These stunning photos reveal relationships and sides of famous people you've never seen before and capture the essence of eras that have come and gone. I'm sure more than a few of these will surprise you...and some might even make you laugh.
31 Jul 2015
The slumbering Dawabsheh family never stood a chance when a pair of arsonists crept into their home in a village in the West Bank in the early hours of Friday. A smashed window, a flaming molotov cocktail, a whoosh of fire and piercing screams followed. Within minutes, the parents had crawled from the house with life-threatening third degree burns covering most of their bodies. Inside, four-year-old Ahmad was shrieking in fear and pain; his infant brother, Ali, just 18 months old, was dead or dying, his body burned beyond recognition.
Within hours, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, condemned the attack – quickly attributed to extremist Israeli settlers – as an “act of terrorism”, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, denounced it as a “war crime”, and the European Union and United Nations had demanded swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice. Thousands of Palestinians attended Ali’s funeral and other protests in the West Bank, their anger fuelled by a litany of settler violence and intimidation. The family’s home in Duma, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, was left blackened with soot and coated in ash, although graffiti left by the arsonists was still visible: “revenge”, “price tag” and “long live the Messiah” were scrawled in Hebrew letters.
Refugees from war-torn Syria claim racism in Germany has become so extreme they want to go home as a growing anti-Muslim movement sees soaring attacks on foreigners. The nation has been gripped by a spate of anti-foreigners rallies, violence and arson attacks against refugee homes or would-be shelters as hundreds of thousands seek refuge in the country. This year has already seen about 200 arson and other attacks against refugee housing while support for anti-Muslim movement, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), has been growing. The growing tensions between citizens and refugees mean some asylum seekers are so scared of attacks they are considering going home.
Germany is currently struggling to cope with a record influx of refugees with 500,000 expected this year, fleeing war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, African nations and recession-stricken Balkan countries. The country has a generous asylum system originally meant to help atone for its Nazi past which has opened the gates to Europe's biggest influx of refugees - sparking ugly reactions that recall Germany's darkest days. At the end of last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to call on Germans to turn their backs on the growing anti-Muslim movement which she condemned as racist and full of hatred, and said Europe's biggest economy must welcome people fleeing conflict and war.
30 Jul 2015
Can someone – anyone – please explain why America is near-universally outraged over the death of Cecil the Lion, the 13-year-old protected African lion who was recently illegally poached, but not over the death of Sandra Bland, Sam Dubose and so many other recent victims of police brutality, injustice and murder? Cecil the Lion was shot and killed by wealthy Midwestern dentist Walter Palmer last week. Personally, I’m not happy about this. But then again, I’ve rightly been accused of being a “tree hugger” (to say the least).
When Cecil the Lion was killed, a number of news and alternative media sites ran pieces on the poaching. Each article easily got thousands of shares throughout social media. But Sandra Bland, by comparison, has received far less universal support. While there is outrage, for many it is quite conditional. While many say the police should have done things differently, Sandra Bland is also the recipient of their criticism.
But Cecil the Lion? Nearly everyone defends his right not to be shot. Even people who might not care one bit about what happened to him if he were a different species. Perhaps it’s because he is so rare and Americans want to hold on to him as something of an exhibit. His life is valuable not because it holds intrinsic value; not because it is valuable to him as a sentient being; not because it is anything other than a commodity of human intrigue. It is valuable because the dominant class in human society has decided it has value.
28 Jul 2015
These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound. As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful. The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.Of course, these designs do nothing to fight the cause or problem of homelessness. They're just a way of saying to homeless people, "Go somewhere else. We don't want to look at you," basically.
One particular set of spikes was outside a former night club in London. And a local group got sick of staring at them. Leah Borromeo is part of the art collective "Space, Not Spikes" — a group that's fed up with what she describes as "hostile architecture.Spikes do nothing more than shoo the realities of poverty and inequality away from your backyard — so you don't have to see it or confront what you can do to make things more equal," Borromeo told Upworthy. "And that is really selfish. Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."
