World: Challenges and opportunities across NATO's South: Migration, trafficking, extremism, and instability, Volume 1 I Number 3 I Spring 2017   
Source: OPEN Perspectives Exchange Network (OPEN)
Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

Executive Summary

NATO and its partners, as a part of discussions related to the Alliance’s efforts to promote peace and security in its broader neighbourhood, have increasingly focused on NATOs’ “Southern Flank.” In the following report, the authors argue that this primarily military term is likely to be off-putting to many current or would-be NATO partners, such as foreign ministries, international organisations, and civilian stakeholders, hindering the goals of “projecting stability” and risking a near-exclusive focus on threats and risks. Furthermore, this report demonstrates how the term “Southern Flank” does not fully capture NATO’s challenges. For example, issues like trafficking and migration originate in far-flung areas including West Africa, Latin America, and Central Asia, which may not be part of the Southern Flank as current conceived by NATO. In suggesting the use of a less heavily value-laden and military-centric term like the “Greater South”, the authors point out that challenges emanating from the Greater South also present opportunities to Alliance states that may bolster NATO’s strategic objectives.

The following observations and findings are based on a review of the pertinent literature from academics, research institutions, governments, and various international organisations (IOs) and international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs). They also emerge in part from the authors’ combined twenty years of research experience working on and researching issues ranging from civil-military interaction to post-crisis stabilisation and humanitarian action in contexts as diverse as Afghanistan, Bosnia - Herzegovina, Lebanon, Somalia Syria and Yemen for governments, UN agencies, the World Bank, INGOs, NATO’s former Civil-Military Fusion Centre and others.

Challenges and Opportunities in NATO’s Greater South

Some of the most immediately pressing challenges emanating from the Greater South include migration and trafficking in drugs, guns, persons as well as conflict and violent extremism. These inter-related issues thrive amidst corruption and low state capacity, prevent economic growth, and facilitate instability and extremism. This report explores these challenges and demonstrates (i) their intersecting nature; (ii) how typical approaches to addressing these issues, including increased border control and military responses, can displace the challenge and plant the seeds of future instability elsewhere; and (iii) that the various challenges facing NATO may be reconceptualised as opportunities rather than purely as threats.

With regard to migration, in 2015, 1.2 million people applied for asylum in Europe, 66.2% of whom were male according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This may pose social stability challenges not only in assimilation and cultural differences relating to gender relations but also in the fact that most young, male migrants, many of whom are single, will be jobless for a year or two following arrival. However, with approximately 84% of incoming migrants under 34 years old, the host economy may ultimately benefit economically from migration. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), for instance, estimates annual output to increase by 0.1% in the EU and 0.3% in Germany by the end of 2017.


          Biografi Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono   
Foto Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono


Nama : Jenderal TNI (Purn) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Lahir : Pacitan, Jawa Timur, 9 September 1949
Agama : Islam
Jabatan : Presiden Republik Indonesia ke-6
Istri : Kristiani Herawati, putri ketiga (Alm) Jenderal (Purn) Sarwo Edhi Wibowo
Anak : Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono dan Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono
Ayah : Letnan Satu (Peltu) R. Soekotji
Ibu : Sitti Habibah

Pendidikan :
* Akademi Angkatan Bersenjata RI (Akabri) tahun 1973
* American Language Course, Lackland, Texas AS, 1976
* Airbone and Ranger Course, Fort Benning , AS, 1976
* Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Fort Benning, AS, 1982-1983
* On the job training di 82-nd Airbone Division, Fort Bragg, AS, 1983
* Jungle Warfare School, Panama, 1983
* Antitank Weapon Course di Belgia dan Jerman, 1984
* Kursus Komando Batalyon, 1985
* Sekolah Komando Angkatan Darat, 1988-1989
* Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenwort, Kansas, AS
* Master of Art (MA) dari Management Webster University, Missouri, AS

Karier :

* Dan Tonpan Yonif Linud 330 Kostrad (1974-1976)
* Dan Tonpan Yonif 305 Kostrad (1976-1977)
* Dan Tn Mo 81 Yonif Linud 330 Kostrad (1977)
* Pasi-2/Ops Mabrigif Linud 17 Kujang I Kostrad (1977-1978)
* Dan Kipan Yonif Linud 330 Kostrad (1979-1981)
* Paban Muda Sops SUAD (1981-1982)
* Komandan Sekolah Pelatih Infanteri (1983-1985)
* Dan Yonif 744 Dam IX/Udayana (1986-1988)
* Paban Madyalat Sops Dam IX/Udayana (1988)
* Dosen Seskoad (1989-1992)
* Korspri Pangab (1993)
* Dan Brigif Linud 17 Kujang 1 Kostrad (1993-1994)
* Asops Kodam Jaya (1994-1995)
* Danrem 072/Pamungkas Kodam IV/Diponegoro (1995)
* Chief Military Observer United Nation Peace Forces (UNPF) di Bosnia-Herzegovina (sejak awal November 1995)
* Kasdam Jaya (1996-hanya lima bulan)
* Pangdam II/Sriwijaya (1996-) sekaligus Ketua Bakorstanasda
* Ketua Fraksi ABRI MPR (Sidang Istimewa MPR 1998)
* Kepala Staf Teritorial (Kaster ABRI (1998-1999)
* Mentamben (sejak 26 Oktober 1999)
* Menko Polsoskam (Pemerintahan Presiden Abdurrahman Wahid)
* Menko Polkam (Pemerintahan Presiden Megawati Sukarnopotri) mengundurkan diri 11 Maret 2004

Penugasan : Operasi Timor Timur 1979-1980 dan 1986-1988

Penghargaan :

* Adi Makayasa (lulusan terbaik Akabri 1973)
* Tri Sakti Wiratama (Prestasi Tertinggi Gabungan Mental Fisik, dan Intelek), 1973
* Satya Lencana Seroja, 1976
* Honorour Graduated IOAC, USA, 1983
* Satya Lencana Dwija Sista, 1985
* Lulusan terbaik Seskoad Susreg XXVI, 1989
* Dosen Terbaik Seskoad, 1989
* Satya Lencana Santi Dharma, 1996
* Satya Lencana United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNPF), 1996
* Satya Lencana United Nations Transitional Authority in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), 1996
* Bintang Kartika Eka Paksi Nararya, 1998
* Bintang Yudha Dharma Nararya, 1998
* Wing Penerbang TNI-AU, 1998
* Wing Kapal Selam TNI-AL, 1998
* Bintang Kartika Eka Paksi Pratama, 1999
* Bintang Yudha Dharma Pratama, 1999
* Bintang Dharma, 1999
* Bintang Maha Putera Utama, 1999
* Tokoh Berbahasa Lisan Terbaik, 2003
* Bintang Asia (Star of Asia) dari BusinessWeek, 2005
* Bintang Kehormatan Darjah Kerabat Laila Utama dari Sultan Brunei
* Doktor Honoris Causa dari Universitas Keio, 2006

Referensi : http://kolom-biografi.blogspot.com/2009/06/biografi-presiden-susilo-bambang_10.html
          US SAYS IT APPEARS ASSAD IS GETTING READY TO USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON INNOCENT PEOPLE AGAIN-TRUMP SAYS DON;T YOU DARE OR THE MISSLES WILL DESTROY YOUR LAND AGAIN.   
JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

ISAIAH 17:1,11-14
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.(DAMASCUS FRYED TO A PULP)
11  In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
12  Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations,(USELESS U.N) that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13  The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14  And behold at evening tide trouble; and before the morning he is not.(ASSAD KILLED IN OVERNIGHT RAID) This is the portion of them that spoil us,(ISRAEL) and the lot of them that rob us.

AMOS 1:5
5  I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden:(IRAQ) and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir,(JORDAN) saith the LORD.(I belive ISIS-DAMASCUS GET NUKED BY ISRAEL)

Nikki Haley‏Verified account @nikkihaley 14h14 hours ago-JUNE 27,17-Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.

U.S. says it appears Syria planning another chemical weapons attack-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-June 26, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday it appears the Syrian government is preparing for another chemical weapons attack and it warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he and his military would "pay a heavy price" if it conducts such an attack.The White House statement said preparations by Syria were similar to those undertaken before an April 4 chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians and prompted President Donald Trump to order a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base.Trump ordered the strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria in April in reaction to what Washington said was a poison gas attack by Assad's government that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory. Syria denied it carried out the attack.The strike put Washington in confrontation with Russia, which has advisers in Syria aiding its close ally Assad.U.S. officials at the time called the intervention a "one-off" intended to deter future chemical weapons attacks and not an expansion of the U.S. role in the Syrian war.(Reporting by Eric Beech; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Sandra Maler and Paul Tait)

White House says Assad may be preparing chemical attack-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-June 26, 2017

WASHINGTON — The White House says it has found "potential" evidence that Syria is preparing for another chemical weapons attack.Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued an ominous statement Monday evening that says the U.S. "has identified potential preparations" for another chemical attack by the Assad government that it says "would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children."He says the activities are similar to those made before an April chemical attack. The Trump administration launched missile strikes in retaliation for that attack, which it blamed on Assad.Spicer warns that "if Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price."The White House has provided no immediate evidence to back up its claims.The Associated Press.

CHINA AND KINGS OF THE EAST MARCH TO ISRAEL 2ND WAVE OF WW3 (200 MILLION MAN ARMY)

REVELATION 16:12-16
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates;(WERE WW3 STARTS IN IRAQ OR SYRIA OR TURKEY) and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THE TURKEY ATATURK DAM ON THE EUPHRATES CAN BE SHUT AND DRIED UP ALREADY BY TURKEY)
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon,(SATAN) and out of the mouth of the beast,(WORLD DICTATOR) and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(FALSE POPE)
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.(WERE 2 BILLION DIE FROM NUKE WAR)
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.(ITS AT THIS TIME I BELIEVE WHEN AMERICA GETS NUKED BY RUSSIA ON THE WAY TO THE MIDEAST)

DANIEL 11:44 (2ND WAVE OF WW3)
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)

REVELATION 9:12-18
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.(WORLDWIDE WAR)(TURKEY-IRAQ-SYRIA)(EUPHRATES RIVER CONSISTS OF 760 MILES IN TURKEY,440 MILES IN SYRIA AND 660 MILES IN IRAQ)
15 And the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels were loosed,(WORLDWIDE WAR) which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(1/3 Earths Population die in WW 3 2ND WAVE-2 billion)
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:(200 MILLION MAN ARMY FROM CHINA AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST) and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)

Focus-China's 16+1 foray into Central and Eastern Europe By Eric Maurice-euobserver

Prague, 26. Jun, 13:27-Half a decade after it was launched, the network of cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries has brought uneven economical and political fruits so far.The so-called 16+1 was established in 2012 as Beijing's initiative to cover various issues such as investment, trade, but also culture or education.The group includes 11 EU countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia; and five non-EU countries from the Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.It fits into China's global strategy to engage new partners in political and economic ties in different formats.Despite having a permanent secretariat, the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries - the initiative's official name - is more a series of bilateral relationships with no overall coherence, as experts pointed out in discussions at the Prague European Summit conference earlier this month."It's not really a multilateral format," Petr Kratochvil, the director of Prague's Institute of International Relations, told EUobserver."It's more a group of countries that China took to have bilateral ties with. It's mainly Poland and Hungary in terms of investment, and Romania and Serbia for building projects."China's interest in the 16+1 countries is different from one country to another.In the Czech Republic, Kratochvil noted, the Chinese have mainly invested in real estate, a football club - Slavia Prague, which just won the Czech championship - or the media."It's not really the kind of investment the country wants, because it doesn't produce anything," he said.In Budapest, meanwhile, the government announced last week that Hungary and China would soon start to cooperate in the healthcare industry – from making medical equipment to developing biotechnologies.Kratochvil noted that the amount of Chinese investments in the region had remained limited and was concentrated on a few high profile infrastructure projects, such as the Budapest-Belgrade high-speed railway that Chinese companies plan to build.The focus on infrastructure shows that China considers Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) a full part of the One Belt-One Road initiative – an investment and infrastructure plan, spanning from China to the Middle-East and Africa through to Central Asia."Southern and Eastern Europe are a testing ground for the Belt and Road," Anastas Vangeli, from the Polish Academy of Sciences, told EUobserver.He said that 16+1 was more an "experiment" than a "Chinese plan", and that Beijing tries "to see whether this type of diplomacy can help them boost economic relations.""To put it very simply, the whole idea is to find ways to boost the economy outside China, to generate demand for Chinese goods," Vangeli said, adding: "And these are not cheap goods: high speed railways, satellites systems or nuclear technology."Agatha Kratz, from the European Council on Foreign Relations, a London-based think-tank, told EUobserver that: "The first idea was to treat CEE as Asia and Africa.""That was a big shock, they explained that loans for projects that China would build were not going to happen."For Kratz, the success of the 16+1 initiative is to be found on the political side than in the economic side.She pointed out that annual summits between the 17 leaders, usually in Europe, constitute a "formal channel of communication".-A pragmatic question-After five years, the 16+1 format "has shown its limits, but it will continue," Kratz added.For China, the forum is "high-level enough and it helps to understand how best to promote what it can do in Europe".For CEE countries, the summits are "one more bilateral forum, one more way to have meetings with China and explain what they [CEE countries] need from it."For countries that are either part of the EU or willing to join it in the future, the Chinese partnership is "a pragmatic question", Kratochvil insisted.Although some leaders, such as Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban or Czech president Milos Zeman, are supportive of certain Chinese positions – for instance Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea – the region is not going to become a Chinese "ally"."The idea of a strategic shift is nonsense," Kratochvil said.

DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS

1 PET 5:8
8 Be sober,(NOT DRUGED UP OR ALCOHOLICED) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

REVELATION 18:23
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.

REVELATION 9:21
21 Neither repented they of their murders,(KILLING) nor of their sorceries (DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG PUSHERS), nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE OR PROSTITUTION FOR MONEY) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)

Myanmar, Thailand incinerate illicit drugs worth $800 million-[Reuters]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

BANGKOK/YANGON (Reuters) - Officials in Myanmar and Thailand burned illegal narcotics worth more than $800 million on Monday to mark the UN day against drug abuse and trafficking.The move came even as authorities struggle to stem the flood of illicit drugs in the region, with Thailand's justice minister last year saying the country's war on drugs was failing.In Thailand's Ayutthaya province, more than 9 tonnes of drugs with a street value of over 20 billion baht ($590 million) went up in smoke including methamphetamines, known locally as "yaba" or "crazy drug", according to police."Currently, we are able to take down a lot of networks, including ... transnational networks bringing drugs into Thailand ... to be shipped to Malaysia and other countries," Sirinya Sitthichai, Secretary-General of the Office of Narcotics Control Board, told reporters in Ayutthaya.In neighboring Myanmar, the police said they destroyed confiscated drugs worth around $217 million.Myanmar remains one of the world's largest producers of illicit drugs, including opium, heroin and methamphetamines. Those narcotics are often smuggled into China.Last year, law makers in Myanmar voiced disappointment over the country's lackluster efforts to tackle the drug problem.The market for methamphetamines has been growing in Southeast Asia, the United Nations has said. It estimates that Southeast Asia's trade in heroin and methamphetamine was worth $31 billion in 2013.(Reporting by Juarawee Kittisilpa in AYUTTHAYA and Aye Win Myint in YANGON; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Pot insider says dispensaries are 'dreaming' if they think they'll be part of legalization framework-[CBC]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

Omar Khan sat down with Matt Galloway on Metro Morning to discuss big questions that have yet to be answered in the federal government's push to develop a legal framework for recreational marijuana sales by July 2018.Khan is former chief of staff to the Ontario health minister and he now works with the marijuana industry as vice president, public affairs of Hill + Knowlton strategies.Questions and answers have been condensed.Matt Galloway: How prepared is this country for legal weed? Omar Khan: I think right now you have a patchwork of readiness. You have provinces like Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick who are fairly well advanced in terms of their thinking. And you have others, like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, who quite frankly are a little bit further behind.MG: What are the big questions that still have to be answered? OK: I think one of the points that's getting less attention is where will one be able to use marijuana. For example, you can walk down a public sidewalk and smoke a cigarette, but you can't walk down the sidewalk and drink a beer. I think that's a conversation that needs to happen.MG: Do you think that people will be allowed to smoke marijuana in parks, if they can't have an open bottle of alcohol there now? OK: There's a lot of evidence that suggests that harm associated with marijuana use is less than that associated with regular alcohol use. So I think it's something that the province of Ontario especially is going to be looking at as they move forward with their strategy.MG: What about the sale issue? OK: Since the government has set a fairly aggressive timeline for legalization — some have said, July 2018 — I think it's going to be very difficult for the government to have an up-and-running, bricks-and-mortar retail operation by this time next year essentially. I think the government is looking at three options: one would be a wholly government-run crown corporation a la LCBO; I think another option would be a heavily regulated system that gives out private licences for retailing; and then, the third option would be what we call a hybrid. Some private licences combined with a government-run system, similar to how beer and wine is distributed in Ontario.MG: Which way do you think they are leaning?OK: I know the Ontario government started looking at this seriously, right after the election of the Trudeau government. I know the attorney general, Yassir Naqvi, is working away feverishly to put together some options for cabinet to consider. I also know the premier is very big on consultation, so I suspect that before any plan is rolled out, there will be a robust public consultation.MG: Can you have robust public consultation and still set up that regulatory body in time? OK: I know they've been working at this hard for a year or so. The timeline's going to be a challenge no doubt. That's why I suspect that if there are going to be public consultations, as I presume there will be, they'll be rolling them out fairly shortly.MG: Is the timeline too tight? OK: It is what it is. Having worked in government, I know that sometimes you have to set a deadline to get everybody working away at achieving a goal. At the end of the day, what's important is that we are going to have legalized adult use of recreational cannabis in this country. And, industry, government, all involved stakeholders need to start working very fast to get this done right.MG: You work with the industry now. What do they want to know? OK: Like members of the public, they are waiting for more information about what the retail distribution model will look like. But I think industry is very interested in sharing some of their expertise when it comes to distribution. There are a lot of players who have a lot of experience dealing with controlled substances. So for example, pharmacies, care centres. I want to give kudos to Mayor Tory who spoke out vigorously against the illegal dispensaries that are out there right now. The one question everyone needs to ask is, where are these people getting their supply? We have 50 licensed producers or marijuana in this country right now.MG: So where are they getting their supply? OK: I don't want to open myself up to defamation. But they're not getting them from the licensed producers because none of them would risk their licence by providing supply illegally.MG: The assumption from many of the illegal dispensaries is that they're going to be part of the new regime.OK: I think they are dreaming in technicolour. There is no way the province of Ontario or any other province is going to give a retail distribution licence to any entity that's involved in criminal activity.MG: Do you really think we'll meet this deadline? OK: The good thing [Finance Minister] Morneau has put out there is that if there's a province that isn't ready with an up-and-running distribution system next year, there will be a fallback, and I suspect that will be online sales.

FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS

REVELATION 8:7
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Spain sends reinforcements as fire spreads near wildlife reserve-Agence France-Presse-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

Madrid (AFP) - Firefighters were battling Monday to contain a blaze threatening a renowned national park in southern Spain which has already led to the evacuation of some 2,000 people.Authorities were sending additional firefighters to tackle the flames at the Donana Natural Park in southwestern Spain near Huelva, a fire service spokesman told AFP."The flames are not under control, they are spreading," he added, though no injuries have been reported.The blaze comes a week after wildfires killed over 60 people in neighbouring Portugal.Strong winds and scorching heat were complicating efforts to fight the blaze, which broke out Saturday near the town of Moguer, officials said.The fire has not yet hit the neighbouring Donana National Park, which has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994 and is well known for the extensive biodiversity of its dunes, wetlands and woods."The flames have not reached the national park," the official in charge of the environment with the regional government of Andalusia, Jose Fiscal Lopez, told Spanish public television."A special effort was made during the night on the front which threatened the park the most," he added.The national park is one of Spain's most important wildlife sanctuaries and a popular tourist attraction.It is home to a variety of animals, including endangered species such as the Spanish imperial eagle and the Iberian lynx, a large cat found only in Spain and Portugal.Officials temporarily evacuated a lynx breeding centre on Sunday as a precaution.A female Iberian lynx died at the Acebuche captive breeding centre on Saturday "due to stress" during its capture for evacuation, the centre said in a statement.The other lynxes are "safe and sound", said the mayor of Moguer, Gustavo Cuellar. "Each lynx held in captivity is receiving detailed care."Over 200 firefighters backed by 15 vehicles and seven planes were battling the blaze on Monday morning, emergency services said.The cause remained unknown but Fiscal Lopez said officials were "certain" human activity played a role."It remains to be seen if this was with (criminal) intent or due to negligence," he added.The fire prompted the closure of several roads and the evacuation of some 2,000 people, including guests at camp sites and several hotels.There were no immediate details on how much land had been burned so far.

DANIEL 7:23-24
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS-10 WORLD REGIONS/TRADE BLOCS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD DIVISION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(EITHER THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR BOOTS 3 COUNTRIES FROM THE EU OR THE DICTATOR TAKES OVER THE WORLD ECONOMY BY CONTROLLING 3 WORLD TRADE BLOCS)

REVELATION 17:9-13
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.(THE VATICAN IS BUILT ON 7 HILLS OR MOUNTAINS)
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen,(1-ASSYRIA,2-EGYPT,3-BABYLON,4-MEDO-PERSIA,5-GREECE) and one is,(IN POWER IN JOHNS AND JESUS DAY-6-ROME) and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.(7TH-REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE OR THE EUROPEAN UNION TODAY AND THE SHORT SPACE IS-7 YEARS.THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL HAVE WORLD CONTROL FOR THE LAST 3 1/2 YEARS.BUT WILL HAVE ITS MIGHTY WORLD POWER FOR THE FULL 7 YEARS OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.AND THE WORLD DICTATOR WILL BE THE BEAST FROM THE EU.AND THE VATICAN POPE WILL BE THE WHORE THAT RIDES THE EUROPEAN UNION TO POWER.AND THE 2 EUROPEAN UNION POWER FREAKS WILL CONTROL AND DECIEVE THE WHOLE EARTH INTO THEIR DESTRUCTION.IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.YOU WILL BE DECIEVED BY THESE TWO.THE WORLD POLITICIAN-THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR.AND THE FALSE PROPHET THAT DEFECTS CHRISTIANITY-THE FALSE VATICAN POPE.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:(7 YEARS) and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.

DANIEL 9:26-27
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

LUKE 2:1-3
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

Opinion-New initiative could trump the Visegrad Group By Wojciech Przybylski-euobserver

Warsaw, 26. Jun, 17:09-"New Europe" was a term coined by the administration of former US president George W. Bush.When the USA decided to invade Iraq, this term was used to differentiate between – and celebrate – the solidarity of new Nato members compared to the reluctance of the old allies.Since then, the intricacies of European politics – from smaller initiatives to larger regional alliances and even to the inner-workings of the EU itself – have grown considerably.Many wishing to weaken Europe’s position and potential on the global stage try to exploit this division of old vs new, and it is something all leaders on the continent should be wary of.With that still in mind, on 6 July US president Donald Trump will arrive in Warsaw and take part in an assembly of one of these regional alliances, the Three Seas Initiative (TSI) – a meeting of the EU leaders representing Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).The three seas is a reference to the countries situated between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas.The initiative is seen as a major diplomatic triumph of the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, who is also the leader of the TSI and desperate for a win.However, the TSI is just one of many political groupings in the CEE region with a primary focus on influencing EU policy. Other such groupings of more or less importance are the Visegrad Group (V4), Slavkov triangle, Danube Region, Weimar Triangle and Nordic-Baltic cooperation.While their main focus is on fostering cooperation within the EU, such formations are becoming increasingly interesting for external powers such as China (in the so-called 16+1 format) and now the US.Trump’s visit will definitely put a spotlight on the TSI and help this format to continue.TSI members – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – pledged in their founding declaration a year ago to foster regional projects in the areas of energy, transportation, digital communication and economic sectors in CEE.However, according to analysts who are advancing the concept, like Bartosz Wisniewski, the head of research office at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), the region still has a long way to go when it comes to its economic development.The TSI is meant to complement connectivity between the East and West of Europe, with greater connectivity along the north-south axis, thanks in no small part to the EU's financial contribution.-Not quite quid pro quo-The US has already increased on their military presence in the region, even more so than had been originally promised by the administration of former US president Barack Obama.The LNG (liquid natural gas) terminal in Swinoujscie, Poland – a strategically important facility allowing for more energy independence in the region – has only recently celebrated the arrival of its first transportation from the US and awaits its next shipment from Qatar, and other countries.Justifiably suspicious of their eastern neighbour, Poland will most likely take the opportunity to sup-port the recent sanctions that were proposed by the US Senate last week on contractors for the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) project, as well as other significant Russian businesses.In comparison, both Trump and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban have sought to lift the sanctions on Russia, a sentiment that is also shared today by Austria, a member of the TSI, whose companies are contractors for the NS2.However, according to PISM these differences are fine, as they are neither an attempt to undermine European integration, nor a block to ward off Russia.To the Czechs and Slovaks, the TSI, especially now, might be a little more problematic.While they agree with the goal of north-south connectivity, they are cautious – if not suspicious – of the political dimension.V4 is the most important format to Slovakia, whereas the country treats the TSI more like a one time event.For Slovaks, there is no political content in this grouping. And, beyond that, there is no security component and no political dimension for the country.Czech officials have also expressed reservations towards Poland, a country that, along with Hungary, emphasises the East-West divide. The radicalisation of some V4 members also does not help.Poles automatically reject all ideas from the Western members, a Czech diplomat recently told Gazeta Wyborcza.A member of the Czech ministry of foreign affairs, who was quoted in the same article, went even further, claiming that the idea of a Three Seas Initiative is unacceptable because of its 20th century neo-imperial origin.Such criticism is dismissed by PISM analysts, who underline that despite any apparent differences, Slovakia and Czech Republic will send their representation.Despite many reservations, the obvious champion of the initiative has become the Croatian president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. Allegedly, her personal involvement was of key importance to the US delegation.The TSI clearly goes along with her plans for her LNG terminal in Croatia that will improve gas sup-ply diversification – independent of Russia – and increase energy cooperation in the region.-Needing a pat on the back-It might be too simplistic, but there is the chance that Trump is using the occasion as a slight against German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron.Is this a not-too-subtle comment about how Trump sees future European cooperation? The question needing to be answered by EU leaders will be whether they think Trump is willing to cut off his nose to spite his face.That worries some, who do not believe that the Polish ministry of foreign affairs can handle a diplomatically sensitive visit.Warsaw, already isolated in the EU, may want to be even more confrontational after Trump's visit. This will also not help to reconcile with Brussels, Berlin or Paris.Furthermore, it will not help to build regional solidarity, since the northern and southern neighbours of Poland will not feel like taking part in fist-fights that would complicate relations with their Western partners.No matter how well-intentioned these leaders are in developing ties between their nations, they will all struggling with domestic and regional issues, as well as questionable popular support.It all makes the meeting feel more like the international conference of future political pariahs.Wojciech Przybylski is the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight, and chairman of the Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. His new book ‘Understanding Central Europe’, co-edited with Marcin Moskalewicz, will be published by Routledge in the second half of 2017.

UK visitors set to pay into EU budget after Brexit By Nikolaj Nielsen-june 27,17-euobserver

BRUSSELS, Today, 22:25-British nationals may end up paying into the EU general budget after the UK leaves the European Union.An EU proposal to tighten border security controls for all visa-free travellers sometime in 2020 will be generating cash by demanding fees from holidaymakers. The fees will pay for annual running costs.But an European Commission official on Monday (26 June) said any surplus revenue would also then go to the EU budget and reduce member state contributions.Proposed last November, the Commission's European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias), will screen all visa-free travellers before they enter the passport-free Schengen zone of 26 European states."Any accumulated surplus generated by the Etias revenues would in any case revert back to the EU general budget and hence reduce member state contributions," the Commission official told MEPs.A five-year application under the scheme is €5. The fee is small but the UK's total sum in the pot is not insignificant.Brits made 35 million holiday trips to the EU last year alone with around a third going to Spain, followed by France and Greece. Another 5.5 million were business trips.A spokesperson from the UK-based Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) told EUobserver that the UK holiday figures to the EU have increased substantially in the past few years.He noted that 2016 was "an all time record".Abta wants the British government to negotiate an exemption for UK nationals in Etias, noting that "it is in everyone's interest to keep these flows going."The UK government, meanwhile, says it is determined to get the best possible deal for the country.A UK government spokesperson said Etias was just "one of many areas that may need to be addressed as we leave the EU and agree a new partnership."It is also likely to stir up resentment among people who campaigned to leave the EU, given that British nationals may still be footing, albeit indirectly, the EU budget after Brexit.Commission estimates suggest Etias will cost over €200 million to launch and around €85 million to maintain annually. Discussions between the EU institutions have yet to start but the plan is to reach an agreement before the end this year.German Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht said the EU would be better off making it easier for people to travel than imposing a new system that not only creates more red tape but also blanket collects personal data."Making it easier for people from countries, which are also democracies, to travel to the European Union and back is a positive thing and we need not to make that more difficult but easier," he said on Monday.EU nationals, for their part, took 10 million holiday trips and some 7 million business trips to the UK in 2016.

WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)

EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18

WORLD TERRORISM

OH BY THE WAY WHEN THE MEDIA SAYS ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS GOD IS GREAT LIE. IN ISLAM ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS OUR GOD IS GREATER OR GREATEST. THIS IS HOW THE MEDIA SUCK HOLES UP TO ISLAMIC-QURANIC-MUSLIMS. BY WATERING DOWN THE REAL MEANING OF THE SEX FOR MURDER DEATH CULT ISLAM. TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE A PEACEFUL RELIGION (CULT OF DEATH AND WORLD DOMINATION).

GENESIS 6:11-13
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

GENESIS 16:11-12
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)

ISAIAH 14:12-14
12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14  I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)

JOHN 16:2
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)

Before tragedy strikes': Liberals launch centre to prevent homegrown terrorism-[CBC]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

The federal government has launched a new centre tasked with preventing the radicalization of Canadian young people.A special adviser will be named in the coming months to oversee the local outreach and research projects funded through the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence.The centre will have dedicated staff, but will be located within the existing Public Safety Canada space.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Canada must become a world leader in understanding and dealing with radicalization that leads to violence, in order to retain its national character as an open, diverse society that is also safe and secure."The new Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence will help us do as much as humanly possible to prevent radicalization to violence before tragedy strikes," Goodale said in a statement. "It will support and empower local leaders to develop initiatives that are suited to their community."Last year's budget set aside $35 million over five years and $10 million each year after to combat radicalization and violence in Canada.Ontario Liberal MP Arif Virani, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of heritage (multiculturalism), said the new centre will drive better research, understanding and engagement, with a special focus on youth vulnerable to radicalization. Building up trust relationships and opening lines of communication are critical to combating radicalism at the ground level, he said.-No boundaries to extremist views-The centre will not focus on Islamist extremism alone, but will cover a wide spectrum, because while some attacks are perpetrated by Islamist extremists, others target Muslims, Virani said."When we look at what's happening across the country, radicalization is not endemic to any one group, institution, race or religion," he said. "It doesn't have particular boundaries that are tied to a religion or an ideology. That's very important to keep in mind because that's a situation we need be upfront about in terms of where the threats are coming from and not focusing on any one particular community."In January, six people were killed and 19 others injured in an attack by a gunman at a Quebec CIty mosque.-Domestic acts of terror-Last August, Aaron Driver died in an altercation with police in Strathroy, Ont. RCMP believe he was preparing to carry out a suicide bombing in a public place.That incident came less than two years after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo while he stood on guard at the National War Memorial, an act the RCMP called terrorism, before making his way to Parliament Hill.Jeremy Littlewood, a terrorism expert at Ottawa's Carleton University, said Canada's domestic terrorism problem is smaller than some of our closest allies, but that doesn't mean there is no danger.Littlewood said it's too early to tell if Canada's approach will work to combat domestic terrorism, but he said it is wise not to target only one group of extremists."Making it one type of terrorism specific, for example, al-Qaeda or ISIS-inspired terrorism, is a recipe for creating fear, suspicion and perpetuating the notion of suspect communities within a population," he said.Littlewood said success will depend partly on sustained funding, and an openness about what is working and what is not.The government is accepting proposals for the Community Resilience Fund as of July 6, 2017, which has $1.4 million available to fund projects in 2018-19. For subsequent years, there will be $7 million for continuing and new projects.Ten projects have already received funding for counter-radicalization work.

Crowd flows, camera coverage being studied to bolster Parliament Hill security-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

OTTAWA — Security officials say they're ready for the throngs set to descend on Parliament Hill for Canada's 150th birthday celebration Saturday.But that doesn't mean federal researchers are done thinking about how to better protect the country's seat of democracy in the months and years ahead.Advisers are gathering data on everything from crowd flows to video-camera placement to ensure both security and openness in the parliamentary precinct.Parliament Hill security is a "tough nut to crack" because of the fine balance between guarding the most important democratic institutions while keeping the grounds open to people, said Rami Youssef of the federal Centre for Security Science, a wing of Defence Research and Development Canada.After a gunman stormed the Hill in October 2014, dying in a hail of bullets in the Hall of Honour, the centre completed two studies. One looked at the physical security of Parliament's Centre Block, while the other delved into procedures for handling visitors and employees in the parliamentary precinct.The most tangible result of the armed assault was creation of the unified Parliamentary Protective Service, drawing together forces from the RCMP, House of Commons and Senate.The centre's researchers need more information before making the next set of recommendations to decision-makers, Youssef said in an interview."The reality is there's a lot of data to be collected, and a lot of data to be studied and analyzed," he said. "We have to go little by little, because they cannot make any drastic changes just overnight."Researchers are interested in the varied nature of the crowds that turn up on Parliament Hill, as well as the ebb and flow of pedestrian traffic at different times of day.Plans were revealed four years ago to boost video-camera coverage of the Hill substantially to guard against possible attacks by detecting abandoned packages, suspicious activity and disturbances.Researchers are studying different types of cameras, their placement and the percentage of visual coverage on the Hill, Youssef said.Work has been focused to date on trying to prevent attacks in the parliamentary precinct but, time permitting, the centre might explore other types of threats and hazards, such as an earthquake or other natural disaster, he added.Many parts of the Hill are undergoing extensive renovations. That could be a welcome opportunity to embed security changes into revamped buildings, Youssef said.The new Parliamentary Protective Service is working with the centre researchers on projects throughout the precinct, but disclosing details of the efforts "would expose operational tactics and measures" that could affect safety, said Melissa Rusk, a spokeswoman for the protective service.Federal officials are also reviewing the mandate of the Government Operations Centre, the focal point for monitoring major national events and emergencies. In addition, they are seeking a new home for the Ottawa-based centre.During the 2014 shooting, the centre lacked computer technicians, food was limited and senior emergency officials weren't in the building, according to internal documents released two years ago. — Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter-Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press.

3,000 N.L. Muslims gather for Eid celebrations at Jack Byrne Arena-[CBC]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

Muslims in the St. John's area joined with others around the world in celebrating Eid Sunday — the festival that marks the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan.The celebration at Jack Byrne Arena Sunday morning began with prayers and then a meet and greet with tea, coffee, and snacks."After prayer, we had refreshments, and after refreshments they put out some bouncy castles for kids to play on," Reem Abu-Hendi said.The local celebration is huge — about 3,000 Muslims packed the Jack Byrne Arena early Sunday morning."The community at first, was not that large so like the mosque used to accommodate us but now it's really big like 3,000 people in one place, it's amazing," she said."Just to see all the Muslims in one place, it's a great feeling." Abu-Hendi said.Ramadan is a sacred time for Muslims, who believe that it was when the Qur'an — the holy book — was revealed through the prophet Muhammad."It's 30 days but this year it happened to be 29 because of the moon,"  Ayamen Shaawen said.The month, which started this year May 26, includes dawn-to-dusk fasting, and ends with a religious holiday called Eid."We fast from 3 a.m. until 9 p.m. so it's 18 hours a day," Abu-Hendi said.The fasting can be challenging, but that's what makes it worthwhile, she said."Your body just gets adjusted to it, and I would say it's thirst more than hunger, so you can usually go about your daily activities but around 6 p.m.-7 p.m., I'm done," she said.Without food all day, you'd think there might be a lot of cranky people walking around who are "hangry," but Abu-Hendi says it's all about willpower."Ramadan teaches you patience and self-control. If we lose to anger we could break our fast," she said."It's more of a self-discipline thing," Shaawen said.Volunteers who set up the event get up at the crack of dawn to prepare the arena for the 3,000 attendees."It's a big challenge for those who volunteer to organize it. Before we had a smaller community and our mosque was able to accommodate the size of our community but not anymore," said organizer Ayse Sule."It's a team effort," said Moein Shahwan, vice-resident of the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador."It brings lots of richness to our community and we are proud of it," Sule said.

