in practice Quantum acts differently.

It has a subsidiary called Quasco which sells Quantum shares at a premium and buys them back either at a smaller premium or, should the situation arise, a discount of up to 1 per cent. Quasco makes a profit from the margin between the premiums charged to buyers and the price offered to sellers. In recent years the margin has been around 4-5 per cent.

Quasco's accounts are not available, but it is clear it makes a substantial amount of money through these dealings. This money has historically been reinvested in the fund and SFM has taken its 15 per cent cut.

Indeed, the very fact that the money was ploughed back has been used as a strong promotional point by brokers selling the funds.

But in 1991 things started to change. In a significant restructuring of the operation that included the launch of new funds, Mr Soros began the 'reallocation' of some of the gain for 'selected persons associated with SFM'.

By then Mr Soros had apparently finally decided that Quantum's growth had to be curtailed. In February of that year he announced the biggest distribution so far: dollars 4,000 per share, a total of dollars 611m. To satisfy investors who did not want cash, he offered shares in a new fund, Quasar International.

Quasar was a different animal to Quantum. Instead of investing directly in securities, it would invest only in one entity - Quasar International Partners. That in turn would carry out investment activities under advice from SFM. But Quasar, like Quantum, had a dealing subsidiary, Quinter.

The fund was not the only investor in the partnership, however. Mr Soros, 'certain members of his family and other selected persons associated with the partnership's management' also joined the club.

The Quasar fund has had a very successful run. In only its second year of operation it showed an increase in net asset value per share of 56.2 per cent, following a 44.9 per cent rise the previous year.

The accounts for the year ending 31 January 1993 show that of the dollars 18.2m netted on premiums, dollars 5.6m was 'reallocated to other partners'. In the previous year they were allotted dollars 2.55m in premiums. These reallocations were based on their share of the partnership, which had risen from 24.6 per cent at the outset to 29 per cent by the end of the second year, partly because of the reallocations.

Thus Mr Soros, his family and key members of his management team had effectively increased the membership dues for Quantum's sophisticated investors in the fund, and helped to dilute the fund's interest in the partnership.

In the explanatory memorandum about Quasar, Mr Soros explained that 'the Fund's net profit or loss from transactions in the Fund shares (whether realized directly or through Quinter) generally is accounted for as if earned by the Partnership, and thus is shared among the Fund and the other partners.'

Close examination of the accounts also reveals that the 'selected persons' appear to have benefited in another way from the establishment of the partnership.

In April 1991 Soros told Quantum shareholders that they had subscribed for a total of dollars 541m in 'Quasar', without specifying whether he meant the fund or the partnership.

In fact the accounts reveal that while dollars 541m of Quantum's assets were indeed transferred to the Quasar partnership, the Quasar fund's initial net asset value was only dollars 493m - a difference of dollars 48m.

The Quantum investors choosing to invest in Quasar were thus effectively paying a premium of about 9.5 per cent for their new shares.

Another discrepancy appeared in the calculation of the net asset value at the end of the second year. While the fund's holding of the partnership at that time was 71 per cent, when it came to dividing up the net increase in the partnership's capital resulting from operations, the fund got only 67.1 per cent. This is possibly because the 'selected persons' do not pay advisory fees.

The pattern for spinning off new funds had been set.

When Quantum's next distribution of dollars 1.166m was made in February 1992, two further funds were launched: Quota and Quantum Emerging Growth.

Quota was different because it would be managed entirely by outside advisers (but, of course, under SFM's overall direction).

Quantum Emerging Growth remained inside the SFM stable - but its performance fee was set at 20 per cent and also spawned a partnership arrangement similar to the Quasar operation. In effect, therefore, it too raised the stakes for the growing ranks of investors in what was by this stage fast becoming the Soros phenomenon.

This time, though, there was no discrepancy between the assets of Quantum transferred to the partnership and the new fund's equity stake, according to the accounts issued for the first 15 months to 31 March 1993.

During that period the 'selected persons' put some dollars 100m into the partnership. Their share rose from less than 5 per cent at the outset to 15 per cent at the end of the period. Their allocation of the dollars 40m in profits, generated by the premiums from dealings in the fund's shares, was dollars 4.7m.

