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Japan Snowstorm: Photos people are Posting on Twitter

From daily.bhaskar.com, a twitter photo slideshow of snow art.

Tokyo: During the heaviest and worst Snowfall in a decade, 11 people were killed while 1200 other were injured in Tokyo. As much as 27cm of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists. The storm hit Tokyo on the eve of its gubernatorial election…

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Observers say the weather may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people. As this is a rare phenomenon in Japan, people seem to be enjoying the snow. They are carving cute and awesome snowman and uploading the pictures on Twitter. See more here

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From the comically gruesome…

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Snow Storm Hits Japan Again, Grounds Over 100 Flights

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A snow storm hit Japan on Friday, disrupting rail and road travel, grounding more than 100 flights and adding to the piles left behind by an earlier blanketing.

Up to 30 centimetres (12 inches) of snow was forecast for some parts of the country by Saturday morning, a week after the heaviest snowfall in decades left at least 11 people dead and more than 1,200 injured.

Monkeys endure cold weather at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, on February 14, 2014 (AFP, Toru Yamanaka)

Monkeys endure cold weather at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, on February 14, 2014 (AFP, Toru Yamanaka)

Tokyo had a thin covering by early Friday afternoon and the weather agency was warning it would continue into the night.

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Race Problems: ‘Blackface’ Is Big in Germany

The set of the TV show "Wetten, Dass…?"

The set of the TV show “Wetten, Dass…?

Despite a growing backlash against it, blackface is still popular in Germany, where people insist they aren’t racist

With Karneval ready to kick off later this month, many in Germany are picking out their festive getups and preparing to drink as much Hefeweizen as humanly possible. Unfortunately, some of the costume ads—like one, eloquently titled “Gaylord Afro Wig, Wet Look for Men”—invite revelers to dress up in blackface.

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Despite a growing backlash against it, blackface remains common in Germany. It has a long history in this country of roughly 82 million, where Nazism is banned, but pockets of racial prejudice still hold strong. “It’s horrible that black people are being portrayed as clowns and funny-looking people,” says Tahir Della, spokesperson for the Initiative for Black People in Germany, an anti-racism group. “It’s degrading.”

Mockery, if not total degradation, is part of the history of Germany’s Karneval. Though the holiday itself goes back further, the tradition of wearing costumes developed during the 1800s in the western part the country. At the time, the Germans were under French rule, and they used Karneval as a chance to mock their foreign overlords. Read the rest of this entry »


Whitewashing Communism

Sochi coverage sugar-coating a murderous regime.

Sochi coverage sugar-coats a murderous regime.

John Fund  writes:  We didn’t need the Olympics to be reminded that Vladimir Putin still has a soft spot for his nation’s defunct Communist system. In 2009, Russian state television aired a documentary called “The Wall.” It detailed how, as a KGB major in Dresden in 1989, he faced down a crowd of East German dissidents who tried to storm the local KGB office and steal its files.

“Putin succeeded in persuading the crowd to fall back,” the documentary’s maker gushed.

Russian state television had aired another program claiming that Putin brandished a pistol and told the crowd: “This is Soviet territory and you’re standing on our border. I’m serious when I say that I will shoot trespassers.”

Putin has never lost his Commie-stalgia. In 2005, he used his “state of the nation” address to tell Russians that “the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. . . . As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy.”

If that weren’t enough proof, the Sochi Olympic Games opened last Friday with a lavish choreographed tour of Russian history. The 20th century was depicted as a time of rapid industrialization, symbolized by a hammer and a sickle floating above the performers. There wasn’t even a hint of the horrors of Stalinism or the deaths it caused.

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Naked Woman’s Cuckoo-Bananas Violent Rampage After Boyfriend Refuses Sex

Hey, I have a high sex drive. I'm not gonna apologize for it. A girl has needs, you know...

Hey, I have a high sex drive. I’m not gonna apologize for it. A girl has needs, right? He didn’t have to be such a little bitch about it.

