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Case of Drąsius Kedys

Kedys

The case of Drąsius Kedys is a high-profile criminal case in Lithuania centering on allegations of sexual molestation of the then four-year-old Lithuanian girl and a double homicide.

In November 2008, Drąsius Kedys accused Laimutė Stankūnaitė of allowing Jonas Furmanavičius and Andrius Ūsas to sexually molest their underage daughter. Frustrated by lack of progress in the investigation, Kedys took the case public. He published a video with his daughter’s testimony, sent out DVDs to politicians, and appeared in the media. Still no case was brought before trial.

In October 2009, Jonas Furmanavičius, a district judge and accused pedophile, and Violeta Naruševičienė, aunt of his daughter and accused procurer, were found dead and Kedys became the main murder suspect. While Kedys went into hiding, Lithuanian public sided with him portraying Kedys as a desperate father trying to protect his daughter against pedophiles. His body was found in April 2010 near Kaunas Reservoir. His death was ruled an accident – choking on vomit after heavy drinking.

The main suspect in the pedophilia case, Andrius Ūsas, was found drowned in a lake after a motorcycle accident in June 2010. Posthumous trial of Ūsas found him innocent. A separate court ruling restored girl’s custody to Stankūnaitė. Lithuanian public disagreed with the ruling and began a vigil at the house of Kedys’ relatives in Garliava where the girl lived at the time. Officials were able to take custody of the girl only with the help of riot police in May 2012. The Way of Courage, a political party founded by Kedys’ sister and supporters, participated in the Lithuanian parliamentary election, 2012 and received almost 8% of the votes.

Pedophile scandal
Drąsius Kedys (born 4 September 1972 in Garliava) and his former girlfriend Laimutė Stankūnaitė (born 1986) had an out-of-wedlock daughter in February 2004. Stankūnaitė was still underage when she gave birth to Kedys’ daughter. The unwed couple split up in 2006 and the parents got embroiled in a bitter custody battle. His former girlfriend, with the help from Andrius Ūsas, politician and advisor to the former Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Muntianas, obtained custody in November 2006. Kedys got visitation rights every other weekend. But later Stankunaite gave up her custody rights, giving them to the father.

On 29 November 2008 Kedys submitted a formal complaint to the police, claiming that Ūsas paid Stankūnaitė to sexually molest his daughter. On this basis, in December 2008, Kedys obtained full custody of his daughter with no visitation rights for Stankūnaitė, but the courts repeatedly confirmed that Stankūnaitė had no case to answer, thus dismissing Kedys’ allegations against his former girlfriend as unsubstantiated. The pre-trial investigation against Ūsas, nevertheless, continued. In February 2009, Kedys further pressed accusations against Violeta Naruševičienė, sister of Stankūnaitė, claiming the former has taken part in allowing men to molest her 4-year-old daughter. In July 2009, Kedys also accused Jonas Furmanavičius, a district judge, and an unidentified individual known only as Aidas of partaking in the molestation. All of those people (except for the unidentified Aidas) professed their innocence, and in turn accused Kedys of slander, criminal libel, and death threats.

Frustrated with the apparent lack of progress in official investigations and convinced that the case was being deliberately stonewalled, Kedys sent out some 200 DVDs to Lithuanian politicians, media outlets, and law-enforcement agencies, featuring homemade video footage of his daughter’s explicit testimony against three „uncles”. He promised to send out the subtitled version to Members of the European Parliament. Many sources criticized Kedys, who acted as the cameraman, for asking his daughter leading questions and heavily editing the film (it contains some 50 segments filmed over nine separate occasions).

Double homicide
On 5 October 2009 Furmanavičius and Naruševičienė were shot dead in Kaunas. Kedys became the prime suspect. On the same day, a national search of Kedys was announced, which was soon followed by an announcement of international search, as he was thought to have left the country shortly after the murders. Kedys’ friends Raimundas Ivanauskas and Eglė Barauskaitė were charged with accessory to murder. As of December 2013, that court case is ongoing.

The story caused an uproar in Lithuania, much of the public siding with Kedys: in the public mind, the case was seen as largely a father’s futile attempts in pursuing justice and trying to protect his daughter, and by being driven to desperate measures by anger at the injustice. Others questioned whether the killings were in fact commissioned by Kedys himself.

