01-07-13

Grote beroering in Nederlandse Kamer om spionageschandaal

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De Tweede Kamer is zeer bezorgd over mogelijke spionage in de Europese Unie

Zeer sterke geruchte circuleren over mogelijke Amerikaanse spionage binnen de EU, dus ook Nederland. De hele zaak kwam aan het rollen na de onthullingen van Edward Snowden. Wat nagenoeg zeker is, is dat de Amerikanen spioneren in Brussel, Duitsland en Luxemburg dus je kan op je tien vingers natellen dat het ook hier gebeurt.  Verschillende politieke  partijen zoals GroenLinks en de PvdA willen opheldering van minister Ronald Plasterk die tot nu toe stellig heeft ontkend dat zoiets in Nederland aan de orde is maar dat zegt helemaal niets, de Demmink affaire is met hem ook niet bespreekbaar terwijl iedereen weet dat die zaak stinkt als een beerput. ”Het is de wereld op z’n kop dat er op fenomenaal grote schaal wordt afgeluisterd, zelfs tussen bevriende landen”, aldus GroenLinks-kamerlid Liesbeth van Tongeren. Zij wil weten of Nederland hiervan op de hoogte is en of de commissie-stiekem is geïnformeerd. Die Kamercommissie krijgt zeer geheime informatie te horen.

Volgens berichten in het Duitse tijdschrift Spiegel heeft de NSA vestigingen van de EU in Washington en New York afgeluisterd en het computernetwerk geïnfiltreerd. In Brussel zouden telefoons zijn afgeluisterd en e-mails bekeken.

See more at: http://www.waarinholland.nl/2013/06/grote-beroering-in-kamer-om-spionageschandaal/

25-06-13

Parvis de Saint Gilles - Sint-Gillis Voorplein (2)

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http://diversmorkhoven.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/luister-naar-wat-je-kip-te-vertellen-heeft/

Parvis de Saint Gilles - Sint-Gillis Voorplein (1)

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19-06-13

White House: Google campaign

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American war propaganda Google

'White House: Chemical weapons': About 65,800,000 results

White House statement on Syrian regime chemicals weapons - full text
White House says chemical weapons used against Syrian rebels - The Verge
White House plan to arm Syrian rebels raises fears of terrorist links - Fox News
White House: Syria crosses 'red line' with use of chemical weapons - CNN
White House: Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons - Yahoo! News
White House says chemical weapons used against Syrian rebels - The Verge
White House Says Syrian Regime Used Chemical Weapons, Military - buzzfeed
White House: Syria has used chemical weapons - Video on - video.msnbc.
White House: Assad used chemical weapons - Josh Gerstein - politico
White House plan to arm Syrian rebels raises fears of terrorist links - foxnews
White House: Assad Used Chemical Weapons in Syria - voanews
White House says Syria 'Used Chemical Weapons' | @pritheworld - theworld
White House statement on Syrian regime chemicals weapons - full text
WHITE HOUSE: Syria Has Been Using Chemical Weapons On Rebels - businessinsider
White House says Syria 'Used Chemical Weapons' | @pritheworld
White House: Assad Used Chemical Weapons in Syria - voanews
White House says Syria used chemical weapons, crossing Obama's - thehill
White House has proof of chemical weapons in Syria - Deutsche Welle
White House: Syria's Assad Regime Used Chemical Weapons - CNBC - video.cnbc
Daily Kos: White House: Syria has used chemical weapons
Red Line Crossed? White House Claims Chemical Weapons Used - theblaze
White House: Chemical Weapons Used in Syria | National Review - nationalreview
White house statement on syria's use of chemical weapons (full text) - huffingtonpost
Conclusive Evidence of Chemical Weapons in Syria: White House - abcnews
White House: Syrian Regime Has Used Chemical Weapons - cnsnews
White House Says They Have Proof Assad Used Chemical Weapons - crooksandliars
White House: Syria Crossed 'Red Line' By Using Chemical Weapons - www.ibtimes
Here we go: White House formally announces that Assad has used - hotair
White House: Syrian chemical weapons red line crossed - legalinsurrection
The White House Will Reportedly Arm the Syrian Rebels - Abby - theatlanticwire
Red Lined: White House Says It Knows For Sure That Assad Used - thecable.foreignpolicy
White House: Syria's Assad used chemical weapons against rebels - washingtonexaminer
The White House Is Now Sure Syria Used Chemical Weapons - slate
White House: US has conclusive evidence Assad used chemical - www.wjla
White House: Syria used chemical weapons on its people | KDVR.com - kdvr
White House estimates Syrian chemical weapons - Washington Post
White House estimates Syrian chemical weapons - Star Tribune
White House: Syria crosses 'red line' with use of chemical weapons - fox13now
'Red line' watch: White House confirms Syrian use of chemical - twitchy
White House: Syria chemical weapons kill up to 150- bigstory
Assad used chemical weapons on Syrian rebels: White House - www.thespec
White House: Syria chemical weapons kill up to 150 - Newsday
White House: Syria chemical weapons kill up to 150 | National - www.thenewstribune

On 3.14.2012, America's Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google.  Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google both strongly denied giving unfettered access to user data to U.S. officials, but it turns out both companies have, in fact, cooperated with governments requests.

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Some interesting links:

http://ruvr.co.uk/2013_06_17/Russia-no-fly-zone-over-Syria/
http://english.pravda.ru/
http://www.presstv.com/
http://sana.sy/eng/22/index.htm
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/

18-06-13

Latest News Syria: President al-Assad’s interview Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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President al-Assad gives interview to the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper

Jun 17, 2013

President Bashar al-Assad gave the following interview to the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper:

Interviewer: Mr President, how do you view the situation in your country? The Syrian Army has lost control over large parts of Syria, in other words those areas are outside the control of central government. What’s your take on the situation?

President Assad: Your question requires us to put things into their proper context: this is not a conventional war with two armies fighting to control or liberate particular areas or parts of land. What we are in fact dealing with is a form of guerrilla warfare.

As for the Syrian Army, there has not been any instance where our Armed Forces have planned to enter a particular location and have not succeeded. Having said this, the Army is not present – and should not be present – in every corner of Syria. What is more significant than controlling areas of land, is striking terrorists. We are confident that we can successfully fight terrorism in Syria, but the bigger issue is the ensuing damage and its cost. The crisis has already had a heavy toll but our biggest challenges will come once the crisis is over.

Foreign element seeks politically and militarily to prolong crisis

Interviewer: In your recent interview with Al-Manar it appeared as though you were preparing the Syrian public for a protracted struggle. Was that your intention?

President Assad: No, this was not specific to Al-Manar. From the early days of the crisis, whenever I was asked, I have stated that this crisis is likely to be prolonged due to foreign interference. Any internal crisis can go in one of two ways: either it is resolved or it escalates into a civil war. Neither has been the case for Syria because of the foreign component, which seeks to extend the duration of the crisis both politically and militarily; I think its fair to say that my predictions were right.

Genuine re-construction is reconstructing mentalities, ideologies and conceptions

Interview: Mr President, how do you expect to overcome the large-scale destruction that has been inflicted in Syria?