The Smoking Gun reports:  An Arizona woman went on a naked rampage early Monday after her live-in boyfriend refused to have sex with her, police report.

Ashley Marie Prenovost, 24, was already intoxicated when her beau returned to the Glendale residence the couple shares with their four-month-old daughter. Prenovost, according to a court filing, “wanted to have sex with him and got naked.”

When her boyfriend declined to have sex, Prenovost became enraged, according to police. She allegedly punched two holes in a bedroom wall, and “punched a picture hanging on the wall in the hallway, causing glass to break and causing injuries to both of suspect’s hands.”

As Prenovost ran around inside the home,“she bled all over the floor in the master bedroom, hallway, common area by the front door and kitchen.” When cops arrived at the residence, a naked Prenovost attempted to flee through the garage.

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Woody Allen, Sex Abuse Allegations, and Believing the Victim

How a new feminist dogma asks us to throw reason to the wind — harming both men and women

  writes:  The revived sexual abuse allegations against filmmaker Woody Allen have become the newest gender-war battlefield. Renewed claims by Allen’s 28-year-old adopted daughter, the former Dylan Farrow, that he sexually assaulted her more than two decades ago have generated an intense debate about the facts and the issues. Yet some voices, all from the feminist camp, are saying that there shouldn’t be a debate at all: We must “believe the survivor” and condemn the perpetrator. While allegations of child abuse certainly should be taken seriously, the assumption that such an accusation equals guilt is repugnant and dangerous — not only to innocent men but to women too.

Writing for The Nation, Jessica Valenti argues that if we believe Dylan Farrow’s account leaves any room for doubt, it’s because “patriarchy pushes us to put aside our good judgment.” After all, says Valenti, we know that sexual violence against women and girls is pervasive and vastly underreported, and victims come forward at great personal cost.

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Trial Date Set for Rolling Stone Cover Boy Hero: Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar-RollingStone

ABC News‘ Michele McPhee reports:  The trial for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been set for Nov. 3 this year, a federal judge said today.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges relating to the deadly dual bombing last April, an attack prosecutors say he carried out with his older brother, Tamerlan. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing.

Three people were killed, including an eight-year-old boy, and more than 260 were injured when twin explosions ripped through the crowds near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15.

Last month Attorney General Eric Holder authorized government prosecutors toseek the death penalty against the younger Tsarnaev.

“I’m not one of these girls who thinks he is a rock star. He’s accused of terrorism. It’s serious.”

“I think it is a realistic and a fair [trial date],” U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole said of his ruling today. “I will say to both sides this will be undoubtedly be a lengthy trial.”

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Bench Update: Ninth Circuit Holds Second Amendment Secures a right to Carry a Gun

Gun rights activist Holly Cusumano, 18, waves a flag during a rally for the 2nd Amendment at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Eugene Volokh reports:

So holds today’s Peruta v. County of San Diego (9th Cir. Feb. 13, 2014) (2-1 vote). The court concludes that California’s broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns — with no “shall-issue” licensing regime that assures law-abiding adults of a right to get licenses, but only a “good cause” regime under which no license need be given — “impermissibly infringe[] on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.”

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Bunny Reboots: China Space Fans Cheer as Jade Rabbit Moon Rover Awakens, Tweets, Rolls Back into Action

There has been tender outpouring of adoration for China's Moon rover

There has been tender outpouring of adoration for China’s Moon rover

“It’s alive!! The rabbit is still alive!! The rabbit’s awake!! It’s really awake!!”

wrote one user on weibo.

“Wake up darling baby…Billions of people are calling out to you!”

What, pray tell, were they speaking to? China’s Moon rover, of course.

Jade Rabbit, named after the mythical pet of China's Moon goddess, is equipped with multiple cameras

Jade Rabbit, named after the mythical pet of China’s Moon goddess, is equipped with multiple cameras

The Jade Rabbit, named after the mythical pet of China’s Moon goddess, has captured the attention of millions in China.

