20 Incredibly Bizarre Vintage Halloween Costumes

31 Oct

chickenWhat is it about vintage costumes that makes them so much more bizarre — and so much scarier — than their modern equivalents? Were people really that much stranger back then, or do they only look absurd in hindsight? Fed up with the animal-ears-and-a-bra option that, no matter how many times everyone rolls their eyes over it, seems to be the prevailing trend year after year, we decided to look for a little inspiration in vintage photography. We scoured the web for the wildest, weirdest costumes of yesteryear, and came up with everything from toadstools to telephones — and one guy in “fancy dress as a side of bacon.” After the jump, get inspired — or totally freaked out — by our collection of creepy, funny, or just plain bizarre costumes worn by revelers in decades past. We hope you can sleep tonight. And you can see in this link historical Halloween Costumes

http://flavorwire.com/339253/20-incredibly-bizarre-vintage-halloween-costumes/

Role of Social Media in presidential election

31 Oct

socialFor the first time in history of Azerbaijani social media played a significant role in covering presidential elections intensively. In October 2013 people planned and organized protests on Facebook. 

During the pre-election campaign social networks served as theonly alternativesource of information. Opposition party members were actively using social media, mostly Facebook, to provoke people’s protest.While the government strictly controls traditional media, social networks are the only ways for opposition to share their visions to Azerbaijani citizens.

On 14 May the government did some preventing to limit the activity on social media. Parliamentary adopted special amendments to the law N147 and N148 of the Criminal Code of establishing legal punishment of up to six month imprisonment for the users of the social networks who will try to violate the rules.

New amendments are primarily targeted to the Facebook activists who have been enjoying freedom to criticize Azerbaijani government. At the same time some popular page Xilas” and “Istefa” of Azerbaijani opposition suddenly disappeared. There were claims that it was done by pro-governmental people.

There are 1.3 million social networks users in Azerbaijan and they are actively following the updates especially before Election Day. A day prior the elections pro-oppositional online MEYDAN TV shared information about new initiative from the Central Election Commission (CEC).
On October 8, a scandal erupted over the new IOS and Android application that Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission (CEC) planned to launch for voters to follow the presidential election vote count on their mobile phones on Election Day, October 9. But Meydan TV published a screenshot of the application one day before presidential election which showing the outcome of the election in the 58th election constituency Hacigabul-Kurdamir under the caption “Initial Results of Elections.” The results awarded 72.76 percent (11337 votes) for incumbent President IlhamAliyev, 7.4 percent (1153 votes) for the single opposition candidate JamilHasanli, and other opposition candidate 5.24 percent (817 votes) for GudratHasanguliyev.
After this scandal opposition candidate claimed it was the proof of expected falsification. A few hours later, the developer of the application, VusalIsayev, was claimed in social media that it was as test and we want do test new program also all this information is previous election result.
Though the initiativewas discussed for a long time.Because in previous election main opposition candidate CamilHasnliwas not candidate to presidential election. The same time it was one of the most leading not only local but also international media. The Al Jazeera, CNBC, Reuters and other international media write article about this scandal.
International media, international organizations used videos, photos spread through social media. Social media was the only source of information from the eyewitnesses, which gave transparent picture about the presidential elections in Azerbaijan.

On October 2 NatigMamadov, the secretary of the Central Election Commission in Azerbaijan, stated that if election-related propaganda, massive campaigns in social networks impact the election results, it should be prevented.
However, National Consul candidateand social activists continued using social networks actively. For instance MehmanHuseynov, the well-known pro-democracy blogger shot, video,which got over 17,000 views since October 1.Huseynov was imprisoned on October 2, shortly after the video was uploaded on YouTube. He was released after three hours. Many social network users shared this video and the video become more popular in Azerbaijan than it was before presidential elections and before his imprisonment.
Directorof Information Technology, Internet and Media Organization (ITIM),AzerNazarov, said that this time the pro-governmental decided to prepare agitation video for social networks, not for TV channel.
“They used all advantages of social networks. They made a good quality video and uploaded it on YouTube, shared it on Facebook and Twitter intensively,” he said. Nazarov compared opposition’s campaign in social media to the powerful governmental propaganda – “The results show that pro-governmental forcesworked much more effectively, were much more managed and organized, – he said.
“Opposition gave preference to Twitter. Twitter is still a battlefield of hash tag dominance between opposition and pro-governmental forces”, – Nazarovstated.  According to Nazarov during the campaigns social media was used by politicians to humiliate and abuse each other.
According to “Social bakers analytics” during last month the fastest-growing popularity on Facebook in Azerbaijan had opposition candidate CamilHasanli’s official page. IlhamAliyev came right after him.