27 Jul 2015
Hundreds of athletes arriving for the Special Olympics received a rather uncomfortable welcome to Los Angeles. Around 1,500 Special Olympics delegates spent last night sleeping on a gym floor at Loyola Marymount University, after delayed flights and buses left them stranded. The athletes had traveled from Norway, Mexico, Venezuela, Kenya and the Cayman Islands. Esmeralda Brockhurst, a delegation liaison for Portugal, tells ABC7, "They were sleeping on the floor, they were sleeping on cardboard boxes, things like that."
The Red Cross was called in late last night and provided the athletes with 1,200 blankets, 3,000 bottles of water and snacks. Before that, the became situation a bit chaotic, as one member of the British delegation told KNX 1070, “It’s a bit like carnage in there, nobody really knows what’s going on,” he said. “Fighting over food, it’s a terrible situation.”
26 Jul 2015
North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal, between Myanmar and Indonesia, is home to an isolated tribe that has never been colonized or even made contact with. These people are one of the last Stone Age tribes on Earth whose culture has been completely untouched by modern civilization. Despite the fact that the island formally belongs to India, no one dares to visit it and approach the Sentinelese tribe. The reason is their extreme violence and hostility – anyone who has ever tried to come ashore the island was attacked or even killed.
The Sentinelese are believed to have lived on the island for 60,000 years! After this unthinkable period of time in isolation, it’s no surprise that they are so hostile to outsiders, which may be due to past conflicts with the outside world. In order to protect the Tribe and prevent unnecessary violence, the Indian government has also made it illegal to approach it closer than three miles. Due to the inability to study the tribe and the island, we don’t know much about them.
It is estimated that the tribe counts between 50 and 400 members and lives exclusively by hunting and gathering. Though it is difficult to observe the island from the air because of the dense tree cover, it is established that the Sentinelese are not familiar with agriculture. Their drive to protect their culture from the outside world is probably the reason they have survived in isolation for so many years. Who knows how long they will manage to live in the middle of the ocean without having the slightest interest in the “civilized” rest of the world. And perhaps being without contact with us is a good thing.
25 Jul 2015
The powerful and hard-hitting documentary, American Holocaust, is quite possibly the only film that reveals the link between the Nazi holocaust, which claimed at least 6 million Jews, and the American Holocaust which claimed, according to conservative estimates, 19 million Indigenous People.
24 Jul 2015
Jack Parow - A Journey through the last 4 years of my dangerous life. From Russia to Holland, England to Elsierevier, It is all here. Backstage danger, Onstage Shenanigans, Areoplanes to speedboats, drunk to drunker and all my mad fans and friends mixed in with a live show that exists out of Oppikoppi, Hatfield Square and The Assembly, interviews in my bathroom robe and all my music videos with English subtitles "vir die Souties". So Enjoy it and chex if you can spot yourself at one of the shows. HOS JA!!
23 Jul 2015
22 Jul 2015
In the wake of events in Ukraine, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation — and attempted to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe. In September, the alliance agreed to create a 5,000-strong rapid reaction Spearhead Force, which will be capable of deploying across the continent within 48-hours of a military incursion. In June, VICE News joined several thousand NATO troops in western Poland, for the first deployment test of the "Very High Readiness Joint Task Force."
According to the premise of the exercise, Poland and the Baltics were under threat from the fictional state of “Bothnia” — a master of conventional and hybrid warfare. NATO forces had been ordered to deploy, and quickly, to Poland.
While in Poland, we filmed with non-governmental paramilitary groups, which are training young Polish people to defend their towns and cities in the event of a foreign-backed assault. Participation in paramilitaries has reportedly increased since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula. We also traveled north, to visit the border that Poland shares with the heavily armed Russian territory of Kaliningrad. This spring, Poland built six high-tech watchtowers along the 125-mile border.
