BartCop Entertainment Archives - Tuesday, 4 April, 2017


4 April, 2017

(Updated Daily)

[60 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Paul Krugman: Trump is Wimping Out on Trade (NYTimes)
Why are big boasts turning into tiny policy tweaks?

The destruction of Hillary Clinton: sexism, Sanders and the millennial feminists (The Guardian)
In this extract from her book, Susan Bordo asks how the most qualified candidate ever to run for president lost the seemingly unloseable election.

Mike McPhate: "California Today: Henry Rollins Strikes Chord as a Columnist" (NY Times)
Q. Have you mellowed with age?
A. Not really. I've just been able to prioritize and direct my energies with a little bit more care and aim, where I don't need to scorch the entire forest because I'm angry. I can just pick out the three trees and that turns into a column or that turns into something on stage.

Elon Musk is famous for his futuristic gambles, but Silicon Valley's latest rush to embrace artificial intelligence scares him. And he thinks you should be frightened too. Inside his efforts to influence the rapidly advancing field and its proponents, and to save humanity from machine-learning overlords.

Rachel Cooke: Sexual paranoia on campus - and the professor at the eye of the storm (The Guardian)
… when it comes to Unwanted Advances, she intends to make no apologies nor issue any trigger warnings. She is ready for the fallout because, she insists, something really is at stake here. As she writes at the beginning of her book, one day people may look back at this officially sanctioned hysteria with the same bemusement that they look back on the Salem witch trials.

Marissa Martinelli: Disney's Beloved Club Penguin Has Shut Down After More Than a Decade. We Documented Its Final Days. (Slate)
THE COVE, Club Penguin-In a normally secluded corner of Club Penguin, a lavish dance party is underway. The guests are dressed in feathers, by default, but also in elaborate guises of wigs and hats and fairy wings. They have strange little furry creatures by their sides. And they're waiting for the end of the world.

'Age is just a number': Doris Day turns 95 - two years earlier than planned (The Guardian)
Calamity Jane star had thought her 93rd birthday was imminent but record emerges showing she was born in 1922, not 1924.

Michele Hanson: Older people can't cope with new technology - but nobody cares (The Guardian)
My friend Rosemary's car breakdown turned into a nightmare because she had forgotten her glasses and couldn't read her card number. Do they expect us to stay inside and go quietly mad?

Martin Beckford: Elderly people isolated by technological advances (Telegraph)
Elderly people are being isolated by technological advances that leave them with fewer opportunities to meet people, it is claimed today.

ilonqueen: "NANA OPENING ♥ Rose (Spanish Cover)" (YouTube)

ilonqueen: GIMME CHOCO!! ♥ BABYMETAL Cover Español (YouTube)

ilonqueen: I WILL (AO HARU RIDE) ♥ Cover Acústico (YouTube)

David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on



Trivia Question of the Day

What is the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

What is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today?

       Cotton                                                      Source

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will tend to increase the dispersal of the seeds.

The plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds.

The fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times; fragments of cotton fabric dated from 5000 BC have been excavated in Mexico and between 6000 BC and 5000 BC in the Indus Valley Civilization. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, and it is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today.        Source

Mark. was first and correct with:
   I would guess that cotton is the most widely used natural fiber in clothing.

Alan J said:

Jim from CA, retired to ID, wrote:

Adam answered:

Deborah responded:
   I'm going with a WAG here - my first thought was cotton. But perhaps it's hemp? Or linen?
  I'm sticking with cotton.
  No rain in over 2 weeks, and now it's time to turn on the auto-sprinklers again. Meanwhile, spring is gorgeous here in NorCal.

zorch replied:
   Cotton also know as tree wool. It grows on the vegetable lamb of Tartary

Daniel in The City said:
   Cotton, I'd guess.

Billy in Cypress responded:
   King Cotton is the answer today. Cotton is still King of the natural fibers although it is no longer picked by slaves in most regions, but by massive machines to enrich corporate overlords and starve everyone else. I still believe that CpPDJT-ID would love to be a slave master, in the deep south of 1860.

