Saturday, February 15, 2014

Paris 1900: the city of entertainment - in pictures

Paris 1900: the city of entertainment - in pictures

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A major new exhibition at Petit Palais in Paris relives the splendour of the French capital in 1900. Over 600 works, including paintings, jewellery, costumes, sculpture and photographs bring to life belle époque Paris. The show runs from 2 April to 17 August 2014. Here is a small selection of the exhibits
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Mediator apologizes to Syrians for ineffectual peace talks

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GENEVA (Reuters) - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people on Saturday for the lack of progress at peace talks in Geneva after their second round ended with little more than an agreement to meet again.


Marines drink cobra blood in Thailand military drill

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US Marines drink cobra blood during a jungle survival programme as part of the annual Cobra Gold combined military exercise at a navy base in Chanthaburi pro...
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Venezuela pro-government supporters rally at funeral

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Relatives, friends and pro-government supporters carry the coffin of Juan Montoya, one of the three killed during protests in Caracas. Venezuela's government...
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Syria peace talks break up as UN envoy fails to end deadlock

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UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologises to Syrian people after
face-to-face talks end after just 30 minutes
The UN special envoy for Syria failed to break the deadlock in Geneva between the Assad regime and the opposition amid fears that the peace talks could collapse altogether.
UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologised to the Syrian people on Saturday for the lack of progress after the second round of talks at the United Nations' European headquarters ended after less than half an hour, leaving the future of the negotiations in doubt.
The Algerian-born diplomat said the agreement to evacuate people from the besieged city of Homs had raised hopes that had not been satisfied at the talks involving opposition groups and representatives of President Bashar al-Assad.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also stressed the meagre results so far, saying the Homs evacuation did not herald any wider improvement in humanitarian access to Syria's civil war zones, where the UN warned it cannot reach up to 3 million people in need.
"I am very very sorry and I apologise to the Syrian people that their hopes which were very very high here, that something will happen here," Brahimi told a news conference
after the talks.
"I think that the little that has been achieved in Homs gave them even more hope that maybe this is the beginning of coming out of this horrible crisis they are in."
The last session of the second round of the talks was "as laborious as all the meetings we have had, but we agreed on an agenda for the next round when it does take place," Brahimi added.
Brahimi said
he had proposed an agenda for a further round of talks that would focus first on ending the violence and then cover how to create a transitional governing body.
"Unfortunately, the government has refused," he said, adding that he would now seek consultations with the US and Russia, the main sponsors of the peace conference, and the UN to see how to proceed.
"Everybody needs to go back to their base and we will contact each other to determine the coming date. It is not clear," Brahimi said.
The sixth consecutive day of talks came as the violence in Syria continues to escalate.
British-based opposition group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll in the three-year conflict had now reached 140,000, with 5,000 people killed since the first round of peace talks began on 22 January.
The UN warned on Friday that more than 2,700 refugees had poured across the Lebanese border as the Syrian army carried out an offensive in the Qalamun mountains and headed towards the opposition-held town of Yabrud.
Thousands had already fled the town, but as many as 50,000 people were believed to still be inside.
Washington expressed outrage at the aerial bombings and siege of the city.
"We again call on all members of the international community, including [Syrian president Bashar al-] Assad's allies, to make clear to the regime that it must immediately cease these unwarranted attacks that undermine the Geneva process and the prospects of peace in Syria," state department spokesman Edgar Vasquez said.
Washington, which backs the opposition and initiated the Geneva II talks with the regime's ally Russia, voiced deep frustration on Friday at the stalemate.
"Talks for show make no sense," a senior US official said.
Washington blamed the impasse squarely on the Syrian regime, and chastised Moscow for not doing enough to push its ally to engage "seriously".
Syrian government representatives have so far refused to discuss anything beyond the "terrorism" it blames on its opponents and their foreign backers, and insist Assad's position is non-negotiable.
Observers said the talks were hanging in the balance. "We are in a dead end," said a western diplomat, warning prospects looked "grim" and that it would be tough for Brahimi to organise a third round.
Brahimi, who helped broker past deals in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, has pledged not to "leave one stone unturned if there is a possibility to move forward".
But the western diplomat cautioned: "I would not assume he will stay indefinitely," and adding that Brahimi might have "concerns about his own credibility" if he allows the process to continue to play out like a broken record. © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Police Capture Inmate Who Made Daring Valentine's Day Escape - E Canada Now

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E Canada Now

Police Capture Inmate Who Made Daring Valentine's Day Escape
E Canada Now
The 40-year old inmate of the jail in Pinal County, Arizona, is back behind bars after enjoying a few sweet hours of freedom on Valentine's Day. Joseph Andrew Dekenipp made a daring escape on Friday by scaling two high walls and getting scratched up after ...
Ariz. inmate makes Valentine's escapeWJAC Johnstown

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Merkel, Hollande to discuss possible European communication network that avoids U.S.

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.

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