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rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
October 1, 2019

Naga Munchetty: BBC reverses decision to censure presenter

The BBC has reversed its decision to sanction BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty for breaking impartiality guidelines with her comments about Donald Trump, following a staff uprising against the ruling and enormous political pressure.


Asked about Trump’s comments on BBC Breakfast, Munchetty said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.”


The U-turn over censuring her came after the Guardian obtained leaked internal correspondence casting doubts on public claims about the complaints process made by a senior BBC executive, as he attempted to explain why Munchetty’s co-host Dan Walker had escaped punishment, despite taking part in the same discussion.

The BBC’s editorial standards director, David Jordan, said Walker could not have been investigated because the single viewer complaint which led to the ruling did not mention the male presenter. “The simple fact is we haven’t had a complaint about Dan Walker’s role,” he said in one interview. “The complaint was about Naga Munchetty.”


The original complaint from a member of the public was titled “Blatant political bias from both presenters” and described Walker as “very unprofessional”, with the member of the public making clear that they blamed the male presenter for leading Munchetty into making the comments.


September 30, 2019

BiSH - Orchestra w/ translation

The official version helps understand the song. This is their in concert performance
Less Than Sex Tour final


We were gazing at all the stars
Floating in the night sky
When suddenly you said
“Were we shining in those days?”
At this point
I doubt I’ll ever know

I didn’t question the lie you told that time
On the uphill road I cried
I can’t see you from now
I’ve resigned myself
To being apart from you

The usual regrets will disappear on the wind
I wish I could have seen a little more
Of the self you never showed to anyone else
Time is quietly scowling

I will never forget
Holding your hand
And laughing together
The oh so many tears I’ve shed
And the voice with which I speak
Are my orchestra

At last you’ve come to see me
I will never forget
The sound of your goodbye
We should have stayed so close
But now all that connects us
Is that sky

Why don’t we switch the night sky
To that 3 AM we cast away like fools
From now on
Even if I have to resign myself
To losing all the years I spent with you

The usual jokes will disappear into the city
I wish I could have shown you a little more
Of the self I never showed to anyone else
Time is quietly scowling

When our eyes meet
I want to make it clear
I wonder if it’s too late
The oh so much frustration and bitterness
Raise the sound
Of my orchestra

Where are you? What are you doing?
I don’t know, but
I have myself to blame for that
Days like this repeat for eternity
If this is God’s idea of a joke
I want to curse him

I will never forget
Holding your hand
And laughing together
The oh so many tears I’ve shed
And the voice with which I speak
Are my orchestra

At last you’ve come to see me
I will never forget
The sound of your goodbye
We should have stayed so close
But now all that connects us
Is that sky
September 30, 2019

I Hear You're A Racist Now, Father! - Father Ted

Mrs. Carberry, the Irish Trumpist
September 29, 2019

Domestic Violence Widespread In Tajikistan; Abuse Is Not A Crime

Ruyo, a 23-year-old victim of domestic abuse in Tajikistan, says her unemployed husband beat her often at their home in Dushanbe before she finally separated from him and filed for divorce.

“He punched me even when I was pregnant,” says Ruyo, who asked that her full name not be used because she doesn’t want her family to recognize she is speaking out publicly about the abuse.


While some progress has been made in addressing the issue, victims still lack adequate protection from the government. Most don’t have access to shelters and other services they desperately need.


HRW says victims testified to being targeted by violence that “caused injuries, including internal bleeding and damage to vital organs, concussions, skull fractures, broken jaws, and severe bruises, as well as symptoms of trauma and emotional distress.”


September 28, 2019

Japan stun Ireland to pull off another famous Rugby World Cup upset

Japan have done it again, this time against the team ranked No 1 in the world just two weeks ago. The hosts came from nine points down to win after playing with a pace and fervour that the humidity and countdown clock could not dim and such was the noise when the final whistle sounded it would have caused the nearby Mount Fuji to wobble.

If Japan left it late against South Africa four years ago, here they took a grip on the game from the moment Michael Leitch, their captain who had been surprisingly named on the bench, came on to the field after 30 minutes. The hosts had troubled Ireland with their ability to offload in contact and spread the ball wide, but they were also excitable.


Ireland had a final chance with 12 seconds to go when Isileli Nakajima knocked on just short of the line. Joey Carbery opted to kick the ball dead and take the bonus point.


