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rpannier

rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
September 16, 2023

Some things you may or may not have known about the 1st episode of SNL

1 Th first episode was Oct. 11, 1975 (I was 11)

2. George Carlin was the star

3. The show was titled "NBC's Saturday Night" not "Saturday Night Live"

4. Janis Ian and Billy Preston both played music (neither was called a musical guest)

5. The Muppets were on the show

6. There were 9 Not Yet Ready for Prime Time Players and they were not mentioned individually by name with pic. Their names were just shown all together in the opening credits (Michael O' Donoghue and George Coe were in the cast)

7. Valri Bromfield (who toured with Dan Ackroyd) and Andy Kaufman appeared. Bromfield got screwed over by Lorne Michaels. Right as she was about to go out he told her she had 2 mins instead of 6. Her performance was not good

8. George Carlin entered from the upstairs balcony and his first routine was "Football vs Baseball"

9. First song, Billy Preston singing "Nothing from Nothing"

10. Andy Kaufman did his Mighty Mouse routine

11. Janis Ian performed performed "Seventeen"

12. There was one REALLY cringey skit about aoc


** I have Peacock Network and they're showing SNL episodes

September 16, 2023

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

5. Armenia Kicks Off Joint Military Exercises With U.S. Despite Russian Opposition

Armenia and the United States have begun joint military exercises that have angered Moscow and come as tensions rise between Yerevan and neighboring Azerbaijan over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement the Eagle Partner 2023 exercises began on September 11 with the purpose of preparing Armenian forces to take part in international peacekeeping missions.

Colonel Martin O'Donnell, spokesman for the U.S. command, said the exercises are "a vital opportunity for our soldiers from our two nations to build new relationships at the tactical level and to increase interoperability for peacekeeping operations."

The drills are being held at the Zar and Armavir Training Areas near Yerevan and will end on September 20. The U.S military said 85 U.S. soldiers and 175 Armenians would take part. The Americans -- including members of the Kansas National Guard, which has a 20-year-old training partnership with Armenia -- will not be using heavy weaponry, it added.

https://www.rferl.org/a/armenia-military-exercises-us-russian-opposition/32587572.html


4. Belarus's Tsikhanouskaya To Meet With U.S., Other Officials In New York During UN General Assembly

Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has said she will be in New York this week for high-level meetings with officials from the United States and other countries as delegations converge for the UN General Assembly. Her chief adviser, Franak Viachorka, was later quoted as saying Tsikhanouskaya would be in the United States September 17-23. She will reportedly also meet with members of the Belarusian diaspora. Tsikhanouskaya, who was driven abroad by the brutal crackdown after Alyaksandr Lukashenka claimed a sixth presidential term after a flawed election in 2020, warned last month that Belarusian independence is under its "greatest threat" ever because of Lukashenka.

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-tsikhanouskaya-us-new-york-united-nations/32595563.html


3. Murdoch executives ‘told Sunak not to resign after Partygate fine’

Rishi Sunak was persuaded not to quit as chancellor over his fine for breaking lockdown laws after an intervention by executives working for media mogul Rupert Murdoch, it has been claimed.

The claim is detailed in a book by the Telegraph’s political editor, Ben Riley-Smith, and published by the newspaper’s website on Friday.

It is the latest report to suggest that Sunak was on the verge of resigning after he and Boris Johnson were fined in April 2022 for attending the then prime minister’s birthday celebration in Downing Street in June 2020.

According to the paper, Sunak shared a draft resignation statement with allies, including some who worked for Murdoch such as former Tory leader and Times columnist Lord Hague.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/sep/15/murdoch-executives-told-sunak-not-to-resign-after-partygate-fine

2. The high-speed railway that’s uncoupling the Baltic states from Russia and their Soviet past

Rail Baltica is connecting the Baltics to Europe’s rail network, another sign of how the Baltics have swung away from Russia to the West.

The largest infrastructure project in the Baltic region for a hundred years is under way. The 870 km Rail Baltica project, which is due for completion in 2030, will connect the capitals of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia with Warsaw and the rest of Europe, allowing trains from the continent to run uninterrupted.

snip

For the EU, it’s a statement about the Baltic states’ return to Europe and their decoupling from their Soviet past.

snip

The railway will begin in Tallinn before passing through Pärnu, Rīga, Panevėžys, and Kaunas before reaching the Lithuanian-Polish border; there will also be a connection to Vilnius from Kaunas.

https://www.euronews.com/next/2023/09/16/the-high-speed-railway-thats-uncoupling-the-baltic-states-from-russia-and-their-soviet-pas


1. EU lifts bans on Ukrainian grain but Poland and Hungary move to impose unilateral restrictions

The European Commission has lifted the temporary bans on Ukrainian grain after Kyiv agreed to tighten control over its agricultural exports.

