Archive for July, 2017

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By Darla Blackmon

Rare paintings are among the world’s most valuable objects. As such, they are often the topic of conversation, and even more often the targets of thieves. For hundreds of years art thieves have held a mystery and fascination. Sure, we know they are criminals… but they steal art! The allure of a criminal with fine taste is perfect fodder for gossip.

However, the reality is that there are two main purposes for art heists. Some paintings are stolen and sold on the black market. Other paintings — those too famous to be sold — are held for ransom. Either way, the thief is more interested in the price than painting.

Five of the most notable art heists in history are still talked about today.

1. Mona Lisa (da Vinci) – 1911

Being the most prestigious painting in history, Mona Lisa has had some prestigious owners. Later, she was displayed in the Louvre but on August 20, 1911, Mona Lisa was discovered missing from the French National Museum. All administrators of the Louvre were fired and the borders of the country sealed. Several months later, an art gallery in Florence announced they had caught the thief – Vincenzo Perugia, an Italian nationalist who believed the painting should be kept in France. Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre January 4, 1914.

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2. Storm on the Sea of Galilee (Rembrandt) & The Concert (Vermeer) – 1990

These famous paintings were owned by a private collector in Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner, until her death in 1924. Her will stipulated the paintings remain in her small museum with no new additions and nothing was to be removed. And so it was – until March 18, 1990 when two men masquerading as Boston police officers made off with the paintings. The crime is yet to be solved and the paintings remain unrecovered.

3. The Scream & Madonna (Munch) – 2004

The works of Munch have been targeted for numerous thefts but the most famous was the theft of The Scream from Oslo, Norway on August 22, 2004. Armed gunmen boldly ripped the paintings from the walls and fled. The men were eventually caught and imprisoned but the paintings were damaged in the process. The Scream is very delicate because it is painted on cardboard.

4. View of the Sea at Scheveningen & Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church at Nuenen (Van Gogh) – 2002

On December 7, 2002, a group led the famous international art thief known as ‘The Monkey’ noticed a ladder left out at the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum. In broad daylight, they broke a second-story window with their towel-wrapped elbows. Using a makeshift rope ladder, they escaped through a different route. Two men were arrested through DNA evidence but the paintings were never recovered.

5. The Paraguayan National Fine Arts Museum (various paintings by Courbert, Tintoretto, Murillo, Piot) – 2002

When prospective art thieves heard Paraguay was hosting an expensive showing, they rented a shop nearby two months in advance and began digging an 80 foot tunnel to the museum. The thieves leisurely strolled over and helped themselves on July 30, 2002. The paintings have since been recovered.

These five art heists are only the tip of the iceberg. The total list of famous paintings that have been stolen over the years is pages long and these top five can be supplemented with 25 runners up. Although many of the paintings are eventually recovered, some go missing for years until they resurface.

About the Author: Darla Blackmon writes for EverythingLongBeach.com, a community website that covers

Long Beach art

, news, and entertainment. Discover art worth stealing with a visit to one of the

Long Beach museums

. Just be sure to look with your eyes not with your hands!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

The government of the United Kingdom has unveiled their strategy to deal with any future influenza pandemic in their Pandemic Influenza Contingency Plan.

The document, based on the World Health Organization‘s framework for responses, explains how the UK would respond to a major outbreak of flu.

Any flu pandemic would differ from the seasonal outbreaks of flu observed worldwide every year. While seasonal flu kills 12,000 Britons annually, a pandemic would affect far more people and could result in the deaths of up to 50,000 people in the UK if there were no medical intervention.

The government will have the power to cancel events where large numbers of people gather, such as football (soccer) matches. It could also advise travel restrictions to and from areas of high infection, but would not be able to enforce any such measures.

Schools might be closed in the event of a flu pandemic, and infected people would be asked to remain at home, although again no quarantine measures could be imposed by the government.

Further plans include education of the public to recognize symptoms of the flu and how to avoid infection.

Measures will be made to maintain basic services in the event of a pandemic despite staff absences through illness.

A major cornerstone of the plan is the prescription of oseltamivir, an oral neuraminidase inhibitor drug that combats influenza. The drug is currently marketed by Hoffman La Roche under the trade name Tamiflu®.