Relatives of serial killer's victims speak of pain, guilt and anger-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — One after another, family and friends of a serial killer's victims described overwhelming guilt, anger and profound sadness when they learned their loved ones had been murdered by an Ontario nurse who was supposed to care for them.And many spoke about their loss of faith in the province's long-term care system, where Elizabeth Wettlaufer was allowed to cast her "shadow of death" over vulnerable seniors for nearly a decade.Wettlaufer was sentenced Monday in a Woodstock, Ont., court to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years after she pleaded guilty last month to eight counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault.The 50-year-old nurse used insulin trying — and in most cases succeeding  — to kill vulnerable victims in her care at three Ontario long-term care facilities and a private home. Her crimes began in 2007 and didn't stop until she confessed to the killings at a psychiatric hospital in Toronto last fall.Sandy Millard, whose 87-year-old mother, Gladys Jean Millard, was murdered by Wettlaufer in 2011 at Caressant Care in Woodstock, told court about the depression she has fallen into."Finding out she was killed by a huge injection of medication she did not need broke my heart," she said.Her daughter, and Millard's granddaughter, Shannon Emmerton, spoke through tears."I don't know if I will ever truly recover," she said.Patricia Matheson glared at Wettlaufer as she read a statement by her husband, whose mother, Helen Matheson, was killed by the nurse in 2011."I lost my mother for the second time. No funeral this time, just shock, followed by the question why," Jon Matheson wrote. "I placed my mother in a facility I researched never once considering she would be a victim of such a despicable act. I ask why, because she didn't eat all the blueberry pie and ice cream?"The question of why Wettlaufer killed or hurt 14 people loomed large in court. In a lengthy video statement she gave to police last fall, she said she felt a "red surging" well up in her chest that was relieved after she completed a kill. She believed she was an instrument of God at times, but also killed because some residents were too much work, too burdensome.Many others, wracked by guilt, spoke of what-ifs."I simply feel guilty for not being able to protect my father as he had protected me," wrote David Silcox, whose father, James Silcox, was murdered in 2007.Justice Bruce Thomas acknowledged that guilt was the common theme of the 28 victim impact statements filed in court a few weeks ago."It is a complete betrayal of trust when a caregiver does not prolong life, but terminates it," he said. "But you cannot blame yourselves."Thomas described Wettlaufer's "free run" on her nine-year killing spree, with no oversight or even an inkling she had committed such calculated murders."Without her confessions, I am convinced these offences would never have been brought to justice," he said, calling Wettlaufer a "shadow of death that passed over them (the victims) on the night shift where she supervised."Debora Rivers said her grandmother, Mary Zarawinski, hated the nursing home when she first went there. There are a lot of old people here, she told her niece, even though Zarawinski was one of the oldest residents in the facility."She made it nice for everybody there," Rivers said outside court.She also noted that Wettlaufer had described Zarawinski as "'fun and feisty' — and she was.""The woman lived to be 96 years old for God's sake," Rivers said. "We have no way of knowing how long her life might have been," she said. "We were pretty sure she was going to make it to 100 and so was she."For her part, Wettlaufer apologized, crouching in the prisoner's box without looking at anyone."I am truly sorry for the people I injured or murdered," she said in a soft voice."Sorry is much too small a word. I hope that the families can find some peace and healing."Beverly Bertram, who is Wettlaufer's sole living victim, wrote about the physical pain she was in after the nurse injected her with insulin with the intent to kill her."It is really hard to describe, but I knew I was dying," she wrote in her statement. "I was doubled over in pain in my stomach...Just such pain. My whole body hurt...I thought I was screaming, but I was just moaning I guess."Bertram wrote that she has become a recluse since the incident, afraid of everyone, including her own shadow, and has lost all relationships with her family."I truly think sometimes I'd be better off if she did her deed."Shortly after Wettlaufer's sentencing hearing, the province announced it would hold a public inquiry into the murders to ensure a similar tragedy does not happen again.Liam Casey , The Canadian Press.

Demand for Canada 150 flags, brings seamstress out of retirement-[CBC]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

Canada Day is just under a week away and thanks to the demand for flags leading up to the big celebration, one New Brunswick woman has had to put her retirement on hold.Theresa King's basement is full of bright materials and the tools to turn them into something special. Since March, most of King's projects have been paused while she helps her former employer.- Cyclists pedal into New Brunswick for Canada 150 journey - Fredericton's Canada 150 funding largely focused on 'Indigenous reconciliation' "I thought I was going to be retired," King said with a laugh from her seat in front of a sewing machine.After 28 years working for The Flag Store in Thornton, Ont., she moved to Tower Hill, near St. Andrews. King was only given two years before her old boss came calling."The demand for Canadian flags for the 150 has been so dramatic that they have been out of flags forever," King said.So she agreed to help, thinking at first it would only be for a couple of weeks. Her estimate turned out to be off. Way off.Getting into the flag business-"By the time I'm finished, it will be about 2,500, three-foot-by-six-foot Canadian flags that I will have finished."Working from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., King can put together about 250 flags a week, which despite their complexity, she will tell you is fast.In order to save on the shipping costs, King drove her first shipment of 1,400 flags to Ontario in May.There has been some time for King to enjoy some side projects, like altering a graduation dress, but she said she's happy to help her former colleagues.In her years working for The Flag Store, she said March always meant the beginning of the busy season. But Canada 150 she said, has created demand the store isn't normally accustomed to."Those girls are pretty tired too," King said. "They're just swamped and there just isn't enough time in the day."It isn't just King who is hard at work in the workshop, she enlisted her husband, Doug, to help out too.He'll be the first to tell you that he never planned on getting into the flag business. But after stencilling off bright red maple leafs from cloth, Doug King said the work keeps him out of trouble.While her time is occupied by piecing together red and white material, King will have a little variety in her life this week.-100 and counting-A text from her boss saw rolls of green, gold, and black arrive at her door with a request from the Jamaican consulate."I have 100 to make" she said, "So I can ship them on Wednesday."After being so busy, you would think King planned on taking Canada Day off to enjoy seeing some flags fly. Instead, she said she's only going to take a break to go to the market before getting back to work.With a goal of getting another 1,000 Canadian flags finished by September, she said her next delivery will be her vacation."That'll be my holiday" King said, "A few days off to drive to Ontario and deliver all the flags."

Canadians will soon have a law on how to dispose of mercury-filled light bulbs-[CBC]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

Canadians will soon have guidance from the federal government on how to dispose of mercury-containing light bulbs in an environmentally responsible way.Bill C-238, a new act that sets out rules for a national light bulb disposal strategy, received royal assent on Thursday.The National Strategy for Safe and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Lamps Containing Mercury Act commits the government to identify ways to dispose of mercury-containing light bulbs safely and establish guidelines for facilities that dispose of them, and then promote the program to Canadians.The bill also requires the environment minister to table the national strategy in Parliament within two years of the act receiving royal assent. -No regulations-Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP Darren Fisher, who introduced the private member's bill, said there were no federal regulations outlining how to dispose of light bulbs."You can take your mercury-bearing light bulb, and you can throw it in your garbage bag and put it to the curb," he said.One regular, 13-watt residential compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) — the curly looking ones that are slowly replacing the traditional, round incandescent bulbs — contains on average 3.5 milligrams of mercury. Energy Star-certified CFLs contain 2.5 milligrams or less. Fluorescent tubes contain up to 12 milligrams.Fisher said about 1,150 kilograms of mercury end up in Canadian landfills each year, and can contaminate the environment.Mercury is also listed as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act."So this is an incredibly big issue," he said.Compact fluorescents on the rise-A 2014 federal ban on most residential incandescent bulbs means more Canadians are using compact fluorescent bulbs. A 2014 report from Statistics Canada noted that in 2011, three-quarters of households across the country used at least one CFL bulb.About half the households that used CFLs reported throwing them in the garbage, and Haligonians were the most likely to toss them, with 84 per cent doing so, the report said.-'Piecemeal' approach-Recycling facilities in some municipalities and provinces break CFL bulbs down and recycle about 98 per cent of the components, including the mercury. Some retailers also collect used bulbs to send to recyclers.But Fisher described that as a "piecemeal" approach.He encourages Canadians to recycle their bulbs or simply hold on to them until the new law is developed."If the worst thing you have to do is put them in a cardboard box and leave them in your garage until the strategy comes forward, please do so, because what we'd like to see is no mercury-bearing light bulbs going into our landfills across Canada," said Fisher.

Nine dead after Colombia tourist boat sinks in reservoir-[Reuters]-yahoonews-June 26, 2017

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Nine people died and 28 are missing after a multi-decked tourist boat carrying about 170 passengers sank in Colombia's Penol-Guatape reservoir on Sunday during the long holiday weekend, a government official said.Officials did not disclose the cause of the accident and provided few details.Videos posted on social media showed motorboats coming to the aid of passengers on the upper decks as the boat rocked from side to side. Ninety-nine people were rescued, Margarita Moncada, the head of disaster relief for Antioquia province, told journalists."At the moment we have nine people found dead. Another 99 people were rescued immediately and 40 more got out on their own," she said.Survivors on local television reports said they heard a loud noise before the boat began to sink and that not all of them had life jackets. Rescue operations were ongoing.Rescue workers and the air force were helping passengers at the scene, President Juan Manuel Santos said in a Twitter post.The large reservoir, about an hour from the central city of Medellin, is a popular tourist destination.(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Richard Chang)

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Country / Negara
Currency / Mata Uang
ISO-4217
Symbol
A
Afghanistan
AFN
Albania
ALL
Algeria
DZD
American Samoa
see United States
Andorra
see Spain and France
Angola
AOA
Anguilla
XCD
EC$
Antigua and Barbuda
XCD
EC$
Argentina
ARS
Armenia
AMD
Aruba
AWG
ƒ
Australia
AUD
$
Austria
EUR
Azerbaijan
AZN
B
Bahamas
BSD
B$
Bahrain
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Bangladesh
BDT
Barbados
BBD
Bds$
Belarus
BYR
Br
Belgium
EUR
Belize
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BZ$
Benin
XOF
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BD$
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BTN
Nu.
Bolivia
BOB
Bs.
Bosnia-Herzegovina
BAM
KM
Botswana
BWP
P
Brazil
BRL
R$
British Indian Ocean Territory
see United Kingdom
Brunei
BND
B$
Bulgaria
BGN
Burkina Faso
XOF
CFA
Burma
see Myanmar
Burundi
BIF
FBu



Mata Uang Duniaprobably a young-ish man, possibly with a beard, wearing a soccer jersey in the next few weeks. For some, wearing a soccer jersey in public has a symbolic significance; it tells the world that you support a certain team, and depending on the vintage of the kit, it can signal how long you have been a fan. Most national and club teams change their shirts yearly, which makes perfect sense in this most capitalistic of world sports. This year is no exception, with sportswear giants like Nike, Adidas, and Puma, as well as upstarts like New Balance and old stalwarts like Umbro, issuing new uniforms for the 24 European and 16 American teams playing in the Euros and Copa America. And as more U.S. citizens identify as soccer fans, expect to see more and more shiny polyester on the streets.

I have the good fortune of living in a neighborhood that’s home to a store that will likely supply a large number of these jerseys. Upper 90 opened six years ago on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and in that time has been so successful that it doubled in size, taking over the space of a car-service dispatcher that was doomed once Uber came to town. During the rest of the year, this is the place to go if you are looking for soccer shoes for your Sunday league game, or more likely for your kids, and the floors are stocked with shorts, sweatshirts, hats, and jerseys of popular European club teams such as Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and in particular, Arsenal. If you were to walk in to Upper 90 tomorrow, you could still find the latest Arsenal, and for some reason Borussia Dortmund kits, but most of the rest have been replaced by the national strips of teams playing in this year’s tournaments.

I asked some of the many young salespeople working at Upper 90 if business is any different in cup season. The consensus answer was: not yet, but they expect it to pick up. After the Copa began last week, more customers have come in looking for national team shirts. The U.S. is popular, despite its forgettable shirt—especially forgettable, that is, when compared with this—but Mexico and Colombia shirts are also selling briskly. European team gear is not as popular yet, but the store expects to see more sales after that tournament starts on Friday. Based on the calls they have received so far, France, who is hosting the Euros this year, is poised to sell a lot of shirts to Americans. As one salesman commented, “The French, they always have style.” In the past that may have been true, but this year’s France kit, made by Nike, looks like a pair of blue pajamas, or even worse, a little too much like Italy’s.

That a store like Upper 90 can thrive in the age of internet shopping is a surprise, especially when it isn’t even allowed to sell gear from all the teams playing in the tournaments. For some teams, like Romania, this is because the store doesn’t have a distribution deal with the kit manufacturer, in this case Joma. Upper 90 did manage to score some Albania jerseys manufactured by the Italian company Macron. Apparently this is because the store’s owner knows a guy who has a connection, and it’s a good thing, because they are fielding at least three calls a day from fans looking for the red jersey with the black double-headed eagle. (Eagles, with one head or two, are a popular motif this year, appearing on the crests of Russia and Austria as well.) Upper 90 stocks some of the more obscure jerseys from teams like Bosnia and Slovakia, but a number of popular shirts are unavailable.

According to one staffer, Nike is not shipping certain teams’ kits to retail outlets, reserving them for sale online. One of the most popular jerseys that seems to be available exclusively online is Poland’s, an irritating fact to the folks at Upper 90 who have to turn away customers, and to denizens of Greenpoint. Even more disappointing, at least for soccer fans with more adventurous fashion sense, is the absence of shirts from Turkey and always distinctive Croatia. This is a new policy, since the red-and-white checked strip featured prominently in the store window during the last World Cup, although it’s not often seen in the wild, or on the Upper West Side. The salespeople I talked to were somewhat sanguine about Nike’s decision, though they were as surprised as I was that Nike would miss a chance to sell its products as widely as possible since every uniformed fan is a walking advertisement for the company.

Over the next month, don’t be surprised by the brightly colored technical fabrics adorning the backs of fans and poseurs alike. If you feel up to it, ask about the shirt; soccer fans love to talk about their obsessions. But be suspicious of the bearded, bespectacled hipster rocking a bright yellow Brazil shirt. And if you see anyone sporting this, run the other way. 

Read more Slate coverage of Euro 2016.


          This Lovely Animation Will Make You Wish the World Cup Were Still Happening   

Richard Swarbrick makes amazingly gorgeous animated films based on real sports moments. Seriously, they’re like Shepard Fairey portraits come to life, but better. He did one for the just finished World Cup, and watching a few seconds of it will make you wish it was 2018 right now. Some of the shots are actually kind of hard to decipher (try for yourself), but Swarbrick sent us his approximate shot list, which is reprinted below with some minor modifications for accuracy purposes.

1. Neymar’s first goal for Brazil against Croatia.
2. Oscar’s goal for Brazil against Croatia.
3. Robin Van Persie’s flying header for the Netherlands against Spain.
4. Arjen Robben’s second goal for the Netherlands against Spain.
5. Clint Dempsey’s goal for the U.S. against Ghana.
6. Lionel Messi’s goal for Argentina against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7. James Rodríguez’s goal for Colombia against Japan.
8. Tim Cahill’s goal for Australia against the Netherlands.
9. Arjen Robben’s first goal for the Netherlands against Spain.
10. Lionel Messi’s goal for Argentina against Iran.
11. James Rodríguez’s goal for Colombia against Uruguay.
12. John Brooks’ and Jürgen Klinsmann's celebration for the U.S. against Ghana.
13. Tim Howard’s great save for the U.S. against Portugal.
14. Jermaine Jones’ goal for the U.S. against Portugal.
15. Wesley Sneijder for the Netherlands against Mexico.
16. Luis Suarez’s bite for Uruguay against Italy.
17. André Schürrle’s goal for Germany against Algeria.
18. Tim Krul’s first save of the Netherlands-Costa Rica penalty shootout.
19. Gonzalo Higuaín’s goal for Argentina against Belgium.
20. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s celebration for the Netherlands against Mexico
21. Thomas Müller’s goal for Germany against Brazil.
22. Toni Kroos for Germany against Brazil.
23. Sami Khedira’s goal for Germany against Brazil.
24. André Schürrle’s first goal for Germany against Brazil.
25. André Schürrle’s second goal for Germany against Brazil.
26. Mario Götze’s goal for Germany against Argentina.
27. Germany's Philipp Lahm celebrating with World Cup trophy.

If you didn’t care about the World Cup to begin with, this lovely animation will make you wish that the NBA season was still going, and this lovely animation will make you wish that the Doctor Who season had started already.


          Messi Is Great. Germany Is Great. They’ll Still Be Great No Matter What Happens Sunday.   

Lionel Messi is great. Germany is great. There should be no debate about either of these things. And yet, in the minds of many, Sunday’s World Cup final will answer a pair of questions that nobody should bother to ask: Can Messi truly be a legend if he’s missing a “signature World Cup moment”? And is this German national team, the one that crushed a reeling Brazil, really all that great?

Let’s begin with Messi.

“It would be beautiful to be five seconds him.”

It’s not notable that someone would say such a thing about the greatest player in soccer. It is notable that the words came from Messi’s Argentina teammate Javier Mascherano.

Mascherano has been the defensive anchor of an Argentine team that conceded just three goals on its way to the World Cup final. Much more so than Messi, the holding midfielder was the hero of Argentina’s semifinal victory over the Netherlands—he made the brilliant tournament-saving, anus-tearing tackle that prevented Arjen Robben from scoring the game-winner in the dying minutes.

It wasn’t just that amazing, beautiful, perfect tackle. Mascherano is one of the finalists for the “Golden Ball” award, the tournament’s MVP trophy. He has more recovered balls than any of the other finalists, including vaunted German defenders Philipp Lahm and Mats Hummels. He’s fifth in the tournament in blocked shots, fifth in interceptions, and No. 1 in total passes.

And this is not Mascherano’s first rodeo. He has been a regular starter as Messi’s teammate at Barcelona, including on the 2010-2011 team that was one of the greatest club sides in history. He has also won two Olympic gold medals with Argentina.

Keep all of that in mind when you hear that Mascherano, in a new docudrama about Messi’s life, says that it would be a beautiful thing to experience the game through Messi’s eyes for a few moments. It’s as if Scottie Pippen sang “Be Like Mike” in a Gatorade commercial.

None of this is to say that Mascherano is some kind of lackey for Messi. He’s not. It’s just to emphasize the esteem that Messi’s otherworldly talents inspire, especially among his teammates.

