ISIS Uses Dogs to Execute Its Members

The ISIS used dogs in a new violent method of punishing 
its members as it has recently executed several leaders 
by giving them to dogs to be eaten to death.
AhlulBayt News Agency - The ISIS used dogs in a new violent method of punishing its members as it has recently executed several leaders by giving them to dogs to be eaten to death. 

A Peshmerga commander on Gwer frontline said that IS has recently executed a number of its leaders on charges of failing to accomplish their chief duties. 

Hasan Khala Hasan, the Peshmerga commander, said that IS has reportedly tied the leaders to trees and used dogs to maul them to death. 

IS used this violent method of executing its members to frighten other members to strictly follow the rules and commands. 

Dler Ahmed, a Kurdish sociologist, explained that IS employs frightening methods as a principle of the organization to achieve its aims. 

"IS uses any members who are thought to be of no use, for the organization to frighten other members” 

Thr frightening method affects only the members of the organization and it will leave no effect on anti-IS forces, he added.

Desert Trip Details Announced: Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, More to Play Coachella Venue

Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who to play Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA, October 7-9.

t’s confirmed. Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who are set to play the Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA, October 7-9. If this location sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same venue that the Coachella Music & Arts Festival has been held for 17 years. Goldenvoice and AEG Live, producers of Coachella, are behind this massive classic rock event.

Desert Trip is the first-of-its kind, headliners-only multi-night concert featuring six Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

The three night concert kicks off Friday night, October 7 with The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan and His Band, followed on Saturday night, October 8 by Paul McCartney and Neil Young + Promise of the Real, with the weekend coming to a close on Sunday night, October 9 with Roger Waters and The Who.

The bill consists of two acts per night with no supporting artists.

Tickets will go on sale Monday, May 9 at 10:00am PT via Similar to Stagecoach the giant country music festival held at the same location. But unlike Coachella and Stagecoach, single day tickets are available. Also different from the other two multi-stage festivals, Desert Trip will feature a single massive stage with grandstand seating.

Ticket prices are as follows:
3 Day Passes
General admission – $399
Reserved floor – $699, $999, $1,599,
Reserved grandstand – $999, $1599
Standing pit – $1,599

Single Day Passes
General admission – $199

Hotel packages, premium seating, RV and tent camping will be available. The weekend will feature an all-star lineup of world renowned chefs and 40 of the best restaurants from Los Angeles to New York.

A Bygone Time Captured Through the Lens of Walker Evans

The most comprehensive show of work by the photographer Walker Evans since the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s retrospective in 2000 will open at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in June. While the photographer’s work has been exhibited widely and often, the South has not “been exposed to an Evans show of this scope and caliber,” said Brett Abbott, the High’s curator of photography. The High will be the show’s only stop in the United States — something of a coup for a regional museum.

The show, “Depth of Field,” originated last year at the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat in Bottrop, Germany, with the participation of John T. Hill, executor of the Evans estate, as the lead consulting curator, in collaboration with Heinz Liesbrock, director of the Josef Albers Museum, and Mr. Abbott.

A sizable number of photographs that Evans took in the 1930s in the South on assignment for the Farm Security Administration will be shown, along with his well-known photographs of tenant farmers and their families in Hale County, Ala., published in the 1941 book “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” which Evans wrote with James Agee.

The curators wanted to place the Farm Security Administration material in the context of Evans’s career, assembling, as well, work he made on the streets of New York and Cuba in the 1930s, his work for Fortune magazine in the ’40s and ’50s, and his color images from late in life. Included, too, are rarely seen portraits of his accomplished friends and colleagues, such as Lincoln Kirstein and Berenice Abbott, as well as his self-portraits. Evans claimed Eugène Atget and August Sander as his major influences, and examples of their photographs from the High’s permanent collection will be in the show.

