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Since the Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002, television series have become Turkey’s most glamorous export. Nearly 150 Turkish television series have been sold to over 100 countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South America and South Asia. Annual exports are thought to have surpassed $300 million last year. It is common to see groups of Arab or Iranian tourists in Istanbul visiting the alluring sites they have seen on screen.

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(In between takes on the set of “The Magnificent Century” in Istanbul in 2011)

But “Dirilis: Ertugrul” is more squarely aimed at a domestic audience. Broadcast on the state-run network TRT 1, its sentiments are insular and nationalistic, striking a chord in a country feeling bruised and belligerent after the military coup attempt last July. The first season featured a Turkish campaign against Crusaders in Anatolia, the second season battles against the Mongols, the third season war with the Christian Byzantines. Its relaxed approach to historical accuracy is less important than how it reflects the political mood. The show captures the Muslim nationalism expressed by President Erdogan, who during the referendum spoke of a bitter “struggle between the crescent and the cross.”

Television series have considerable importance in Turkish culture. The Turkish Statistical Institute reported in 2015 that 94.6 percent of Turks say watching television is their favorite activity. According to the Radio and Television Supreme Council, Turkish citizens on average watch 5.5 hours a day, making them the world’s biggest consumers of television shows. Serials often echo the political atmosphere. Since last year’s coup attempt, and amid military operations against the Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party there has been a wave of television series featuring soldiers and intelligence operatives battling internal and external enemies.

Perhaps inevitably, “Dirilis: Ertugrul” has become embroiled in Turkey’s bitter culture war between religious conservatives and more secular-minded cultural elites. At an awards ceremony last November, the presenter mocked the series, and its cast and crew were not allowed to speak onstage when they accepted their award. Its scriptwriter then vowed to return his award, and President Erdogan himself waded into the controversy, praising “Dirilis: Ertugrul” as giving voice to the conservative masses. “Until the lions start writing their own stories, their hunters will always be the heroes,” he said.

The popularity of the series does not necessarily reflect the much-vaunted rise of Islamization under Mr. Erdogan. It is more about a deep-seated ambition for prestige and national assertion against enemies. Series like “Dirilis: Ertugrul” express the idea that Turkey has a unique mission as the heir of a great empire, a nation founded by men of strength, courage and wisdom. In one scene the characters talk after a battle about the kind of idealized empire they will establish, rewarding talent, intelligence and martial prowess.

Writing in the cultural journal Birikim, the Turkish scholar Semuhi Sinanoglu described how such television series work as a kind “political technology” securing legitimacy for today’s political regime. According to these series, “the names of Turkey’s enemies may have changed but their essence has remained the same since even before the founding of the Ottoman state,” Mr. Sinanoglu wrote, adding, “These enemies’ aim is to divide and destroy the country.” They invariably have “local extensions” in the form of well-connected cosmopolitans willing to commit treason for personal gain. It is a potent message in Turkey’s conspiracy-theory-fueled political culture.

The popularity of such dramas may also reflect its viewers’ wish to escape into a fantasy world more comforting than the messy reality of Turkey today. In a fiercely polarized country troubled by rising economic strife and roiled by war over the border in Syria, “Dirilis: Ertugrul” soothes viewers by tapping into a flattering foundational myth of Turkish glory.

These themes are staples of President Erdogan’s populist appeal. For years he has portrayed the huge building projects reshaping the Turkish landscape as part of a struggle against jealous foreign powers out to frustrate Turkey’s rise. A cult of personality has developed in which Mr. Erdogan is seen as the sole embodiment of the “national will.” He tells the faithful at public rallies that Turkey is fulfilling a sacred destiny under his presidency, returning to its historical role as a regional leader and global power.

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(A promotional image for the Turkish television series “Dirilis: Ertugrul.”)

This makes sense to many ordinary voters who have enjoyed economic stability and improved welfare services in the 15 years of Justice and Development Party rule. With the masses behind him, Mr. Erdogan essentially says he is making Turkey great again.

“We are together with our nation, and we will walk together,” he said at a pre-referendum rally in the southeastern city of Urfa. “We say, ‘One nation, one flag, one homeland, one state.’ Who can stand in front of this unity, togetherness and brotherhood?”

Mr. Erdogan expertly channels the raw emotions of his supporters. He often slips into poetry during speeches, pulling the heartstrings of his followers and confirming their sense of shared destiny. One day after the referendum he spoke to an adoring crowd of thousands under the rain outside his presidential palace in Ankara.

“We have walked on these paths together,” he said, quoting the lyrics of a popular song he often recites. “We have been soaked by the rain together. Now every song I hear reminds me of you.”

The referendum may have been about a technical package of amendments to Turkey’s Constitution, but many voters were guided by more elemental feelings. Those who backed the constitutional changes were endorsing Mr. Erdogan’s “New Turkey” project. Part of this project is about reshaping the way Turkey interprets its past. The ubiquitous presence of “Dirilis: Ertugrul” at the top of the television ratings every week shows that millions of Turks are already on board.

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Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening?

Here’s Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to’s of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy.

A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.

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More than 800 homes in tower blocks on a council estate in Camden, north London, are be evacuated because of safety concerns over cladding in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Camden Council says residents in flats in five towers on the Chalcots estate will be moved for “urgent fire safety works”.

Similar cladding was used on the building to that on the Grenfell Tower.

A total of 79 people are feared dead after the Grenfell fire.

Camden Council had said it will remove external thermal cladding from five tower blocks on the estate.

It had initially announced the evacuation of one tower block, Taplow, but later extended the move to all five tower blocks it had checked.

The council said it would carry out regular fire safety patrols and safety checks to reassure residents.

Council leader Georgia Gould said: “Camden Council is absolutely determined to ensure that our residents are safe and we have promised them that we will work with them, continue to act swiftly and be open and transparent.”

She said London Fire Brigade had completed a joint inspection of the blocks with Camden Council technical experts.

