Neil Diamond, the pop music craftsman who ranks among the best-selling musical artists in history, is retiring from concert touring because of Parkinson's disease, he said Monday. Diamond, who turns 77 on Wednesday, revealed the recent diagnosis in a statement on his website announcing the cancellation of his March tour dates in Australia and New Zealand. "It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," Diamond said in the statement, which said Diamond's condition "has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis but will allow Mr. Diamond to continue his writing, recording and development of new projects." Diamond — it's his real name, not a stage name — began his career as a songwriter in the early 1960s, writing some of the Monkees' biggest hits, including "I'm a Believer," which topped the Billboard charts for seven weeks in 1966. At the same time, he was recording some of his compositions as demos … [Read more...] about Neil Diamond retires from touring, citing Parkinson’s
U s presidents 20th century
South Korea has announced it would not seek renegotiation of terms of the landmark sex slavery deal with Japan in a sharp U-turn from its earlier position. Seoul said on Tuesday, 9 January, that it would allocate funds from its own coffers to help Korean victims of Japan's bloody colonial past. Japan and South Korea signed a crucial deal to close the issue of what is known as "comfort women" in 2015. As part of the accord, Japan had apologised to the victims and pledged 1bn yen ($8.8m, £6.1m) – termed carefully as a humanitarian offer and not reparation – to the dwindling number of survivors. But, this deal came under heavy criticism right from when it was signed two years ago, with some saying the specifics of the bilateral agreement stood flawed. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in had pledged to renegotiate the terms of the deal with Japan, which firmly said the agreement cannot be amended. After Moon took over, he set up a panel to examine the agreement and … [Read more...] about South Korea not to renegotiate sex slave agreement with Japan in sharp U-turn
On the afternoon of Aug. 1, 1914, Lucien Finance watched as a group of German soldiers marched through his small city, triumphal march music blaring. Like the rest of his friends, Finance ran behind the proud soldiers, off to fight on the first of what would become one of the most brutal wars in history. "Then, my Dad said, 'Within the next few days, they will stop playing music,'" Finance recalled at a gathering of survivors in 1998. His prophecy proved to be true, and music and laughter disappeared from Europe for four dark years beginning 90 years ago on Sunday. The Great War, as it has gone down into the annals of history, provided a bloody start to the 20th century. The advances made in technology and science would be put to deadly use for the first time. Railroads, tanks and poison gas would ensure that an average of 6,000 soldiers died every day of the war. Millions were killed between Aug. 1, 1914 and Nov. 11, 1918, in a war that moved borders a few miles and at the end … [Read more...] about Great War Generation No Longer Around, Legacy Remains
The Ukrainian crisis has certainly strained Russia's relations with the West. Sanctions have been imposed on Moscow, hurting Russia's economy as well as causing its currency and energy exports to plunge. Western countries are also trying to reduce their dependence on Russian gas - at least in the long run. As a result of the rapidly deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, the government in Moscow is moving closer towards Asia, particularly Beijing. This became clear with President Vladimir Putin's visit to China on May 20, during which a multi-billion dollar gas supply deal was signed, among other things. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also recently visited Vietnam and Thailand to step up the country's engagement in both Southeast Asian nations and advance trade and investment ties. In a DW interview, Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, says that due to the Ukraine crisis and the ensuing economic sanctions by the West, what was originally … [Read more...] about Russia’s pivot to Asia – A Sino-Russian Entente?