Given the ever-morphing dimensions of contemporary photography — ranging from constructed narrative scenes made in the studio to ideologically-based assemblages of found Internet imagery — much of the work being shown in galleries today is positioned at a century-arm’s length from Evans’s straightforward, black-and-white documentation of the reality-based world. It’s not hard to imagine, then, a modern urban artivore rolling his eyes at the seemingly retrograde Evans show.

Asked why this show has relevance, Mr. Abbott laughed. “There’s probably no question that Evans is one of the great artists of the 20th century,” he said. “That’s always a good enough reason for me.”

Evans was also very influential; he was the first photographer to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, in 1938, and his work was important to consequential photographers like Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and Paul Graham, to name only a few.

Throughout the 20th century, photography as proof, or documentation, of the physical world was a defining principle of the medium’s art-making practice. Evans’s simple, forthright approach, his clean compositional geometry, and the optical clarity of his pictures underscore the camera’s potential to record and describe the world with a starkness that is, at times, astonishing. As Garry Winogrand famously said, “There is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described.”

A Famous Texan Socialite on Feeling Comfortable in Couture

The legendary Houston socialite Lynn Wyatt likes to describe her couture gowns as “old friends.” The sentiment refers to her penchant for re-wearing the same custom outfits on multiple occasions — and the fact that many of the dresses were designed by close friends. This week, Wyatt, 80, will auction off 17 of her most iconic couture outfits from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s — including designs by Chanel, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy — on Paddle8. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Rothko Chapel in Houston.

“I was going to donate them to a museum,” Wyatt says of her gowns, “because they are in pristine condition. I take care of my things.” Wyatt, who describes her own style as “class with a bit of dash, and no trash,” says her interest in fashion developed through osmosis. She’s the granddaughter of the founder of the Sakowitz department store chain, where she convinced her father to let her work as a salesgirl while she was in high school. The auction includes the first couture outfit that Wyatt ever purchased: a classic, 1970 black Chanel bouclé skirt suit. Wyatt’s husband — the oil mogul Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. — “loved Chanel,” and encouraged her to have some pieces made. During an early fitting in Paris, she recalls meeting Coco Chanel herself — ever so briefly. “She popped into the room and looked at me, and said, ‘Oh, so you’re the Texan?’ I said, ‘Yes ma’am.’ She shook hands, and was out the door.”

Wyatt says she favors couture because it makes her feel at ease. “When it’s made to measure, it fits so perfectly,” she says. “You just go out the door and you forget about yourself. I do, anyway.” As a result, she says she doesn’t spend much time agonizing over what to wear. “I don’t decide until the minute I’m going to wear it.” She rarely remembers what she wore to a particular event, but she does recall a compliment bestowed by her longtime friend Bill Blass at a black-tie dinner. “He came up to me and said, ‘You know, you happen to have my dress on backwards,’” Wyatt remembers. “And I said, ‘I know that, because I want it lower in the back and a high neck in the front.’ He looked me up and down and said, ‘You sure look great, babe.’ It was so funny. It was a shock that I did it on purpose, I guess.”

In addition to Wyatt’s cherished couture, the auction also includes an array of art, including Andy Warhol prints, photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and an assortment of books and catalogs of Mark Rothko’s work, donated by his family. From her personal collections, Wyatt is including three of Yves Saint Laurent’s “Love” prints — sent as New Year’s cards between 1970 and 2000 — as well as a signed monograph by Helmut Newton, another old friend. (Wyatt’s house in River Oaks has a notorious Helmut Newton-themed powder room, filled with books and photographs. “People go into this guest bathroom, and they stay there for 20 or 30 minutes,” Wyatt says.) Wyatt’s close friends have also donated a number of delightful novelties — from Bono’s Rick Owens leather jacket to a pair of Versace sunglasses from Elton John’s personal collection, and a custom Prada trunk that appeared in “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” donated by Wes Anderson. Tilda Swinton — who received the Rothko Chapel Visionary Award in 2014 — opted to donate something a bit more experiential. “She called me and said, ‘I want to read someone a bedtime story over Skype,’” Wyatt says. “She is so special.”