Joe S     answered:
   It can only be cotton.

Randall took the day off.

Kevin K. in Washington, DC took the day off.

David of Moon Valley took the day off.

Dale of Springy Diamond Springs, Norcali took the day off.

DJ Useo took the day off.

mj took the day off.

Gene took the day off.

Dave in Tucson took the day off.

MAM     took the day off.

Marian took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  April 4 Birthdays - Celebrities Born April 4 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.




Middle Class Political Economist

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Fact-Checking Feud: The Ugly Truth About Joan Crawford and Bette Davis's 1963 Oscar Showdown | Vanity Fair
     Confess to being enraptured by this flawless portrayal; acting, dialog, set/music/costumes/direction. Kudos and bravas to all. Perfection!!

Why I Cannot Support Judge Gorsuch - Senator Jon Tester - Medium

Mike Pence has serious issues with women. If he ends up president we are in for a world of hurt.

Wounded by two months of bungling, Team Trump seeks to rearrange the deck chairs

The first shovelful: introducing our new archaeology and anthropology blog | Science | The Guardian

There's another story to tell about climate change. And it starts with water | Judith D Schwartz | Opinion | The Guardian

Gay Men Are Being Rounded Up And Killed In Chechnya: Report | The Huffington Post

Trump Building Plan: How One Public-Private Deal Hit a Bumpy Road - NBC News

These Giant Drones Could Seriously Disrupt the Shipping Industry - NBC News

Why Trump lies - Los Angeles Times

Texas judge deals ExxonMobil a blow in their climate change fraud case

BREAKING: Blackwater Founder Held Secret Seychelles Meeting To Establish Trump-Putin Back Channel

Mormon elder speaks in support of tithing to church over ones starving kids

ProPublica Expertly Claps Back At Sean Spicer For Calling It A 'Left-Wing Blog' | The Huffington Post

Thanks, Michelle!



Reader Comment

Current Events

Janet in Texas shared the link. It's a perfect smack down. What a shame though that no is reporting it more widely. Even more of a shame that Lumpy's base doesn't care about him stealing from all of us and using the office to enrich himself and his family. Sharing the link because they did a great job of reporting truth and refusing to allow lies to go unchallenged.

Spicer Just Insulted Pulitzer-Winning Journalists. Their Response is EPIC

Linda   >^..^<
     We are all only temporarily able bodied.

Thanks, Linda (& Janet)!



Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

The White House Wouldn't Post Trump Staffers' Financial Disclosures. So We Did. - ProPublica

Loyalists head for the exits: Even Jason Chaffetz begins to change his tune on Trump and transparency -

Why Trump lies - Los Angeles Times

Taibbi: Putin Derangement Syndrome Arrives - Rolling Stone

Blackwater founder held meeting to establish Trump-Russia backchannel: report | TheHill

McConnell 'Rule' That Blocked Garland Not Actually a Rule -

Clean Up on Aisle Trump | Mother Jones

ProPublica Expertly Claps Back At Sean Spicer For Calling It A 'Left-Wing Blog' | The Huffington Post



Reader Comment


This is what people and the media need to do, all the time, without let up, without drama, with just the facts.

Spicer Just Insulted Pulitzer-Winning Journalists. Their Response is EPIC


Thanks, Deborah!



from Marc Perkel

Patriot Act

Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End

My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.

Come Get Me Mother Fucker | Putting and end to NSA government Spying





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD









Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Coastal eddy overcast hung around til mid-afternoon.

Tonight, Tuesday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'NCIS', followed by a FRESH 'Bull', then a FRESH 'NCIS: The Third One'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Louis C.K., Ernie Johnson Jr., and Father John Misty.
Scheduled on a FRESH James Corden, OBE, are Claire Danes, Christine Baranski, Jack McBrayer, and Zara Larsson.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'The Voice', followed by a FRESH 'Trial & Error', then another FRESH 'Trial & Error', followed by a FRESH 'Chicago Fire'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Blake Shelton and Scott Eastwood.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers are Ice T, Freida Pinto, Julio Torres, and Jonathan Mover.
Scheduled on a FRESH Carson 'The Scab' Daly are Damon Lindelof, Agnes Obel, and a segment about the podcast "Missing Richard Simmons".

ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'The Middle', followed by a FRESH 'American Housewife', then a FRESH 'Fresh Off The Boat', followed by a FRESH 'Imaginary Mary', then a FRESH 'Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Slate, and Dustin Lynch.

The CW offers a FRESH 'DC's Legends Of Tomorrow', followed by a FRESH 'iZombie'.

Faux has a FRESH 'New Girl', followed by a FRESH 'The Mick', then a FRESH 'Prison Break'.

MY recycles an old 'The X-Files', followed by another old 'The X-Files'.

A&E has all old 'Intervention' all night.

AMC offers the movie 'Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory', followed by the movie '13 Going On 30'.

BBC  -   
 [7:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 1-The Impossible Astronaut-Part 1.
 [9:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 3-The Curse of the Black Spot
 [10:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 4-The Doctor's Wife
 [11:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 5-The Rebel Flesh-Part 1.
 [12:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 1-Rio
 [1:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 2-If Looks Could Kill
 [2:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 3-Death Pool 100
 [3:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 4-Going Under
 [4:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 5-Death Eminent
 [5:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 6-Curse of the Coffin
 [6:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 7-Darkroom
 [7:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 8-High Octane
 [8:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 9-Going Going Gone
 [9:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 1-Rio
 [10:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 2-If Looks Could Kill
 [11:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 3-Death Pool 100
 [12:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 4-Going Under
 [1:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 5-Death Eminent
 [2:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 6-Curse of the Coffin
 [3:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 7-Darkroom
 [4:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 8-High Octane
 [5:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 9-Going Going Gone    (ALL TIMES EDT)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of BH', followed by a FRESH 'BH Social', then a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of BH', followed by a FRESH 'Imposters', then a FRESH 'Watch What Happens Live'.

Comedy Central has 2 hours of old 'South Park', an hour of old 'Tosh.0', followed by a FRESH 'Tosh.0', then a FRESH 'Detroiters'.
Scheduled on a FRESH The Daily Show is Chelsea Handler.
Scheduled on a FRESH @Midnight are Aisha Tyler, Kevin Smith, and Rob Riggle.

FX has the movie 'Total Recall', followed by the movie 'Captain America: The First Avenger', then a FRESH 'The Americans'.

History has 'Forged In Fire', followed by a FRESH 'Forged In Fire: Cutting Deeper'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00AM]    TOP SECRET!
 [8:00AM]    8 MILE
 [1:00PM]    THREE KINGS
 [3:30PM]    8 MILE
 [6:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Red Sees Red
 [6:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Hyde's Father
 [7:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die
 [7:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Roller Disco
 [8:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Eric's Panties
 [8:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Baby Fever
 [9:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Jackie Bags Hyde
 [9:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Hyde's Christmas Rager
 [10:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Ice Shack
 [10:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Who Wants It More?
 [11:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Red Sees Red
 [11:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Hyde's Father
 [12:00AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die
 [12:30AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Roller Disco
 [1:00AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Eric's Panties
 [1:30AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Baby Fever
 [2:00AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Jackie Bags Hyde
 [2:30AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Hyde's Christmas Rager
 [3:00AM]    THREE KINGS
 [5:30AM]    COMEDY BANG! BANG!-Ty Burrell
 [5:45AM]    ROGUE    (ALL TIMES EDT)

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    Hap and Leonard: Mucho Mojo-Holy Mojo
 [7:00AM]    All in the Family-The Saga of Cousin Oscar
 [7:35AM]    All in the Family-Flashback: Mike Meets Archie
 [8:10AM]    All in the Family-Archie in the Lock-Up
 [8:45AM]    All in the Family-The Election Story
 [9:20AM]    All in the Family-Edith's Accident
 [9:55AM]    All in the Family-The Blockbuster
 [10:30AM]    All in the Family-The Insurance Is Canceled
 [11:05AM]    Wonder Boys
 [1:34PM]    Mr. Mom
 [3:33PM]    The Sandlot
 [6:00PM]    Hook
 [9:00PM]    Point Break
 [11:45PM]    The Devil's Advocate
 [2:45AM]    The Beach
 [5:15AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Andy Saves Gomer
 [5:50AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Bargain Day    (ALL TIMES EDT)

SyFy has 'Face Off', another 'Face Off', followed by a FRESH 'Face Off', then a FRESH 'Cosplay Melee'.