Voters supporting eather opposition or ruling party candidate published their ballot photos on Facebook. From 8:00 am numerous videos with cases of violations were posted on Facebook and YouTube.In one video a person was throwing six ballotsinto the box it was first scandal video on Election Day in Azerbaijan. As soon asthe video appearedon Facebook pro-governmental forces tried to proveit was fake.
Presidential elections in Azerbaijan were held on October 9. The total number of voters around Azerbaijan was 5.145.643 though only 3.720.643 of them (72.31%) took part in voting process.
Social Media activism had so far no impact on the results of the elections. The head of Central Election Commission,MazahirPanahov, announced IlhamAliyevwinning the elections with 84.54% of votes, while the main opposition candidate CamilHanasli got only 5.53 %.

Egypt security forces move in to clear Morsy supporters from Cairo protest camps; deaths reported

14 Aug

You can watch  live in this link http://www.aljazeera.com/watch_now/

Egyptian security forces moved in on two massive camps filled with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy, bulldozing tents, lobbing tear gas and arresting protesters Wednesday.

In the chaos of the raid, it was impossible for CNN to verify the claims and counter claims of casualties.

The Muslim Brotherhood said 200 Morsy supporters were killed and more than 8,000 injured.

But Egypt’s deputy head of emergency services put the number at five protesters dead and 26 wounded.

The Interior Ministry said that on the government side, two security officials were killed and nine injured while trying to disperse the protesters.

Less than three hours after the raids began, security forces had cleared out the smaller of the two camps — the Nahda camp, near the Cairo University campus.

The larger camp — near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in eastern Cairo — proved trickier.

Forces came under heavy fire from protesters, state-run Nile TV said.

The government blocked all roads leading to the camp, and suspended rail service to Cairo.

The Brotherhood said it was to prevent more of its members from streaming into the city.

Hassan Al Qabana, who works at the media center set up at the Rabaa camp, said the location was facing a “full-on assault” and the wounded were streaming in.

Police in riot gear were out in full force, escorting men away. The Interior Ministry said more than 200 were arrested, caught with weapons and ammunition.

Huge black plumes of smoke billowed into the sky, and at least one fire burned near the protesters.

Mothers and fathers whisked away children, gas masks on their faces.

A group of protesters tried unsuccessfully to overturn a police van.

Protests leaders stood on a stage with a microphone. Throngs of supporters raised their hands in a peace sign or waved Egypt’s flag.

The Muslim Brotherhood said police were throwing Molotov cocktails at the clinics inside the camps.

The Interior Ministry said security forces did not use gunfire and instead were attacked by “terrorist elements” inside the camps.

“Egyptian security forces are committed to the utmost self-restraint in dealing with the protesters,” the ministry said.

Cities within a city

For six chaotic weeks, Morsy supporters had massed at the two camps — refusing to budge until Morsy was reinstated. Their camps quickly morphed into cities within a city.

They lived and slept in tents.

Vendors sold everything from bottled water to masks. Children played in inflatable castles and splashed in kiddie pools.

The government have accused the protesters of packing the sites with their children to use them as human shields.

The raid Wednesday was not unexpected.

Since the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ended last week, the protesters had hunkered down and waited for the crackdown that the government had long hinted at.

They fortified their sites with sandbags, tires and stacks of bricks.

A deadly toll

The protests started soon after Egypt’s military toppled Morsy in a coup last month.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been injured in recent weeks, either in clashes between opposing protesters or in clashes between protesters and Egyptian security forces.

Last month, Information Minister Durriya Sharaf el-Din said the gatherings were a threat to national security and traffic congestion.

And two weeks ago, Mansour issued orders in the event of a possible “state of emergency,” the EGYnews website reported.

“State of emergency” is a loaded term in Egypt. Former President Hosni Mubarak ruled for 30 years under an emergency decree that barred unauthorized assembly, restricted freedom of speech and allowed police to jail people indefinitely.

Morsy’s fall

Morsy became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012, a year after popular protests forced Mubarak to resign and end his three-decade rule.

But a year into Morsy’s term, many Egyptians wanted him out, too. They said the Western-educated Islamist, aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, was not inclusive and they said he had failed to deliver on the people’s aspirations for freedom and social justice.

Morsy was accused of authoritarianism and trying to force the Brotherhood’s Islamic agenda onto the nation’s laws. He was also criticized by many Egyptians frustrated with rampant crime and a struggling economy that hadn’t shown improvement since Mubarak resigned.

But supporters say Morsy repeatedly offered Cabinet positions to secularists and liberals — only to get repeatedly rejected.

Since taking power from Morsy, Egypt’s military has installed an interim civilian government with Mansour as interim president.

But Egypt’s generals, the ones who oversaw Morsy’s ouster and led the country for a year after Mubarak’s resignation, still wield significant power.

The list of accusations against Morsy include: collaborating with the militant group Hamas to carry out hostile acts, attacking law enforcement buildings, officers and soldiers, storming prisons, vandalizing buildings and deliberately burning a prison.