As the fund's fortunes rocketed, self-restraint among its management seemed to wane. The 25 per cent restriction on the premium had long since disappeared.

Then it spawned two property funds, each with a high- profile partner.

One, Quantum Realty Trust, was with Paul Reichmann, whose Olympia & York operation had collapsed as a result of the financial drain of the Canary Wharf development in London's Docklands.

The other, Quantum UK Realty Fund, was with John Ritblat of British Land. Again, capital was provided partly out of distributions from Quantum and Quasar as well as by Mr Soros and his family, but also this time by other participants.

Although the structure of these new funds is highly complex, they are essentially closed- end operations. What may not have been noticed was that in June 1993 the directors of the open-ended flagship - the Quantum fund - removed an important investment restriction: a prohibition on direct investment in property.

Until the audited accounts for 1993 are available (they are expected to be out in May or June), investors will not know whether advantage has been taken of this change, or what effect it may have had on the liquidity of the fund.

Last year, Quantum quietly transformed itself. On 1 August 'substantially all' of Quantum's assets and liabilities were transferred to a new Curacao partnership, Quantum Partners.

As with Quasar and Quantum Emerging Growth, the Quantum fund is not the only partner. 'Selected persons associated with SFM' - including SFM's managing directors - subscribed for 1.3 per cent of the new partnership's net equity.

In effect they were getting a share in Quantum without having to pay a premium. Already by the end of September their share of the net equity had risen to 1.9 per cent - dollars 78m - and, as with Quasar and Quantum Emerging, they would get a share of the net premiums made from dealings in the flagship fund.

Again, just how much this will be will not be known until the 1993 accounts are available. But in 1992 such dealings contributed dollars 68m towards the rise in the fund's net asset value.

Additionally, SFM's managing directors and 'trusts and charitable foundations created by them' have taken an insurance policy on the future of the fund. This comes in the form of dollars 220m of convertible debentures that pay 6 per cent a year and are convertible in 2003 into partnership shares at 120 per cent of their net asset value on the issue date. They may be worth considerably more than that by then.

In the great tidal wave of money into the Soros empire, which at the end of 1993 stood at dollars 4.9bn for Quantum alone and more than dollars 10bn for the whole group, there is another sum that may one day cause repercussions of its own: the size of the performance fee that SFM leaves in the fund. At the end of 1992, the latest reckoning available, that totalled nearly dollars 550m.

These deferred fees are so structured that they share in the appreciation of the fund, but investors are given no clear picture of when SFM can or will withdraw them.

It is curious that Mr Soros has not yet taken this money out, since it would be one way of reducing the size of the funds. But to take it out quickly now might suggest he was losing confidence in his own creation.



See full text in http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/lifting-the-lid-of-the-soros-money-machine-in-an-exclusive-journey-through-the-labyrinthine-empire-1427341.html




          The 'who's who' of European tax havens        
Will Germany, UK and Netherlands end up in the OECD "black list" of terrible "tax havens"?



Forget about the Bahamas, Panama, Cayman Islands, or Fiji. If you want to avoid paying taxes and have no problem with dicey business practices, Europe has a lot to offer.

Europe is far from innocent in the international offshore tax evasion industry, as the Tax Justice Network (TJN) recently demonstrated. Many European countries, with their stable infrastructure and professional personnel, provide fertile ground for businesses or individuals to evade taxes.

Andorra
There are more than a few gaps that need to be filled in Europe, according to Markus Meinzer of the TJN. He helped paint a picture of who's who among European tax havens.
The independent mini-state of Andorra in the Pyrenees, which is not a part of the European Union, offers a secretive place for those in neighboring countries to stash their money. Particularly attractive is the personal service offered by banking advisers there. It's also easy for Spaniards and French to simply drive there to deposit cash. Afterwards, one can always tank up and buy cigarettes there - tax-free, of course.

