Friday, May 27, 2011

Halal Chicken

Dutch halal meat doesn’t make the grade. Apparently a Malaysian delegation visited the country last year to inspect its slaughterhouses and promptly decided to ban Dutch meat imports. “No certifier who takes his responsibilities as a Muslim seriously would accept that meat as halal,” the head of the Malaysian halal authority told the paper.
Malaysia had been importing Dutch chickens, which are stunned with an electric shock before being slaughtered. This is allowed under halal rules, as long the chicken is stunned but not killed. It has to be alive and healthy when its throat is cut. But a recent study found that 20 to 30 percent of poultry didn’t survive the shock. Are we shocked?.)

Day Opening - May 27


http://www.365dagenkunst.nl/2011/a-new-day-a-new-dawn-a-new-life/
By Maritsa van Luttikhuizen

Good morning!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wouldn't want to keep this from you


From: pienfeith.nl

I once saw Pien Feith in a small living room somewhere in Utrecht during a 'huiskamerconcert' (living room concert). She managed to grab my attention and since that day I've seen her growing into a rising star.

Her first cd - Dance on Time - was released in February this year, she was in one of Holland's most famous daily tv-shows several times and performing as a professional artist is her full time profession.

A few year ago she participated in the project 'In a Cabin With'. An interesting concept with several artists that don't know each other and create a cd together. In this 'In a Cabin With' she's the singer of the group Neonbelle (download is free). The music is a dramatic but touching mixture of Massive Attack, the Postal Service and Roísín Murphy (Moloko). A nice way to get to know Pien Feith a bit better.

An American film director found her music via the internet. Although I'm not a fan of this song, she made the sound track for his film 'Trucker'.

Day Opening - May 26

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Amnesty International 50 years

As human rights Group international Amnesty International marks its 50th anniversary later this week, here a brief overview of its remarkable history and achievements.
Over the past 50 years the one-man initiative has grown into an international organization with 2.8 million members, donors and supporters. Numbering 300,000 members, the Dutch branch is the world’s biggest. Currently Amnesty is helping 4,500 individual human rights victims.
Benenson
The group’s origins go back to 28 May 1961, when British lawyer Peter Benenson launched a worldwide campaign, ‘Appeal for Amnesty 1961’, with the publication of an article, ‘The Forgotten Prisoners’, in the British newspaper The Observer. In the article, which was reprinted in papers across the world, he called for the release of two Portuguese students who had been sentenced to seven years in prison for raising their wine glasses in a toast to freedom in a bar in Lisbon.
Mission
Amnesty has three founding principles: protection of freedom, protection against any form of arbitrary violence committed or tolerated by any state and banning discrimination. At first, the group focused on helping release prisoners of conscience and rooting out torturre and executions. At present, the group aims to defend all rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Annual report

Amnesty’s first annual report was published in 1962. Numbering 25 pages, it described the human rights record of 20 countries. Amnesty’s 2010 report is over 400 pages long, contains reports on 159 countries and discusses a wide range of topics, including torture, capital punishment, refugee issues, impunity, police violence and discrimination.
United Nations
In 1964 the United Nations gave Amnesty International consultative status.
The Netherlands
Amnesty opened an office in Holland in 1968.
Torture
In 1972 Amensty launched its first worldwide campaign for the abolition of torture.
The first full Urgent Action was mounted the following year, on behalf of a Brazilian professor, Luiz Basilio Rossi, who had been arrested for political reasons. Luiz himself believed that Amnesty International's appeals were crucial: "I knew that my case had become public, I knew they could no longer kill me. Then the pressure on me decreased and conditions improved." Since then, the number of countries that torture has dropped by 50 percent, from 75 countries in 1972.
Nobel Prize
In 1977 Amnesty was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "having contributed to securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world".
Capital punishment
In 1977 Amnesty launched an international campaign against the death penalty. Only 16 countries had completely abolished capital punishment by then. Now 139 countries have.
International Criminal Tribunal
In 1998, 120 countries adopted the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Day Opening - May 23

right click

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Will Gaddafi be prosecuted by the ICC?

Will Gaddafi end up in the dock in The Hague? Yes, if it's up to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to decide. "We are almost ready for trial." said Luis Moreno Ocampo at a press conference, announcing that the court is seeking arrest warrants for the Libyan leader and two others.

The ICC's chief prosecutor says Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and the Libyan military intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi are responsible for committing crimes against humanity by persecuting and killing protesters during an uprising which began in mid-February. "The office gathered direct evidence about orders issued by Muammar Gaddafi himself, direct evidence about Saif al-Islam organising the recruitment of mercenaries and direct evidence of the participation of al-Senussi in the attacks against demonstrators."
The chief prosecutor added that his office also documented how the three held meetings "to plan the operations" and Gaddafi used his "absolute authority to commit crimes in Libya." Ocampo is confident he has enough evidence."We have such strong evidence, such direct evidence that we're almost ready for trial," he says.

Ocampo's investigators undertook 30 missions to 11 countries. There they collected over 1,200 documents, including videos and pictures and interviewed more than 50 people.
It is the fastest investigation by Ocampo's office in The Hague so far. The UN Security Council sent him to investigate ongoing atrocities against civilians in late February. The prosecutor was quick to act, convinced he can help prevent further crimes.
He already told the council two weeks ago "crimes against humanity have been and continue to be committed in Libya, attacking unarmed civilians including killings and persecutions in many cities across Libya."

