Grandfather Of 18 Month Old Who Fell To Death Off Cruise Ship To Plead Guilty

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

By Doha Madani and Xuan Thai
The grandfather of the 18-month-old girl who fell to her death from an open window on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will plead guilty in her death, a family attorney said Tuesday.

Salvatore Anello, also known as Sam, initially pleaded not guilty to a negligent homicide charge from Puerto Rican authorities in October in the death of Chloe Wiegand in July.

Michael Winkleman, the attorney for the Wiegand family, told NBC News on Tuesday that Anello filed paperwork to change his plea in return for an agreement that included no jail time. Anello, who lives in South Bend, Indiana, will be able to serve his probation in Indiana, according to Winkleman.

Winkleman said the deal “is in the best interests of the family so that they can close this horrible chapter and turn their focus to mourning Chloe.” A hearing date for the change of plea has yet to be determined.

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The Wiegand family filed a federal civil action in December against Royal Caribbean Cruises, alleging that the company was at fault for the accident. A judge approved the suit this month after Royal Caribbean sought to block it.

Chloe was with her mother in a children’s water park area on the pool’s 11th deck. When her mother had to go to attend to another matter, Anello came to supervise her, according to the family’s lawsuit.

“Mr. Anello was closely supervising Chloe as she played,” the suit says. When “Chloe walked over to a nearby wall of glass on the same deck,” her grandfather followed her, it says.

Anello has insisted that he believed there was glass in the open window of the ship’s 11th story when he held Chloe up.

The family has claimed that Anello put Chloe up to the window to bang on the glass when she slipped from his hands and fell to her death. There were no signs indicating that the windows were open, Anello told CBS in November. He also said he is colorblind, which may have been why he couldn’t distinguish between the tinted closed windows and the open window.

Chloe’s parents, Kim and Alan Wiegand, said on “Today” after her death last summer that they hoped to bring awareness and ensure that such an accident doesn’t happen to another family.

“We obviously blame them for not having a safer situation on the 11th floor of that cruise ship,” Kim Wiegand said. “There are a million things that could’ve been done to make that safer.”

Royal Caribbean didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Donald, Melania, Ivanka, and Jared Visited the Taj Mahal. Their Poses Spoke Volumes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE DAILY BEAST)

 

Donald, Melania, Ivanka, and Jared Visited the Taj Mahal. Their Poses Spoke Volumes.

TOGETHER FOREVER

Donald, Melania, and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner posed in front of the Taj Mahal, joining a long tradition of celebrities using the historic site to promote their own image.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

Melania Trump stood in front of the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of devotion to his wife, Mumtaz, and watched her open-mouthed husband bellow to photographers.

Her high-necked, ivory jumpsuit matched the exterior of the famed marble mausoleum (CNN’s Kate Bennett identified the one piece as made by Trump’s stylist, Hervé Pierre). It came with a moss green sash made of “vintage Indian textile” that slightly clashed with her husband’s canary yellow tie.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

Still, the First Lady—known for looking absolutely miserable when out with her husband—appeared happy, or at least flashed a few more step-and-repeat smiles than normal. One tabloid described the pair as “loved-up,” which is as big of a stretch as the notion that burger-loving Trump enjoyed his meatless Monday in India. Still, the Trumps were able to hold hands for a while, and they stood close while watching a flock of birds fly away, like two characters from a gothic poem.

Ivanka, too, arrived with Jared Kushner in tow, though she kicked her husband out of her own picture. In a poppy-patterned turquoise dress, which matched the reflection pool she stood in front of, Ivanka mugged with her vacant-eyed but determined smile.

If you have any doubts about any future political aspirations for this “presidential adviser,” then (take a deep breath and) look at her Taj Mahal photo op. Despite all those “Unwanted Ivanka” detractors, just like the building itself, she endures. In Ivanka’s words, such resilience is “awe inspiring.” Others might call her seemingly ceaseless, free vacations (thinly) disguised as diplomacy, a horror scenario.

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The Taj Mahal was completed after ten years of construction in 1653, outlasting threats from the Japanese Air Force in World War II and Pakistan’s bomber pilots in the late ’60s. But the historic site, frequently referenced as a Wonder of the World, has succumbed to one thing: the rich and powerful using it as a backdrop to make coded statements to the world.

The tradition began in earnest with the 1992 image of Princess Diana on a marble bench, her body a lithe strip in a cherry red blazer, nearly dwarfed compared to the gargantuan building behind her. She went to the site alone, without her husband Prince Charles, implying a fissure in their not-so-storybook romance.