President Assad: In the same way you, in Germany, overcame the devastation after World War II, and in the same way many other nations have progressed and been rebuilt after their wars. I am confident Syria will follow the same path. As long as we have resilient people, we can rebuild the country. We have done this before and we can do it again, learning from all we have been through.

In terms of funding, we have been a self-sufficient country for a very long time. Of course we will need to be more productive than before as a result of the situation. Friendly countries have helped us in the past and continue to offer their support, maybe in the form of loans in the future. It may take a long time, but with our determination, our strength and our solidarity, we can rebuild the country.

However, the more arduous challenge lies in rebuilding, socially and psychologically, those who have been affected by the crisis. It will not be easy to eliminate the social effects of the crisis, especially extremist ideologies. Real reconstruction is about developing minds, ideologies and values. Infrastructure is valuable, but not as valuable as human beings; reconstruction is about perpetuating both.

Re-drawing map of region  will be map of wars in the Middle East

Interviewer: Mr President, during the crisis some areas of the country have become either more self-reliant or more reliant on external support. Do you think this could potentially lead to the re-drawing of borders?

President Assad: Do you mean within Syria or the region in general?

Interviewer: The region – one hundred years after the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

President Assad: One hundred years after Sykes-Picot, when we talk about re-drawing the borders in our region, we can use an analogy from architecture. Syria is like the keystone in the old architectural arches; by removing or tampering with the keystone, the arch will collapse. If we apply this to the region, to the world, – any tampering with the borders of this region will result in re-drawing the maps of distant regions because this will have a domino effect which nobody can control. One of the superpowers may be able to initiate the process, but nobody – including that superpower, will be able to stop it; particularly since there are new social borders in the Middle East today that didn’t exist during Sykes-Picot. These new sectarian, ethnic and political borders make the situation much more complicated. Nobody can know what the Middle East will look like should there be an attempt to re-draw the map of the region. However, most likely that map will be one of multiple wars, which would transcend the Middle East spanning the Atlantic to the Pacific, which nobody can stop.

Interviewer: Mr President, in your opinion what will the region look like in the future?

President Assad: If we rule out the destructive scenario of division in your last question, I can envisage a completely different and more positive future, but it will depend on how we act as nations and societies. This scenario involves a number of challenges, first of which is restoring security and stability; our second challenge is the rebuilding process. However, our biggest and most important challenge lies in facing extremism.

It has become extremely clear that there has been a shift in the societies of our region away from moderation, especially religious moderation. The question is: can we restore these societies to their natural order? Can our diverse societies still coexist together as one natural whole? On this point allow me to clarify certain terms. The words tolerance and coexistence are often used to define our societies. However, the more precise and appropriate definition, of how our societies used to be – and how they should be, is harmonious. Contrary to perception, the issue is neither about tolerance – since there will come a day when you are not tolerant, nor is the issue about coexistence – since you co-exist with your adversaries, but rather it is about harmony. What used to characterize us in the region was our harmony. You cannot say that your hand will coexist with or tolerate your foot because one compliments the other and both are a part of a harmonious whole.

Another challenge is political reform and the question of which political system would keep our society coherent: be it presidential, semi-presidential or parliamentary, as well as deciding the most appropriate legislation to govern political parties. In Germany, for example, you have the Christian Democratic Party. In Syria we could not have religious parties, neither Christian nor Muslim, because for us religion is for preaching and not for political practice. There are many other details, but the essence is in accepting others. If we cannot accept each other we cannot be democratic, even with the best constitution or the best legislations.

we are a secular state that essentially treats its citizens equally

Interviewer: Mr President, where do you see secularism in the midst of the rising Islamic current in the region?

President Assad: This is a very important question; many in the region do not understand this relationship. The Middle East is a hub of different ideologies. Arab society is primarily based on two pillars: Pan-Arabism and Islam. Other ideologies do exist, such as communism, liberalism, Syrian nationalism, but these are not nearly as popular. Many people understand secularism as synonymous with communism in the past, in that it is against religion. In fact it is the complete opposite; for us in Syria secularism is about the freedom of confession including Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and the multiple diverse sects within these religions. Secularism is crucial to our national unity and sense of belonging. Therefore we have no choice but to strengthen secularism because religion is already strong in our region, and I stress here that this is very healthy. What is not healthy is extremism because it ultimately leads to terrorism; not every extremist is a terrorist, but every terrorist is definitely an extremist.

So in response to your question, we are a secular state that essentially treats its citizens equally, irrespective of religion, sect or ethnicity. All our citizens enjoy equal opportunities regardless of religious belief.

Syria is passing through most difficult circumstances, definitely not a spring

Interviewer: Mr President, how do you view the two-and-a-half years since the so-called ‘Arab Spring?’

This is a misconception. Spring does not include bloodshed, killing, extremism, destroying schools or preventing children from going to their schools, or preventing women from choosing what to wear and what is appropriate for them. Spring is the most beautiful season whilst we are going through the direst circumstances; it is definitely not Spring. Is Spring compatible with what is happening in Syria – the killing, the slaughtering, the beheading, the cannibalism, I leave it to you to decide.

Interviewer: What are the issues that the so-called “Arab Spring” is supposed to resolve?

President Assad: The solution doesn’t lie in the ‘Spring’ or in anything else, the solution lies in us. We are the ones who should provide the solutions, by being proactive instead of reactive. When we address our problems proactively we ensure that we get the right solutions. Solutions imposed reactively by the ‘Spring’ will only lead to deformed results.

Like many countries in the Middle East, we have numerous problems that we are aware of and view objectively. This is how these problems should be solved, in that the solutions are internally manufactured and not externally administered, as the latter would produce a distorted or stillborn solution. It is for this very reason that when we call for dialogue or solutions, they need to be home-grown in order to ensure that they lead to the Syria we aspire to.

what is happening in Iraq now, and in Lebanon previously, are repercussions of the situation in Syria

Interviewer: Mr President, you have rejected any form of foreign intervention and have warned that this would extend the battle to wider areas, have you reached this?

President Assad: Let’s be clear about this, there are two types of foreign intervention: indirect through proxies or agents, and direct intervention through a conventional war. We are experiencing the former. At the beginning of the crisis I warned that intervention in Syria – even indirectly, is similar to tampering with a fault line, it would lead to shockwaves throughout the region. At the time, many people – especially in the media, understood this as President Assad threatening to extend the crisis beyond Syria’s borders. Clearly they did not understand what I meant at the time, but this is exactly what is happening now.

If we look at the reality in front of us, we can see clearly that what is happening in Iraq now, and in Lebanon previously, are repercussions of the situation in Syria, and this will only extend further and further. We are seeing these ramifications and the intervention is still indirect, so imagine the consequences of military intervention? The situation will, of course, be much worse and then we will witness the domino effect of widespread extremism, chaos and fragmentation.

Relations with Russia and Iran are cooperation guaranteed by international law

Interviewer: You criticise countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Britain for their interference in the Syria crisis, isn’t it true that Russia and Iran are also involved?

President Assad: There is a significant difference between the co-cooperation of states as opposed to the destabilisation of a certain country and interference in its internal affairs. Cooperation between countries is conceived on the concept of mutual will, in a way that preserves their sovereignty, independence, stability and self-determination. Our relationship with Russia, Iran and other countries that support Syria are cooperative relations certified under international law.