Messi’s achievements have proven worthy of such admiration. His genius and vision on the pitch are undeniable. At the World Cup he has been the focal point of every game he’s played. He’s scored, assisted, or otherwise set up seven out of Argentina’s eight goals. He’s also forced teams to alter their game plans to neutralize him. In Argentina’s group stage opener at the Maracanã, the site of Sunday’s final, Messi caused the opening own-goal by Bosnia-Herzegovina with a dangerous free kick into the box. He then scored the game-winner with a stunning run through the Bosnian defense.

In the next match, he saved Argentina from an embarrassing 0-0 draw with Iran by scoring in injury time with one of the best goals of this World Cup.

In the next match against Nigeria, he scored a brace that ensured that Argentina would finish top of the group and avoid facing France and Germany in the first two knockout rounds and instead play the much tamer Switzerland and Belgium. Against the Swiss, he made another game-changing run in the 118th minute before laying it off to Ángel di María for the match-winning score. In Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Belgium in the quarterfinals, it was again Messi who created the space for the team’s only goal by dancing around two defenders before finding Ángel di María, who ultimately set up the Gonzalo Higuaín score.

Belgium, who as a reminder had taken 38 shots and 27 on target in the previous game, was held scoreless on 10 attempts against Argentina. A lot of this was due to Mascherano’s leadership and the cohesiveness of the team defensively, but Belgium was also forced to alter its tactics to try to cope with Messi. I’ve heard one commentator describe Messi’s role in these latter rounds as that of a sort of nuclear deterrent, offsetting an opponent’s ability to focus resources on attack because of fear that he’ll go off.

No single player has had a bigger impact on his team at this World Cup. And that’s just this tournament. Messi’s prior C.V. includes six Spanish league titles, three Champions League trophies, an Olympic gold medal, and a record four Ballon d'Or trophies. He also has the records for most goals scored in a single year with 91 and most consecutive games with a goal (21 matches and 33 goals for Barca in the 2012-2013 season), and he has the second-most goals in the history of Argentina’s national team (a record he’s on pace to break).

Yet, there still seems to be a question in the sports press of whether Messi deserves to be placed alongside Brazil’s Pele and Argentine countryman Diego Maradona as one of the greatest players of all time. Whatever happens in Sunday’s final is supposed to determine the legacy of a player who has already achieved more on a soccer field than perhaps anyone else ever. He’s supposed to lead his team to victory over a German side that is clearly the best in the world. He’s supposed to do it having played 30 more minutes than the Germans, feeling “like his legs weighed 100 kilos” each, and on one day fewer rest. And he’s supposed to do it against a team that already has a “secret plan” to modify its tactics, as the Belgians and the Dutch have done, to hold him in check.

Germany is facing an identical dilemma as Messi. The Germans are the best team in the world right now. They confirmed that with a victory over Brazil that will be remembered by soccer fans and history books as long as the sport exists. But if they lose against Messi, then they’ll go down as losers.

In reality, this German national team has already earned its place as one of the best in history. ESPN’s Soccer Power Index has them listed at No. 1 in the world, which isn’t that surprising. More impressive is that the World Football Elo Ratings—touted by Neil Paine and Nate Silver of 538.com, who declare themselves “big fans” of that rating system—rank this German team as the best in history.

If you look at the list, it’s astonishing to see them ahead of Ferenc Puskás’ 1954 Hungary team, Pele’s 1962 Brazil team, and Spain’s 2013 team that was coming off of its third consecutive major title at Euro 2012. You could look at Germany’s placement ahead of those teams and think, “that’s kind of stupid,” or at least “that’s kind of premature.” You might be right. But it should give you an appreciation for what Germany has accomplished in recent years.

This German team has been the second-most-consistent team to Spain since 2006. They finished third at the 2006 World Cup, runners-up to Spain at Euro 2008, third again at the 2010 World Cup, and as semifinalists at Euro 2012. They will finish either first or second at this World Cup, and their rating has already gotten a major bump from beating Brazil 7-1 in Brazil. That’s probably the most impressive result in the history of the sport when you consider that the Brazilians hadn’t lost a competitive home match since 1975.

And this golden generation of Germans has already achieved great things aside from rankings. The team is built from the side that won the 2009 European Under-21 Championship. Twenty-eight-year-old Manuel Neuer has been the goalkeeper of the tournament (sorry Tim Howard), while the team’s young, ultra-talented midfield has been the principal reason for its success.* Twenty-four-year-old Thomas Müller has five goals for the second consecutive World Cup. Twenty-five-year-old Mats Hummels scored the game-winner in the quarterfinals against France for his second goal of the tournament. Sami Khedira, the captain of that 2009 team, has been the guiding force of that midfield along with 24-year-old Toni Kroos (not a member of the 2009 German U21 team).

All of these young stars are bolstered by three all-time greats from the 2006 World Cup team that finished third at home. Philipp Lahm has been the team’s defensive guide since returning to his natural position at right back after the team struggled to get past Algeria 2-1 in a last 16 match that required extra time. Bastian Schweinsteiger has been a stalwart in midfield, while Miroslav Klose has merely gone and broken the all-time World Cup goal scoring record. When people describe this as the most-talented team in German history, that’s a reasonable claim. As a reminder, this is a nation that has won three World Cups and is entering its eighth final.

This German team also has one of the great national club sides of the era at its core. Like Spain’s 2010 starting 11, which featured a majority of Barcelona players, more than half of Germany’s starters come from another Pep Guardiola-coached side in Bayern Munich. Those players won this year’s Bundesliga crown in record speed.  The 2012-13 Bayern team, coached by Jupp Heynckes, also tied the record for most wins in a Bundesliga season and won a treble with the Champions League title and the DFB-Pokal crown.

Finally, at this tournament the team has six players in the top 10 of total passes, four of the 10 finalists for FIFA’s Golden Ball award, and one of the three finalists for the Golden Glove goalkeeping award. Oh, and 7-1.

But none of this will be enough to ensure Germany’s reputation as one of the great teams of all-time. To do that, they have to beat the sport’s Michael Jordan. If they don’t, then they’ll be considered a pretty good team that just didn’t have enough, like the Utah Jazz.

It’s just one game, and hopefully it will be a great one, full of Messi moments and German brilliance. But only one side can win. And the victor is supposed to decide the “greatness” of Germany and of Messi forever and ever?

This German team is at worst the second-best team of the past decade and one of the top international teams in recent history. Messi is the greatest player of his generation and one of the best of all-time. The result of Sunday’s World Cup final won’t change those two facts. Unless somebody wins 7-1.

*Correction, July 14, 2014: This post originally misstated Manuel Neuer’s age. He is 28 years old, not 23.


          Submission for the Universal Periodic Review of Serbia   

Summary

Human Rights Watch’s key human rights concerns on Serbia are reflected in the 2017 World Report chapter on Serbia. Accountability for war crimes is hampered by slow progress on prosecutions. Concerns over freedom of the media continue amid repeated threats against journalists and failure by authorities to investigate cases of threats and violence against investigative reporters. Roma also face discrimination, as do lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Members of these communities face threats, discrimination and harassment. The situation for refugees, asylum seekers, and IDPs remains a concern, particularly inadequate asylum procedures, pushbacks, and limited capacity of reception centres. Moving children with disabilities out of institutions and into family-like environments has been a limited and slow process.

In light of the serious human rights concerns that persist in Kosovo, scrutiny by international human rights bodies is vital. We therefore urge the Human Rights Council to ensure that Kosovo is subject to the Universal Periodic Review process and other human rights monitoring in an appropriate and robust fashion. Our concerns on the human rights situation in Kosovo are available on our website: https://www.hrw.org/europe/central-asia/serbia/kosovo

 

1.Treatment of Migrants and Asylum seekers

While Serbia has seen a significant decrease in the number of asylum seekers and other migrants arriving since 2016, there continue to be serious obstacles to accessing protection and humane treatment including for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. There are credible reports of on-going summary returns of asylum seekers from Serbia to Macedonia.

According to the UNHCR, partner organizations and the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration there were 6,600 asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants in Serbia at the time of writing.

According to the Serbian Ministry of Interior’s Asylum Office, 2,922 individuals expressed intentions to seek asylum in the Republic of Serbia in the first five months of 2017. Most are Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and Pakistanis. Asylum seekers are housed in overcrowded camps and often in unsuitable mixed accommodation with single males, families, single women and unaccompanied children sharing living space.

In 2012, Serbia accepted a recommendation to “Take all necessary measures to ensure the improvement of socio-economic conditions of refugees and internally displaced persons.” Yet, as of June 9, 2017, Serbia had not granted anyone the status of a refugee. In 2016, Serbia granted refugee status to only 19 asylum seekers and subsidiary protection to 23. In addition to low recognition rates, and problems registering asylum claims, there are significant backlogs in the country’s asylum procedure with thousands of pending claims.

During the first five months of 2017, the Ministry of Interior registered 46 unaccompanied children in Serbia, from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Serbia lacks formal age assessment procedures for unaccompanied children, putting older children at risk of being treated as adults instead of receiving child protection. Only three institutions exist in Serbia for unaccompanied children and have a total of 32 places. Other unaccompanied children stay in temporary shelters known as “refugee aid centers” together with unrelated adults or open reception centers, where in some cases unaccompanied children can be accommodated separately from unrelated adults. The number of unaccompanied children is, based on the observations of our researchers, likely much higher than the officially reported 46.

Progress in finding durable solutions for refugees and internally displaces persons (IDPs) from the Balkan wars living in Serbia was insignificant. According to UNHCR, as of June 2017, there were 29,414 refugees in Serbia, 20,334 from Croatia and 9,080 from Bosnia and Herzegovina while the Serbian government recorded 203,000 internally displaced people from Kosovo.

In an April 2015 report, Human Rights Watch interviewed migrants and asylum seekers who described violent assaults, threats, insults, and extortion, denial of the required special protection for unaccompanied children, and summary returns to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. There is credible evidence that summary returns from Serbia to Macedonia continue. Serbian authorities have not taken adequate steps to address halt these abuses.

Recommendations

  • Issue clear guidance to police officers that they should treat asylum seekers and migrants with respect and in a manner consistent with Serbia’s human rights obligations, in particular the prohibitions on ill-treatment and non-refoulement, and ensure access to asylum procedures in Serbia;
  • Ensure that anyone who expresses a wish to apply for asylum should have a meaningful opportunity to register their asylum claim and present their case;
  • Ensure humane and suitable conditions for asylum seekers and migrants accommodated in asylum facilities across Serbia, with special attention given to vulnerable groups, including families with children, unaccompanied children, single women, older persons and people with medical conditions and/or disabilities;
  • Issue clear guidance to police officers to provide unaccompanied children with special attention and care as required by domestic and international law.

 

  1. Lack of Accountability for War Crimes

Despite accepting recommendations to take all necessary measures to end to impunity by prosecuting alleged perpetrators in accordance with international standards, war crimes prosecutions in Serbia are hampered by a lack of political support, resources or staff at the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor and inadequate witness support.

Since the establishment of the War Crimes Prosecution Office in 2003, 110 judgments have been issued: 75 convictions and 37 acquittals. But few high-ranking officials have been prosecuted for war crimes in Serbian courts.

Despite the war crimes strategy adopted by the government in February 2016, which sets out criteria for prioritizing cases and commitment to prosecute high-ranking officials suspected of war crimes, progress appears to have stalled. Between January 2017 and June 2017, the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office issued only 1 indictment against 1 person. During the same period, no one was convicted or acquitted by the first instance court for war crimes and two persons were acquitted at the appeals stage.

The most notable example of the lack of progress in war crimes accountability is the failure to bring charges in relation to the organized removal of more than 900 Albanian bodies from Kosovo to Serbia in 1999 and their reburial in mass graves, including on the grounds of a police training center. Some of the people allegedly involved in this crime were named in 2011 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its judgment against Serbian police chief Vlastimir Đorđević but, to date, no one has been indicted.

Another case involves the apparent execution in custody of three U.S. citizens – the brothers Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi – who were arrested in Serbia in June 1999, transferred to a police training center, and killed in July 1999. Despite assurances in June 2015 to US State Department officials by then Serbian Prime Minister Vucic that there would be progress in the case, no one has been brought to justice for this crime.

In June 2017, ICTY President Carmel Agius asked the UN Security Council to ensure that three members of the Serbian Radical Party, indicted for contempt of court, are extradited to the Tribunal. So far Serbian authorities have not obliged. During its previous UPR, Serbia accepted the recommendation to continue its cooperation with the ICTY and to ensure that other perpetrators are prosecuted in domestic courts in accordance with international standards.

Recommendations

  • Ensure greater efficiency in war crimes investigations and prosecutions, particularly against higher ranking military and police officials who may bear command responsibility;
  • Ensure an effective investigation into the 1999 transfer of bodies of hundreds of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo to Serbia; investigations should include the persons named in the 2011 ICTY decision against Vlastimir Đorđević;
  • Ensure an effective investigation into the apparent extrajudicial executions of the three Bytyqi brothers, including responsible commanders;
  • Ensure that the three indicted persons in the contempt case of Jojić et al. are extradited to the ICTY.

 

3.Restrictions on Media Freedom

Human Rights Watch research in Serbia shows that journalists and other media workers operate in a hostile environment where threats, smear campaigns and political interference with their work is commonplace. Media freedom is a critical precondition for the development of a democratic society, as well as a condition of closer ties to the European Union.

The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) registered 69 incidents against journalists in 2016, and 40 in the first six months of 2017. The incidents in 2017 included 3 physical assaults, 12 verbal threats and 25 incidents involving pressure.

The work of a national commission established to investigate the murders of three prominent journalists, Slavko Curuvija in 1999, Dada Vujasinovic in 1994, and Milan Pantic in 2001, has made limited progress. The widow of Slavko Curuvija has criticized the slow progress of the trial against four state security officials suspected of alleged involvement in her husband’s murder. The deaths of the remaining two journalists remained unsolved. In 2012, Serbia rejected a recommendation to establish an “International Commission for Investigation of Murders of Journalists”.

Government officials and pro-government media have repeatedly criticized independent news organizations. The former Prime Minister Vucic, now President, was quoted in 2015 criticizing the Balkans Investigative Reporting Network as liars funded by the EU to speak against the Serbian government.

In research carried out in 2015 and updated in 2016, Human Rights Watch found that journalists in Serbia face physical attacks and threats, including death threats, as a result of reporting on sensitive issues including war crimes and government corruption. The state response to attacks and threats against journalists appears to be weak, despite accepting recommendations during their previous UPR to create a climate in which journalists are able to report on sensitive issues without fear or harassment and reprisal.

Recommendations

  • Publicly and unequivocally condemn all attacks against journalists and media outlets carried out in retaliation for their work and ensure swift and thorough investigations into all such incidents;
  • Conduct prompt, effective, impartial, and thorough investigations into all attacks and threats against journalists and media outlets, including cybercrimes, and bring prosecutions as appropriate.

 

4.Treatment of Minorities

During the second cycle UPR, Serbia accepted all recommendations received relating to the treatment of minorities, including one recommendation to “Enforce legal safeguards to ensure fair and equal access to housing, education, employment and government services for Romani individuals and protection against arbitrary, forcible evictions and displacement from their homes or temporary residences”. Yet, Roma often live in informal squalid settlements lacking basic services such as schools, health care, water and proper sewage. Roma in such informal settlements are also vulnerable to forced evictions without offers for adequate alternative accommodation. Segregated education remains a problem, with Romani children often attending mainstream schools in separate classes and are overrepresented in schools for children with special needs.

Recommendations

  • Ensure procedural safeguards and adequate alternative accommodation in cases of forced evictions of Roma;
  • Ensure that everyone in Serbia, regardless of ethnicity, age, or employment status can access public services, including healthcare and education;
  • End segregation of Romani children in mainstream schools and ensure that all children are provided quality education in an inclusive setting.

 

5.Disability Rights

Human Rights Watch documented in its 2016 report ‘It Is My Dream To Leave This Place’: Children with Disabilities in Serbian Institutions that hundreds of children with disabilities in Serbia live in state institutions where they are likely to experience neglect and isolation, have no privacy and have little or no access to education. They also may be given inappropriate medication, and may not be allowed to make their own decisions even when they become adults. The majority of these children have at least one living parent, but given the dearth of community-based services, parents often do not have the support they need to care for their child with a disability. Instead, parents may be advised by health professionals to give up on their child with a disability.

Human Rights Watch research found that some young women with disabilities who live in institutions experienced invasive medical interventions without their free and informed consent, but rather based on the consent of their guardian. The interventions included the insertion of intrauterine devices (for birth control), administration of pap smear tests (Papanicolaou test, a screening procedure for cervical cancer) and termination of pregnancy. According to institution staff interviewed by Human Rights Watch, anaesthesia was used in every case so that the women would not resist the interventions. 

Despite accepting all recommendations on the topic of disability rights during both previous UPR cycles, in April 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities expressed deep concerns about the number of children and adults with disabilities living in institutions and about the poor living conditions in institutions in Serbia. The committee urged Serbia to deinstitutionalize people with disabilities and to ensure access to inclusive and quality education. The committee also called on Serbia to replace its guardianship system and ensure all people with disabilities have access to services and support in the community of their own choice and preference.

In February 2017, the UN Committee on the Rights of Child adopted concluding observations on Serbia and urged the government to “urgently reduce placement of children under the age of 3 in residential care institutions, including those with disabilities, and expedite the placement in family-based care.” The Committee further raised concerns about segregation, neglect, limited privacy, exclusion from education and play, forced and inappropriate medical treatment that children with disabilities experience in orphanages in Serbia. The Committee urged Serbia to end such practices and to make sure children with disabilities are safe and have the right to live with their families or in other family-like environments.  

Human Rights Watch is concerned that the Serbian government continues to invest in institutionalization despite ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009. This despite the fact that Serbia accepted a recommendation in 2012 to “Consolidate the constitutional and legislative framework to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities”.  In March 2014 and in April 2016, Serbia opened two newly built institutions for children and young people with disabilities. It cost the Serbian government 66 million Serbian dinars (or 600,000 EUROS) to build one of the two facilities. 

As of June 2017, the Serbian government has not yet adopted a de-institutionalization plan or followed up with other previously expressed commitments to transition people from institutions into community-based living arrangements.  According to UNICEF and local activists, Serbia has yet to take steps to end neglect of children living in institutions and hold those responsible for treatment of children to account. In a phone conversation with the Serbian Ministry of Education in March 2017, a representative of the Ministry told Human Rights Watch that no concrete steps have been taken to ensure children with disabilities who live in institutions have access to education.