Did you share the $448 million Powerball jackpot? 3 winning tickets sold in Minnesota, NJ

8 Aug

powerballwinningap

At least three people in two states have beaten astronomical odds to become the nation’s latest Powerball millionaires.

Sue Dooley, senior drawing manager production coordinator for the Multi-State Lottery Association, said late Wednesday night that three tickets matched the winning numbers and will split the lottery’s latest massive jackpot: $448 million.

“We had three grand prize winners,” Dooley said. “One was in Minnesota and two were in New Jersey.”

The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night were: 05, 25, 30, 58, 59 and Powerball 32.

The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. reported early Thursday that a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Lottery said that one of the multimillion-dollar tickets was purchased at a supermarket in South Brunswick, N.J., and the other ticket was sold in Little Egg Harbor, N.J.

Information on the Minnesota ticket was not available early Thursday.

The allure of capturing the latest massive Powerball jackpot had players in a buying frenzy, further confirming a trend that lottery officials say has become the big ticket norm: Fatigued Powerball players, increasingly blase about smaller payouts, often don’t get into the game until the jackpot offers big bucks.

During Wednesday night’s telecast, Powerball officials announced the jackpot that previously in the day was pegged at $425 million had grown to an estimated $448 million.

Meghan Graham, a convenience store worker from Brookline, Mass., has purchased nearly a dozen Powerball tickets in recent months thanks to the huge jackpots, and the third largest-ever pot was enough reason to buy again.

“The more it keeps increasing, that means nobody is winning … a lot of people are gonna keep buying tickets and tickets and tickets and you never know, you just might get lucky if you pick the right numbers,” she said.

A recent game change intended to build excitement about the lottery increased the frequency of huge jackpots, and Wednesday’s jackpot drawing comes only a few months after the biggest Powerball jackpot in history — a $590 million pot won in Florida by an 84-year-old widow. The second largest Powerball jackpot was won in November and split between two tickets from Arizona and Missouri.

And New Jersey’s two new winners join Passaic resident Pedro Quezada, who was the lone winner of the March 23 Powerball drawing. The 44-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic claimed a lump-sum payment worth $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes.

With a majority of the top 10 Powerball jackpots being reached in the last five years, lottery officials acknowledge smaller jackpots don’t create the buzz they once did.

“We certainly do see what we call jackpot fatigue,” said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. “I’ve been around a long time, and remember when a $10 million jackpot in Illinois brought long lines and people from surrounding states to play that game.”

Tom Romero, CEO of the New Mexico Lottery and chairman of the Powerball Group, agreed.

“Many years ago, $100 million was really exciting and people would immediately buy more, occasional players would start buying,” he said. “Then the threshold was $200 million. Now, we see here in New Mexico, we’re approaching the $300 million mark.”

The revamp of Powerball in January 2012 changed the price of a ticket from $1 to $2, a move that upped the chances of the game reaching a major jackpot. There was a loss in the number of players, but the new game — which also created more chances to win smaller, $1 million and $2 million prizes — has brought in 52 percent more in sales, Strutt said. Sales were $5.9 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June.

Still, the way casual players define a major jackpot has changed. Behavioral economist George Loewenstein, who teaches at Carnegie Mellon University, said people judge things in relative terms.

“We compare things,” he said. “If there are a lot of jackpots, even though they’re all enormous numbers, people are going to start comparing them and if there are billion dollar jackpots, then 100 million jackpots that used to feel enormous are going to seem much smaller, even though in terms of the impact on your life of winning 100 million or 1 billion, it probably isn’t all that different.”

Though Lisa Ravenell, of Philadelphia, said the higher jackpot catches her attention. She also noted the frequency of announcements about winners from the area, which she feels contributes to her wanting to buy.

“The 400 million is appealing” the 47-year-old said. “I think deep down inside, more or less, I’d buy it because it’s a big amount.”

So when jackpots swell, people still line up for their chance at a life-changing payoff, even though their chances at winning the top prize are the same if there is a small jackpot.

Bill Palumbo, 56, of Bellmore, NY, is a frequent player who also doesn’t wait for a particularly sizable jackpot.

“I’m always in it,” he said. “Any way to retire a day early.”

The next drawing is scheduled for Wednesday night.

Obama cancels Moscow summit with Putin: US official

7 Aug

– U.S. President Barack Obama is cancelling his planned meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for next month in Moscow, an administration official said on Wednesday.

The Obama administration has repeatedly expressed disappointment after Moscow granted asylum to former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, rejecting U.S. pleas to hand him over to face espionage charges.Obama cancels Moscow summit with Putin: US official

Loose rail connector ’caused France train crash’

13 Jul

The train and station were busy for the start of a holiday weekend

The train crash south of Paris which left six people dead was caused by a fault in the rail tracks, says the state rail company.

