To convey last details

Dallas (CNN) — On canvas, Vladimir Putin appears stern, Tony Blair looks relaxed and Junichiro Koizumi smiles broadly.
Through paint and brushstroke, former President George W. Bush says he has found not only a rewarding hobby but a unique way to express himself and his impressions of 30 presidents, prime ministers and other world leaders during his time in office.
These never-before-seen portraits, which were done by looking at photographs, will go on public display Saturday at his presidential library in Dallas.
The exhibit is titled The Art of Leadership: A Presidents Personal Diplomacy. It will also include photographs and artifacts of his interactions with these leaders.
I think theyre going to be (like), Wow, George Bush is a painter, Bush told NBCs Today show in an interview on Friday. Im sure when they heard I was painting, (they said), Wow, I look forward to seeing a stick figure he painted of me.

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One work he is most proud of is that of his father, former President George H.W. Bush.
I painted a gentle soul, he said.
The Bush Presidential Center is using these paintings to help broaden the image of Bush and is hoping to show what it takes to be a personal diplomat, said Margaret Spellings, president of the center, emphasizing one-on-one relationships with his fellow heads of state were very important to him.
Most of the world leaders portrayed have not seen the art yet.
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For newer generations the artwork, and the buzz around them, will show a new side of Bush.
The 43rd President has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity, a bump aided partly by his work trying to save the lives of Africans who have AIDS and efforts to help veterans, including helping them to find jobs.
Forty-nine percent viewed him favorably while 46% saw him unfavorably according to a poll last June from Gallup.

When Bush left office in 2009, only 40% of Americans held a favorable opinion of him, a number which sunk to 35% in March of that year before beginning a slow climb out from under water.
Hes also earned nods from such publications as BuzzFeed and Vanity Fair that noted his counterculture hipness in painting outside of the art establishment and taking selfies.
Though the former President has opened a new chapter of his life with painting, there were reminders of the controversies surrounding his presidency. Just this week, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to seek declassification of its report on the secret prisons and interrogation techniques used by his administration on terror suspects after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Bush also has refused to publicly discuss politics.
In a video accompanying the exhibit, he said of the Dalai Lama: I painted him as sweetly as I could.

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For Blair, the former British Prime Minister and one of the leaders he spent the most time with, Bush said he painted with a lot of affection and was trying to convey a passionate person and a reliable person.
After reading an essay about Winston Churchills art hobby, Bush took up painting two years ago.
I gave it a whirl, he said in the video.
He hopes the paintings help convey his feelings and friendships to these leaders. He told NBC this will help make sure the last chapters of my life are full.
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I want to get better
Bush said he still has a lot to learn with this hobby.
I am not a great artist, he told his daughter Jenna Bush Hager, who is a Today show correspondent, in the NBC interview. I paint a lot. I want to get better.
He has his share of critics.
New York Magazine Art critic Jerry Salz said of some of Bushs previous artwork no natural gifts—except the desire to do this.
Bushs family said he is very disciplined and dedicated to his work and will often spend hours in his new studio with music playing. Family and friends said he is very excited about his work.
He talks enthusiastically about it, Spellings said. Bush utterly loves it.
Bush uses various photos to see facial expressions, clothing and other attributes that he then uses to craft his paintings.
He started off doing some smaller things like animals. Then an art professor at a local university suggested he try doing world leaders because he was good at capturing details.
He was initially reluctant to share his work publicly.
However, his paintings first came to light after a hacker last year obtained private Bush family emails, which included photos of some of his work.
Some of the other paintings featured dogs. But other paintings were self-portraits of him in the shower and the bathtub while he was looking in a mirror.
Its an invasion of ones privacy. And yeah, I was annoyed, Bush told NBC. And nor do I want my paintings to get out. And I found it very interesting the first painting that came out was the one I painted of myself in the bathtub. I did so because I wanted to kind of shock my instructor.
Bush on painting: I see colors differently