September 28, 2019

Everyone Seems to Hate Doug (Ford) and that pains the CPC and (Andrew) Scheer

As the elections draw closer in Canada, polling by the Angus Reid Institute shows that many Canadians plan on voting for the party in their riding based on their Provincial Premier. And nowhere is that more significant than in Ontario (for the Conservatives)
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has not been seen with the Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer at all when Scheer makes his campaign rounds through Ontario. In fact, Scheer never mentions Ford at all. On the other hand if you attended a Trudeau or even a Singh rally the name of Premier Doug Ford echos from the podium.
According to Citynews, the DARTMaru poll has Ford as the 2nd least popular Premier of the provinces polled in Canada (PSI, Nanavut, Northwest and Yukon are not provided due to small size). He only rates higher than Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil; and McNeil has gained 5 points since last polling and Ford dropped 3)

From the Angus Reid Institute:
It appears Scheer is onto something: the latest study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that indeed, half of Ontario’s population (49%) say that Doug Ford’s government will sway their vote. Among this group, the vast majority (85%) say they are less likely to support Scheer and the Conservative Party.

Overall, this equates to four-in-ten (42%) Ontario residents who say Ford’s government will dissuade them from voting for the CPC. In a province that many say could win or lose the election, every vote counts and this data suggests the federal party risks alienating much-needed voters by standing too close to Ford.

Nationally, four-in-ten Canadians (39%) say that the policies and actions of their provincial government will have an impact on who they decide to vote for at the federal level.



September 26, 2019

Why Was Ukraine's Top Prosecutor Fired? The Issue At The Heart Of The Dispute Gripping Washington


Trump and his allies, including his personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, accuse Biden of using his position as vice president and point man on relations with Kyiv in 2016 to help Burisma -- a Ukrainian energy company that was paying Biden's son Hunter, who was on its board of directors -- avoid damage from a criminal investigation.

They assert that Shokin was overseeing an active criminal investigation into Burisma and that Biden at the time told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the United States would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless Shokin was fired.

But Ukrainian prosecutors and anti-corruption activists with knowledge of the matter argue that the timeline of developments in the Burisma case and Shokin's stint as chief prosecutor simply does not fit the narrative being put forward by Trump and his allies.


"There was no pressure from anyone from the United States" to close the case against Zlochevskiy, Vitaliy Kasko, who was a deputy prosecutor-general under Shokin and is now first deputy prosecutor-general, told Bloomberg News in May. "It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015," he added.

Activists say the case had been sabotaged by Shokin himself. As an example, they say two months before Hunter Biden joined Burisma's board, British authorities had requested information from Shokin's office as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering by Zlochevskiy. Shokin ignored them.


It's a good read on the timeline of what happened in Ukraine, the players involved and the why's

September 24, 2019

Franco's body can be moved from burial site, says Spain's top court

Source: Guardian

Spain’s supreme court has ruled in favour of moving the remains of the former dictator Francisco Franco away from the state mausoleum in which he was buried when he died in 1975, possibly putting an end to decades of controversy over his burial place.

This should allow the government of the Socialist Pedro Sánchez to go ahead with its plans to move the remains from the Valley of the Fallen mausoleum to the family tomb at Mingorrubio El Pardo, a state cemetery on the outskirts of Madrid.


The Socialists have long sought to turn the Valley of the Fallen complex outside Madrid into a memorial to victims of the civil war, unleashed by Franco, in which about 500,000 people were killed.

Nearly 34,000 dead from the civil war are buried there, including many who fought for the losing Republican side and whose bodies were transferred to the site during Franco’s dictatorship without the permission of families.

Read more: https:/https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/24/franco-body-moved-burial-site-spain-court

IMO There has to be a trash dump where they can toss his remains
September 24, 2019


BiSH (Brandnew Idol Sh*t), aka Punk Rock Band Without Musical Instruments, is an all-female Japanese Punk Band.
BiSH writes most of their own songs and every member is given a chance to sing in almost every song.
BiSH has been the ultimate anti-idol group; their on stage attire, their songs, their persona are the opposite of what the idol industry promotes. Their costumes and music tends to be dark. Their songs cover a range of issues, like sexual assault, relationship between two high school girls, a post-apocalyptic world, etc. Not the sort of songs you hear on traditional J-Pop and K-Pop music
The members are Aina the End, Momoko Gumi Company, Cent (Saint) Chihiro Chicchi, Hashiyasume Atsuko, LingLing and Ayuni D
They have amazing voices, though some complain that Aina's voice is too squeaky. I disagree, I think her voice is sort of a Japanese Janis Joplin sound.
Aina is a somewhat controversial figure in the group, there are complaints on boards here in Japan about how she is ruining the group. This pretty much comes down to, Aina is extremely opinionated, strong-willed, etc. All the members have that reputation, but Aina is the leader of sorts and she is the most outspoken.