It was decided the flats needed to be “temporarily decanted” to allow the work “so that residents can be fully assured of their safety. This means that we need to move residents from their homes and into temporary accommodation.”

Ms Gould said the work is expected to take three to four weeks, adding the “Grenfell fire changes everything”.

The announcement came as the Metropolitan Police said the Grenfell Tower fire started in a fridge-freezer, and outside cladding and insulation failed safety tests.

Detectives say manslaughter, health and safety, and fire safety charges will be considered as part of their investigation.

A national operation to identify buildings with cladding similar to that used in Grenfell Tower has seen local authorities send samples for independent tests.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said 14 residential high-rise buildings in nine local authority areas have now been found with cladding that raises safety concerns.

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Poverty data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) illustrate the timeless significance of pensions when it comes to containing poverty risk in Greece, and the protection of sorts they provide for pensioners when compared with other social groups such as the unemployed or women.

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French energy giant TOTAL is expected to start exploratory drilling in block 11 of the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone on July 14.

Block 11 covers some 2,958 square kilometres and the drill site is 150 km off the coast of Cyprus.

Before any exploratory work begins, a 4400-metre diameter area around the site will be explored for objects of archaeological interest.

It has already received a positive environmental report stating that there are no endangered species or sensitive biotopes in the area and one state service after the other is issuing the relative licences required.

The exploratory drill ‘Onesiphoros West-1‘ (OW-1) has as its task to evaluate the probable presence of hydrocarbon deposits and especially gas in the area, which falls within the Leviathan Basin.

Drilling is expected to start at a depth of 1,698 metres while the payload is expected to be found at a depth of 4,250m.

Once drilling has been completed and relevant data analysed OW-1 will be sealed.

Drilling is expected last for 50 days if no gas is discovered and 72 days if the drilling is successful. In the event of a discovery ‘trial production drills’ will not be performed but data will be collected using radiology and acoustic means.

If it is deemed necessary, then a confirmation drill (OW-2) will be sunk.

When drilling and other relative works are completed, the wells will be sealed.

The exploratory works will be supported by a land base in Limassol port which will include temporary waste storage areas, storerooms, offices etc.

The drilling vessel will also be supported by three ships one of which will be constantly in the area for security reasons while the other two ships will transport supplies and equipment to the ship while transporting waste materials to shore.

Personnel will be transported to the exploratory area by helicopter from Larnaca airport.

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Turkey has rejected a key demand by several Arab states involved in a major dispute with Qatar, saying Ankara has no plans to shut down its military base in the small Gulf country.

The demand that Turkey pull out its forces was one of a steep list of ultimatums from Saudi Arabia and others Qatari neighbors that includes shuttering broadcaster Al-Jazeera, curbing back diplomatic relations with Iran and severing all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the 13-point list in Arabic from one of the countries involved in the dispute.

Qatar has confirmed receiving the list Thursday from Kuwait, which is mediating the dispute, but has not yet commented on them.

Rather than focus narrowly on alleged Qatari financing for extremism, the 13-point catalogue of demands illustrates the sweeping change in direction that Qatar’s neighbours are insisting the tiny, gas-rich nation must undertake to align itself with Saudi Arabia’s broader vision for the region. Though Qatar is likely to reject it, the list answers the growing call from the United States and from Qatar for the countries to put their grievances in writing.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain broke ties with Qatar and restricted access to land, sea and air routes earlier this month over allegations it funds terrorism — an accusation Doha rejects but that President Donald Trump has echoed. The move has left Qatar, whose only land border is shared with Saudi Arabia, under a de facto blockade by its neighbours.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday that the Turkish base aims to train Qatari soldiers and increase the tiny Persian Gulf nation’s security. According to the Milliyet newspaper’s online edition, he also said that “no one should be disturbed by” the Turkish presence in Qatar.

Turkey has sided with Qatar in the dispute and its parliament has ratified legislation allowing the deployment of Turkish troops to the base. The military said a contingent of 23 soldiers reached Doha on Thursday.

Qatar has insisted its neighbours are trying to force it to bend to their will on a much broader set of issues, and as the crisis has dragged on, the US has started publicly questioning whether ulterior motives are involved.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the demands must be “reasonable and actionable.” The US issued that litmus test amid frustration at how long it was taking Saudi Arabia and others to formalise a list of demands, complicating US efforts to bring about a resolution to the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years.

Qatar vehemently denies funding or supporting extremism. But the country acknowledges that it allows members of some extremist groups such as Hamas to reside in Qatar, arguing that fostering dialogue with those groups is key to resolving global conflicts.

According to the list, Qatar must stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from the four countries and revoke citizenship for existing nationals from those countries where it violates their laws. In addition, Qatar must pay an unspecified sum in reparations. It has been given 10 days to comply with all of the demands.

Underscoring the growing seriousness of the crisis, state-run Qatar Petroleum acknowledged early Friday that some critically important employees “may have been asked to postpone” trips abroad “for operational reasons” as a result of the embargo.

It described the move as “a very limited measure that could take place in any oil and gas operating company” to ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to customers.

Under Qatari law, foreigners working in the country must secure their employer’s consent to receive an exit permit allowing them to leave. The practice, which has been in place for years, has been assailed by rights groups who say it limits workers’ freedom of movement and leaves them open to abuse.

Qatari officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP. But the list included conditions that the gas-rich nation had already insisted would never be met, including shutting down Al-Jazeera. The network also had no immediate comment.

“At the moment, there is no likelihood of bringing the matter back to the table,” said Isik, the Turkish defence minister.

Qatar’s neighbours are also demanding that it hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism; stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the US; and provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations.

Qatar’s neighbours have also accused it of backing al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group’s ideology throughout the Middle East. Those umbrella groups also appear on the list of entities whose ties with Qatar must be extinguished, along with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the al-Qaeda branch in Syria, once known as the Nusra Front.

