Hate: Is It Ignorance Being Fulfilled?

 

This afternoon in London England there was another ‘terrorist incident’, this time just outside the entrance to their Parliament Building. The last I heard before I started this commentary there are four dead and about 20 wounded. One of the dead is the attacker, another is a Police Officer.  The other two dead people were killed by being driven over by the attacker. What a typical  example of ones hate being forced upon others lives. Folks, when a person chooses to murder someone, do you think they are doing this because they are ‘happy’ with the one they decide to kill? I tend to think, no, how about you? Killing other people, outside of contract obligations such as when you are in your Nation’s Military, or in the case of self-defence, murder is usually done through or because of hate. So, today the actions of one man ended the lives of three others and harmed and scarred many others. One man’s actions caused a lot of chain reactions not just in heroic goodness of some, but in the actions of the Press there in London informing we the people of the events, step by step. Yes they did a rather good job of informing me of the steps that (England’s) has in place that security protocol is designed to function within. In this case a person filled with hate could best figure out where to form a multi-tiered attack. Think of the pure hate concept of bringing an ambulance to a bomb or mass shooting location, filled with C-4 just so you can kill as many First Responders as you possibly can. Folks, this is not the way of a rational mind, nor of a God! It is not a mind filled with any form of morality, it is a mind filled with Evil, hate. When we humans decide to degrade other human beings to a ‘less than’ human status it becomes easier and easier to degrade, hurt or even kill them.

 

Friends this type of hate that we witnessed this afternoon in London is not just a hiccup in human history that we are living in, this is the reality for humans for ever more. Europe is being forced to deal with this hatred toward their own people and toward their own cultures. Here in the U.S. we have suffered several examples of hatred also toward our people and our chosen ways of life. Yet Europe and her people are a tender underbelly to a region full of hatred, for you and your way of life. I believe that the U.S. and all of the ‘America’s’ are just starting to see the damage caused by hatred. The olden days (our version of the good old days), they’re gone, they are not going to return, but why not? The answer is hatred folks. Hatred has a great helpmate which also causes so much heartache and that is ignorance. No one on this planet will ever have a totally unmonitored lifestyle again, nor will we ever be free of people hating you/us. Welcome to the new world everyone, the one filled with unending security measures brought on because of threats that are real or imagined. You see, fear caused by hatred can easily be  duplicated in the one who fears as a way to grow into another hate filled, ignorant, Satan serving beast. A person who is hate filled creates and early grave for themselves and those around them, and a footstool in Hell.

SWIFT Messaging System Cuts Off Remaining North Korean Banks

 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

SWIFT messaging system cuts off remaining North Korean banks

By Tom Bergin | LONDON

SWIFT, the inter-bank messaging network which is the backbone of international finance, said it planned to cut off the remaining North Korean banks still connected to its system, as concerns about the country’s nuclear program and missile tests grow.

SWIFT said the four remaining banks on the network would be disconnected for failing to meet its operating criteria.

The bank-owned co-operative declined to specify what the banks’ shortcomings were or if it had received representations from any governments.

Experts said the decision to cut off banks which were not subject to European Union sanctions was unusual and a possible sign of diplomatic pressure on SWIFT.

Belgium-based SWIFT has previously refused to cut off Burmese, Russian or Syrian banks which were subject to sanctions by other countries, such as the United States, citing a policy of remaining politically neutral.

SWIFT ignored years of pressure linked to Iran’s nuclear program, and only cut off Iranian banks in 2012 after the EU passed specifically tailored sanctions. SWIFT is overseen by the central bank of Belgium which is subject to EU law.

“The DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) banks remaining on the network are no longer compliant with SWIFT’s membership criteria,” SWIFT spokeswoman Natasha de Teran said in a statement.

“As a result, these entities will no longer have access to the SWIFT financial messaging service. Given the increased ongoing international attention on the DPRK, SWIFT has informed the Belgian and EU authorities,” she added.

Last week, the Belgian authorities said they would no longer allow SWIFT to provide services to North Korean banks which were under U.N. sanctions.

That followed a U.N. report in February that said North Korea was relying on continued access to the international banking system to flout sanctions imposed in relation to its nuclear program.