On a RERUN Conan (from 12/13/16) are Chris Pratt, Tom Papa, and the Naked and Famous.

 [7:15 AM]      Anna Karenina (1935)
 [9:00 AM]      Treasure Island (1934)
 [11:00 AM]      Anne Of Green Gables (1934)
 [12:30 PM]      The Brothers Karamazov (1958)
 [3:15 PM]      Billy Budd (1962)
 [5:30 PM]      The Good Earth (1937)
 [8:00 PM]      Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
 [10:00 PM]      Holiday (1938)
 [12:00 AM]      Fifth Avenue Girl (1939)
 [1:45 AM]      Turnabout (1940)
 [3:30 AM]      Journal Of A Crime (1934)
 [4:45 AM]      Easy to Love (1934)     (ALL TIMES EDT)

Wednesday   -  04/05/17

TCM features films with Zsa Zsa Gabor all night.
 [6:00 AM]      Prestige (1932)
 [7:30 AM]      Dangerous Corner (1935)
 [8:45 AM]      And So They Were Married (1936)
 [10:15 AM]      I'll Take Romance (1937)
 [12:00 PM]      Fast Company (1938)
 [1:30 PM]      The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939)
 [3:00 PM]      Good Girls Go to Paris (1939)
 [4:30 PM]      On the Loose (1951)
 [6:00 PM]      One is a Lonely Number (1972)
 [8:00 PM]      Death of a Scoundrel (1956)
 [10:15 PM]      3 Ring Circus (1954)
 [12:15 AM]      Queen of Outer Space (1958)
 [2:00 AM]      Moulin Rouge (1952)
 [4:15 AM]      Lili (1953)

USA has a FRESH 'Chrisley Knows Best'.

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from Oct. 16, 1987) - James Galway and Myrtle Young.

Bounce TV

Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

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Action Aid dress in blonde Boris Johnson wigs whilst protesting outside the Foreign Office in London on april 3, 2017. The protest coincides with anniversary of the release of the Panama Papers that exposed offshore tax evasion. The protesters are calling on the government to set up public registers.
Photo by Pete Maclaine


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Won't Face Punishment

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford won't face punishment after mistakenly attempting to land his private plane on a taxiway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County in February, Variety has confirmed.

Ford's attorney, Stephen Hofer of Aerlex Law Group, said in a statement that the Federal Aviation Administration has concluded its investigation of the incident and found that "no administrative or enforcement action was warranted."

"The Federal Aviation Administration has notified Mr. Harrison Ford that the agency has closed its inquiry into Mr. Ford's landing at the Santa Ana, Orange County Airport on February 13, 2017," Hofer said. "The FAA conducted a full investigation into the matter, including an interview with Mr. Ford, and determined that no administrative or enforcement action was warranted. Mr. Ford retains his pilot's certificate without restriction. In closing the matter, the agency acknowledged Mr. Ford's long history of compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations and his cooperative attitude during the investigation. Mr. Ford has held a pilot's certificate for more than 20 years, has logged more than 5,000 hours in the air, and has never been the subject of an FAA administrative or enforcement action."

Harrison Ford


People walk at the entrance of the "Giro Giro Tondo design for children" exhibition, at the Triennale museum, in Milan, Italy, Monday, April 3, 2017. The Milan Design week is taking place in various locations across Milan from April 4 through 9, 2017.
Photo by Antonio Calanni


Mao Portrait Fetches $12.7M

Andy Warhol

A classic Andy Warhol portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong fetched US$12.7 million at auction in Hong Kong on Sunday, Sotheby's said -- well short of the top estimate of more than $15 million.