The Collector: Lynn Wyatt is open for bidding through February 29 at

The World’s Best News Photos from World Press Photo Contest

A man passing a baby through the fence at the Serbian border in Röszke, Hungary. Aug. 28, 2015. Warren Richardson won the World Press Photo of the Year award, along with first prize in singles spot news with this image. CreditWarren Richardson
The judges for the World Press Photo Contest have awarded the organization’s top prize for 2015 to a moody black-and-white image depicting the hardship of the migration crisis.

The photograph, lit only by the moon, is of a Syrian man passing a child under barbed wire in their attempt to cross the border from Serbia into Hungary.

Made by the freelance Australian photographer Warren Richardson, the image also won the contest’s spot news singles category.

Over the past three years, the World Press Photo Foundation endured a series of controversies over the contest’s selection of photo of the year, as well as disqualifications of images because of postprocessing concerns and questions about journalistic accuracy.

Francis Kohn, the jury chairman and photo director at Agence France-Presse, described Mr. Richardson’s World Press Photo of the Year image as subtle, with an “overall simplicity of just the moonlight, the barbed wire, the man and the baby.”

Mr. Richardson, 47, covered the migrant crisis last year for several months without any paid assignments. He worked on a shoestring, living with the migrants and at times going without meals.“I could feel the drama, the hardship, and also the hope,” Mr. Kohn said. “As I thought about this picture, it really grew on me day after day. The photo is not a punch in the face.”

The winning image has not been published before, Mr. Richardson said, although he had sent it, along with others from the European migrant crisis, to two photo agencies.

“This is a tough industry to be in, tough financially and on your personal life,” he said.

Mr. Richardson has worked internationally on substantive issues for more than 20 years but said he has had to, at times, turn to “celebrity-based” photography to finance more serious stories.

But the paparazzi stakeouts eventually became too discordant with his other work and he had to stop, he said.

Other 2016 winners included several photographers working for The New York Times. In total The Times received three first place awards.

Migrants attempting to board a train in Tovarnik, Hungary, that was headed to Zagreb, Croatia. Sept. 18, 2015. (First prize, general news, stories.)Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
Daniel Berehulak won first place in the daily life stories category for his photographs of the Antarctic, while Sergey Ponomarev took first place in the general news category for reporting on Europe’s migrant crisis for The Times. Mr. Berehulak also came in third in the category for his coverage of the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake.

Mauricio Lima took first place for an image of an Islamic State fighter being treated at a Kurdish hospital. Tara Todras-Whitehall was awarded third place for Sport stories for her photos of a soccer club of ebola survivors.

“These awards demonstrate the serious commitment to quality photojournalism and telling difficult stories while working in hard situations of Sergey, Daniel, Mauricio, and Tara,” said Michele McNally, the Times’ director of photography.

Mary Calvert won first place for her searing photographs of survivors of sexual abuse in the United States military. Nancy Borowick took second place for her intimate photo essay of her parents’ love as they both succumbed to cancer. David Guttenfelder came in third in the category for his photographs of North Korea. No winners were announced in the group long-term projects category.In addition, two photo essays, each published in several installments on the Lens blog, won first and second place in the long-term projects category for a single photographer.

After last year’s controversies, the World Press consulted with photographers, editors and publishers in 15 countries to produce new rules. The changes included a code of ethics for entrants and provided detailed guidelines regarding digital manipulation of images.

The Amsterdam-based organization also added an independent fact-checking process for captions and a 36-hour period for entrants whose images may have been unduly altered to explain their process.

Lars Boering, the managing director of World Press Photo, said in an interview that the new rules were successfully instituted.

The process “ran smoothly,” he said, adding that the judging process was not much different from in previous years.

Ondrej Bank of the Czech Republic crashing during the downhill race of the Alpine combined at the World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colo. Feb. 15, 2015. (First prize, sports, singles.)CreditChristian Walgram
The winning image is in line with the changes of World Press photos over the last few years to being more interpretive and poetic,” he said, adding that he was speaking just for himself.