But Diana was not the first celebrity photo op at the Taj Mahal. In 1962, Jackie Kennedy took a solo trip to India and Pakistan, at a time when First Ladies did not often dabble in foreign diplomacy. For her pilgrimage to the spot, she wore a preppy blue and green sheath, projecting the Camelot-era’s sunny confidence.

Four years later, George Harrison snapped a selfie in front of the site, looking very anti-Kennedy in his counterculture duds: an unbuttoned cotton shirt and dark sunglasses.

Since then, plenty of other young and famous men have come to the mausoleum in search of themselves, or at least a performative version of it.

In 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the Taj Mahal was an example of “what people can build—and what love can motivate us to build,” using the elegant language of a good copywriter to plug his company after paying respects. That same year, Leonardo DiCaprio visited too, while in the country working on a climate change documentary. It was a “secret trip;” DiCaprio asked tourists not to take pictures, because he was working.

In 1995, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton also sat on one of the Taj Mahal’s benches for photographers, sitting close and smiling, visual code for girl power. Five years after that, the first daughter would return with her father, Bill.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

In wide-angle snapshots of Donald and Melania strolling in front of the Taj Mahal, the yuge building’s scope leaves the pair looking tiny, nearly as tall as the shrubs which line the monument’s grassy aisles. Trump, who’s got a thing for screaming about his own bigness, might not appreciate how tiny he looks.

But for a man who views the presidency as just another prize to show off that he’s won, the Taj Mahal visit was a success. The man whose legacy was once a knockoff-named casino now has got his photo in front of the real thing, joining the star-studded ranks of those who came before him. And as we’ve seen from this optics-obsessed administration so many times before, the facade is all that matters.

Hosni Mubarak: Former Egyptian President dies aged 91

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Hosni Mubarak: Former Egyptian President dies aged 91

Hosni MubarakImage copyright REUTERS
Image caption Hosni Mubarak was president of Egypt for 30 years

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak – ousted by the military in 2011 – has died in Cairo at the age of 91.

Mubarak spent three decades in office before a popular uprising swept Egypt.

He was found guilty of complicity in the killing of protesters during the revolution. That conviction was overturned and was freed in March 2017.

His death was confirmed by Egyptian state news on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, the Al-Watan website reported that he died at a military hospital.

Mubarak underwent surgery in late January and was photographed with his grandson as he recovered.

Presentational white space

On Saturday, however, Mubarak’s son Alaa said that the former president remained in intensive care.

Who was Mubarak?

Born in 1928, Mubarak entered the air force as a teenager and went on to play a key role in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

He became president less than a decade later, following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, and played a key role in the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

But despite the billions of dollars in military aid Egypt received during his time in office, unemployment, poverty and corruption continued to grow.

Discontent boiled over in January 2011, after similar protests in Tunisia led to the overthrow of the president there. Mubarak was forced to step down 18 days later.

Just over a year after Mubarak’s overthrow, Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist politician, won Egypt’s first democratic presidential election.

The new president lasted less than a year in office. Amid mass protests, he was ousted in a military coup led by Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Gen Sisi went on to win two presidential elections. Morsi died in prison in 2019.

In 2012, Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment over the deaths of some of the 900 protesters who were killed by security forces during the uprising a year earlier.

Both he and his two sons were also convicted of corruption.

But the more serious charges against Mubarak were later overturned and he was released in 2017.

Israel and Palestinian militants exchange rocket fire

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Israel and Palestinian militants exchange fire as graphic video of Israeli bulldozer carrying a body goes viral

Israel said it launched a series of strikes on Islamic Jihad targets, and Palestinian militants fired more than 20 rockets at Israel by early Sunday evening, according to the Israeli army.

(CNN)The Israeli military and Palestinian militants in Gaza exchanged fire on Sunday, hours after a graphic video showing an Israeli army bulldozer scraping the body of a dead man off the ground went viral.

Militants fired more than 20 rockets at Israel by early Sunday evening, according to the Israeli army, making it the largest single assault by militants on Israel in several months.
The army said its Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted more than half of the launches, with many others landing in open areas. There are no reports of any Israeli injuries from the rockets.
Israel said it launched a series of strikes on targets belonging to Islamic Jihad, the smaller of the two main militant groups in Gaza. Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN it was the army’s assessment that Islamic Jihad was responsible for the rocket fire.
Islamic Jihad took responsibility in a statement on its official website, saying its military wing, Saraya al-Quds, is responsible for the shelling. It promised to retaliate against any future “aggression.”
Among the strikes, Israel says it succeeded in hitting a group of Islamic Jihad operatives preparing to launch a fresh barrage of rockets.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said four people were being treated in Gaza’s Shifa hospital for injuries, though it was not clear whether they were involved in the rocket attacks.