More broadly, the list demands that Qatar align itself politically, economically and otherwise with the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional club that has focused on countering the influence of Iran. Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led nations have accused Qatar of inappropriately close ties to Iran, a Shia-led country and Saudi Arabia’s regional foe.

The Iran provisions in the document say Qatar must shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, kick out from Qatar any members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, and only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US and international sanctions. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were eased but other sanctions remain in place.

The Revolutionary Guard has deployed its forces to conflict zones such as Syria and Iraq. It is not known to have a presence in Qatar.

Cutting ties to Iran would prove incredibly difficult. Qatar shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran which supplies the small nation that will host the 2022 Fifa World Cup its wealth.

Also, not only must Qatar shut down the Doha-based satellite broadcaster, the list says, but also all of its affiliates. That presumably would mean Qatar would have to close down Al-Jazeera’s English-language sister network.

Supported by Qatar’s government, Al-Jazeera is one of the most widely watched Arabic channels, but it has long drawn the ire of Mid-east governments for airing alternative viewpoints. The network’s critics say it advances Qatar’s goals by promoting Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood that pose a populist threat to rulers in other Arab countries.

The list also demands that Qatar stop funding a host of other news outlets including Arabi21, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

Beirut-based political analyst George Alam said Qatar is unlikely to agree to the demands.

“They are impossible to be met because they interfere in Qatar’s foreign policy and Qatar considers its foreign policy a sovereign matter that is nonnegotiable, he said.

If Qatar agrees to comply, the list asserts that it will be audited once a month for the first year, and then once per quarter in the second year after it takes effect. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.

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President Donald Trump has signed a law protecting whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and making it easier to fire problem employees. Trump campaigned on the platform of overhauling the agency serving US veterans.

“For many years the government failed to keep its promises to our veterans,” who were put on secret waitlists, given wrong medication or bad treatment, Trump said, calling it “a national disgrace.”

Outdated laws kept the government from holding accountable those VA employees who failed veterans, the president said, calling the new law “one of the largest reforms to the VA in its history.”

 

“In a short time, we’ve already achieved transformative change at the VA, and believe me we’re just getting started,” Trump said.

The 2017 VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act makes permanent the office Trump created by executive order to look into claims by agency whistleblowers and protect them from retaliation.

“The administration is committed to ensuring the nation’s veterans have access to the care, services, and benefits they have earned,” the White House said in a statement about the legislation. “To achieve this goal, it is critical that employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are held to the highest performance standards, and that they are accountable when those standards are not met.”

The new law strips away senior agency executives’ right to appeal disciplinary decisions to the government’s Merit Systems Protection Board, replacing it with an internal agency grievance process. It also allows the VA to take back bonuses paid to employees found guilty of misconduct, and prohibits employees who are appealing disciplinary decisions from being placed on paid administrative leave.

VA Secretary David Shulkin complained about the existing disciplinary procedures in May, calling the agency’s accountability process “clearly broken.”

Current rules require a 30-day waiting period before any disciplinary action, and the VA currently has 1,500 proceedings pending, Shulkin said. He cited the case of a psychiatrist who was caught watching pornography on his iPad while meeting with a veteran, but the agency can’t fire him for another month. In another case, a court forced the VA to hire back an employee who spent two months in jail for drunken driving.

“I want to thank President Trump for his leadership and determination to fix the VA,” Shulkin said, also thanking the members of Congress for the bipartisan effort in getting the law passed.

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Notaries who had been walking off the job every Wednesday when foreclosure auctions are usually held because of protest action that had been targeting them on Friday decided to call off their protracted action.

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Click here to see the original post from News | ekathimerini.com

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The hackers also left a message regarding the Hagia Sofia incident.

The Turksih hacking team Aslan NeferTim wrote “The duty is ours to answer to the Greek reaction to the prayer in Hagia Sofia. Tsipras do not be surprised, do not make us lose our patience“.

 

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The Turkish hackers are celebrating on the social media, saying among other things, “Hagia Sofia is ours”.

 

 

 

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At an internal meeting in April, the new head of China’s banking regulator said he would resign “if the banking industry becomes a complete mess”. On Friday Guo Shuqing and colleagues at the China Banking Regulatory Commission were working to ensure that they had not just created exactly that.

News that the CBRC was assessing banks’ exposure to five companies, including four of the country’s most aggressive overseas investors, triggered a sell-off in their stocks and bonds on Thursday.

The situation appeared to have stabilised on Friday. Shares in one of the affected companies, Wanda Group’s Shenzhen-listed film studio unit, rose 3.6 per cent after three large shareholders said they would boost their holdings.

China’s central bank has been trying this year to discourage risky borrowing by tightening conditions in short-term money markets while leaving benchmark interest rates untouched. The result has been a rare “inversion” in Chinese sovereign bond yields, with one-year and five-year bond yields now higher than those for 10-year debt.

“The CBRC action will cause turmoil in an already difficult market environment,” said Thilo Hanemann at the Rhodium Group, which has closely tracked the surge in outbound Chinese M&A activity over the past two years.

“The regulators have been moving very fast to identify risks,” said a person close to Chinese policymakers. “But they sometimes move without being fully aware of the consequences of their action.”

The CBRC’s move is the latest gust in what domestic media have labelled a “regulatory windstorm” in which eight policy documents have been issued since February, aimed primarily at discouraging leveraged investment in the bond market.

The People’s Bank of China kicked off a clampdown on outbound investment in February by tightening approvals of overseas acquisitions and other capital outflows. The securities regulator then promised to crack down on “barbarians” who were borrowing heavily to amass stakes in listed companies. The insurance regulator banned a prominent executive from the industry after his business allegedly provided false data and misused funds.

Mr Guo, 61, is a highly regarded technocrat who has spent his career alternating between senior financial and regional positions, the most recent of which was governor of Shandong, one of China’s largest industrial provinces. He is also regarded as a possible successor to Zhou Xiaochuan, the long-serving head of China’s central bank.