Recommendations

  • Protect children and young people with disabilities in institutions from harm and abuse;
  • Provide necessary support and services to move children and adults with disabilities from institutions to communities, in line with Article 19 of the CRPD;
  • Ensure all children and young people with disabilities enjoy their right to an inclusive, quality education, on an equal basis with others, in line with Article 24 of the CRPD;
  • Protect the right to legal capacity and supported decision-making for persons with disabilities, in conformity with Article 12 of the CRPD.
  • Ensure persons with disabilities enjoy their right to health, including the right to free and informed consent to medical treatment, is respected.

 

 


          Classic Bosnia & Herzegovina Flag Charm   
Classic Bosnia & Herzegovina Flag Charm

Classic Bosnia & Herzegovina Flag Charm


          Fiorentina, è fatta per Basanta. Al Monterrey 3,5 mln di dollari   

Colpo della Fiorentina, il duo Pradè-Macia ha messo a segno l’acquisto di Josè Maria Basanta, difensore del Monterrey reduce dall’esperienza al Mondiale brasiliano con l’albiceleste  di Sabella. Ai messicani del Monterrey andranno circa 3,5 mln di dollari. Un acquisto accolto con soddisfazione dal tecnico viola Vincenzo Montella che aveva già espresso il proprio gradimento circa l’acquisto del difensore, in particolar modo per […]

Calcio Napoli Fiorentina, è fatta per Basanta. Al Monterrey 3,5 mln di dollari su Spazio Napoli Spazio Napoli


          Rid Your Heart of These False Motives for Reading Your Bible   

Why do we read the Bible?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you ever wondered why reading the Bible is so important for Christians?

There is one really good reason why we should read our Bibles.

It has been stated that the Bible is the most-sold book in all of history.

It has been called a history book.

A love letter from God.

While these statements may be true, in a sense, they are not the reason why we should make it a daily discipline to read the Bible.

If we approach the Bible as a best-seller, we insult the power of its words.

If we approach the Bible as a mere history book, we degrade the importance of its inspiration.

If we approach the Bible as a love letter, we fail to understand the purpose of why it was given to us to read.

The one really good reason to read your Bible is to get to know God.

This is the single greatest difference between Christianity and every other religion.

The god of every other religion is unapproachable, unpredictable, and incapable of clearly defining his wishes. This unpredictable nature creates a great fear in the hearts of his followers. They can never know if they have pleased him or called his wrath down on their heads.

But Almighty God, chose to make Himself known to mankind, even as we are known by Him.

That thought is mind-blowing. How are you known by God?

You are known so intimately that no human could ever know another human being as intimately as God knows you. Before He created the world, He had already mapped out every detail of you in a book. He knows the number of hairs on your head right now. He knows every motive behind everything you say, do, or think.

He, in fact, knows you better than you know yourself, because we're so prone to allow our own rationalizations to deceive us.

God wants us to know Him this intimately.

And so, He gave us the Bible.

The Bible has also been called an instruction manual for life, but even that isn't the purpose of the Bible. God didn't give us the Bible to tell us how to live our lives; He gave us the Bible so we could get to know Him.

The more we get to know God intimately, the more we will want to glorify Him through our lives.

The more we seek to glorify God through our lives, the more we will want to keep His commandments and do those things He instructed us to do.

Keeping His commands, however, must always flow out of relationship with God.

And that's what the Bible comes down to:

Relationship

Getting to know God intimately so that our lives look more like Him, so that His light can shine brightly through our lives, so that our lives reflect His love and grace to the world.

So, how well do you know God? {eoa}

 

Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


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          Comment on The Places I’m Dreaming About Right Now by Becky   
Great list, all these places sound amazing! I have been to that bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina when I was like 13 and I don't have any pictures of it nor do I remember exactly how it was like, I just know that I was there but I would like to visit Mostar again sometime in the future!
          [UPDATE] AS Roma | Daftar Pemain | Transfer | Musim 2017/18   



A.S. ROMA | SQUAD LIST


GOALKEEPER
#18 | Bogdan LOBONT | Jan 18, 1978 | Romania
#19 | ALISSON Becker | Oct 2, 1992 | Brazil
- | Lukasz SKORUPSKI | May 5, 1991 | Poland


DEFENDER
#2 | Antonio RUDIGER | Mar 3, 1993 | Germany
#26 | Rick KARSDORP | Feb 11, 1995 | Netherlands
#33 | EMERSON Palmieri dos Santos | Aug 3, 1994 | Brazil
#44 | Konstantinos MANOLAS | Jun 14, 1991 | Greece
#99 | Abdullahi NURA | Aug 17, 1997 | Nigeria
- | JUAN Jesus | Jun 10, 1991 | Brazil
- | Federico FAZIO | Mar 17, 1987 | Argentina
- | Mário RUI | May 27, 1991 | Portugal
- | Héctor MORENO | Jan 17, 1988 | Mexico
- | Leandro CASTAN | Nov 5, 1986 | Brazil
- | Ervin ZUKANOVIC | Feb 11, 1987 | Bosnia-Herzegovina
- | Norbert GYOMBER | Jul 3, 1992 | Slovakia
- | Arturo CALABRESI | Mar 17, 1996 | Italy
- | Elio CAPRADOSSI | Mar 11, 1996 | Italy
- | Tiago CASASOLA | Aug 11, 1995 | Argentina
- | Bruno PERES | Mar 1, 1990 | Brazil
- | Moustapha SECK | Feb 23, 1996 | Senegal


MIDFIELDER
#4 | Radja NAINGGOLAN | May 4, 1988 | Belgium
#5 | Leandro PAREDES | Jun 29, 1994 | Argentina
#6 | Kevin STROOTMAN | Feb 13, 1990 | Netherlands
#7 | Lorenzo PELLEGRINI | Jun 19, 1996 | Italy
#16 | Daniele DE ROSSI | Jul 24, 1983 | Italy
#24 | Alessandro FLORENZI | Mar 11, 1991 | Italy
#30 | GERSON | May 20, 1997 | Brazil
- | William VAINQUEUR | Nov 19, 1988 | France
- | Matteo RICCI | May 27, 1994 | Italy
- | Ismail H'MAIDAT | Jun 16, 1995 | Morocco


STRIKER
#8 | Diego PEROTTI | Jul 26, 1988 | Argentina
#9 | Edin DZEKO | Mar 17, 1986 | Bosnia-Herzegovina
#92 | Stephan EL SHAARAWY | Oct 27, 1992 | Italy
- | Juan ITURBE | Jun 4, 1993 | Paraguay
- | Daniele VERDE | Jun 20, 1996 | Italy
- | Ezequiel PONCE | Mar 29, 1997 | Argentina
- | UMAR Sadiq | Feb 2, 1997 | Nigeria
- | Kevin MENDEZ | Jan 10, 1996 | Uruguay


MANAGER/COACH
Eusebio DI FRANCESCO | Sep 8, 1969 | Italy


A.S. ROMA | TRANSFERS

TRANSFER MUSIM PANAS 2017/18 (JULI-AGUSTUS 2017)

PLAYERS IN / ARRIVALS

- Rick Karsdorp | Feyenoord Rotterdam | €14,00M
- Bruno Peres | Torino FC | €12,50M
- Lorenzo Pellegrini | US Sassuolo | €10,0M
- Juan Jesus | Inter Milan | €8,00M
- Mário Rui | FC Empoli | €6,00M
- Héctor Moreno | PSV Eindhoven | €5,70M
- Maxime Gonalons | Olympique Lyon | €5,00M
- Federico Fazio | Tottenham Hotspur | €3,20M
- Elio Capradossi | FC Bari 1908 | End of loan
- Arturo Calabresi | Brescia Calcio | End of loan
- Massimo Sammartino | US Pistoiese 1921 | End of loan
- Tomas Svedkauskas | US Catanzaro | End of loan
- Seydou Doumbia | FC Basel 1893 | End of loan
- Federico Ricci | US Sassuolo | End of loan
- Jacopo Ferri | ACR Messina | End of loan
- Giammario Piscitella | AC Prato | End of loan
- Ervin Zukanovic | Atalanta BC | End of loan
- Ismail H'Maidat | SC Olhanense | End of loan
- Ezequiel Ponce | Granada CF | End of loan
- Franck Cedric | US Catanzaro | End of loan
- Petar Golubović | AC Pisa 1909 | End of loan
- Marco Frediani | US Ancona | End of loan
- Lorenzo Di Livio | Ternana Calcio | End of loan
- Paolo Frascatore | FC Lausanne-Sport | End of loan
- Umar Sadiq | Bologna FC 1909 | End of loan
- Leandro Castán | UC Sampdoria | End of loan
- Juan Iturbe | Torino FC | End of loan
- Ionut Pop | Fidelis Andria | End of loan
- Pepín | FC Lugano | End of loan
- Simone Battaglia | AS Melfi | End of loan
- Christian D'Urso | Carpi FC 1909 | End of loan
- Lukasz Skorupski | FC Empoli | End of loan
- Norbert Gyömber | Terek Grozny | End of loan
- Kevin Méndez | FC Lausanne-Sport | End of loan
- Matteo Ricci | AC Perugia Calcio | End of loan
- William Vainqueur | Olympique Marseille | End of loan
- Daniele Verde | US Avellino 1912 | End of loan
- Lorenzo Vasco | Fidelis Andria | End of loan
- Andrea Paolelli | A.D.C. Viterbese Castrense | End of loan
- Moustapha Seck | Carpi FC 1909 | End of loan
- Tiago Casasola | Trapani Calcio | End of loan
- Nemanja Radonjic | FK Cukaricki | End of loan
- Nicola Falasco | AC Cesena | End of loan
- Mattia Rosato | Lupa Roma FC | End of loan


PLAYERS OUT / DEPARTURES

- Mohamed Salah | Liverpool FC | €42,00M
- Federico Ricci | US Sassuolo | €4,50M
- Seydou Doumbia | Sporting CP | Loan
- Pepín | Brescia Calcio | Loan
- Nicola Falasco | US Avellino 1912 | Loan
- Marco Frediani | Parma Calcio 1913 | Free
- Franck Cedric | Free agent
- Tomas Svedkauskas | Free agent
- Federico Fazio | Tottenham Hotspur | End of loan
- Bruno Peres | Torino FC | End of loan
- Juan Jesus | Inter Milan | End of loan
- Thomas Vermaelen | FC Barcelona | End of loan
- Mário Rui | FC Empoli | End of loan
- Wojciech Szczesny | Arsenal FC | End of loan
- Clément Grenier | Olympique Lyon | End of loan
- Francesco Totti | Retire (?)

Diperbaharui: 1 Juli 2017


          Eliminatorias Eurobásquet 2009: Bosnia Herzegovina 77 – Israel 71.   
Partido flojo de la selección hebrea que dirige Tzvika Scherf, que no pudo frente al caldeado ambiente del gimnasio de Tulsa con 3.000 personas que abarrotaron las tribunas y que festejaron ruidosamente el triunfo local. El cotejo se disputó en el marco de la 2da. fecha de la serie D de las eliminatorias del Eurobásquet […]
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          Eurovision Round Up: Semi-Final 1   

It's finally time. The greatest event on the world calendar is finally with us. Granted, it was with Europe a couple of days ago, but it takes a long time for the ship with copies of the tapes to reach Australia. Tonight on SBS is Semi-Final 1. And I am here with the annual round up of this Semi-Final. Ten of the songs in tonight's show will go to the Final on Sunday night (AEST).

Montenegro
Thanks to the bondage women for their support in the Black Mountain's song tonight. Stefan did a pretty good job. Pity about the hair though. Obviously girl's hair is the thing in Montenegro. As are red handprints. Bit of a rock-type song, which has been quite popular of late. Not sure if Europe would really enjoy it though - the lead guitar did go off though. That was pleasing to hear. What wasn't pleasing to see was his face. Poor man.
Six points

Israel
Israel usually has good looking men. Well that's what I've certainly seen in porn anyway. And look, I'm not complaining about Boaz's big arms. And he's only 20. Bless his soul. The voice could do with some work though. He just didn't quite sound that right. Not too funny really... as opposed to him singing in English. It's always entertaining to hear Europeans sing in English. There's something about hearing them make an r sound that tickles my funny bone.
Six points

Estonia
Crazy Radio has been trying to get into Eurovision for a while. Obviously they were judged on their looks. But their choreography is probably the best I've ever seen in Eurovision history. Nothing can beat old men bopping to music. And these men could even be mistaken for The Wiggles. It's great. It's also wonderful to see a song about veggies and scantly-clad women waving flags. I wonder if anything else of theirs is flapping...
Sept points

Moldova
Pink eyeshadow used to be in fashion, I'm sure. Whether Geta has checked the latest catwalks or not I can't say, but man she painted it on. Big mistake. Big mistake to also be standing on a couch. Everyone always heard their mothers scream "Get the fuck off the couch! Couches are sitting on, not jumping on!" yet Geta obviously missed that part of her upbringing. But I suppose the couch does match the fact that this is lounge music, and hey, not too bad either. It just feels as though it is missing something. Oh no, there it was - the singing in English.
Quatre points

San Marino
Welcome to SM and Miodio. There is a reason why you were left in Italy on your own for so long. Couldn't they find a better-looking lead singer? Already it seems that black and white are the colours/shades for the evening, though this song did leave me in a bit of a blue mood. The old ghost-like figure was a nice touch. Diverted the eyes away from the singer for a touch. Pity he didn't seem all that strong with the vocals - he'll need a bit of practice if he gets through.
Quatre points

Belgium
Thank christ for a made-up language. And thank christ for a boiled lolly dress! You can always trust Belgium to bring us the crazy ESC entries. Nothing says fucking fantastic more than the use of the clarinet in a song. I'm enjoying this one immensely. And obviously the crowd is too. Joyous! And those tiny bowler hats are simply wonderful. A nice touch. Ooh Julissi...
Douze points

Azerbaijan
Huh? What? Angels? A male? That's a male? Now I'm confused. Not even 6 year old boys can get that high. Well, there's certainly a bulge there, so we can rule that option out. Bit of a crazy song, angels against the darkness. Impressive though and possibly quite a popular one. Has that Arabic feel but not completely overdone like some Soviet countries have done in the past. I quite liked it and the pyrotechnics helped the cause.
Huit points

Slovenia
I'm always a fan of bondage. I'm already hooked. And finally - true Eurovision! Costume changes, music one can dance to, wind machine ... it's all there as it should be. And hot men in black... on roller skates. Being lead on leashes. What more can you ask for? This could be a big disco hit. Enjoyable. One of the best so far!
Douze points

Norway
A stage of blondes, a perfect pop song and more windy hair - Eurovision continues. I don't think Maria would ever be lonely, neither would any of her back up singers. And of course that's based on her singing ability, which is quite good. I enjoyed this one. Pure pop and well crafted. I would've liked to have seen more cleavage. That might have helped win more votes.
Dix points

Poland
Isis Gee is quite a women. It's hard to work out if she's really really blonde, or really really tanned. Or is that dress really really blue? It is really really tight though. A beautiful ballad presented by Poland tonight, a typical ballad for the Contest and one that is sure to be a favourite of many. And the best thing about Miss Bright-Hair-Bright-Teeth-Dark-Skin is that she is quite a powerful singer. I could imagine Dicko, Marcia and Kyle's comments already...
Huit points

Ireland
A puppet. Great. The only reason why I'm currently bopping is because of the music... and the fact that there are hot men dressed for the Mardi Gras. Extra points for that. It's quite an interesting song, and one that would probably do quite well if there was a human as the artist and not as the hand-up-the-arse. Extra points for the costumes - for the first time in history, orange, green and white have been used quite well in costumes. But it's good for the Irish to know they've got no hope of winning this year.
Deux points

Andorra
Oh Casanova save me! Welcome back to Eurovision after the minor hiccup that was a turkey. And welcome to Andorra who have one of the favourites for this year's Contest. It is a fun one too. Nothing says fun more than someone wearing a hat which makes them look like a bee. The crazy dominatrix dress doesn't help the cause either. But she's enjoying it. And honestly, so am I.
Douze points

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ahhh a wedding. It's been a while. However, I would be distressed to find my brother hiding with my knickers. By looking at the two singers, I'm worried about their mental health. Maybe they were locked in a cellar for 20 years. As for the song, it's quite a catchy one. It has got quite a lot of parts all woven together and the spoken parts really set it off. Quite a fun song and one I will be listening to again.
Dix points

Armenia
Hello good looking boys in black. I just need to cut the hair off. And then there's the actual singer, with rotating hips of steel. I wonder if there are men jumping at the chance to hold her tight? Back to the boys though - they need to visit Australia. Armenian dancer boys, if you're reading this, my bed's available. Qele, qele! I'd dance to this often. Woohoo!
Huit points

The Netherlands
My bed's obviously not going to be big enough for the Armenian boys and now the Dutch boys. I suppose I could squeeze them in. I can say that I'm enjoying Hind's contribution to Eurovision this year. Very sultry woman. Very dark and brooding. I like it. Beautiful pop music too, which makes the whole thing so much better. Extra points for the hot boys and their overalls.
Dix points

Finland
Ever since Lordi, rock has been prominent. And it seems Finland think they need to capture Lordi again to win. Hey, I'm not complaining about seeing half naked rock men going like crazy on stage... but I'm not sure it's going to work again this year. It's not a bad song by any means and certainly not as heavy as Lordi's effort - it's something I'd listen to regularly. I wonder what their other stuff is like. But for Eurovision? I dunno.
Six points

Romania
Hello Nico and Vlad! Ahhh it's nice to hear a calming ballad, beautifully sung, contrasted with a slightly more upbeat section. I'm not sure about her green things. Why they're hanging off her dress, I really don't know. Other than that, this song is quite a nice one. I like this one. And his eyes too.
Huit points

Russia
So, the weightlifter's massive in Serbia. Yes. We can see that -it's sticking out right in front of me. Now the song... A perfect boy song. I have a feeling that Dima would've sung far better in Russian than in English but still, he did a pretty good job. I am confused about the skater though. How he fits in is probably something that needs reading up on. Extra extra points for the opening of the shirt. No wonder the world loves Russian men...
Dix points

Greece
A HUGE favourite from Greece this year, and of course she doesn't disappoint. Secret Combination is Eurovision at its best - pop, synth beats, colourful dresses and (relatively) good looking male back up dancers. The huge-assed heart really tops the whole thing off. A crowd favourite and sure-fire hit. This one could do quite well in the Oz charts if it was to be released. Well done Greece. They obviously know how to party.
Douze points

And now it's all done. Semi 1 complete. Before Europe has their say I need to have mine!

Hello Belgrade. Hello Europe. My selection for the final, in no particular order, is:
1. Belgium
2. Slovenia
3. Andorra
4. Norway
5. Bosnia and Herzegovina
6. The Netherlands
7. Russia
8. Greece
9. Armenia
10. Poland

And the real results... Israel, Azerbaijan, Norway, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Finland, Romania, Russia and Greece.