Death of Kedys

After six months of police search, Drąsius Kedys’ body was found near Kaunas Reservoir on 20 April 2010. According to the official report, the cause of death was „choking on the vomit” whilst being heavily intoxicated. However, his relatives were convinced that Kedys was murdered, pointing out to some wounds on his body.[11] Kedys’ relatives demanded a second opinion from independent experts. In April 2011, a report was received from the Swedish National Forensic Service (Rättsmedicinalverket) which confirmed that Kedys had indeed died from alcohol and drug poisoning, and that he choked on the contents of his own stomach.

On 24 April the body of Kedys was buried in Jonučiai cemetery. According to various media reports, some six to ten thousand people from across the country attended the ceremony.

Death of Ūsas
Ūsas, the main suspect in the pedophilia case, was officially charged with sexual molestation of a minor. However, he was found drowned in a swamp in June 2010. The death was ruled an accident. The court case against Ūsas continued. The court found him innocent in November 2012.

Custody battle
On 17 May 2012, following a court order, Kedys’ daughter, who was previously living with Kedys’ relatives in Garliava, was forcibly reunited with her mother Stankūnaitė under court order.  Due to continuous presence of protesters disagreeing with the 5-month old court decision, the operation was carried out with the assistance of riot police, with 39 protesters detained.

Read more – Wikipedia

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Neo-Babilon

Lapidée pour avoir refusé un mariage forcé !

news-644850_1280

Une de plus, rien de plus

Cette pauvre jeune fille musulmane de 19 ans a été lapidée à mort en Afghanistan pour avoir refusé un mariage forcé.

Le meurtre a eu lieu à Ghalmeen, une région à environ 40 kilomètres de l’ancienne capitale mythique de la province de Ghor, Firozkoh. C’est la loi de la sharia que des millions de musulmans voudraient introduire en Occident. Au Royaume-Uni, un premier tribunal de la sharia a été établit en 2015. La sharia permet la polygamie, les coups aux femmes, les meurtres d’honneur et la privation des droits des femmes. Il y a aujourd’hui une centaine de tribunaux de la sharia en activité au Royaume-Uni.

(fr.israelunwired.com)

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Neo-Babilon

Open Culture: Learn Philosophy with a Wealth of Free Courses, Podcasts and YouTube Videos

SchoolofAthens

Used to be, a few thousand years ago, if you wanted to learn philosophy, you’d hang out in the agora, the public space in ancient Greece whose name turned into verbs meaning both “to shop” and “to speak in public.” Politics and metaphysics mingled freely with commerce. If a Socrates-like sage took a liking to you, you might follow him around. If not, you might pay a sophist—a word meaning wise teacher before it became a term of abuse that Plato lobbed at rivals who charged for their services. Only certain people had the means and leisure for these pursuits. Nonetheless, philosophy was a public activity, not one sequestered in libraries and seminar rooms.

Even though philosophy moved indoors—to monasteries, colleges, and the libraries of aristocrats—it did not stay cooped up for long. With the modern age arrived new public squares, centered around coffeehouses where all sorts of people gathered, rubbed elbows, formed discussion groups. Philosophy may not have been the public spectacle it seemed to have been in antiquity, but neoclassical thinkers tried to recreate its character of free and open inquiry in public spaces.

Widespread literacy and publishing brought philosophy to the masses in new ways. Philosophical works trickled down in affordable editions to the intellectually curious, who might read and discuss them with like-minded laypeople. But philosophy also became a professional discipline, governed by associations, conferences, journals, and arcane vocabularies. Outside of France, philosophers rarely acted as public intellectuals addressing public issues. They were academics whose primary audiences were other academics.

The culture suffered immensely, one might argue, from the withdrawal of philosophy from public spaces.

The broad outline above does not pretend to be a history of philosophy, but rather a sketch of some of the ways Western culture has engaged with philosophy, treating it as a public good and resource, or a domain of specialists and activity divorced from ordinary life. Unfortunately for us in the 21st century, dreams of a digital agora have collapsed in the dystopian surveillance schemes of social media and the toxic sludge of comments sections. But the internet has also, in a way, returned philosophy to the public square.

Philosophers can once again share knowledge freely and openly, and anyone with access can stream and download hundreds of lessons, courses, entertaining explainers, interviews, podcasts, and more. We have featured many of these resources over the years in hopes that more people will discover the art of thinking deeply and critically. Today, we gather them in a master list, below.