The UK Department of Health intends to stockpile 14.6m courses of the drug over the next two financial years, giving enough to treat one in four of the population – the ratio recommended by the WHO.

Canada and Australia have also bought the equivalent amounts of anti-viral drugs. The U.S. has also bought large amounts of similar drugs.

The total cost of the acquisition was not published by the government, but the BBC estimated the cost to be £180 million.

Unlike a vaccine, oseltamivir can be used to treat any strain of the influenza virus. Many new variants of the influenza virus are seen every year, and combined with the long lead times associated with the development of vaccinces, mass vaccination is frequently impractical.

Some parts of the newly-revealed plan already exist. The UK government recently gave £500,000 to the WHO for survellience of so-called ‘bird flu’ in South East Asia, a possible source for any future pandemic. The Department of Health will also continue to monitor flu-like cases seen by doctors and hospitals.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Live music venues in Edinburgh, Scotland are awaiting a review later this year on the 2005 licensing policy, which places limitations on the volume of amplified music in the city. Investigating into how the policy is affecting the Edinburgh music scene, a group of Wikinews writers interviewed venue owners, academics, the City of Edinburgh Council, and local band The Mean Reds to get different perspectives on the issue.

Since the clause was introduced by the government of the city of Edinburgh, licensed venues have been prohibited from allowing music to be amplified to the extent it is audible to nearby residential properties. This has affected the live music scene, with several venues discontinuing regular events such as open mic nights, and hosting bands and artists.

Currently, the licensing policy allows licensing standards officers to order a venue to cease live music on any particular night, based on a single noise complaint from the public. The volume is not electronically measured to determine if it breaches a decibel volume level. Over roughly the past year there have been 56 separate noise complaints made against 18 venues throughout the city.

A petition to amend the clause has garnered over 3,000 signatures, including the support of bar owners, musicians, and members of the general public.

On November 17, 2014, the government’s Culture and Sport Committee hosted an open forum meeting at Usher Hall. Musicians, venue owners and industry professionals were encouraged to provide their thoughts on how the council could improve live music in the city. Ways to promote live music as a key cultural aspect of Edinburgh were discussed and it was suggested that it could be beneficial to try and replicate the management system of live music of other global cities renowned for their live music scenes. However, the suggestion which prevailed above all others was simply to review the existing licensing policy.

Councillor (Cllr) Norma Austin-Hart, Vice Convenor of the Culture and Sport Committee, is responsible for the working group Music is Audible. The group is comprised of local music professionals, and councillors and officials from Edinburgh Council. A document circulated to the Music is Audible group stated the council aims “to achieve a balance between protecting residents and supporting venues”.

Following standard procedure, when a complaint is made, a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is dispatched to investigate the venue and evaluate the level of noise. If deemed to be too loud, the LSO asks the venue to lower the noise level. According to a document provided by the City of Edinburgh Council, “not one single business has lost its license or been closed down because of a breach to the noise condition in Edinburgh.”

In the Scotland Licensing Policy (2005), Clause 6.2 states, “where the operating plan indicates that music is to be played in a premises, the board will consider the imposition of a condition requiring amplified music from those premises to be inaudible in residential property.” According to Cllr Austin-Hart, the high volume of tenement housing in the city centre makes it difficult for music to be inaudible.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the summer, venues are given temporary licences that allow them to operate for the duration of the festival and under the condition that “all amplified music and vocals are controlled to the satisfaction of the Director of Services for Communities”, as stated in a document from the council. During the festival, there is an 11 p.m. noise restriction on amplified music, and noise may be measured by Environmental Health staff using sophisticated equipment. Noise is restricted to 65dB(A) from the facades of residential properties; however, complaints from residents still occur. In the document from the council, they note these conditions and limitations for temporary venues would not necessarily be appropriate for permanent licensed premises.

In a phone interview, Cllr Austin-Hart expressed her concern about the unsettlement in Edinburgh regarding live music. She referenced the closure of the well-known Picture House, a venue that has provided entertainment for over half a century, and the community’s opposition to commercial public bar chain Wetherspoon buying the venue. “[It] is a well-known pub that does not play any form of music”, Cllr Austin-Hart said. “[T]hey feel as if it is another blow to Edinburgh’s live music”. “[We] cannot stop Wetherspoon’s from buying this venue; we have no control over this.”

