Alexander Van der Bellen, 72-year-old, representing liberal to left-of-center views won Austria’s presidential election over the right-wing populist Norbert Hofer. The preliminary results showed Van der Bellen is ahead. The final result will be announced Tuesday after counting the absentee votes.
More than 500,000 absentee ballots are counted Monday with results expected by Tuesday at the latest. But with most ballots cast Sunday counted, Van der Bellen had 53.3 percent of the vote to Hofer’s 46.7 percent.
Austrian right-wing candidate Hofer on Sunday has congratulated his opponent in presidential elections after projections indicated that he had lost.
“I congratulate Alexander Van der Bellen on his success and call on all Austrians to stick together and work together,” Hofer said on Facebook, adding that he was “incredibly sad.”
The Freedom Party shot to an enduring lead in the polls after the refugee crisis peaked in the fall of 2015, consistently urging that migrants be turned back even as Austria’s centrist government initially supported German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s more liberal line.
Winning Austrian presidential candidate Van der Bellen says his victory over right-wing populist Norbert Hofer shows that most voters backed his message of “freedom, equality, solidarity.”
He said: „He would work to unite a country deeply split between the moderate liberals who voted for him and the supporters of Hofer’s euroskeptic, anti-immigrant Freedom Party.“
The Austrian president’s functions are largely ceremonial and past elections have merited little attention outside the country because they were decided between mainstream candidates. This time, though, the contest was different because the vote Sunday was seen as an indicator of how well euroskeptic candidates will do elsewhere in the EU next year.
Sunday’s election was a rerun from May, which Van der Bellen won by less than 1 percentage point. It was re-held following a court ruling after Hofer’s Freedom Party claimed widespread irregularities.
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) and Barjeel Art Foundation will present a joint exhibition of Iranian and and Arab modern art. This historic exhibition will also mark the first time a show of Arab art from the modern period will take place in Iran.
The exhibition will feature works by modern masters drawn from both TMoCA’s collection of Iranian art alongside a selection from the Barjeel Art Foundation collection of Arab art. The artists selected from the Barjeel collection represent artists from around the Arab world, including Egypt, Iraq, North Africa, the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula.
Following recent significant international exhibitions that explore the development of modernity in art, this show seeks to explore an important era of Iranian and Arab art history that emerged during a period of worldwide development and change. The Sea Suspended will explore themes that led to new forms and styles that reflected the complexities around the emergence of modern life in both Iran and the Arab world.
Majid Mollanorouzi, Director of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA), said:
“Art is important in that it allows experiences to be shared, even across the boundaries of language or culture. This is even more significant when we work together with organisations from the region, such as the Barjeel Art Foundation. Hosting this diverse collection of Arab art and exhibiting it to the Iranian public will allow us to share the region’s modern heritage. It also allows for a unique dialogue between two institutions that hold a common passion for bringing art to the public, which we hope will continue.”
Karim Sultan, Curator of the Barjeel Art Foundation, said: “The selection of works by theme and region demonstrates the multiple approaches to artmaking in modern conditions by artists from diverse backgrounds. Modernity did not begin at one point and end in another in history – instead, it begins and ends in different places, overlapping and emerging from different scenarios, pressures, and conflicts, and different sets of influences. What we hope to present is a small but diverse selection of works across a number of themes that are important to artists in the 20th century.”
Important artists from Iran and Arab world will represent a diversity of art practices and approaches. Some artists from Iran will include Bahman Mohasses, Farideh Lashai, Hossein Zenderoudi, and Monir Farmanfarmaian; artists from the Arab world will include Seif Wanly, Inji Efflatoun, Shakir Hassan Al Said, and Huguette Caland.
→ Continue reading: First Exhibition Of Iranian And Arab Modern Art In Tehran
At the second Iranian Trade conference in London, the UK trade envoy to Tehran made a seemingly innocuous remark that should raise eyebrows. Lord Lamont said Iran has been extremely patient and statesman-like under the Iran nuclear deal regarding the process of easing sanctions. This does not jibe with the remarks of multiple senior American officials who have repeatedly claimed that Washington has fulfilled its sanctions relief commitments under the Iran deal.
