DARKSOULES: New book club launched for fantasy fans

London – VIJAY SHAH

Fans of indie author fantasy books are in for a treat as a new book club dedicated to the works of small-time author Leslie D. Soule has been launched online.

The book group, named DarkSoules, has been unveiled on the social media network Facebook, and aims to bring together fans and new authors of fantasy literature, as well as being a forum for discussing the books of Soule, who has written fiction stories such as the Fallen Wood series, Hybrid Space, Birds of a Feather, and The Feast of Rule.

 

Soule, who lives in Sacramento, California, United States, has had a long love affair with the English language, having studied the subject as a postgraduate student at the National University.  She likes to experiment with different genres and has also a varied career in her young life, working as an artist and citizen journalist. She has been an established writer for a decade, and her collections of novels and short stories have been published in both e-book and print format.

DarkSoules will enable fans of Soule’s work to interact with her, receive the latest news exclusively about her new projects, chat with her directly and take a peek at her art works too. The group on Facebook is being promoted in the UK by fellow author and book promoter The Sassy Brit.

Interested fantasy fans keen to know more about Leslie Soule and her new online book group can find all the links below the article.

SOURCES:

HEM Bloggers List, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-bloggers-list

@Sassy_Brit ūüá¨ūüáß Publicist & PA/VA #AltRead, Twitter, Twitter Inc.¬†https://twitter.com/sassy_brit

“About this group” – DarkSoules, Facebook, Facebook Inc.¬†https://www.facebook.com/groups/541471792896263/about/

“Leslie D. Soule” –¬†Melange Books/Melange Books, LLC¬†http://www.melange-books.com/authors/lesliedsoule/index.html

Leslie Soule, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Falcondraco

“About Me” – Leslie Soule, LESLIE D. SOULE (16 February 2012)¬†http://authors.coffeetimeromance.com/lesliesoule/about-me/

 

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GHOUTA CHEMICAL STRIKE: Dozens of innocent Syrians feared dead

Douma – VIJAY SHAH via TOM ACRES and Sky News

In an escalation of the Syrian crisis where government troops allied with the country’s president, Bashar Al-Assad, are fighting rebels in the Ghouta area east of Damascus, a report has come in stating that around 70 people have been killed in a chemical bomb attack blamed on the Syrian army.

In what UK media firm Sky News has dubbed ‘one of (the) worst chemical strikes in Syrian history’, dozens of people, many believed to be women and children, were said to have died in Ghouta, a rebel-controlled district on the outskirts of capital Damascus, where a months-long siege between rebel and government forces has caused immense hardship for thousands of residents. Around five hundred people have been reported injured, according to Sky.

 

The United States has called on Russia, which is supporting President Al-Assad, to cease its support after the Ghouta chemical atrocity. The U.S. State Department said it was keeping tabs on the ‘grossly disturbing’ situation, which occurred in a city named Douma, around 10 km (6 miles) north-east of Damascus city centre. Babies and small children were among those caught up in the attack, according to video footage provided by Sky News. Children were seen in great distress, some clutching gas masks. A volunteer rescue service, called White Helmets in English, an opponent of the government, said it found dead children with frothing saliva around their mouths

The Syrian government has denied carrying out a chemical attack in Douma, but has been accused of using chemical weapons on civilian populations in previous skirmishes with the numerous rebel groups active in the Middle Eastern country. In April 2017, more than 80 people were killed in another suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which was also said to have been carried out by the Syrian government army. According to US intelligence, Al-Assad’s army is said to have stockpiles of the highly lethal gas agent, sarin, and possibly mustard gas.

“The United States continues to use all efforts available to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable,” the State Department said in a statement, which referenced¬†the alleged sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun last year.

“The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately.

“Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks, targeting of countless civilians, and the suffocation of Syria’s most vulnerable communities with chemical weapons.”

Britain called for an “urgent investigation” into the alleged use of illegal weapons and an immediate end to the bloodshed.

“These are very concerning reports of a chemical weapons attack with significant number of casualties, which if correct, are further proof of Assad’s brutality against innocent civilians and his backers’ callous disregard for international norms,” the country’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

“An urgent investigation is needed and the international community must respond. We call on the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, to stop the violence against innocent civilians.”