The venue has operated under different names, including the Caley Palais which hosted bands such as Queen and AC/DC. The Picture House opened in 2008.

One of the venues which has been significantly affected by the licensing laws is the Phoenix Bar, on Broughton Street. The bar’s owner, Sam Roberts, was induced to cease live music gigs in March, following a number of noise complaints against the venue. As a result, Ms Roberts was inspired to start the aforementioned petition to have Clause 6.2 of the licensing policy reviewed, in an effort to remove the ‘inaudibility’ statement that is affecting venues and the music scene.

“I think we not only encourage it, but actively support the Edinburgh music scene,” Ms Roberts says of the Phoenix Bar and other venues, “the problem is that it is a dying scene.”

When Ms Roberts purchased the venue in 2013, she continued the existing 30-year legacy established by the previous owners of hosting live acts. Representative of Edinburgh’s colourful music scene, a diverse range of genres have been hosted at the venue. Ms Roberts described the atmosphere when live music acts perform at her venue as “electric”. “The whole community comes together singing, dancing and having a party. Letting their hair down and forgetting their troubles. People go home happy after a brilliant night out. All the staff usually join in; the pub comes alive”. However licensing restrictions have seen a majority of the acts shut down due to noise complaints. “We have put on jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly, folk, celtic and pop live acts and have had to close everything down.” “Residents in Edinburgh unfortunately know that the Council policy gives them all the rights in the world, and the pubs and clubs none”, Ms Roberts clarified.

Discussing how inaudibility has affected venues and musicians alike, Ms Roberts stated many pubs have lost profit through the absence of gigs, and trying to soundproof their venue. “It has put many musicians out of work and it has had an enormous effect on earnings in the pub. […] Many clubs and bars have been forced to invest in thousands of pounds worth of soundproofing equipment which has nearly bankrupted them, only to find that even the tiniest bit of noise can still force a closure. It is a ridiculously one-sided situation.” Ms Roberts feels inaudibility is an unfair clause for venues. “I think it very clearly favours residents in Edinburgh and not business. […] Nothing is being done to support local business, and closing down all the live music venues in Edinburgh has hurt financially in so many ways. Not only do you lose money, you lose new faces, you lose the respect of the local musicians, and you begin to lose all hope in a ‘fair go’.”

With the petition holding a considerable number of signatures, Ms Roberts states she is still sceptical of any change occurring. “Over three thousand people have signed the petition and still the council is not moving. They have taken action on petitions with far fewer signatures.” Ms Roberts also added, “Right now I don’t think Edinburgh has much hope of positive change”.

Ms Roberts seems to have lost all hope for positive change in relation to Edinburgh’s music scene, and argues Glasgow is now the regional choice for live music and venues. “[E]veryone in the business knows they have to go to Glasgow for a decent scene. Glasgow City Council get behind their city.”

Ms Martina Cannon, member of local band The Mean Reds, said a regular ‘Open Mic Night’ she hosted at The Parlour on Duke Street has ceased after a number of complaints were made against the venue. “It was a shame because it had built up some momentum over the months it had been running”. She described financial loss to the venue from cancelling the event, as well as loss to her as organiser of the event.

Sneaky Pete’s music bar and club, owned by Nick Stewart, is described on its website as “open and busy every night”. “Many clubs could be defined as bars that host music, but we really are a music venue that serves drinks”, Mr Stewart says. He sees the live music scene as essential for maintaining nightlife in Edinburgh not only because of the economic benefit but more importantly because of the cultural significance. “Music is one of the important things in life. […] it’s emotionally and intellectually engaging, and it adds to the quality of life that people lead.”

Sneaky Pete’s has not been immune to the inaudibility clause. The business has spent about 20,000 pounds on multiple soundproofing fixes designed to quell complaints from neighboring residents. “The business suffered a great deal in between losing the option to do gigs for fear of complaints, and finishing the soundproofing. As I mentioned, we are a music business that serves drinks, not a bar that also has music, so when we lose shows, we lose a great deal of trade”, said Mr Stewart.

