Sunset - or, possibly, sunrise:
From an English Russia gallery which includes lots of fox photos, plus the answer to the question "Do bears piss by the lake?"
"A number that I was the first one to record". Not shy to register her claim on the song. But she didn't want to be thought of as a jazz singer:
"I don't know why people call me a jazz singer, though I guess people associate me with jazz because I was raised in it, from way back. I'm not putting jazz down, but I'm not a jazz singer. Betty Bebop (Carter) is a jazz singer, because that's all she does. I've even been called a blues singer. I've recorded all kinds of music, but (to them) I'm either a jazz singer or a blues singer. I can't sing a blues - just a right-out blues - but I can put the blues in whatever I sing. I might sing 'Send In the Clowns' and I might stick a little bluesy part in it, or any song. What I want to do, music-wise, is all kinds of music that I like, and I like all kinds of music."
More from Standpoint. If even CiF regular Julie Bindel thinks there's a problem with Norway's growing anti-Semitism, then there really is a problem:
I travelled to Norway last month with an open mind about the plight of the Jews and the rumours of the growing hostility toward them. As a leftwing critic of Zionism, of mixed Jewish and Catholic heritage, I was sceptical about the claims in some of the Israeli and alternative Norwegian press about the rise in anti-Semitism being the result of searching for scapegoats. What I found was a mixture of cowardly cultural relativism, examples of rabid Jew-hatred and a liberal Left that had joined forces with radical Islamists....
Some put the blame for the new wave of anti-Semitism on the influx of Muslims during recent years—at least 200,000 Muslims now live in Norway. But the primary reason that Jews feel under attack appears to be their rejection by the Norwegian liberal elite, who have abandoned them to a vicious form of anti-Semitism thinly disguised as anti-Zionism.
Maybe she could have a word with some of her colleagues at the Guardian.
Emanuele Ottolenghi at Standpoint, on the new Islamist Turkey, the Kurds, and the view from Jerusalem:
Turkey weathered the storm of Saddam Hussein's fall and the rise of an autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. For nearly a decade now this stable Kurdish enclave has already been de facto, if not de jure, a state. But this legal fiction has kept the lid on the pressure cooker, thanks to the wisdom of Kurdish leaders who understood the need to work with Turkey and shy away from maximalist tendencies. Turkey too accepted that it could live with an autonomous Kurdistan, as long as the latter did not stoke the fires of Kurdish separatism on the Turkish side of the border. Kurdish aspirations and Turkish anxieties were put off for another day. But now, with Syria's Kurds suddenly able to join their Iraqi brethren by extricating themselves from the disintegrating Assad regime, that day may be about to dawn. If the millions of Kurds who live in eastern Turkey and do not particularly love the Atatürk legacy were to stir, this fragile truce would go up in flames.
And here is the irony. The day that Erdogan left Turkey to go to Egypt in an effort to assert his role as regional leader, alongside Egypt's new Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, in a high-profile bid to mediate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, he proved how incapable the region's new forces are of confronting reality.
Referring to Hamas's barrage of rockets, which hit Israel hundreds of times over years before provoking its reaction, Erdogan announced that Israel's response stood on "fabricated grounds". Turkey's president, Abdullah Gul, also decried Israel's efforts to defend its civilian population as mere electioneering. While these words may echo a genuine and popular sentiment in Turkey and across the Muslim world, they betray a double standard that Turkey refuses to acknowledge.
Turkey's hand with its Kurdish insurgency has hardly been lighter than Israel's with Hamas. Turkey has routinely used overwhelming military force in a decades-long conflict that has left more victims than all the Israeli-Palestinian confrontations since 1948 combined. And its recognition of the Kurdish problem is light years behind Israel's basic recognition of Palestinian national aspirations.
Toying with Palestinian nationalism has been the favoured pastime of spoiled Western intellectuals and third world pied pipers of all kinds. But standing for the downtrodden abroad while engaging in oppression at home is not going to make things better for Turkey.
That Palestine still mobilises the masses in a way that Kurdish suffering or Syrian fratricide fail to do is beside the point. The opposing national claims of Israelis and Palestinians have largely been managed for the better part of the last 65 years. The combustible mix of national grievances, civil war, regional turmoil, regime collapse all around and refugees at the gates could plunge Turkey and the entire area into an inferno that no amount of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed has ever precipitated.
Yet, ever the opportunist, Erdogan has learned fast that stoking anti-Israel sentiment is a sure way to gain popularity, both at home and abroad.
