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[VIDEO] Are Russian and NATO Forces Headed Toward a New Cold War?

The Cold War test of nerves is back. Risky close encounters between Russian and NATO forces have increased dramatically in the Baltic region over the past three years. The WSJ’s Tanya Rivero explains what’s at stake.

 

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Marcin Wrona Dies: ‘Demon’ Director Found Dead in Poland

Polish police are currently investigating the death, according to family friend and publicist Jim Dobson.

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Wrona was preparing for the Polish premiere of “Demon” at the Gdynia Film Festival. The movie was also set to bow at the upcoming Fantastic Fest in Austin and the Sitges Film Festival. It was slated for a theatrical release in Poland in October.

“As the organizers of the festival and at the same time friends of Marcin, we are deeply shocked and saddened by this information. We would like to express our sincere condolences to the wife of the director and all the people who were close to him.”

“We are all deeply shocked and saddened at the news of the sudden death of Marcin Wrona,” the Toronto Film Festival said in a statement. “His film ‘Demon’ truly marked the emergence of a strong new voice on the world cinema stage. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family, especially his wife and producing partner, Olga Szymanska, who was with him at the premiere in Toronto.”

[Read the full text here, at Variety]

Demon” will be screened for a final time on Saturday at 9:15 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, where TIFF will pay tribute to Wrona. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] Poland: Badass Batman Trike

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This awesomely badass Batman trike is the work of Game Over Cycles, a Poland-based shop that specializes in building custom motorcycles and restoring vintage cars. Their Batman Bike is styled after the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns films. And for as phenomenal as it looks now, it’s actually still a work in progress.

Head over to the Game Over Cycles Facebook page to check out many more photos and the technical details about this custom trike.

[ via Laughing Squid and Game Over Cycles]


Miles Davis Statue in Kielce, Poland

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Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) – Happy Birthday Miles!

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Bardo Museum Attack: ISIS Claims Responsibility for ‘Killing and Wounding Dozens of Crusaders and Apostates’

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 and  report: ISIS today claimed responsibility for the Wednesday massacre at the Bardo Museum in Tunisia that killed 22 people, many of them Western tourists, and the two attackers.

“The blessed immersing operation led to killing and wounding dozens of Crusaders and apostates, and the failed security forces did not dare to approach but after the two heroes ran out of ammunition.”

— From an audio message disseminated on twitter accounts associated with ISIS

In a 3 minute, 10 second audio message disseminated on twitter accounts associated with ISIS, the terror group said that the two dead gunmen, who it named Abu Zakaria al-Tunisi and Abu Anas al-Tunisi, “launched and were heavily equipped with machine guns and hand grenades to target Bardo Museum.”

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“The blessed immersing operation led to killing and wounding dozens of Crusaders and apostates,” the message said, “and the failed security forces did not dare to approach but after the two heroes ran out of ammunition.”

“Four of the arrests were directly related to the attack, and five others were made under strong suspicion of relation to the attack.”

— Aida Klibi, a spokeswoman for the Tunisian presidential office

ISIS also threatened more attacks to come, saying “what you have seen today is the first drop of the rain, Allah permitting. You will not enjoy security nor be pleased with peace while the Islamic State has men like these who do not sleep amidst grievances.”

The museum is a major attraction in Tunisia

The museum is a major attraction in Tunisia

The unverified claim, which is being analyzed by U.S. officials for authenticity, came after Tunisian authorities said they had arrested nine people in connection with the attack. Read the rest of this entry »


A Mini Auschwitz Display at a U.K. Kids’ Attraction Has Been Slammed as ‘Bizarre’

Poland Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp

A tourist attraction geared at families and children in Birmingham, England has drawn flak for its “Railways in WartimeAuschwitz display, depicting model trains shepherding Holocaust victims to their death in Nazi concentration camps(read more)

TIME


Liberation of Auschwitz: 70 Years Ago Today

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Intimate Portraits Pay Tribute To Auschwitz Survivors


Roman Polanski Hopes Poland Won’t Extradite Him

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Filmmaker Roman Polanski says he hopes Poland won’t extradite him to the U.S., where he is wanted in a 1977 sex case.