Learn the in-depth history of philosophy from Peter Adamson’s acclaimed series The History of Philosophy… Without Any Gaps; listen in on roundtable discussions on famous thinkers and theories with the Partially Examined Life podcast, or “repave the Agora with the rubble of the Ivory Tower!” with the accessible, comprehensive philosophy videos of Carneades. These are but a few of the many quality resources you’ll find below. Technology may never recreate the early atmosphere of public philosophy—for that you’ll need to get out and mingle. But it can deliver more philosophy than anyone has ever had before, literally right into the palms of our hands.

Courses

187 Free Philosophy Courses: In a neat, handy list, we’ve amassed a collection of free philosophy courses recorded at great universities. Pretty much every facet of philosophy gets covered here.


YouTube

Wireless Philosophy: Learn about philosophy with professors from Yale, Stanford, Oxford, MIT, and more. 130+ animated videos introduce people to the practice of philosophy. The videos are free, entertaining, interesting and accessible to people with no background in the subject.

School of Life: This collection of 35 animated videos offers an introduction to major Western philosophers—Wittgenstein, Foucault, Camus and more. The videos were made by Alain de Botton’s School of Life.

Gregory Sadler’s Philosophy Videos: After a decade in traditional academic positions, Gregory Sadler started bringing philosophy into practice, making complex classic philosophical ideas accessible for a wide audience of professionals, students, and life-long learners. His YouTube channel includes extensive lecture series on Kierkegaard, Sartre, Hegel and more.

A History of Philosophy in 81 Video Lectures: Watch 81 video lectures tracing the history of philosophy moving from Ancient Greece to modern times. Arthur Holmes presented this influential course at Wheaton College for decades and now it’s online for you.

Carneades: Repave the Agora with the rubble of the Ivory Tower!  Put your beliefs to the test!  Learn something about philosophy!  Doubt something you thought you knew before.  Find on this channel 400 videos on the subjects of philosophy and skepticism.

What the Theory?: This collection provides short introductions to theories and theoretical approaches in cultural studies and the wider humanities. Covers semiotics, phenomenology, postmodernism, marxist literary criticism, and much more.

Crash Course Philosophy:  In 46 episodes, Hank Green will teach you philosophy. This course is based on an introductory Western philosophy college level curriculum. By the end of the course, you will be able to examine topics like the self, ethics, religion, language, art, death, politics, and knowledge. And also craft arguments, apply deductive and inductive reasoning, and identify fallacies.

Podcasts:

Partially Examined Life: Philosophy, philosophers and philosophical texts. This podcast features an informal roundtable discussion, with each episode loosely focused on a short reading that introduces at least one „big” philosophical question, concern, or idea. Recent episodes have focused on Nietzsche, Sartre and Aldous Huxley, and featured Francis Fukuyama as a guest.

Hi-Phi-Nation: Created by Barry Lam (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College), Hi-Phi Nation is a philosophy podcast „that turns stories into ideas.” Consider it „the first sound and story-driven show about philosophy, bringing together narrative storytelling, investigative journalism, and soundtracking.”

The History of Philosophy … Without Any Gaps: Created by Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King’s College London, this podcast features more than 300 episodes, each about 20 minutes long, covering the PreSocratics (Pythagoras, Zeno, Parmenides, etc) and then Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and much more.

Philosophy Bites: David Edmonds (Uehiro Centre, Oxford University) and Nigel Warburton (freelance philosopher/writer) interview top philosophers on a wide range of topics. Two books based on the series have been published by Oxford University Press. There are over 400 podcasts in this collection.

In Our Time: Philosophy: In Our Time is a live BBC radio discussion series exploring the history of ideas, presented by Melvyn Bragg since October 1998. It is one of BBC Radio 4’s most successful discussion programmes, acknowledged to have „transformed the landscape for serious ideas at peak listening time.’”

(by Josh Jones – openculture.com)

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Neo-Babilon

FACES OF EUROPE

Rudoph

Europe’s art heritage is vast and varied. But while most art lovers are familiar with artists such as Rembrandt or Munch, how much is known about Danish impressionism or Bohemian Gothic? Or the women who made a living from painting in the 16th and 17th centuries?