The six-wheeled exploration vehicle is equipped with cutting-edge radars that allow it to study the Moon’s crust. Multiple cameras on the rover’s exterior allow it to photograph its surroundings and beam them back to Earth.

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[VIDEO] Base Jumper Who Illegally Plunged 436 Meters From a Whistler Blackcomb Gondola Facing Criminal Charges

base-jumper-gondolaAileen Donnelly reports:  An Ontario man is facing mischief charges after police say he illegally BASE jumped from a gondola swinging 436 metres above the ground in Whistler, B.C.

He and his friend allegedly pried open the doors of a Peak 2 Peak Gondola that connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains so he could leap from the cabin on Feb. 6. A video posted on Tuesday documented the dangerous stunt that caused an estimated $10,000 in damage to the doors and locking mechanisms.

base-jumper1Police arrested the alleged accomplice at her workplace in Whistler at about 3 p.m. Wednesday. She was released on a promise to appear in court on April 2 and the RCMP plans to charge the 23-year-old with obstruction and mischief over $5,000 at that time, Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said. Police are still searching for the BASE jumper whose face is shown at the end of the video.

One of the Whistler Blackcomb resort’s ski patrollers spotted him shortly after he landed safely in a patch of snow, but he ducked into the woods as the RCMP chased him. Police used a sniffer dog to search the forest for an hour-and-a-half, but the trail eventually went cold, Sgt. LeClair said.

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Breaking: Navy Releases Map Showing Location of Fleet Positions During Benghazi Attacks

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[See Full-Size Map]

The Daily Caller reports:  The Navy has released a map showing the locations of its fleet positions near Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012 — when terrorists killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

[View the map and the letter from the Navy]

The unclassified map — which was obtained by a retired Air Force veteran investigating the attacks through a public records request and published online by the group Judicial Watch — shows that there were dozens of vessels in the region during the attacks.

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On the day of the attacks, the Navy had two aircraft carriers, four amphibious ships, 13 destroyers, three cruisers, a dozen small Navy boats and a command ship, Judicial Watch noted in its analysis of the map.

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Mid-20th Century Time Warp: Peggy from Mad Men Spotted Waiting tables in Paris Cafe

Paris-peggy-Mad Men-humor

vintageeveryday –  eisenstaedt


[Photos] Sid Caesar: Your Show of Shows

Your Show of Shows

The legendary comedian is dead at 91 — but he leaves behind an extraordinary legacy

View the slide show — Sid Caesar — at TIME.com


BREAKING: Massive Storms Close D.C. , Ted Cruz and Tea Party Deny Involvement

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Federal offices will be closed Thursday in the Washington, D.C., area as the region braces for the worst of a winter blast that has already brought misery to stranded motorists in North Carolina and hundreds of thousands of people without power across the South.

The White House renewed its attack on Senate and Congressional Republicans, blaming Ted Cruz for masterminding weather disruptions as a scientific stunt aimed at crippling the Federal Government.

By late afternoon some Raleigh motorists were abandoning their cars on the highway. | AP Photo

By late afternoon some Raleigh motorists were abandoning their cars on the highway. | AP Photo

At a White House press conference this morning, Jay Carney blasted President Obama’s Republican opponents:

“Senator Cruz’s secret organization of scientists, meteorologists, campaign donors, and a powerful cabal of evangelical wizards, once again, have conspired to freeze the nation, in order to hurt the American people, and deny millions of innocent people access to essential government services. “

carneyPresserA winter storm warning for the Washington area is in effect until 3 p.m. Thursday. The National Weather Service was predicting as much as 8 inches of snow across the area, most heavily along the Interstate 95 corridor.

Snow will mix with rain and sleet Thursday morning before turning to rain and sleet in the afternoon, the weather service said. Dustings of snow were falling across the area by Wednesday evening. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will open its 86 rail stations as normal on Thursday morning. The agency said it will try to run trains every six to 10 minutes on all five lines, but warned that closures might happen if the weather worsens.