Many policymakers and pundits in Washington assert that Iran’s self-inflicted economic mistakes (of which there are many) are preventing Tehran from deriving the full benefit of sanctions relief. This rhetoric does not match reality. Since the Iran deal was sealed in July 2015, I have traveled the world to meet with countless foreign governments and blue-chip multinational corporations on Iran-related issues. From DC to Dublin to Tehran to Tokyo, everyone I’ve met with acknowledges Iran’s economic policies as a problem, but no one has pointed to it as THE problem.
Every single person – without fail – has pointed to American sanctions as the primary obstacle. This begs the question: Why isn’t Washington fulfilling its commitments? In my personal assessment, I see three potential explanations:
1) The U.S. is intentionally squeezing Iran – because it knows it can.
In Section 24 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA), it says that if Iran fails to receive the practical benefit of sanctions relief outlined in the JCPOA as a result of U.S. sanctions still on the books, Tehran can raise the issue with Washington (it has) with the aim of finding a resolution (so far, no such luck). Here’s the kicker: Any potential resolution can involve the lifting of any particular sanctions that happen to stand in the way of Iran receiving the aforementioned practical benefit of sanctions relief. If the U.S. and Iran are unable to find a solution through bilateral consultation, Iran can turn to the dispute-resolution procedures outlined in the JCPOA (it has, still no luck).
→ Continue reading: The 2ed Iranian Trade Conference Exposed Washington Dirty Play
A major international event hosted this week in the Austrian capital by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will help advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through enhanced infrastructure and improved connectivity of the Asian, European and African continents, and their adjacent seas, referred to as One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) as Mr. LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO told the reporters today during the 50th anniversary week of the UNIDO.
The event brought together over 400 participants, including representatives of different city governments, the private sector and development agencies, as well as of academia. Representatives of 46 cities from nearly 25 countries are participating in the event, including Brussels, Chengdu, Jakarta, London, Moscow, New York, Seoul, Suez, Venice and Vienna.
“Many of the countries along the OBOR are still in the process of development but exhibit great potential for near-future economic growth,” said LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO. “This event can serve as an effective platform for cooperation among all countries involved, offering opportunities for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”
The “One-Belt-One-Road Inclusive and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue” will support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be done through the OBOR initiative, which promotes an open and inclusive global economy by building cohesive regional trade networks and enhancing connectivity for economic growth. It also aims to improve economic cooperation and to upgrade industrial and infrastructural development.
During the session of today October 20 2016, Mr. Yong has welcomed the UN General Assembly decision proclaiming the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa.
Yong, said: “This is great news. Last September, at a meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York, UNIDO, together with the African Union Commission, the Office of the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Africa, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, called for this decade as a way to place the African continent irrevocably on the path towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”
Noting that Africa remains “the poorest and the most vulnerable region in the world”, the UN General Assembly highlights the need for the continent to take “urgent action to advance sustainable industrialization as a key element of furthering economic diversification and value addition, creating jobs and thus reducing poverty and contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
Li said that he was pleased to note that the adopted resolution specifically calls on UNIDO “to develop, operationalize and lead the implementation of the programme for the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, in accordance with its mandate and through voluntary contributions”. The resolution also invites UNIDO “to scale up its technical assistance to African countries in order to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development”.
→ Continue reading: One Belt, One Road and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue
On Sunday morning, 9 October 2016, the Court of First Instance in Khan Younis sentenced T. L., 42, to death by hanging after being convicted of killing Dalia Mustafa Abu Ghraba, 12, resident of Khan Younis. The defendant was convicted of premeditated murder under articles (214, 215, and 216) of the Palestinian Penal Code No. 74 of 1936. Four others were sentenced to time in prison ranging from five to 15 years.
