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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 22,681

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Pat Robertson was right. Just not the way he thought

On the 4th of January Pat Robertson said, "I believe something dramatic. I believe something very dramatic will happen before Congress meets..." he also added, "The Holy Spirit is going to enter in and something very dramatic will happen."

Something dramatic did happen, on January 5th the Democrats swept the Republicans from both U.S. Senate seats. So, to Pat and his followers, "There's your dramatic happening, courtesy of the Holy Spirit."

You can feel free to disagree. But this is my talking point to all of Pat's followers

Before The Killings: Rare Photographs Of Russia's Last Royal Family (7 photos)


Nicholas II and his wife, Empress Aleksandra (far right), with their four daughters and son. The tsar was forced to abdicate in 1917 and he and his family were shot and stabbed to death by Bolshevik troops, in 1918, before their bodies were doused in acid and dumped into a mine shaft.

Tsar Nicholas II wading on the rocky shore of Finland. After the early death of his father, he confided to a friend, "I am not yet ready to be tsar. I know nothing of the business of ruling."

Anna Vyrubova (right) wading at the beach with Grand Duchesses Tatyana and Olga. After the family was murdered, Anna, a close friend of the royal family, was able to flee Soviet Russia with six albums containing these photographs.

Two of the grand duchesses aboard the Standart. When the children were small, each was assigned a sailor to ensure they didn't fall overboard.

A footbridge at Spala in Poland. During the royal family's 1912 trip here, Tsarevich Aleksei fell while jumping into a rowboat and badly bruised his thigh, triggering internal bleeding that brought the heir apparent to the brink of death.

Tsarevich Aleksei, third from left, playing soldiers. Andrey Derevenko (far left) was one of two minders tasked with looking after the vulnerable heir apparent. Derevenko joined the Bolsheviks soon after the revolution and taunted the tsarevich before disappearing into obscurity.

Villagers photographed during a trip made by the tsar and his family. The picture is one of only a few in the albums which focus on the ordinary people of Russia.

Effects From South Ossetia War Linger 30 Years Later (8 photos)


A woman sits in her apartment, which was badly damaged during fighting between ethnic Georgians and Ossetians in 1991.
The war has been called the most “pointless” of Georgia’s conflicts that broke out amid the collapse of the Soviet Union, but its consequences still loom large over the Caucasus.

A Ossetian hunter photographed in the 1970s. Ossetians are an Iranian ethnic group who speak a language related to Persian.
In 1989, the South Ossetian population of around 98,500 was two-thirds ethnic Ossetian and about one-third ethnic Georgian. An observer noted both Georgians and Ossetians “are among the Soviet Union's most sociable people. They like to drag strangers by the arm to the hospitality of good food and impassioned toasts about freedom.”

Zviad Gamsakhurdia (center) takes part in a Tbilisi rally in 1989.
As Georgia pushed for secession from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, Zviad Gamsakhurdia -- an intellectual who pushed a hard-line, ethnic-nationalist message -- maneuvered into power. He was elected Georgian president in 1991 with nearly 90 percent of the vote. A philosopher reacted to Gamsakhurdia’s “Georgia for the Georgians” platform by declaring: “if this is the choice of my people, then I’m against my people.”

A Soviet soldier stands guard in Tskhinvali in December 1990.
Moscow sent a contingent of Interior Ministry troops to South Ossetia to “prevent clashes and bloodshed,” but Tbilisi protested the Soviet “meddling” and sent in their own fighters.

Ossetian fighters on January 1, 1991, at a barricade set up in Tskhinvali.
A shooting war broke out on January 5 when ethnic Georgian fighters entered Tskhinvali. Urban warfare between the Georgians and Ossetians raged for weeks in the city before the Georgian troops withdrew.

A female Ossetian fighter poses for a portrait.
A Russian woman married to a Georgian told Human Rights Watch she attempted to find help after the couple’s house was robbed but was told “you [cooked] this porridge, now eat it!”

An Ossetian fighter wrapped up against the cold in Tskhinvali in December 1991.
Georgia cut off gas and electricity to the region during the conflict. In Tskhinvali’s hospital, several newborn babies reportedly died from exposure due to the harsh weather. A surgeon in Tskhinvali described the difficulty of working without heating: “When you operate on someone you have to take his clothes off. To keep a patient warm, we have to surround him/her with as many as 12 hot-water bottles.”

The boundary marking South Ossetian territory being patrolled by armed Georgian police in 2016.
Since the conflict ended, the South Ossetia issue has repeatedly flared up, most notably in 2008 when a Georgian attempt to retake the region sparked an all-out war with Russia. Since then, the Kremlin has formally recognized South Ossetian “independence” and Russian and Ossetian troops have gradually pushed fencing and territorial markers deeper into undisputed Georgian territory.
Moscow has said the notorious “borderization” taking place is a matter of South Ossetians marking their "true territorial boundaries in line with maps from the Soviet-era."

Opposition party pushing divided LDP over separate surnames in Japan

The largest opposition party is seeking to push forward a legal revision to enable married couples to have separate surnames by urging some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to join hands with it.

The development comes as a deep divide surfaced within the LDP led by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as to whether to introduce such an alternative to a single surname per couple.

Yukio Edano, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, plans to call for adopting a revision to the Civil Code, which opposition forces submitted in 2018 to introduce separate surnames, in the regular parliamentary session starting later this month.