The sale of the 1973 screen print by the legendary US pop artist attracted plenty of attention before going under the hammer in the semi-autonomous city owing to sensitivity about any use of Mao's image in China.

The top sale price estimate of more than $15 million was the highest the auction house had ever seen for a painting in Asia.

Sotheby's had describe the event as the first "significant" sale of Western contemporary art in Hong Kong, which was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.

Andy Warhol


Newhead News


Relocating Rhinos


Conservationists on Monday captured a rare one-horned rhinoceros in Nepal as part of an attempt to increase the number of the vulnerable animals, which are prized by wildlife poachers.

Five rhinos -- one male and four female -- will be released into a national park in Nepal's far west over the coming week in the hope of establishing a new breeding group.

The first, a large male estimated to be around 12 years old, was located by rangers in Chitwan National Park after a four-hour search on elephant-back.

The team of vets, wildlife experts and mahouts hope to capture a second rhino later Monday before departing for Shuklaphanta National Park, a 12-hour drive away.

It will take at least a week to capture and transport the remaining rhinos to their new habitat, which is already home to an estimated eight of their kin.



A wooden totem pole, carved by the Kwiakiutl of Canada's northwest coast, presented to The Queen in 1971, is on display at Buckingham Palace in London, Monday, April 3, 2017. A selection of objects from Royal Gifts will be on display as part of the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on July 22, 2017.
Photo by Frank Augstein


Remains Of Ancient Pyramid Found


The remains of an Egyptian pyramid built around 3,700 years ago have been discovered near the well-known "bent pyramid" of King Snefru, the antiquities ministry announced on Monday.

The pyramid from the 13th dynasty was found in Dahshur's royal necropolis, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Cairo, it said.

"An alabaster... block engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines" was among the finds, the ministry said, citing Adel Okasha, director general at the necropolis.

It said granite lintel and stone blocks were discovered that would show more "about the internal structure of the pyramid".

Excavation is still in its early stages and the size of the pyramid has not yet been established.



Digby's Hullabaloo


Oink. Oink. Oink.

Rupert "News"

A Democratic political consultant and Fox News contributor on Monday sued the network and its former chairman, Roger Ailes, accusing them of denying her a permanent hosting job after rebuffing Ailes' sexual advances.

Julie Roginsky also said in her lawsuit filed in New York state court that a misogynistic culture at Fox News, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, had not changed since Ailes resigned last year in the wake of a separate sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

Roginsky, 43, has appeared regularly on Fox News programs since 2011 and writes a column for the network's website.

Roginsky's action follows other allegations, including at least two separate lawsuits, against Fox News and Ailes by women who claimed they were sexually harassed by the 76-year-old founder of the network.

In the lawsuit, Roginsky said Ailes in early 2015 told her he was considering her for a full-time slot on "The Five," a highly-rated talk show featuring a rotating panel of guests. But the job never materialized, and she lost her spot as a contributor on the show, after she declined his advances, she said.

Rupert "News"


Rain gathers on a table around a Masters logo at the driving range during practice for the Masters golf tournament Monday, April 3, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.
Photo by Matt Slocum


Newspaper Closes

Juarez, Mexico

A newspaper in the Mexican border city of Juarez announced Sunday that it is shutting down because the rampant, unpunished killings of journalists in the country have made it too dangerous to go on.

Norte executive Oscar Cantu Murguia informed readers of his decision in a farewell letter titled "Adios!" that was published on the paper's front page and online.

He cited the recent murder of journalist Miroslava Breach in the city of Chihuahua, which like Juarez is in Chihuahua state. Breach was a reporter for the national newspaper La Jornada and had also collaborated with Norte.

"On this day, esteemed reader, I address you to report that I have made the decision to close this newspaper due to the fact that, among other things, there are neither the guarantees nor the security to exercise critical, counterbalance journalism," Cantu wrote.

At least 38 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992 for motives confirmed as related to their work, according the Committee to Protect Journalists. The New York-based media advocacy group says 50 more were slain during the same period for reasons that remain unclear.