But the measure failed to satisfy Poland and Hungary, which swiftly announced they would impose their own nationwide prohibitions on a unilateral basis, the very chaotic scenario that Brussels wanted to avoid at all costs.

"We will extend this ban despite their disagreement, despite the European Commission's disagreement," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a rally on Friday. "We will do it because it is in the interest of the Polish farmer."

Shortly after, Waldemar Buda, Poland's minister of economic development, said he had signed a new "national regulation" to keep the trade embargo in place.

https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2023/09/15/brussels-lifts-bans-on-ukrainian-grain-as-kyiv-agrees-to-impose-effective-measures-to-avoi

September 9, 2023

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

5. Demonstrators In Skopje Demand Justice Over Alleged Cancer-Drug Thefts

Allegations that cancer drugs were stolen from an oncology clinic in Skopje and sold on the black market have prompted an angry demonstration in the North Macedonia capital in which protestors demanded justice for affected patients.

Demonstrators threw eggs and left traces of "bloody" palms and wrote "murderers" on government buildings on September 4 after the Prosecutor-General's Office announced that an investigation was being opened into allegations made in recent media reports.

"For a person who is fighting for his life, every day is important, and in the end some directors and ministers will be found to have destroyed his life," one demonstrator who recently lost his mother to breast cancer told RFE/RL. "We had a lot of such cases in health care, and no one was responding."

The Prosecutor-General's Office on September 2 announced its investigation after media reports that said some drugs on which cancer patients depend are difficult to find and that employees of one Skopje clinic were caught reselling the drugs on the black market.

https://www.rferl.org/a/macedonia-cancer-drug-scandal-protest-skopje/32578908.html

4. Former British soldier fighting in Ukraine found dead with hands tied

A former British army soldier was found dead in a body of water in Ukraine with his hands tied behind his back after he went to the country to fight alongside Ukrainian forces, it has emerged.

Jordan Chadwick, who served in the Scots Guards from 2011 to 2015, travelled to Ukraine to fight in October last year. Eight months later, on 26 June, Lancashire police told his mother, Brenda, that her son, known as Joe, had been killed. British government officials later confirmed his death.

The Ukrainian international army repatriated the 31-year-old on 7 August. An inquest will be held in February to determine the cause of his death.

Brenda Chadwick told the BBC: “His passion to support freedom and assist others with his skills led him to leave the UK and travel to the Ukraine in early October 2022.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/sep/09/former-british-army-soldier-fighting-ukraine-found-dead-jordan-chadwick


3. Romania To Upgrade Black Sea Port Infrastructure To Bring In More Ukrainian Grain

Romania's government will approve on September 8 a plan to upgrade road infrastructure in the Black Sea port of Constanta, part of wider investments in the port that could help more Ukrainian grain to transit. Constanta is Ukraine's largest alternative export route, with grain arriving by road, rail, or barge on the Danube. Ukraine is one of the world's biggest grain exporters, and Romanian government officials have said they aimed to double the monthly transit capacity of Ukrainian grain to Constanta to 4 million tons in the coming months.

https://www.rferl.org/a/romania-ukraine-grain-constanta/32583872.html


2. 'Pipigate': The Belgium Justice Minister splashed by a scandal after his birthday party

The Belgian Minister of Justice will surely remember his 50th birthday. Three of his guests are accused of urinating on a police car parked outside his home on the night of 14 to 15 August.

Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne appeared before Parliament on Thursday following the opening of an investigation on 23 August. He told the Belgian parliament that he had not seen three guests at his birthday party urinate on a police van outside his home and apologised for the scandalous incident.

"I would like to apologise to every police officer in the country [...] I completely understand why they are outraged. It's absolutely unacceptable," he said at an extraordinary three-hour hearing before MPs on the Justice Committee.