Rudolph II as Vertumnus

Rudolf II

Vertumnus is an allegorical portrait of Arcimboldo’s employer, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II. The portrait, named after Vertumnus, god of the seasons, is composed by fruits and vegetables. The composition as a whole symbolizes how Rudolph’s reign is in perfect harmony with nature, whereas every individual object carries its own symbolic meaning. Vertumnus is known worldwide and has been reproduced in all imaginable contexts, but its placement in Skokloster Castle, Sweden, remains largely unknown.

https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/exhibitions/faces-of-europe#ve-anchor-intro_3-js

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SØR Rusche Collection

Pictura

The SØR Rusche Collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish works, amassed over three generations, features exceptional examples of paintings by lesser-known Golden Age artists.

Together they offer a broad survey of Dutch painting and a fascinating insight into the diverse range of art that was created and collected in the Netherlands during that period. Exhibition on view in London 3, 5 & 7 May.

Read more: sothebys.com

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Picasso’s Afghan Hound

Picasso
Pablo Picasso’s Femme au chien 1962, is a highlight of the upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale (14 May 2019, New York).

At any given point in Pablo Picasso’s life, a veritable menagerie could be found in his home and studio. Dogs of all shapes and sizes, a variety of felines, doves, a parrot, an owl, a goat – indoors and out of doors these animals would appear, disappear, reappear.

The titular dog in Femme au chienhis Afghan hound Kaboul, is rendered with clear affection and humor – a nod to Picasso’s adoration of these creatures. Canines of various sorts are present in Picasso’s works throughout his oeuvre: the emaciated figures of his Rose Period; his serial reinterpretations of Velazquez’s Las Meninas; and his dachshund Lump (who he “borrowed” from David Douglas Duncan for many years) along with his Afghan hounds, Kasbek and Kaboul and his boxer Jan.

Read more (sothebys.com)

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Neo-BabilonPromovate

Isidore Isou et la Roumanie au Centre Pompidou

Isou

Isidore Isou est un artiste et théoricien franco-roumain, connu pour être à l’origine du lettrisme. Tableaux, films, objets, dessins, publications : autant d’œuvres qui constituent un corpus complet, permettant de saisir l’essence même de l’artiste. Ses œuvres monographiques s’installent au Centre Pompidou jusqu’au 20 mai, dans le cadre de la saison roumaine.

L’artiste, précoce, se passionne dès son plus jeune âge pour la littérature et la philosophie. En 1946, il contribue à la création du lettrisme en publiant son essai théorique « Introduction à une nouvelle poésie et à une nouvelle musique ». Le lettrisme est ce mouvement qui envisage le mot en tant que son, en laissant de côté l’aspect signifié.

Isou aime coucher sur papier ses réflexions, peu importe le sujet : il rédigera des essais, dans lesquels il disserte sur plusieurs disciplines, économie, politique, architecture… Il échange également beaucoup avec ses contemporains : Raymond Queneau, Gabriel Pomerand, Maurice Lemaitre.

Si Isou est à l’origine du lettrisme, il a également dessiné les contours de plusieurs autres concepts, que Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov dévoile en quatre temps. Le commissaire de l’exposition a choisi de répartir ses œuvres au sein des quatre concepts, qui correspondent à des pratiques essentielles dans l’art de la seconde moitié du 20e siècle : « Amplique et ciselant », « Hypergraphie », « Peinture hypergraphique », « Du cadre supertemporel à la méca-esthétique ». L’exposition se déroule donc naturellement, des débuts du lettrisme, à l’art infinitésimal,  en passant par le domaine pictural.

Isidore Isou, une saison roumaine
Centre Pompidou
Jusqu’au 20 mai
centrepompidou.fr

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BRODERIES DE TRADITION BYZANTINE EN ROUMANIE DU XVE AU XVIIE SIÈCLE AUTOUR DE L’ÉTENDARD D’ÉTIENNE LE GRAND

Inalt

Dans le cadre de la Saison France-Roumanie 2019 et à l’occasion du prêt emblématique par la Roumanie de la Bannière de saint Georges du prince Étienne le Grand, l’exposition se propose de mettre en valeur le caractère exceptionnel des collections roumaines de broderies religieuses de tradition byzantine et post-byzantine, fleuron du patrimoine roumain et universel.