He believes there is a better way to go about handling complaints and fixing public nuisances. “The local mandatory condition requiring ‘amplified music and vocals’ to be ‘inaudible’ should be struck from all licenses. The requirement presupposes that nuisance is caused by music venues, when this may not reasonably be said to be the case. […] Nuisance is not defined in the Licensing Act nor is it defined in the Public Health Act (Scotland) 2008. However, The Consultation on Guidance to accompany the Statutory Nuisance Provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 states that ‘There are eight key issues to consider when evaluating whether a nuisance exists[…]'”.

The eight key factors are impact, locality, time, frequency, duration, convention, importance, and avoidability. Stewart believes it is these factors that should be taken into consideration by LSOs responding to complaints instead of the sole factor of “audibility”. He believes multiple steps should be taken before considering revocation of licenses. Firstly, LSOs should determine whether a venue is a nuisance based on the eight factors. Then, the venue should have the opportunity to comply by using methods such as changing the nature of their live performances (e.g. from hard rock to acoustic rock), changing their hours of operation, or soundproofing. If the venue still fails to comply, then a board can review their license with the goal of finding more ways to bring them into compliance as opposed to revoking their license.

Nick Stewart has discussed his proposal at length with Music is Audible and said he means to present his proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dr Adam Behr, a music academic and research associate at the University of Edinburgh who has conducted research on the cultural value of live music, says live music significantly contributes to the economic performance of cities. He said studies have shown revenue creation and the provision of employment are significant factors which come about as a result of live music. A 2014 report by UK Music showed the economic value generated by live music in the UK in 2013 was £789 million and provided the equivalent of 21,600 full time jobs.

As the music industry is international by nature, Behr says this complicates the way revenue is allocated, “For instance, if an American artist plays a venue owned by a British company at a gig which is promoted by a company that is part British owned but majority owned by, say, Live Nation (a major international entertainment company) — then the flow of revenues might not be as straightforward as it seems [at] first.”

Despite these complexities, Behr highlighted the broader advantages, “There are, of course, ancillary benefits, especially for big gigs […] Obviously other local businesses like bars, restaurants and carparks benefit from increased trade”, he added.

Behr criticised the idea of making music inaudible and called it “unrealistic”. He said it could limit what kind of music can be played at venues and could force vendors to spend a large amount of money on equipment that enables them to meet noise cancelling requirements. He also mentioned the consequences this has for grassroots music venues as more ‘established’ venues within the city would be the only ones able to afford these changes.

Alongside the inaudibility dispute has been the number of sites that have been closing for the past number of years. According to Dr Behr, this has brought attention to the issue of retaining live music venues in the city and has caused the council to re-evaluate its music strategy and overall cultural policy.

This month, Dr Behr said he is to work on a live music census for Edinburgh’s Council which aims to find out what types of music is played, where, and what exactly it brings to the city. This is in an effort to get the Edinburgh city council to see any opportunities it has with live music and the importance of grassroots venues. The census is similar to one conducted in Victoria, Australia in 2012 on the extent of live music in the state and its economic benefit.

As for the solution to the inaudibility clause, Behr says the initial step is dialogue, and this has already begun. “Having forum discussion, though, is a start — and an improvement”, he said. “There won’t be an overnight solution, but work is ongoing to try to find one that can stick in the long term.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said she is unable to comment on her work with the City of Edinburgh Council or on potential changes to the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy. However, she says, “I have been asked to assess the situation and make recommendations in September”.

According to The Scotsman, the Council is working toward helping Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment scene. Deputy Council Leader Sandy Howat said views of the entertainment industry needs to change and the Council will no longer consider the scene as a “sideline”.

Senior members of the Council, The Scotsman reported, aim to review the planning of the city to make culture more of a priority. Howat said, “If you’re trying to harness a living community and are creating facilities for people living, working and playing then culture should form part of that.”

The review of the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy is set to be reviewed near the end of 2016 but the concept of bringing it forward to this year is still under discussion.

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Submitted by: Dana Vaughn

Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. When the term fashion design is mentioned to many people, the only groups of people that come to their mind are women. This is because women have been so receptive to fashion as compared to other groups like the men and the children. Women are always particular about what they wear, how they look and the more the trends change, the more reason why so many fashion designers like Karen Millen target this group. It is believed that a fashion designer who targets women will never go wrong because their designs will always sell in the market especially after the fashion designer wins their confidence and trust. As long as a fashion designer connects with their target group, they will always know what to design for them.