Bankers believe he is keen to make his mark and has a powerful bureaucracy at his disposal. “CBRC officials can be extremely hands-on,” said a former executive at a mid-sized Chinese lender. “They attended all of our quarterly meetings. They didn’t have a vote, but they were there and from time to time they were talking.”

One Chinese official who works on financial policy issues said the CBRC directive to the banks financing Anbang, Fosun, HNA Group and Wanda — which together accounted for more than $55bn of China’s outbound acquisitions over recent years — “came directly from the top”.

The official added that “it’s connected to all the other crackdowns we have seen recently, like the ones at the insurance regulator and in the securities sector”. The CBRC is also asking banks about their dealings with an investment vehicle used to purchase AC Milan, the Italian football club.

Xiang Junbo, former head of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, was detained in April for alleged corruption. Mr Xiang has been temporarily replaced by the head of the regulator’s internal “discipline inspection” commission, which reports to the ruling Communist party’s corruption watchdog.

Yang Guoying, a researcher at the China Finance Think Tank, argues that the CBRC’s review of heavily leveraged companies’ overseas acquisitions is “a very normal risk control measure”.

“If the sources of their funds are domestic but the assets are overseas, this creates risk that can’t be totally controlled,” Mr Yang said.

Richard Xu, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, said the longer-term impact of what is essentially a fact-finding mission will depend on what action it takes, if any, after its review of the banks’ dealings with Anbang, Fosun, HNA Group and Wanda.

“Following the rapid growth of overseas M&A by Chinese firms, policymakers are trying to conduct risk assessment of the credit that supported such M&A,” Mr Xu said. “Different banks report such credit under different categories, so it is hard to get a full picture based on existing data.”

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Bankers said on Friday that they shared the CBRC’s concerns about Anbang, whose chairman was detained by corruption investigators last week. Anbang has raised hundreds of billions of renminbi over recent years, mainly from sales of short-term investment products offering retail customers guaranteed high returns.

While many are also wary about highly geared HNA, like Fosun and Wanda it has operations — including China’s fourth-largest airline — with which they feel more comfortable doing business.

“For us there is a huge difference between Anbang and the others,” one banker said. “They shouldn’t be put in the same box.”

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German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon takes-off during the air policing scramble in Amari air base, Estonia, March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Europe is embarking on an expensive and politically charged effort to develop a new combat jet that will shape the future of the European fighter industry and its three existing programs – Eurofighter, France’s Rafale and Sweden’s Gripen.

Two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters early talks had started on whether and how European countries could co-operate on a new sixth-generation fighter, which could involve a combination of manned and unmanned systems.

Though complicated by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, business executives and politicians at the Paris Airshow this week said U.S. President Donald Trump’s cooler stance toward Europe had given the effort some fresh momentum.

But they warned of massive hurdles, including bickering among European states and companies, the troubled history of past joint projects such as the A400M military transport plane, and the sheer cost of developing advanced military aircraft.

Any project is likely to cost far more than the 10 billion-plus euros sunk into the Eurofighter, the last joint fighter built, at a time when Europe is grappling with other expensive problems such as increased Islamist militancy and the influx of well over a million migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

Yet EU politicians are determined to increase cooperation on defense and security, and wary of effectively leaving the fighter jet market to the United States.

“It’s the same with food. Some things you have to be able to do yourself,” Monika Hohlmeier, a German member of the European Parliament and chair of the parliament’s Sky & Space Intergroup, told Reuters during a visit to the A400M at the air show.

Germany, which has begun early work on a next-generation fighter, last month asked the United States for a classified briefing on the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), as it prepares for a more intense look at fighter options after the Sept. 24 election.

The F-35, which showed off its moves during its premiere at the Paris show, is being bought in Europe by Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Turkey. Finland, Switzerland and Spain have also expressed interest.

Buying the F-35 would help improve Germany’s ability to fight with key allies, but could prove politically difficult in a country with strong labor unions eager to safeguard jobs.

Corporate rivalries add another level of complexity.

CORPORATE BATTLELINES

“We are already working on the Next Generation Weapon System, which has been initiated by Germany but with strong interest from Spain and other nations, as part of a bigger concept of future combat systems including unmanned aircraft,” Fernando Alonso, head of military aircraft at Airbus (AIR.PA), told a briefing ahead of the Paris Airshow.

“And I very much hope that we will see France involved in that because it is clearly very much in all our interest to see a common solution,” he added.

Airbus represents Germany and Spain in the maturing Eurofighter program, which also includes Britain through BAE Systems (BAES.L) and Italy via Leonardo (LDOF.MI).

France, however, dropped out of that project early on due to disagreements over the sharing out of work, with its Dassault Aviation (DAST.PA) going on to develop the Rafale fighter jet.

Airbus is pressing Dassault to join in this time instead of forcing Britain to choose a preferred continental partner.

It is also unclear what role, if any, Sweden’s SAAB (SAABb.ST) might play. SAAB builds the Gripen fighter, which is in use in Sweden, South Africa and Hungary, among others.

One French diplomat said it was clear no one European nation could develop a new combat jet in the current environment. “Those days are over. Period,” the diplomat said.

Even the United States’ F-35 was developed with funds from Britain and other countries.

Volker Thum, managing director of the German Aerospace Industries Association, said Franco-German cooperation was a “key driver for the urgently needed agreement” on the project. He said new President Emmanuel Macron’s arrival at the air show on an A400M signaled his commitment to European cooperation.

Airbus’s Alonso said this month that upgrades and modernization would keep the Eurofighter flying into the 2040s, and possibly longer, but older warplanes like the pan-European Tornado and Spain’s F/A-18s would soon need to be replaced, with buyers likely to want the latest technology and capabilities.

Given the costs and timescale involved, aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the need to get started on “an indigenous homegrown alternative to the F-35″ was one of the biggest defense issues facing Europe.

But Brexit and disagreements among remaining EU members made him skeptical. “The odds are they probably won’t get their act together,” he said, citing historical angst about military issues in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, and Britain’s increasing focus on U.S. ties.