Their fan base is fiercely loyal -- one of our twins is a huge fan of BiSH. She loves the whole group, their songs and their stories. She is a proud expert on the group with a gushing admiration and love for Momoko Gumi Company and Ayuni D. Their fans can be quite rowdy, two of their appearances at concerts (that I know of) were shut down by the promoters in the middle because their fans were trashing the place -- Ahhhh... the good old days of punk from my youth

They are managed by Watanabe Junnosuke, who owns WACK Management Co. Watanabe is a bit of a douche, his promotion a few years back where a member of one of his groups had to lose x-kilos or he'd fire her drew a sharp rebuke around the world. To his credit, he apologized and has beena much better person since.
He gives the women in BiSH a lot of freedom to create their own music, their own personas, run their own lives; example: If they choose to date and make it public, he is fine with it. LingLing has done modeling, some of the members have posed naked in magazines, etc and he just lets it go.
While he probably couldn't stop them, it is still refreshingly different from the typical idol crap (or, to us the BiSH 'shit') in Japan where the company carefully crafts the images of their groups, especially the women. According to our BiSH fan twin, "He said he doesn't care what they do because they are successful. Besides, it's punk, not pop."

Good videos to see:
Stereo Future (beautiful use of black & white, costumes and color), My Landscape (a sort of dystopian future in an airplane graveyard), Distance (a beautiful use of color, scenery and costumes), and Orchestra (the favorfite of our daughter) about a relationship at a girl's high school that is broken up

BiSH is worth a listen and a few views

Will post some of their stuff later

September 21, 2019

5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen

1. Czech President Tells Serbia He Will Seek To Withdraw Kosovo Recognition

Czech President Milos Zeman says he would like his country to withdraw its recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign nation.

Speaking during a September 11 visit to Belgrade, Zeman said he would discuss the move with Czech lawmakers.

"The Hague tribunal recently issued news where it expressed suspicion about the war crimes of Kosovo representatives, and I think the prime minister resigned because of this. Let me say a personal opinion that a war crimes-led state should not be located in the community of democratic countries,” Zeman said.


2. 'The men who plundered Europe': bankers on trial for siphoning €60bn

They have been called “the men who plundered Europe”: a group of cowboy traders, seasoned tax lawyers and mathematical whizz kids who are alleged to have conspired in the heart of the City of London to siphon at least €60bn in taxpayers’ money from the state coffers of several EU countries.

In Britain, the so-called “cum-ex” scandal, named after the complex derivatives juggling act employed, gained little attention amid the frenzied debate around the UK’s departure from the European Union when the fraud scheme was discovered in 2017.


The financial rewards were breathtaking: for the five years in which Shields practised cum-ex trades through Gibraltar-based investment vehicle Ballance Capital, his personal income amounted to €12m. In 2010 Shields and his wife managed to purchase a £9.7m mansion on Chelsea’s Egerton Crescent, followed by a €6m Edwardian terrace on Shrewsbury Road, Dublin’s most expensive residential street.


3. Bulgarian Authorities Break Up Illegal Kidney Transplant Group

Bulgarian authorities say they have broken up an organized criminal group that recruited impoverished Bulgarians to sell their kidneys for transplants.

Special Prosecutor Dimitar Petrov said on September 13 that three men and a woman were charged with recruiting kidney donors and putting them in contact with transplant recipients.

Petrov said the transplants were carried out in a hospital in neighboring Turkey and that the donors were provided with forged documents showing the kidney donor and recipient were relatives.

Prosecutors said at least five people had received transplants under the criminal scheme since February 2019.


4. A Warrior Shaman And A Disputed Mayor: Russia's Buryatia Is A Region On Edge

From the arrest of an anti-Kremlin shaman and protests over a disputed election that were brutally put down by police to the arrests of local activists -- at least one allied with the opposition politician Aleksei Navalny -- signs of public discontent are on the rise in the often-overlooked Russian region of Buryatia.

The protests in this corner of Siberia were sparked by the detention earlier this month of supporters of Aleksandr Gabyshev, a shaman trekking since March across the country to Moscow on a self-appointed mission to drive the "demon" President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin.

But they gathered pace after a pro-Kremlin candidate won the mayoral election of Ulan-Ude, the regional capital, on September 8 amid claims of blatant vote rigging. The subsequent police crackdown on protesters only fueled the outrage, even prompting one National Guard officer to issue an appeal to colleagues not to use force against peaceful protesters in a video that went viral.


Gabyshev, who describes himself as a "warrior shaman," has been trekking across Russia on foot pulling a two-wheeled cart loaded with his meager personal effects after setting out from the Far Eastern city of Yakutsk in March. He says he is heading for Moscow to, according to conflicting accounts, either expel Putin from office or exorcise a demon inside the Russian leader.


5. Austria to grant citizenship to descendants of victims of Nazism

Descendants of victims of Nazism who fled the country under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich will now be eligible for citizenship under a new law voted on Thursday by Austria's parliament.

So far only Holocaust survivors themselves could obtain Austrian nationality.

MPs voted by a broad majority for new legislation proposed by Sebastian Kurz's conservative-far-right coalition government before it was deposed in a corruption scandal in May.

Under the new law, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who fled the Nazis can apply for citizenship.


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