In addition to the denial of responsibility by the official Syrian government, state-owned media outlets there have claimed that reports of the chemical attacks were propaganda, fabricated by rebels who they claim are close to defeat. Most of the Ghouta area is now back under government control, with only Douma city itself still under the control of the rebel group called  Jaish al Islam.

SOURCES:

Shere Singh via Facebook.

“Dozens dead in ‘one of worst chemical strikes in Syrian history’ ” –¬†Tom Acres, Sky News/Sky UK (8 April 2018)¬†https://news.sky.com/story/at-least-70-dead-in-chemical-attack-by-syrian-regime-in-eastern-ghouta-says-rescue-group-11322143

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Syria – Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack.jpg” –¬†whitehouse.gov and Elissa Rubria Honoria, Wikimedia Commons (3 September 2013)¬†https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syria_-_Damascus_Areas_of_Influence_and_Areas_Reportedly_Affected_by_21_August_Chemical_Attack.jpg

GOOGLE, SPEAK TO ME!: Google Assistant now has a voice in smart speakers

Washington – VIJAY SHAH via HEATHER KELLY and CNN

Google Assistant, the voice-activated virtual personal assistant technology widely used on home devices and mobile phones, is destined to make an appearance on new ‘smart speakers’ fitted with screens, reported CNNtech magazine, an imprint of U.S. news network CNN, recently.

The devices, known at Google HQ as ‘smart displays’, are a step up from the current wave of internet connected home speakers such as Alexa/Amazon Echo devices. Instead of just a round box with a speaker and lights, the new technology incorporates a screen for greater user-friendliness and accessibility.

Image credit: www.nextdayblinds.com/

 

Google announced the technology officially at the renowned CES technology show which was held in Las Vegas, USA from the 9th to the 12th of January this year, and the first smart displays packaged together with the Google Assistant are planned to made available in stores and online later in 2018. Not only will the displays be an improvement on current assistant devices, but also remove the need for people to rely on using mobile phones in having to stand them up in, say, the kitchen.

Google has partnered with hardware manufacturers such as Lenovo of China, and has shown some prototypes. According to CNNtech, the smart displays are sleek rectangular devices, much like a tablet, which can be stood up on counters and tables like a picture frame.

The smart displays are expected to have compatibility with other Google products, such as Photos, Duo and searches using the eponymous search engine. There is also the possibility of being able to watch YouTube videos. The company also announced it has grand plans for its Assistant, hinting that it is planning to bring the voice to more smart televisions, headphones and Android Auto, an app that links Android devices with systems in vehicles.

SOURCES:

HEM Newsbreakers, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-newsbreakers

Bangladesh News 24, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/bdnews24

“Google’s assistant now works on smart speakers with screens” –¬†Heather Kelly, CNNtech/Cable News Network/Time Warner (8¬†January¬†2018)¬†http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/08/technology/google-assistant-smart-speakers-screens/index.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
‚ÄŹ

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Google Assistant with notepad and glasses” –¬†NDB Photos, Flickr (16 March 2017)¬†https://www.flickr.com/photos/142305740@N05/33433114166

SULLEE J: “Who Am I” with Don Streat

 

After the successful release of his hit single “Slangin Knowledge” in February of this year, acclaimed Baltimore rapper Sullee J has once again linked up with fellow musician Don Streat to release a brand new track in the past week. Their latest collaboration, “Who Am I” also features the talents of¬†Vietnam & Alyson Blaire. The music video was produced by Profitt Productions Films. It features the rappers in a tough and gritty urban scene of dereliction, interspersed with footage of children labouring in a Congolese mine and news footage of the recent riots in the US and disturbances in Italy. The song talks about the harsh realities of life and of those who went to make it big, only to get dragged deep under in a world of crime, drugs and destitution. Each of the artists comes forward to tell a story in powerful words to make you think about life’s struggles and blessings, while getting you to be awake and conscious, while Alyson Blaire provided the backing chorus, asking the inevitable question that every individual facing the struggle asks…. who am I?

Sullee J (a.k.a Sullee Justice) has announced that he and Don Streat are also commencing work on a new project called¬†The Reprogram, and have been actively recruiting other musicians from the Baltimore hip-hop/rap scene to produce music with a greater purpose. Who Am I is one of the first fruits of the new project’s labour, and has given a platform for upcoming artists like Vietnam and Alyson Blaire to show the world about themselves in their respective verses while¬† displaying several realities across the globe that cover famine, police brutality, corruption and more. The Reprogram is now opening more opportunities for local artists to become involved with Sullee J and Don Streat and bring out meaningful messages in their bars.