Former SWIFT chief executive Leonard Schrank said the only previous occasions he could remember when SWIFT had cut off banks not subject to EU sanctions was when the banks had lost their banking license or a country’s central bank had ceased functioning.

“This is a very, very serious action,” he said, adding it could open SWIFT up to pressure in respect of other countries.

A spokesman for the European Commission denied leaning on SWIFT: “This is a commercial matter for SWIFT. We do not interfere in the business decisions of any such company,” he said.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Belgian Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Amaq – 24/7 News Agency Run by ISIS

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE AL-AWSAT NEWS AGENCY)

Latest News, Middle East, World

Amaq – 24/7 News Agency Run by ISIS

Al-Qaida chief, Osama bin Laden, had used in the past recorded video and audio messages in far-off hideaway and sent them to international television networks by the aid of his supporters, in order to claim responsibility for the 11 September attacks, 2001.

Today, ISIS which plays the role of a well-known terrorist threat to the West, sponsors its very own Amaq news agency, issuing dispatches on a 24-hour news cycle by the use of mobile technology. ISIS claimed responsibility on Tuesday’s bombings in Brussels through the agency itself, stationing reports in two languages, consequently, in English and then Arabic in a detached journalistic style without images or statements from its leader.

Noting that the news agency is named after a Syrian town mentioned in an ancient prophecy; as the site for an apocalyptic victory over non-believers.

Very much aware of the propaganda value of outlining itself as a militant in an uneven struggle, Amaq stated that the attacks were part of a broader war with an international coalition.

Charlie Winter, a senior research associate at Georgia State University in Atlanta, said that Amaq is an effort to grab “information dominance” over enemies. The latter stated by phone, that the agency is being used as a part of a wider propaganda strategy in the first place, and also used for tactical and strategic gains, in the second place. Winter added that the group is “very keen on having a very centralized message.”

Initially, Amaq uses WordPress blogging platform to send out press releases and reports, however today the agency is willing to implement encrypted technology to evade ever-tighter monitoring of social media.

The agency, first appeared in late 2014 when ISIS was making an effort to take over the northern Syrian city of Kobani from its Kurdish defenders, part of an offensive that also saw the group establish a presence in large swaths of neighboring Iraq. Amaq also was the tool ISIS used to claim power over the couple responsible for the shootings last year in San Bernardino, California.

It can be said that he agency has played a leading role in rapidly moving the ISIS propaganda machine beyond the barrage of comments provided by supporters on social media.

News from different world target countries are covered by Amaq, for instance the agency carries reports on events from Libya and Iraq to the Philippines, in 4 languages covering Arabic, English, French and Russian. However, it abstains from publishing videos of beheadings and other graphic images of ISIS actions, which in other words deliver more intelligent messages, such as in its labeling of suicide bombings as “martyrdom operations.”

It’s referred to within the ISIS administration as an “auxiliary” media unit, said Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a research fellow at the Middle East Forum based in Philadelphia. It tracks conflict and the provision of services in provinces the group rules, but isn’t branded with ISIS symbols.

“They’re a part of ISIS, a full part of the media strategy,” he said by phone, adding that it’s unclear who heads the operation and from where. An application developed by Amaq called Arawi, which means a storyteller or narrator in Arabic.

There are many others ways that are being adopted by ISIS to communicate with those who are supporters, including encrypted Telegram Messenger Service, prompting Telegram to remove multi-user “channels” that members complained were promoting the terrorist group.

ISIS adoption of new platforms could be a consequence of a crackdown by tech companies. Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical analysis at Austin, Texas-based strategic advisory firm Stratfor, said that ISIS had a very strong presence on twitter until the site moved to reduce its presence.

Certain ISIS attempts to invent media portals have not been successful to attract big numbers of followers, as in the case of an attempted social-media network called Kilafahbook. However, its drive toward the latest technology did not stop. Following Brussels attacks the group called for “brothers in Belgium” to use encryption and “stay away from social media.”

It seems like ISIS has strong confident ambition that can go the encrypted route, and ironically so far it seems to be working, said Tricia Bacon, a professor of public affairs at American University in Washington and former State Department counter-terrorism official. As for Intelligence agencies, they don’t appear to have failed at some point and not had much success detecting electronic communications as ISIS plotted the attacks in Belgium or the earlier assault on Paris, she said.