At the end of our trip, VICE News sat down with NATO’s top diplomat, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He told us that NATO was undertaking “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”
Watch "The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania's Operation Lightning Strike"
21 Jul 2015
Retired Four-Star General Wesley Clark thinks “disloyal Americans” need to be sent away to special camps to “segregate them from society.” He’s referring to people like the Chattanooga shooter, who just shot and killed four Marines and One Navy sailor. What makes his comments so appalling, though, is there’s simply no evidence that the shooter, who happens to be Muslim, did this because of his religion or that he was even “radicalized.”
In fact, Mohammod Abdulazeez showed no outward signs of radicalization at all and even struggled with being a devout Muslim. The FBI has devoted a significant amount of resources to the case, but so far they have produced very little to warrant General Clark’s claims. All they can seem to find out about Mohammod is that he was suffering many of the same problems a lot of Americans face on a continual basis, i.e., debt problems, and drug and alcohol abuse.
20 Jul 2015
1972 Horizon documentary on the controversial theories of Immanuel Velikovsky
Immanuel Velikovsky was a controversial author, his views on astronomical and historical events have been widely rejected by the academic community, despite some of his ideas to be later proven true.
His books use comparative mythology and ancient literary sources to argue that Earth suffered
Challenging Truths 1964
Last Friday, an African-American woman was returning home from a job interview in Waller County, Texas, when she was stopped by police. Apparently, she had improperly signaled a lane change. Two days later, the woman, Sandy Bland, was found dead in a jail cell. A video taken by a bystander during the arrest shows Bland shouting that the officer had slammed her head into the ground. According to police, Sandra Bland was taken into custody and charged with "assault of a public servant." On Monday, police say Bland was "found in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation." The announcement was made by Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith. Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Smith was fired from his previous post as chief of police of Hempstead, Texas, amidst accusations of racism. Bland’s friends and family contest Smith’s account, saying the thought of her committing suicide by hanging is "unfathomable." Social media is now ablaze with people demanding answers about Sandra Bland’s death. The hashtag #SandraBland is now trending on Twitter, edging out the Emmys as a topic of discussion. We speak to Maya Schenwar, editor-in-chief of Truthout and author of "Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better."
19 Jul 2015
15 Jul 2015
“Near the metro station sits a woman of uncertain age. Women’s hair is confused and dirty, her head bowed in grief. The woman sits on the dirty floor and next to her lies a bag. In that bag people throw money. On the hands of a woman, asleep, is a two year old baby. He’s in a dirty hat and dirty clothes. “Madonna with baby” – numerous passers-by will donate money. The people of our kind- we always feel sorry for less fortunate. We are ready to give unfortunate people the last shirt, the last penny out of your pocket and never think another issue. Helping, seems like. “Good job done”…
Next day I called a friend. It was a funny man with eyes like olives Romanian nationality. He only managed to complete three and a half years of education. The complete lack of education does not prevent him from moving around the City streets on very expensive foreign cars and live in a “small” house with countless number of windows and balconies. From my friend I managed to find out that this business, despite the apparent spontaneity, clearly organized. Its supervised by begging organized crime rings. The children used are in “rent” from families of alcoholics, or simply stolen.
I needed to get the answer to the question – why is the baby sleeping? And I received it. My friend Gypsy said the phrase, completely ordinary with calm voice that twisted me in shock, just like he was talking about weather report: -They are on heroin, or vodka … I was dumbfounded. “Who is on heroin? Whom – under vodka?! ” He answered -The Child, so he doesn’t scream. The women will be sitting whole day with him, imagine how he might get bored?
In order to make the baby slept the whole day, it pumped up with vodka or drugs. Of course, children’s bodies are not able to cope with such a shock. And children often die. The most terrible thing – sometimes children die during the “working day”. And imaginary mother must hold another dead child on her hands until the evening. These are the rules. And the by passers-by will throw some money in the bag, and believe that they are moral. Helping “mother alone” …