 

officialsulleej.com

SOURCE/IMAGE CREDITS:

Sullee J Management.

TRUMP: British actor lays into US presidential candidate

gb

Windsor, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via ITV News

As the presidential campaign in the United States heats up with only a month left to go before elections on the 8th November 2016, a well-loved voice from the other side of the Pond has made a few choice words about the controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump, the UK’s ITV News service reported yesterday.

Actor and voiceover artist Brian Blessed, famed for his distinctive booming vocals, rounded on the billionaire during a video interview with the ITV channel, in which he described Trump as a ‘total, complete utter moron’ in what ITV News described as an ‘extraordinary outburst’.¬†

 

Blessed has long been a feature of British television screens, renowned as much for his imposing chestnut brown beard as for his voice. He was born in Mexborough, Yorkshire in 1936 and first appeared in the programme Z-Cars in 1962 and has made a living appearing both behind the screen and on stage, as well as doing voiceovers and bit roles for television adverts.

In the interview, the actor told ITV how he could not understand how a nation that has produced so many brilliant minds now has a large part of its electorate backing a man whom he felt was ‘gormless’ and ‘tasteless’. Blessed also personally addressed Donald Trump in the interview, picking on his blonde toupee-like hairstyle by saying that the candidate should ‘get a haircut and scram’. Blessed also saidAmerica’s full of such brilliant people – brilliant professors, brilliant scientists but you have an appalling, gormless, tasteless, individual like Trump, who really [fart sound] is that, isn’t he?”

“An appalling creature.”

“What they hell are they doing with him? He’s a total, complete utter moron.”

Blessed made the comments shortly after he collected an OBE (Order of the British Empire) royal honour for services to the arts and charity in a Birthday Honours ceremony presided over by Queen Elizabeth II at her residence Windsor Castle. He is a patron of the Hopefield Animal Sanctuary and of PHASE (Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment) which is a network of NGOs and charities working to improve the lives of people in remote parts of Nepal.

Currently in the US presidential race, both Trump and Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton are neck-and-neck, and hotel magnate Trump has repeatedly found himself in hot water over a series of disparaging and racial comments, including selling off welfare services, proposing a wall separating his country and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants and banning all Muslims from settling in America. The US elections are been keenly followed in the UK with most people aware of the main issues and contenders and hours of news time on British television dedicated to the election coverage.

SOURCES:
ITV News, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/itvnews/
Helen Mutton.
”¬†‘He’s a total, complete utter moron’ Brian Blessed delivers his damning verdict on Donald Trump” – ITV News (7 October 2016)¬†http://www.itv.com/news/2016-10-07/hes-a-total-complete-utter-moron-brian-blessed-delivers-his-damning-verdict-on-trump/
“Brian Blessed” – Wikipedia,¬†Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.¬†https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Blessed
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Toy Fair – Brian Blessed” – Hot Grill, Flickr (28 January 2009)¬†https://www.flickr.com/photos/grill/3255741274

 

 

A LOT OF CUDDLES: New York City’s largest cat

New York, UNITED STATES
VIJAY SHAH

New York city is famous for its big breakfasts and tiny apartments. It is also a haven for pet-lovers and one cat has certainly taken local, and now international media by storm.

His name is Samson. A Maine Coon cat (normally a hefty, but not giant-sized¬†breed), the chubby tabby has a length of 4 feet (1.22 metres) and weighs 28 lbs (12.7 kg) compared with the average housecat’s 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg). He in fact is larger and weighs more than most toddlers and practically carpets his owner, when Samson lies on him. And the crazy thing is, Samson may not have yet finished growing.

Though he should really be named Goliath, Samson, aged four, is in fact highly friendly and playful and spends his days lounging around and batting his paw at mini-drones with owner and ‘daddy’¬†Jonathan Zurbel, in the district of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where he attracts a lot of attention when he is taken outside in his distinctive green buggy. Samson has even being reimagined as a body positivity icon, and despite many people assuming that the cat is in a bad way¬†due to his size, Zurbel’s local vet has given him a rating of good health.

