Norway’s Public University System Also Open to International Students for Free

norway 350x232 Norways Public University System Also Open to International Students for Free

Norway’s Public University System Also Open International Students for Free (Credit: Wikimedia)

Looking for a free education at a public university? Can you say Norway? The state-subsidized public university system is open to all Norwegians and is also free for non-Norwegians as well.

The fact is, out-of-state tuition at a public university in the U.S. per year is quite steep, over $21,000, not including room and board. So, it seems that Norway would be a better decision from an economic standpoint.

Well, there are some catches. Students must pay a fee in order to take exams and get an official card, which costs about $180. Prospective students must also prove they can afford to live there, approximately $16,000. That’s whether is through savings, work, grants or scholarships they may have received. Some international students may be able to get financial aid from the Norwegian government.

 Norways Public University System Also Open to International Students for Free

Russia Concerned About Ethnic Russians in Estonia, Another Invasion Coming?

estonia 300x233 Russia Concerned About Ethnic Russians in Estonia, Another Invasion Coming?

Russia Concerned About Ethnic Russians in Estonia, Another Invasion Coming?

Russian president Vladimir Putin seems to be on a roll as concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russians in Estonia is making the news. Um, is another invasion coming?

In Putin’s defense, Moscow had cited its concern over the treatment of ethnic Russians living in Estonia, before the invasion and annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine.

Reuters quoted a Russian diplomat who expressed concerns about the rights of Russian speakers to freely speak that language in Estonia. That was the justification Russia used to invade the Ukraine. 

The diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, “Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups” and  added that they were “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine.”

This comes as Germany and the United Kingdom agree that the European Union should impose ‘further consequences’ on Russia over Ukraine – @Reuters.

Report: Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

vladimir putin 300x208 Report:  Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Report: Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is preparing to ban certain U.S. senators from visiting his country as sanctions have been imposed by the U.S. and the European Union. Not to be sarcastic, but I certainly think we can all get by without our lawmakers going to Russia.

Putin is expected to release his retaliation list as early as Tuesday and while the final list is still being crafted, it will include top Obama administration officials and high profile U.S. senators, in an effort to roughly mirror the U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and lawmakers, according to diplomatic sources. At the top of the list in Congress is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who recently co-authored a resolution criticizing Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Durbin’s inclusion on Putin’s list would mirror Obama’s naming of Valentina Matvienko, the head of the upper chamber of the Russian Duma. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not expected to be on the Russian sanctions list. Source: Daily Beast

Sen. John McCain says he would be honored to be one of the senators banned from Russia, which he characterized as a gas station. McCain said, “You think I’m not going to be on it?”“I would be honored to be on that list.”

The following are banned by the U.S.:

Kremlin aides

Vladislav Surkov – An aide to President Vladimir Putin, he was once considered one of Russia’s most powerful men. He has been called the Kremlin’s “gray cardinal” for his role as a power broker behind the scenes. He’s also credited the architect of Russia’s political system, with power concentrated in the presidency. In the past he was credited with shaping the ideology of the ruling United Russia party. He has also written rock music lyrics and is rumored to have authored a book.

Sergei Glazyev – An economic aide to Putin who oversaw relations with Ukraine. He frequently blasted the protest movement in Kiev and was outspoken in his criticism of American and European support for the protests.

Top government official

Dmitry Rogozin – An outspoken, hawkish Deputy Prime Minister, he’s known to have a close friendship with Hollywood actor Steven Seagal. As a member of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s government, Rogozin is responsible for the armed forces and arms industry.

 Russian lawmakers

Elena Mizulina – A senior lawmaker, she is considered one of the Kremlin’s morality enforcers in the parliament. She is perhaps best known as the co-author of last year’s homosexual “propaganda” law which sparked outrage overseas. She also proposed a measure to give Ukrainians Russian passports.

Leonid Slutsky – A lawmaker in the lower house of Parliament. He is the chair of the Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots. He was one of the Russian observers attending Sunday’s referendum in Crimea.

Andrei Klishas – A member of the upper house of Parliament, the Federation Council, who proposed retaliatory action in case of Western sanctions on Russia. He is chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society. 