For Erdogan this is a great opportunity, since Turkey's Islamic credentials make Ankara an appealing alternative for political patronage to both Washington and Tehran. No doubt, there will be rivalries—Egypt is not keen to let Turkey lead the newly-formed Sunni Muslim Brotherhood pack—but Turkey feels it can find a new place in the sun with its new Ottomanism and its careful distancing from its Western alliances. And so the brief but intense love affair between Israel and Turkey is consigned to history, even as Israeli-Turkish bilateral trade continues to grow.
With Israel and Hamas locked again in a deadly struggle, the initial results for the Arab Spring are in and they are not what they promised to be 18 months ago....
This, the intro to a photo gallery at In Focus on Rebel Attacks in Eastern Congo, seems to cover it pretty well:
For the past five months, a newly formed rebel group in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has been attacking government forces and seizing small towns, and it just took control of the city of Goma a week ago. The movement, called the March 23 Movement (M23), is made up of former members of previous rebel groups and is largely a continuation of hostilities in the region that date back to the First Congo War in 1996. Amid a complicated web of proxy battles, political posturing, defections, and re-defections, M23 rebel forces (purportedly supported by Rwanda) have fought fierce battles against DR Congo government troops and local Mai-Mai militias, sending civilians fleeing for shelter. UN peacekeeping forces in the region have not resisted the advances of the rebels, claiming their duty is to protect civilians, not to act as a substitute national army. Several hundred rebels, soldiers, and civilians have reportedly been killed, and many more wounded, so far. At the moment, M23 refuses to leave Goma and has a stated intention of overthrowing the national government.
The M23 rebels have now set out conditions for their withdrawal - conditions which seem designed for the government to reject.
Many of the pictures are of the by now all-too-familiar lines of desperate civilians streaming along the roads out of town clutching their belongings, as they flee from the fighting and the advance of the armed rebels.
This photo, though, could almost stand in for all the others:
"A Congolese man who lost his legs during 2008 fighting between government soldiers and a former rebel group sits on the ground with his prosthetic legs, near Goma's football stadium, on November 21, 2012. Thousands of Congolese soldiers and policemen defected to the M23 rebels, as rebel leaders vowed to take control of all Congo, including the capital Kinshasa."
How much determination, how much courage, must it take for this man to maintain his dignity in the face of overwhelming odds? - a smart jacket and tie, a freshly-ironed shirt - but here, finally, despair threatens to take over - yet still he looks, unblinking, into the camera lens...
The online version of China’s Communist Party newspaper has hailed a report by The Onion naming North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the “Sexiest Man Alive” — not realizing it is satire.
The People’s Daily on Tuesday ran a 55-page photo spread on its website in a tribute to the round-faced leader, under the headline “North Korea’s top leader named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.”
Quoting The Onion’s spoof report, the Chinese newspaper wrote, “With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.”
“Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile,” the People’s Daily cited The Onion as saying.
I have some sympathy for the People's Daily hacks. How were they to know it was satire? It's not as if the original Onion piece is funny or anything.
Perhaps - it occurs to me now - they were merely demonstrating to those Onion amateurs how satire should be done. You want funny? This is how you do funny - put a spoof in an otherwise serious newspaper.
But then I seem to be in a minority in generally failing to find the Onion as hilarious as it clearly believes itself to be.
Spot the artist:
Hide in the City, Panda, 2012. From PDN.
Liu Bolin, also known as ‘the chameleon man’ is a Chinese artist (b. 1973) who disguises himself in his surroundings, constantly playing along the boundary between visibility and invisibility. Using various media including sculpture, body art, painting, and photography, Liu Bolin creates performance art installations where he poses motionless for hours, completely swallowed up by the environment. He eschews Photoshop post-production, and makes meticulous use instead of painting and perspective–and many test shots–to capture the camouflage effects of his installations on film.
The mother of an Iranian blogger tortured to death in a Tehran jail has abandoned her pursuit of justice after threats to the family.
Sattar Beheshti, 35, a dissident, died in Kahrizak prison, prompting condemnation at home and abroad. The Government apparently bowed to pressure by announcing a full investigation and making several arrests but recent developments confirm fears of a cover-up.
Gohar Eshghi, Mr Beheshti’s mother, was offered 420 million rials (£22,000) in blood money by Interior Ministry officials at the weekend if she signed a form abandoning the case. When she refused the money, police produced arrest warrants for her daughter and son-in-law, according to sources close to the family. “She was told, ‘If you don’t sign ... their six-month-old daughter will be left an orphan’,” a friend said. Faced with this threat, Ms Eshghi signed the form.