All of the winning photos were checked for caption accuracy and postprocessing violations, he said. Information on any disqualifications of images that were considered as finalists will not be released until a technical report on the contest is issued on Feb. 29. But Mr. Boering said, “We checked more photos than last year and found less, and that’s clearly a good sign.”

Along with Mr. Boering, David Campbell spent much of the last year shepherding the re-examination of the contest.

“The process clarified the purpose of the contest as one based on journalistic ethics where the pictures have to be accurate and fair,” he said. “The renewed focus for the contest and the verification processes worked, and the outcome was very satisfying from the organization’s point of view.”

“The jury is independent,” he added.

By James Estrin

The famous coffee Pícaro in Granada Spain close to the 'pressure' of the city mayor

United Photo Press last photo exhibition 
Place of culture, home of Jazz Festival Hocus Pocus, or the book fair.

After more than a decade as a reference to the culture of Granada, Cafe Pícaro in Realejo, he has had to close its doors to the demands of area Environment of the City of Granada. It leaves behind a long story that sounds like Jazz, to magic, poetry readings and storytelling, brilliant references to cultural way. This is the story of a forced dismissal signed by its owner, Gerardo Rosales.

Coffee Stories

Once upon a time Granada was a place called Cafe Pícaro, where we enjoyed theater, concerts, poetry readings, magic, storytelling, exhibitions of painting, photography, workshops in piano, voice modulation and many cultural activities were to reach. Busy place where artists and lovers gave cites the cultural show, chatting under the drug steaming coffee or a beer enjoying a little show until midnight, resulting always short.

We lost a place of management and cultural exchange, the refusal of the council to recognize and grant activity cabaret, valued in any city for diversity that offers its streets promoting their artists and publicizing emerging values.

We enjoyed Coffee Pícaro and its culture for more than a decade, but has been forced to close to the persecution of the City, particularly from the Department of Environment, which meant that any establishment having performances is a Room festivals and as such must be soundproof and placed it against various reports of the Andalusian noting that must be classified in the group of cinemas, theaters and Pub, and against what the Art itself. 33.5 of Decree 6 / 2012, which says: "These limits apply depending on the schedule of the activity in the local consideration".

United Photo Press last photo exhibition 
The activity of Café Teatro, if properly understood, should be considered as cultural offerings for the city, both for its manager and for the administration, their schedules are coffee and their activities are of a theater, performances and shows, with or without musical content, until midnight, must not exceed 85 decibels at most 90 and guarantee them through a limiter in the reproduction chain and understand cities as Paris, Brussels, London or Madrid and overseas, why Why not in Granada, in whose hands are?

No doubt cafe-theater generate diversity on the streets of any city, retaining its visitors with its range of cultural leisure, create jobs, as discussed above promotes its musicians, actors, poets, magicians, etc. Granada increasingly receives more tourism, but tourism step and visit the Alhambra and leaves little to Malaga, Granada does not offer anything to stay a night or two, but thousands of bars as those found in any city.

From here, I call on policy makers to open the city to the culture and the private sector, our streets are dressed in diversity and culture offering not only food, which have spaces where our artists find their audience. The Victoria Cross known today made his first concert at Cafe Rogue went revealing in these spaces as needed in any city.

Gerardo Rosales (owner)
Carlos Alves de Sousa / United Photo Press

A flowering Atacama Desert, the other side of Chile's deadly rainstorms

Undated photograph of northern Chile's Atacama desert, the world's driest desert, which is blooming in the wake of unusual rains earlier this year. EFE/Chilean National Tourism Service / United Photo Press

The heavy rains unleashed by a storm that battered northern Chile in March have nurtured life in the world's driest desert and thousands of tourists are marveling at the thriving plant and animal life in the region during the Southern Hemisphere spring.

The rains caused mudslides and floods, killing 28 people and leaving thousands of others homeless.