Seven out of ten. Not bad. But disappointed that all my faves didn't get through. The rest better be bloody good tomorrow! Typical Eurovision.

Until then...


          Human Rights Watch Country Profiles: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity   

The following are excerpts from the Human Rights Watch 2017 World Report  that relate to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The report, released in January 2017, documented events of 2016. In some cases, we have added updates from the first half of 2017.

The countries are all listed below in alphabetical order. This compilation is not comprehensive. If a country is not listed, that means there was no mention of LGBTI/SOGI issues for that country in the 2017 World Report. For example, many of the smaller Caribbean countries and some African countries are omitted due to research limitations, but most have anti-LGBT laws on the books and pervasive homophobia and transphobia. On the other hand, several countries that are not included here made progress in the 2016-2017 period: Belize, Nauru and the Seychelles all decriminalized consensual same-sex conduct, for example. Human Rights Watch has only recently begun investigating the rights of intersex people, so there are few references to intersex rights.

This is a living document which will be updated regularly to reflect new events and further Human Rights Watch research.

Last updated: June 23, 2017

***

Argentina

In 2010, Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. The Civil Marriage Law allows same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages and affords them the legal protections of marriage enjoyed by opposite sex couples, including adoption rights and pension benefits. Since 2010, nearly 15,000 same-sex couples have married nationwide. In 2012, the landmark Gender Identity Law established the right of individuals over the age of 18 to choose their gender identity, undergo gender reassignment, and revise official documents without any prior judicial or medical approval.

Armenia

Activists reported that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBGTI) people face discrimination, harassment, and violence. The government has not addressed hate speech or discrimination against LGBTI people. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not included as protected grounds in anti-discrimination or hate speech laws, limiting legal recourse for many crimes against LGBTI people. Following the October 2015 Rainbow forum, organized by Armenian LGBTI-friendly groups to discuss protection and promotion of minority rights, anonymous people targeted some participants with intimidation and threats, mostly on social media, including to burn and kill them. Authorities refused to launch a criminal investigation into the threats, citing lack of evidence. In June 2016, the LGBT rights group, PINK Armenia, published a survey revealing that 90 percent of the population is hostile to LGBTI people and support limits on their rights. In July 2016, PINK Armenia released a report documenting 46 cases of violence and discrimination against LGBTI people in 2015. The government has not taken meaningful steps to combat stereotypes and discrimination against LGBTI people.

Australia

Australia does not recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Australian government announced a plebiscite on the right of same-sex couples to marry, but political opponents blocked it, arguing a plebiscite is expensive and wasteful and that the issue should be determined by a parliamentary free vote.

Australia continued its policy of intercepting asylum seekers and forcibly transferring them to Nauru and, until 2016, to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Asylum seekers or refugees perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) face harassment and abuse despite the recent decriminalization of same-sex conduct in Nauru. In Papua New Guinea, such conduct remains criminalized.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh witnessed a spate of violent attacks against secular bloggers, academics, gay rights activists, foreigners, and members of religious minorities in 2016. Prominent gay activists Xulhaz Mannan, the founder of Roopbaan, Bangladesh’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) magazine, and Mahbub Rabby Tonoy, the general secretary of the group, were  murdered in April. Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) claimed responsibility for the killings. Fearing for their lives, many LGBT activists sought temporary refuge outside the country.

“Carnal intercourse against the order of nature” carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. In May 2017, police raided a private gathering of gay and bisexual men, and allegedly paraded them in front of media, exposing them to their families and the public. Authorities said they declined to press charges under the colonial-era sodomy law because they did not catch the men in the act of sexual intercourse. The government has twice rejected recommendations to repeal the colonial-era law during its Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council. The Bangladesh cabinet in 2014 declared legal recognition of a third gender category for hijras—a traditional cultural identity for transgender people who, assigned male at birth, do not identify as men—but the absence of a definition of the term or procedure for gaining recognition of third gender status led to abuses in implementation of the legal change. In June and July 2015, a group of hijras were subjected to harassment and invasive and abusive physical examinations at a government hospital as a requirement to join a government employment program. The Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission in 2017 agreed with LGBT civil society groups to establish a desk at the commission for reporting SOGI-related issues.

Belarus

Parliament adopted a vaguely worded bill in May 2016 on “protecting children from information harmful for their health and development.” These provisions may be used to restrict dissemination of neutral or positive information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as “discrediting the institution of the family.”

Bolivia

In May 2016, the Plurinational Assembly passed a bill that allows people to revise the gender noted on their identification documents without prior judicial approval. Same-sex couples in Bolivia are not allowed to marry or engage in civil unions. The 2009 constitution defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo Open Centre, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights organization, documented 23 cases of hate speech and incitement of violence and hate and two crimes and incidents motivated by prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the first three months of 2016. The reaction of authorities to these incidents is generally inadequate. There was no progress in police investigations into the 2014 attack on a film festival that Sarajevo Open Centre organized.

In its annual progress on Bosnia and Herzegovina published in November, the European Commission highlighted the failure of authorities to amend the constitution, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and to implement rulings by the Constitutional Court. The report also identified inadequate legal protection for LGBTI persons and the failure of authorities to protect adequately the rights of minorities and to ensure media freedom.

Brazil

Brazil’s Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage in 2011 and it upheld the right of same-sex couples to adopt children in 2015. But the Chamber of Deputies was, at time of writing, debating a bill that would define a family as a union between a man and a woman. The national Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office received 1,983 complaints of violence, discrimination, and other abuses experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in 2015. In the first half of 2016 the ombudsman received 879 such complaints.

Burma

Burma’s national penal code criminalizes consensual same-sex behavior between adult men. In recent years police have arrested gay men and transgender women assembling in public places, and politicians have called for the “education” of gay people.

Cameroon

Cameroon’s penal code punishes “sexual relations between persons of the same sex” with up to five years in prison. The law is regularly enforced, and in previous years, the Cameroonian authorities have subjected men arrested under this law to forced anal examinations. Although the number of arrests appeared to decrease for several years, activists reported a new uptick in arrests and prosecutions in 2016.

Chile

A “civil union” bill presented by former President Sebastián Piñera in 2011 that provides legal recognition and protection for same-sex couples became law in April 2015 and went into effect in October 2015. In September 2016, the Senate Human Rights Commission approved a bill to recognize the gender identity of transgender people, with a Senate vote expected in December.

China

China has no law protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and there is no legal recognition of same-sex partnership. Possibly because their activism is not considered threatening to the state, LGBT individuals enjoyed some success advancing legal cases in 2016. In January, a Hunan court heard a case filed by Sun Wenlin against the local Bureau of Civil Affairs, which had refused to marry Sun and his male partner. Though the court ruled against Sun in April, his case—the first gay marriage lawsuit accepted by Chinese courts—attracted wide media attention. In June, a Henan court accepted a case filed by Yu Hu against a mental health hospital that had subjected him to 19 days of involuntary “therapy” to “cure” his homosexuality. Also in June, a Guangdong university student, Qiu Bai, sued the provincial education department over textbooks that depict homosexuality as an illness. Qiu filed a similar suit in 2015, though she withdrew it later because the department had promised to look into the matter. She decided to sue again after the authorities’ pledge failed to materialize. In June, China voted against a UN resolution creating an expert post dedicated to addressing violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Colombia

In September 2016, the Council of the State—one of Colombia’s high courts—annulled the 2012 re-election of Alejandro Ordoñez as the country’s inspector general and dismissed him from office. Under Colombian law, the inspector general is charged with protecting human rights, but during his seven years in office, Ordoñez repeatedly sought to undermine the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

In recent years, authorities in Colombia have taken several steps to recognize the rights of LGBT people. In June 2015, the Justice Ministry issued a decree allowing people to revise the gender noted on their identification documents without prior judicial approval. In November 2015, the Constitutional Court ruled that sexual orientation could not be used to prohibit someone from adopting a child, although a legislative proposal to hold a referendum on this issue remained pending at time of writing. In April 2016, the Constitutional Court upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry. In October 2016, FARC leaders met with conservative politicians and agreed to promote a definition of the family as formed by a man and a woman. The FARC backtracked after meeting with LGBT representatives days later. Conservative politicians and evangelist leaders had attacked the peace agreement claiming that it would “destroy families.” Between January and June 2016, the Ombudsman’s Office received 89 reports of cases of violence against LGBTI people.

Cote d’Ivoire

No law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status. Côte d’Ivoire does not criminalize same-sex conduct, but the criminal code establishes higher penalties for same-sex couples convicted of public acts of indecency. Two men were in November convicted of public indecency and sentenced to three-month prison terms after being accused of same-sex sexual acts. Two gay men were assaulted in June 2016 after a photo was published of them signing a book of condolences to the victims of a shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida, US.

Croatia

In February, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Croatia discriminated on grounds of sexual orientation against a woman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, by denying her the right to a residence permit in Croatia to join her female partner.

Ecuador

In 2016, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled against Ecuador in a case determining that it is discriminatory to punish officers who allegedly have homosexual sex on military installations.

Egypt

Sexual relations outside marriage are criminalized. Since 2013, authorities have pursued a campaign to intimidate, track, and arrest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, including entrapment using social media applications. Police regularly used forced anal examinations in prosecutions of those suspected of homosexual sex. Solidarity With Egypt LGBTQ+, an advocacy group, said it had recorded 114 criminal investigations involving 274 LGBT individuals launched between the end of 2013 and November 2016, 66 of which involved the authorities’ use of social media.

Estonia

The government failed to adopt amendments that would allow the Co-Habitation Act to fully enter into force in 2016. The act is progressive legislation that extends the rights of marriage to unmarried—including same-sex—couples, encompassing, among other things, child adoption and property rights.

Gambia

The government continued to resist calls to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, including an October 2014 law that introduced a series of new “aggravated homosexuality” offenses that impose sentences of up to life in prison. The criminalization of same-sex conduct leaves lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Gambians at risk of arbitrary arrest and detention, although fewer arrests and physical abuse of LGBT Gambians were reported in 2016.

Georgia

In August, President Giorgi Margvelashvili blocked a referendum bid on defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman, saying that the issue is already covered in the civil code. Kvirikashvili vowed to pursue a constitutional definition of marriage after the October elections, arguing that this would help counter alleged Western efforts to spread same-sex marriage “propaganda” in Georgia. Local rights groups feared this effort would further marginalize the LGBT community and intensify anti-LGBT prejudice. Authorities declined a request by LGBT activists to hold an event to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare, stating it was already booked for a procession by Orthodox groups to mark Family Day, an annual event established by the Orthodox Church in 2014. Activists refused to celebrate IDAHO in the alternative venue offered. The Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG), a local LGBTI rights group, said it documented almost 20 cases of attacks against transgender people in 2016. In October, a transgender woman was beaten and stabbed in what rights groups suspected was a hate crime. Police arrested a suspect on attempted murder charges, and the public defender urged authorities to examine a possible hate motive.

Honduras

Rampant crime and impunity for human rights abuses remain the norm in Honduras. Despite a downward trend in recent years, the murder rate is among the highest in the world. Journalists, peasant activists, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals are among those most vulnerable to violence.

In June 2016, several United Nations agencies working in Honduras urged the government to investigate killings of LGBTI activists and noted that sexual violence against LGBTI individuals forces them into “internal displacement” or to flee the country in search of international protection.

Hungary

In August 2016, a lower court sentenced a right-wing extremist to 10 years’ imprisonment for violent attacks between 2007 and 2009, including throwing Molotov cocktails at the homes of socialist MPs and an attack on a gay bar in Budapest.

In July, the ECtHR ruled that Hungary had arbitrarily detained an Iranian gay man and failed to take into account his vulnerability in detention arising from his sexual orientation.

India

In February 2016, the Supreme Court of India allowed a challenge to section 377 of the penal code to proceed, referring the case to a five-judge bench. The colonial-era provision, which the court had upheld in 2013, criminalizes same-sex relations between adults. In June, several well-known LGBT professionals filed a petition in Supreme Court arguing that section 377 violates the right to life and personal liberty, but the Supreme Court deferred the petition to the Chief Justice. In August, the government introduced a new bill in parliament on the rights of transgender persons. The bill was flawed, however, by provisions that were inconsistent with the 2014 Supreme Court ruling that recognized transgender individuals as a third gender and found them eligible for quotas in jobs and education.

India’s voting record on rights issues at the UN was disappointing. In July, the government abstained on a resolution that created a UN expert post to address discrimination against LGBT persons and voted in favor of amendments to weaken the mandate, saying India’s Supreme Court was still to decide on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.

Indonesia

Starting in January 2016, high-ranking Indonesian officials made a series of vitriolic anti-LGBT statements and policy pronouncements, fueling increased threats and at times violent attacks on LGBT activists and individuals. In some cases, the threats and violence occurred in the presence, and with the tacit support, of government officials or security forces. State institutions, including the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Child Protection Commission, issued censorship directives banning information and broadcasts that portrayed the lives of LGBT people as “normal” as well as so-called propaganda about LGBT lives. Ministries proposed discriminatory and regressive anti-LGBT laws. An ongoing case in the Constitutional Court is considering a petition that proposed amending the criminal code to criminalize sex outside of marriage and same-sex sexual relations. During the initial hearings, the petitioners—led by a group called the Family Love Alliance—put forward ill-informed and bigoted testimony similar to the anti-LGBT rhetoric espoused by Indonesian officials and politicians earlier that year. The government, the respondent in the case, said criminalizing sex out of wedlock would make “the sinner a criminal, and the government authoritarian,” a view echoed in testimony by the National Commission on Violence Against Women and other groups opposed to the petition. At time of writing the court had not yet ruled on the petition. While president Joko Widodo, or “Jokowi” in October 2016 declared that police must protect LGBT people and not discriminate against them, he failed to uphold that principle in action. In 2017, police raided at least two private gatherings of gay and bisexual men on the pretense of the discriminatory anti-pornography law, which construes gay sex as “deviant” and prescribes increased punishments for it, and Sharia police publicly flogged two gay men for private, consensual sex in Aceh province.

Iran

Under Iranian law, many nonviolent crimes, such as “insulting the Prophet,” apostasy, same-sex relations, adultery, and drug-related offenses, are punishable by death.

In March, the United Nations Children’s Rights Committee noted that flogging was still a lawful punishment for boys and girls convicted of certain crimes. The committee noted reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) children had been subjected to electric shocks to “cure” them.

Iraq

ISIS’s Diwan al-Hisba (Moral Policing Administration) and online media apparatuses have publicly announced 27 executions of allegedly gay men, at least nine of them in Iraq. The main method ISIS used to execute these men has been to throw them off the roofs of high-rise buildings.

Iraq’s penal code does not prohibit same-sex intimacy, although article 394 makes it illegal to engage in extra-marital sexual relations. Due to the fact that the law does not expressly allow same-sex marriage, it effectively prohibits all same-sex relations. In July 2016 Moqtada al-Sadr, the prominent Shia opposition cleric, stated that although same-sex relationships are not acceptable, individuals who do not conform to gender norms suffer from “psychological problems,” and should not be attacked.

Israel/Palestine

There are different legal systems in occupied Palestinian Territory. The British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of 1936 is in force in Gaza. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Jordanian Penal Code of 1960 applies, and does not contain provisions prohibiting adult consensual same-sex conduct. In Gaza, having “unnatural intercourse” of a sexual nature, understood to include same-sex relationships, is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In February 2016, Hamas’s armed wing executed one of its fighters ostensibly for “behavioral and moral violations,” which Hamas officials acknowledged meant same-sex relations.

Italy

As of May 2016, same-sex couples may have their relationships legally recognized as civil unions, though they do not have the right to adopt.

Japan

A bipartisan parliamentary group established in March 2015 continued to discuss legislation to address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but at time of writing it had yet to come up with an agreed draft bill. Japanese law treats those requesting legal recognition as transgender as having a “Gender Identity Disorder” and requires obtaining such medical diagnosis. It also requires forced sterilization, compulsory single status, not having any underage children, and being 20 years or older. While same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Japan, Tokyo’s Shibuya ward in April 2015 became the first municipality to pass a regulation recognizing same-sex partnerships, with more municipalities recognizing such partnerships in 2016 and 2017. Bullying is a problem in Japanese schools generally, and particularly so against LGBT students. In April 2016, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for the first time released a guidebook for teachers regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. And in 2017, MEXT announced amendments to the national bullying prevention policy to include specific mention of LGBT students for the first time.

Jamaica

Jamaica is moving toward a revision of its rape law, which currently defines rape as the penetration of the vagina with the penis without consent. A proposal has been floated for a new law that is gender neutral. The absence of a gender-neutral rape law has been put forth in the past by politicians as justification for retaining Jamaica’s colonial-era “buggery” law, which criminalizes both consensual and non-consensual sex between men. The possible promulgation of a gender-neutral law on rape or sexual assault may therefore be a first step toward decriminalization of consensual same-sex conduct.

Kazakhstan

Surveys of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people reveal that many hide their sexual orientation or gender identity—including to healthcare providers—out of fear of reprisals or discrimination. When LGBT people report abuse, they often face indifference and hostility from authorities. Transgender people must undergo humiliating and invasive procedures—including coerced sterilization—to change gender on official documents. Without identity documents, transgender people struggle to access employment, healthcare, and education. The UN Human Rights Committee called on the government to end discrimination and violence against LGBT people and review gender-reassignment surgery procedures.

Kenya

Kenya’s penal code prohibits “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” generally understood as consensual sex between men, and “indecent practices between males.” Civil society organizations and activists filed two landmark constitutional petitions against these sections in April and June 2016, arguing that the laws violate constitutional rights, including the rights to equality and nondiscrimination, human dignity, freedom and security of the person, privacy, and health. Kenya continued the prosecution of two men on charges of “carnal knowledge” after police arbitrarily arrested them in Kwale County in February 2015. The case remained open but was suspended pending the ruling of a constitutional petition filed by the two men, asserting that state officials had violated their rights by subjecting them to a forced anal examination. The High Court rejected the petition on the grounds that the men consented to the examination, ignoring that the men were in police custody and not able to provide free and informed consent. The men have appealed the ruling. The government appealed a 2015 High Court decision ordering the Non-Governmental Organizations Board to register the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), a civil society group. Parties were awaiting a hearing date at time of writing. The Kenya Film Classification Board overstepped its jurisdiction in asking YouTube to remove a locally produced video addressing same-sex relationships, prohibiting an alleged lesbian speed-dating event, and attempting to ban a podcast with alleged lesbian content.