recent a very giants

Editors note: CNN Marketplace Africa is a weekly show offering a unique window into African business on and off the continent.
(CNN) — Resolving domestic disputes between elephants and humans is an age old problem, but one not-for-profit organization based in Zambia thinks it may have a solution.
The Elephant Pepper Development Trust (EPDT) is encouraging local farmers to burn briquettes of chili to ward off the stomping giants. Its a technique that Loki Osborn, director of the EPDT, said is very effective given the elephants delicate sense of smell.
In an interview with CNN, he said: The hot chili peppers are very distasteful to elephants because of their advanced olfactory systems. They pick up things in the environment that we have no idea about.
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Chilies really irritate them and cause a very short term, very painful experience for them that goes away, he added.
But although the red hot chili peppers may cause some discomfort to the elephants in the short term, it is the lesser of two evils, notes Osborn.
The longstanding conflict between farmers and elephants is devastating both sets of communities.
Farmers sometimes kill elephants in an effort to protect their crops while the latter decimate food and grain stores, occasionally injuring or killing humans and livestock.
Whats more — farmers are bearing the costs of living with elephants and receive little of the benefits, says the EPDT. Even where community-based conservation initiatives exist, and elephants generate large revenues, the money doesnt filter down to local population.
Osborn said that creating an environment where people and elephants can live in harmony is key, but that doesnt necessarily mean taking a conventional approach to conservation.
And thats where the chilies come in.
The problem with conservation in general, it doesnt produce anything. Theres not really much you can sell from conservation of birds in a forest, says Osborn.
So we thought, if we could get people to grow these chilies to deter the elephants from coming into the fields, buy it back, grind it up and sell it internationally to tell the story about what were doing but also give a high end market for African products — maybe we could be a model for other programs.
The EPDTs work is more important than ever as elephant and human populations have significantly increased in southern Africa in recent years, explains Osborn.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, elephant numbers have reached 300,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, however, less than 20% of the elephant range is under formal protection.
The world wants to know more about where [our] food is coming from, so having a great story to it really was a powerful thing.
Loki Osborn, director of the EPDT
And while tolerant of human disturbance to some degree, elephants are unable to survive when the landscape becomes dominated by farmland.
Osborn said: The world wants to know more about where [our] food is coming from, so having a great story to it really was a powerful thing… I think our kids are going to be very much more interested in that kind of stuff than our generation is now.
The EPDT currently sells the farmed chilies through a website called Elephant Pepper with a slogan: Elephants Hate Chili… We Love Elephants.
Osborn is hopeful that programs such as the one run by the EPDT will help to spur investment on a continent-wide scale and attract entrepreneurs, who want to set up businesses in the country rather than just provide revenue through aid.
Africa needs the business minds of the people… to come and spend money here, he said, you can create 50 jobs without even blinking because labor is relatively cheap; you can have a labor intensive project.
Osborn, a Louisiana native, believes that entrepreneurs must move to Africa to make money and not purely for philanthropic reasons.
We shouldnt come here with that attitude, he says. People need jobs here and they need jobs of reasonable pay… If your long term goal is to save these animals, theres got to be something far more creative than what were currently doing.

By those youtube workers

(CNN) — Before releasing an album most bands would talk about record sales or concert dates. But for Egyptian band Cairokee the bigger talking point is whether they will get arrested.
Only Amir because he writes the lyrics, the bands bassist Adam El-Alfy jokes, tapping the shoulder of his friend, the bands lead singer Amir Eid.
In a country currently polarized by politics the band are concerned some of the songs featured on El Sekka Shemal (Wrong Turn) could make them targets for the authorities.
In another of the groups songs entitled Nefsy Afagar (I Want To Explode) Eid sings: A new order, just like the old one. And everything works with lying. I want to blow up the streets and roads.

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According to the band the song reflects the daily frustration faced by Egyptians, such as stifling traffic, drug use and sexual harassment.
We have many fans that will get very angry if we didnt release these songs, says Eid, who claims the band speaks the mind of many Egyptians.
In doing so they realize they could face censorship and defamation campaigns, similar to those faced by television satirist Bassem Youssef who had his show cancelled last September after mocking supporters of Egypts military. He is now on air again with a different network. Cairokee performed three songs on the first of his new shows.

We have many fans that will get very angry if we didnt release these songs.
Amir Eid, singer, Cairokee

Sitting at the makeshift studio within Eids family apartment in which the band recorded most of their songs for the past 10 years, they insist they are not political.
We talk about freedom, social rights, what we think will make a better place for all of us, says guitarist Sherif El-Hawary. A lot of people kind of mix that, that we have a political agenda. We dont really.
After years of little success or recognition they rose to prominence through their participation in Sout El-Horreya (The Sound of Freedom), a song recorded during the Tahrir Square sit-in in 2011.
For the three years that followed they released other songs that also became anthems to Egypts revolution, urging Egyptians to hold their ground in Ethbat Makanak and in another yearning for The Square.
Their concerts included free performances at political sit-ins.
The revolution is not politics. Dignity is not politics. This is what we sing about. We didnt sing about politics, but we sing about basic human rights, says Eid.
They have a committed and growing fan-base and when they released on YouTube Nas Betroos We Nas Betmoot (People Die While Others Dance) it gained 1 million views in two months.
For the band the song symbolizes a clash of generations, which they think is the source of most of Egypts problems: an older generation holding on to an idea of stability and a younger one trying to shape the future it will live in.
Eids raspy vocals give the bands music a unique sound, while they cultivate an unconventional image, riding high-powered muscle motorbikes in defiance of the terrible Cairo traffic as an escape from reality.
The band is honest about the potential violent consequence of taking a stand against deep-seated views, but they choose to remain optimistic.
This voice is like a turtle. (We) work very slowly, but we never go back… Look at the past three years, regimes changed and we continued the revolution, says Eid.
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Being the factions standards