This is the second death sentence issued by the Court in four days. On 5 October 2016, the same court sentenced N.A., 26, resident of Khan Younis, to death by hanging after she was convicted of killing her husband. The public prosecution had detained N.A. after the body of Abu Anza was found in the vacant area near the area that was used for settlements in west Khan Younis. Evidence of wounds marked different parts of his body. N.A. confessed to the crime stating motives relating to domestic dispute.
On 12 November 2011, the public prosecution detained the accused in the latter case for the killing of the 12-year-old Dalia. The girl was killed within the context of an inter-family dispute where small arms were used.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan) views with grave concern the continued application of the death penalty in the Gaza Strip, despite the universal, urgent trend to abolish the practice. While recognizing the gravity of the alleged crimes, Al Mezan fully opposes the application of the death penalty in all instances. Al Mezan calls for the cooperative implementation, by the community and government, of restorative justice principles in view of repairing harm caused by crime and reducing future harm through crime prevention.
Al Mezan re-asserts that security and maintenance of the rule of law is a direct reflection of socioeconomic conditions, not relative to punishment laws. Capital punishment is proven not deter crime. Steps must be taken to immensely ameliorate the socioeconomic conditions in the Gaza Strip, first and foremost by lifting the nearly ten-year illegal closure and blockade imposed by Israel, which is the catalyst of rampant unemployment and poverty in Gaza.
Al Mezan reasserts its principled rejection of the issuance of death sentences and calls for a halt in the execution of the death sentences as a first step toward abolishing the practice. The relevant Palestinian laws must be amended to include other penalties. This turnaround must be achieved as a part of Palestinian internal reconciliation.
Security Council meeting
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
The international focus on the question of Palestine may have been overtaken by the tragedy in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, but it cannot be relegated to a secondary problem.
That’s what the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told members of the Security Council on Wednesday.
Israel continues to build on Palestinian territories despite being banned from doing so by a UN resolution dating back to 1979.
Meanwhile, militants in Gaza carry out frequent incursions into Israel as well as build up on illicit arms.
Earlier this month, a Palestinian opened fire, killing two Israelis and injuring six others in a terror attack in occupied East Jerusalem.
And in separate incidents, a young Palestinian civilian died after being shot by Israeli security forces during clashes in East Jerusalem, while elsewhere an unarmed 12-year-old girl was shot in the legs by security guards while approaching a checkpoint.
Nickolay Mladenov shared these tragic incidents with Security Council members to highlight the deteriorating situation in Israel and Palestine.
The absence of progress in resolving the conflict has led to growing anger and frustration among Palestinians and profound disillusionment among Israelis, he said.
“Sadly, settlement announcements, outbreaks of violence and terror, and the absence of visionary leadership continue to define the conflict. The inability to see beyond the horizon and grasp the benefits of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, of ending the occupation, of establishing a two-state solution that meets the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians alike, is a historic loss to the region as a whole.”
Noting that the significant “slow down” in the reconstruction process in Gaza, and that people continue to suffer through conflicts and closures, Mladenov warned that the “temperature in Gaza is rising”.
→ Continue reading: Palestine question cannot be relegated to a secondary problem: UN official
Dutch singer Eddy Walash
A few days ago I was in the Netherlands on a short trip. I thought about sharing the Dutch their cultural nightlife. The culture of the people attracts me more than nightlife itself.
It was not easy for me to determine where I go to hear live music.
Simply, I do not know anything about the cultural musical nightlife in Amsterdam.
I asked Dutch to assist me.
They said: “Take tram Nu.1 or Nu.5 and go to light-live station. There are all the Dutch bars which play live-music.
I wore jeans and sport shoes. Never I did that when I get out at night.
Usually I choose my clothes strictly in accordance with event. I used to be like that as a journalist working among diplomats, politicians and attending high level of Gala nights.
I reached Light-live Station.
Unfortunately, I did not see the bars, concerts and live-music? I saw some regular coffee shops that I see in all Europe.
I talked with a waiter working in a cafe shop. I asked him for a help!
“Where can I go? I want to hear cultural Dutch live-music. Could you please recommend me something? I asked the waiter.
He said: “Go to café Bolle Jan”.