In May 2017, the Attorney General established a “Taskforce on Policy, Legal, Institutional and Administrative Reforms Regarding Intersex Persons in Kenya.” Its mandate includes to “recommend comprehensive reforms to safeguard the interests of intersex persons.” The secretariat of the task force is based at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The task force will be open to receiving submissions on best practices from around the world, and there is a strong possibility that it will result in the establishment of policies that protect the rights of intersex people. While it will not directly address SOGI related rights, the task force may produce a rights-based framework around intersex people with aspects that will be transferrable to the advancement of LGBT rights.

Kyrgyzstan

LGBT people in Kyrgyzstan experience ill-treatment, extortion, and discrimination by both state and non-state actors. There is widespread impunity for these abuses. On May 24, 2016, the law, order and fighting crime parliamentary committee returned Kyrgyzstan’s anti-LGBT bill, which would ban “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” for a repeat second reading, where it then stalled. The bill appears aimed at silencing anyone seeking to openly share information about same-sex relations in Kyrgyzstan. Following a live debate on LGBT rights on national television, Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee on National Security on June 14 summoned the editor-in-chief of Kloop.kg, an online media portal, for questioning about its coverage of the show. The television’s supervisory board also formally reprimanded its general director for airing the content. Also in June, Kyrgyzstan voted against a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council establishing the mandate of an independent expert to address violence and discrimination against LGBT people.

Latvia

According to Latvian LGBT activists, the authorities used a 2015 law on “constitutional morality education” to censor discussion about LGBT people in at least two schools in 2016.

Lebanon

Sexual relations outside of marriage—adultery and fornication—are criminalized under Lebanon’s penal code. Furthermore, article 534 of the penal code punishes “any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature” with up to one year in prison. In recent years, authorities conducted raids to arrest persons allegedly involved in same-sex conduct, some of whom were subjected to torture including forced anal examinations. In February 2016, a Syrian refugee, arrested by Lebanese Military Intelligence officers apparently on suspicion he was gay, was allegedly tortured while detained at Military Intelligence, Ministry of Defense, Military Police, and Jounieh police centers. In January 2017, a judge in Metn challenged the legal basis of the arrest of men for same-sex conduct, declaring that homosexuality is “not a criminal offence,” although under Lebanon’s legal system, the ruling does not create a binding precedent.

Malaysia

Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is pervasive in Malaysia. Article 377A of the penal code criminalizes same-sex activity between men with punishments of up to 20 years in prison and whipping. Numerous Sharia-based laws and regulations prohibiting a “man posing as a woman,” sexual relations between women, and sexual relations between men effectively criminalize LGBT people.

Both government and private actors attempted to limit expression in support of LGBT rights. In February 2017, JAKIM (the Ministry for Islamic Development) endorsed so-called “conversion therapy,” claiming that gays should seek guidance from God, “repent,” and enter into heterosexual marriages. In March, the Film Censorship Board demanded that Disney edit out four minutes of the children’s film “Beauty and the Beast” because of a “gay moment.” Disney refused to make any cuts to the film, and the board eventually backed down and allowed the unedited film to be screened in Malaysia. In May, Taylor’s University in Subang Jaya canceled a three-day Pride celebration organized by Pelangi, an LGBT rights organization. In June, the Ministry of Health, in response to strident criticism from activists and the general public, reframed the terms of a youth video competition on sexual and reproductive health, removing language and criteria that stigmatized LGBT identities in favor of language that appears to affirm them.

In February 2017 Sameera, a transgender woman, was murdered in Kuantan. In June, an 18-year-old in Penang, T. Nhaveen, died after a group of teenagers allegedly beat and raped him while taunting him with insults such as “pondan,” a derogatory Malay term for an effeminate male, a gay male, or a transgender woman.

Mexico

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Mexico City since 2010. Since then, nine states have legalized it; in 2015, the Supreme Court opened the door to recognition in all states by ruling that the definition of marriage as a union only between a man and a woman constitutes discrimination and thus violates Mexico’s Constitution. In May 2016, President Peña Nieto introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, to remove sexual orientation and gender identity as barriers to adoption, and to recognize gender identity through the reissuance of birth notices, without a doctor’s involvement. Two committees in the Chamber of Deputies voted against the initiative in November.

Morocco/Western Sahara

Moroccan courts continued to jail persons for same-sex conduct under article 489 of the penal code, which prohibits “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” A Beni Mellal court convicted two men of homosexuality after a group of youths on March 9 burst into the home of one and pushed the two men naked into the street, filming the assault and later posting the clip online. The two men were freed after spending one month in prison; in April, a court imposed prison terms on two of their attackers. On October 27, police in Marrakesh arrested two girls aged 16 and 17 who were reported for cuddling in a private home. They were jailed for one week and charged under article 489, then provisionally released. In December, they were acquitted.

Authorities require but often refuse to issue permits for foreign broadcast media to film in Morocco. On April 3, police detained and then expelled a crew of the French news program “Le Petit Journal” as it tried to film in a neighborhood of Beni Mellal where the abovementioned gay-bashing assault had taken place.

Nepal

In line with a 2007 Supreme Court decision and a subsequent court order, the government in 2015 began issuing passports in three genders: “male,” “female,” and “other.” Some with “other” passports have successfully traveled abroad with their travel documents recognized by foreign governments. The new constitution recognizes that citizenship is available in three genders, and protects “gender and sexual minorities” in clauses related to equality before the law and social justice. Activists remain frustrated with the lack of implementation of a Supreme Court-mandated committee recommendation that the government recognize same-sex relationships.

Netherlands

At the start of 2016, NGOs reported threats and discrimination against LGBT asylum seekers at asylum facilities, and a Dutch independent monitoring body, the Dutch Board for Protection of Human Rights, found in February that LGBT asylum seekers at a large facility face discrimination.

Nigeria

The passage of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, SSMPA in January 2014, has far reaching effects on members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The law is used to legitimize abuses against LGBT people, including mob violence, sexual abuse, unlawful arrests, torture and extortion by police. On February 13, the police arrested a homosexual couple in the federal capital for allegedly attempting to conduct a wedding. The wedding sponsors and the hotel venue owner were also arrested. The penalty for entering into a gay marriage under the SSMPA is 14 years. Ironically, former President Jonathan who defied global pressure before signing the bill into law, said belatedly in June 2016 that “with the clear knowledge that the issue of sexual orientation is still evolving, the nation may, at the appropriate time, revisit the law.”

In November 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights urged the Nigerian government to review the SSMPA in order to prohibit violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and ensure access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for LGBT individuals.

Pakistan

In 2009, Pakistan’s Supreme Court called for improved police response to cases involving transgender people, and to ensure the rights of transgender people to basic education, employment, and protection. However, despite the court order, violent attacks on transgender and intersex women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province surged in 2016, with unknown assailants frequently targeting those involved in activism. Official responses have been inadequate. Human rights groups in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have recorded dozens of threats to, and attacks on, people and property, including abuses while in police custody. In September 2016, the National Commission for Human Rights called on the government to investigate the attacks, and in 2016 and 2017 local governments and parliament hearings reflected an increased amount of attention to the plight of transgender women—including a unanimous resolution in the Khyber Pakhdunkhwa assembly calling for voting rights for transgender people.

Papua New Guinea

The PNG criminal code outlaws sex “against the order of nature,” which has been interpreted to apply to consensual same-sex acts, and is punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment. Gay asylum seekers on Manus Island have reported being shunned, sexually abused, or assaulted by other asylum seekers.

In May, during the periodic review of PNG’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council, countries made more than 150 recommendations on sues including ratification of international treaties, establishing a national human rights commission, promoting gender equality, addressing domestic violence and sorcery-related violence, decriminalizing consensual same-sex relations, and abolishing or placing a moratorium on the death penalty. In September, PNG responded that it would ratify all core human rights treaties “on the basis of priorities” and that, while there are challenges to implementing reforms, it is committed to establishing a human rights commission, improving gender equality, and addressing domestic violence and sorcery-related violence. It also noted, however, that “LGBT is currently not a priority of the Government” and that the “death penalty is in our national law, however despite this, the current government directive is not to implement until further directions are issued.”

Peru

In March 2015, Congress rejected a bill to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples. In September 2016, a Congressional supporter of President Kuczynski announced that he would introduce a new legislative proposal to recognize same-sex civil unions.

People in Peru are required to appear before a judge in order to revise the gender noted on their identification documents. In an August 2016 report, the human rights ombudsman noted that courts had rejected most of these requests, often applying inconsistent criteria.

Philippines

The House of Representatives began consideration of House Bill 267, the “Anti SOGI (Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity) Discrimination Act” in June 2016. If approved, it will criminalize discrimination in the employment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and prohibit schools from refusing to register or expelling students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Senate has introduced companion legislation, Senate Bill No. 935, otherwise known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), which had its first hearing in August. House Bill 267 will also sensitize police and law enforcement officers on LGBT issues and train them to attend to complaints. These initiatives are essential given that LGBT rights advocacy groups have warned that hate crimes against LGBT people are on the rise and that the Philippines has recorded the highest number of murders of transgender individuals in Southeast Asia since 2008. The bill would also prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in access to health care.

Russia

Authorities continued to implement discriminatory policies and laws against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. In March, police found journalist and theater critic Dmitry Tsilikin dead in his St. Petersburg apartment from stab wounds. The perpetrator, arrested a week later, confessed that he planned to blackmail Tsilikin about his homosexuality, but killed him during a confrontation. The police did not categorize the killing as a hate crime. In January, a court in Murmansk, northwestern Russia, found LGBT activist Sergei Alekseenko guilty of violating the discriminatory “gay propaganda” law which prohibits allowing children access to positive information about LGBT relationships. The court called several publications on the website of an LGBT organization formerly run by Alekseenko “gay propaganda” and fined him 100,000 rubles (US$1,300). Authorities continued legal action against Deti-404, an online support group for LGBT children. In April, a court in the Siberian town of Barnaul ruled to ban the website. As of November, Deti 404’s website remained blocked. In September, a court in Siberia ruled to block BlueSystem.ru, a highly popular LGBT news site. As of November, the site was blocked.

In February 2017 and stretching through at least the first week in April, law enforcement and security officials in Russia’s Chechen Republic launched an unprecedented anti-gay purge. They rounded up dozens of men on suspicion of being gay, held them in unofficial detention facilities for days, humiliated, starved, and tortured them. They forcibly disappeared some of the men. Others were returned to their families barely alive from beatings. Their captors exposed them to their families as gay and encouraged their relatives to carry out so-called “honor killings.” Although Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov has denied the round-ups, there is evidence that high-level officials in Chechnya sanctioned them. Russia’s federal government pledged to investigate, but intense and well-founded fear of official retaliation and honor killings, and overwhelming stigma will prevent many victims from coming forward.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has no written laws concerning sexual orientation or gender identity, but judges use principles of uncodified Islamic law to sanction people suspected of committing sexual relations outside marriage, including adultery, extramarital and homosexual sex, or other “immoral” acts. If such activity occurs online, judges and prosecutors utilize vague provisions of the country’s anti-cybercrime law that criminalize online activity impinging on “public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy.” In February 2016, the Saudi Gazette reported that the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution is considering requesting the death penalty for anyone “using social media to solicit homosexual acts.”

In February 2017, Saudi police arrested 35 Pakistani citizens, some of whom were transgender women. One of them died in detention. Her family said her body bore signs of torture, while the Saudi authorities said she had died of a heart attack.

Serbia (Kosovo)

Attacks and harassment of human rights defenders continued. According to local LGBT and human rights organizations, the majority of attacks and threats against members of the LGBT community go unreported with only known LGBT activists filing complaints. In June, in Vojvodina in Northeast Serbia, an LGBT activist was attacked and kicked in the head by four unidentified perpetrators. No one had been prosecuted at time of writing. In August, LGBT activist Boban Stojanovic, one of the Belgrade Pride organizers, was punched and called a “fag” in downtown Belgrade by two unidentified men. Police were investigating at time of writing. Hundreds of police officers deployed in Belgrade to protect the LGBT Pride march in September, which occurred without violence. This was a marked improvement from previous years when protesters attacked the parade, or the government had cancelled the event citing security concerns instead of providing adequate security.

The Kosovo Constitution protects against sexual orientation-based discrimination and a 2015 anti-discrimination law enumerates protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity; however, implementation remains weak.

Singapore

The rights of Singapore’s LGBT community are severely restricted. Sexual relations between two male persons remains a criminal offense, and there are no legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Media Development Authority effectively prohibits all positive depictions of LGBT lives on television or radio. The annual Pink Dot Festival in support of LGBT rights celebrated its eighth year in Hong Lim Park in June 2016, supported by the sponsorship of corporations including Google, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, BP, Bloomberg, Twitter, Apple, and Facebook. A few days after the event, the Ministry of Home Affairs warned multinational companies to stop funding the event, saying such support constitutes “foreign interference” with domestic affairs. In October, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that, under newly promulgated rules, any entity that is not incorporated in Singapore and does not have a majority of Singapore citizens on its board is now required to apply for a permit to sponsor an event in Hong Lim Park.

Associations of more than 10 people are required to register with the government, and the Registrar of Societies has broad authority to deny registration if he determines the group could be “prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order.” The Registrar of Societies has refused to allow any lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT) organization to register as a society on the ground that “it is contrary to the public interest to grant legitimacy to the promotion of homosexual activities or viewpoints.”

All films and videos shown in Singapore must be pre-approved by the Board of Film Censors. Theater productions must also obtain a license under the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act, and to do so must submit their scripts for approval. In June 2016, a production of “Les Miserables” was forced to delete a scene containing a same-sex kiss.

South Africa

South Africa has a progressive constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and protects the human rights of LGBTI people. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has taken significant steps to improve coordination between government and civil society in combatting violence (including rape and murder) against lesbians and transgender men. On September 6, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that due to widespread homophobic attitudes within South African society, and to protect the rights of LGBTI people, homophobic US pastor Steven Anderson and members of his church were banned from entering the country because they promote hate speech and advocate social violence. He said constitutional and legislative guarantees, including the rights of LGBTI persons, must be respected by all. Domestic LGBTI groups lauded the decision. In June 2017, at the 8th South African AIDS Conference, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) launched the national HIV framework for LGBTI people. South Africa is the first country in the world to launch an HIV framework specifically for LGBT people as part of its national strategic plan. The objective is to “reverse the burden of disease from HIV, STIs and TB and to promote a rights and evidence-based environment for LGBTI people in South Africa.”

Some of South Africa’s votes at the United Nations were contrary to the country’s stated human rights principles. For example, in July, South Africa voted against a UN Human Rights Council resolution on the protection of human rights on the internet and abstained on a key HRC vote to appoint an independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity. The abstention went against the country’s strong constitutional protections and domestic laws around sexual orientation and gender identity. But on November 21, in the UN General Assembly committee, South Africa voted to allow Vitit Muntabhorn, the newly appointed UN expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, to continue his work. The vote was taken after the African Group put forward a resolution to stop the operations of the UN expert who was appointed in September by the Human Rights Council.

Sri Lanka

State and non-state discrimination and abuses against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) population persist. Sections 365 and 365A of the Sri Lankan Penal Code prohibit “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and “gross indecency,” commonly understood in Sri Lanka to criminalize all same-sex relations between consenting adults. Sri Lankan law does not specifically criminalize transgender or intersex people. But no laws ensure that their rights are protected, and police have used several criminal offenses and regulations to target LGBTI people, particularly transgender women and men who have sex with men (MSM) involved in sex work. These include a law against “cheat[ing] by personation,” and the vaguely worded Vagrants’ Ordinance, which prohibits soliciting or committing acts of “gross indecency,” or being “incorrigible rogues” procuring “illicit or unnatural intercourse.” Some trans women and MSM said that repeated harassment by police, including instances of arbitrary detention and mistreatment, had eroded their trust in Sri Lankan authorities, and made it unlikely that they would report a crime. Several people also reported discriminatory treatment at the hands of medical authorities, leading many transgender people to self-medicate rather than seeking professional assistance.

Syria

News reports in 2016 indicate that ISIS continues to execute men accused of homosexuality. In one reported case from Deir al-Zour governorate, a 15-year-old boy was thrown from a building in January 2016 after he was accused of being gay. At least 25 men have been murdered by ISIS in Syria on suspicion of homosexuality or for sodomy, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Tanzania

Tanzanian law criminalizes consensual sexual conduct between adult males, with a penalty of 30 years to life in prison, one of the most severe punishments for same-sex intimacy in the world. Zanzibar has slightly different laws but criminalizes both male homosexual conduct and lesbianism. The laws are rarely applied, but police and other authorities use them as a pretext to extort, abuse and marginalize LGBTI people. 

Under the government of John Magufuli, Tanzania has seen an unprecedented crackdown on LGBT people. The government has shut down HIV outreach services and drop-in centers targeting men who have sex with men (MSM); banned the import of water-based lubricants, an important HIV prevention tool; and threatened to shut down LGBT organizations. Police in Zanzibar arrested nine young men, charged them with homosexual conduct, and subjected them to forced anal examinations at a government hospital in December 2016. They were released on bail, but the cases remain open. Another young man was arrested in Dar es Salaam in March 2017, and was also subjected to a forced anal exam. In June 2017, President Magufuli publicly condemned same-sex relationships.

Tunisia

The penal code punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. Anal testing is used as the main evidence in order to convict men for homosexuality. In two high-profile cases in 2015, at least seven young men were arrested and subjected to anal examinations by forensic doctors, whose reports were used as evidence to convict them of sodomy and imprison them, even though it is well-documented that such exams lack medical value. On appeal, their sentences were reduced to two months in the first case, and one month in the second.

Tunisia has thus far been unwilling to consider decriminalization of consensual same-sex conduct but, in its 2017 UPR review, accepted a recommendation to end forced anal examinations. This positive development followed months of advocacy from Tunisian and international human rights groups. The United Nations Committee against Torture, in its 2016 evaluation of Tunisia, condemned the use of anal examinations as to prove homosexual conduct. Shortly before the UPR review, the national medical council issued a circular calling on medical personnel to stop conducting anal examinations without consent.

Turkey

Authorities frequently impose arbitrary bans on public assemblies and violently disperse peaceful demonstrations. For the second year running, the Istanbul governor’s office banned the annual Istanbul Gay and Trans Pride marches in June 2016, citing concerns about security threats and public order.

Turkmenistan

Under Turkmen law homosexual conduct is punishable by up to two years in prison. Widespread prejudice leads to homosexuality being treated as a disease, including by medical institutions and judicial authorities. Law enforcement officials and medical personnel subject persons detained and charged with sodomy to forced anal examinations, with the purported objective of finding “proof” of homosexual conduct.