“There’s going to be a lot of variation in who’s able to keep up and who’s not,” Bacon said. “Belgium has not been able to keep up, as evidenced by the attacks.”

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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Queen Elizabeth Was Almost Shot By Her Own Guard During A 3 A.M. Walk

 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF PEOPLE ‘ROYAL’ MAGAZINE)

How Queen Elizabeth Was Almost Shot by Her Own Guard During a 3 A.M. Walk

POSTED ON JANUARY 5, 2017 AT 9:17AM EST

ANDY RAIN/EPA

Watch out, Your Majesty!

Queen Elizabeth once had a close call with a guard at Buckingham Palace who could have shot her after confusing her for an intruder during a late night walk, The Times of London reported on Wednesday.

When she is struggling to sleep, the 90-year-old royal will occasionally head outside and go for a stroll, according to the outlet. During one such 3 a.m. outing within the Palace walls, the patrolman came across a “figure in the darkness” and assumed the worst, according to the newspaper.

However, when he called out to see who was there, it turned out to be the Queen herself.

“Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you,” the guard reportedly told her after realizing his mistake.

“That’s quite all right,” she responded. “Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.”

The Times did not specify when the incident took place and Buckingham Palace had no comment on the report.

 

Prince William and Harry‘s grandmother has been struggling with a cold for the past few weeks. The illness caused her to miss annual church services on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Queen Elizabeth has not been seen in public since the annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace on Dec. 8. She then hosted the royal family at a special pre-Christmas parties at the palace, and her helicopter was spotted leaving for Sandringham on Dec. 22, one day after canceling her annual train trip to her winter retreat.

Although there are currently no official future engagements listed for the Queen, she could make an appearance as early as Sunday, if she is feeling well enough.

Gunman Identified In Istanbul Nightclub Attack, Turkish Authorities Say

 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Gunman identified in Istanbul nightclub attack, Turkish authorities say

Story highlights

  • Authorities detain 20 alleged members of ISIS in connection with Sunday’s attack
  • ISIS claimed responsibility on Twitter, but CNN can’t independently verify it

Istanbul (CNN)Turkish authorities said Wednesday they have identified the gunman who killed 39 people in the New Year’s nightclub terror attack in Istanbul.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu announced the development but did not name the suspect or provide his nationality.
Nightclub attack: Full coverage
  • Victims from 14 countries
  • Dozens killed when gunman opens fire
  • Authorities have also detained 20 alleged members of ISIS in connection with Sunday morning’s attack at the Reina nightclub, state-run news agency Anadolu reported Wednesday.
    Counterterrorism officers arrested the suspected militants at four addresses in the Bornova and Buca districts of the Aegean province of Izmir, according to Anadolu. Eleven women were among those arrested.
    Anadolu said those detained are thought to have lived with the attacker in the central Anatolian city of Konya.
    Anadolu also reported that an array of military hardware was discovered during the raids, including night-vision equipment, a sniper scope, an ammunition belt and other items. Twenty children found at the addresses were taken into temporary care.
    Altogether, at least 36 people are being held in connection with the nightclub shooting, though the gunman who carried it out remains at large.
    ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted to Twitter, but CNN cannot independently verify it. The terror group boasted of carrying out the first major terrorist attack of 2017.

    Suspect seen in selfie video

    On Monday, police released a video that the suspected gunman apparently took of himself in a market near the nightclub.
    The “selfie video” featuring the man in Istanbul’s Taksim Square was first posted on a pro-ISIS Telegram account before Turkish media broadcast it, said Laith Alkhouri, a director at Flashpoint, an American business risk intelligence company tracking terrorist and cyber threats.
    Alkhouri told CNN that such a release suggests the attacker was part of a network supportive of or linked to ISIS, and that he had shared the selfie footage with the terror group before or after the attack.

