Who Is Boris Sokolov?


Boris Sokolov was a cameraman in the Soviet Army during World War II. He participated on the front lines in the heat of battle, including the liberation of Poland and the capture of Berlin, and was recognized for valor.  He also couldn’t keep his head down if he was to do his job.

Sokolov told euronews: “Our ‘weapon’ was a movie camera. We were sent to record the war on film, rather than fight. We were shooting with a camera, never with a gun.”

This year, Sokolov turned 95.

One interesting thing Sokolov filmed was the discovery of a corpse that looked exactly like Hitler at the Reichs Chancellery building in Berlin.

Because of the similar moustache and haircut, it was mistakenly believed to be the body of Hitler.  However, it turned out to be Gustav Weler, who was Hitler´s double.  Weler was executed in order to confuse the Allied troops, and when he was alive, he had also been “a decoy for security reasons.”

(Updated article)

Who Is Responsible for Saving World Heritage Treasures? – utalk


Euronews’ Utalk looks at the topic of protecting world heritage sites.

The question comes from Raja in Brussels: “Who is responsible for protecting World Heritage sites? In cases of conflict what can the international community do?”

The response is from Mechtild Rossler of Unesco’s Heritage Division: “The key responsibility of a site which is listed on the World Heritage list lies with the state that has ratified this convention. The problem comes when you are in a conflict zone where the state party may lose control over the area and the international community has to come in, in these circumstances.

“You may remember in the early 1990’s we saw the destruction in Dubrovnik,” said Rossler.  “Unesco immediately intervened. Those architects saved the roofs and Dubrovnik is today again today a jewel in Croatia.”

Building Collapse In Bangladesh


Police said at least five people were killed and about 100 feared trapped after a cement factory collapsed in Bangladesh on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Soldiers and sailors in the port town of Mongla helped emergency services search through the rubble and pull out more than 40 survivors, according to Reuters

Euronews claims at least six people have died and 30 more have been injured in the collapse.

Another 50 are still feared trapped, according to euronews.  Authorities said that up to 100 people were inside five-story cement factory at the time of the accident.

“Most of the people inside the building were the construction workers including the people who recovered alive … The recovery efforts are going on very carefully to avoid further risk” said Khulna district police chief Nizamul Haque Mollah, Reuters reported.

Possible Peace Deal In Mali


The Malian government has signed a peace agreement with some northern rebel groups, but the main armed coalition – Taureg – asked for more time to consult its grassroots, according to Aljazeera.

What Are The Best Documentary Nominations For The Academy Awards?


Several documentaries have been nominated for the 87th Academy Awards, including “The Salt of the Earth,” directed by Juliana Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders,

The film tells the story of photographer Sebastao Salgado, who for forty years has been traveling across continents capturing some of the major events of recent history, including international conflicts, famine and exodus.

“Citizen Four”, directed by Laura Poitras, is a front-runner for an Oscar, having landed on several critics’ top ten lists, sparking a global debate about government surveillance programs.

France PM Valls Survives ‘No-Confidence’ Vote, Pledges To Pursue Economic Reforms


Wikipedia states that a vote of “no confidence” is a statement or vote which states that a person in a superior position is no longer deemed fit to hold that position.

This may be based on the person falling short in some respect or failing to carry out obligations, or making choices that other members feel are detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in (one or more members of) the appointed government.

“No Confidence” leads to compulsory resignation of the council of ministers whereas “Censure” is meant to show disapproval and does not result in the resignation of ministers.

The censure motion can be against an individual minister or a group of ministers or a prime minister, but the “no-confidence” motion is directed against the entire council of ministers.

Censure motions need to state the reasons for the motion while “no-confidence” motions do not require reasons to be specified.

The French government has survived a no-confidence motion in the lower house of parliament, triggered by its use of decree to bypass opposition to an economic reform bill.  Those for the no confidence vote did not get a majority.

Toxic Orange Cloud Forces People Indoors After Chemical Explosion In Spain

Two or three people were injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in northern Spain on Thursday, according to euronews.

Authorities advised residents of several small towns near Barcelona to stay indoors as a large toxic orange cloud spread over the area.  Firefighters said some 65,000 residents of Igualada and four nearby towns were to stay indoors until the cloud dissipated, according to The Mirror.

The regional government of Catalonia said in a statement that the blast appeared to have been caused by two chemicals coming into contact during delivery to the plant, owned by Spanish company Simar.  According to The Mirror, the chemicals were reportedly nitric acid and ferric chloride.

The company Simar could not immediately be reached for comment.

More here

I.S. Hostage Kayla Mueller Confirmed Dead; How She Died Not Confirmed


The United States has confirmed the death of aid worker and ISIL hostage Kayla Mueller.

Her family says they are heartbroken.

It comes four days after her Islamist captors claimed she had been killed by a coalition airstrike by Jordanian fighter jets outside Raqqa, the capital of the extremists’ self-proclaimed caliphate.

President Obama said the U.S. “would find and bring to justice the terrorists who were responsible.”

Kalashnikov Diplomacy: Putin Gives Unusual Gift To Egyptian President

Vladimir Putin met with Egyptioan President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rolled out more red carpet in Cairo.

The pair are expected to discuss boosting trade ties and possibly dumping the US dollar, switching to their national currencies for bilateral trade.

One of the biggest deals on the table is a multi-billion euro arms deal, and while there, Putin gave the Egyptian president a Kalashnikov rifle as a gift.


Former Head Of IMF On Trial For Pimping Prostitutes

The trial has begun in France of the former head of the International Monetary Fund and several others.  Dominique Strauss-Kahn (also known as DSK) is charged with “pimping with aggravating circumstances”.

There were prostitutes at sex parties he attended in Paris, Lille, and Washington.

They face the possibility of prison terms of up to 10 years or fines of up to 1.5 million euros.