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A very interesting study by NASA, published two years ago, may be giving a new spin on the climate debate:

A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.” Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”

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(A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades.)

 

Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.

But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

The study analyzed changes in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet measured by radar altimeters on two European Space Agency European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites, spanning from 1992 to 2001, and by the laser altimeter on NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003 to 2008.

Zwally said that while other scientists have assumed that the gains in elevation seen in East Antarctica are due to recent increases in snow accumulation, his team used meteorological data beginning in 1979 to show that the snowfall in East Antarctica actually decreased by 11 billion tons per year during both the ERS and ICESat periods. They also used information on snow accumulation for tens of thousands of years, derived by other scientists from ice cores, to conclude that East Antarctica has been thickening for a very long time.

“At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet,” Zwally said.

The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice – enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.

Zwally’s team calculated that the mass gain from the thickening of East Antarctica remained steady from 1992 to 2008 at 200 billion tons per year, while the ice losses from the coastal regions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula increased by 65 billion tons per year.

“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”

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(Map showing the rates of mass changes from ICESat 2003-2008 over Antarctica. Sums are for all of Antarctica: East Antarctica (EA, 2-17); interior West Antarctica (WA2, 1, 18, 19, and 23); coastal West Antarctica (WA1, 20-21); and the Antarctic Peninsula (24-27). A gigaton (Gt) corresponds to a billion metric tons, or 1.1 billion U.S. tons.)

 

“The new study highlights the difficulties of measuring the small changes in ice height happening in East Antarctica,” said Ben Smith, a glaciologist with the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in Zwally’s study.

“Doing altimetry accurately for very large areas is extraordinarily difficult, and there are measurements of snow accumulation that need to be done independently to understand what’s happening in these places,” Smith said.

To help accurately measure changes in Antarctica, NASA is developing the successor to the ICESat mission, ICESat-2, which is scheduled to launch in 2018. “ICESat-2 will measure changes in the ice sheet within the thickness of a No. 2 pencil,” said Tom Neumann, a glaciologist at Goddard and deputy project scientist for ICESat-2. “It will contribute to solving the problem of Antarctica’s mass balance by providing a long-term record of elevation changes.”

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They were the first human immigrants to come to Australasia after our species left Africa around 60,000 years ago. It appears that the offspring of current Aborigines and indigenous people from Papua New Guinea and portions of India had more illicit chance meetings with other species of premature humans than was actually realized. Examinations of DNA from modern indigenous inhabitants in Australasia has proven that they came across a mysterious new human ancestor as they traveled.

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The new human ancestor has been uncovered in a DNA analysis of human migration from Africa to Australasia. Investigators from Universitat Pampeu Fabra made the finding by sequencing the genomes of populations including the Andamanese. It appears this unidentified hominin species reproduced with Homo sapiens as they ranged from Africa and through Asia. The revision also raises questions about earlier discoveries that modern humans inhabited Asia in two waves from their starting point in Africa, instead of a single migration out of Africa.

Homo sapiens are believed to have first surfaced in Africa around 150,000 years ago. About 100,000 years later, minor numbers of them left their homeland, wandering first to Asia and then eventually east, passing over the Bering Strait and inhabiting the Americas. It had been believed that the ancestors of current humans arrived from Asia in two waves from their lineage in Africa about 60,000 years ago. Earlier investigation looking at the genomes of individuals existing today shows the Asia-Pacific arrivals mated with two hominin species they discovered, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.

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(The footprints are indistinguishable from those of a modern barefoot human, with similar foot anatomies and mechanics)

Now, a third has been discovered, and this proposes the “Out of Africa” migration was a solitary event. This discovery designates a mutual lineage for all inhabitants in the Asia-Pacific district, dating back to a solitary migration out of Africa. Our species, Homo sapiens, first developed in Africa about 150,000 years ago but is thought to have originally moved out of the continent around 60,000 years ago. Scientists have been charting the appearance of hereditary markers in recent peoples to better understand how ancient beings everywhere moved around the planet. The descendants of Europeans are believed to have come west after departing Africa, breeding up to several times with the Neanderthals they came across along the way.

Modern beings of European ancestry characteristically owe between one and six percent of their DNA to these ancient encounters. As an outcome of this interbreeding, Homo sapiens are believed to have inherited numerous genetic traits that have assisted in boosting their immune organisms and gifted them with healthier skin and hair. Other investigations have found that the descendants of ethnic populations in Asia and the Pacific seem to have reproduced with not only the Neanderthals but another prehistoric species called the Denisovans. In this day and age, the new study has exposed that they might have likely bred with a third type. Instructor Jaume Bertranpetit at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain made the finding after observing at the genomes of aboriginal Australians, Papuans – people who live at the Andaman Islands and are from mainland India. They discovered fragments of their DNA did not tie in with any hominin species on record.

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Parliamentary elections are being held next Sunday in Albania, which is plagued by economic crisis and corruption.

The country is considered to be the “Colombia of Europe” with regard to hashish crops according to DW.

Albania is a rather special case in Europe. After decades of political isolation, a change was made in the early 1990s. A change in the absolute chaos where too many Albanians acquired illegal weapons by invading army depots.

The small state of the three million inhabitants is the “Colombia of Europe”. The hashish crop center with a turnover of billions but as of 2009 also a member of NATO. A state where the parliamentary elections had to be postponed for a week because the opposition stubbornly refused to participate. The compromise proposal of the Christian Democrat MEP David McAliser was the one that managed to get the situation out of the stalemate.

According to a poll, 56% of citizens hope to be able to leave the country because of economic and social difficulties. The German Christian Democratic Party had an advisory role in drawing up the economic program of opposition Democrats, mainly with a view to creating jobs. Opposition leader Ljazim Basha has also had contacts with the US in his recent visit. On the other hand, foreign diplomats in Tirana, Brussels and Washington believe that the leader of the Socialist Party and Prime Minister Edi Rama is in a position to bring Albania out of the crisis. Rama has said, however, that he will abandon politics if the Socialists lose the election. He tells us that the change in the country can only happen when the Socialist Party becomes self-reliant and stops co-operating with the “smaller corrupt” parties.