Karen Millen is a well known designer from Iceland who gained her fame through the great designs she has made ever since she joined the fashion industry. Established in 1981 with the first dedicated store opening in 1983, Karen Millen’s unique appeal has enabled the brand to trade successfully in the global marketplace where its greatest future potential lies. It is a luxury brand delivering high quality, beautifully designed clothing, footwear jewelry and accessories.

Karen Miller started with women’s clothing and when they were received well in the market, she went ahead to design other items like shoes, ladies’ bags, footwear, outerwear and also jewelers.

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Karen Millen brings designer-wear to the high street with a bold approach to clothing for the body-conscious cosmopolitan woman. Karen Millen customers are united by their confident sense of style rather than by age. The brand is positioned as an entry level designer brand that brings true design appeal to the high street. Its target customer is confident and aspires to a high level of luxury and glamour with clothes that fit and flatter the contours of her body.

Karen Millen dresses incorporate a bold approach for modern-day cosmopolitan women. Karen Millen comes up with 8 new collections every year, which are well-known for their style, and are in sync with the latest fashion trend. She uses color fabrics that are neither too bright nor to plain like black, white, silver, etc. Karen Millen dress designs include various types of patterns from floral to butterfly to slinky that give away a sophisticated and rich look. Karen Millen dresses are beautifully tailored using high-quality fabric, with different kinds of embellishments in gold, sequins or animal prints.

Some of her work includes tailored clothes for ladies, coats for ladies too, as well as evening wear for the same group. It is very easy to locate her great designs in the internet because many online retail stores sell them. Indeed, on any given day one can find a Karen Millen Sale on such sites. Women visit these sites everyday in order to get what they are looking for. It should also be noted that Karen Millen’s clothes sell at reasonable prices in order to give a chance to the poor, the middle and the low income earners an experience to fashion as well.

For more information on http://www.thechiccode.comKaren Millen Sale please visit http://www.thechiccode.com

About the Author: For more information on

thechiccode.comKaren

Millen Sale please visit

thechiccode.com

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Homeopathy proponents jailed for allowing daughter to die

Posted by: pTg2P3NEin Uncategorized
28
Jul

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Sydney, Australia, Thomas and Manju Sam were jailed after being convicted of manslaughter on Monday. The court found they had failed to take their ill daughter to medical appointments, and shunned the effective conventional medical treatments offered. Instead they chose homeopathic ‘alternative’ medical treatments which the medical profession generally considers to be pseudoscience. As a result, their then nine-month-old malnourished daughter Gloria died of the skin disorder eczema in 2002.

In the evidence, the Crown prosecutor, Mr Tedeschi, said that the Sams ignored repeated advice to send Gloria to a skin specialist for her eczema. The severity of her condition made her skin so thin that it was constantly breaking and becoming infected. Creams provided by medical doctors were not used; they preferred to employ homeopathic drops as a method to treat her illness. By the time they finally sought treatment, “her skin was weeping, her body malnourished and her corneas melting”, and she died from the complications and massive infection caused by the effectively untreated eczema.

Gloria suffered helplessly and unnecessarily … from a condition that was treatable.

In his ruling, Supreme Court Justice of New South Wales Peter Johnson stated that “Gloria suffered helplessly and unnecessarily … from a condition that was treatable.”

Thomas received a maximum sentence of eight years and is no longer allowed to practice homeopathy. Manju received a maximum sentence of five years and four months.

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine which uses substances that have gone through a process of serial dilution so extensive that in most cases, no molecules of the original are likely to remain. There is no convincing evidence that it has any effect greater than placebo. For it to work as homeopaths claim, basic well-tested scientific laws would have to be wrong.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has been investigating allegations surrounding Livedoor‘s acquisition strategies and stock sales. Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the company may have made 4 billion yen ($35 million) in profits by following illegal takeover practices. Livedoor has been known to use acquisitions to support its rapid growth. It currently owns about 50 technology companies providing financial services and other software over the internet.

