First ever Kurdish wheatear in France


This video says about itself:

The Kurdistan Wheatear (Oenanthe xanthoprymna), also known as the Kurdish Wheatear, Chestnut-rumped Wheatear or Red-rumped Wheatear, is a species of bird in the Muscicapidae family. The Red-tailed Wheatear (O. chrysopygia) was formerly considered a subspecies of this bird but is now often regarded as a separate species.

From Birdguides.com in Britain:

Rarity finders Kurdish Wheatear in Auvergne — a first for France

At 1,464 m Puy de Dôme is the highest point of the Chaîne des Puys, a chain of extinct volcanoes in the Auvergne region of France. The summit, often very windswept, is covered by an alpine meadow on which the Romans built a temple dedicated to the god Mercury. In spring and summer, it is a very busy place as a lot of tourists visit, either by walking or by train. Typical breeding species include Water Pipit, Skylark and Crag Martin.

Situated near Clermont-Ferrand, the site is easy for me to visit and I regularly make the ascent early in the morning, at a time when I am often alone and birds are easy to observe. On Sunday 17 May, on the ruins of the Roman temple, I observed a wheatear of a species unknown to me, but I had no field guide, no camera and I was in a hurry. I thus went back to the summit the following afternoon.

On arrival at the temple at 4 pm I immediately found the bird in the same place, and watched it for one hour. It was very showy, coming to within 10 metres. By this point there was no doubt: this wheatear, with a black throat, white supercilium, grey-brown back and a rusty red rump, was a Kurdish Wheatear!

Perched on the walls of the temple it hunted insects and sang in the sunshine, indifferent to the people surrounding it, making for a wonderful observation in perfect conditions. How had it arrived here, so far from its breeding range in the Middle East?

Arriving back home I learned that this was the first known sighting in France, and indeed Western Europe. The bird was still present on Tuesday 19th, when it was twitched by several French birders, but not seen thereafter. What a symbol that this rarest of visitors chose to settle at a location which asks to be classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site!

Kurdish Wheatear has a restricted breeding range from eastern Turkey to south-west Iran and winters in the Sinai, eastern Egypt and Sudan. This represents the first record for France and continues an excellent run of vagrants in the country so far in 2015 which includes the first national records of Asian Desert Warbler and Bimaculated Lark, the second Eastern Black Redstart and White-crowned Black Wheatear (the latter the first since 1884), and third Little Swift.

Alex Clamens

Friday 22nd May 2015

Facebook censors 150-year-old Courbet painting


This is a French TV video, about Facebook censoring Gustave Courbet‘s painting L’origine du monde in 2011.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands, today:

In France, a teacher and Facebook argue today about a 149 year old painting. The man posted in 2011 a picture of L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World) by Gustave Courbet on his Facebook page, and the social media corporation deleted his account.

The painting shows the naked lower body of a woman lying on a bed, pudendal towards the viewer. An Ottoman ambassador in Paris is said to have commissioned Courbet’s painting for his personal erotica collection in 1866.

Facebook considers the work of art to be offensive. The teacher, in his fifties, an art lover and a father of three, thinks that is absurd. The judge will as of today consider whether it is pornography or art.

Scandalize

For Facebook, there is even more at stake. In its rules, it says that in case of litigation US law prevails. Against that, the French teacher has already been objected successfully . The French court deems itself competent to consider the case.

Facebook did not agree with that and appealed. “It will be a long legal battle,” says correspondent Ron Linker.

The original of the painting which measures 50 by 50 centimeters hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. “When you walk towards the painting, there is an accompanying text, in which the museum warns that this painting does not cease to shock” says Linker. “That’s one and a half a century later still the case, perhaps exactly what the artist wanted.”