Juarez, Mexico


Taunts Ecuador Opponent After Election


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange waded into Ecuador's contested presidential election, tweeting his congratulations to the ruling socialist party's candidate and telling his rival he should leave the country.

Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012, had a personal stake in the race: opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso had threatened to kick him out of the embassy within 30 days if he won the election.

The 45-year-old Australian buoyantly turned that threat around on Lasso as official results showed the conservative ex-banker on track to lose.

"I cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days (with or without his tax haven millions)," he wrote on Twitter.

That was a reference to WikiLeaks's accusation that Lasso is linked to the Panama Papers tax haven scandal.



A silver bowl containing fruits grown in Zambia modelled in silver, which were presented by Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, are on display at Buckingham Palace in London, Monday, April 3, 2017. A selection of objects from Royal Gifts will be on display as part of the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on July 22, 2017.
Photo by Frank Augstein


Aims To Reduce Fire Risk

Thinning Forests

To restore a forest and reduce the risk of severe wildfires, a conservation group is cutting down trees.

The Nature Conservancy is selectively logging dry forests in Washington's Central Cascades as part of a long-term plan to make thousands of privately owned forestland more resilient to fire, disease and climate change.

A century of wildfire suppression has resulted in overgrown tree stands that are ripe for fire, so the group is weeding out smaller trees that can serve as kindling for fires. They're leaving bigger, older and more fire-resistant ponderosa pines while removing tree species such as grand fir that are more susceptible to fire.

The restoration thinning project outside the city of Cle Elum mirrors numerous projects in forests across the U.S. West, mostly on federal public lands, aimed at preventing wildfires and restoring forest health.

The project by a private landowner also represents a fraction of the millions of acres that some say need to be treated to prevent the kind of intense wildfires that have scorched thousands of acres across the U.S. West.

Thinning Forests


Austrian Blacksmiths Produce Armor

Swiss Guards

Austrian blacksmiths who produce ceremonial suits of armor for the Vatican's Swiss Guards are close to the end of their current deal to do so, and say supplying the suits will not now be an issue for many years to come.

One of the drawbacks of the Swiss Guards' medieval uniforms is that the craftsmanship needed to make them is disappearing.

Faced with an aged stock in need of replacement, they turned to brothers Johann and Georg Schmidberger - the fifth generation to run the family blacksmith's business in the Austrian town of Molln - to provide them with 80 suits of armor covering the torso and arms.

The brothers have produced 10 of the suits a year since 2009, meaning the deal will be completed this year, and new replacements will not be needed for quite some time.

The brothers' workshop, where all kinds of hammers are piled high near a furnace and anvil, will continue to supply swords, locks, gates and other items to customers including theaters and private collectors.

Swiss Guards



In Memory

Ikutaro Kakehashi

Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Japanese electronic musical instrument maker Roland which defined much of the sound of 1980s pop, has died aged 87.

Kakehashi founded Roland in 1972 after running an electronic appliance shop in his native Osaka in western Japan.

His keyboards were a staple of synth-pop bands such as Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk and were popular with electro pioneers Jean-Michel Jarre, Herbie Hancock and The Prodigy.

David Bowie worked with the Roland GR-500 guitar synth to record his 1980 hit "Ashes to Ashes" while Marvin Gaye used the iconic TR-808 drum machine on his smash single "Sexual Healing".

Marc Almond, vocalist for new wave duo Soft Cell, tweeted: "A man who changed music Ikutaro Kakehashi the Roland Synth 808 and more has sadly passed. Thanks for the Electro sounds."

The TR-808 was also a staple of hip hop acts from Run DMC and Afrika Bambaataa to the Beastie Boys, while more recently the rapper Kanye West used it on every track of his 2008 album "808s & Heartbreak".

Kakehashi received the 2013 Technical Grammy Award in 2013 for contributions to the music industry through the establishment of the "MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)", a global standard for transmitting electronic musical data across various digital instruments.

In the same year, Kakehashi left Roland and set up the new digital instrument company ATV, reportedly because of a clash with Roland management.

Ikutaro Kakehashi



Purple Passion Plant in bloom



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