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Ex-soldier sues British Army after contracting chronic disease from animal excrement

21 January, 2019 - 17:58

Preview In what could be a landmark case, a former soldier is suing the UK’s Ministry of Defense, alleging that his life has been ruined by the army’s failure to protect him from contracting Q fever while serving in Afghanistan.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Watch out, Trump? California Sen. Kamala Harris announces presidential run

21 January, 2019 - 17:51

Preview California Senator Kamala Harris has announced her candidacy for president with a pledge to “bring our voices together.” The first-term senator has been billed as one of the Democrats’ best chances for defeating Trump in 2020.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Ghana's contemporary art scene thrives buoyed by local and international support

21 January, 2019 - 17:36

Morning light enters Ablade Glover’s studio in Accra. The artist takes the measurements of a blank canvas and then applies electric blue stains to it with a brush at regular intervals.

At the age of 84, the founder of the Artists Alliance Gallery in the Ghanaian capital is known far beyond the borders of his country for his work.

25 years ago, he created this seaside art gallery and opened it to the public to promote contemporary art, particularly from Ghana.

Glover recalls that at the time, local artists had no support, most of whom had to work side by side to earn a living.

But a major turning point has occurred in recent years, with a growing international recognition of contemporary African art. More and more artists earn money – sometimes a lot – thanks to the work of galleries like Glover’s, and to the organization of festivals and major artistic events bringing together curators and passionate collectors.

One of Ablade Glover’s works can be seen in Seth Dei’s private gallery, in a quiet street in a leafy suburb of Accra.

This 73-year-old businessman is a strong supporter of local artists, and he prefers, he says, to hang a Ghanaian painting rather than a Picasso on the walls of his living room.

“I like to be surrounded by paintings that I can understand, that reflect who I am,” he told AFP, pointing to a forest painted by Glover in bright orange red.

This painting is one of the 550 works of art he has accumulated and stores between his house and his gallery.

Dei, co-founder of a fruit and vegetable export company, began collecting art in 1993. He has observed the changes in the way African art is viewed for decades and, above all, the difficulty Ghanaian artists have had in gaining a reputation on the international scene.

“Local artists were relatively ignored and alone, and in society in general, few people bought art,” he says.

He did his best to help Ghanaian art and to encourage artists to continue creating, until he made a name for himself in the country.

“The artists would come in and say: I painted this, I think you should have it in your collection,” says Dei. “Even when I didn’t have any money, I would gradually repay it.”

He has seen the careers of artists now recognized abroad, such as Wiz Kudowor, Larry Otoo and Kofi Setordji, take off.

“People are getting used to the idea of selling works in dollars, which would have been impossible a few years ago, and the price of works of art is rising,” adds the collector.

Venice Biennale

The growing popularity of contemporary Ghanaian art is twofold: many works have left the country, been purchased by expatriates or exhibited in Europe and the United States.

Ablade Glover and Seith Dei dream of seeing a public institution invest in preserving art on the spot and allowing Ghanaians to discover and appreciate it.

They hope that the government will create a national arts museum.

There are already more and more private exhibitions, as well as a travelling museum since 2002, created by novelist, filmmaker and art historian Nana Oforiatta Ayim.

Returning to Ghana in 2011 after years in the United Kingdom, she has used her address book to support local artists and organizes events to promote young Ghanaian artists.

“I had seen the old generation work, but the international career (of these artists) was struggling to take off,” she explains. “All I wanted was for them to have the same chances at the beginning as a young artist in London.”

Nana Oforiatta Ayim and Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye announced a few days ago that Ghana would have a pavilion at the Venice Biennale in May.

“David and I worked on the Venice Biennale as part of a larger initiative to create an infrastructure to promote art in Ghana,” says the young woman. “We are working very seriously on this in discussions with the government”.

AFP

‘MPs would vote down 2nd EU referendum’: May presents her ‘plan B’ to parliament (VIDEO)

21 January, 2019 - 17:35

Preview UK PM Theresa May reveals her Brexit ‘Plan B’ to parliament on Monday in a bid to garner the support of a majority of MPs to get an agreement through the House of Commons and avoid a no-deal withdrawal scenario.
Read Full Article at RT.com

‘Sweetie, you put your hands down’: Toddler surrenders to armed police in viral VIDEO

21 January, 2019 - 17:34

Preview Viral eyewitness video captured the heartbreaking moment that a two-year-old toddler got out of her father’s car and walked towards gun-wielding police with her hands raised.
Read Full Article at RT.com

‘He doesn’t bother anybody. Let him stay’: MPs reject idea of removing Lenin’s body from mausoleum

21 January, 2019 - 17:33

Preview The body of Vladimir Lenin should be left in the mausoleum on the Red Square as there are much more important problems for Russia to solve, the lawmakers said on the 95th anniversary since the death of the 1917 Revolution leader.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Interview with gay man lands Egyptian TV presenter in jail despite anti-LGBT views

21 January, 2019 - 17:17

Preview An Egyptian TV host known for expressing views against LGBT issues in the past has instead been jailed for promoting the gay lifestyle. The sentence stems from a 2018 on-air interview with a gay man about his life.
Read Full Article at RT.com

