Monday, February 1, 2016

Wolfgang Hampel, Betty MacDonald and a very difficult situation

Linde Lund shared Les Jolies Images de Chris's photo.
Wendy Edelson

Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

maybe I'll be at Seattle's French Fest.

It sounds very interesting.

Let us know please if you are interested in joining us, please.

Brad Craft and his fascinating breakfasts at the bookstore belong to my favourites.

I was sending my birthday card today.

Don't miss Betty MacDonald fan club birthday contest, please.

Could you give us please an advice which very special birthday we are going to celebrate in a few days?

I don't know right now who you are talking about.

Betty MacDonald fan club birthday card contest is really a great idea.

The winner who sent the best and most original birthday card will be Honor guest of the next International Betty MacDonald fan club event.  

Deadline: March 15, 2016

A Betty MacDonald fan club birthday exhibit with many very special birthday cards by Betty MacDonald's family and friends.

You'll be able to see wonderful cards for Betty MacDonald with very touching messages for example by her daughter Joan MacDonald Keil or her good friend Monica Sone.  ( see info below ' Betty MacDonald and The plague and I )

There will be a Betty MacDonald fan club birthday event DVD available.

We'll have several International Betty MacDonald fan club events  in 2016.

Join us in voting for your favourite city, please. 

I'd like to vote for Seattle.  

Don't miss this video, please.

I adore this really great info and it's a very special bonus that brilliant Brad Craft is in it. 

Many greetings to Brad and wonderful Seattle! 

"This is Me," by Bad Kid Billy. [Official Music Video]

Seems I'm in this for a hot second.  I remember being asked to participate one day on the street in front of the bookstore where I work.  I didn't think to ask what it was for, or even so much as the name of the song or the band.  Didn't want to be late coming back from lunch.  Silly bugger.  The very nice young woman with the green hair also featured herein happens to work at Magus Books.  She mentioned she'd seen me.  Told me the name of the band, and here we are.

Wolfgang Hampel's  Vita Magica guest was a very famous TV lady, author and singer and she is our new Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  adores our new Betty MacDonald fan club honor member because he got an excellent taste. 

I've read some of Tatjana Geßler's books and enjoy them very much.

Let's have breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick. 

Enjoy Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island, please.

This song is one of my ESC  2016 favourites.

Many people not only in Russia are suffering from a bad cold right now.

What about gargling with kerosene?

I heard it once but wouldn't like to do it.

To me it sounds rather strange and dangerous.

Take care,



Don't miss this very special book, please.


Vita Magica
Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

WHO to convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations

WHO statement
28 January 2016

WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, will convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations.
The Committee will meet on Monday 1 February in Geneva to ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Decisions concerning the Committee’s membership and advice will be made public on WHO’s website.

Outbreak in the Americas

In May 2015, Brazil reported its first case of Zika virus disease. Since then, the disease has spread within Brazil and to 22 other countries and territories in the region.
Arrival of the virus in some countries of the Americas, notably Brazil, has been associated with a steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads and in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a poorly understood condition in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, sometimes resulting in paralysis.
A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth defects and neurological syndromes has not been established, but is strongly suspected.

WHO action

WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO) has been working closely with affected countries since May 2015. PAHO has mobilized staff and members of the Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN) to assist ministries of health in strengthening their abilities to detect the arrival and circulation of Zika virus through laboratory testing and rapid reporting. The aim has been to ensure accurate clinical diagnosis and treatment for patients, to track the spread of the virus and the mosquito that carries it, and to promote prevention, especially through mosquito control.
The Organization is supporting the scaling up and strengthening of surveillance systems in countries that have reported cases of Zika and of microcephaly and other neurological conditions that may be associated with the virus. Surveillance is also being heightened in countries to which the virus may spread. In the coming weeks, the Organization will convene experts to address critical gaps in scientific knowledge about the virus and its potential effects on fetuses, children and adults.
WHO will also prioritize the development of vaccines and new tools to control mosquito populations, as well as improving diagnostic tests.

Christian Lindmeier
Communications Officer, WHO
Telephone: +41 22 791 1948
Mobile: +41 79 5006552

Corrigendum: The following sentence was updated. "In May 2015, Brazil reported its first case of Zika virus disease. Since then, the disease has spread within Brazil and to 22 other countries and territories in the region."


An alleged rape sparked tensions between Russia and Germany. Now police say it was fabricated.