Austria
As a country sharing borders with Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, the Czech Republic and Switzerland, Austria draws foreign capital by promising secrecy to account holders. It caters especially to Europe's German-speaking population, Meinzer said. But he also said that he knows of Argentines who, for example, combine investing in Austrian bonds with the advantages of bank secrecy. Due precisely to the lack of financial transparency and its geographic location, Austria has also attracted wealth from Arab world dictators for decades.
Channel Islands
The British Channel Islands Jersey, Guernsey and Sark are home to hundreds of financial institutions and insurance companies drawn to their simple and low taxes. While Jersey probably "hides the most dirty business," according to Meinzer, Guernsey is the most innovative.
With its so-called self-protected companies, an apparent single company is organized into cells with protective legal walls between them. And on Sark, according to British newspaper The Guardian, there are 24 companies registered for each of the approximately 600 inhabitants.
Cyprus
Cyprus is the perfect example of what can go wrong with depending on such dubious business models. It was particularly oriented toward former Soviet countries, and acted as a hub for them. Transactions over letterbox companies brought money into Cyprus, then back to countries like Russia - thus avoiding Russian tax authorities. But since the Cyprus bailout , in part by the EU, the Mediterranean island will have to come up with a new business model.
England
England, with London, represents one of the largest hubs for tax evasion and capital flight. Meinzer described London as "the mother of all tax havens" since the zone, which does not answer to the crown, has developed a network that continues to bring money back to the capital of the former empire. Money flows from there to British Channel Islands, such as Guernsey, Jersey or to the Isle of Man, then overseas to British territories in the Caribbean, such as the Cayman or Virgin Islands - or in Europe, to Gibraltar. London, is the seat of many dubious "letterbox companies," which only exist on the Internet.
Germany
Frankfurt skyline Foto: Frank Rumpenhorst dpa/lhe
Frankfurt is a great place for foreign investors to earn tax-free interest
Germany protects the data of foreign investors, who also don't have to pay taxes on interest.
Only Germans, or foreigners resident in Germany, have to actually shell out a flat rate withholding tax on interest income, Meinzer said.
Information on such yields also rarely flows out of Germany, he added: "Foreign investors with German accounts are protected with a certain degree of anonymity."
That's why Germany ranks ninth in the world for financial secrecy, according to TJN.
Gibraltar
At the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar has specialized in allowing such letterbox companies, called "trusts." The structure of such trusts means there is no real owner of the company. They are often used to add a layer of secrecy to letterbox companies, Meinzer said, which is particularly good for money laundering.
Meinzer cited insider information in calling it "the dirty end of the spectrum" for bringing money back into financial markets. The presence of many gambling casinos there also comes into play.
Ireland
It's called the "double Irish" in the financial world: A company founds two subsidiaries in Ireland with its business tax rate of 12.5 percent. Then, one claims to be based in a different tax haven. (Comparable taxes in the United States, for example, are around 35 percent.)


This is completely legal in Ireland, and therefore an optimal location for companies such as Google, Apple or Amazon.While the one company does business in Europe, it pays the other patent fees. Profits vanish, as costs and income equal out on the balance sheet.
Although other countries like the Netherlands offer similar models, Meinzer said the difference is that people do actually work in Ireland, which at least creates some jobs and a bit of growth in the country.
Isle of Man
Taxes are kind of an afterthought on this island between England, Scotland and Ireland. Inheritances and capital gains aren't taxed at all, while the highest level of taxation lies at 20 percent. Corporate tax is nonexistent. It's especially loved as a hidey-hole for British millionaires.
Luxemburg
Luxembourg is the second-largest financial hub in Europe, after London. Innumerable investors and around 150 different banks enjoy a lenient tax framework in Europe's stocks and bonds center. Luxembourg's status as an EU member makes it particularly attractive for European companies and the international market, Meinzer explained. "If I want to get around German laws, for example, I could go through Luxembourg," Meinzer said, adding that 40 German banks do business there.