Uganda

After nine years, the Constitutional Court finally ruled in November on a challenge to a limitation on the mandate of the Equal Opportunities Commission, which barred it from investigating any matter involving behavior “considered to be immoral and socially harmful, or unacceptable by the majority of the cultural and social communities in Uganda.” The judges determined the limitation was unconstitutional and violated the right to a fair hearing. Perversely, this provision had meant that the very mechanism designed to protect people from discrimination could blatantly discriminate against women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, sex workers, and anyone else who might not have been perceived to reflect the views of the majority.

Same-sex conduct remains criminalized under Uganda’s colonial-era law, which prohibits “carnal knowledge” among people of the same sex. The new NGO law raises concerns about the criminalization of legitimate advocacy on the rights of LGBTI people. In August, police unlawfully raided a peaceful pageant that was part of Gay Pride celebrations in Kampala. Police locked the venue’s gates, arrested activists, and beat and humiliated hundreds of people, violating rights to association and assembly. Police continue to carry out forced anal examinations on men and transgender women accused of consensual same-sex conduct. These examinations lack evidentiary value and are a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that may amount to torture.

Ukraine

Since 2014, the government has introduced several progressive policies supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, but anti-LGBT sentiment remains strong among high-level government officials and the public. In March 2016, about 200 anti-gay, far-right supporters attacked a venue in Lviv hosting a LGBT equality festival, eventually causing the event to be cancelled. The Kyiv LGBT Pride march held in June took place without the violence against participants that had marred it in previous years. Ultra-nationalist groups had threatened to make the march a “bloody mess.” Around 6,000 police officers protected the 1,500 march participants. The first LGBT Pride march took place in Odesa in August. Local authorities initially attempted to ban it, but relented when organizers changed the route. Police arrested four ultra-nationalists who attempted to disrupt the event. A new draft of the amended labor code does not include an anti-discrimination provision that would protect LGBT people in the workplace.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE’s penal code does not explicitly prohibit homosexuality. However, article 356 of the penal code criminalizes (but does not define) “indecency,” and provid

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          Croats say Bosnia's public broadcaster should be overhauled based on Swiss or Belgian model    

Major Croat political parties that make up the Croat National Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HNS BiH) will insist on the reorganisation of the existing state public broadcaster as they believe that the current system of public broadcasting is contrary to the Constitution and discriminatory against the Croats.


          Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian   

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.


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          Agenda - Workshop for the procurement review body on decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union   

Agenda for the workshop for the procurement review body on decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union. 3-5 July 2017, Sarajevo, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
          Bosnian Serb Group's Move To Honor Russian Diplomat Stirs Srebrenica Controversy   
A proposed memorial to a former leading Russian diplomat who controversially vetoed a UN resolution marking the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica is angering many in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where ethnic tensions simmer just below the surface.
          Zvizidic: Bosnia-Croatia governmental meeting likely in late April or early May   

A joint meeting of the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia will be held in late April or early May, the chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdic said in Sarajevo on Tuesday.


          Mogherini calls on Bosnia to continue reforms   

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, has called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue implementing reforms so it can draw closer to EU membership, pledging full support from Brussels on that path.


          Bosnian PM says unpleasantly surprised by Petrov's denial, Petrov responds   

Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said on Wednesday that he was "unpleasantly surprised" by Croatian Parliament Speaker Bozo Petrov's denying that at his talks with Bosnia and Herzegovina's top officials on Tuesday, he explicitly opposed the establishment of new entities in that country, Zvizdic's office said.


          Bosnian PM says call for federalisation would prompt new ethnic divisions   

A European Parliament resolution insisting on the federalisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is unacceptable because it would prompt new ethnic divisions in the country, Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said in Sarajevo on Friday after meeting with the European Parliament's rapporteur on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dan Preda.


          Media: Bosnia, Serbia mending regional relations by restoring cooperation   

The meeting and official talks between Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, held in Belgrade on Tuesday, are the first positive event in relations between the two countries after a long period of tension and stagnation, media in Bosnia and Herzegovina said on Wednesday, an assessment shared by State Presidency Chairman Mladen Ivanic.


          Vucic, Zvizdic say Serbia, Bosnia committed to dialogue   

Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are committed to dialogue and cooperation, and they can enhance their relations and improve economic and political cooperation, which will be conducive to peace and stability in the region, Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and his visiting counterpart from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denis Zvizdic, said at a joint news conference in Belgrade on Monday.


          Bosnian PM to meet his Serbian counterpart in Belgrade next week   

Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Zvizdic is to travel to Belgrade next week for talks with Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, government sources in Sarajevo confirmed on Monday.


          Bosnian PM says expects sincere cooperation from Croatia, not fault-finding    

Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic has described as inappropriate the statements by Croatian officials about Bosnia and Herzegovina posing a security threat due to potential terrorists returning from Syria and Iraq, calling on neighbouring countries to refrain from fault-finding and cooperate sincerely.


          Sharif: Pakistan wants to enhance relations with Bosnia   

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who arrived in Sarajevo on Wednesday for a two-day official visit, said that Pakistan would work on strengthening bilateral relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and that economic cooperation should be intensified along with the continuation of good political relations.


          Plenkovic's visit to confirm Croatia-Bosnia partnership, says Zvizdic   

 Croatia is a friend and important partner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the visit which will be paid by the new Croatian premier to Sarajevo is expected to confirm the good bilateral relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said on Wednesday.


          Bosnian PM: Sejdic-Finci ruling to be implemented before awarding of EU candidate status   

Bosnian Council of Ministers Chairman Denis Zvizdic welcomed on Tuesday a decision by the Council of the European Union to task the European Commission with preparing an opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU membership application, saying the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Sejdic-Finci case would be implemented by the time Bosnia was given candidate status.


          Hahn: Serb entity referendum can only be of consultative nature    

The referendum set to be held in the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska can only be of a consultative nature and the problem arising from it can only be solved with respect for court decisions, notably the decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said in Brussels on Monday.


          Bosnian Serb authorities angry at IMF, claim to be subjected to pressure    

The IMF's representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Francisco Parodi, confirmed earlier in the day that the IMF Executive Board had postponed its decision on approving a EUR 550 million loan to Bosnia and Herzegovina because not all representatives of the country's authorities had signed a letter of intent required for the credit arrangement.


          Bosnia has no alternative to European integration, says PM   

Bosnian Council of Ministers Chairman Denis Zvizdic said in Sarajevo on Friday that Great Britain's decision to leave the European Union must not affect Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) efforts to join the EU as soon as possible ...


          Bosnia adopts coordination mechanism for EU matters   

Bosnia and Herzegovina has adopted a coordination mechanism for European Union (EU) matters, satisfying one of the two key preconditions for approval of candidate status for membership to the EU, Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said on Wednesday.


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          Euro 2016: Best places to watch the football in Dublin   

dublin pubs euro 2016So, Martin O’Neill’s men have done it. The Republic of Ireland WILL compete in next summer’s European Championship in France after they beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in the play-offs. Jon Walters was the star of the second leg as his two goals proved crucial for the Republic and many Irish fans will now be booking their tickets. However, […]

The post Euro 2016: Best places to watch the football in Dublin appeared first on Oxygen.ie.


          Croatia wasn't aggressor in Bosnia, says retired general   

Croatia only protected its national interests during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and its goal was neither military aggression nor annexation of its territory, retired general Pavao Miljavac said on Thursday.


          Arte sobre las instituciones del arte en el MNAV   
_Témpano. El problema de lo institucional. Cruces entre Europa del Este y el Río de la Plata_ se titula la muestra del Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Montevideo (Macmo) que se encuentra en el Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales (MNAV) hasta el 30 de julio. La exposición reúne un conjunto de obras que pueden englobarse bajo el género de “crítica institucional”, es decir, arte que se dedica a criticar las instituciones del arte; a disputar la política interna del mundo de la creación, circulación y venta del arte. “Como se sabe, sólo un porcentaje mínimo de la masa de un témpano es visible sobre la superficie del agua: la mayor parte está sumergida”. _Témpano_ se ocupa de las instituciones artísticas buscando, mediante diversas estrategias y métodos, “revelar lo que se oculta, nombrar lo que se silencia, demostrar lo contingente, histórico e interesado de aquello que se da por sentado, inmutable y sin ideología”, dice el desplegable de la exposición. El témpano es, entonces, una metáfora de las instituciones, pero también de las prácticas artísticas, las relaciones y condiciones de producción en ese terreno. Acompañando el carácter autorreflexivo que signa los campos y disciplinas en la posmodernidad, la crítica institucional pone de manifiesto que el mundo del arte está en disputa, y que en esa batalla se juegan no sólo aspectos simbólicos, sino también económicos, políticos, ideológicos, nacionales e internacionales. El tema es una de las obsesiones del Macmo –que se define como un “espacio de ensayos provisorios de modelos, estrategias y formas de pensar en torno al arte contemporáneo”– y de sus impulsoras, Agustina Rodríguez y Eugenia González, conocidas por ser creadoras de la obra _Variables_, que, saboteando el proceso de selección de jurados para el Premio Nacional de Artes Visuales –González se hizo elegir como jurado por artistas/obras inexistentes– sacudió la empantuflada escena del arte uruguayo en 2010. Por ese entonces, ambas ya ponían en tensión los procesos por los que debe pasar un artista para ser incluido en el mundo del arte, así como los abusos e intereses institucionales que la mayoría de las veces quedan debajo del agua. Desde su inauguración en 2014, el Macmo ha explorado diferentes modos de poner en cuestión las lógicas de producción artística y reproducción cultural, como en el caso del laboratorio _[El museo es una escuela](http://ladiaria.com.uy/UO8 "")_ o del intento –poco exitoso, dado el silencio absoluto que se cernió sobre su convocatoria– de emular en Uruguay el proyecto de ArtLeaks, consistente en crear un [banco de denuncias de abusos institucionales en el mundo del arte](http://ladiaria.com.uy/UO9 ""). “El iceberg flota y viaja y se estanca, se derrite y se despedaza, choca contra otros témpanos, con los continentes e islas y con diversos objetos flotantes. Su tamaño cambia, y también su peligrosidad para las embarcaciones, que desarrollan técnicas para no correr la misma suerte del _Titanic_. Así, las prácticas artísticas que abordan las instituciones en sí mismas y su institucionalidad, y por tanto, sus relaciones con la creación artística, con la industria cultural, el mercado, el poder político, la economía, la ideología, las transformaciones sociales y las historias del arte, se desarrollan en determinado tiempo y lugar; son efectivas o inútiles; rasguñan, dañan o hunden las instituciones; son destruidas o evitadas por ellas; pierden eficacia, se paralizan, son sustituidas por otras; siguen determinados patrones, modelos y tipologías. Las instituciones se adaptan a ellas, las fagocitan y las utilizan para actualizarse y transformarse”. Así como hay política sobre la política, filosofía sobre la filosofía, ciencia sobre la ciencia, hay arte sobre el arte. Las obras exhibidas en _Témpano_ tienen en cuenta dos mapas: el temático, ya mencionado, y el geográfico, ya que la propuesta busca replicar en el Río de la Plata la investigación _Inside Out - Not So White Cube_ (Del revés - Cubo no tan blanco) de Alenka Gregori , curadora eslovena, y Suzana Milevska, teórica del arte macedonia. Se encuentran así artistas de Europa Central y del Este –donde vive Francisco Tomsich, uno de los curadores de la muestra e integrante del Macmo– con otros rioplatenses, mostrando que, aunque hay especificidades locales, también hay problemas globales que reúnen las preocupaciones de creadores en diversos países de la ex Yugoslavia –Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croacia, Eslovenia, Macedonia, Serbia– y otros ex integrantes del “bloque socialista” –Bulgaria, Rumania– pero también en Austria, Argentina y Uruguay. Los artistas y grupos que integran la muestra son ArtLeaks, Azra Akšamija, Aldo Baroffio y Soledad Bettoni, Carlos Capelán, Graciela Carnevale, Andreas Fogarasi, Liljana Gjuzelova y Sašo Stanojkovik, Hungry Artists Foundation, Jusuf Hadžifejzovi , Lea Lublin, Dalibor Martinis, Paula Massarutti, Ivan Moudov, Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Tadej Poga ar, Mariana Telleria, Pablo Uribe y Leonello Zambon. Aunque hay algunos contemporáneos, especialmente los rioplatenses, la mayoría de las obras fueron creadas en los años 70, y esto habla no sólo del carácter histórico de esta vertiente estético-política, sino también del singular contexto en el que surgió (en plena Guerra Fría y cuando en ambos bandos se intensificaban los conflictos internos). Quizá la necesidad de criticar al arte se agudiza en los lugares y momentos en los que también se siente la urgencia de criticar y denunciar sus contextos. Y quizá empezar hablando del mundo propio sea una vía para hablar del mundo. La crítica institucional mezcla un arte de ideas y una desesperación del arte por tocar la vida, o por mostrar el modo en que la vida y sus agentes perforan todo el tiempo al arte. No busca la belleza estética o la innovación técnica, sino denunciar situaciones relacionadas con la automatización en que han entrado las formas de producción y exhibición del arte, sus economías especulativas y sus modos capitalistas de moverse, la sumisión y los egos en juego, y las políticas culturales y curatoriales que pasan lejos de la consideración de las obras. En la muestra –curada por el equipo del Macmo con la colaboración de Laura Outeda, May Puchet, Mauricio Rodríguez y Cecilia Sánchez– pueden verse obras en las que los creadores han decidido colgar sus cuadros mirando a la pared, encerrar al público en la sala de exposición, o criticar –habiendo sido elegidos– los criterios de selección de una muestra, o a la institución que las acoge; muestras que esconden dinero entre las obras que luego venden para recuperarlo, y obras cuya observación el propio artista, vestido de guardia, se dedica a obstaculizar; arte que visita las miserias del arte, o que hace visibles a los trabajadores detrás de las exposiciones; obras que parasitan otras obras, cubren de negro un museo, cuentan historias o archivan diálogos como si fueran obras; bibliografías mostradas como obras. ¿Puede el arte criticar al arte desde dentro? Mientras _Témpano_ lo intenta desde el corazón de la institucionalidad artística uruguaya –nada menos que el MNAV– recuerdo la provocación del teórico de la danza Ramsay Burt, quien señala: “Los ataques vanguardistas al arte son ataques a la única institución sobre la cual los artistas tienen alguna influencia”. Puede ser que eso tenga algo de cierto y que estas tentativas sean comidas por el circuito de consumo, poder y mercantilización que domina el arte y sus actuales procesos de inclusión/exclusión. El riesgo existe, y también la apuesta a despertar en los visitantes –y por qué no, en los directores– de museos ciertas inquietudes respecto de la pretensión de neutralidad ideológica o política del arte contemporáneo. Quizá. Al igual que el capitalismo, el mundo del arte devora todo lo que pretende atacarlo. Lo cierto es que después de toda ingesta viene el momento de la digestión, y es entonces que muestras como esta pueden patearle el hígado.
          ¿Por qué Diosas?   
Salvo excepciones, las mujeres del este de Europa (generalmente de raza eslava, mezcla entre europeo y asiático) son bellísimas, altas, esbeltas, piernas de escándalo, excelentes amantes... perfectas para adorar.
Este blog irá dedicado a ellas, a las mejores mujeres del mundo, las del este de Europa
Son Diosas porque son mujeres muy femeninas y de una belleza extraordinaria además de cultas y grandes amantes, son mujeres dulces, comprometidas, luchadoras, amantes del teatro y la literatura... Hoy en día, tras la caída del regimen soviético, tenemos la suerte de verlas pasear por nuestras calles, tenemos la posibilidad de conocer a alguna y de que se convierta en nuestra esposa/compañera. Tratándola y mimándola como se merecen (están acostumbradas a la frialdad y rudeza del hombre eslavo) seremos los hombres más felices del mundo.
En este blog iré recogiendo las fotografias de las mujeres del este de Europa más famosas y bellas del panorama internacional.

EJEMPLOS DE BELLEZA ESLAVA
(haz click en las imágenes para verlas a tamaño completo)



Países que son parte de la llamada Europa del este


República Checa, Eslovaquia, Eslovenia, Croacia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Moldavia, Hungria, Ucrania, Bielorusia, Polonia, Lituania, Letonia, Estonia, y la Federación Rusa


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          BetClic & Expekt Exit Bosnian and Slovakian Markets   
6/30/2017 10:01:46 AM -

Online sportsbooks BetClic and Expekt have informed Sportsbook Review that they have pulled out of the Bosnian and Slovakian markets.

Players located in these markets are advised to log-in to their sports betting accounts and request the withdrawal of their balances. Players with feedback on the payout process can write to mail@sportsbookreview.com.

The notice from BetClic stated the following:

"As you may be aware, the current regulatory regimes in Bosnia Herzegovina and Slovakia and their continuing challenges have led us to take the decision to cease all services being currently offered there,"

The online sportsbooks maintain a rating of B- in the sportsbook rating guide.


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          Elma Frasto uploaded a new picture: IMG_20170627_220510…   

Elma Frasto uploaded a new picture: IMG_20170627_220510… Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this photo was captured on Alifakovac.

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          For sale - minichamps 1.43 F1 panasonic toyota racing tf102... - $37   

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Excludes: Africa, Central America and Caribbean, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Western Samoa, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard ...
ebay.com.au

          For sale - ebbro 1/43 toyota 2000 gt racing scca 1968 #23 ltd... - $49   

Sydney 2000, Australia
Excludes: Africa, Central America and Caribbean, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Western Samoa, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard ...
ebay.com.au

          For sale - 1:22 champion racing motor bikes moto gp derbi 125... - $30   

Moto 2426, Australia
Excludes: Africa, Central America and Caribbean, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Western Samoa, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard ...
ebay.com.au

          For sale - 1:22 champion racing motor bikes moto gp honda nsr... - $30   
Moto 2426, Australia
Excludes: Africa, Central America and Caribbean, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Vatican City State, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bermuda, Greenland, Mexico, Saint ...
ebay.com.au

          For sale - minichamps 1.43 F1 panasonic toyota racing tf102... - $30   

Wynnum 4178, Australia
Excludes: Africa, Central America and Caribbean, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Vatican City State, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bermuda, Greenland, Mexico, Saint ...
ebay.com.au

          Magnificent Kravice   
One of the most beautiful places in Herzegovina.It is located between Capljina and Ljubuski, also...
          Brammertz: Karadzic judgement proof that justice is possible   

Whatever the outcome of the trial, that is, whatever the judgement be, Brammertz believes that it will be an important step in determining responsibility for the events during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.