    Growing threats

    On Tuesday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told lawmakers that Turkish security forces had prevented 339 major terror incidents in 2016 — 80 of which came in the final three months of the year.
    In his speech to parliament, Soylu cited attacks launched by the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, as well as those by Daesh, the Arabic term for ISIS.
    Anadolu quoted Soylu as saying that “313 of the incidents were planned by PKK, 22 by Daesh and four by radical leftist groups.”
    He said that 247 improvised explosives and 61 bomb vehicles had been seized in 12 months.
    He also revealed the capture of 23 suicide bomber suspects as well as 42 terrorist group members who were preparing for attacks.
    Both ISIS and Kurdish militants have launched attacks in Turkey, which is reeling from a failed military coup in July.
    On Wednesday, Anadolu reported that authorities arrested four people, including a woman, in connection with a December 17 car bombing that killed 13 soldiers and wounded dozens in the central city of Kayseri.

    Victims from 14 countries

    At least 11 victims in this week’s attack on the upscale nightclub were from Turkey, according to Anadolu, while at least 27 victims hailed from 13 other countries, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Canada.
    Dozens of people were hospitalized. A handful of the injured were in critical condition.

    Expert: ISIS may have trained Istanbul gunman

    Expert: ISIS may have trained Istanbul gunman 02:23
    Witnesses described how the New Year’s Eve celebration turned into a bloodbath.
    “We were having fun. At first we thought it was a fight, then there was a lot of gunfire,” Yunus Turk told CNN.
    “After the gunfire, everyone started to run toward the terrace. We ran as well. There was someone next to me who was shot and fell on the floor. We ran away and hid under the sofas.”

    Actress Carrie Fisher Has Died

    (THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE)

    Carrie Fisher, the actress best known as Star Wars‘ Princess Leia Organa, has died after suffering a heart attack. She was 60.

    Family spokesman Simon Halls released a statement to PEOPLE on behalf of Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd:

    “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” reads the statement.

    “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd, 24. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”

    Fisher was flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital.

    The daughter of renowned entertainers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Fisher was brought up in the sometimes tumultuous world of film, theater and television.

    Escaping Hollywood in 1973, the star enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she spent over a year studying acting.

    GETTY IMAGES
    COURTESY DEBBIE REYNOLDS

    Just two years later, though, the bright lights of Hollywood drew her back, and Fisher made her film debut in the Warren Beatty-led Shampoo.

    Her role in Star Wars would follow in 1977 – and she detailed the experience, including her on-set affair with costar Harrison Ford, in her  latest memoir, The Princess Diarist. She was only 19 when the first installment of the beloved sci-fi franchise was filmed.

    LUCASFILM/20TH CENTURY FOX/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

    In addition to the second and third Star Wars films – and last year’s The Force Awakens – Fisher starred in 1980’s The Blues Brothers, The Man with One Red Shoe, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986 and, later, When Harry Met Sally.

    STEVE LARSON/THE DENVER POST VIA GETTY

    Fisher wed musician Paul Simon in 1983. It was an explosive marriage, according to Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon author Peter Ames Carlin, and was cut short by swinging stages of depression, the actress’s drug use and an array of personal insecurities. The relationship continued, though, on-and-off for several years after the pair divorced in 1984.

    PAUL SIMON AND CARRIE FISHER (CREDIT: RON GALELLA/WIREIMAGE)

    Fisher was candid about her substance abuse issues over the decades, starting at only age 13 when she began smoking marijuana. She said she later dabbled in drugs like cocaine and LSD. Fisher explored her own issues with addiction in her 1987 bestselling, semi-autobiographical novel, Postcards from the Edge, which was later turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep.

    “I never could take alcohol. I always said I was allergic to alcohol, and that’s actually a definition to alcoholism — an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind,” Fisher told the Herald-Tribune in 2013. “So I didn’t do other kinds of drugs until I was about 20. Then, by the time I was 21 it was LSD. I didn’t love cocaine, but I wanted to feel any way other than the way I did, so I’d do anything.”

    In 1985, Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she subsequently became an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.

    Throughout much of the ’90s, Fisher focused on her writing career, publishing Surrender the Pink and Delusions of Grandma. In addition, Fisher helped craft the scripts for numerous Hollywood films, going uncredited, for films like The Wedding Singer, Hook and Sister Act.