 

 

SOURCES/VIDEO CREDITS:
“catstradamus” – Samson (Catstradamus) and¬†Jonathan Zurbel, Instragram¬†https://www.instagram.com/catstradamus/
“This Cat Is The Biggest Cat In NYC” –¬†The Dodo, Facebook, Facebook Inc.¬†https://www.facebook.com/thedodosite/
“Meet Samson, the largest cat in New York City who’s becoming a body-positive icon” –¬†Melissa Stanger, Revelist/CafeMedia Family/CMI MARKETING (12 August 2016)¬†http://www.revelist.com/animals/largest-cat-new-york-city/4215/follow-samson-on-instagram/9

A GLIMPSE OF NATIVE AMERICA: 1972 reservation photos by Terry Eiler

Two children ride along on a beige-coloured horse, the same colour as the sands on the pathway. Three more kids, excited and full of activity run after the steed towards what appears to be a cow farm. A photo captures their exuberance. This photo, and many others, forms part of an online gallery by web magazine Mashable. More famed for their millennial-angled technology journalism, Mashable instead travelled back in time to a simpler age, showcasing a series of photos taken on various Native American reservations and nearby towns in 1972.

In 1972, the United States federal government, which was looking into the conditions of the (currently) 1.4¬†million people living on lands set aside for the First Nations, employed the services of photographer¬†Terry Eiler to visit the south-west of the country and give an outsiders view into the lives of some of the most disadvantaged of Americans, many of whom had their lands seized by white settlers during the ‘Wild West‘ days of the 19th century and were herded onto the reservations, often poor-quality and non-arable land allocated by the federal government and administered by the nations themselves under the auspices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Nowadays many Native American communities struggle with lack of employment and amenities, as well as social ills such as extreme poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse.

Back in 1972, as the Native American rights movement was in its earliest days, Eiler visited three reservations belonging to the Navajo, Hopi and Havasupai reservations. The Navajo nation‘s reservation was the largest, about the same size as the US state of West Virginia. The photographer also visited the village¬†of Supai, nestled in the Grand Canyon of Colorado, said to be the most remote human habitation in the southern ’48 states’ region and accessible only by an eight-mile hike through rocky terrain or via helicopter.

Eiler’s photo project provides an snapshot into a part of America few outside the First Nations have even seen, let alone understood. He shows a world that was becoming modernised and similar to mainstream America but at the same time, was still clinging tenaciously to their traditions, forged over millennia. His subjects are natural and act as themselves, a stark contrast to the wooden and forced appearances of Native Americans made to pose in the sepia photographs from the ‘pioneer days’.

His photos cover a wide range of subjects, from a sheep paddock in the desert sands of the Navajo reservation in Arizona, a retinue of cute lambs staring back at the camera, their white wool contrasting strongly with the ochre ground underneath their hooves, to a Navajo woman in a bright red blouse standing for a quick snap near the Arizonan town of Shiprock.

Others show Native American families and men out and about, gardening, horse riding and being at home. While clearly getting on with life, it is obvious that the living conditions were at times very different from most American communities, but also shows the industriousness of the Navajo and other peoples, whether cramming into a truck to get to work, training as teachers, or selling bead necklaces to tourists visiting the reservations. Local scenery, especially the Havasu Falls of Arizona, also makes a frequent appearance in Eiler’s collection.

The Eiler collection is now part of the U.S. National Archives. You can view all the pictures by clicking HERE.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { ŗ§Ķŗ§Ņŗ§úŗ§Į }, Twitter, Twitter Inc.¬†https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Twistools, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/twistools_en
“1972¬†Native American reservations” –¬†Alex Q. Arbuckle, Mashable – Retronaut (27 February 2016)¬†http://mashable.com/2016/02/27/native-american-reservations/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29#sJ06qJkI8kqp

 

CHICAGO BA FLIGHT: Pilot applauded after making emergency stop at Heathrow Airport

gb

Heathrow, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via WGN and ITV News

A British Airways pilot has been hailed a hero after a mechanical emergency forced him to make a stop at the UK’s Heathrow International Airport, potentially saving hundreds of passengers’ lives, Chicago-based news station WGNTV reports.

Flight BA295 was en route to Chicago, U.S.A. and was two hours into the flight when a malfunction developed with the landing wheels, causing the pilot to take evasive measures and return the plane back to Heathrow, it was reported. The pilot was able to land the stricken plane without any problem after two of the five sets of landing gear broke down, having notified everyone on board.