With its low tax rates, Malta, like Cyprus, has long drawn foreign capital. Although corporate taxes are around 35 percent, companies can get most of that refunded.
It's a favorite among German companies, which earn a higher profit if based on Malta. Meinzer said that while it's clearly a tax paradise for companies, it's not clear if that's also the case for individuals.
Monaco
The Principality of Monaco continues to be home to the rich and famous, being surrounded by France. Millionaires happily set themselves up there due to the fact that they pay no income or inheritance taxes. The city-state also does not prosecute financial crimes committed abroad. Businesses, however, must pay taxes there - at rates of around 33 percent. France, though it doesn't play an active role, lends a protective hand, Meinzer said.
Netherlands
What Luxembourg is for private investors, the Netherlands is for large corporations. Business taxes are incredibly low, with many tax advantages for interest and licensing income.
With the "Dutch sandwich," a parent company has a subsidiary in the Netherlands, which it uses as a cheap tax base to develop its European business.
Switzerland
Although there are supposedly no more completely anonymous bank accounts in Switzerland (and neighboring Liechtenstein), it continues to draw large sums of money due to its strict banking secrecy. Considering the volume of money in Switzerland, it made first place on the TJN's Financial Secrecy Index.
Full text in http://www.dw.de/


          Part Deux: The feedback cometh. Hans Terhurne.        
In answer to: The Evolution of the Visual Mapper (Part Deux)?


Hans Terhurne of creamatics@HansTerhurnehas been a colleague for many years now, and his thought leadership within the EU regions of Netherlands/Germany relating to visual knowledge is very well known and exposed.

Yes, something has changed in the way visual mapping tools are marketed. More and more we see business examples and presentations focusing on business purposes at the sites of the software companies.

Visual mapping tools are not only our schematic ways of acting with all kinds of maps. Infographics are still nearby, but there are also visual thinking tools as photo, video, family/business constellations, cartooning/harvesting and theatre. Our specialisms are the schematic forms because of our backgrounds I think.

I think we still are focusing too much on the tools where it’s about the thinking process. We know our added value is interesting because of these tools, but still … Problem is that focusing on the process we have to compete with all kinds of other consultants and facilitators while we are/want to be those very special and valuable VISUAL facilitators.

We still struggle with the fact that a lot of people first have to experience our way of working before they have any idea what it could bring. Since their childhood people learned in a linear way. To change that to a more holistic thinking means a lot, it makes people a bit unsure or even anxious. And most people are already unsure and anxious because of all kinds of crises at this moment – better stick to the known way of working because you never know what will come out.

As Jeff Conklin and Paul Culmsee say it’s also difficult to work our way if there are hidden agendas. Sometimes the transparent picture is not wanted.

We are in a transition period which give us chances. Some companies and communities are looking for a dialog. A dialog means more listening than talking and with our tools we can structure this dialog. Also old solutions work less and less, so more and more people will be open for other ways of getting clear what should be done. Problems are getting more ‘wicked’ and the rational linear way of problem solving doesn’t work very well in such cases. An iterative process with the help of visual mapping is getting more interesting.

So it’s not about visual mapping, it’s about thinking of all kinds of things with the help of visual mapping. It’s about the process and we still are talking too much about the tools and if something may be called mind mapping as meant by Tony Buzan. It’s not important if we use mind/concept/whatever mapping. We can help to get a wider overview and a deeper insight with our way of facilitating and we know what tools are most helpful in a certain situation.

A problem is how to distinguish from ‘the others’.

          Kenya's Reelected Leader Must End Horrifying Anal Exams        
Commentary

Will President Uhuru Kenyatta nudge his nation toward the future or keep it in the past?

WorldKenya&#039;s Reelected Leader Must End Horrifying Anal ExamsEric Gitari

Kenya, the economic and political powerhouse of Eastern and Central Africa, held an election this week to choose the fifth president of the country since independence. While the vote is still being contested by opposition leader Raila Odinga, it appears that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta just won a second and final term. When it comes to defending the human rights of Kenya’s LGBTIQ citizens, Kenyatta’s record is critically important to our emerging democracy.

During President Obama’s visit to Kenya in 2015, Kenyatta said, “We share a lot of things, but gay issues are not among them. ... There are some things that we must admit we don't share. It's very difficult for us to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept. This is why I say for Kenyans today the issue of gay rights is really a nonissue." Kenyatta was responding to Obama, who emphasized the need for Kenya to stop discriminating against gays and lesbians, saying, “I've been consistent all across Africa on this. When you start treating people differently because they're different, that's the path whereby freedoms begin to erode. And bad things happen.”