The countries you mentioned, have adopted policies that meddle in Syria’s internal affairs, which is a flagrant violation of international law and our national sovereignty. The difference therefore, is that cooperation between countries is intended to preserve stability and perpetuate the prosperity of these nations, whilst foreign interference seeks to destabilise countries, spread chaos and perpetuate ignorance.

Interviewer: Sir, you have discussed the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on Iraq and Lebanon whose societies are based on what one might call a sectarian system. Do you think that such a system with Sunni and Shiite pillars could be established in Syria?

President Assad: Undoubtedly, sectarian systems in neighbouring countries, sectarian unrest or civil wars – as in Lebanon 30 years ago, will inevitably affect Syria. That is why Syria intervened in Lebanon in 1976 – to protect itself and to safeguard Lebanon. It is for this reason that we are observing carefully the unfolding events in Iraq – they will affect us directly. This was also for this reason that we adamantly opposed the war on Iraq, despite a mixture of American temptations and threats at the time. We rejected losing our stability in return for appeasing the Americans. Sectarian systems are dangerous and that is why we insist on the secular model where all citizens are equal regardless of religion.

Jabhat al-Nusra is a branch of al-Qaeda, they uphold same ideology

Interviewer: Mr President, you are fighting “Jabhat Al-Nusra.” Can you tell us about it, what is this organization, who supports them, who supplies them with money and weapons?

President Assad: Jabhat Al-Nusra is an Al-Qaeda affiliated group with an identical ideology whose members live in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan as well as other Arab and Muslim countries; they are very well financed and have plenty of arms. It is difficult to trace their sources due to the fact that their support resides in a covert manner through wealthy individuals and organisations that adopt the same ideology.

Their primary aim is to establish an Islamic State in accordance to their interpretation of Islam. Central to their political thought is the Wahhabi doctrine – comparable to Al-Qaeda’s in Afghanistan. This ideology is administered wherever they are present, especially on women. They claim to be applying Sharia Law and the Islamic Religion; however, in reality their actions are a complete distortion of the real religion of Islam. We have seen examples of their brutality on our satellite channels taken from footage they publish on purpose on YouTube in order to spread their ideology; a recent example was the beheading of an innocent man, which was aired on Belgian TV.

Interviewer: What is the motivation for Saudi Arabia and Qatar to assist and arm the terrorists against you, what do they seek to achieve?

President Assad: Firstly, I believe that this is a question they should be answering. I will respond by raising a few questions. Do they support the armed gangs because of their vehement belief in freedom and democracy as they claim in their media outlets? Do they harbour any form of democracy in their own countries, in order to properly support democracy in Syria. Do they have elected parliaments or constitutions voted on by their people? Have their populations decided at any time during the previous decades on what type of governing system they want – be it monarchy, presidency, principality or any other form? So, things are clear: they should first pay attention to their own nations and then answer your question.

France and Britain look for puppets to carry out their interests

Interviewer: In this quagmire, why do Britain and France delegate leadership to Saudi Arabia and Qatar? What do they hope to achieve?

President Assad: I also cannot answer on behalf of Britain or France, but I can give you the general impression here. I believe that France and Britain have an issue with the ‘annoying’ Syrian role in the region – as they see it. These countries, like the United States, are looking for puppets and dummies to do their bidding and serve their interests without question. We have consistently rejected this; we will always be independent and free. It seems as though France and Britain have not forgotten their colonial history and persist in attempting to manipulate the region albeit through proxies. Indeed, Britain and France can direct Saudi Arabia and Qatar on what they should do, but we must also not forget that the policies and economies of France and Britain are also dependent on petrodollars.

What happened in Syria was an opportunity for all these countries to get rid of Syria – this insubordinate state, and replace the president with a “yes man.” This will never happen neither now nor in the future.

Interviewer: The European Union has not renewed the arms embargo imposed on Syria and yet it has not approved arming the opposition. What is your assessment of this step?

President Assad: Clearly there is a split within the European Union on this issue. I cannot state that the EU is supportive of the Syrian government; there are countries, especially Britain and France, who are particularly hostile to Syria. On the other hand, there are countries – Germany in particular, which are raising logical questions about the future consequences of arming the terrorists. Well firstly, that would perpetuate the destruction in Syria, forcing the Syrian people to pay an even heavier price. Secondly, by supplying arms, they are effectively arming terrorists, and the Europeans are well informed that these are terrorists groups. Some are repeating the American rhetoric of “good fighters and bad fighters,” exactly as they did a few years ago with the “good Taliban and bad Taliban, good Al-Qaeda and bad Al-Qaeda.” Today there is a new term of “good terrorists and bad terrorists” being promoted. Is this logical?

When terrorism prevails, it will spread towards Europe

They are aware that weapons sent to the region will end up in the hands of terrorists, which will have two consequences. First, Europe’s back garden will become a hub for terrorism and chaos, which leads to deprivation and poverty; Europe will pay the price and forfeit an important market. Second, terrorism will not stop here – it will spread to your countries. It will export itself through illegal immigration or through the same terrorists who returned to their original countries after being indoctrinated and trained more potently. These pressing issues in my opinion are creating a considerable split or disagreement within the European Union; they may not like it, but they have no other choice than to cooperate with the Syrian government, even if they disagree with it.

Interviewer: Your Excellency has stated that if European countries were to send weapons to Syria, they would effectively be arming terrorists. Do you consider all armed militants as terrorists?

President Assad: As a European or German citizen I will pose the following question: does your country allow you to carry arms, intimidate or kill innocent people, vandalise and loot? Any individual or group excluding the army and police who carries arms, kills people, threatens and intimidates public safety are by definition terrorists, this is a norm in every country. Regardless of their background, be it extremists, criminals or convicted felons, those who are carrying weapons in Syria are essentially committing these acts. Therefore, they are terrorists. We differentiate between terrorists and conventional opposition groups, since the latter is a political entity and has a political agenda. Killing and slaughtering is terrorism and plunges the country back years into regression.

Interviewer: So Mr President, you see the future as being against terrorism?

President Assad: This is the logical conclusion; however in Europe you have many illogical, unrealistic and irresponsible politicians who are applying their negative sentiments instead of their reason. Politics should not be fuelled by love or hatred, but by interests. As a German citizen, you should ask yourself what do you stand to gain from what is happening in our region? Basically, what is happening now is against your national interests, your genuine interest lies in fighting terrorism.

Interviewer: Some view Hezbollah as a terrorist organization; we know that it has fought alongside Syrian troops in al-Quseir. We have also heard that there are fighters from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighting with you. Do you really need these forces?

President Assad: The media is trying to portray Hezbollah as the main fighting force on the ground and the Syrian Army as weak and unable to achieve victory. In reality, over the last months we have achieved significant victories on the ground in different parts of Syria; in all of these victories, some of which were more important than al-Quseir, the Syrian army fought alone. None of this is highlighted in the media. One of the reasons for these victories is the National Defence Forces – local citizens fighting alongside the army to defend their communities and regions. Al-Quseir received more international attention because of statements by western officials projecting it as a strategic town, to the extent that even some United Nation’s officials claim to understand the situation in al-Quseir! There was a lot of exaggeration, but there were also a large number of arms and militants. These terrorists started attacking the bordering towns loyal to Hezbollah, which warranted their intervention alongside the Syrian army in order to restore stability.

The Syrian Army is a large army capable of accomplishing its missions across Syria, with the support of the local communities. If we were in need of such assistance, why not use these forces in the rural parts of Damascus, close to the capital? Damascus is certainly more important than al-Quseir, as is Aleppo and all the other major cities; it doesn’t make any sense. But as I said at the beginning, the aim of this frenzy is to reflect an image of Hezbollah as the main fighting force and to provoke Western and International public opinion against Hezbollah.

Interviewer: How strong and large are the Hezbollah brigades currently in Syria?

President Assad: There are no brigades. They have sent fighters who have aided the Syrian army in cleaning areas on the Lebanese borders that were infiltrated by terrorists. They did not deploy forces into Syria. As you are aware, Hezbollah forces are positioned towards Israel and cannot depart Southern Lebanon. Additionally, if Hezbollah wanted to send fighters into Syria, how many could they send? A few hundred? The Syrian Army has deployed hundreds of thousands of troops across the country. Several hundred would make a difference in one area, but it would not conceivably constitute enough to tip the balance across all of Syria.

Interviewer: Mr President, Britain and France claim to have clear evidence that chemical weapons have been used. The White House has stated that it possess information to ascertain this claim, which consequently led to the death of 100 to 150 people in one year, in addition to that you have denied the UN investigators access to areas in Syria except for Aleppo. How do you explain the situation?

President Assad: Let’s begin with the statement from the White House regarding the 150 casualties. Militarily speaking, it is a well-understood notion that during wars, conventional weapons can cause these number of deaths, or even higher, in a single day, not in a year. Weapons of mass destruction generally kill thousands of people at one given time; this high death toll is a primary reason for its use. It is counterintuitive to use chemical weapons to create a death toll that you could potentially reach by using conventional weapons.

America, France, Britain and some European officials claimed that we have used chemical weapons in a number of areas. Regardless of whether such weapons exist or not, we have never confirmed or denied the possession of these weapons.

Had they obtained a single strand of evidence that we had used chemical weapons, do you not think they would have made a song and dance about it to the whole world?, then where is the chain of custody that led them to a such result?

These allegations are ludicrous. The terrorist groups used chemical weapons in Aleppo; subsequently we sent an official letter to the United Nations requesting a formal investigation into the incident. Britain and France blocked this investigation because it would have proven the chemical attacks were carried out by terrorist groups and hence provided conclusive evidence that they (Britain and France) were lying. We invited them to investigate the incident, but instead they wanted the inspectors to have unconditional access to locations across Syria, parallel to what inspectors did in Iraq and delved into other unrelated issues. We are a sovereign state; we have an army and all matters considered classified will never be accessible neither to the UN, nor Britain, nor France. They will only be allowed access to investigate the incident that occurred in Aleppo.

Therefore, all the claims relating to the use of chemical weapons is an extension of the continuous American and Western fabrication of the actual situation in Syria. Its sole aim is to justify their policies to their public opinion and use the claim as a pretext for more military intervention and bloodshed in Syria.

Interviewer: The protests started in Syria peacefully before they turned into an armed struggle. Your critics claim that you could have dealt with the protests through political reforms, which makes you partly responsible for the destruction in Syria. What is your take on this?

President Assad: We started the reforms from the first days of the crisis and, perhaps even to your surprise, they were initiated years before the crisis. We issued a number of new legislations, lifted the emergency law and even changed the constitution through a referendum. This is a well-known fact to the West; yet what the West refuses to see is that from the first weeks of the protests we had policemen killed, so how could such protests have been peaceful? How could those who claim that the protests were peaceful explain the death of these policemen in the first week? Could the chants of protesters actually kill a policeman?

From the beginning of the crisis, we have always reiterated that there were armed militants infiltrating protesters and shooting at the police. On other occasions, these armed militants were in areas close to the protests and shot at both protesters and police forces to lead each side into-believing that they were shot at by the other. This was proven through investigations and confessions, which were publicised on a large scale in the media.

Interviewer: Mr President, it is reported that the Syrian Army has bombarded certain areas. Was there no other option?

President Assad: We are pursuing terrorists who repeatedly infiltrate populated areas. If we take Al-Qseir as an example, there was a western media frenzy claiming that there were 50,000 civilians, which is more than the town’s original population. In fact, when the terrorists entered the area, the inhabitants consequently fled; when we entered we did not find civilians. Usually wherever the terrorists infiltrate, civilians flee and battles occur afterwards. The evidence clearly shows that most of the casualties in Syria are from the armed forces. Civilians mostly die in suicide bombings. They also die when terrorists enter an area, proceed to carry out executions and use them as human shields. The rest of the causalities are either foreign or Syrian terrorists.

Interviewer: After the momentum you have achieved in Al-Qseir, do you feel it is now time to extend a hand to the opposition and consider reconciliation?

President Assad: From day one we have extended a hand to all those who believe in dialogue; this position has not changed. At the start of the crisis, we held a national dialogue conference whilst simultaneously fighting terrorists. But when we talk about the opposition, we should not put them all into one basket; it is imperative to differentiate between terrorists and politicians. In Germany, you have an opposition but they are not armed. Opposition is a political act, and so when we refer to the opposition, we mean the politicians to whom we are always committed to dialogue, regardless of what happened in Al-Qseir.

As to national reconciliation, I do not think that it can be accurately applied to Syria. It implies a scenario of civil war, as was the case in Lebanon, or the conflict between black and white in South Africa. In our case it is about a national dialogue to determine a way out of the crisis and for the terrorists to put down their weapons. In any case, we are awaiting the Geneva conference, which essentially aims at the same political solution. However there are external impediments; Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France and Britain, continue to exert all their efforts at sabotaging dialogue in order to prolong the Syrian crisis and prevent a political resolution.

Interviewer: How would you define the legitimate political opposition?

President Assad: Essentially, any opposition party that does not support terrorism, does not carry weapons, and has a clear political agenda. But opposition groups are also linked to elections; their clout will depend on how well they fare in local administration elections and more importantly, in parliamentary elections. We are dealing with many groups who call themselves opposition, their success will be determined by two important questions: what is their popular base? And what is their political manifesto? We will then act accordingly.

Interviewer: Segments of the opposition claim that you have not taken steps to form a united front with them against foreign intervention. Is this true Mr President?

President Assad: On the contrary, in the national dialogue conference in 2011, there was an open invitation to all those who considered themselves in the opposition to come forward. Some chose to participate whilst others chose to boycott and blame us for not taking steps towards a solution. But we must ask ourselves, what do they mean by making advances towards them? What should we be offering? Ministerial positions in the government? The opposition in the current government has won hard-fought seats in parliament. When an opposition, made up of hundreds, does not have any seats in parliament how does one ascertain who deserves to be part of the government? We need clear criteria; it should not be haphazard.

To put it another way, the government is not owned by the President for him to bestow gifts upon others in the form of ministries. It requires national dialogue and a political process through which the electorate can choose among other things their government and the constitution.

Interviewer: What are your set criteria for dialogue between you and the opposition, could this include foreign-based opposition?