I'd like to comment on topics that I think should regularly be on the front pages but are not - and in many crucial cases are scarcely mentioned at all or are presented in ways that seem to me deceptive because they're framed almost reflexively in terms of doctrines of the powerful. In these comments I'll focus primarily on the United States for several reasons: One, it's the most important country in terms of its power and influence. Second, it's the most advanced - not in its inherent character, but in the sense that because of its power, other societies tend to move in that direction. The third reason is just that I know it better. But I think what I say generalizes much more widely - at least to my knowledge, obviously there are some variations. So I'll be concerned then with tendencies in American society and what they portend for the world, given American power. American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945, but it's still incomparable. And it's … [Read more...] about “Every innocent killed creates ten new enemies”
U.S. President George W. Bush has given Saddam Hussein and his sons two days to leave Iraq of their own accord or face attack by 280,000 American and British troops stationed in the Gulf region. In a 15-minute address to the American citizenry which was broadcast around the world, the U.S. president outlined his reasons for launching a pre-emptive strike on Iraq, a nation he said poses a grave threat to the security of the United States. “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that this regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised,” Bush said. “We will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety.” President Bush said 12 years of diplomacy had not succeeded in disarming Saddam Hussein and that all peaceful elements to disarm the Iraqi regime had failed: “The security of the world depends on disarming Saddam Hussein now.” … [Read more...] about Bush Gives Saddam Ultimatum
Colombia's FARC rebel group announced Tuesday it is holding army General Ruben Dario Alzate, whose kidnapping this past Sunday led to the suspension of 2-year-old peace talks aimed at ending the nation's half-century-old civil war. General Ruben Alzate, Corporal Jorge Rodriguez and army adviser Gloria Urrego "were captured by our units, on the grounds that they are enemy military personnel, traveling in their official capacity, in an area of war operations," the guerilla group's Ivan Rios said in a statement on FARC's official website. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has demanded that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia immediately release Alzate, saying that the future of peace talks depended on it. Immediately after the kidnapping, Santos ordered peace negotiators not to travel to Havana, Cuba for talks with the rebel group until the general, the soldier and the civilian lawyer traveling with him were freed. "The FARC have to understand that, although we're … [Read more...] about FARC confirms it is holding kidnapped general
German President Johannes Rau and Israeli President Mosche Katzav presided over the unveiling of the Bar-Gera museum dedicated to persecuted art in the 20th century on Sunday, June 22, 2003 in the city of Ashdod, Israel. Named after a Jewish couple, and passionate art collectors, Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera, the museum is the first of its kind in the world and houses a vast collection of art that was banned in the former Soviet Union, under the Nazi regime in Germany and the fascist Franco government in Spain. Keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust German President Johannes Rau, right President Rau(photo) paid tribute to the duo’s efforts to put together the collection. "Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera have not only given persecuted Russian artists their lost respect back, but many German painters also thank them for their artistic rebirth," he said. Kenda Bar-Gera, whose husband Jacob died in January this year, is a survivor of the Lodz and Auschwitz Nazi concentration … [Read more...] about Collection of “Persecuted Art” Finds Permanent Home
Known as the largest ethnic group without a state, some 25-35 million Kurds are spread across Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Armenia. While sharing a broader sense of "Kurdiyeti" (Kurdishness), the Kurds have traditionally been divided by ideological, political, social and personal rivalries both within their respective states and across greater Kurdistan. It is important to note that Kurdish identity, society and politics have been heavily influenced by the state-building projects of their respective countries. As a result, while many Kurdish nationalists may dream of a greater independent Kurdistan, Kurdish political parties' demands for greater rights and autonomy have traditionally been directed towards the states within which they live, even as Kurdish movements in one part impact those in another part. Denied a state At the end of World War I, the Kurds were promised a state by the victors, but that Treaty of Sevres was ultimately overturned by the new Turkish state that … [Read more...] about Who are the Kurds?
More familiar with the House of Commons than the Bundestag, and unsure where Germany's parties stand when compared to their counterparts in Westminster? Then this one's for you. Despite the Brexit-shaped elephant in the room, plenty of similarities bind British and German party politics. In fact, the only major difference is the way the votes are counted - with Britain's first-past-the-post system often delivering a less diverse parliament than Germany's partial proportional representation. Read more: What you need to know about Germany's political parties Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), Conservatives sans euroskepticism Imagine a Conservative Party without a euroskeptic wing, and you're pretty close to Angela Merkel's alliance of Christian Democrats. For a variety of reasons, not least the country's 20th-century history, Germany's CDU/CSU never developed the European fissure that once threatened to split the Tories, and may now divide the UK as a … [Read more...] about German and British political parties: A comparison