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  1. #8356

    Re: World News Random, Random

    For those that are not religious:
    I love a cathedral. A mosque. A pagoda or a Stupa. All of them. In The Ascent of Man, J. Bronowski explains what is there to admire. Every one of these buildings maybe was built to celebrate a god, but in reality, they celebrate men. Their inventiveness, their drive. ND was at its time a center of technological development and science. The invention of the Flying Buttress, the invention of colored glass and how to handle it. The new, larger buildings that were so open to light and were, in comparison to previous medieval structures, so light and airy.
    All these great cathedrals and monuments are not celebrations of god. They celebrate us, our progress, our capacity to construct and build. It is the reason conquering armies used to destroy everything in their path. It was the symbol of destroying the soul of the enemy.
    ND was more than a church because of that. I was in Paris for a connection last year. Only 12 hours in the city. I went to ND, sat down, on a lovely Saturday early morning and just breathed. I took one picture. I did not light a candle. I just let the magnificence of man engulf me. I am happy I did.
    Suliso is right. It will be rebuilt. It is one of the most architecturally studied buildings in the world. And France has enough masterpieces of art to fill ND again with greatness inside greatness. We are so engulfed in our moment that we forget that most things outlive us. In the year 2219, the second centenary of "the great fire of 2019" will be celebrated by Parisians, under maybe a crystal dome or a wood replica of what was there before.
    And ND will be still a celebration of men, those that built it in the middle ages and those that repaired it at the beginning of the third millennium.
    Starry starry night

  2. #8357
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: World News Random, Random

    What it looks like today:


  3. #8358

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Alan Garcia, former Peru president, dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound
    By Flora Charner, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Rafael Romo, CNN

    Updated 12:31 PM ET, Wed April 17, 2019

    (CNN)Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head as police were preparing to arrest him on Wednesday morning.

    His death was confirmed by current President Martin Vizcarra, who expressed his condolences over Twitter.
    Garcia, who served as president from 1985 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2011, was under investigation for money laundering and taking bribes in connection with a massive corruption scandal that has engulfed a number of former Latin American leaders.

    When police arrived to execute an arrest warrant at his home at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Garcia asked them to call his attorney and went to his bedroom, interior minister Carlos Morán told CNN affiliate TV Peru.
    Moments later, a gunshot was heard. Officers forced entry into the bedroom, where they found Garcia with a wound to the head, Morán said.

    Garcia, 69, was rushed by police to a hospital in the capital Lima, where he was resuscitated three times, but doctors were ultimately unable to save him, according to the health minister.
    "The former president made the decision to shoot himself," his lawyer Erasmo Reyna said outside the Casimiro Ulloa hospital before his death.

    "Devastated by the death of former President Alan Garcia, I send my condolences to his family and loved ones," President Vizcarra tweeted Wednesday.

    Global corruption scandal

    Garcia is accused of receiving kickbacks from one of Latin America's largest construction firms -- the Brazil-based company Odebrecht -- during the building of an electric train for the Lima metro while he was president during his second term. He has denied the claims.

    In his most recent tweet, posted on Tuesday, Garcia said there was "no shred of evidence" against him, accused Peruvian prosecutors of "SPECULATION," and said he had "never sold out and that is proven."
    In November last year, Garcia had requested asylum at the Uruguayan embassy after a judge banned him from leaving the country for 18 months. The Uruguayan government denied the request in December.
    Odebrecht is accused of doling out nearly $800 million in bribes between 2001 and 2016 to get contracts from governments to build roads, bridges, dams and highways.

    Authorities say Odebrecht officials shipped cash across the globe -- from one shell bank account to the next -- en route to politicians' pockets in a dozen countries, including Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, and Mozambique. Some of the bribes filtered through the United States.

    The corruption scandal -- one of the biggest in modern history -- implicated several former Latin American presidents.

    Last year, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned one day before the congress voted on his impeachment. He continued to deny any wrongdoing in the Odebrecht scandal.

    Ecuador suspended Vice President Jorge Glas, who was later sentenced to six years in prison in December 2017 for receiving $13.5 million in bribes from Odebrecht.

    And former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption and money laundering, including allegedly allowing Odebrecht to pay for his family's vacation home.

    This story has been updated to reflect the latest reporting.

    CNN's Rafael Romo, Mariano Castillo, Radina Gigova contributed to this report
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  4. #8359

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Julia Ioffe
    ‏Verified account

    Hacked emails seem to show that the campaign of the comedian who has upended Ukraine's presidential race is the Kremlin.