President Assad: We have no issues with autonomous opposition groups who serve a national agenda. With regards to the foreign-based opposition, we need to be very clear; its members live abroad and report to western foreign ministries and intelligence agencies. They are based outside their country and are in essence manipulated by the states that provide their flow of finance. They are best described as a “proxy opposition.” As far was we are concerned, genuine Syrian opposition means representing the Syrian people – not foreign countries, it means being based in Syria and sharing the burdens and concerns of the Syrian people. Such an opposition would inevitably be part of any political process.

Interviewer: Fighting terrorism has become the priority now. In reference to your recent interview most probably on Al-Manar television, you stated that if you were to engage in a dialogue, you would rather do so with the master than the slave. To what extent are you prepared for dialogue with these entities in the future once you have effectively fought terrorism?

President Assad: It is for this precise reason that we will attend the Geneva conference. I used the notion of the master and the slave to explain what we know will happen in reality. Negotiating with those who have no autonomy over their own decisions essentially means that you are in fact negotiating with the decision makers who dictate to them how to act, what to accept and what to reject. You will have seen on television recently footage of the French Ambassador to Syria giving the external opposition orders and insulting them, or the American Ambassador to Syria shouting and insulting them. Therefore in reality, we are negotiating with the United States, Britain, France and their regional instruments, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Those groups who call themselves external opposition are mere employees; hence the masters and the slaves.

We hope that the Geneva conference will push forward the dialogue process in Syria

Interviewer: What are your expectations from the conference? Will it be followed by progress or a continued stalemate?

President Assad: We hope that the Geneva conference will push forward the dialogue process in Syria especially since, earlier this year we presented a vision for a political solution based on the Geneva I communiqué. However, even though we will attend the conference with this understanding, we should be clear on the facts. First, the same countries I mentioned earlier that are supporting the terrorists in Syria have a vested interest in the talks failing. The logical question is: what is the relationship between the Geneva conference and terrorism on the ground? Simply, if the Geneva conference is successful – as is our hope, in preventing the smuggling of weapons and terrorists – there are over 29 different nationalities documented to be in Syria, then this would be a catalyst for resolving the Syrian crisis.

However if the smuggling of weapons and terrorists continues, there is no value for any political solution. We hope that the Geneva conference will make this its starting point; it is the single most important element in the Geneva talks, which would ultimately determine its success or failure.

Interviewer: If Geneva II fails, what are the consequences?

President Assad: The countries I mentioned previously would continue to support the terrorists. Failing to solve the Syrian crisis will make it spread to other countries and things will only get worse. Logically speaking therefore, all parties have a vested interest in its success. As to the external opposition, if Geneva succeeds they will lose their funding; if you don’t have money and you don’t have popular support, you end up with nothing.

Interviewer: Could Geneva II propose a government from different political entities?

President Assad: This is what we have suggested in our political initiative. We proposed the formation of an extended government from diverse political entities that would prepare for parliamentary elections; the winners of these elections would have a role in the future. This is an approach that we have been open to from the beginning.

Interviewer: Mr President, some of your critics claim that much blood has been shed in Syria; they blame the leadership and see it as an obstacle standing in the way of Syria’s future. Would you consider stepping down in order to bring about a new Syria?

President Assad: The president has a mandate in accordance with the constitution; my current term ends in 2014. When the country is in a crisis, the president is expected to shoulder the burden of responsibility and resolve the situation, not abandon his duties and leave. I often use the analogy of a captain navigating a ship hit by a storm; just imagine the captain jumping ship and escaping in the lifeboat! If I decide to leave now, I would be committing treason. If on the other hand, the public decided I should step down, that would be another issue. And this can only be determined through elections or a referendum. As an example, in the previous referendum on the constitution, there was a 58% turnout – which is pretty good in the circumstances, and the constitution was approved by 89.4%.

The issue was never about the president, however they tried to project it as such in order to force the president to sell out to those countries backing the opposition, in order to install a puppet president.

Interviewer: Mr President, you live with your family in Damascus. How much public support do you and your family enjoy?

President Assad: When numerous neighbouring and regional countries as well as the West are all opposing you, you couldn’t possibly continue without popular public support. The Syrian people are highly aware of what is happening and have understood the dynamics of the crisis early on; hence their support for their government and their army.

Interviewer: Next year there will be presidential elections, how do you see these elections playing out?

President Assad: They will follow the new constitution, in other words multi-candidate elections. It will be a new experience, which we cannot predict at this point.

Interviewer: Mr President, what is your vision for Syria in the next five years?

President Assad: I reiterate that our biggest challenge is extremism. If we can fight it, with better education, new ideas and culture, then we can move towards a healthy democratic state. Democracy, as we see it in Syria, is not an objective in itself, but rather a means to an end – to stability and to prosperity. Legislations and constitutions are also only tools, necessary tools to develop and advance societies. However, for democracy to thrive, it needs to become a way of life – a part of our culture, and this cannot happen when so many social taboos are imposed by extremist ideologies.

In addition to this, there is of course the reconstruction process, reinvigorating our national industries and restoring and opening up our economy. We will continue to be open in Syria, continue to learn and benefit from the lessons of this crisis. One of these lessons is that ignorance is the worst enemy of societies and forms the basis for extremism; we hope that Europe has also learned from these lessons.

Interviewer: Mr President, thank you very much. I have been greatly influenced by your personality and your vision; I hope Europe and the West will benefit from this interview and look at you and your country differently.

President Assad: Thank you very much and welcome again to Syria.

http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/06/17/487994.htm

15-06-13

Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA - chemical weapons

obama-google.jpg

Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA - 14 June 2013

3 new results for latest news Syria SANA:

Assad crosses 'red line'; U.S. confirms chemical weapon use
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
WASHINGTON » The United States has conclusive evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons against opposition forces seeking to overthrow the government, crossing what President Barack Obama has called a "red line ...
See all stories on this topic »

US Prepares Military Options for Syria as 20K Assad Troops Advance on Aleppo

Sunni Cleric In Mecca Urges Support Of Syrian Rebels; Sheikh Saoud al ...

===

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‘US Begins Agent Orange Cleanup in Vietnam’

August 9, 2012

DANANG, Vietnam—Vo Duoc fights back tears while sharing the news that broke his heart: A few days ago he received test results confirming he and 11 family members have elevated levels of dioxin lingering in their blood.

The family lives in a two-story house near a former US military base in Danang where the defoliant Agent Orange was stored during the Vietnam War, which ended nearly four decades ago. Duoc, 58, sells steel for a living and has diabetes, while his wife battles breast cancer and their daughter has remained childless after suffering repeated miscarriages.

For years, Duoc thought the ailments were unrelated, but after seeing the blood tests he now suspects his family unwittingly ingested dioxin from Agent Orange-contaminated fish, vegetables and well water.

Dioxin, a persistent chemical linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, has seeped into Vietnam’s soils and watersheds, creating a lasting war legacy that remains a thorny issue between the former foes. Washington has been slow to respond, but on Thursday the US for the first time will begin cleaning up dioxin from Agent Orange that was stored at the former military base, now part of Danang’s airport.

“It’s better late than never that the US government is cleaning up the environment for our children,” Duoc said in Danang, surrounded by family members sitting on plastic stools. “They have to do as much as possible and as quickly as possible.”