SNCF said a metal bar connecting two rails had become detached close to Bretigny-sur-Orge station.

Earlier, Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier ruled out human error and praised the train driver for averting a worse accident.

Thirty people were injured in the accident, eight of them seriously.

The train had just left Paris on Friday afternoon and was heading for Limoges when it derailed at Bretigny-sur-Orge.

Giving its initial findings, SNCF management told reporters the connector had worked its way loose and become detached at points 200m from Bretigny station causing the train to derail.

The inquiry is now expected to focus on how the piece of metal had become detached, and checks on these components are to be carried out on the whole of the network.

Continue reading the main story

Scene of train crash south of Paris, 13 July 2013French rail company SNCF says that a piece of metal connecting two rails outside Bretigny-sur-Orge station caused the train to leave the tracks.
‘Extraordinary reflexes’

Six carriages derailed as the train passed through the station at 137km/h (85mph). The train’s third and fourth carriages derailed first and the others followed. One mounted the station platform in the accident which happened at 17:14 (15:14 GMT).

On a tree-lined residential street in a quiet suburb just south of the capital, women in their sandals carry plastic grocery bags, bulging with thick, fresh French baguettes.

Today they have to manoeuvre around reporters, TV satellite tracks and police security barriers. France’s worst rail disaster for a quarter of a century struck at the top of their street

The quiet hum of generators blurs with summer bird song. If it weren’t for the emergency haulage trucks, staffed by men in orange and yellow vests, and the odd burst of a siren, it might be difficult to believe that such a devastating event happened here just yesterday.

Blue cranes keep heaving chunks of crushed and curled metal off the tracks. Police watch, arms crossed. Hanging baskets shudder in the breeze.

Aside from SNCF, investigations are being conducted by judicial authorities and France’s BEA safety agency.

Speaking on RTL radio, Mr Cuvillier said the train driver had reacted quickly to the accident: “Fortunately, the driver of the locomotive had absolutely extraordinary reflexes in that he sounded the alarm immediately, preventing a collision with another train coming in the opposite direction and which would have hit the derailing carriages within seconds. So it is not a human problem.”

French transport routes were particularly busy at the time of the crash due to the run-up to a holiday weekend marking Sunday’s Bastille Day. SNCF said 385 passengers were on board when the train crashed. The station platforms were crowded.

British student Marvin Khareem Wone was on a train on another platform when the carriages of the intercity ploughed into the station.

“The train went off the railway; it just went on the platform and kind of flew in the air for a second and went upside down,” he told the BBC.

“The first and the second coach were completely destroyed. I really thought no-one could survive that because it was completely mashed up. Everyone was crying and running everywhere. A woman was crying for her daughter who was still on the train.”


French media comments

Francois Sergent in Liberation calls the accident a “a national tragedy” that “touches the hearts of all French people. All of us have been, at one time or another, passengers on the French rail network.”

Bertille Bayart in Le Figaro says the accident, which comes days after the government announced investments in the railways, will spark controversy over infrastructure that is “characterised by ‘serious degradation’, in the words of the transport minister”.

Olivier Razemon in Le Monde contends that the crash “must not eclipse the fact that railways remain one of the least_68707956_68707955 dangerous means of transport in the world, in terms of deaths per kilometres or hour travelled”.

Transport expert Alain Bonnafous on Atlanticowebsite says it is impossible at this stage to know what caused the accident, but vandalism is always a possibility. “But few like to talk about it because it is so easy to disrupt the network,” he adds.

Because of the damage to the station, he said ambulances could not reach the platform and the lift was not working.

Other media reports spoke of passengers being electrocuted and crushed.

“I saw many wounded women children trapped inside,” Vianey Kalisa, who was waiting for his train from Bretigny to Paris, told AFP.

“People were screaming. A man had blood on his face. These are images of war,” he said.

Many people feel it was lucky that the accident was not a lot worse, given the violence of the impact and the fact that a packed train ploughed onto the platform at peak time, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris.

Local media said a group of people had attempted to steal from the victims and rescuers shortly after the crash and threw stones at emergency workers as they tried to reach passengers.

Journalist Olivier Ravanello was one of the first at the scene of the crash

However later Mr Cuvilier said there had only been “isolated acts”, including an attempt to steal a mobile phone – although small groups had given the rescuers a “somewhat rough welcome”.

Local socialist MP Jerome Guedj tweeted that it was necessary “not to play things down (…) but not to exaggerate anything either”.

Malala Yousafzai speech in full

12 Jul

 

 

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has addressed the United Nations as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child.

 

She marked her 16th birthday by delivering the speech on Friday at the UN headquarters in New York.

 

Taliban gunmen shot Malala on her school bus last October following her campaign for girls’ rights.

 

“I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child,” she said.

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