But the unusual precipitation also transformed the desert, where more than 200 native species of plants now give the arid lands rare scents and colors.

"The Atacama region was punished, but also blessed by the phenomenon of a flourishing desert, something that happens only after the rains, this time brought about by El Niño and climate change," Daniel Diaz, National Tourism Service director in Atacama, told EFE.

"The intensity of blooms this year has no precedent," Diaz said. "And the fact that it has happened twice in a same year has never been recorded in the country's history. We are surprised."

There are only three places in the world where classic deserts bloom: the United States, Australia and Chile.

"It is a unique experience and we take the opportunity to document the ecosystem's dynamics, to observe how flowers live and to catalog them," tour guide Rodrigo Arcos told EFE.

After the devastating deluges in March and additional rain in August, officials said the Atacama region had been able to recover to a large extent due to tourism.

"Tourism gives us a chance to boost the economy and not be dependent only on mining, as it has happened so far," Atacama Gov. Miguel Vargas said.

Atacama, which made headlines around the world in 2010 when 33 miners were trapped underground and rescued 71 days later, is now listed in the Lonely Planet travel guide as one of the 10 major destinations of 2015.

Atacama's residents are awaiting the arrival of about 20,000 tourists eager to see a blooming desert, and experts say the natural phenomenon will continue until November.

Quantum Hilbert Hotel


In 1924 David Hilbert conceived a paradoxical tale involving a hotel with an infinite number of rooms to illustrate some aspects of the mathematical notion of “infinity.” 

In continuous-variable quantum mechanics we routinely make use of infinite state spaces: here we show that such a theoretical apparatus can accommodate an analog of Hilbert’s hotel paradox. We devise a protocol that, mimicking what happens to the guests of the hotel, maps the amplitudes of an infinite eigenbasis to twice their original quantum number in a coherent and deterministic manner, producing infinitely many unoccupied levels in the process. 

We demonstrate the feasibility of the protocol by experimentally realizing it on the orbital angular momentum of a paraxial field. This new non-Gaussian operation may be exploited, for example, for enhancing the sensitivity of NOON states, for increasing the capacity of a channel, or for multiplexing multiple channels into a single one.

Coherent OAM multiplication.—Top row: Near field of input coherent superpositions. Bottom row: Tripled output states. The number of petals is 6|ℓ|, as expected from a coherent operation.

Although not in the form of a real hotel made of brick and cement, the Czech physical Václav Potoček, Quantum Theory department researcher at the University of Glasgow, now recreated a Hilbert Hotel in quantum version, using a beam of light.

In Hilbert experience, the mathematician explains that in a depleted hotel, but with an infinite number of rooms, new rooms can always be created, and can always be accommodated more guests because the hotel manager could simply "change" all the guests present for a new room and put more guests in rooms that are vacant.

Hilbert even proposes two rules for changing guests.

With one of the rules, it creates a new room and all guests move to the room with the number above the room they are in, freeing the room number 1 for additional guests.

With the other rule, guests move to the room that has the number that is twice the number of the room they are in, creating an infinite number of new rooms and freeing the odd rooms.

In their study, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team of Václav Potoček has now proposed two ways to model this paradox - a theoretical and experimental.

Both use the infinite number of quantum states of a quantum system to represent the infinite number of rooms in a hotel.

The theoretical proposal Potoček uses the infinite number of energy levels of a particle in a quantum system, known as potential well, while the experimental demonstration using infinite number of orbital angular momentum states of the light.

Happy New Year's from President of United Photo Press

Good evening to all present here tonight. We are grateful for the presence of All.

All these different individuals from UNITED PHOTO PRESS have their own values and norms, and together they form a multitude of Being, which is what we would like to discuss tonight.

We would like to talk about welfare. What does welfare mean to each of you? What makes you feel prosperous at times? Welfare is often based on matter. The welfare state and welfare states are slaves of the economy. If the economy is in decline, welfare declines too. As a result, welfare states − which are based on matter and on collecting matter − will become increasingly vulnerable.

