Archive for the ‘International’ Category

220px-Air_Raid_Precautions_on_the_British_Home_Front-_Anti-gas_Instruction,_c_1941_D3948The 34th Beijing International Marathon was held on Sunday — an event long-planned by the government to highlight its economic development and tourism. It did not work out quite that way. Instead of a marathon, the race looked like a competition to see who could hold their breath for over 26 miles after pollution levels surpassed the hazardous level. It looked more like a medical emergency with hundreds of runners using oxygen masks to breath and using sponges to clean off pollution on their skin. The government of course reported only “moderate” pollution. When the Chinese government says that pollution is moderate, it may be time to be a couch potato at home like this lovely couple.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

no-surrender-mc-logomedian-empire-fighters-kurdish Dutch and German 1%er Motorcycle clubs have joined the fight against ISIS in the besieged Syrian city of Kobane.

The Dutch club “No Surrender” and Germany’s “Median Empire” are reportedly participating in combat roles against ISIS.

Median Empire, which comprises some members of the Kurdish diaspora, has been in the Kurdistan region since at least April of 2014 offering humanitarian aid and support for the ethnic minorities under persecution of ISIS.

No Surrender is a large club in The Netherlands having approximately equal members as that of the Dutch chapter of the Hells Angels.

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Day 10: Arrivederci Italy

IMG_1068We returned home from Italy with an array gifts and a mountain of memories. Here are a few pictures that include some of of the more unexpected sightings in Italy and Sicily.

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Day Nine: Our Final Day (Rome)

IMG_1425IMG_1387We returned to Rome from Sicily for a final day in this great city. Every day seems to top the last in Italy and this was no exception. It was the perfect way to finish our long visit in Italy and Sicily. While the days have been quite warm (though still better than summer months), this was a cool day with intermittent clouds. Perfect for one last day of walking around Rome. This was the day that I would satisfy another long-standing desire: to visit the Castel Sant’Angelo. It would again surpass all of my expectations.

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250px-Catania_BW_2012-10-06_11-32-08_2_fjOur final day in Sicily was spent in Syracuse and then Catania. We arrived in Catania in the early evening at our hotel Hotel Liberty near the center of town. Catania seems a city that embodies the principle that you should not judge a book by its cover. It is a city without much of the natural beauty of a Syracuse or the charming streets of an Agrigento. Indeed, when you drive through the city you recoil a bit due to the trash and the graffiti. While we stayed at Catania to be close to the airport for our flight, we ventured out and found some interesting sights.

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v3-TwitterDanielap copyOne of the stories making the news here in Italy is the arrest of Daniela Poggiali, 42, a nurse who is accused of killing at least 38 of her patients because she found them or their relatives to be annoying. She was initially charged in the death of an elderly patient and now police believe that she is a serial killer.

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painting1The Credit Suisse global wealth report (pdf), is out and it has some surprising findings on the world wealth distribution. The report says that the richest 1% of the world’s population is not only getting wealthier but owns more than 48% of global wealth. The bottom half of the world population owns less than one percent of the world’s wealth.

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