Boeing 747-400 takes off from London Heathrow ...
Boeing 747-400 takes off from London Heathrow Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a safety precaution to prevent the plane from tipping over due to the instability caused by the damaged wheels, passengers were asked to exit from the rear first. Several of them commented that the experience left them feeling scared but relieved that the pilot, who is currently unnamed in reports, acted calmly in dealing with the emergency.

The UK’s ITV News further reported that Heathrow was forced to temporarily close down the affected runway. Passengers experienced delays as only one runway was still in use. The airport apologised on Twitter for the inconvenience to travellers and advised holiday-makers to check with their airline before leaving for the airport.

British Airways has not yet released a statement regarding the BA295 incident.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/topic/British-Airways/102805706422563?source=whfrt&position=1&trqid=6245885814059875889
“British Airways flight bound for Chicago makes emergency landing” – WGN Web Desk, WGNtv.com/WGN/Tribune Broadcasting (30 January 2016)¬†http://wgntv.com/2016/01/30/british-airways-flight-bound-for-chicago-makes-emergency-landing/
“British Airways plane diverts to Heathrow for ‘technical reasons’ ” – ITV News/ITV plc (30 January 2016)¬†http://www.itv.com/news/2016-01-30/british-airways-plane-turns-back-to-heathrow-for-technical-reasons/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Ba b747-400 g-bnle arp.jpg” –¬†Adrian Pingstone, Wikimedia Commons (21 October 2007)¬†https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ba_b747-400_g-bnle_arp.jpg

 

SPACEX: Private space exploration firm to test fire rocket on US West Coast

Hawthorne, UNITED STATES
VIJAY SHAH via STEPHANIE LANG, WILLIAM HICKS and TechCrunch

Private space travel company SpaceX is to test-launch a rocket carrying its Jason-3 satellite from an air base in California, USA, technology website TechCrunch reported yesterday.

The launch will be scheduled at precisely¬†10:42 AM Pacific Standard Time (7:42 PM London time) from the¬†Vandenberg Air Force Base, located 9.2 miles north-west of the small town of Lompoc. The launch will give SpaceX, one of a fleet of new privately owned space travel concerns, a chance to test out the capabilities of its Falcon 9 rocket. Engineers will attempt to land the Falcon on a floating ‘drone ship’ somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, it was reported.

Falcon rocket, Space Exploration Technologies,...
Falcon rocket, Space Exploration Technologies, (SpaceX) (See talk page for GFDL permission notes and SpaceX contact information) Note: this was the cover shot for a spring, 2004 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So far, the Falcon programme has been a successful one for the firm, who made a previous test launch in December 2015 and landed their rocket on a launchpad at Cape Canaveral in Florida state, the iconic homeland of space exploration veterans NASA. That test launch was lauded by the space travel community as a step towards greater diversity in space travel as well as a stage in the development of reusable rockets.

The previous Friday, SpaceX carried out a¬†‘static fire test’ on the recovered engines from the rocket launched in December. The company’s chief executive officer, Elon Musk, reported on Twitter that the data from the static test ‘looked good’, with the only minor problem being that one of the rocket’s outer engines had ‘thrust fluctuations’, beleived to be because it has swallowed surrounding debris from the rocket or outside it during the launch.

In today’s launch, the Falcon 9 will attempt to land on a drone ship floating on the ocean. This will be SpaceX’s third attempt at this notoriously difficult experiment, with the previous two tries frustrated by the instability of the rocket, the size of the pad and the movement of the ocean causing the ship to move about at its location. Succeeding today will mean SpaceX’s rockets will be considered safer and easier to use, potentially opening up more business for the firm from space tourists and other exploration partners.

The first attempt, made in January 2015, also failed because the booster ran out of hydraulic fluid required to direct its descent. The second attempt, made in April 2015, was closer but ultimately failed when a control valve stopped responding to commands seconds before touchdown, according to TechCrunch.

SpaceX vice president of mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann, at a press conference held this past Friday, justified the reason for this latest experiment and his company ‘switching things up’. He said that he company was unable to receive environmental clearance to land the rocket at Vandenburg so opted to try again with the floating drone ship. He also said that the choice to use the ship was not a reflection of the Falcon 9’s capabilities and that a landing on dry soil was no problem at all. Sadly, unlike previous launches, SpaceX will not be able to provide streamed footage of today’s event due to the difficulties in using a good internet connection far out at sea.