Over the past few years, Germany's relationship with Russia has repeatedly proven important for the West. Yet a mysterious disappearance and rumors of a horrific crime has cast that relationship in a difficult light recently, with accusations of a cover-up and government propaganda being made by both sides.
The disappearance that sparked all this took place Jan. 11, when a 13-year-old girl from a Russian immigrant family in Berlin went missing from her family on the way to school. The girl – identified only as "Lisa F" in media reports – finally returned 30 hours later. She later told police she had been kidnapped and raped by a group of men who appeared to be Middle Eastern migrants.
The case didn't make international headlines at first. However, a few days later, a popular Russian state television channel aired a segment devoted to the rape allegations. On the Russian-speaking Internet, news of the outrage soon spread, and the case was taken as a sign that a tolerant attitude to refugees and migrants had created a public safety problem in Germany. Within the country's sizable population of Russian speakers – many of whom saw dual scandals in both the alleged crime itself and the a low-key response from Berlin authorities – there was significant outrage, with protests outside asylum-seekers' homes and the German chancellery.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stepped into the controversy, claiming in a news conference that the case had been "hushed up for a long time for some reason" and that the girl's disappearance was not “voluntarily.” The next day, the Germans fired back, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier accusing Russia of using the case as "propaganda" to inflame domestic tensions about refugees and migrants in Germany.
Inflaming the situation further was a separate Russian state television report about a 20-year-old woman who had been shoved to her death on Berlin's U-Bahn system. "Another German citizen was the victim of yet another refugee," the report alleged – despite the fact that the German authorities have said the alleged perpetrator, an Iranian national, had lived in Germany his entire life.
With emotions still running high, prosecutors in Berlin have announced that they think the rape allegations in the "Lisa F" case were fabricated.
"Using data from her broken mobile phone, we were able to access information about a young German man aged 19 – an acquaintance of the 13-year-old girl," spokesman Martin Steltner told AFP on Friday. "The young girl wanted to hide at his house because she was having problems in school." Steltner explained to the news agency that the girl was believed to have had sexual relations with a number of men and that at least one statutory rape probe may be opened, as the age of consent is 14 in Germany. There has been no official reaction from Russia yet, but German officials have suggested that the new information had proven them right.
"The new developments clearly unmask the propaganda that has been associated with the case over the last few days," Frank Henkel, the top security official in Berlin, said in a statement.
The scandal over the girl's disappearance and her alleged gang rape had fit into a broader controversy in Germany, where migrants and refugees had been linked with sexual assault after a large number of alleged attacks in Cologne on New Year's Eve – attacks which many have suggested the German authorities and media downplayed or even covered up. These attacks have proven exceptionally controversial within Germany, where there has been a growing backlash against the pro-refugee politics of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
While concern about the alleged rape may have been genuine, the role of Russian state television in the scandal has drawn concern within Germany. A Berlin-based reporter for Channel 1, the Russian channel that aired the report on the case, has found himself accused of incitement to racial hatred by a German lawyer for his role in publicizing the allegations of a rape and a cover up. Many countries along Russia's borders had long complained of propaganda targeting their Russian-speaking minorities. Many in Germany now suspect that their country is being targeted, too.

More on WorldViews

Russia’s bizarre proposal to condemn West Germany’s 1989 ‘annexation’ of East Germany

Germans don’t think America stands for freedom anymore

Germany’s right-wing protesters accidentally march against right-wing extremism
Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.

Humanitarian crises

Dutch plan seeks to ferry refugees back to Turkey

Refugees who arrive on Greek islands by boat would be returned to Turkey almost immediately under Labour Party proposal.

More to this story

A plan presented by the Dutch Labour Party is proposing to ferry back refugees from the Greek islands to Turkey, in an attempt to control the influx of refugees into Europe.
The Netherlands, currently holding the European Union presidency, is gathering support for the plan among several EU member states including Germany, Diederik Samsom, the Labour party leader, told Dutch media on Thursday.
According to the plan, which is suggested for implementation this spring, refugees who arrive in Greece would be returned to Turkey almost immediately by ferry. In exchange, European Union member states would accept up to 250,000 refugees residing in Turkey a year.
The idea is to discourage refugees from taking the dangerous route by sea. Refugees trying to enter Europe via the Greek islands would be returned within a few days, according to the plan.
"The express highway for migrants between Greece and Turkey has to come to an end," Samson told Dutch radio. "The Aegean Sea has become a mass grave; 3,700 people died there last year," he added.
The implementation of the plan, which is said to have the support of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, would depend on Turkey having the status of a safe country for refugees.
To reach that status Turkey would have to adopt several laws and improve the situation for asylum seekers. "It has to become a safe country," Samson said.
'Violation of Geneva Convention'
The proposal is being severely criticised by academics and politicians in the Netherlands.
Professor Henk van Houtum, head of the Nijmegen Centre for Border Research Radboud University, described the proposal as "an example of a totally topsy-turvy world".
"First, Europe creates some sort of survival of the fittest by forcing refugees to cross the sea in dangerous circumstances, because they cannot enter legally. Then, once the refugees have reached the other side; you send them back by boat again?

READ MORE: Identifying the refugee victims of the Mediterranean

"This does not solve anything; it's just transferring the problem elsewhere, to an unsafe country where they have no future.
"In fact, it is a violation of the Geneva Convention which says anyone who qualifies for refugee status should be granted asylum in the country where the application is made," Van Houtum said.
'Be like Australia'
Samson's plan has similarities with the Australian asylum policy that was introduced in 2013.
In Australia, migrants who try to reach the country by boat have no chance of a permanent stay and are immediately sent to detention centres on Papua New Guinea and other surrounding islands.
Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders argued in April last year that the Netherlands' refugee policy should be more like Australia's. "At least they have the balls to stop the influx of migrants," he said.
But now even Wilders appears to reject the ferry plan proposed by Samsom.
"What a useless plan," he wrote on Twitter. "First we send the fortune seekers by boat to Turkey and then after that by plane to Europe and the Netherlands?"
The Dutch proposal to force a solution to the refugee crisis came just after Prime Minister Rutte said that the EU had six to eight weeks to reach an agreement on how to tackle immigration.
If not, "the EU will have to think about a plan B," Rutte said, without elaborating.
Additional reporting by Fleur Launspach
Source: Al Jazeera