Valentina Matviyenko – The head of the Federation Council, she is the most senior lawmaker on the sanctions list.

Crimean officials

Sergey Aksyonov – Once an obscure pro-Russian politician in Crimea, he has now been declared the prime minister.

Vladimir Konstantinov – The newly declared speaker of Crimea’s parliament.

Ukrainian officials

Viktor Medvedchuk – A pro-Russian politician, he is being sanctioned for having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support” to impeached President Viktor Yanukovich. Ukraine’s opposition has accused him of orchestrating or aiding a crackdown on protesters and opposition.

Viktor Yanukovich – The ousted president of Ukraine. He was elected in 2010 but was chased from office by protests last month. Source: ABC News

 Report:  Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Crimea Crisis: EU Agrees to Impose Sanctions Against 21 Officials from Russia, Ukraine

crimea ukraine4 300x233 Crimea Crisis: EU Agrees to Impose Sanctions Against 21 Officials from Russia, Ukraine

Crimea Crisis: EU Agrees to Impose Sanctions Against 21 Officials from Russia, Ukraine

#Crimea Crisis:  European Union foreign ministers agree to impose sanctions, such as travel bans and asset freezes, against 21 officials from Ukraine and Russia, Lithuanian FM says – @Reuters. This comes as Crimea creates central bank and awaits Russia’s payoff.

Ukraine Crisis: Britain Slams Crimea Secession Vote as a Mockery of Democracy

 Ukraine Crisis:  Britain Slams Crimea Secession Vote as a Mockery of DemocracyBritain condemns Crimea vote as a ‘mockery’ (via AFP)

CRIMEA SECESSION:  Britain on Sunday slammed a vote in Crimea on breaking away from Ukraine as a “mockery” of democracy and refused to recognise the referendum’s outcome. Speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Monday, Foreign Secretary…

[Read more...]

Sens. John McCain, Dick Durbin Urge the White House to Arm Ukrainian Military

sens. dick durbin and john mccain 300x167 Sens. John McCain, Dick Durbin Urge the White House to Arm Ukrainian Military

Sens. John McCain, Dick Durbin Urge the White House to Arm Ukrainian Military

Sen. John McCain is itching for another war…He and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) are urging the White House to arm the Ukrainian military.

“They only have a few thousand combat troops and would be overwhelmed by the Russians if it came to that. One of their urgent requests is to have us supply them with weapons,” McCain said, according to the Kyiv Post. “I will be urging our administration to arrange that transfer as quickly as possible.”

Durbin agreed, saying the nation’s small army had been “hollowed out” by the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych.

“Time and again, they asked us for military help. They need it. I think they should have it. They have to have the wherewithal to defend themselves,” he said.

German Chancellor Merkel Says EU Will Move to Visa Bans If Russia Doesn’t Back Down

crimea ukraine1 300x233 German Chancellor Merkel Says EU Will Move to Visa Bans If Russia Doesnt Back Down

German Chancellor Merkel Says EU Will Move to Visa Bans If Russia Doesn’t Back Down

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union will move to visa bans, asset freezes if Russia does not move on political dialogue on Ukraine – @Reuters.

Chancellor Merkel also said she believes the decision for referendum in Crimea, Ukraine, is illegal – @Reuters

Merkel’s comments come as British Prime Minister David Cameron blasted Russia, saying it has acted in flagrant breach of international law in Ukraine.

The Polish defense minister has confirmed 12 US F-16 jets, 300 US servicemen will arrive in Poland next week for training exercise.
Separately,  Interpol has received request to issue red notice for arrest of Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich.  The arrest request made by Ukrainian authorities against Yanukovich on charges including abuse of power, murder.

Roman Abramovich’s Girlfriend Apologizes for Posing on A Black Woman Chair

black womans chair 227x300 Roman Abramovichs Girlfriend Apologizes for Posing on A Black Woman Chair

Roman Abramovich’s Girlfriend Apologizes for Posing on ‘Black Woman Chair’

BLACK WOMAN CHAIR: Roman Abramovich’s longtime girlfriend Dasha Zhukova apologized for a photograph showing her sitting on a chair designed to look like a half-naked black woman.