Graphic viral video

The escalation began Sunday morning when the Israeli army says it spotted two men trying to lay an explosive device close to the fence that separates Gaza from Israel. The army — which released a video it said showed the two men carrying out their operation — opened fire, killing one of them.
The dead man was identified as 27-year-old Mohammed Al-Naim. The Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, said he was one of their fighters.
Gaza sources tell CNN the other man is being treated in a Gaza hospital for severe wounds.
It was the second time in several days that members of Islamic Jihad tried to place an explosive device close to the fence, according to the Israeli army.
As the dead man lay on the ground, a local journalist captured the scene on video, which was subsequently shared widely on social media.
In the video, a group of four men is seen moving toward the body in an apparent attempt to retrieve it. A bulldozer from the Israeli army approached from the opposite direction.
Gunshots could be heard as the bulldozer moved up to the group, which was forced to abandon its effort to carry the body away. Other men nearby could be seen throwing rocks at the vehicle.
The bulldozer’s front scoop then appears to come down on top of the dead body as the driver makes several unsuccessful attempts to pick it up.
Eventually the body is seen hanging from the scoop before the bulldozer drives back to the Israeli side of the fence, protected by a tank.

Defense minister: ‘That’s how we must act’

Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett defended the army’s actions in robust terms.
“I’m tired of the tainted left-wing criticism against the ‘inhumanity’ of using a bulldozer to bring to us the body of a terrorist who tried to murder Israelis. Hamas is holding the bodies of Hadar and Goldin,” he said in a statement, referring to the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed during the Gaza war of 2014.
The statement went on, “I stand behind the IDF that killed the terrorists and collected the body. That’s how we must act and that’s how we will act. In the face of terrorists, we will act with strength.”
An Israeli military official told CNN that using bulldozers to clear the area after a militant attack was standard practice and said they had been used previously to remove bodies, though he admitted it was not the preferred way to do it.
Sunday’s escalation came on the final day of the latest visit to Gaza by Qatar’s ambassador to the territory, Mohammed Al-Emadi, who discussed a further tranche of Qatari financial assistance for Gazans worth millions.
Aid from Qatar is a key part of multilateral efforts, which also include Egypt and the United Nations, to broker a long-term ceasefire agreement between Israel and Gaza militants, which would see Israel loosen its restrictions on Gaza in exchange for a cessation of violence.
Islamic Jihad is widely seen as opposed to those negotiations, putting it at odds with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Sang Nila Utama and the Lion City of Singapore

Under the influence!

Today Singapore is a thriving, bustling, modern, cosmopolitan city that is a meeting place for many people of different cultures and ethnicity. This provides a melting pot that exudes its own unique and vibrant character. It is a place where people live the multicultural experience to the full. Singapore is a major trading centre and plays an important part in the economies of the region and the rest of the world.  Presented here is a version of the legend of the founding of Singapore pieced together from different sources but mostly from the Malay Annals which is an important cultural text from Malaysia and registered with UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme.

487px-Crest_of_the_Singapore_Municipal_Commission,_Central_Fire_Station,_Singapore_-_20110505,_deskewed

Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

The legend of the Rise of Singapore

The Malay Annals are also known as The Sejarah Melayu and among other stories tell of the legend of how Singapore was founded by…

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(Philosophy Poem) It Will Be What It Will Be

It Will Be What It Will Be

 

What is Life if not a journey within itself

We all begin the same yet is the end for all

Parents nor our Race were we ever able to choose

Born to Trumpets or onto a field of sweat and mud

Yet it is the center that decides: the Death we’ll live

 

Simple answer to some of the really big questions

Were there Men and Women before Adam and Eve

Were the ‘God’s of the Underworld’ actually Demons

Will the World War we fear be the one called Armageddon

Just as sure as death, there is a ‘Life After’: Yes

(Love Poem) Their Is A Little Lady

(Their Is A Little Lady)

 

Their is a little Lady

Walking across my desk

Strutting like She owned it

She has a walk, a belief in Herself

Just a hairy little Dust-mop Pet

 

She rolls over on her hairy back

Gives you Her furry belly to pet

Her purr, loudly giving off her mood

Whose paws are eating out of whose

Do they sometimes make you wonder

Who is the Master, and who is the Pet

 

 

Israel advances housing plan in Jerusalem area Trump plan marks for Palestinians

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Israel advances housing plan in Jerusalem area Trump plan marks for Palestinians

Project for 9,000 homes at inoperative Atarot airport would take over last open area in East Jerusalem neighborhood that US envisions will house tourism center for Muslims

The Qalandiya checkpoint near the Atarot industrial zone, between East Jerusalem and the West Bank, seen on April 7, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Qalandiya checkpoint near the Atarot industrial zone, between East Jerusalem and the West Bank, seen on April 7, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Housing Ministry has begun advancing a plan to build a massive Jewish neighborhood in an East Jerusalem area that appears to be earmarked in the Trump administration’s peace plan for a Palestinian tourism center.

