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Still Got The Blues In Vienna

A few weeks ago I met the young Austrian musician Jörg Danielsen during a wonderful blues session “Still Got the Blues” together with Michael Bodner, bass/harp, Kevin Mcmanus, drum, Roman Samer, guitar, Erich Tiefenbach, harp, Günther Schwarzinger, drum/voc.

Blues is a genre and musical form originated by African Americans in the Deep South of the United States around the end of the 19th century.”

In 2008, “Vienna Blues Association was born”. Danielsen founded his own blues band, in the style of session blues after he played thousands of blues jam sessions in Austria and surrounding European and Western courtiers USA, Chicago, Austin and Texas.

“Vienna is a good place to make experience and to build networks. Lot of venues with live music and a big range of music styles and skills,” said Danielsen.

He added: “I moved from Lower Austria to Vienna, because of the bigger opportunities to make music, and to learn from others.”
Around the same time, I began hosting a regular blues jam session in Vienna’s 8th district.

Danielsen, (voc/git), usually plays in a trio formation, with the fabulous groove section of Kiko Perez (bass/voc) and Christian Kurz (drums) and occasionally he invites guest musicians to join them on stage.

This was the case with the debut album, released in autumn 2016. The core trio was joined by Edi Fenzl (guitar), Moritz Haugk (keyboard, Hammond Organ), Gerry Lülik (harmonica) and Gerhard Beisteiner (double bass) to record the CD „Vienna Blues Association“ The CD contained 8 original and 4 blues covers.

Danielsen has been influenced by the music of Freddy King, Albert Collins, Magic Slim, Taj Mahal, Willi Dixon and many more. His shows are a mix of original songs and his interpretations of songs from his idols.

Danielsen show Highlight:

  • – Donauinselfest (2011-2015).
  • – Hosting the annual New Year Concert with invited Guests in Vienna/Stiegl Ambulanz.
  • – Vienna Blues Spring.
  • – Participating in Blues-Jam-Session in Chicago and Austin, Texas.
  • – Switzerland (2015).
  • – Tour of Italy and Germany, (2015 & 2016).
  • – Tour of Argentinia (March 2017) as guest at the Federico Verteramo Trio and Jorge Costales.
  • – Wiener Kirtag (Town Hall Square Vienna).
  • – Live Six Festival (Carinthia).

About the musician’s life in Vienna, Danielsen said: “It is a good place to make experience & building networks. There are lot of venues with live music and a big range of music styles and skills.
There are a lot of Music Jam Sessions during the week or at the weekend everywhere in Vienna.

Continue reading: Still Got The Blues In Vienna

1100 State Deniers In Austria

1100 State deniers in Austria say: “Austria is a company”!
The number of the persons who do not recognize Austria as a state has increased strongly in the recent months. Konrad Kogler, Director General for Public Security said today Tuesday while presenting the most up-to-date data at the safety summit held in the Ministry of the Interior.

Within four months the number of the persons who do not recognize the state of Austria has greatly increased in recent months to 400 persons.
What the Ministry of Justice and the Interior will do in order to decrease the danger of the problem?

Kogler said: „Currently about 1100 person are in anti-state connections“. Only in September of the previous year there have been about 700 active state deniers. In addition, there are an estimated 22,000 sympathizers of the movements such as Covenant, Freemen, OPPT (One People’s Public Trust) or Terrania. For Kogler this is a “very serious threat to the rule of the law”. He said: “Even there was one official” who questioned the structures of the state.

At the safety summit, the main focus was on the question of how to help the employees in municipal councils and district management teams. These are increasingly victims of „paper terrorism“, as Kogler described the action of the state refusal.

But it was not only the „pouring“ with applications and inputs, the identification with fantasy documents and the ignoring of humiliations made the life of the official more difficult. Also dubious claims for damages, aggressive behavior during official meetings and personal threats against authorities representatives were on the agenda. „We need clear instructions for all offices“ demanded Kogler.

Christian Pilnacek, head of the criminal justice department said that the Ministry of Justice is already working on a law. Anyone who joins a movement which does not recognize the sovereign rights of the state of Austria or assigns sovereign rights to itself is to be condemned in the future. He said: „We hope for a swift decision in the National Council“. It is a matter of „appropriately tracking“ threats. There are already successions: Because state-deniers refer to Austria as a company, which can not issue regulations, officials are always covered with compensation claims. These are legitimized by the US Debt Register UCC, which does not examine these applications. „Two Supreme Courts have now decided that it is a dangerous threat if someone makes such claims,“ ​​explained Pilnacek. In addition, a central office had been created, which could quickly delete entries in the UCC. And there were recently the first arrests.
Pilnacek said: „Two people were taken into custody.“

Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) will not leave any room for maneuvers in the future. „We have to combat such currents in a preventive manner by using means which do not allow grey zone.“

 

Human Trafficking Might Constitute War Crimes

Editorial Comment: The Security Council today passed Human Trafficking resolution accusing the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant “ISIL-Da’esh” and other terrorist groups. According to UNHCR report issued 2016, over 22 thousand refugee children were missed in EU where is no ISIL and Da’esh. How and where these children disappeared? Who stop behind the trafficking of refugee children in Europe?