Ocampo said he will continue his investigations on "different forms of persecution against civilians, as well as acts of rape and the unlawful arrest, mistreatment and killings of sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries." He added that war crimes charges might also be laid.
In the meantime, it is up to a panel of ICC judges to decide whether or not to issue the warrants. And if they do, Ocampo faces an even bigger struggle: actually getting the Libyans to The Hague. The ICC does not have a police force and Ocampo has already called on states "to prepare for arrests should judges decide to issue arrest warrants. Now is the time to start planning on how to implement possible arrest warrants," he said.
This is not the first time an international war crimes prosecutor has probed Colonel Gaddafi's actions. His name was often mentioned in Freetown, in The Hague and in the courtrooms of the Special Court for Sierra Leone SCSL. With the Sierra Leone tribunal in The Hague wrapping up the case against the former Liberian president Charles Taylor, critics maintain others should also be held accountable for war crimes in West Africa.

The Libyan leader trained Taylor and Sierra Leonean rebels at his World Revolutionary Headquarters camps in the 1980s and allegedly funded the warmongers in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Gaddafi has not been indicted by the court. Its first prosecutor, David Crane, recently hinted that the main sponsors of the tribunal would have cut funding if he had gone after the Libyan leader at the time.
If Ocampo's prosecution bid proves successful Gaddafi might meet Taylor again, but this time in the Scheveningen detention unit.

Day Opening - May 19

purple moon

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ajax or Twente

The most exciting finish in the history of the Dutch premier league is at hand. League leaders FC Twente play their final match of the season against second-place Ajax. With the Dutch league title at stake, and only a single point separating the two teams, we looks ahead to see who’ll be celebrating this Sunday.

Last year it was FC Twente who snatched league glory on the final day of play with a one point lead over Ajax. This year’s head-to-head decider is taking the excitement to fever pitch.
But there are three good reasons why Ajax will finally regain the Dutch league title.

1. Ajax’s successful new coach: Frank de Boer
Frank de Boer took charge at Ajax last December, replacing Martin Jol, who resigned after the Amsterdam club suffered a humiliating Champions League defeat at the hands of Real Madrid. Frank – twin brother of footballer Ronald de Boer – brought about a miraculous change of fortune. His first match as coach resulted in a 2-0 away victory against AC Milan in the Champions League. Since then Ajax have been back on form with their trademark combination of swagger, flair and strikers down the wing. With past mentors like Louis van Gaal and national coach Bert van Marwijk, and the backing of Ajax’s prodigal legend Johan Cruijff, how can De Boer fail?

2. Huge psychological advantage
Ajax has been playing catch-up all season and has been gathering serious momentum in recent weeks. At home, De Boer’s lads have reigned supreme, winning all six competition duels with a goal difference of 14-0. Ajax and FC Twente have clashed 44 times in Amsterdam, with Ajax winning all but ten of these encounters. True, FC Twente defeated Ajax last week to take the Cup, but that victory has only served to make Ajax even hungrier for premier league glory: Amsterdam’s desire to finally grab its 30th national title is stronger than ever.

3. Rock solid defence
Twente may have more talent on the offensive, but this season the Ajax defence has been in a class of its own. At its heart is Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen, a Franz Beckenbauer in the making. Vertonghen is accompanied by his burly compatriot Toby Alderweireld. The Belgians are flanked by Dutch international Gregory van der Wiel and talented young Dane Nicolai Boilesen. With national goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg out of action with a broken thumb, talented second keeper Kenneth van der Meer has the chance to prove himself on Sunday.
With all this going for them, how could the pride of Amsterdam fail? But let’s not forget: FC Twente are in pole position – not to mention being defending champions and Cup winners – and with good reason.

In other words, it’s time to take a look at three reasons why FC Twente will take home the league title once again.

1. FC Twente only need one point
Their one-point lead over Ajax means that FC Twente only need a draw in Amsterdam. And Twente have a coach who knows exactly how to achieve such a result: Belgium’s former top goalkeeper Michel Preud'homme. At the start of the season, many were surprised when this French-speaking Belgian loner took over the Twente reins from successful Englishman Steve McLaren. But last week’s Cup victory is clear proof that Preud'homme is an outstanding coach.

2. FC Twente has stars
A winning team needs a star, and FC Twente has two. One is Costa Rican striker Bryan Ruiz, a key goal scorer whose mere presence is enough to spur his team on to greater heights. And then there’s the phenomenal Theo Janssen, with his sublime insight and killer long shots. Some say the 29-year-old midfielder could have been snapped up by an English or Italian club long ago, if it hadn’t been for his love of alcohol, tobacco and tattoos.
Ajax is sadly lacking in star quality. They had Uruguay’s Luis Suarez but sold him to Liverpool last winter. Moroccan striker Mounir El Hamdaoui acts like a star, but his perceived arrogance has earned him weeks of derision from his own supporters.

3. The better brother
The Netherlands has a rich tradition of football brothers (Van de Kerkhof, Koeman, De Boer, Witschge). Sunday sees a new twist with striker Luuk de Jong playing for FC Twente and his brother Siem on the Ajax front line. But while Luuk is a force to be reckoned with at Twente, midfielder Siem has been moved up front at Ajax for want of better. So the battle of the strikers looks like a clear victory for Luuk... and for Twente.
Will FC Twente hold on to the title or has Ajax’s time finally come again? One thing is sure: one of them will be holding the championship trophy aloft on Sunday afternoon.

Day Opening - May 14

Manorola, Italy, by night

Friday, May 13, 2011