    Billie Lourd, Fisher’s only child, was born in July 1992. The Scream Queens star’s father, talent agent Bryan Lourd, dated Fisher for three years and is now married to Bruce Bozzi.

    GETTY

    In 2005, Fisher was recognized with the Women of Vision Award by the Women in Film & Video – DC. Three years later, Fisher’s Wishful Drinking autobiography was turned into a one-woman stage show and eventually an HBO documentary.

    Of returning to the role that launched her career – Leia – for The Force Awakens, Fisher told PEOPLE in 2015, “I knew that something enormous was likely going to impact my life from this film and that there was absolutely no way of understanding what that was or was likely to be.”

    The film – which brought Fisher back into the spotlight – earned  her a nomination for the 2016 Saturn Award for best supporting actress.

    Just last month, Fisher also revealed her surprising on-set affair with Star Wars costar Harrison Ford in The Princess Diarist, telling PEOPLE of the three-month fling, “It was so intense.” The memoir, which drew from Fisher’s old diaries and notebooks, brought up mixed feelings for the actress.

    “I had forgotten that I’d written them, and I’ve never written diaries sort of like that,” she said. “I write when I’m upset … it was about two or three months of upset.”

    Fisher added, “It was sad because I was so insecure, and it’s very raw and obviously I didn’t expect anyone — including myself, I suppose later on — to read it.”

    She is survived by her mom Reynolds, daughter Lourd and beloved French bulldog, Gary.

    Tehran Worried after Drone Flies Near Khamenei Office

    (THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ASHARQ AL-AWSAT NEWS)

    Tehran Worried after Drone Flies Near Khamenei Office

    Tehran

    London – Iranian authorities were worried on Friday after a drone flew near the office of the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran.

    Iran’s anti-aircraft forces extensively fired at the drone as it approached the Pasteur strategic area, where the office of the supreme leader is located.

    The drone later appeared to have been operated by a film crew shooting aerial footage for a documentary.

    Tehran’s deputy governor general for security affairs, Mohsen Hamedani said the state television crew was filming Friday prayers and “did not know about the prohibited airspace.”

    He added: “The drone did not respect the no-fly zone” in central Tehran.

    Pasteur Street in central Tehran is highly secured due to the presence of key government institutions there, such as the office of the Iranian President, the center of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Intelligence leadership, the center of the Assembly of Experts for the Leadership, and the Supreme National Security Council. The street also includes several military schools and the center of the Armed Forces Logistics.

    Iran’s Air Defense Base issued a statement on Friday saying the drone had entered Tehran’s airspace without coordination and permission, Mehr new agency said.

    The statement said the drone was shot down by the anti-craft forces in a central district of the capital.

    ILNA news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying that the drone was shot down as “it approached the no-fly zone” near the office of the supreme leader.

    The source later explained that the drone belonged to a documentary-making team that had permission to film but “unintentionally started moving it towards the no-fly zone,” Reuters reported.

    The commander of Tehran air defense forces said in August that the capital’s airspace was under full control and “no aircraft can enter it without permission.”

    Meanwhile, experts expected on Friday that the U.S. decision to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) would engender a new crisis between Washington and Tehran that could negatively reflect on the Nuclear Deal, already criticized by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

    On Dec. 15, U.S. President Barack Obama allowed U.S. sanctions against Iran to be renewed, but have rejected in a surprise move to actually sign the legislation that brings the sanctions into force.

    AFP said on Friday that the White House said renewing ISA was pointless since it remains suspended so long as Tehran sticks to its promises to curb its nuclear program.

    “The US Congress never liked the deal and now that Obama is leaving office, they’re trying to find ways of violating the deal without being too obvious about it,” Foad Izadi, a world politics professor at the University of Tehran told AFP.

    Iran also fears that keeping the sanctions would affect Tehran’s economic relations with the rest of the world. Tehran therefore believes that the U.S. Treasury should take more measures to comfort banks that are hesitant in dealing with Iran due to the sanctions.

    When the banks ask the U.S. Treasury for guidance, the answers are slow and ambiguous, said Izadi.

    “They ask for a green light, and they are given a yellow light, which is not enough.”