The reason being that if matter disappears or diminishes, the welfare state will become shaky and cracks will appear. In fact, the first small cracks are already present.

The credit crisis has been perfect for the inhabitants of planet Earth. Again it shows that people are hugely dependent on each other. Everything that is based on matter and on the current economic model will become shaky. There are no securities anymore. Predictions cannot be relied on anymore, so where is welfare to be found? What is welfare based on? Know that every prosperous welfare state will become very vulnerable − not only for attacks but also for credit crises.

Whatever may happen, your current system of norms and values will change. The credit crisis has shown that countries are very much dependent on another. Even countries that do not have any ties can influence each other. Mass production and everything that has to do with the economy creates vulnerability, for you cannot guarantee the production of a product if a certain part cannot be delivered anymore. If a certain kind of energy cannot be supplied anymore, things will go wrong. These are the pillars of what you call welfare. Welfare in all its forms has become unsteady because it is based on the wrong norms and on the wrong values. They were very valuable for a long period of time but modernisation cannot be stopped anymore. There will be a different form of solidarity. People will see the need for creating a new kind of solidarity, to which the climate contributes as well.

Greater cooperation will be required, a more global cooperation of all forces on Earth. Individual forces will not change things; only cooperation can prevent disasters. Let’s go back to the topic of welfare. If we would have to define welfare, our definition would include: food, water, healthier air and, naturally, investing in the individual. In this way each human being will be able to develop his or her unique qualities to become an even more valuable human being for society, which will create a valuable sense of belonging to a group, to the people of a nation. Imagine all inhabitants of the Earth, its people, each single one, would feel valuable – there would no longer be any conflicts anymore.

Look at the youth which en masse gets together on the streets and cause uproar. Which norms and values do they represent? What does so-called welfare have in store for them? They feel turned away. They feel misunderstood and hence they create uproar. They do not count, they do not feel valuable. If you look at groupings which create terror and suppression, look at their norms and values and their sense of being valuable. Often these groupings consist of individuals who have a huge inferiority complex. If the value of each human being will become important again, if people invest in their personal individual norms and values – not in welfare, which aims at matter – many conflicts could be avoided. Those groupings that create uproar − know that they do this because of their inferiority complex, because of a feeling of being misunderstood and of a sense of not belonging. Solidarity is what it is all about. And, dear all, it is not about anything to do with masses, such as mass production, mass distribution or suppression of the masses in the name of the economy.

The individual will triumph, because through crises and shortage people become creative again. They will bring forward creative solutions which will not necessarily result in mass production. Eventually it will turn out that these creative solutions are less vulnerable, for it is mass production which is incredibly vulnerable. So prioritise yourself. Invest in yourself. What are your values? What are your qualities? Get a job in which you can fully express those qualities. Let your norms and values be important for yourself as an individual, and do not impose them on someone else.

Let everyone live their lives according to their own norms and values. And set an example, especially for children. They are the future. If you watch closely, a lot is happening to children right now. New age children are about to swing into action and the newer new age children are on their way. They are more sensitive, more vulnerable and at the same time more powerful. They will not accept norms and values which do not feel right for them. They will not blindly accept things. They know that they know a lot. They know that they are wise. They know that they are valuable. Consider each child to be a valuable addition to your life and know that rebellious children actually feel inferior; they feel that their qualities do not matter.

If people invest more in these children, in individuals and not in the masses, there will be much more harmony. So try to be your individual self for the upcoming year 2015, according to your values and to your norms. Try to be valuable for yourself and for others. In this way you will help creating a new sense of welfare. The old notion of welfare will anyhow disappear, because it is based on old norms and old values. Modernisation will set in more and more quickly. You think that things are moving fast and things do move quickly, but they can move even faster. If you take a look around, you can already notice the change. Conflicts that now arise, are often solved more quickly too. Areas in which conflicts have prevailed will gradually move along with the modernisation, and slowly but surely peace and harmony will settle there because of changing norms and values.