He wrote on a small piece of paper: “Take Tram Nu.1 until the Flower market, get out and go through the market until the end where you reach a square. There ask anybody about café Bolle Jan.”
Easily, I reached café Bolle Jan. I introduced myself to Ms. Nancy Forger, a nice friendly woman works there. She warmly welcomed me.
The friendly Dutch guests at the cafe gave me some soft drinks. I was interested to listen to the Dutch live music more than drinking.
A nice blond musician stood on the small stage in the corner of the café. I saw a metal door divides between him and the bar geusts.
Shortly the musician started the concert.
It was electronic Dutch music but not live-music.
Of course, the ears not only hear, but also control the feelings and the emotions.
→ Continue reading: Café Bolle Jan And The Dutch Singer
In coordination with the Union of Arab Doctors and Pharmacists in Austria headed by Doctor Tammam Kelani, the Arab Doctors Union in Europe (ARABMED) headed by Dr. Faidi Omar Mahmoud concluded it’s 32 annual Scientific-medical Congress on Saturday 18th, Sep. 2016 in Modul Hotel in Vienna. The conference was held under the auspices of Dr. Michael Häupl, the mayor of Vienna. This was the second time that the ARABMED held its yearly conference in Vienna.
Dozens of European doctors from all Europe and the neighbouring Arab countries among them refugee doctors from Syria and Iraq attended the conference which lasted from Sep. 16th, to Sep. 18th, 2016.
A special guests of the event was the representative of Dr. Sabine Oberhauser, the Austrian Federal Minster of Health and Women´s Affairs, Dr. Monika Matal, Honorary Medical Director of Amber Med in Vienna, Univ. Prof. Dr. Maria Deutinger from Austria, Dr. Reinhard Dörflinger from Austria, Dr. Toman Barsbai, Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany, Dr. Werner Kirschbaum, General secretary of Austrian Red Cross Headquarters in Vienna, Dr. Reinhard Dörflinger, Doctors without Borders in Austria, Mr Fritz Edlinger, general secretary of Austro-Arab Relations in Vienna, Dr. Beatrix Blaha-Hausner, workgroup refugee children Political Pediatrics Medicin in Vienna, Dip. Ing. Omar Al-Rawi and many other doctors.
The title of the conference was “the role of advanced medicine for the care of refugees” and the major sessions covered a wide range of topics and focused on the conditions of the refugees who came to Europe and their problems such as
- Immigration Country Germany and Austria, Development, Structures and Political Recommendations.
- Physician refuge in Europe between Identity and Duties
- Developing Motivational and Self-Regulation Skills in Physician refuge with Learning.
- Difficulties From an Individual Training to a Group Training
- Diabetes Mellitus, Oncology and Ophthalmology,
At the opening session, Dr. Tammam Kelani, the president of the congress, thanked both Austria and Germany governments and peoples for what they have offered and continued to offer to the Syrian and the Iraqi refugees.
The representative of the Austrian Health Ministry had delivered a speech of behalf of Minister Oberhauser, he welcomed the congress audience and said:
“As Viennese I am very pleased that this year the 32nd conference of the “Arab Medical Union in Europe” and the 25th Annual Meeting of “Arab Medicals & Pharmacists Union in Austria” take place in my home city.
The topic of your conference “The Role of Advanced Medicine in the Care of Refugees in Europe” is very important and it will not lose its importance within the next years. The medical care for refugees is a big challenge for all European countries and I am convinced that only a strong public health system can meet these challenges.
Austria is being both: a transit and a destination country for refugees. We have had a raising demand for basic medical examinations and treatments for refugees when they arrived in Austria. But until today there was no significant increase in infectious diseases.
However, we need to strengthen our cooperation on a European level in order to manage the current migration to Europe. We need to identify best practices and innovations within the public health systems and pool our resources. Only if we act in common, we can be strong and efficient.
I wish you an exciting event, many interesting discussions and a pleasant stay in Vienna.”
→ Continue reading: The Role of Advanced Medicine For The Care Of Refugees