The Oscar-winning director is in Poland preparing for a movie, which he is planning to film in February and March.

“I will submit myself to the procedure and we will see. I have confidence in Poland’s justice system.”

The U.S. justice authorities recently asked Poland to arrest and extradite Polanski, 81, who has Polish and French passports. In October, prosecutors in Krakow, where Polanski has an apartment, questioned him but refused to arrest him. They are planning to question him again following the arrival of the extradition request this month…

In October, he was in Warsaw for the opening of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and then traveled to Krakow, where he met the prosecutors. He hired Polish lawyers in anticipation of the extradition request. Read the rest of this entry »


China Launches Hi-Def Observation Satellite

Alex Knapp reports: On Tuesday of this week, a Long March-4B carrier rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, carrying with it China’s Gaofen-2, as well as a Polish satellite as part of the BRITE constellation.

A Chinese Long March 4-B rocket lifted off on Tuesday, August 19 with the Gaofen-2 satellite and a Polish BRITE satellite. (Credit: China Great Wall Industry Corporation)

A Chinese Long March 4-B rocket lifted off on August 19 with the Gaofen-2 satellite and a Polish BRITE satellite. (Credit: China Great Wall Industry Corporation)

The Gaofen-2 is China’s most powerful imaging satellite in orbit to date. A full color satellite, it’s able to view images to a resolution of one meter, and according to the Chinese government, will be used for geographic surveys, environmental modeling, agriculture, and other applications.

“The goal of the BRITE constellation is to observe some of the brightest stars in the sky in the hopes of learning more about them from their light properties.”

As you might guess by the name, this satellite is the second in China’s Gaofen satellite series. The first, Gaofen-1, was launched in April of 2013. The Chinese government plans to place a total of seven Gaofen satellites into orbit. The first Gaofen satellite has been used for city development and agricultural planning, according to the Chinese government. The satellite was also used to assist the search for the missing Malaysian Airline flight earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry »


Polish Town Erects Statue of Peeing Lenin


Defense Minister: U.S. Ground Troops Going to Poland

For The Washington Post,  FRED HIATT writes: Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.

Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are 04170362working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.

But the defense minister also said that any immediate NATO response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, while important, matter less than a long-term shift in the defense postures of Europe and America. The United States, having announced a “pivot” to Asia, needs to “re-pivot” to Europe, he said, and European countries that have cut back on defense spending need to reverse the trends. Read the rest of this entry »


George F. Will: Can NATO restrain Russia?

putin-obamaGeorge Will writes: Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, said of Poland, perilously positioned between Russia and Germany: “If you pitch your tent in the middle of Fifth Avenue, it is quite likely you will be run over by a bus.” Poland has been run over hard and often; indeed, between 1795 and 1918 it disappeared from the map of Europe.

“Obama evidently harbors the surreal hope that Putin will continue to help regarding Syria and Iran…”

Geography need not be destiny, but it matters, as Ukraine is being reminded. During its hazardous path to the present, all or bits of it have been parts of Poland, the Austro- Hungarian empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and now another Russian empire. Czarist Russia, which Lenin called “the prison of the peoples,” is reemerging and has in Vladimir Putin an ambitious warden.

“Obama, always a slayer of straw men, has eschewed something no one has contemplated, “a military excursion in Ukraine.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘excursion’ as ‘a usually short journey made for pleasure’.”

In last week’s Kremlin address, he said, “Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea. We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that.” The word “need” is not reassuring. It suggests that Russia’s needs are self-legitimizing and recalls the definition of a barbarian as someone who thinks his appetites are their own justification. Read the rest of this entry »


Roman Polanski Risks Arrest at Film Festival in Poland

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GDYNIA, Poland — Director Roman Polanski has risked arrest and extradition to the U.S. by attending a film festival in Poland. Polanski, who fled the U.S. in 1977 after pleading guilty to sex with a 13-year-old girl, is at the Gdynia Film Festival to deliver a masterclass for film school students and present a screening of his film “Venus in Fur.” He arrived late Thursday. Both events are on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »