Coat of Arms of Death now on display as part of Nazi-looted trove recovered from Hitler’s Führer Museum

Originally posted on National Post:

George Romney George Romney

As the granddaughter of the Baron and Baroness Alphonse and Clarice de Rothschild of the banking and collecting dynasty, Bettina Burr recalls being mesmerized by one of the couple’s storied paintings.

The work, by the English portraitist George Romney, showed his muse, identified as a coquettish young Emma Hart – who was better known as Lady Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson – dressed in frills and wearing a jaunty hat.

“I remember stopping and just staring,” Burr said. “She has so much allure, you couldn’t help but ogle her.”

The painting, confiscated by the Nazis in 1938 along with some 3,500 other treasures from the family’s palaces, was discovered in Austria’s salt mines by Allied forces after the war.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Returned to the Rothschild family in 1947, it is among 186 pieces of jewelry, jeweled boxes, furniture, prints, drawings, miniatures, paintings and rare…

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White House summit on ISIL discusses Canadian mom’s project

Originally posted on National Post:

The efforts of a grieving Canadian mother were highlighted at a White House summit this week as an example of how to turn the tide in the online war against ISIL.

According to some participants at the three-day summit on countering violent extremism, it’s been a lopsided fight. They say the terror group has dominated on the battlefield of modern media.

Its gory videos keep surfacing on websites, its online magazines invite youth to the jihadist cause, and its hackers even temporarily seized the social-media accounts of U.S. government and military agencies.

One presenter pointed out a rare response to that online onslaught of jihadist propaganda: Christianne Boudreau’s participation in a video about the death of her son in Syria.

[related_links /]

The young man from Calgary was one of an estimated 20,000 people from 100 countries who went to fight with ISIL. In a speech earlier Wednesday, President Barack…

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Missing Toronto toddler Elijah found, condition unknown

Originally posted on Global News:

TORONTO – Police have located a 3-year-old boy reported missing this morning from west-end Toronto.

Police say the toddler was found at 91 Baycrest about three hours after he was reported missing by family members. His current condition is unknown.

Authorities say he was staying with family members at an apartment building located at 145 Neptune Drive near Bathurst Street and Highway 401 where he was initially reported missing.

Police say the boy was put to bed around 9 p.m. and the family reported him missing at 7:30 a.m.

Investigators say security footage showed the child leaving the building lobby alone just after 4 a.m.

A family friend told reporters the child was staying at his grandmother’s apartment unit and that his actual residence is a 15-20 minute drive away.

“He’s a happy kid. We can’t…

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Oliver Sacks: “now I am face to face with dying”

Originally posted on Mind Hacks:

In a moving and defiant article for the The New York Times, neurologist Oliver Sacks has announced he has terminal cancer.

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well).

The whole piece is a reflection on…

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PLO’s highly anticipated testimony from Ashrawi falls flat in Sokolow trial

Originally posted on Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center:

ashrawi PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi. (photo credit:Wikimedia Commons)

From the Jerusalem Post:

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, one of the most well-known Palestinian leaders globally, testified late Tuesday on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the first ever US terror trial against the PA.

Her testimony in the New York federal court, while highly anticipated due to her senior status – there had even been a last minute attempt by the plaintiffs to block her from testifying and a special eleventh-hour deposition of her by the plaintiffs – was also unexpectedly brief.

Ashrawi appeared confident and composed when she first took the stand, detailing her close relationships with senior officials on all sides of the Arab-Israeli peace process. She noted that she met with Yassar Arafat “hundreds of times.” Defense lawyers also used her testimony to describe the destruction she witnessed during the Second Intifada. “Rubble.” Ashrawi said, remembering the…

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Letter: When did the Saudis turn into the good guys?

Originally posted on Montreal Gazette:

Re: “Saudi Arabia and the West’s hypocrisy” (Opinion, Jan. 27)

I think a lot of people are waking up to the exposed myth of our so-called western values as demonstrated lately by the surreal behaviour of our politicians.

Lip service is paid to freedom of speech here, where it’s easy. Yet silence or obsequious demeanour is practised where defence of freedom of speech is desperately needed: in defence of human rights, in condemning torture, in calling for the Saudis who marched in lockstep with the Charlies in France to back up their words with meaningful actions and release Raif Badawi. Allow him to come to Canada to join his family.

I see by Eman El-Husseini’s opinion piece that I’m not the only one who feels I’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole. Suddenly the Saudis are the good guys and the Raifs are our sacrificial lambs. We sign a $15-billion arms…

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Behind the Picture: The Liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945

Originally posted on TIME:

[Note: This gallery contains graphic images.]

Some photographs are so much of their time that, as years pass, they acquire an air of genuine authority—about an event, a person, a place—and even, perhaps, an air of inevitability. This is what it was like, these pictures seem to say. This is what happened. This is the moment. This is what we remember.

Of the many indispensable photos made during the Second World War, Margaret Bourke-White’s portrait of survivors at Buchenwald in April 1945—”staring out at their Allied rescuers,” as LIFE magazine put it, “like so many living corpses”—remains among the most haunting. The faces of the men, young and old, staring from behind the wire, “barely able to believe that they would be delivered from a Nazi camp where the only deliverance had been death,” attest with an awful eloquence to the depths of human depravity and, perhaps even more…

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Exclusive: Documentary Evidence of Palestinian Authority Payments to Terrorists

Originally posted on Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center:

PA One of the many benefits of bringing the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization to trial is that we can publicly, through hard documentary evidence, prove an inconvenient truth: the Palestinian leadership, under its official auspices, rewards and perpetuates a culture of terrorism. The following documents are just a few examples of the Palestinian Authority’s policy of direct deposit into the bank accounts of terrorists.  Note the participation of the Red Cross. Click on the names to see the reports. Ahmed Talaba Mustafa al-BarghoutiIbrahim Jamil Abd al-Ghani HamedMohamed Odeh Is-hak Odeh

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Do You Wish Everyone Was Sincere All the Time?

Originally posted on Eric Linus Kaplan:

Sometimes we find it wearisome that everybody is so ironic. We feel like saying — stop saying everything in quotes. Don’t say ” ” Doctor Who is such a great show” “. Just say it was a great show, or don’t. We wish, on other words, for a world in which all communication was sincere.

Be careful what you wish for. Tigers eating you are perfectly sincere. So are tapeworms eating you from the inside. So, in a certain way of thinking about it, are liars. A tiger pretending to be a bunch of grass in order to pounce and eat you is sincere. He is just tricking you. In a sense even the internal voices within us that stifle our lives through repeating various half-truths that others would like us to believe are sincere. Coca Cola sincerely wants you to think its product “adds life” even though, in reality…

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Parents billed $29 for a ‘no-show fee’ after five-year-old son misses birthday party

Originally posted on National Post | News:

It’s enough to scare someone off of having children.

Whether it’s gluten or plastics or peanuts, it seems young and new parents have more and more social taboos to navigate.

The latest parenting taboo? Missing a birthday party — or sending an invoice to the absent child’s parents, depending on how you look at it.

A pair of British parents are still reeling from the discovery of an invoice for £15.95 (just under $29 Canadian) in their five-year-old son Alex’s backpack. Their crime? Not informing the parents of his classmate their son would not be attending a birthday party in December.

Julie Lawrence, the birthday boy’s mother, has defended the “fee” as necessary to recoup the costs associated with a no-show. She said Alex told her son he would attend…

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