Recent investigations have centered around the acquisitions of two companies Royal Shinpan, a consumer finance company and Cueznet Co. an online matchmaking firm. Livedoor announced its intent to acquire the two companies in August and September of 2004.

According to allegations, an investment fund was used to purchase shares in the targeted companies before the announcements were made public. It is believed that after the stock swaps in October 2004, Livedoor received the shares of the two companies through this fund. The investment fund also received new Livedoor shares in exchange which were then allegedly sold off to a foreign investment fund. Livedoor is reported to have issued 12.6 million new shares for the two stock swaps.

Since Livedoor owned most of the fund, the profits from these sales were siphoned back into Livedoor. The investment fund JMAM Salvage Ichi-go Toshi Jigyo Kumiai was deemed a voluntary organization and hence avoided registration and disclosure regarding its investors and its investments. Concealing ownership of targeted takeover companies violates securities and exchange laws. A prosector commented “Stock swaps are not illegal, but it is problematic if a company makes deals aiming to make profits by selling its shares this way.”

Livedoor shares continued their fall for the fourth straight day on Friday. The stock has now lost about 52 percent or $3.3 billion in market capitalization since news of the investigation broke through on Monday evening.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange(TSE) is considering delisting stocks of Livedoor Co. and its affiliate Livedoor Marketing Co. Livedoor is scheduled to submit the findings of its internal investigation to the TSE by Friday. “If we can confirm they violated listing regulations, we’ll have no choice but to decide to delist their stocks,” TSE Chairman and President Taizo Nishimuro told reporters at a news conference.

A company’s delisting would seriously impact its ability to raise funds.

Saudis boycott Danish dairy produce

Posted by: pTg2P3NEin Uncategorized
27
Jul

Friday, January 27, 2006

On January 26, 2006, a massive boycott of dairy produce from Arla Foods started in Saudi Arabia over what is perceived as a Danish attack on Muslim values. The Saudi ambassador to Denmark has been recalled for consultations.

The Danish/Swedish dairy company Arla is facing a massive loss after a spreading boycott of its produce in Saudi Arabia. Four Saudi retail chains have already removed Arla products from the shelves. One retail chain has placed yellow warning tape (common fare for accidents and crime scenes) over Arla products. There have been cases reported of Arla delivery trucks being attacked by stones thrown from bystanders. Marianne Castenskiold, a senior consultant for Dansk Industri, expressed a fear that the boycott will spread to other countries in the region and have detrimental effects on other Danish products. Denmark is one of the leading exporters of agriculture in northern Europe, whose economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade and investment.

The boycott has been announced at Friday prayer services in Saudi mosques since January 20, 2006, obviously helping to foment popular support of the nation’s response to Denmark’s alleged ignorance of Muslim values. On at least one occasion, a delivery truck has been greeted by thrown stones.

The boycott is a response to the publication of an article in a major Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. In its September 30, 2005 issue, the paper printed 12 drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammed, as a response to previous news reports that the publisher of a forthcoming childrens’ book about the prophet had had difficulty in finding an illustrator, due to fear of extremist reactions; drawings of the prophet are prohibited by Islamic Law (see aniconism). In an attempt to start a debate over freedom of speech in Denmark, the newspaper printed 12 drawings of the prophet. Four of these were of a satirical nature, with one showing the prophet with a turban hiding a lit bomb.

The immediate reactions to the publication of the drawings included ambassadors from 12 Muslim countries demanding that the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, denounce the newspaper. Rasmussen rejected this demand, stating that “Danish freedom of speech does not allow the government to control what newspapers print”. He further noted that the only possible legal action against the newspaper would be one under the charge of blasphemy.

A debate ensued over the following months about freedom of speech and its value in relation to avoiding religious taboos. In mid-December 2005, a delegation from several Danish Muslim organizations went on a tour in several Middle-Eastern and Arabic countries, reportedly to gain sympathy for their point of view. Several reports state that during the tour the difficulties faced by Muslims in Denmark were grossly overstated.

By Tim Lee

A seized property auction gives you the opportunity to find incredible deals on cars, homes, jewelry, and more. When a bank or government agency seizes property due to criminal behavior or delinquent payments, they make their findings available to the public.

You can send thousands of dollars on purchases. Cars will often sell for only a few hundred dollars, and property can reach discounts as high as 90%. Even if repairs are required on a home or car that you purchase at auction the money you save will usually more than make up for those expenses.

There is almost no limit to the types of materials you can find at a seized property auction. Cars ranging from beat-up old cruisers to brand new sports cars will be put up on the block. You can often choose from domestic and import cars.

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A seized property auction can also feature rare to find items. There are times when exquisite art work, extraordinary collectibles, or priceless heirlooms come up for bidding.

There are also auctions that offer simple items like appliances at very low prices. People who frequent their local seized property auction will quickly gain the ability to discern between the everyday and the truly special items.

The majority of seized property auctions take place in the same location several times during the course of the year. In most cases, a preview time will be designated which allows bidders to view all of the property for themselves. This is the time when you need to determine the condition of an item and how much you are willing to pay for it.

If you are unsure of how an item will work or how much it will cost to fix, you can end up paying far more than it is worth or even more than you would pay at a traditional dealership.

A seized property auction can give you the chance to purchase items you thought you would ever be able to afford. It is also a great way to find incredible deals on items that you will use in your everyday life. However, there are no guarantees that yours will be the highest bid, so you do have to prepare yourself to walk away empty handed.

About the Author: To find great deals on cars, homes, jewelry, and more, please visit seized-and-unclaimed-property-auctions.info/

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cuts ties with Israel

Posted by: pTg2P3NEin Uncategorized
24
Jul

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas has cut all diplomatic ties and relations with Israel including any and all communications.

Abbas made his decision after recent Israeli crackdown on Palestinian militants has left over 100 people dead and dozens injured. On Saturday March 1, 70 Palestinians were killed in clashes. At least two soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force were also killed.

Abbas says that he will continue his silence towards Israel until “all aggression” against Palestine is stopped.

“The negotiations are suspended, as are all contacts on all levels, because in light of the Israeli aggression such communication has no meaning. The Israeli government has decided to prosecute an unjust war and the open slaughter of our people. It bears sole responsibility for the hindering the peace process and all the effects and consequences of this decision,” said Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Abbas in a statement to the media.

According to reports by Africasia quoting Agence France-Presse (AFP), Israel calls the move by Abbas a mistake.

“Suspending peace talks is a mistake and it gives the keys to the negotiations to Hamas,” said an Israeli official to AFP who was not named.

The United States among other nations have called for Israel to stop its strikes, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that “nothing will prevent us from continuing operations to protect our citizens.”

German hotels step up boycotts against online travel agency HRS

Posted by: pTg2P3NEin Uncategorized
24
Jul

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A third call for boycott and second boycott hit the German online travel agency Hotel Reservation Service (HRS) this week. After a recent boycott against HRS in Münsterland, a boycott in Bremerhaven was next and is soon to be followed by the next round in Bremerhaven starting in the middle of March.

Hotels in the city of Bremerhaven already have to pay a new “bed tax” to the state of Bremen of 2.14 euro per person per night, whilst HRS is trying to increase their commission payments for its service from thirteen to fifteen percent. Further criticism of HRS focused on a preferential treatment clause that denied hotels the right to offer better prices through any other booking channel. The European umbrella organization of the catering facilities HOTREC had already criticized this type of clause and similar contract clauses in May 2011 in a position paper.

Piet Rothe, hotel owner and second chairman of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) Bremerhaven, explained that in his hotels the boycott hat not decreased bookings, merely shifted their volume to other channels such as, for instance, booking.com, who would only ask for twelve percent commission.

Rüdiger Magowsky, manager of the boarding house in Jaich, confirmed the observation that the volume of bookings had not decreased. Martin Seiffert, manager of the hotel Haverkamp, explained HRS had denied his hotel access to the system because he participated in the boycott. The access has been restored but he is considering participation in the next round of the boycott anyway.

On February 15 the higher regional court of Düsseldorf had ordered HRS in a preliminary injunction not to enforce its preferential treatment clause. Already on February 10 the German Federal Cartel Office had admonished the company for violating §§ 1 and 20 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition.

Meanwhile Markus Luthe, the CEO of the German International Hotel Association (IHA), recommended establishing a “Hotelwiki” as a yellow pages directory of the hotel industry.