During an interview with CNN in October 2015, Kenyatta underlined that what he meant when responding to Obama was not that gays have no rights. "I will not allow people to persecute any individuals, or beat and torture them," he said, adding that "we have to understand that these are processes and they take time ... and this is where I am saying we have to get synergies. You are not going to create the U.S., Great Britain, or Netherlands in Kenya, or in Nigeria or Senegal overnight."

President Kenyatta’s lack of leadership on LGBTIQ issues is of great concern. The unsupportive public statements have offered license to state officers who continue to harass and arrest gays and lesbians; political cover to those who deny LGBTIQ citizens access to medical, educational, and other social services; and a justification for hate crimes committed by the general public. The use of forced anal exams to “prove” homosexual activity stands out as a particularly brutal form of torture in this larger context.

From 2015 to March 2017, senior state officers in Kenya have been encouraging police to use forced anal examinations on suspected gay men and trans women to prove the crime of private consensual homosexual adult sex, which is punishable with 14 years imprisonment. The outdated practice, which has so far been perfomed on two of our clients and has been used as a threat on others, involves a doctor inserting fingers or objects inside the rectum of a detainee, measuring the anus to assess indications of penetration, or even simply spotlighting the anus to check for bruises or tears. This practice, which has been upheld as valid by the High Court of Kenya, only serves to degrade and humiliate suspected gay men, since no further medical analysis is performed to prove the penetration was the result of consensual sexual activity by another man. These tests serve no evidentiary value in proving the crime of private consensual homosexual adult sex, and they have been denounced by medical and forensic athorities around the world.

In Africa, forced anal examinations on suspected gay men and trans women have been reported in Tanzania, Egypt, Tunisia, Uganda, and Cameroon. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights noted in 2016 that forced anal examination constitutes torture. It has asked African states to respect Resolution 275 of the commission, which forbids violence and discrimination on the basis of real or imputed sexual orientation and gender identity. It also should be noted that Kenya has robust antitorture legislation, which defines torture to include the insertion of objects into sexual organs, including the anus. Unfortunately, there is little political will to extend the equal protection and equal benefits of such laws to gay men and trans women, who are now at risk of these forced anal examinations.

In this context, where there is no political will to enforce the law equally and where court appeals against the use of forced anal examinations languish in Kenyan courts, and with cases of blackmail, extortion, and detention of gay men and trans women on the rise, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission of Kenya and the Council for Global Equality have asked the U.S. government to sanction those who are responsible for this barbaric practice. Together, we have lodged an application with the U.S. State Department under the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction senior Kenyan officers and medical professionals who are encouraging or performing forced anal examinations on suspected gay men and trans women, arguing that these practices amount to torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. We hope the public discourse that the Global Magnitsky application brings will shine a spotlight on the cruelty of this procedure, highlighting the pointless and irreversible injury it causes to the dignity of the victim. 

This is just one human rights issue that will determine Kenya’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law. President Kenyatta will have to show leadership in ending this act of torture and many other forms of violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ citizens. He must also engage diplomatically to avoid sanctions against senior individual state officers and to uphold the international reputation of Kenya as a regional leader when it comes to democracy and equality.

ERIC GITARI is the executive director of the NGLHRC-Kenya and an LL.M. student at Harvard Law School.

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          Balk Shipyard – The first AntiRoll installation facility in Europe        
A steady partnership in perfect balance A tradition of shipbuilding that spans more than two centuries, the 7th generation now at the helm and Purveyor to the Court of the Netherlands. There are few shipyards that are able to present such a record. Balk Shipyard can. And this is testimony to ...
          Neal should move... to the Netherlands        
I guess Neal should move to The Netherlands. This caught my eye in the newspaper today:


The article states that criminals that cut their anklet don´t commit a crime. They can only be charged for distroying government property but the DA said that almost never happens.... So I guess this would be the place to be for Neal to finish his time on the anklet...

But if you finish reading the article, it also says that since the criminal violated the terms of the release, whatever sentence was applicable becomes effective immediately, but it is not a crime in itself.

          Trampoline Loop        

Just another loop done with Cinema 4D and Octane.

Cast: Johannes Matsson

Tags: hyper, loop, netherlands, island, amsterdam,