Take a look at yourself. Forgive yourself for what you would have done wrong. Forgive yourself for the judgements and prejudices you still hold. And send this feeling and energy to the areas which have been in conflict for ages. The conflicts seem insolvable between the different groups, different norms and values, which are often based on pride and self-interest. Send the energy of forgiveness to these areas. The conflicts can only be solved if people forgive, if people put themselves aside and prioritise their society and their children, who are the future of those areas. So take a look inside – many things have already happened this year, in 2015.

We have already mentioned it before. Being connected with things known as ‘paranormal’ will turn out to be a privilege. Paranormal, just outside the normal and yet not the abnormal – it will turn out to be more and more valuable to be connected with your intuition, with your feeling, or with your higher guidance. This is the best navigation you can have in these stormy times. And you will feel increasingly normal, because many people will awaken. Many people become more inquisitive, they will become more familiar with what they consider to be paranormal, which will become increasingly normal. The tide will be turning and it cannot be stopped. Things ‘paranormal’ will become normal.

And the normal will become paranormal. We will get another society, which is based on different norms and values. True brotherhood and sisterhood − gone will be the times when people thought they were merely an inhabitant of planet Earth. As a tiny individual you are part of a large community, of a family, of a street, of a village, town or city, of a country, of a continent, of the Earth, of the Universe – and in this grandeur you, as a tiny individual, are important. Just one small seed can spread and multiply, so stay in tune with your navigation. Invest in your personal values, express your qualities and live your individual life. Do not let others decide for you, and the more you are able to live your own life, the more easy it will be to regularly adjust to the needs and wishes of other people.

You will not feel that you neglect yourself. So balance investing in yourself and investing in society – indeed, both aspects – and it will be a win-win situation. You as an individual will become more and more valuable. Try to smile at a stranger at least once a day. It would be a blessing and it would bring about an enormous flow of harmony in the year 2016, because just one smile can set off a chain reaction of smiles.

Go for it – we wish you a year full of welfare.


Thousands Leave Shoes In Paris To Replace Banned Climate March

PARIS — Thousands of demonstrators gathered in central Paris and formed a human chain along the route of a long-planned protest march that was banned by the French government in a security crackdown following the Nov. 13 Paris attacks. Nearby, thousands of shoes, some decorated, were placed at the Place de la Republique to symbolize the many feet that could not march because of the ban.

The place de la Republique is covered with shoes as part of symbolic rally organized by the NGO Avaaz during the forbidden COP21 demonstration on Nov. 29, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo: Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)

A pair of shoes at the place de la Republique with a sign that says, "If you must choose a fight, let it be the climate" on Nov. 29, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo: Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)

Pope Francis also left a pair of shoes on display.

(Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)

But violence erupted as the day progressed with several hundred people, some of them masked, throwing objects at riot police blockading the square in a bid to break through, and desecrating a memorial made of flowers and candles for the 130 victims of the attacks.

Members of riot police fall down during clashes with protestors following a rally against global warming on November 29, 2015 in Paris, a day ahead of the start of the UN conference on climate change (COP21).

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 174 people were jailed for possible charges. He said, separately, that 26 people have been placed under house arrest, stressing they weren't militants but people known for violence in the past.

Some protesters chanted "a state of emergency is a police state.''

Paris police chief Michel Cadot said that a group of 200 or 300 people violated a ban on protests under the country's state of emergency. Cadot said that the group lobbed glass bottles and other projectiles, including candles set out in homage to the victims of the extremist attacks. Shoes laid out at the earlier ceremony also were tossed about. Police fired numerous rounds of tear gas to disperse the group.