The US $43 million project begins as Vietnam and the US forge closer ties to boost trade and counter China’s rising influence in the disputed South China Sea.

Although the countries’ economic and military ties are blossoming, progress on addressing the dioxin legacy has been slow. Washington still disputes a claim by Hanoi that from three million to four million Vietnamese were affected by toxic chemicals sprayed by US planes during the war to eliminate jungle cover for guerrilla fighters, arguing that the actual number is far lower and other environmental factors are to blame for the health issues.

That position irks the Vietnamese, who say the United States maintains a double standard in acknowledging the consequences of Agent Orange. The US has given billions of dollars in disability payments to American servicemen who developed illnesses associated with dioxin after exposure to the defoliant during the Vietnam War.

In 2004, a group of Vietnamese citizens filed suit in a US court against companies that produced the chemical, but the case was dismissed and the Supreme Court declined to take it up.

Until a few years ago, Washington took a defensive position whenever Agent Orange was raised because no one had determined how much dioxin remained in Vietnam’s soil and watersheds, and the US worried about potential liabilities, said Susan Hammond, director of the War Legacies Project, a US nonprofit organization that mainly focuses on the Agent Orange legacy from the Vietnam War.

“There was a lot of the blame game going on, and it led nowhere,” Hammond said by telephone from Vermont. “But now at least progress is being made.”

Over the past five years, Congress has appropriated about US $49 million for environmental remediation and about $11 million to help people living with disabilities in Vietnam regardless of cause. Experts have identified three former US air bases—in Danang in central Vietnam and the southern locations of Bien Hoa and Phu Cat—as hotspots where Agent Orange was mixed, stored and loaded onto planes.

The US military dumped some 20 million gallons (75 million liters) of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971.

The defoliant decimated about five million acres (two million hectares) of forest—roughly the size of Massachusetts—and another 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of crops.

The war ended on April 30, 1975, when northern communist forces seized control of Saigon, the US-backed former capital of South Vietnam. The country was then reunified under a one-party communist government. Following years of poverty and isolation, Vietnam shook hands with the US in 1995 and normalized diplomatic relations.

Since then, the relationship has flourished and the two countries have become important trading partners. Military ties have also strengthened, with Vietnam looking to the US amid rising tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves and is crossed by vital shipping lanes.

Although Washington remains a vocal critic of Vietnam’s human rights record, it also views the country as a key ally in its push to re-engage militarily in the Asia-Pacific region. The US says maintaining peace and freedom of navigation in the sea is in its national interest.

The Agent Orange issue has continued to blight the US-Vietnam relationship because dioxin can linger in soils and at the bottom of lakes and rivers for generations, entering the food supply through the fat of fish and other animals.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense and the US now plan to excavate 73,000 cubic meters (2.5 million cubic feet) of soil from the airport and heat it to a high temperature in storage tanks until the dioxin is removed. The project is expected to be completed in four years.

Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Washington-based Aspen Institute, said Thursday’s start “marks the coming together of our two countries to achieve a practical solution to dioxin contamination.”

His organization coordinates the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, which connects prominent American and Vietnamese scientists, health experts and former officials.

The group in May said that $450 million is needed to clean up dioxin hot spots, provide services to people with disabilities, and repair damaged landscapes across Vietnam over the next five years.

The US is rolling out a $9 million project to address disabilities in Vietnam through 2015, but it continues to dispute Vietnam’s claim that dioxin has caused health problems there. It remains unclear whether the US will clean up all of Vietnam’s dioxin, and how much it will allocate in the long term for people who claim to be Agent Orange victims.

A national action plan that Vietnam’s government released in June lays out goals for dealing with Agent Orange, but does not give a price tag.

Every penny counts for Nguyen Thi Hien, who directs three rehabilitation and vocational training centers for 150 children and young adults with disabilities in Danang on a budget of roughly 100 million dong ($5,000) per month.

The children, busy drawing and making plastic flowers that are sold to raise funds, suffer from a range of physical and mental ailments that Hien says are linked to dioxin.

Vo Duoc, the steel salesman, will travel to the capital, Hanoi, next month to receive treatment for his diabetes. But he says he’s more concerned about what will happen to his six grandchildren, who haven’t yet been tested for dioxin.

“They had nothing to do with the war,” Duoc said. “But I live in fear that they’ll test positive like me.”

Photo: Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, at Tu Du Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, is pictured with a group of handicapped children, most of them victims of Agent Orange

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/11178

13-06-13

Google Alert - latest news Syria

Image

Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA
3 new results for latest news Syria SANA
12 juni 2013

FP Passport: Assad is loving the protests in Turkey
Foreign Policy (blog)
As Turkish security forces used tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to clear Istanbul's Taksim Square of protesters last night, Syria's state media reacted with a tone approaching glee. The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) argued that ...
See all stories on this topic »

Syrian extremist rebels raid Shiite village - CBS 5 - KPHO
KPHO Phoenix
(AP Photo/SANA, File). FILE - This Wednesday, June 5, 2013 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a damaged church in the town of Qusair, near the Lebanese border, in Homs province, Syria. By SARAH EL DEEB Associated Press ...
See all stories on this topic »

Syrian helicopter fires on Lebanese border town
WBRC
It's the first such attack from Syria on an urban center inside Lebanon. There was no immediate word on casualties. Scores of rebels and civilians who fled from the Syrian western town of Qusair last week in the last days of a government military ...
See all stories on this topic »

----

Photo: February 17, 2011 – President Barack Obama joins a toast with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and other technology executives at a dinner in Woodside, California.
The “Day of Rage” in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for February 17, 2011…

On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google.

The American federal government has been secretly collecting information on foreigners overseas for nearly six years from the nation’s largest Internet companies like Google, Facebook and, most recently, Apple, in search of ‘national security threats’, the director of national intelligence confirmed Thursday night.

----

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is the national official news agency in Syria:
http://sana.sy/index_eng.html (if the link isn't blocked by the western war seeking authorities)

12-06-13

L'administrateur, The administrator, De beheerder

Saint.Gilles.parvis.jpg

A cozy village atmosphere, which can be very annoying

Une atmosphère de village accueillant, ce qui peut être très ennuyeux

Een gezellige dorpssfeer, die erg vervelend kan zijn

06-06-13

Latest News Syria: Google censorship

Syria.Google.obama.jpg

On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google…

'Latest News Syria - Syrian Press Agency Sana'

Search results for Google:

  1.  

    Syrian refugees in Sana'a

    The Yemen Times-03 Jun 2013Share
    Every time he left home, he remembered, he thought it might be the last time he ... He is hosted by another Syrian family residing in Sana'a, but...
     
  2.  

    Syrian troops attack rebel-held town

    Irish Times-19 May 2013
    Syria's president Dr Bashar al-Assad (right) sits during an interview with ... photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency Sana.
     
  3.  

    Syria urges nationals to avoid travel to Turkey

    The Daily Star-02 Jun 2013
    Syria urges nationals to avoid travel to Turkey: SANA ... its nationals avoid travel to Turkey given recent protests against Prime Minister Reccep ...
     
  4.  

    Austria announces withdrawal of peacekeepers from Golan Heights ...

    Medicine Hat News-3 hours ago
    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows ... solidifies some of the regime's recent gains on the ground that have ...
     