    Shashank Joshi, from the RUSI think tank in London said, “Iran is showing they’re looking into doing something tough, without actually doing it… that they’re willing to tear up the deal if pushed too far.”

    Asharq Al-AwsatArab

    Asharq Al-Awsat

    Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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    Horrifying History for Halloween – the first creepy clowns

    (THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘FEED THE WEB’)

    Horrifying History for Halloween – the first creepy clowns

    first creepy clowns

    Have clowns always had a dark side?

    Clown-like characters have been around for thousands of years.

    Pygmy clowns entertained Egyptian pharaohs in 2500 BC. In ancient imperial China, a court clown called Yu Sze or Twisty Pole famously saved thousands of lives by joking the emperor out of coating the Great Wall with lacquer.

    Many Native American tribes had a tradition of clowns. Since laughter opens you up to the spirits, the clowns had to get everyone laughing before serious ceremonies. A visitor from another tribe might try to prevent the ceremony from taking place by refusing to laugh! The clowns also laid down the law. If somebody behaved inappropriately, for example getting drunk, they would perform a skit satirist that person’s behavior. The public ridicule was often enough.

    One Ancient Roman clown was stupidus (hence our word stupid) which was Latin for mimic fool. He was usually bald-headed or wore a long pointed hat and a multi-colored outfit. He made fun of the more serious actor. He was famed for his innuendo and riddles and the ability to batter other performers in spoof fights in true slapstick fashion.

    The court jesters of medieval Europe were a licensed way to let off steam and poke fun at powerful people. Andrew McConnell Stott, English professor at the University of Buffalo, SUNY says :

    “The medieval fool was continually reminding us of our mortality, our animal nature, of how unreasonable and ridiculous and petty we can be.”

    Dwarf jesters, in particular, were so popular that the practice of artificially stunting children became common to keep up with demand. According to documents from 1670, dwarfs could be artificially made by “anointing babies’ spines with the grease of bats, moles, and dormice.”

    Well into the 18th and 19th century, the prevailing clown figure of Western Europe and Britain was the pantomime clown, who was a sort of bumbling buffoon.

    first creepy clowns

    So how did we get from mischievous clowns to scary murderous clowns?

    Dark clowns go back centuries before Stephen King’s terrifying Pennywise or even the real-life “Killer Clown”, John Wayne Gacey.

    As Benjamin Radford, author of the recent book “Bad Clowns,” points out:

    “It’s misleading to ask when clowns turned bad, for they were never really good.”

    While most clowns aren’t hiding anything(maybe a balloon animal or fake flowers), the first two modern clowns covered dark secrets with their face paint.

    first creepy clowns – Grim All Day

    grimaldi
    Image source : Joseph ‘Joey’ Grimaldi by George Cruikshank

    Joseph Grimaldi is the missing link between historic clowns and modern clowns. He overhauled the Clown’s appearance from the rustic oaf to the heavily made-up and colorful clowns that we’re familiar with. He’s also the reason why clowns are still sometimes called “Joeys”.

    In his day, he was a superstar: It’s claimed that a full eighth of London’s population had seen Grimaldi on stage. Grimaldi’s real life was hardly LOL.

    His father, Giuseppe, was a cruel and eccentric dancing master known as the “Signor.” His teaching methods were grueling, included locking children into stocks, or throwing them into a cage and hoisting it into the flytower to leave them dangling precariously over the stage. At home, the Signor was horribly morbid, living in perpetual fear of death, and especially of being buried alive. When he finally died in 1788, his will directed that his eldest daughter cut his head from his corpse just to be certain.

    Tragically, Grimaldi’s first wife died of childbirth and his son drank himself to death by age 31. The king of clowns was only 45 when he gave his last regular performance. His health worsened with each passing season until he had to be carried to his dressing room and revived after each performance. The physical gyrations, the leaps and tumbles and violent slapstick that had made him famous, left him in constant pain and prematurely disabled.