Race against hashish crops

The issue of controversy in the election campaign is the cultivation of hashish. Clearly, despite government efforts to restrict, its cultivation has expanded. Two months ago, President Bujar Nisani warned that “many tons of hashish seeds” are in the country.

The problem is that in the north and south, the very poor population can only survive by cultivating the illegal hashish crop. With the cooperation of corrupt officials, police officers and judges, there is a turnover of several billion euros.

The opposition accuses Rama of being the “commander of the drug army, who holds the entire society hostage”. Cabinet claims that only last year destroyed two million cannabis plants. The opposition does not want to be reminded that when they ruled, from 2005 to 2013, they drew their power primarily from the areas where the hash is being cultivated.

The international interest brought together 800 police officers in June 2014, who entered the village of Lazarati. Residents have shown great resistance to the destruction of hash-crops using automatic weapons. In this operation thousands of plants were destroyed.

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The government’s communication effort to give a positive impression to the Eurogroup agreement does not seem to be working that good. According to a survey by PRORATA of the “Newspaper of the Editors”, the Greeks see only the painful measures and disregard the prospect of Greece finishing the economic program.

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According to the survey, citizens consider the measures voted that increase the tax-free and the pension cuts to be more important than the success of the closure of the country’s 2nd evaluation.

67% of the the people that answered the survey, described the agreement as “rather bad” or “bad” while for SYRIZA’s voters the figure for the same question is 55%, compared to 30% who consider it to be “rather good” or “good”.

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In the PRORATA election assessment, the gap between New Democracy and SYRIZA widens, with the main opposition party winning six points from May reaching 36% while SYRIZA stays at 20%.

Democratic Alignment rises to 14% from 11% in May. The KKE goes to 13% from 9%.

The “Potami” political party wins two points and climbs to 9%. Golden Dawn remains at 9%, while at the same level as in May remains the Union of Centrists, which is at 8%.

The People’s Unity rises to 4% from 2% in May. The Independent Greeks (ANEL), that participate with SYRIZA in the coalition government, on the contrary, fell to 2%, from 5% that was the in previous month.

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The survey was conducted on June 19 and 20, the week after the Eurogroup last Thursday.

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According to the ELSTAT, 35,6% of the Greece’s population or 3.789.300 people were at risk of poverty or social exclusion last year, showing a slight decrease compared to the previous year (3.828.500 people, representing 35,7% of the population). The poverty threshold amounts to 4.500 Euros per year per person and 9.450 Euros for households with two adults and two dependent children under the age of 14, while the average annual disposable income of its households is estimated at 14.932 Euro.

According to ELSTAT, the risk of poverty or social exclusion is higher for people aged 18-64 (39,7%) and estimated for Greeks 38% and for foreigners residing in Greece at 59,7%.

Households at risk of poverty are estimated at 832.065 of a total of 4.168.784 households and their members in 2.262.808 to a total of 10.651.929 people in the country.

The poverty risk for children aged 0-17 (child poverty) is 26,3%, a decrease of 0,3 percentage points compared to 2015. The poverty risk for people aged over 65 is 12,4 % showing a decrease of 1,3 percentage points compared to 2015.

There was an increase compared to 2015 regarding the population at risk of poverty as a whole in the case of:

* Employed women by 1,3 percentage points (12,3%)

* Unemployed 2,3 percentage points (47,1%). The increase is in both sexes, with the highest of women

* Households with two adults and three or more dependent children by 2,4 percentage points (32%)

* Households with two adults under age 65 by 2,3 percentage points (20,1%)

Compared to other countries with data available for 2016, Greece is in the third worst position (35,6%) on the risk of poverty or social exclusion, after Bulgaria (40,4%) and Romania (38,8%).

Following are Latvia (28,5%), Spain (27,9%), Hungary (26,3%), Belgium (20,7%), Austria (18% 6%).

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On August 26 fans of boxing and MMA from around the world will on the edges of their seats as two top fighters in their combat styles, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather will face off in a historic bout. The predictions of the outcome are heavily in favour of undefeated boxing star Floyd Mayweather, as the fight will take place under boxing rules. The Irish double UFC champion has been training to get used to the style with various sparring partners. A video was released showing McGregor in the ring with former South African champion Chris Van Heerden, and the footage is not very flattering for Conor. The video was reportedly shot one year ago, so maybe McGregor has improved since then? But has he improved enough to fight arguably the best boxer in history? We’ll have to wait and see.

 

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A group of Panathinaikos fans have stormed the club’s headquarters protesting against what they consider to be a complete lack of interest by the owner Giannis Alafouzos in the team’s affairs. According to initial reports they assaulted Mr. Alafouzos’s close aide Christos Panagopoulos. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the resignation of former player Nikos Lyberopoulos said he was leaving because he claimed the team had been abandoned by the administration.

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Pouring rain did not prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony on the Day of Memory and Sorrow, which marks the beginning of the Great Patriotic War against the Nazis.
The wreath-laying took place on Thursday at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexander Garden outside the Kremlin in Moscow.
It was attended by President Putin and other high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Federal Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko.
The ceremony proceeded according to schedule despite heavy rain starting shortly beforehand, and none of the officials having an umbrella.
June 22 is the Day of Memory and Sorrow in Russia, marking the beginning of the Great Patriot War of 1941-1945.

source: rt.com

Ο Πρόεδρος της #Ρωσία Βλ.#Πούτιν – ακίνητος μέσα στην βροχή – σε κατάθεση στεφάνου για τα θύματα του Β’ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου.@Hellenic_MOD pic.twitter.com/ifkbws3jlR

 

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Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish schools, a senior education official has said, in a move likely to raise the ire of the country’s secular opposition.
Alpaslan Durmuş, who chairs the board of education, said evolution was debatable, controversial and too complicated for students.