(CNN) — A court in Egypt has sentenced to death more than 500 supporters of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood following violence that broke out in the southern city of Minya last August. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry puts the number of those sentenced at 529.
A single policeman was killed.
Only 147 of the defendants were reportedly in court Monday. Sixteen people were also acquitted at the hearing. Another 683 defendants — including the Muslim Brotherhoods spiritual leader Mohamed Badie — appeared before the same judge Tuesday in relation to the unrest. Their case was adjourned until April 28.
CNN spoke to its correspondent in Cairo, Ian Lee, independent Egyptian journalist Shahira Amin and Egyptian legal historian Khaled Fahmy about Mondays mass sentence.
What happened in Minya?
A police officer was murdered during the pro-Morsy riots in Minya last August.
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The violence followed a deadly crackdown by security forces on two Cairo sit-ins being held by supporters of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsy.
Morsy, Egypts first democratically elected president, had been toppled in a military coup in July 2013.
Defense lawyer Khaled El-Komi told CNN the charges against the defendants appearing Tuesday include breaking into a police station, attempted murder, disturbing public peace and public order.
The death sentence imposed on 529 people — will it be carried out?
Lee said it was highly unlikely that all those sentenced to death would be executed. He said Egypt had a large appeals process and the countrys chief Islamic authority — the Grand Mufti — also had to approve the death sentences.
Many death sentences in Egypt are later reduced, or overturned, Lee said. When you hear something like this, well it is shocking, but you do have to step back and say theres a lot between the sentencing and the execution.
Fahmy also said it was most likely the sentences would be appealed and revised.
With regard those on the run, they automatically have the right for an entire new trial, in addition to the right of appeal following the issuance of the sentence, he said.
Ahmed Shabib, a lawyer representing some of those sentenced to death, said that they would appeal the verdict after the Grand Mufti had made his decision allowing the court to announce its final ruling — set for April 28.
How was the trial conducted?
The Minya court has been criticized for taking just two sessions to reach its verdict against the 529 people convicted.
Never before has a court issued such a large number of death sentences in such a short period of time — only two sessions, Fahmy said.
The Egyptian news organization Ahram Online said the court had issued its verdict — the biggest capital punishment verdict in the history of the Egyptian judiciary — without hearing the defense arguments.
El-Komi told CNN his team of lawyers werent allowed inside the courtroom.
He said they didnt have any time to plead the case or review the evidence as the first procedural session was on Saturday, before being postponed until Monday — when the verdict was issued.
One defendant told CNN he hadnt been summoned for questioning by the prosecution or by the court for the trial.
The man, who requested anonymity, said he hadnt been in Minya during the incident.
The verdict was unjust he said and the accusations invalid. Another defendant — who also asked not to be named — told CNN he had been at home during the violence.
He said he believed he had been added to the list of defendants just because he was a member of the anti-coup alliance. Ten members of the alliance had also died that day, he claimed, and no one had been held accountable.
How does the sentence compare to others?
Fahmy said the courts ruling made a mockery of the entire Egyptian legal system.
As a historian of the Egyptian legal system, I can confidently say that this court ruling is a travesty of justice, he said.
Never before in Egypts long history has there ever been a ruling so obscene in its contradiction of the very principles of justice.
Fahmy described the ruling as particularly perverse as it handed down death sentences against 529 defendants accused of killing a single police officer.
Journalist Amin said the sentence was ridiculous and a grave injustice.
Ridiculous because its not possible that 529 people can murder a police officer — which was one of the charges against the defendants. The other charge is less serious of course — destruction of public property — and doesnt deserve a death sentence.
Amin said the judiciary was displaying double standards. She pointed to the death of Khaled Said in 2010, whose alleged brutal beating by security forces is said to have been one of the factors behind the 2011 revolution that led to the ousting of then-President Hosni Mubarak.
The killer of Khaled Said got a 10-year prison sentence, she said.
Meantime, Ahram Online pointed to the sentencing of a police officer to 10 years imprisonment for the deaths of 37 Islamists in a police van last year as a sharply contrasting verdict.
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Amin said the verdict had been received with shock.
The harsh sentence came as a big shock to me and many others including Egypts liberals, many of whom oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, said journalist Amin.
Morsys supporters are calling it a death penalty for the judicial system in Egypt, she said.
You still find supporters of the military who say that they deserve it, these are terrorists. Thats because the country is extremely and deeply polarized and anyone seen to show sympathy — even remotely — for the Muslim Brotherhood is labeled a traitor and accused of being one of them, she said.
Fahmy said he had little doubt that the ruling was politically motivated.
It is as if the judge wanted to appease the military rulers of the country who decided to wage a War on Terror and have declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, he said.
Fahmy claimed the sentence had made a mockery of the entire Egyptian legal system, and in the process undermines a fundamental pillar of society — the very principle that the regime is accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of doing.
In other words, if there is anyone who is undermining the stability of the Egyptian state, it is the judiciary and its incessant desire to appease the military and the police, he said.
Amin said it was clear that courts are being used to settle political scores.
The courts are one more battleground for the political standoff between the military backed authorities and the Islamist group, she said. So basically, the verdict is a threat to Muslim Brotherhood supporters — and also to opponents of the regime in general — that theres zero tolerance for dissent.
Lee said the verdict can be seen as part of the ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters in which hundreds have died and thousands arrested.
The irony, he said, is that while 529 people were sentenced to death over the killing of one police officer and attempted murder of another, no one has been held accountable for the deaths of hundreds of protesters.
How has Egypts government responded?
Egypts government, through its foreign ministry, stressed the independence of the countrys judiciary in a statement to CNN.
The Egyptian government would like to affirm that the Egyptian judiciary is entirely independent and is not influenced in any way by the executive branch of government, as dictated by the democratic principle of separation of powers, the ministry said.
The ministry pointed out that the Minya sentence had been issued by an independent court after careful study of the case; that it was only the first verdict in the trial process; and that the defendants would be able to contest the verdict in the Court of Cassation.
What about the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement saying the sentence violates judicial norms.
The shocking and unprecedented sentencing of 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters without due process is evidently inhumane and a clear violation of all norms of humane and legal justice, it said in a statement on its website.
The verdict is yet another clear indication that the corrupt judiciary is being utilized by the coup commanders to suppress the Egyptian revolution and install a brutal regime which has already surpassed decades long of oppression and tyranny in Egypts history.
In December, Egypts interim government officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
It said anyone who was a member would be punished, as would those found to be giving the group financial support.
Whats happened to Mohamed Morsy?
Morsy, the former head of the Muslim Brotherhoods political arm, was elected president in 2012.
Shortly after winning, he resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party in an effort to show that he would represent all Egyptians.
But he was ousted in a coup in July 2013 amid widespread protests against his rule, with opponents accusing him of pursuing an Islamist agenda and excluding other factions from the government.
Morsy and other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up after the coup and now face a variety of counts, including organizing attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula and fueling sectarian sedition with the aim of igniting civil war in Egypt.
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With malaysia different a

(CNN) — Before the mysterious disappearance of one of its passenger jets this month, Malaysia wasnt a country used to finding itself dominating headlines around the world.
Some of its Southeast Asian neighbors, like Indonesia and the Philippines, have suffered devastating natural disasters in recent years and are all too familiar with the media frenzy that accompanies a major crisis.
But Malaysia has largely managed to stay out of the international spotlight since its independence from British colonial rule more than half a century ago.
It is one of these countries, because of its geography, that doesnt have earthquakes, said Ernest Bower, senior adviser for Southeast Asia studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. It doesnt have tsunamis, it hasnt been tested with a disaster like this.

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Flight 370: The search in the ocean

Relatives of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 watch a news program about the missing plane as they wait for information at a hotel ballroom in Beijing on Monday, March 17. The Boeing 777 disappeared during a March 8 flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

Malaysian Transportation Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, center, shows maps of the search area March 17 at a hotel in Sepang, Malaysia, next to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

U.S. Navy crew members assist in search-and-rescue operations Sunday, March 16, in the Indian Ocean.

Indonesian personnel watch over high seas during a search operation in the Andaman Sea on Saturday, March 15.

A foam plane, which has personalized messages for the missing flights passengers, is seen at a viewing gallery March 15 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

A member of the Malaysian navy makes a call as his ship approaches a Chinese Coast Guard ship in the South China Sea on March 15.

A Indonesian ship heads to the Andaman Sea during a search operation near the tip of Sumatra, Indonesia, on March 15.

Elementary school students pray for the missing passengers during class in Medan, Indonesia, on March 15.

Col. Vu Duc Long of the Vietnam air force fields reporters questions at an air base in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, after a search operation on Friday, March 14.

Members of the Chinese navy continue search operations on Thursday, March 13. The search area for Flight 370 has grown wider. After starting in the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam, the planes last confirmed location, efforts are expanding west into the Indian Ocean.

A Vietnamese military official looks out an aircraft window during search operations March 13.

Malaysian air force members look for debris on March 13 near Kuala Lumpur.

A relative of a missing passenger watches TV at a Beijing hotel as she waits for the latest news March 13.

A member of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency scans the horizon in the Strait of Malacca on Wednesday, March 12.

Relatives of missing passengers wait for the latest news at a hotel in Beijing on March 12.

Journalists raise their hands to ask questions during a news conference in Sepang on March 12.

Indonesian air force officers in Medan, Indonesia, examine a map of the Strait of Malacca on March 12.

A member of the Vietnamese air force checks a map while searching for the missing plane on Tuesday, March 11.

Iranians Pouri Nourmohammadi, second left, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, far right, were identified by Interpol as the two men who used stolen passports to board the flight. But theres no evidence to suggest either was connected to any terrorist organizations, according to Malaysian investigators. Malaysian police believe Nourmohammadi was trying to emigrate to Germany using the stolen Austrian passport.

An Indonesian navy crew member scans an area of the South China Sea bordering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on Monday, March 10.

Vietnam air force Col. Le Huu Hanh is reflected on the navigation control panel of a plane that is part of the search operation over the South China Sea on March 10.

Relatives of the missing flights passengers wait in a Beijing hotel room on March 10.

A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter lands aboard the USS Pinckney to change crews before returning to search for the missing plane Sunday, March 9, in the Gulf of Thailand.

Members of the Fo Guang Shan rescue team offer a special prayer March 9 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

A handout picture provided by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency shows personnel checking a radar screen during search-and-rescue operations March 9.

Italian tourist Luigi Maraldi, who reported his passport stolen in August, shows his current passport during a news conference at a police station in Phuket island, Thailand, on March 9. Two passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight were reportedly traveling on stolen passports belonging to Maraldi and an Austrian citizen whose papers were stolen two years ago.

Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director of Malaysia Airlines, speaks to journalists March 9 at a Beijing hotel where relatives and friends of the missing flights passengers are staying.

Vietnamese air force crew stand in front of a plane at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City on March 9 before heading out to the area between Vietnam and Malaysia where the airliner vanished.

Buddhist monks at Kuala Lumpur International Airport offer a special prayer for the missing passengers on March 9.

The Chinese navy warship Jinggangshan prepares to leave Zhanjiang Port early on March 9 to assist in search-and-rescue operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. The Jinggangshan, an amphibious landing ship, is loaded with lifesaving equipment, underwater detection devices and supplies of oil, water and food.

Members of a Chinese emergency response team board a rescue vessel at the port of Sanya in Chinas Hainan province on March 9. The vessel is carrying 12 divers and will rendezvous with another rescue vessel on its way to the area where contact was lost with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The rescue vessel sets out from Sanya in the South China Sea.

A family member of missing passengers is mobbed by journalists at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday, March 8.

A Vietnamese air force plane found traces of oil that authorities had suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, the Vietnamese government online newspaper reported March 8. However, a sample from the slick showed it was bunker oil, typically used to power large cargo ships, Malaysias state news agency, Bernama, reported on March 10.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, arrives to meet family members of missing passengers at the reception center at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8.

Malaysia Airlines official Joshua Law Kok Hwa, center, speaks to reporters in Beijing on March 8.

A relative of two missing passengers reacts at their home in Kuala Lumpur on March 8.

Wang Yue, director of marketing of Malaysia Airlines in China, reads a company statement during a news conference at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 8.

Chinese police at the Beijing airport stand beside the arrival board showing delayed Flight 370 in red on March 8.

A woman asks a staff member at the Beijing airport for more information on the missing flight.

A Malaysian man who says he has relatives on board the missing plane talks to journalists at the Beijing airport on March 8.

Passengers walk past a Malaysia Airlines sign on March 8 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Juahari Yahya, front, speaks during a news conference on March 8 at a hotel in Sepang. We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with the jet, he said.

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
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The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
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The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
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The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
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Photos: The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has thrust the government into the dazzling glare of worldwide attention. And it hasnt emerged with very good grades.
I think on a stress test, theyre failing, Bower told CNNs Jake Tapper, pointing to the governments coordination of different agencies and communication with other countries.
China among critics
Criticism and complaints have come from other countries involved in the search for the missing plane, like China and Vietnam, and from the relatives of passengers. Malaysian officials have created confusion by issuing contradictory statements on key aspects of the investigation.
The majority of the people on board the plane were Chinese, and Beijing has increasingly voiced its displeasure with the search, especially after Malaysia announced over the weekend that evidence suggested the plane had been deliberately flown west into the Indian Ocean, away from its last confirmed location over the South China Sea.
The new information means the intensive search in the South China Sea for the whole past week was worthless and would never bear fruit, said a commentary published by Chinas state-run news agency Xinhua. Even worse, the golden time for saving possible survivors, if any, was generously wasted.
It is widely asked why the Malaysian government failed to provide such crucial information as early as possible to avoid futile search by around a dozen countries, the commentary said.
Chinas Foreign Ministry urged Malaysia to keep providing more thorough and correct information.
Malaysian officials have defended their handling of the crisis, stressing that the situation is unprecedented.
This is not a normal investigation, Hishammuddin Hussein, the countrys defense and transport minister, said last week.
The shock of scrutiny
But some analysts say the missteps are symptomatic of a governing elite thats grown increasingly aloof.
Although theoretically a democracy with regular, contested elections, Malaysia has been ruled since independence by the same governing coalition that has become known for its lack of transparency and disinterest—even outright hostility—toward the press and inquiring citizens, Joshua Kurlantzick, senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in an article for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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That resistance to scrutiny has come to haunt Malaysian government officials.
Its not surprising. The Malaysian government has been able to live on its own terms for a very, very long time, said Clive Kessler, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney who specializes in Malaysian studies.
The governing Barisan Nasional coalition and its predecessor have been in power for more than five decades. Prime Minister Najib Razak, the son and nephew of former prime ministers, has been in office since 2009.
Najib maintained a conspicuously low profile during the first week of the planes disappearance. He appeared before the news media over the weekend to announce that the government believed the plane had flown off course as the result of deliberate actions. But he refused to take questions from journalists.
Decades of dominance
Malaysia is an Islamic state with a Muslim majority. But its also a multiethnic country with a wealth of varying opinions, experts say, including from within different ethnic and religious groups.
Ethnic Malays enjoy government preferences for positions due to their status as sons of the soil, or Bumiputera, a term that comes from the Sanskrit word bhumiputra — bhumi can mean land or earth, and putra means son.
They have historically enjoyed political dominance, said Donald K. Emmerson, the director of the Southeast Asia Forum at Stanford University.
But the governing coalitions grip on power isnt as strong as it used to be. In elections last year, it failed to secure more than half of the popular vote, its worst ever performance. It kept its majority in parliament in part thanks to voting district boundaries that favored its candidates.
The government is finding itself increasingly fragile, analysts say, and the popularity of social media has undermined the clout of state-run news organizations.
Its starting to open up, said Bower. Social media has opened it up, a growing middle class has opened it up.
Tensions with opposition
Human rights activists say the repeated prosecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges is evidence of the lengths the Malaysian government will go to in order to sideline its opponents.
After being acquitted of the charges in 2012 after a lengthy legal battle, Anwar was found guilty again this month when a court overturned the previous verdict. The decision prevented Anwar from entering the race for important regional elections.
The trial and conviction of Anwar should be seen for what it is: an underhanded move by the ruling party to tarnish and weaken the political opposition without regard to the harm caused to the nations judiciary and democratic process, said Graeme Reid, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch.
The government has repeatedly denied that the case against Anwar is politically motivated.
To shore up support, Najibs government has become increasingly reliant on a populist, religiously conservative approach that caters to ethnic Malays in rural areas, said Kessler, who has studied Malaysian society and culture for about 50 years.
The governments approach has fueled increasing disillusionment among other ethnic groups, notably the Chinese, and urban dwellers, he said.
Against that backdrop, dissatisfaction over the handling of the search for the missing plane could be a moment of truth for the government, according to Kessler.
It may well be that Malaysia will not be the same after this because it has only served to exacerbate all the tensions in Malaysian society between the government and many of the people it rules over, he said.
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CNNs Ashley Fantz contributed to this report.