Under current laws, a couple must choose between either of their surnames upon marriage. While the rule is applicable to either, as it is women who change their surnames in more than 90% of the cases, it has been criticized as discriminatory.

Suga was supportive of the change long before becoming prime minister, and he even suggested in a Diet session in November that he remains committed to introducing the option.

But in an interview broadcasted live online the following month, Suga called for "taking things slowly" in light of a rift within his party that surfaced in compiling the government's basic gender equality promotion policy for the next five years.

"It became quite a debate within the party," he admitted in the program, adding he hopes people don't get "too emotional" over the topic."


Wife and I use separate last names. I'm American and she's half-Korean, half-Japanese
They made no fuss when we registered using separate family names, partially because our passports reflect that. In Korea it's common for both to keep their own family name
Our daughters all use Japanese last names (all still in school).

World's oldest person marks 118th birthday in Fukuoka

Fukuoka – Kane Tanaka, the world’s oldest person who was born in the same year as the Wright brothers’ first powered flight, celebrated her 118th birthday in southwestern Japan on Saturday.

Tanaka, born on Jan. 2, 1903, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living person in March 2019 at the age of 116. Those born in the same year include British novelist George Orwell.

She also set an all-time Japanese age record in September last year at 117 years and 261 days.

Currently living in a nursing home in Fukuoka, Tanaka celebrated her birthday with other residents. She was pleased and said, “Applaud everyone,” according to the facility.

She usually spends her time exercising, doing calculations and playing Reversi. She has a strong appetite and likes eating chocolate and drinking Coke, the nursing home said.

When asked about the secret to her longevity, Tanaka replied, “Eating delicious food and studying.” She said she is aiming to live to 120.

Iran says it has seized South Korean tanker as tensions with US mount

Iranian media reported on Monday that the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards navy has seized a South Korean vessel “for polluting the Persian Gulf with chemicals”.

A South Korean-flagged tanker, the MT Hankuk Chemi, appears to have been seized by Iran and is now in Iranian territorial waters, two maritime security companies said on Monday.

Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed the MT Hankuk Chemi off the port of Bandar Abbas on Monday afternoon without explanation. It had been traveling from Saudi Arabia to Fujairah in the UAE. The ship’s owners could not be immediately reached for comment.


Pope Accepts Resignation Of Minsk Archbishop

The Vatican said Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Minsk, who was briefly prevented from reentering Belarus after he criticized the Belarusian government's harsh crackdown on opposition protesters.

Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz was allowed to return to Belarus last month after being stopped from reentering the country following a trip to Poland in August.

While there, Kondrusiewicz criticized the crackdown on protests against the contested reelection of strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka.


While in Poland, Kondrusiewicz, who is a Belarus citizen, gave an interview to a radio station calling for an end to police violence against protesters and demanding the resignation of Lukashenka.


The Telegram App Gives Voice To The Oppressed In Belarus And Russia. But Hate Groups Are Using It To

In a year marked by tightened restrictions and unrest, Telegram sent a clear message to authoritarian governments who tried to keep it quiet in 2020. But as the app, which has earned a reputation as a free-speech platform, looks to spread the word in Iran and China, its popularity among messengers of violence and hate remains a concern.

Telegram has emerged as an essential tool for opposition movements in places like Belarus and Iran and won a huge victory when the Russian authorities gave up on their effort to ban the app after two fruitless years during which senior officials continued to use it themselves.

But protesters and open media are not the only ones who find sanctuary in a tool like Telegram. Terrorists, hate groups, and purveyors of gore also see the benefits of encrypted group chats that can reach large audiences without censorship.


A quick perusal of some of the more sordid open channels on Telegram reveals that it is a place for violence, criminal activity, and abusers, regardless of what Europol says.


Amid the recent fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, videos apparently taken by Azerbaijani soldiers and distributed on Telegram show executions, including beheadings, as well as other abuses of POWs. The videos prompted an investigation by the Council of Europe, Europe’s top human rights watchdog.


Indonesian nurse suspended for removing PPE to have sex with Covid patient in hospital

A nurse in Indonesia has been suspended for removing his personal protective equipment to have sex with a Covid-19 patient in the hospital.

The incident came to light after a Twitter account (@bottialter) uploaded a picture that showed a heap of PPE lying on the floor of a room, purportedly inside the Wisma Atlet hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The user had also posted a screenshot that he claimed to be a conversation he had with a male nurse, where they are discussing where and when to meet in the hospital.

Another user, Fariedh Abdillah, quoted these tweets and asked authorities to investigate the case. After Mr Abdillah’s tweet went viral, the owner of the original account set it to private.


Kosovo To Hold Snap Elections After Top Court Ruling

Acting Kosovar President Vjosa Osmani began consultations on December 22 with the political parties on setting the date for early elections after the Constitutional Court ruled that the parliamentary vote electing a new government in June was unconstitutional.

The consultations will continue on December 23. So far, the end of January or February 7 were proposed as possible dates for the election.

The Constitutional Court of Kosovo ruled on December 21 that the election of the government of Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti was illegal because one member of parliament who voted for the government had previously served time in prison.

The vote of lawmaker Etem Arifi was one of 61 for Hoti’s government, which was elected by the minimum number in the 120-seat parliament.

The court ruled that the government did not get enough votes and called on Osmani to set a date for new elections, which must be held no later than 40 days from the day of the announcement.

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