On February 9, the ministry submitted a building plan that would see some 9,000 housing units constructed at the site of the Atarot Airport, which has been inoperative since the breakout of the Second Intifada in 2000.

While the Trump plan does not specify where exactly in Atarot the Palestinian tourism center would be located, the airport is the only open area in the East Jerusalem neighborhood where such a site could be built.

The new neighborhood in Atarot would break a long stretch of Palestinian urban areas extending from the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Shuafat north to Kfar Aqab, Qalandiya and Ramallah on the other side of the security barrier.

Map of building plan in East Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot advanced by Israel in February 2020. (Peace Now)

The project will still need to be authorized in several other planning stages that can take several years, but the submission of the building plan marks a significant step toward construction after several years of delays due to lack of funds.

The site designated for construction is mostly on state land but parts of the new neighborhood would sit on parcels currently privately owned by Palestinians, requiring the demolition of at least 15 families’ homes, the Haaretz daily reported.

In a statement blasting the Atarot building plan, the Peace Now settlement watchdog said the construction would prevent the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

“Netanyahu is dragging Israel into a reality of a bi-national apartheid state and is putting the Zionist enterprise in jeopardy,” the left-wing group added.

According to the Trump plan, Israel will maintain control over Atarot and all other East Jerusalem neighborhoods west of the security barrier. However, the Jewish state “should allow for the development by the State of Palestine of a special tourism zone in Atarot, in a specific area to be agreed upon by the parties.”

“We envision that this area should be a world class tourist zone that should support Muslim tourism to Jerusalem and its holy sites. We envision that this zone will become a thriving and vibrant tourism center that includes state-of-the-art public transportation that provides easy access to and from the holy sites,” the plan states.

The Palestinians have rejected the US peace plan, which envisions the creation of a Palestinian state in about 70 percent of the West Bank, a small handful of neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, most of Gaza and some areas of southern Israel — if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, disarm Hamas and other terror groups in the coastal enclave, and fulfill other conditions.

The plan also allows Israel to annex settlements, grants the Jewish state sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and overriding security control west of the Jordan River, and bars Palestinian refugees from settling in Israel.

Israel has welcomed the proposal.

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Mount Bromo | East Java, Indonesia — Violet Palace

Finally, here we are at day 3! Took me long enough. MOUNT BROMO. My first mountain to scale, not that it’s a big deal since it’s a super easy one. No gear or equipment needed. I think we started the morning at about 2AM. And then we drove up to the starting point and oh […]

via Mount Bromo | East Java, Indonesia — Violet Palace

Five Star Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class Flight Review – Jakarta, Indonesia To Tokyo, Japan — Salsaworldtraveler’sblog

The flight from Jakarta to Tokyo would be my best opportunity to see how Garuda Indonesia stacked up to the 5-star rating it received from Skytrax. Only 11 airlines worldwide hold that rating. The 737-800 flight from Bangkok to Jakarta met my expectations for a short flight on a narrow body aircraft. Garuda’s business class lounge was a disappointment. How would business class on the red-eye flight to Tokyo measure up?

via Five Star Garuda Indonesia A330-300 Business Class Flight Review – Jakarta, Indonesia To Tokyo, Japan — Salsaworldtraveler’sblog

ICMEI LATEST UPDATES

To promote, develop and stimulate the growth of the Media and Entertainment Industry for the achievement of international co-operation, peace and prosperity. To hold festivals, conferences, seminars, master-classes, workshops and events regularly in order to provide an opportunity to the people to get exposed to the cultures of various countries of the world. To collect and make public the authentic data related to Circulation/TRP/Box-Office figures of the Media and Entertainment Industry and to use such data to conduct research for the development and growth of the Media and the Entertainment Industry across the world. To define the rights of the members of the Media and Entertainment Industry and to continuously strive to protect and defend those rights. To provide the members of the Media and Entertainment industry a place where they can meet, discuss and exchange ideas related to the industry and their role within the industry.

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Showcasing the best of short films and screenplays from the LGBT community. Screenplay Winner every single month performed by professional actors. Film Festival occurs 3 times a year!

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