“We believe that these subjects are beyond their [students] comprehension,” said Durmuş in a video published on the education ministry’s website.
Durmuş said a chapter on evolution was being removed from ninth grade biology course books, and the subject postponed to the undergraduate period. Another change to the curriculum may reduce the amount of time that students spend studying the legacy of secularism.
Critics of the government believe public life is being increasingly stripped of the secular traditions instilled by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
The secular opposition has long argued that the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pursuing a covert Islamist agenda contrary to the republic’s founding values. Education is a particularly contentious avenue, because of its potential in shaping future generations. Small-scale protests by parents in local schools have opposed the way religion is taught.
There is little acceptance of evolution as a concept among mainstream Muslim clerics in the Middle East, who believe it contradicts the story of creation in scripture, in which God breathed life into the first man, Adam, after shaping him from clay. Still, evolution is briefly taught in many high school biology courses in the region.
The final changes to the curriculum are likely to be announced next week after the Muslim Eid or Bayram festival at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The draft changes had been put forth for public consultation at the beginning of the year.

source: theguardian.com

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The geographic terrain of Greece presents some serious challenges for a central government to efficiently plan and execute policies for its citizens. With an estimated 6,000 islands, islets and rock islands it is no wonder the country is strained when it comes to the efficient utilisation of its resources. One of them called Arkious is located to the east of the island of Patmos, and hosts the smallest school in the whole of Europe. The 6.7 sq.km isle had only one student in the school season that went by. Eight-year old Christos will go to third grade in the new year and his teacher Silia Dimitrakopoulou says she has never taught in such a small school in her life. “Sea transport is prohibitive, there are many difficulties the residents are faced with, there are no shops, there is no bakery, there is no doctor”, she says. The small isle is part of the Patmos municipality and has only 40 permanent residents living there.

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It was celebrated in ancient Greece, ignored during the Middle Ages, and rediscovered by scientists over and over before the scientific community finally agreed that it exists. What are we talking about? The clitoris of course!
Canadian screenwriter and animation director Lori Malépart-Traversy has decided to educate the internet on what that elusive clitoris actually is. And she’s done it in the most adorable short documentary, which has already picked up multiple awards around the world including the Best Short Film Award at Festival Vues d’en face 2017 and the Best Documentary at Chicago Feminist Film Festival 2017.

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A shocking video has been released that was purportedly shot by one of the passengers on board the helicopter that crashed in the wetlands of Schinias, Friday morning in the eastern region of Attica. According to reports the person capturing footage on his mobile phone was an employee of the private company taking part in the mosquito control operation and was streaming it live on his Facebook profile. At one point the video appears to be abruptly interrupted when the aircraft crashed to the ground.

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pavlo

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said Turkey cannot hope to have its European prospects open when it failed to respect monuments such as Hagia Sophia. The Greek President made the statements during his meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev in Athens, Friday. Turkey’s move to recite the Quran in the UNESCO-designated museum caused an uproar with reactions coming fast by UNESCO, the US State Department and the Greek Foreign Ministry, who called on Turkey to show respect.

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Two people were killed when a sprayer helicopter crashed in the Schinias wetlands in southeast Attica on Friday morning at 10am. According to reports, a student on board was the only one of the 3-member crew that managed to survive. The other two were pulled out of the wreckage unconscious, but were pronounced dead while being transported to the hospital. The helicopter was taking part in the mosquito control operations in the eastern Attica region. The Prefect of the region Petros Filiipou explained to protothema.gr how the crash happened. He said it occurred after the end of the spraying session, when a university student participating in the session as part of a 6-month training programme asked if they could go on another round to see the procedure when the helicpter got entangled in electricity cables and crashed to the ground.

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Two people were reportedly killed on Friday morning after their helicopter, which was spraying insecticides, crashed into the Schinias wetland in Marathonas in northeastern Attica

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Despite the the fact that both Unesco and the US State Department called in Turkey to respect the Hagia Sophia site, Turkish authorities are escalating their provocations towards Greece, after the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry replied to the statement made by Greece on the matter of the recitation of the Quran in Hagia Sophia, calling on Greece to respect all religions and become more democratic! The full statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry reads as follows:

We condemn the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece about the recital of the Quran and the call for prayer in Hagia Sophia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, instead of extending its congratulations to the Turkish people on the holy month of Ramadan and the “Night of Power”, opted for distorting the recital of Quran and call for prayer in Hagia Sophia.

The record of Greece in the field of freedom of religion, which is among the fundamental human rights, is well-known.

Just to cite a few examples: The Greek authorities subject the Turkish Muslim minority in Greece to increasing pressure, file law-suites against the elected Muftis for regular duties conducted by them and turned down this year once again the Muslims’ request for praying during the upcoming Ramadan Feast in one of the historical mosques in Thessaloniki where there is no open mosque for worshipping.

Therefore, one can question what Greece, which still does not have a mosque open for worshipping in its capital either, understands from the interfaith dialogue that it has referred to in the statement.

We invite Greece to be a modern and democratic country and respect all religions.