“Edouard Manet’s ‘Olympia’ scandalized nearly everyone when it was first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon, its nude subject confronting the viewer with an unflinching gaze and brazen sexuality. Francisco Goya’s Nude Maja, created over half of a century earlier, was similarly shocking, both because of the model’s visible pubic hair and palpable lack of shame. A third equally heretical and pivotal nude painting, however, is often erased from the conversation: American artist Romaine Brooks’ 1910 ‘White Azaleas.'” (Read more here)

Women without high heels banned at Cannes film festival


This video, recorded in France, says about itself:

EMILY BLUNT Shocked at Cannes High Heel Rule

19 May 2015

The director of the Cannes Film Festival may have put his foot in his mouth! During the film event of the year, women were reportedly being turned away for not wearing high heels and one A-list celebrity isn’t happy. Emily Blunt was shocked to hear the report saying it is very disappointing. The actress added women shouldn’t be wearing high heels anyway in her point of view. Check out the video to see what else Emily Blunt had to say about the rule.

After banning women from wearing miniskirts, and banning women from wearing maxiskirts, and banning women from wearing any type of skirts, and banning women from wearing trousers … now banning women women from wearing shoes without high heels.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Cannes Film Festival rejects women from red-carpet screening of pro-LGBT romance ‘Carol‘ for not wearing high heels

Women, some with medical conditions, ‘turned away for wearing flats

Adam Whitnall

Tuesday 19 May 2015

The Cannes Film Festival is facing an angry backlash after it was accused of turning away women from a red-carpet screening for not wearing high heels.

A number of women in their 50s, some reportedly with medical conditions, were denied access to the showing of Todd Haynes’ entry Carol on Sunday night, according to Screen magazine.

It claimed the women were wearing rhinestone flats at the time – and said that the subject matter of the film itself – a lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett about fighting against societal norms – added to the outrage of those turned away.

The festival declined to comment on the matter but, Screen reported, did confirm that it was obligatory for all women to wear high heels to red-carpet showings.

The Cannes festival bosses apparently had never heard about women’s health issues with high heels. Nor did they seem to understand that high heels do a lot more damage to their red carpets than other types of shoes :)

On Twitter, the report sparked outrage among users who called Cannes “an outdated embarrassing piece of s*** festival”.

The festival organisers were yet to respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

Vicci Ho, a Cannes regular and former festival programmer, wrote on Twitter that she was “almost turned away” for wearing leather flats, despite doing so because she was suffering ankle problems. She later wrote on the site that the enforcement of the dress code had been “ridiculous this year”: here.

Ban Islam, French Sarkozy party politician says


This video says about itself:

French Muslims Fear Backlash, Increased Islamophobia After Charlie Hebdo Attack

9 January 2015

Muslims across France are fearing a backlash after Wednesday’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Several mosques have been attacked. A bomb exploded at a kebab shop in Paris. We speak to Muhammad El Khaoua, a graduate student in international relations at the Paris Institute for Political Science. He grew up in the outskirts of Paris where he was involved with different grassroots associations, including Salaam, a student association dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of Islam. Also joining us is Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

French mayor suspended after calling for Islam to be banned

Robert Chardon tweeted the extreme view as part of a discussion with former president Nicolas Sarkozy

Ben Tufft

Sunday 17 May 2015

A French mayor has been suspended from his party after calling for the country to ban Islam.

Robert Chardon, the UMP

Nicolas Sarkozy‘s party

mayor of Venelles in southern France, tweeted: “The Muslim religion must be banned in France” and added that anyone practising the religion must be “immediately escorted to the border”.

He also claimed Islam will be banned in France by 2027.

The tweet was part of a discussion former president Nicolas Sarkozy began with the public, using the hashtag #NSDirect. …

UMP Vice-president Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet announced the party was suspending Mr Chardon pending a procedure to remove him from the UMP. …

Initially, it was thought the tweet had been sent after Mr Chardon’s account had been hacked, but the mayor confirmed he sent the extreme message.

Recently the mayor has been treated for cancer of the mouth and came to his radical proposals during this period.

“During my treatment, I’ve been thinking and I came to this conclusion. Islam should be banned in France, but also a Marshall Plan should be established to allow those who want to practice the Muslim religion to do so in their home country,” he told Le Monde.

Mr Chardon became mayor of the small town of Venelles in 2012 after the death of his predecessor.

USA: Former 3rd District Congressional Candidate Admits Plotting Armed Militia Attack, Firebombing Of Muslim Community In New York. Robert Doggart’s Plans Included Burning Down A School, A Mosque And A Cafeteria, According To Federal Court Documents: here.