Autour du chef-d’œuvre offert par Étienne le Grand (1457-1504) au monastère de Zographou au Mont Athos, récupéré par un détachement de l’armée française pendant la Première Guerre mondiale et remis solennellement par la France à l’État roumain en 1917, une trentaine d’œuvres insignes illustreront l’extraordinaire développement de la broderie de tradition byzantine en Roumanie du milieu du XVe au milieu du XVIIe siècles.

Les textiles réunis dans l’exposition sont présentés en trois grands ensembles, correspondant essentiellement à leur fonction et usage.

Le premier ensemble évoque la « panoplie sacerdotale » des évêques, des prêtres et des diacres, héritée de Byzance : epitrachelion(étole), epigonation (tissus en forme de losange), epimanikia (manchettes), orarion (étole des diacres). A leurs côtés, le célèbre manuscrit des Œuvres de saint Denis Aréopagite offert en 1408 au trésor de Saint-Denis par l’empereur Manuel II Paléologue et un saint Nicolas de la fin du XVIe siècle attribué à Michel Damaskinos aideront le public à mieux comprendre le vêtement sacertodal orthodoxe.

Le deuxième ensemble est dévolu à la « panoplie liturgique », textiles destinés à la célébration de la liturgie : voiles de calice et de patène (grand aer et petits aers), epitaphioi, voile d’icône / podea, rideau d’iconostase / katapetasma ex votos. Pour comprendre l’usage des epitaphioi dans l’espace liturgique sera exposé en regard un relevé des fresques de l’église de la Vierge Peribleptos de Mistra issu des archives Gabriel Millet.

Enfin, le troisième ensemble, unique au monde, rassemble de spectaculaires couvertures de tombeaux princiers, dans lesquelles le caractère hiératique des images byzantines cède bientôt le pas à la tentation du portrait. À partir de la célèbre Marie de Mangop, l’exposition esquisse les grands traits d’une typologie princière jusqu’au XVIIe siècle, avec les deux princes Mogila de Sucevita et les deux portraits de Iasi, celui de la princesse Tudosca, épouse de Basile le Loup et celui de leur fils Ioan. La présentation de de l’effigie d’une impératrice byzantine gravée au XVIIe siècle, permet d’inscrire les chefs-d’œuvre roumains dans une longue tradition.

L’exposition se clôt par l’évocation de la figure de Gabriel Millet (1867-1953), qui sillonna la Grèce et les Balkans et rapporta de ses voyages une documentation photographique et aquarellée irremplaçables.

Commissaire(s) :

Pour la partie française : Jannic Durand, directeur du département des Objets d’art, et Dorota Giovannoni, documentaliste scientifique au département des Objets d’art, musée du Louvre.
Pour la partie roumaine : Emanuela Cernea, conservatrice en chef, et Iuliana Damian, conservatrice, département d’Art roumain ancien, Musée national d’art de Roumanie.

 

(saisonfranceroumanie.com)

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Notre-Dame de Paris : après des heures de lutte, l’incendie a été maîtrisé par les pompiers

FRANCE-FIRE-NOTRE DAME

Le feu « est partiellement éteint, il reste des foyers résiduels », a expliqué le porte-parole des pompiers de Paris. Les deux tours de la cathédrale sont sauvées, mais les deux tiers de la toiture ont été ravagés. Le parquet de Paris a ouvert une enquête préliminaire pour « destruction involontaire par incendie ».

LES FAITS

  • Plusieurs centaines de pompiers sont intervenus lundi 15 et mardi 16 avril pour éteindre l’incendie qui a ravagé la cathédrale. Selon le porte-parole de Notre-Dame, l’incendie se serait déclaré aux alentours de 18 h 50.
  • Alors que le feu a pris dans les combles de la cathédrale, la flèche s’est effondrée sur elle-même. « Les deux tiers de la toiture de Notre-Dame ont été ravagés », a précisé le général Jean-Claude Gallet, commandant de la Brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris.
  • Le président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, qui a reporté à mardi son allocution, a annoncé sur place le lancement d’une souscription nationale. « Nous rebâtirons Notre-Dame », a-t-il lancé.
  • Le parquet de Paris a ouvert une enquête préliminaire, confiée à la direction régionale de la police judiciaire, pour « destruction involontaire par incendie ».

(lemonde.fr)

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Australian rugby star Israel Folau set to get dumped over homophobic social media posts

folau

Australian rugby player Israel Folau is set to have his contract terminated following „unacceptable” homophobic and transphobic comments posted on social media.