Van Quickenborne says he called the three suspects "and insulted them". He claimed that he had helped the investigation by asking the three suspects to appear before the public prosecutor, who was able to have them questioned.

https://www.euronews.com/2023/09/09/pipigate-the-belgium-justice-minister-splashed-by-a-scandal-after-his-birthday-party


1. As The EU Pushes Georgia To End Political Polarization, The Government Impeaches The President

When the European Union cracked open its door to Georgia last year, it made its invitation to formal candidate status conditional on the country reducing the polarization that has long vexed its domestic politics.

But before Brussels makes its critical decision on Georgia's candidacy in October, the country is embroiled in yet another bitter internal power struggle.

President Salome Zurabishvili is on a tour of Europe that so far has taken her to Berlin, Brussels, and Paris to promote Georgia's EU candidacy. But the Georgian Constitution requires the president -- whose position is largely symbolic -- to get permission from the government before conducting any foreign policy activities. According to the government, Zurabishvili asked for permission for the trip but was refused.

On the same day that she was warmly greeted in Brussels by European Council President Charles Michel, who praised her "personal commitment to advancing the European perspective of Georgia," back at home she was in trouble. The ruling Georgian Dream party announced on September 1 that it intended to launch impeachment proceedings against Zurabishvili.

https://www.rferl.org/a/eu-pushes-georgia-end-polarization-government-impeaches-president/32582744.html

September 2, 2023

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

5. Christie's cancels sale of Nazi heiress' jewels

The enormous collection of jewellery belonged to Heidi Horten, the wife of a Nazi who made his fortune after buying Jewish businesses under duress in the Second World War.

Christie’s have cancelled the sale of a large amount of jewels from the estate of Heidi Horten, bowing to months of international pressure.

The late Austrian billionaire’s wealth was famously rooted in Nazi profiteering by her late husband.

The auction house announced that the jewellery would no longer be available to potential buyers following outcry from clients and staff as well as from Jewish organisations.

https://www.euronews.com/2023/09/01/christies-cancels-sale-of-nazi-heiress-jewels


4. Finnish government renounces racism after a summer rocked by racist scandals

The Finnish government unveiled a new plan Thursday to try and shake off the stigma of racism that has marred the first months of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo's right-wing coalition government.

The plan is aimed at combating racism and anti-Semitism, including a new law to criminalise Holocaust denial and plans to possibly ban Nazi and Communist symbols – although that could prove legally difficult.

"Every minister in the government renounces racism and is committed to actively combating it", Orpo told a press conference in Helsinki, where leaders pledged up to €1.5 million to bring in the 23 measures outlined in the plan.


https://www.euronews.com/2023/08/31/finnish-government-renounces-racism-after-a-summer-rocked-by-racist-scandals


3. ‘Incomprehensible’ killing of popular brown bear in central Italy sparks outrage

Italian politicians and wildlife experts have condemned the fatal shooting of an endangered brown bear, as a search was under way for her two cubs.

Amarena was one of the most popular of the Marsican brown bears in the Abruzzo national park in central Italy, often pictured in and around the area with her offspring.

A local man was immediately identified as the shooter, according to park authorities, which condemned the “very serious incident”.

The 56-year-old reportedly told police he fired out of fear when Amarena entered his property on the outskirts of the town of San Benedetto dei Marsi, outside the park area, on Friday.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/sep/02/incomprehensible-killing-of-popular-brown-bear-in-central-italy-sparks-outrage


2. Russian National Granted Asylum In Bulgaria After Being Rejected Earlier

Bulgaria will allow a Russian national to stay in the country, after earlier rejecting three asylum requests. Aleksandr Stotsky fled Russia immediately after the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Stotsky, a supporter of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, argued that he risked being sent to fight in Ukraine if sent back to Russia. Stotsky's asylum request was rejected by Bulgaria's authority for refugees and a Sofia court, which ruled he was in no danger if he returned to his homeland. Following protests,

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-stotsky-asylum-bulgaria/32574306.html


1. Armenia, Azerbaijan Report Casualties Amid 'Intense Fire' On Border

Armenia and Azerbaijan reported casualties after intense shelling near their common border on September 1, northwest of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said three soldiers were killed on September 1 in intense shelling near the border with Azerbaijan northwest of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The ministry initially reported two soldiers had been killed and then raised the number to four but later said one of those believed to have died was resuscitated. The soldier has a severe gunshot wound and is in critical condition. One other soldier was wounded.

The ministry said Armenian positions were hit near the settlements of Sotk and Norabak, which are about 8 kilometers from the border.

https://www.rferl.org/a/armenia-azerbaijan-intense-fire-border-deaths/32574030.html

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