    Link is in Russian
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  5. #8360

    Re: World News Random, Random

    France announces contest to redesign Notre Dame spire
    PM says rebuilt cathedral could reflect ‘techniques and challenges of our times’

    Jon Henley in Paris

    France will launch an international architectural competition to redesign the roofline of Notre Dame Cathedral after a huge fire gutted the oak-beamed structure and sent its 300ft spire crashing into the nave, the prime minister has said.

    Édouard Philippe said the competition would give the 850-year-old building “a spire suited to the techniques and challenges of our time”. He said anand estimation of the cost of rebuilding the cathedral had yet to be made. French billionaires, multinationals and private citizens have so far raised €880m (£762m) for the restoration.

    The French president, Emmanuel Macron, promised the nation on Tuesday night that Notre Dame, a powerful symbol of France’s history and culture, would be rebuilt – and be “more beautiful than before” – within five years, a timetable many experts consider impossible.

    Notre Dame’s rector said he expected the building to remain closed to the public for five to six years. “A segment has been very weakened,” said Bishop Patrick Chauvet.

    A fire service spokesman said there was no immediate danger that the structure, which lost two-thirds of its roof in the fire, would collapse. But it was not yet considered secure enough for investigators to enter and start examining the source of the fire in situ, the prosecutor’s office said.

    Investigators, who have said they have no reason to believe the blaze was anything but an accident, spoke to about 30 witnesses on Tuesday, including employees of companies involved in a €150m restoration programme that is widely believed to be linked to the fire.

    A fire brigade official, Philippe Demay, said the cathedral’s twin towers would have collapsed if the 400 firefighters on the scene had not moved fast and brought in the right heavy equipment. The operation was “extremely difficult”, he said, denying the service could have acted any faster than it did.

    Notre Dame was built over a period of nearly 200 years, starting in the middle of the 12th century, but the 93-metre lead-covered spire was only added in the mid-19th century, during a major restoration project completed by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

    “The international competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc,” Philippe told reporters after a cabinet meeting dedicated to the fire.

    “Or, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, whether we should endow Notre Dame with a new spire. This is obviously a huge challenge, a historic responsibility.”

    The prime minister said the government would present a bill next week to ensure “transparency and good management” during the reconstruction project, including measures to make sure all donations actually end up going to Notre Dame. Ordinary French citizens will benefit from a tax break of 75% on donations up to €1,000.

    Architects have identified three main holes in the structure: where the spire formerly stood, in the transept, and the vault of the north transept. But a Paris fire service spokesman, Gabriel Plus, said on Wednesday the cathedral’s renowned rose windows were in good condition, although there was a risk for the gables in which they were set because these were “no longer supported by the frame”.

    Statues inside the gables had been taken down as a precautionary measure to reduce the load on the weakened structure, Plus said. The spire’s bronze rooster, long a symbol of France, was found on Tuesday, deformed by the heat and battered by its fall but nonetheless recognisable.

    Firefighters carrying out safety checks on the cathedral. Photograph: Bastien Louvet/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

    Many other priceless artefacts inside the cathedral were also saved, including the Crown of Thorns, seen as Notre Dame’s most sacred relic, and the famous 18th-century organ that boasts more than 8,000 pipes. Some paintings and other artworks will be restored at the Louvre after sustaining smoke and water damage.

    Stéphane Bern, the government’s culture representative, said on Wednesday that €880m had been raised for the restoration so far, with contributors including Apple, the Total energy group and tycoons who own luxury French brands such as L’Oréal, Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton. Many private individuals in France and around the world have also donated.

    Experts have said Macron’s five-year timetable, which would see the rebuilding completed by the 2024 Paris Olympics, is highly ambitious. One leading French conservation architect, Pierluigi Pericolo, told French media it was “a colossal task” that would take “no less than 15 years”.

    Pericolo, who worked on the restoration of the 19th-century Nantes basilica, which was badly damaged by fire in 2015, said it could take between two and five years just to check the stability of the weakened edifice. “It’s a fundamental step, and very complex, because it’s difficult to send workers into a monument whose vaulted ceilings are swollen with water,” he told French radio.

    “The end of the fire doesn’t mean the edifice is totally saved. The stone can deteriorate when it is exposed to high temperatures and change its mineral composition and fracture inside.”

    Companies specialising in the restoration of historic buildings and monuments also warned they would have trouble finding enough skilled workers and apprentices.

    “We’ll have to recruit 100 masons, 150 woodworkers and 200 roofers,” said Jean-Claude Bellanger of the artisans’ organisation the Compagnons du Devoir. “The problem is that these manual crafts are undervalued and don’t attract many people. We have the firms and the expertise, but there’s a serious lack of young people for this work.”