  5. BBC News

     

    Syria Army Retakes Key City, Dealing Blow to Rebels

    Valley News-4 hours ago
    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, ... and northern Syria that had been under rebel control since early last year.
     
  6. India Today

     

    Al-Qaida leader calls on Sunnis to fight in Syria

    The Advocate-8 hours ago
    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows ... solidifies some of the regime's recent gains on the ground that have ...
     
  7.  

    Iran denies it has forces in Syria

    Irish Times-24 May 2013
    Syria's president Bashar al-Assad (left) speaks with Shukri Bin Suleiman ... distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA yesterday.
     
  8.  

    Ayman Al Zawahri, Al Qaeda Leader, Calls On Sunnis To Fight In Syria

    Huffington Post-6 hours ago
    In one such incident last month, Syrian troops targeted an Israeli jeep they ... 2013 file photo provided by the Syrian official news agency SANA, ...
     
  9.  

    Rai says conspirators behind Syria crisis: SANA

    The Daily Star-09 May 2013
    Rai says conspirators behind Syria crisis: SANA ... Rai also criticized the recent kidnappings of Christian bishops in Aleppo as well as the ...
     
  10.  

    Syrian TV journalist killed near Qusair: SANA

    The Daily Star-27 May 2013
    BEIRUT: A correspondent for Syria's state-run television station was killed on the outskirts of the central Syrian town of Qusair, SANA reported ...

Sana: http://sana.sy/index_eng.html

Berlin- Brüssel - Bettina Küsel - Philippe Leblanc - Vertigo Art

Vertigo.art.June.6.2013.Brussels.jpg

Berlin- Brüssel un travail en chiffres et en lettres

Bettina Küsel et Philippe Leblanc

Philippe Leblanc: Toiles perforées rétro-éclairées suivant un rythme dicté par la suite de Fibonacci, cubes et cylindres articulés ou pivotant, lampes-sculptures, suspensions monumentales dont les dimensions évoquent les unités du temps, série de totems suspendus ou disposés en cercles, toutes ces œuvres réfléchies et calculées sont cependant souvent modifiées spontanément en cours de réalisation et jusqu’à la dernière étape, parfois délicate, du montage, pour ensuite laisser la place aux rêves qui les ont initiées.
Les œuvres sont percés d’identité : après la chute du mur et la reconnaissance et l’arrivée des allemands (d’origine ethnique) vivant en ex-URSS, Berlin a vu changer profondément sa population.
Berlin est redevenue une ville internationale où les Berlinois côté Est se sont crée une propre identité dont le résultat tangible sont les cartes postales avec des slogan en allemand mais en utilisant les lettres cyrilliques.
« J’ai crée mes propres messages et puisque le monde s’est internationalisé, les messages sont en français et en anglais (à lire avec l’accent russe). »

Vertigo art, r. Haute 271, 1000 Bruxelles

Tél. : 0495-28.29.04

Fax : 054-32.77.03

http://www.vertigoart.be

sa. et di. de 11 à 18h

7 / 05 / 2013 - 30 / 06 / 2013

http://www.agenda.be/fr/event/268909/berlin-brussel-un-travail-en-chiffres-et-en-lettre.html

Vertigo.art.June.6.2013.jpg

Berlijn- Brussel van cijfers en letters werk

Bettina Küsel en Philippe Leblanc

Philippe Leblanc (cijfers) is gefascineerd door de combinatie van cijfers en kleuren en wendt zijn vaardigheid als architect en kunstenaar: de volmaakte versmelting, mathematische reeksen opnieuw geïnterpreteerd. 

Bettina Küsel (letters) Is Oost-Berlijnse en in haar niet conventionele doeken zoekt ze naar haar identiteit, versterkt door de grote metamorfose van Berlijn, stad van haar jeugd. 

Philippe Leblanc: Doeken, van achteren belicht, ritmisch geperforeerd in reeksen en gerangschikt volgens het principe van Fibonacci. Kubussen en cilinders, bewegend en draaiend, monumentaal opgehangen lampsculpturen, waarbij de afmetingen verwijzen naar de tijd. Een serie totems opgehangen of in cirkels opgesteld. 

Al deze werken, hoezeer ook bedacht en berekend, worden tijdens het realisatieproces spontaan aangepast, vaak op het allerlaatste ogenblik om ruimte te geven aan de initiële droom, de basis van ieder werk. 

Bettina Küsel: Haar werken zijn doordesemd van identiteit: na het instorten van de muur en de erkenning en de komst van etnische Duitsers uit de ex-USSR, verandert de Berlijnse bevolking fundamenteel. Berlijn is opnieuw een internationale stad waar de Oost-Berlijners een nieuwe identiteit hebben aangenomen o.a. tastbaar op prentbriefkaarten met slogans in het Duits, evenwel mits gebruikmaking van het cyrillisch schrift. Vanwege de internationalisering van de kunst, zijn de teksten in het Frans en het Engels (te lezen met een Russisch accent).

Wanneer: van 07/05/13 tot 30/06/13 za, zo van 11:00 tot 18:00 (ma, di, woe, do, vrij gesloten)

Waar: Vertigo art  - Hoogstr. 271, 1000 Brussel

Wegbeschrijving, Routeplanner MIVB

Contact: info@vertigoart.be

Telefoon: 0495-28.29.04

Fax: 054-32.77.03

Links: http://www.vertigoart.be

zaterdag en zondag van 11 tot 18h

7 / 05 / 2013 - 30 / 06 / 2013

http://www.uitinvlaanderen.be/agenda/e/berlijn-brussel-van-cijfers-en-letters-werk/ef3ad769-4f86-47a6-9199-3dae6df5f0fd

02-06-13

Brussels, Bruxelles, Brussel: explosion, explosie

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Explosion in Brussels, 7 Injured

June 1st, 2013

An explosion of unknown origin in a dwelling quarter has left at least seven people injured in Brussels, Belgian TV reports. The cause of the explosion is being investigated.

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Explosion à Bruxelles: le bâtiment a été détruit

1 juin 2013

Une explosion a eu lieu dans un bâtiment du Boulevard Anspach à Bruxelles. « On a entendu un grand bruit », témoigne un voisin, interrogé par RTL. « Les flammes sont arrivées ensuite, petit à petit, c’était vraiment très impressionnant. On a vu les voisins du dessus sortir sur leur corniche pour échapper aux flammes avant que la police ne leur demande de rentrer. Mais ils sont ensuite ressortis parce que, selon eux, il y avait le feu dans l’escalier. On voyait la panique sur leur visage, c’était vraiment très impressionnant. »

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Explosie op Anspachlaan veroorzaakt door sigaret

1 juni, 2013

De explosie en de brand in een gebouw op de Brusselse Anspachlaan hebben zaterdag negen gewonden gemaakt, aldus de politie. De brandweer sprak eerder over zeven gewonden. Drie van hen zijn er erg aan toe. Dat heeft brandweerwoordvoerder Pierre Meys gemeld. De bovenste verdiepingen van het gebouw werden namiddag afgebroken. Volgens vtm is de explosie veroorzaakt door de combinatie van een gaslek met een sigaret.