    No wonder that Grimaldi was prone to fits of depression. A famous anecdote dates from the 1820’s and involves a visit to the surgeon, John Abertheny. Grimaldi, hoping to find a cure for his depression, asks Abertheny for advice, and unaware of his client’s identity, the surgeon prescribes the diversions of “relaxation and amusement”:

    “But where shall I find what you require?” said the patient. “In genial companionship,” was the reply; “perhaps sometimes at the theater; – go and see Grimaldi.” “Alas!” replied the patient, “that is of no avail to me; I am Grimaldi.”

    As Grimaldi himself joked, “I am GRIM ALL DAY, but I make you laugh at night”.

    After Grimaldi died penniless and an alcoholic in 1837 (the coroner’s wonderful verdict was : “Died by the visitation of God”), Charles Dickens edited Grimaldi’s memoirs.

    According to Andrew Stott, Dickens invented the scary clown — by creating a figure who is literally destroying himself to make his audiences laugh.

    first creepy clowns – The Sinister Clown

    severin_as_pierrot_c-_1896
    Image source : Séverin as Pierrot, c. 1896, in Séverin, L’Homme Blanc (Paris, 1929)

    The major clown figure on the Continent was Jean-Gaspard Deburau’s Pierrot, a clown with white face paint underscored by red lips and black eyebrows whose mime delighted French audiences. Deburau was as well-known on the streets of Paris as Grimaldi was in London, recognized even without his make-up.

    Where Grimaldi was tragic, Deburau was sinister. Rumored to indulge in laudanum and alcohol, he had a volatile temper. In 1836, Deburau killed a boy with a blow from his walking stick after the youth shouted insults on the street, calling him “dummy” and “scarecrow”.

    As to why such a talented man should kill a child, Deburau’s biographer Tristan Rémy conjectured that his subject’s persona had something to do with it. “When he powdered his face, his nature, in fact, took the upper hand,” Rémy observed. “He stood then at the measure of his life — bitter, vindictive, unhappy.”

    He was acquitted after a month in prison, when normally a trial would take a year. He’d a member of the National Guard and the officers and men of his company wrote of his unfailing good cheer. In fact, whatever he was on stage, he was moody and uncommunicative during the day. It was said of him that he only smiled at night.

    Crowds thronged at the courthouse, if only to finally hear him speak. The composer Michel Chion coined the Deburau effect after this curiosity about a voice. The idea of a Deburau effect has been extended to any drawing of the listener’s attention to an inaudible sound—which, once heard, loses its interest.

    After the trial, he refused to play the Pierrot in Cot d’Arlan’s Pantomime Chand d’habits because it contained a murder.

    Silver Back Gorilla Has Short Lived Escape At London Zoo: Sedated: No Injuries

    (THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

    LONDON — A silver back gorilla escaped from an enclosure at London Zoo Thursday, sparking a frantic search by keepers and armed police. Some visitors were locked down in a cafeteria until the animal was sedated and recaptured.

    The male gorilla, Kumbuka, was subdued by a tranquilizer gun and recaptured within an hour, zoo officials said.

    Malcolm Fitzpatrick, the zoo’s curator of mammals, said there were no injuries to visitors or zoo workers, adding that Kumbuka recovered quickly.

    “I’m happy to report he’s actually up and grumbling and interacting with the rest of his gorilla family,” Fitzpatrick said.

    He said Kumbuka got out of a back den into a secure keeper area, but never made it into the parts of the zoo where about 100 visitors remained near closing time late Thursday afternoon.

    The gorilla’s escape is being investigated by zoo officials. There were eyewitness reports indicating he was agitated before he escaped from the zoo’s Gorilla Kingdom attraction.

    The zoo, inside Regent’s Park in a crowded London neighborhood, houses at least seven gorillas. Its website describes Kumbuka as a western lowland gorilla who has fathered two children since 2014.

    Eyewitnesses said Kumbuka banged on the walls of his enclosure before he got out.

    Jonny Briers, 22, told the Evening Standard newspaper he observed the gorilla charging at the glass at the end of its enclosure, but that the glass didn’t break.

    Briers said he heard a siren go off shortly afterward and saw zoo keepers running from the scene and telling visitors to get inside.

    “We went into the aquarium, and they locked the doors,” he said.

    Witness Brad Evans told BBC Radio that he was drinking coffee in the zoo cafeteria when zoo workers told visitors they were locked in and couldn’t leave because a gorilla had gotten out of its enclosure.