The Security Council today deplored all acts of trafficking in human beings.The Council, through the text, reaffirmed that those responsible for committing, organizing or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable, and urged States to provide full coordination in investigations or proceedings involving ISIL, Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities.

In that context, it reiterated States’ obligation to ensure that their nationals and persons in their territory not make available economic resources to those actors — which applied to both direct and indirect trade in oil, modular refineries and related chemicals and lubricants, among other natural resources.

Expressing concern about the lack of implementation of resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2199 (2015), including “insufficient” reporting by States to the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), the Council called on States to “move vigorously and decisively” to cut the flows of funds and other financial assets and economic resources to individuals and entities on the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

Further, the Council decided that States would take appropriate measures to promote enhanced vigilance by their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and entities incorporated on their territory, to prevent ISIL, Al-Qaida and associated individuals and groups from obtaining, handling, storing, using or seeking access to all types of explosives or raw materials that could be used in their manufacture.

As for the United Nations, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsperson established by resolution 1904 (2009) for 24 months from the expiration of its mandate in December 2017. It requested the Secretary-General to provide the necessary resources and make “necessary arrangements” to ensure the Office’s continued ability to carry out impartial work, updating the Committee in six months on actions taken.

Continue reading: Human Trafficking Might Constitute War Crimes

Austria And The Bar Politics, Video

20161216_191516Together with music, cocktails and bright candles under the reflection of faint lights at the Austrian bars L’Ombra and KIX, both owned by Dr. Heinz Altmann, politicians, ministers, lawyers and journalists always sit and laugh among the guests.

Mr. Valentin, the young man who inherited this bar of politics from his father, said that the Ukraine crisis and the Ukrainian conflict are always central  in the talk of the politicians who frequent his bar. He pointed his figure toward a guest and said: „that guy in front of the bar lobby is an Ukrainian political journalist“.

The politician language and the symptoms of their faces always change after half an hour of smoking and drinking in the bar.

Drinking cocktails, wine and beer make all guests equally out of their minds in the bar. Everybody laughs loudly and raises a lit cigarette between the pointer and the middle fingers in front of the soft light of the candles. The cigarettes burn between the lips of all guests causing a huge cloud of smoke. Only the language remains different between the guests.

  • How was the nightlife in Vienna Forty years ago, and how has it become today?
  • What are the differences between the Austrian nightlife today and in the past?
  • What is the change in the Austrian politics since the past World War II?
  • Why did the star of the right-wing party shine in Austria during the last elections?

Dr. Altmann and his wife Mag. Helga Maria, the owners of bars, have answered the questions in the Video published below.

Dr. Altmann is an Austrian, born in Vienna, a retired lawyer and speaks good politics.
His wife Mag. Helga Maria Altmann was born in Timișoara, one of the largest Romanian cities and an Austrian citizen. The couple are over 70.

Continue reading: Austria And The Bar Politics, Video

No Country is Immune From Corruption

DSC_9275_edited-2Vienna, Austria – December 9, 2016: Today in Vienna, organisations, individuals and groups from Europe, Asia, Central and South America and Africa, were recognised at the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Awards. To coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, the winners were presented their awards by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the recipients of the Awards for their courage. He also thanked His Highness and the Government of Qatar for supporting global anti-corruption efforts, crime prevention and the rule of law through the implementation of the Doha Declaration adopted last year at the 13th Crime Congress. He said: “Corruption is a strangling root that reaches deep into all our societies. It chokes hopes and frustrates opportunities. It enables the few to prosper at the expense of millions who are left behind. No country is immune.”

The annual Awards were inaugurated at a ceremony at the Hofburg Palace and acknowledged outstanding contributions and strides towards the prevention of and the fight against corruption around the world, including the impeachment of two national leaders in Central America and Europe. They were presented in support of the anti-corruption mandate of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), specifically, the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

After a long and thorough selection process, the high-level award committee with recommendation from the assessment advisory board, chose seven recipients across all four categories, including: Anti-Corruption Innovation, Anti-Corruption Academic Research, Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity and Anti-Corruption Lifetime Achievement.

Two winners in the Anti-Corruption Innovation category, namely, ‘Hanan Khandagji’ from Palestine who went undercover as a volunteer worker to investigate the mistreatment of young patients in Jordanian institutions for disabled children. ‘Khandagji’ discovered that caregivers and nurses were routinely abusing children in their care. Her in-depth reporting led to closures of several facilities and to the convening of a formal committee that produced a report on the abuses. ‘ArtLords,’ the Afghan-based grassroots movement of artists, was the second recipient in this category. The group has raised awareness against corruption in Kabul, by promoting zero tolerance and integrity through street art, producing paintings of eyes on the walls as part of their “I See You” series.

Continue reading: No Country is Immune From Corruption

Austria Decided: No Presidency For The Right-wing Populist Hofer

DSC_8196 copy_edited-1Alexander 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.

First Exhibition Of Iranian And Arab Modern Art In Tehran

TMOCA Opening InvitationTehran 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

The 2ed Iranian Trade Conference Exposed Washington Dirty Play

-1At 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.

What gives?

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.

Untitled-1Every 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

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