This war between the Protestants and Catholics of Europe was inevitable

The 30 years war 1618- 1648
This war between the Protestants and Catholics of Europe was inevitable and was triggered finally in the small eastern European country of Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) where the powerful noblemen wanted a Protestant King. Ferdinand 2nd of Spain as both King of the most powerful country in Europe at the time and Holy Roman Emperor sent an army into Bohemia and trounced the army of the Protestant nobles. Initially there was no response from the Protestants of Northern Europe but then fearful that the powerful Spanish armies might succeed in turning the whole of Europe back to Catholicism the Protestants reacted and the conflict was to last 30 years.

The Danes, Swedes and Dutch were the main supporters of Protestantism. The English sent an army but it never entered battle as they died from the plague en-route. The result was finally settled when to the surprise of all Catholics the French, “The Darling of the Catholic Church” joined in on the side of the Protestants. Their motive was not religious but military as they saw and took the opportunity to beat the all powerful Spanish (who were then ruled by the Habsburgs) and become the most powerful country in Europe. From this moment on, the French who had been lead into the war against the Spanish Catholics by none other than their own powerful Catholic Cardinal Richelieu, were thence forth no longer subservient to Rome and all the hideous things that went with the Catholic Inquisition office but were totally and uniquely loyal to their own “Sun King”, Louis 14th.

The Printing Press and censorship by the Catholic Church.
Together with the Reformation printing provided huge problems for the Vatican who had up to this time ruled by keeping their flock ignorant of anything which indicated there might be an alternative theology. Both printing and the Reformation date from the 15th Century and were accompanied by a huge increase in literacy across Europe. The Catholic Church responded by creating a department of the Inquisition Office now called the Holy Office to produce a list of books and other reading material which was forbidden to Catholics. This state of affairs lasted certainly until 50 years ago when for example, for students in Chicago University were unable to obtain so called forbidden books from the University Library.

200 years ago

The French Revolution
For 150 years after the end of the 30 years war, France was ruled jointly by the Royal Family and the Catholic Church in France. Indeed France was split into three groups or “Estates”. The first being the Royal Family and the Nobility, the second the Catholic Church and the third was everybody else. The only group that paid taxes were everybody else. The ruling Estates were not good at managing the economy and the harvests were poor and France had the most fertile land in Europe. Finally the common man rebelled, hence the French Revolution. Both Royalty and the Church were attacked.

The demise of the Royal family is well known. (King Louis 16th and Queen Marie Antoinette put to death by guillotine in what is now called Place de la Concorde). The attack by the people on their Catholic Church is not. At the end of the Revolution 1793/4 17,000 priests and 35,000 nuns had been murdered and all Church Land and wealth had been snatched by the people. Napoleon who rose from the ashes of the Revolution went on to Rome and continued this attack on the Church by imprisoning the Pope, took the Vatican archives back to Paris and dismantled the Holy Roman Empire. Further he finally removed the Catholic Knights of St John of Jerusalem from their fortress in Malta.

The Freemasons
Prior to the creation of additional European faiths following the Reformation (c.1500) the Catholic Church had always been available as a convenient forum to settle disputes between rival Kings. Afterwards it was unlikely that a Protestant King would travel to Rome to seek an adjudication. By about 1750 an alternative international forum had developed and that was the Freemason Lodges. The movement stated in England probably 500 years earlier where stone masons, that is the skilled craftsmen who combined the skills of sculptors, architects and building management and were therefore important to the Kings and Church alike, developed a non religious forum for exchanging information on new building methods. Because of the relationship between the builders of Castles and Churches and their clients, the Monarchs and the Bishops, membership eventually embraced all three. Discussion was strictly secular and remained secret.