Brussels - Bruxelles - Stromae - Formidable

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Le formidable succès de Stromae

3.6.2013

La simplicité est parfois la meilleure des vertus commerciales. Intituler leur chanson Get Lucky ! était déjà un gage de bonheur dans les classements des ventes pour les Daft Punk et leur complice Pharrell Williams. Ils sont numéro 1 partout, y compris aux Etats-Unis, battent des records en centaines de milliers de disques et de téléchargements.

Pour sa part, le jeune Belge Stromae approche des trois millions de vidéos vues sur le Net de sa nouvelle chanson, Formidable. Le refrain traînant comme un slam de fin de nuit ("Formidable, fooormidable/Tu étais formidable, j'étais fort minable/Nous étions formidables/Formidable/Tu étais formidable, j'étais fort minable/Nous étions formidables") nous entêtera tout l'été, surtout par temps maussade, avant que l'album ne paraisse fin août pour la rentrée des classes.

Paul Van Haver (Stromae, maestro en verlan) est un grand type dégingandé, un métis belgo-rwandais portant éventuellement costard crème et nœud papillon assorti, né à Bruxelles il y a vingt-huit ans. En 2010, sa chanson Alors on danse fait le tour de la planète. C'est un constat amer de l'inconfortable condition européenne, livrée avec une lucidité à vous couper l'envie de passer le bac ("Qui dit étude dit travail,/Qui dit taf te dit les thunes,/Qui dit argent dit dépenses,/Qui dit crédit dit créance,/Qui dit dette te dit huissier, alors on danse").

Sur un air électro et dansant, déclamé par un être gracieux et souriant, on y retrouve la tristesse ambiante et la désespérance d'une jeunesse telle que décrite par le rappeur Orelsan – les deux compères viennent d'ailleurs d'enregistrer un duo très dance intitulé Papaoutai ("Tout le monde sait comment on fait les bébés/Mais personne sait comment on fait des papas"), un tube à venir à coup sûr, tant les géniteurs (ou "génies") ont tendance à disparaître des écrans radar.

Stromae a aussi intégré que la jeunesse européenne était portée sur la bouteille, que pour noyer ses brouillards ou fêter une séparation, le "binge drinking" est en vogue. Cette "Génération "biture express"" ("Le Monde Science&Médecine" du mercredi 29 mai) se sera reconnue dans la vidéo amateur filmée sur un iPhone que Stromae a laissée filtrer à la mi-mai : lui, ivre, débraillé, sauvé de justesse par des passantes de l'écrasement par un tram au cœur d'un petit matin pluvieux.

Le 24 mai, Stromae chante en direct sa nouvelle chanson, Formidable, en titubant et avec des accents exagérément copiés sur le Jacques Brel du Port d'Amsterdam, de Jeff, dans l'émission de Frédéric Taddei, "Ce soir ou jamais". Il fait sensation. On le soupçonne d'avoir forcé sur la bière et les substances. Pas du tout, trois jours plus tard, il donne la réponse par le clip.

Formidable est une histoire de rupture, un jeune homme s'est fait larguer, il n'a pas été bon, il s'est mis minable. Piano, instruments à vent, chœur masculin, batterie électronique, guitare sonnant comme les grincements des rails de tramway, le nouveau célibataire au cœur brisé est "un peu fort bourré". Amer, vouant tout mariage, toute descendance à l'insuccès, Stromae fait la guerre aux optimistes. Ce qui n'empêche pas de croire en soi, et de partir en promotion comme on part en guerre contre la poisse.

http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2013/06/03/le-formidable-succes-de-stromae_3423010_3246.html

Paul Van Haver, better known as Stromae

Paul Van Haver, better known as Stromae is a Belgian singer-songwriter. He has distinguished himself in both hip hop and electronic music. He first became famous with the song "Alors on danse" which remained at number one for several weeks in numerous countries throughout Europe.

He was born in Brussels to a Rwandan father, whom he only got to see three times in his life, and a Belgian mother. At the age of eleven Paul Van Haver already showed an interest in music and attended 'l'Académie Musicale de Jette', where he studied music history and learned to play the drums, this was his first experience with music theory.

In 2000 he appeared as a rapper called Opsmaestro, though he later changed his stage name to Stromae (a syllablic inversion of "Maestro", a practice called verlan). It was with this name that Van Haver became successful.

At the age of 18, he founded a rap group called "Suspicion", along with rapper "J.E.D.I." in Eichof. They produced the song and music video "Faut que t'arrête le Rap...", though later, J.E.D.I. decided to leave the rap duo. In order to finance his private school education, Van Haver worked part-time in the hospitality industry, but his school performance wasn't up to standard. It was only later, when he registered at Institut national de radioélectricité et cinématographie, that he released his first album "Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic...".

During his study at the film school of Brussels, Stromae decided in 2007 to concentrate fully on his musical career. This resulted in his debut-EP "Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic…". In 2008 he signed a 4-year record deal with "Because Music" and "Kilomaître".

In 2009 Paul worked as a young trainee at the musical radio station NRJ in Brussels. Vincent Verbelen, Music Manager, was impressed by the talent of Stromae's first single 'Alors on danse' and decided to air it for the first time on NRJ. The response from listeners (including important personalities ranging from Anna Wintour, Jean-Claude Vandamme, to French president Nicolas Sarkozy) was one of extreme enthusiasm and Stromae's career was launched. Sales quickly rose to number one in Belgium in just a matter of weeks.

Vertigo Records, a label of Mercury Records France (Universal Music Group) signed him for a worldwide licensing deal soon after this.

By May 2010 the track Alors on danse had reached number one in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Romania and the Czech Republic.

On September 2, Stromae collaborated with Kanye West in a remix of his hit Alors on danse. In 2010, he was nominated for "Best Dutch and Belgian Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Of his music and its influences he has said : " I was in a little group doing rap music. I thought that rather than copying the French sound, I'd focus on a more American style but give it a European spin. And then I rediscovered 90s Eurodance. For a long time we were ashamed of that sound but in fact there's a lot to discover, it has its roots in everything from house to salsa. I also really admire Jacques Brel – he has been a huge influence on me – but also all sorts of other stuff, Cuban son, and the Congolese rumba which I heard as a child; that music rocked the whole of Africa." Also, Stromae insists he wanted to collaborate with up and coming rap group Swag+5 featuring rapper T-Jay. Finally, the collaboration did not take place but Stromae is a big fan of the American based group. The critic Molloy Woodcraft : " He combines 90s electro synths and beats with a laidback delivery to mesmeric effect".

He is one of the ten winners of the European Border Breakers Award 2011. On February 9, 2011, his debut album 'Cheese' (with hit single "Alors on danse") won the award for Best Dance Album at the Victoires de la Musique.

On May 23, during the recording of the French TV show Taratata, Stromae did a mashup of Alors on danse and Don't Stop the Party with the Black Eyed Peas. Stromae also announced he would perform for the first act of two concerts of the band on June 24 and 25, 2011 at Stade De France. Stromae had previously met will.i.am at the NRJ Music Awards in January. will.i.am told him that he liked "Alors on danse" and said he wanted to collaborate with Stromae.

In 2011, he received one nomination for "Best Belgian Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards. The first single "Papaoutai" from his upcoming second album was digitally released on 13 May 2013.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stromae

http://youtu.be/S_xH7noaqTA 

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