'22yrs after the bear, I wrestle with a McChicken': Khabib throws dig at McGregor Down Under (VIDEO)

21 January, 2019 - 17:04

Preview UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has thrown a dig at vanquished opponent Conor McGregor at an Australian Q&A, claiming that 22 years after wrestling with a bear in his youth, he wrestled a "chicken" in the Irishman.
Read Full Article at RT.com

‘I’m not doing it for fun’: German MP returns to parliament as a transgender woman

21 January, 2019 - 17:04

Preview Markus Ganserer was re-elected to the Bavarian state parliament in October, but he won’t be taking his seat in the chamber. Instead, Tessa Ganserer, Germany’s first transgender lawmaker, will sit where Markus once did.


Read Full Article at RT.com

‘World economic expansion losing momentum’: IMF cuts global growth forecasts

21 January, 2019 - 17:01

Preview Risk of a sharper decline in global growth has increased, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which urged the United States and China to resolve their trade war.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Japan resumes oil imports from Iran after latest US sanctions

21 January, 2019 - 16:58

Preview Tokyo has resumed purchases of Iranian oil for the first time since suspending imports in line with US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, according to reports citing a Japanese refinery and the head of Iranian Central Bank.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Treasure unearthed: Items owned by disgraced Russian princeling found in Uzbekistan (PHOTOS)

21 January, 2019 - 16:53

Preview Archeologists in Uzbekistan have unearthed a treasure estimated to worth at least a million dollars, which includes some items owned by a controversial member of the Romanov royal family, an exile who became a patron of the arts.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Treasure unearthed: Items owned by disgraced Russian princeling found in Uzbekistan (PHOTOS)

21 January, 2019 - 16:53

Preview Archeologists in Uzbekistan have unearthed a treasure estimated to worth at least a million dollars, which includes some items owned by a controversial member of the Romanov royal family, an exile who became a patron of the arts.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Israeli city ‘erasing women’ from public eye, censoring them from billboards

21 January, 2019 - 16:53

Preview An ultra-orthodox municipality just east of Tel Aviv has edited a female politician out of a billboard ad, and not for the first time, some saying the practice is meant to “erase Israeli women,” altogether.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Romain Rolland: Tragedy of scientists at the disposal of military powers

21 January, 2019 - 16:49

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

French writers on war and peace

Romain Rolland: Selections on war

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Romain Rolland
Translator unknown

From a letter to Rabindranath Tagore 1935

Dear Friend,
The World Committee Against War requests me to thank you for having kindly consented to join the Initiative Committee of the Universal Congress of Peace. They have asked me to send you the accompanying circular…It is only as a good example which is encouraging for the rest of the world that India should demonstrate her fraternal solidarity with other countries in this endeavour for a universal assemblage for the defense of Peace…

***

From a letter to Rabindranath Tagore 1940

The war has created a solitude around us. Communications are not easy, especially in winter…Unable to write in the newspaper, which the state of war does not permit, I work and write for happier days. I re-live and try to fix on paper my memories of the past century, – the days of my youth, and the first struggles, before 1900…

In a world handed over to blind violence and falsehood, we must preserve within us truth and peace.

***

From a discussion with Tagore 1930

Science in the modern world is probably the most international element, that is, the spirit of cooperation in scientific research. But the tragic thing is this, that scientists are at the disposal of military powers who are not in the least interested in the progress of human thought and culture. We have today poison gas at the disposal of politicians…

Zimbabwe union leader arrested

21 January, 2019 - 16:37

Zimbabwean union leader who supported a nationwide strike last week over fuel price hikes was arrested in the capital, Harare on Monday, a group of lawyers said.

Japhet Moyo, Secretary General of the Zimbabwean Trade Union Congress was arrested at the Robert Mugabe International airport , a spokesman for the Zimbabwean Human Rights Lawyers told AFP.

The Union called for a three-day general strike following hikes in fuel prices announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Police repressed protesters. At least 12 people were killed and 78 injured by gunfire last week, according to the Zimbabwean Human Rights Forum.

The forum consists of a coalition of organizations that claims to have documented more than 240 cases of aggression and torture.

Several other senior officials have also be arrested including activist Pastor Evan Mawarire.

Mawarire’s lawyer said her client has been charged for inciting public violence.

AFP

Famous bikini-clad hiker freezes to death on Taiwan mountain

21 January, 2019 - 16:36

Preview A hiker who gained fame for scaling summits while scantily clad has been found frozen to death on the side of a mountain in Taiwan after suffering a bad fall during her latest challenge.
Read Full Article at RT.com

‘Care factor zero’: Serena's mom causes internet stir with 'poker face' reaction to daughter’s win

21 January, 2019 - 16:28

Preview Australian Open fans have been left bemused by Serena Williams' mother Oracene Price, who was caught sitting stern-faced and emotionless while her team erupted in celebration following Serena's hard-fought win over Simona Halep.
Read Full Article at RT.com