    He said armed police quickly arrived and that customers were allowed to leave the zoo shortly later.

    In May, a gorilla was shot dead at the Cincinnati Zoo after it grabbed a 4-year-old boy who had fallen into a moat.

    In 2007, a 400-pound gorilla escaped from an enclosure and ran amok at a Rotterdam zoo in the Netherlands, biting one woman and dragging her around before he was finally subdued.

    The Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo was evacuated and the 11-year-old gorilla, named Bokito, was eventually contained in a restaurant within the park.

    Syrian Refugee “Bomber” Suspect Hangs Himself In German Jail

    (THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN NEWS NETWORK)

    Syrian refugee in Germany ‘attack plan’ kills himself in custody

    Reports: German terror suspect commits suicide

    Story highlights

    • Investigators believe Albakr was planning an attack on Berlin airport
    • Two Syrians tied Albakr to a sofa and alerted police to his whereabouts

    Berlin (CNN)A Syrian refugee suspected of planning a bomb attack “with Islamist motives” on a Berlin airport has strangled himself to death with his shirt in detention, Saxony state justice officials said Thursday.

    Investigators believe that 22-year-old Albakr, who arrived in Germany last year, was close to staging a terrorist attack. German police have said that Albakr’s “approach and behavior” suggest an ISIS link.

    Albakr was arrested overnight Sunday after a manhunt that went for almost two days.

    “On the evening of October the 12th, 2016, Jaber Albakr, the prime suspect in planning a serious attack against the state, took his life in the prison hospital of the Leipzig correctional facility,” the ministry said in a statement on its website, also confirming the news to CNN.
    The Saxony Justice Minister Sebastian Gemkow told reporters that Albakr had strangled himself with his shirt but it was not immediately clear if he had hanged himself in his cell.
    Gemkow said Albakr had been seen by a psychologist earlier in the day, but it was assessed that suicide was unlikely.
    Authorities then decided to reduce its checks on him from every 30 minutes to every 15.
    Albakr was on a hunger strike and refused to drink, Gemkow said, adding that authorities tried to resuscitate him for about half an hour after they found his body.

    Police found around 1.5kg of explosive materials in a Chemnitz apartment.

    There was no video surveillance of his cell in accordance with local law, Gemkow explained.
    Germany’s Spiegel Online had earlier reported that Albakr had been under round-the-clock surveillance in police custody and was considered at risk of suicide.

    Arrest attempt questioned

    Albakr was arrested overnight Sunday after two Syrians tied the suspect to a sofa in their flat in Leipzig and alerted police. Crime office officials said that Albakr had befriended them at a train station in Leipzig and had asked to stay with them.
    His hosts learned from social media that Albakr was wanted by authorities and contacted police to come to their apartment and detain him.
    Albakr’s capture ended a manhunt that lasted almost two days, and the manner of his arrest has raised questions about whether police botched an attempt on Saturday to detain him. CNN was not able to immediately contact the police Thursday. The Saxony justice ministry is expected to give a press conference later Thursday.
    In a raid on an apartment in the city of Chemnitz on Saturday , which appeared to be Albakr’s home, police discovered a mix of explosives weighing 1.5 kg that they described as more dangerous than TNT. The German prosecutor’s office said the mix could cause significant damage in small amounts.
    Police carried out a controlled explosion to gain access to the apartment.
    Among the materials found was what police suspected to be TATP, or acetone peroxide, which was used in recent terror attacks in Brussels and Paris, Saxony’s crime office said.

    An earlier report on the police hunt for Albakr.

    An earlier report on the police hunt for Albakr.

    Markus Ulbig, Saxony state’s interior minister, said that Albakr had come to Germany as an asylum-seeker in February 2015. A year later, he formally asked for asylum, which was granted in June this year.
    German Chancellor Merkel has come under intense political pressure for her open-door policy on refugees. German officials said the country welcomed more than 1 million refugees in 2015 alone, many of them Syrians fleeing the war in their country.
    There have been several low-impact attacks in Germany this year carried out by refugees, prompting Merkel’s administration to tighten security measures.

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