The New South Wales Waratahs player shared an image on Instagram Wednesday, warning drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, and idolaters that „hell awaits you.”
„Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him,” the 30-year-old Wallabies player, who also plays for Australia’s national team, captioned the image.
Rugby Australia, the sport’s national governing body, said Thursday that it was their intention to terminate his contract.
„Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport,” Rugby Australia’s chief executive Raelene Castle and New South Wales Union chief executive Andrew Hore said in a statement.
„We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.”
They said they had made repeated attempts to contact Folau and his representatives following the posts, but he had failed to communicate directly with either organization. Earlier, Rugby Australia had released a statement calling the content of the post „unacceptable.”
„As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action,” Castle and Hore said.
„We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated.”
Folau, who broke the all-time record for Super Rugby tries earlier this month, also tweeted a screenshot of the news that Tasmania Wednesday became the first Australian jurisdiction to make gender optional on birth certificates.
„The devil has blinded so many people in this world, repent and turn away from your evil ways,” he captioned the screenshot.
Both the tweet and the post are still online. CNN has reached out to both Rugby Australia and Folau for comment.
On Friday, England rugby player Billy Vunipola published an Instagram message in support of Folau.

Widespread outrage

Folau’s comments have attracted criticism online, including in neighboring New Zealand where rugby is a hugely popular support. Folau’s wife, Maria Folau, is a netball player on New Zealand’s national team, the Silver Ferns.
New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern told media Thursday she didn’t agree with Folau’s comments.
„I’m very mindful of the fact that he’s a role model, he’s a person in a position of influence, and I think that with that comes responsibility,” she said. „This is our rainbow community, there’s a lot of vulnerable people there.”
Qantas, a major sponsor of the Wallabies, has also condemned Folau’s post. „These comments are really disappointing and clearly don’t reflect the spirit of inclusion and diversity that we support,” a Qantas spokesman said in a statement sent to CNN.
„We are pleased to see Rugby Australia’s condemnation of the comments and will await the outcome of their review.”
It’s not the first time Folau has been outspoken against gay people. In April 2018, Folau was criticized for writing in an Instagram comment that gay people would go to hell unless they repented, and had previously said he would be voting against marriage equality in Australia’s postal survey.
All Blacks player TJ Perenara and „Thor: Ragnorok” filmmaker Taiki Waititi were among those to condemn Folau’s comments on Twitter.
Welsh rugby union referee Nigel Owens, who is gay, wrote in a column for Wales Online, „When young people in particular see comments like this, and not just from our sporting stars but from anybody, it could be enough to push those people over the edge.”
Qantas expressed disappointment with the posts, but said it would continue to sponsor the Wallabies.

‘Hate speech’

Folau defended his earlier comment in a column for Players’ Voice, writing that accusations of homophobia „could not be further from the truth.”
The following month, Folau posted a video on Twitter of a sermon by American evangelist David Wilkerson, in which Wilkerson condemns „rampant iniquity” and „sexual perversions beyond description” as footage of activists waving rainbow flags plays.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ „Kick & Chase” the same month, Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle said Folau’s homophobic comments were the „singularly most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with” in his career.
Castle defended Rugby Australia’s decision not to sanction Folau, saying: „On one hand it’s a human rights issue but on the other hand, you’re dealing with freedom of speech.
„We’ve had conversations with Izzy about presenting his views in a respectful way,” Castle said. „He is walking the line, we will continue the dialogue.”
James Lolicato, co-founder of Australian charity Proud 2 Play — which „focuses on increasing LGBTI+ engagement in sport, exercise and active recreation” — told CNN that Folau’s latest comments „are not only demeaning to LGBTI+ people, but also are discriminatory.”
„We see the negative consequences that arise from comments such as these from high-level players, be that of young LGBTI+ people feeling isolated and afraid to get involved in sport, or the modeling of these comments and behaviors in other people,” Lolicato said.
„Rugby needs to look at its vilification policies and sanction Israel to show that they really are a sport for everybody,” he added.
„We can no longer mask hate speech as ‘free speech’ and need to make sure that discrimination of all forms is properly tackled in sport.”
Folau’s New South Wales Waratahs team was not immediately available for comment.
Described as a „freak of an athlete” with „exceptional physical prowess,” Folau has played 63 times for Australia. Prior to converting to rugby union, the 30-year-old played professional rugby league and Australian rules football.
(Julia Hollingsworth and Emily Dixon, CNN – edition.cnn.com)
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What Life After Coal Looks Like

Coalcities

The Jiu Valley in Romania was once an economic powerhouse, producing millions of tons of coal. Now most of the mines in the region are closed.

Coal mines were once a bloodstream for Romania, a source of economic vitality in the days of Communist rule. Ribbons of exhaust from smokestacks were a signature of a modern, 20th-century state, and the rich mines of Romania’s Jiu Valley employed tens of thousands, generating vibrant cities.

The mines, and the cities and the jobs, have faded.

Thriving communities were built around the mines during coal’s heyday. Residents recall that the theater in Lupeni was packed during Romania’s Communist era. Many mine complexes had their own libraries and clubs.

Read more – nytimes.com

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Jacquot de Nantes

Nantes

Jacques Demy povestit de femeile din viața lui.

Agnès Varda zboară prin amintirile lui Jacques Demy, de la visele din copilărie până la cântecele care i-au marcat viața.

În 1939, Jacques Demy avea 8 ani. Crescut într-un garaj unde tuturor le plăcea să cânte, el era interest de marionete, operetă și cinema…

Regia: Agnès Varda (Franța, 1990) Selecție oficială (Cannes, 1991)

Pentru acest program subtitrarea este disponibilă în următoarele limbi: română, olandeză, germană, rusă, engleză și spaniolă.

(http://europe.tv5monde.com/ro/programul/cinema/jacquot-de-nantes)

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Today’s Memory – George Valentin Bibescu

Bibescu

George Valentin, Prince Bibescu (3 April 1880, Bucharest – 2 July 1941, Bucharest) was a Romanian early motoring and aviation pioneer.

Prince George III Valentin Bibescu, nephew of Gheorghe Bibescu, domnitor (ruler) of Wallachia, had an early interest in aviation; he flew a balloon named Romania brought from France 1905.

Later he tried to teach himself how to fly a Voisin airplane, also brought from France, but without success.

After Louis Blériot’s demonstrative flight in Bucharest on October 18, 1909, he went to Paris and enrolled in Blériot’s school in Pau.

On January 1910, he obtained the International Pilot License number 20. After returning from France, Bibescu organized the Cotroceni Piloting School in Bucharest and founded the Romanian National Aeronautic League.

He was instrumental in founding the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). He was vice-president, and president of the FAI.

He was co-founder of the Romanian Automobile Club (1901), and of the Romanian Olympic Committee (1914). Romania was among the first 6 nations in the world to organize car races.

Romanian Aristocrat and aviation pioneer George-Valentin Bibescu,
during training at the Pau Flying School (Blériot Aéronautique), France

(bunicutavirtuala.com)

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Neo-Babilon

John, come see me!

Preot

An American had gone to St. Anthony’s monastery in Arizona with his company. At some point, Elder Ephraim comes out of the cell where he confesses the world and asks the young American:

„Do you have my child a good modern working phone?”

„Why do you ask Elder,” the young man asked.

„I want you to call a monastery on Mt. Athos so I can talk to them,” the elder replied.

Elder gave the number of the monastery and said to the young man:

„My child, call in about an hour and when you get a connection, give me the phone to talk.”

Indeed the young man after an hour called the monastery on Mt. Athos and told the monk who answered the phone that Elder Ephraim of Arizona wanted to talk with them. As he said this, the young American was heading towards Elder Ephraim’s cell to give him the phone.

The monk from Mt. Athos was surprised by the phone called and told the young man that Elder Ephraim was there and wanted to talk with him! The young American was shocked! And he hears Elder Ephraim tell him:

„Come on, my child John, so I told you to call so we could talk! I from Mt. Athos and you from Arizona to see what Orthodoxy is and what the grace of the Holy Spirit is. See you soon John!”

That’s what the elder told him and hung up the phone.
Young John was shocked! Frozen like a rock! He went to open the door of Elder Ephraim’s cell but he was not there.

Then he went to his company and began to tell them what happened. And when he finished narrating his story, Elder Ephraim came out of his cell and said to him:

„John, come see me!”

This event became the reason why the young man gave up the world and became a monk at St. Anthony’s monastery.

(Orthodox Parables and Stories)

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