    Shopkeepers and cafe and restaurant owners in the vicinity of the cathedral have said they too are worried about their futures. Notre Dame receives about 13 million visitors a year, on whom many local businesses depend for their income.

    The Île de la Cité on which the cathedral stands is still sealed off and Patrick Lejeune, the president of the local business association, said the group’s 150 members were alarmed. “No one is talking about us,” he said. “I don’t even have access to my office.”
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  6. #8361

    Re: World News Random, Random

    The Associated Press
    Verified account

    Nearly $1 billion has poured in from ordinary worshippers and high-powered magnates around the world to restore Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a massive fire.

  7. #8362
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: World News Random, Random

    I’ve been reading $8 billion as the estimated amount to rebuild.

  8. #8363

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Doubt it's that high. It's not the first great building to be rebuilt after a fire or war. This one is symbolically so important that I have no doubt the French government will do all it can to rebuild it as good or better.
    Roger forever

  9. #8364

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Caroline Orr

    holy crap. Arron Banks' Leave EU campaign paid for Facebook ads aimed at attracting far-right extremists... and BBC had the story but dropped it.

    17 Apr 2019
    Revealed: Brexit group covered up its targeting of right-wing extremists
    Brexit-backer Arron Banks repeatedly denied that Leave.EU appealed to National Front supporters – in a bid to get the BBC to drop an investigation

    Arron Banks repeatedly lied to cover-up his Brexit campaign’s effort to attract far-right extremists.

    Leave.EU paid for Facebook adverts targeted at supporters of the National Front, the BNP, Britain First and the EDL.

    But when the BBC asked for a response to a story they planned to run, Mr Banks sent a barrage of emails in an attempt to get the story dropped.

    Leaked emails, seen by Channel 4 News, show Mr Banks insisted the BBC’s accusation were “wholly wrong” – despite his own staff telling him the story was true.

    One Leave.EU employee told him: “Those are our ads, we have targeted those groups since the beginning of the campaign as they gain most traction.”

    Another Leave.EU staffer proposed telling the BBC: “We pay for target ads for all political parties, not just right wing.”

    But Mr Banks replied: “Not the right answer.”

    Instead, Mr Banks told the BBC: “It’s wholly wrong to say we have targeted extreme right parties… your report needs to reflect this or it will be biased and if we have to we will take whatever legal action we need.”

    Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s Head of Communications, even appealed to the head of BBC Westminster, Robbie Gibb, in a further attempt to prevent the story from being run.

    Mr Gibb is now Theresa May’s head of communications.

    In a series of late night emails to Mr Gibb, Mr Banks described the story as a “smear campaign” and threatened to make a formal complaint.

    Afterwards, Mr Banks emailed another Leave.EU director, saying: “I don’t think they will Run it after all that lot . You will have a busy week next week since Robbie will react by giving us massive exposure.”

    The BBC dropped its investigation. They told us this was because they were unable to establish that Leave.EU had targeted far right groups deliberately.

    A version of this story about Leave.EU targeting the far right was eventually reported by the Sunday Times.

    In his book about the referendum campaign, Arron Banks recounted the incident, claiming: “Robbie Gibb is being quite helpful and says he’s trying to hose it down.”

    The former Chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, told us: “These are serious allegations and that the BBC’s Director General should investigate why the story was dropped”.

    The BBC told us our story is “untrue” and that they had resisted pressure from Arron Banks.

    Instead, the broadcaster said it dropped the story because their reporter was unable to establish that Leave.EU had targeted far right groups deliberately.

    The BBC said Mr Gibb was not the editor involved with the story and had no say in the decision not to run it.

    And it said it has seen no evidence to substantiate claims their editorial standards were compromised in any way.

    Robbie Gibb told Channel 4 News: “These allegations are ridiculous and without merit. I remain proud of my contribution to the BBC’s impartial coverage of the 2016 EU referendum campaign.”

    When asked for a response to this story, Leave.EU questioned our methods and journalistic integrity – and also threatened to post one of our journalist’s personal phone number on social media.

    Channel 4 News Investigations Team.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  10. #8365

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Simon Carswell
    ‏Verified account

    US politicians and Brexiteers clash on ‘concocted Border issue’ at heated London meeting - @IrishTimes

    @SpeakerPelosi - second in line to the US presidency - insists nothing must imperil ‘seamless’ Irish Border

    Speaker of the US House of Representatives warns in address to Dáil there will be no UK-US trade if #Brexit damages peace process - @IrishTimes

    Spotted having a natter at State dinner hosted by Taoiseach for @SpeakerPelosi at Dublin Castle: Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

    Nancy Pelosi
    ‏Verified account

    Let me be clear: if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday Accords, there will be no U.S.-U.K. trade agreement. #Dáil100
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

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