Sunday will mark the last launch of the company’s Falcon 9 v1.1 generation of boosters. SpaceX now has an upgraded version of the rocket with increased thrust capabilities which was used in the successful December flight from Florida.

On board the Falcon 9 will be the¬†$180 million Jason-3 satellite, developed by space agencies¬†NOAA and NASA. The satellite will eventually be launched by SpaceX to enable observations of our planet’s sea levels and detect any changes possibly attributable to global warming.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 with an ambition of revoultionising space travel and producing rockets that will one day enable people to dwell on other worlds. It designs, manufactures and launches rockets, of which the Falcon model has been its most well known version. The company, which has 3,000 employees enjoys a close partnership with the U.S. national space agency NASA.

SOURCES:
Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
“Mentioned@DrStephanieLang” –¬†Dr. Stephanie Lang, Twitter, Twitter Inc.¬†https://twitter.com/DrStephanieLang/lists/mentioned-drstephanielang
william d. hicks, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/wdhicks
Office Products Today, paper.li (17 January 2016) http://paper.li/wdhicks/1310444340
“SpaceX Prepares For Another Rocket Landing On West Coast” –¬†Emily Calandrelli, TechCrunch/AOL Inc. (16 January 2016)¬†http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/16/spacex-prepares-for-another-rocket-landing-on-west-coast/
“COMPANY” – SpaceX/Space Exploration Technologies Corp.¬†http://www.spacex.com/about
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:SpaceX falcon in warehouse.jpg” –¬†SpaceX & Duk,¬†Wikimedia Commons (14 July 2005)¬†https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SpaceX_falcon_in_warehouse.jpg

BANKSY IN CALAIS: Secretive street artist leaves Steve Jobs painting at refugee camp

Calais, FRANCE
VIJAY SHAH via The Wrap

Guerilla artist Banksy, famed for his powerful street art laced with socio-political commentary, has resurfaced again, this time at the notorious refugee camp, dubbed ‘The Jungle’ in Calais, France, online magazine The Wrap and the New York Times reported yesterday.

As the debate on the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis reverberates across Europe and much of the world, the Bristol artist, famed as much for his guarded anonymity as for his works of many of which have sold for several thousand pounds, left behind an artwork on a wall in the Jungle, depicting the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, whose father was said to have emigrated from Homs in Syria to the United States shortly after World War II.

(c) Banksy via The Wrap

 

The technology visionary is shown in his characteristic black turtle neck top and denim carrying a sack over one shoulder and holding a vintage Apple monitor in the other hand. The look in his face mirrors the same of many Syrian and other refugees, who often face dangerous trips across open seas and walking thousands of kilometres to reach safety in Europe.

Job’s birth father, a Syrian named¬†Abdul Fattah Jandali, met Job’s mother one summer in his native hometown and later emigrated to the US.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre often led to believe migration is a drain on the country‚Äôs resources, but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant,‚Ä̬†Banksy said in a statement. ‚ÄúApple is the world‚Äôs most profitable company, it pays over $7 billion a year in taxes ‚ÄĒ and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.‚ÄĚ

Nowadays, the debate about allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the United States has became increasingly negative, in comparison to places such as Germany and Canada, where refugees have been largely welcomed with open arms, including one planeload of refugees who were greeted by the Canadian prime minister himself. In the recent light of the tragic San Bernardino killings, where a foreign-born health service worker and his wife gunned down fourteen of their colleagues last week, and comments about banning Muslims from American territory made by presidential candidate Donald Trump, a recent poll among American state governors said that thirty-one were not open to allowing refugees to move to their states, according to The Wrap.

Banksy’s artworks, nearly always done in public areas using traditional stencils and paints have commented on everything from rampant consumerism, the credit crunch, politics, the war on terror to social media, celebrity culture and the British monarchy.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { ŗ§Ķŗ§Ņŗ§úŗ§Į }, Twitter, Twitter Inc.¬†https://twitter.com/VShah1984
bar Yehudit, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SMCADMAN
TheWrap, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TheWrap
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –¬† Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015)¬†http://www.thewrap.com/banksy-creates-steve-jobs-portrait-to-support-syrian-refugees/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –¬† Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015)¬†http://www.thewrap.com/banksy-creates-steve-jobs-portrait-to-support-syrian-refugees/