A demonstrator, laying down on the ground, is arrested by the police during the forbidden COP21 demonstration at Republique Square in Paris, France on Nov. 29, 2015. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)

President Francois Hollande denounced the violence by a minority as "scandalous,'' both because the clashes were caused by "disruptive elements'' that have nothing to do with environmental activists and because they occurred at Place de la Republique, which has been a memorial square for the victims Paris attacks. He said "everything will be done'' to ensure they are not present during the conference.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls also denounced the violence in a tweet, saying that respecting the square, used to pay homage to attack victims, "is to respect the memory of victims.''

It was not immediately clear if those involved in the violence were from a specific group. A known climate pressure group,, said the protesters were "unaffiliated with the climate movement and broke ''the non-violent pledge that every group involved in the climate coalition" signed off on.

The protests were held ahead of the critical global warming talks outside Paris beginning on Monday.

Biggest festival of hot air balloons in Portugal in Alto Alentejo.

The skies of the Alentejo were more colorful on last Sunday, with the start of the biggest festival of hot air balloons held in Portugal, involving 35 teams from various European countries.

Photography by João Gomes from United Photo Press and promoted by Publibalão company and with the collaboration of Alentejo without Borders - Ballooning Club, the 19th edition of the International Festival of Hot Air Ballooning will held 15th of this month, in Alter do Chão municipalities, Frontier and Monforte, in the district Portalegre.

"This year we had some setbacks to mount the festival, but fortunately everything was solved and is giving a huge joy to see inscribed new teams, counting again with the collaboration of a municipality (Monforte) and introduce new flying sites," said today Lusa agency Aníbal Soares, one of the leaders of the organization.

This year, the event saw the participation of 35 teams from Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, the UK, Holland and Germany.

In addition to performing captive flights, the festival has to offer, daily, free flights (the usual balloon trips).

"The weather was friendly and good weather made color the Alentejo skies. We thus have a week of flights with fabulous images and therefore exceeded our expectations which were already quite high, "he said.

In previous editions, the number of registered teams have been higher, but according Aníbal Soares, the "economic situation" does not allow the participation of a larger number of teams at the festival.

"Things are not easy and we also had to reduce the inscriptions. In addition to the economic situation, this decision also has to do with a strategy that we have, because, for the year, we celebrate 20 editions of the festival, "he said.

In this sense, in 2016, Aníbal Soares promises that the 20th edition of the festival will be a "major event" and a "larger number" of participants to mark the date.

Since this is an event that "projects" Alentejo in the world, the official lamented, however, that there are regional organizations that "do not understand the impact" that the initiative has across borders and therefore do not give your contribution .

The International Festival of Hot Air Ballooning, the oldest of its kind in Portugal, has roots in Portalegre district, having served as a basis for opening in 2012, the first school in the country for hot air balloon pilots in Border.

Stacey Kent live at Faro - Portugal

Radiant jazz singer Stacey Kent has been quietly gathering devotees around the world with her impeccable musicality and a hypnotic voice. Stacey’s powerful instrument rarely rises above an intimate murmur. It’s a sound that makes you lean in to hear what she’s confiding, tinged with the mysterious quality of saudade, an expression for bittersweet pangs of nostalgia and heartache.

Stacey Kent has an elegant and understated way with a standard but her voice is delicately devastating in the songs written especially for her by her husband saxophonist/composer Jim Tomlinson and novelist-turned-lyricist Kazuo Ishiguro.

In Portugal, Stacey performs originals and a collection of wistful bossa nova classics featured on her latest acclaimed album, The Changing Lights, a journey through a sad/romantic world of wanderlust and missed connections.

Her fluency in different languages and musical styles translates into a sophisticated stage presence that crosses boundaries, and the musical and emotional chemistry between Stacey and Jim is palpable.

This was a rare chance to be bewitched by a singular musician and her tight-knit band in songs of love beautifully lost and found.

Stacey, despite singing in English, French and Portuguese, was keen to present to the public all the songs present in Portuguese language.

The supposed end music concert in the city of Faro in the Algarve, the Stacey band was acclaimed at the end to take the stage twice with the audience clapping feet and humming the final song for more than five minutes...

Carlos Alves de Sousa
United Photo Press