The first Lodge outside the British Isles was founded by Englishman Charles Radclyffe, Earl of Derwentwater, in Paris in 1726. Lodges then rapidly spread across Europe and into North America. Viz: Prague 1726 followed by Vienna both Habsburg centres, then Italy 1733. The last to be established in Europe being in the one of the most active centres for the Inquisition, Spain and Portugal. Famous members were: Fredrick the Great of Prussia, The husband of Maria Theresa von Habsburg, (Francois of Lorraine) so the lodges were rapidly spread through Habsburg territories which held of course the seat of the Catholic Holy Roman Empire. (In the US both Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were Freemasons as were Voltaire in France and in England the King Georges, Swift Boswell and Hogarth) No wonder the Church in Rome began to see the threat from the Masons. The difference between the two was huge. Whereas the Catholics resisted change, embraced censorship and generally looked backwards, the Freemasons now had all the important people in Europe within their orbit, were not religious and were all embracing, that is they had members from all churches and generally looked ahead for the benefit of trade, science and technology.

The Catholic Church reacted as only they knew how.
On 28th April 1738 Pope Clement 3rd declared all Freemasons heretics and irrespective of their position they should be captured, tortured until they confessed and then killed. Murders occurred across Europe from Germany to Spain and Portugal where in the latter two countries the Inquisition Office was still intact. Notwithstanding this the Lodges expanded and began to recruit more and more from the Catholic Church including their clergy. Catholic actions against the Masons only stopped with the general cleansing of Church activities by Napoleon.

The Catholic Church continues to censor Scientific and Archaeological discoveries.
After the Reformation and the invention of the printing press the Catholic Church became active in the suppression of new thinking in Science, Human rights, and History. Here are two well known examples one from 500 years ago and one from today.

Astronomy – The Bible as interpreted by the ancient theologians implies that the earth is the centre of the Universe, all of which revolves around the Earth. Italian inventor of powerful reflecting telescopes diligently used his new toy to accurately plot the movement of the sun and the stars and soon proved that there was no doubt that the opposite was the case, the Earth was orbiting the Sun. Now everybody knows his name as Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). The maths to go with the observations was relatively trivial but the Church chose to suppress this discovery and to only finally apologise in 1992, over 300 years after his death. Poor Galileo was arrested by the Inquisition office and spent the last few years of his famous life in a Vatican prison.
Dead Sea Scrolls – One of the best recent examples of how the Catholic Church deals with new discoveries has to be their treatment of the Dead Sea Scrolls which were found in a cave overlooking the Dead Sea in 1947. Up to this time the theology surrounding Jesus was developed from writings dating 70 years after his death. Mere mortals in the form of Catholic Theologians have been developing dogma based on this second hand information ever since. Whereas the discovery of tablets and scrolls which appeared to date from precisely the period surrounding the birth of Christianity were greeted by the world at large as very exciting not so by the Vatican. Fortunately for the Catholics they had a dig in the area and were in a position to hide the scrolls and monopolise the translations. The message from the Holy Office was that they were not important. This was not changed until 1990 when photographs of the scrolls were leaked out and can now be studied in such places as the Huntington Library in California or in such books as the “The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered” published in 1992. (The Dead Sea Scrolls were created by a Jewish hermit sect, called the Qumran, living in caves by the Dead Sea and theologians have been able to confirm the accuracy of most of the translations and information in the Old Testament. Probably more interesting to Jews than Christians and contain nothing for the Catholic Church to be frightened of.)

The Future
In October 1962 the most liberal Pope for hundreds of years John 23rd inaugurated the Second Vatican Council to study how the Catholic Church was to deal with the new scientific world we now live in. The changes have not been sufficient to stop a huge and continuing drop in Church membership, many worried about Church rules on: Male only priests who are forbidden to marry and Contraception even though the Church accepts the population of the world is growing too fast. In Ireland where the Church still dominates, the drop in Church membership is most noticeable. Perhaps the only solution for Catholics is to do as the Romans do, or in this case the whole of Italy who take no notice at all of any rules particularly emanating from those in high authority like the Church or the E.C. This is manifest by their birth rate which is the lowest in Europe.

As for the Inquisition or Holy Office or to use its current name, The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, it still exists but thank goodness those who criticise it now live to tell the tail. For example in 1997 the Priest and Harvard graduate Dr Paul Collins wrote:
“The Holy Office may have changed its name, but the ideology underpinning it has survived. It has certainly not changed its methods. It still accepts anonymous accusations, hardly ever deals directly with the person accused, demands retractions and imposes silences and continues to employ third rate theologians as its assessors. This body has no place in the contemporary Church. It is irreformable and therefore should be abolished.”

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