[Free Battery and Charger with Bosch Heated Jacket Purchase at Amazon]

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[VIDEO] Jonathan Turley: The Left’s Indifference to Obama’s Executive Power Grabs is ‘Beginning to Border on a Cult of Personality’

“Look out for the phrase “borders on authoritarianism.”

From ALLAHPUNDIT:

 There’s nothing here that you haven’t heard before if you watched him testify before Congress in December but it’s still worth watching for two reasons. One is his tone, which has grown darker and more apocalyptic since then

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…More than once here he warns that Obama’s “enablers” are destined to rue the fact that they remained silent “during this period.” Precedents are being set that will be built on by future presidents of both parties; for all the complaining about executive overreach by Democrats circa 2006 and Republicans today, the cold realities of power are what they are.

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

I’m tempted to say that it was O’s latest unlawful delay to ObamaCare’s employer mandate that soured Turley’s mood, but I don’t think that’s it. I think it was the State of the Union, where Obama embraced bypassing Congress as formal policy. Look out for the phrase “borders on authoritarianism.”

The other reason to watch is his debunking near the end of the “power of the purse” strategy to check Obama. Mike Lee told the Weekly Standard two days ago that that’s the way he thinks Congress should rein in the president: They’re not going to roll the political dice on impeachment and they can’t sue for lack of standing, but they can go ahead and cut off Obama’s money in areas where he’s exceeded his constitutional boundaries — in theory.

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Vulnerable Dems want IRS to Step Up Attacks on Conservative Opposition Groups

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Alexander Bolton  reports:  Senate Democrats facing tough elections this year want the Internal Revenue Service to play a more aggressive role in regulating outside groups expected to spend millions of dollars on their races.

In the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, the Democrats are publicly prodding the agency instead of lobbying them directly. They are also careful to say the IRS should treat conservative and liberal groups equally, but they’re concerned about an impending tidal wave of attack ads funded by GOP-allied organizations. Much of the funding for those groups is secret, in contrast to the donations lawmakers collect, which must be reported publicly.

[Jonah Goldberg has a book about How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas at Amazon]

One of the most powerful groups is Americans for Prosperity, funded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. It has already spent close to $30 million on ads attacking Democrats this election cycle.

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Gay Republican Candidate to Run Ad Featuring Same-Sex Partner

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WSJ’s Patrick O’Connor writes: Carl DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress this year, and he would be at least the third to serve in the House if he wins. But Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has, airing a campaign ad that features a shot of him with his same-sex partner.

The clips are brief: A shot of Mr. DeMaio holding hands with his partner, Johnathan Hale, as they march in a gay pride parade in 2012, followed by a clip of the San Diego candidate waving a rainbow flag that symbolizes the gay-rights movement.

“People are interested in us because they think we can be catalysts for change in the party…The party is at a tipping point…”

Carl DeMaio is a former San Diego council member but it’s as a Republican congressional candidate that he’s doing something nobody has done before: appear in a campaign commercial with his same-sex partner.

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[VIDEO] Camera Falls From Airplane and Lands…Where?

 reports: A viral video captures a camera — being used in a plane carrying skydivers — dropping to the Earth and landing in a pigpen, where one of the farm’s residents gives the gadget a good lick. Some are speculating if the clip is authentic…

One of the passengers aboard the skydiving plane apparently dropped the camera out of the vehicle. MIA MUNSELLE VIA YOUTUBE

One of the passengers aboard the skydiving plane apparently dropped the camera out of the vehicle. MIA MUNSELLE 

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Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable

Comcast has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, combining the two largest cable companies in the country.

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If the deal is approved, the combined group will be the country’s dominant provider of television channels and Internet connections, reaching roughly one in three American homes.

Time Warner Cable (TWCFortune 500) owners will be offered 2.875 Comcast(CMCSAFortune 500) shares for each share they own, valuing Time Warner Cable at about $158.82 per share.

The two companies expect the merger to take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers.

To address those concerns, Comcast said it was prepared to divest about 3 million subscribers. But it would still have about 30 million customers. Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit will lead the merged company.

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