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In a world obsessed with everything about sex, and let’s be frank, with the rise of hedonism and pleasure, having “relations” with animals is just one more “preference”. Some of course would consider this choice as perverse, but others are turned on by fornicating with animals. All over the world and from varying cultures supporters of bestiality see nothing unnatural with their choices! Bestiality in many countries is illegal. But some would be surprised to learn that many nations, not only fail to police such activity, they actually condone it. There are groups who are dedicated toward protecting the rights of people to have sex with animals (can’t make that up). Just enter Bestiality in Google and there will be images aplenty for any warped fans of such acts. It’s a practice that continues on to this very day despite much of the world frowning upon it. It has only been within the last five years that countries such as Sweden, Denmark and a handful of the states in the US (that’s right, the freakin’ US!) finally outlawed the practice. In the 1940s, famous researcher Alfred Kinsey, infamous for his work in human sexuality, estimated that 8% of men and 3.6% of women had engaged in some sort of sexual act with an animal. Later studies were estimated at 4.9% and 1.9% respectively, but still! We’re not going to get into the diseases that are spread from humans having sex with animals, but it can range from increased risk for cancer to HPV. The animals of choice? Dogs come in at number 1 followed by horses with donkeys, sheep, camels and chickens coming in distant 3rd and on.

source: richest.com

Germany – Bestiality Brothels

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Colombia – Donkey Intercourse

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South Africa – Doggie Love

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United States – Land Of The Free

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Sweden – Just Banned Bestiality In 2013

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Denmark – The Hot Spot For The Bestiality Industry

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Brazil – Penile Cancer On The Rise

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Hungary – Bestiality Adult Entertainment

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Finland – Legal Since 1971

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0 16
sex

A Connecticut special education teacher has allegedly admitted to having sex with a student. Court paperwork indicates a student brought all of this to light, and the teacher initially denied a relationship with the student — but later changed her story.

According to WFSB, Laura Ramos has been charged with second-degree sexual assault. An arrest warrant says a student witness went to school officials, indicating Ramos started texting him first.
Court documents show the texting began as “normal — teacher helping a student,” but eventually, “Mrs. Ramos began telling him about her personal problems.” The documents indicate “Mrs. Ramos would complain that her ‘man’ or ‘guy’ does not want to have sex or do anything with her.”
According to WFSB, the student witness told detectives while Ramos never used a name, he believed the victim was an 18-year-old special education student who is a junior at Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
“Witness 1 noticed the victim would hang out in Mrs. Ramos’ class and…would watch them make eyes at each other, like flirting,” court documents said.
That witness let police take photos of his text messages with Ramos, in which the married mother allegedly asked about buying weed for her and her man. The texts also included sexually inappropriate content.
When first approached by detectives, Ramos said she was close with the student, and denied anything sexual took place, but according to the warrant, Ramos admitted she talked with the teen about denying they were having a sexual relationship and deleted all her texts saying she was scared about the investigation. When detectives told her they would issue a warrant for her cell phone, she allegedly said: “You’re not going to be happy with what you find on my phone.”
Police say Ramos then consented to a second interview, in which she told police she and the teen started flirting in December, before it turned physical. She said they had sex “a handful of times” in her car — the last time in April.
Ramos was placed on leave by the school district. She had submitted a letter of resignation on June 20th, but the school district had already initiated termination proceedings, according to school officials.
“Please be assured that the safety and welfare of our students is our main priority at Bridgeport Public Schools, and we make every effort to ensure the ongoing safety of our students. We take seriously all allegations of inappropriate conduct which threatens the well-being of our students, and such misconduct will not be tolerated,” school officials said in a press release.

source: fox6now.com

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hag

The US State Department reacted to the provocative move by Turkish authorities to allow and support the reading of the Quran in the UNESCO designated site of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul during a press briefing, Thursday. “The site, Hagia Sophia, is a site of extraordinary significance, and we understand that and we respect that. So we call on the Turkish Government to preserve the Hagia Sophia in a way that respects its complex history”, said Heather Nauert. Continuing she added that then US encouraged the Turkish government to preserve the site’s significance for all faiths. “I’m not saying that at all. It’s a complex history, and we recognise that it is of great significance to other faiths, many faiths. And so we would just encourage the Turkish Government to do that, to preserve it.” A Turkish Imam had read the Quran in the UNESCO site, which had been a Church and Mosque in the past.

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As a heatwave is forecast to hit Greece next week and amid more rubbish piling across Athens, the conditions in the Greek capital are expected to get even worse as the Federation of workers in the Municipalities and local communities of Greece (POE-PTA) have decided to suspend all activities in light of the ongoing strike of rubbish collectors. The workers’ union said it would continue to block rubbish trucks from going on rounds, while they also decided to block access to and from the Sanitary Landfill Sites (XYTA) and abstain from any overtime work. The municipality works said they would continue their disruptive industrial actions until the issue of the permanent hiring of rubbish collectors, who are currently on short term contacts is resolved by the Greek government. Meanwhile, the leader of the major Greek opposition party of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and his government of deceiving both the POE OTE workers and the Greek public in a tweet. “Mr. Tsipras, apart from all the Greeks, has deceived the contactual workers of POE-OTA. That does not legitimise the whole country being buried in rubbish”, he wrote.

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The workers union decided to hold a new march on June 26 in all the country’s regions, while a protest has been planned at 11.30am of the same day outside their union’s offices followed by a march towards the Greek parliament and the Ministry for Administrative Reconstruction. All the municipalities’ vehicle depots will be blocked off on June 27 and 28, while on June 29 there will a new nationwide strike by POE OTA. The Association of Greek Municipalities (KED) will convene in an emergency session on June 28 to decide whether its services will shut down if the government fails to solve the matter of the limited term contracted workers.

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may

Theresa May made a “fair and serious offer” to European Union leaders over the contentious issue of the future rights of EU citizens, offering those who arrive lawfully before Brexit the chance to build up the same rights to work, healthcare and benefits as UK citizens.

Speaking at the end of a dinner at an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, after formal Brexit talks kicked off on Monday, May set out the UK’s opening offer on the rights of EU citizens – an issue both sides have said they would like to be resolved early in the talks.

The prime minister told them the UK was willing to agree to a “cutoff point” between 29 March this year, when May formally triggered article 50, and the later date of March 2019 as preferred by the European commission.

EU citizens already in the UK – and those who arrive lawfully during a subsequent “grace period” – expected to be up to two years – will be given the opportunity to build up five years’ worth of residence. The grace period could start at any point up to the date of Brexit and would allow EU citizens time to regularise their status.

That will entitle them to a special category of “settled status”, conferring the same rights to work, pensions, NHS care and other public services as British citizens, which they will maintain for life.

source: theguardian.com

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