Jan 242016

The eastern coast of the United States was covered by a thick layer of snow brought by the monster “Jonas” storm, nicknamed “Snowzilla”, which disrupted the electricity in many places and forced the authorities to resort to military means for removing the snow.

Eastern US troubled by heavy snow (capture: Youtube/AFP)

Eastern US troubled by heavy snow (capture: Youtube/AFP)

The mammoth blizzard, which will continue throughout the weekend, has already caused the death of at least 8 people, particularly as a result of accidents, according to US media.

For several days, weather service announces the arrival of this record storm, that hit much of the East Coast of the US from Washington to New York. “I want to express myself very clearly for everyone. We are preparing to face a major storm that we consider very dangerous,” said the Mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser.

Approximately 85 million people, or nearly a quarter of the total US population could be affected by the Snowzilla blizzard, writes the Washington Post.

According to weather forecasts, the snow blanket in Washington is expected to be more than 60 centimeter thick. The snow will be accompanied by wind gusts of up to 90 km / h and large waves that threaten to flood the coastal areas. Police asked Washington residents to stay at home until the storm ends. Both Washington and neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland, have been placed under a state of emergency.

Residents of the US capital, where schools were closed on Friday, made provisions of food for this weekend by forming long lines at the supermarkets.

In Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe mobilized National Guard members for snow removal and rescue operations. Also, the authorities have gathered 650,000 tons of salt and 8 million liters of saline solution to release the streets.

Video: Jonas snowstorm, aka. Snowzilla blizzard, sends Washington and eastern US into chaos

Video: Snowzilla affects severely road traffic on East Coast of the United States

Jan 242016

A small passenger plane that experienced engine trouble in mid-flight, made an emergency (crash) landing on Saturday on a busy motorway on the outskirts of Moscow.

Wilga-35 plane on M8 freeway near Moscow (capture Youtube/RT)

Wilga-35 plane on M8 freeway near Moscow (capture Youtube/RT)

Local authorities announced that the event has not resulted in casualties.

The plane, Wilga-35 four-seater, landed in the afternoon on the M8 motorway, near the city of Sergiev Posad, about 60 kilometers northwest of Moscow, according to a statement released by the Russian officials.

The automotive traffic was not suspended and no casualties were reported. After takeoff, the aircraft’s engine stopped working and the pilot decided to land”.

An investigation team opened an inquiry to probe the circumstances of the incident as well as possible infringement of both air transport regulations and flight security rules.

Video: Light passenger plane makes emergency landing on M8 motorway in Russia

Jan 242016

A tragic news rocked the Romanian sport world on Saturday when Elisabeta Polihroniade, country’s most well known chess player ever, died at the age of 80, announced her good friend Marius Marinescu.

Elisabeta Polihroniade, 1979 in Rio (Wikimedia/MBIHund)

Elisabeta Polihroniade, 1979 in Rio (Wikimedia/MBIHund)

“The Queen of Chess” won six Olympic medals and claimed Romanian Women’s Championship title seven times across her 40-year-long impressive career. Polihroniade was a journalist and broadcaster, with her own daily radio programme on contemporary culture.

She became an international referee in 1986 and the World Chess Federation (FIDE) listed her with an ELO rating of 2195 back in 2009.

For many years, Polihroniade has promoted chess and made valuable input into popularization of chess all over the world. She was also known to have taught former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu to play chess.

Her lifeless body will be laid down at Bucharest’s Balasa Church with the funeral ceremony being set to take place at Cernica monastery on Tuesday.
Credit photo: By MBIHund [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Jan 232016

A fascinating video clip unveiling a haka dance at a New Zealand wedding became viral after earning more the 19 million views on the internet. The footage was filmed during Aaliyah and Benjamin Armstrong’s wedding event and shows the guests performing the truly extraordinary ritual dance.

Bride and groom surprised by haka at own wedding (capture: youtube)

Bride and groom surprised by haka at own wedding (capture: youtube)

Haka is originally a traditional ancestral cry, dance or challenge of the Māori people of New Zealand, originally performed by warriors before a battle, in order to proclaim their strength and prowess and to intimidate the enemy.

Famous after being used by the rugby team All Blacks, haka is not however a dance exclusively for men. Various haka were composed to be performed by women and even children. Hakas are performed for various reasons: for fun, welcoming distinguished guests and celebrating great achievements, events or funerals.

In this case, Haka is an integral part of the wedding ceremony and aims at giving an important meaning to the event.

Haka may also be understood as a kind of symphony in which different parts of the body play the role of musical instruments. Hands, arms, feet, voice, eyes, tongue and body as a whole combine themselves to express courage, anger, joy or other feelings relevant to the purpose of the occasion.

At her own wedding, the bride was so moved that she burst into tears while watching her guests dancing haka. Once she saw her best friend and maid of honor jump in, Aaliyah and Benjamin also decided to join.

“For us, we wanted to show our love and respect back. It’s such an honor to have these amazing men and this amazing woman in my life show their love for us like this,” said the bride quoted by CNN.

After the haka is finished, Benjamin can be seen thanking the dancers by touching his forehead to theirs, a traditional Maori greeting.

Video: Maori haka dance performed at New Zealand wedding

Jan 232016
Germany's grim reality: 80% of the refugees are professionally unqualified or illiterate

Germany had believed it can count on the refugees to “save” its economy, but turned out to be seriously wrong. The reality seems to be extremely difficult for the European Union’s largest economy because about “80% of the refugees have no qualifications and an increasingly larger number are illiterate,” said Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. “Refugees […]

Jan 232016
More than half of the 1.1 million refugees in Germany are missing

The German government can not establish exactly what happened to 600,000 of the 1.1 million immigrants who arrived in Germany, according to a document confirmed by the spokesman of the Interior Ministry in Berlin and quoted by the British tabloid Daily Mail. One explanation could be the slowness in recording and processing the tremendous number […]

Jan 232016

One of world’s richest men, IT billionaire Bill Gates, wonders why the United States keeps away from the refugee crisis and refuses to take in more immigrants. “The United States are supposed to be a good example and receive more refugees. We should have the necessary capacity to handle the situation. I think Germany and […]

Jan 232016
Austria to demand Greece temporary exclusion from Schengen Area

Austria proposed that Greece should be suspended from Schengen until the Mediterranean country secures its maritime border with Turkey, pleading alongside Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark to reintroduce temporary checks inside the ​​free movement area in order to reduce immigration. “When a Schengen member state repeatedly fails to meet its obligations and accept outside assistance, […]

Jan 232016
European Union is breaking apart, warns George Soros

Hungarian-born American billionaire George Soros believes that Europe is on the verge of collapse and disintegration. “The European Union is facing an existential crisis and needs to get out of it because the immigration issue is very stressful and the EU is falling apart. “This is the proper time for a major initiative, something like […]

Jan 222016
EU could suspend Schengen Agreement and introduce border controls

The European Commission might propose the temporary suspension of the Schengen Agreement for a period of up to two years, said various sources cited by international media outlets. In case of severe and persistent threats on the external borders of the passport-free Schengen area, the European Commission may propose to the Council to activate the […]