The photo, which accompanied an interview with Zhukova by the fashion website Buro247.ru, emerged online Monday as the U.S. was celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which remembers the impact of the African-American civil rights leader. The image has since been cropped to show just Zhukova and the chair’s “feet” after the picture caused outrage among Internet users who said it was racist.

In a statement sent to The Moscow Times, Zhukova said, “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologize to anyone who has been offended by this image.”

The statement also said that use of the chair in the Buro 24/7 photo shoot was “regrettable,” particularly given its publication on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The picture in question shows a scantily-clad black woman wearing bondage, folded into a chair with her legs in the air and Zhukova sitting on her bottom. A “white” version of the chair, created by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, is also available, though was not used in the shoot. Melgaard reportedly intended the chairs as a response to a similar piece by Allen Jones in 1969.

Marcia Simpson-James, head of the Carbon Philter Institute, a black human rights NGO based in London, accused Zhukova of promoting slavery.

“Those of us who have seen the image … think that the Russian police should find the fake artist who has caused international offense and arrest him or her and put them in jail for the international crime they are promoting,” Simpson-James said on an open letter to Zhukova and Abramovich, who live in London. Source: Moscow Times

I am tired of all the apologies after questionable behavior that can be considered racially insensitive. I have to wonder, when they were posing for the picture or even when the idea was hatched, did it ever cross the minds of the people involved that it would be a really bad idea?

Vladimir Putin Says Russia Needs to ‘Cleanse’ Itself of Homosexuality

vladimir putin Vladimir Putin Says Russia Needs to Cleanse Itself of Homosexuality

Vladimir Putin Says Russia Needs to ‘Cleanse’ Itself of Homosexuality (Credit: Donkey Hotey)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is vomiting all over gay rights again. He offered new assurances to gay athletes and fans attending the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in February, though he managed to insult the LGBT community in the process. While defending Russia’s anti-gay laws by equating gays with pedophiles during a TV interview, Putin said his country needs to “cleanse” itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate.

Putin’s comments in a TV interview broadcast Sunday still show the wide gulf between the perception of homosexuality in Russia versus the West. A Russian law passed last year banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors has caused an international outcry.

Putin refused to answer a question on whether he believes that people are born gay or become gay. The Russian law, however, suggests that information about homosexuality can influence a child’s sexual orientation.

On Friday, Putin insisted Russia is not “going after” gays, according to Reuters.

“There is no ban on non-traditional forms of sexual interaction between people. We have a ban on propaganda of homosexuality,” Putin told a meeting with young volunteers preparing for the games. “We ban nothing, we aren’t going after anyone, we have no responsibility for such contacts.”

Putin said some U.S. states had laws envisaging criminal responsibility for gay sexual intercourse.

“We have no such thing, people can feel free and at ease but please leave the children in peace,” he said. Source: CBS News

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden picked a heckuva place to call home. Human rights is nothing the Russian government takes serious.

France’s Top Black Lawmaker Christiane Taubira Compared to Monkey by Far-Right Magazine

christiane taubira 1 199x300 Frances Top Black Lawmaker Christiane Taubira Compared to Monkey by Far Right Magazine

France’s Top Black Lawmaker Christiane Taubira Compared to Monkey by Far-Right Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy’s first black cabinet minister, Cecile Kyenge, isn’t the only black European politician being subjected to racial taunts. France’s justice minister Christiane Taubira was compared to a monkey on the cover of far-right weekly magazine Minute with the headline, “Crafty as a monkey, Taubira gets her banana back.”

Taubira is a hate figure for some on the right in French politics as she was the minister reponsible for the legalisation of gay marriage earlier this year.

[...]

At the end of last month, a group of children attending an anti-Taubira/anti-gay marriage demonstration were filmed chanting “monkey, eat your banana”.

That came shortly after an electoral candidate of the far right National Front (FN) was expelled from her party for writing on her Facebook page that she would prefer to see the minister “swinging from the branches rather than in government”.

The treatment of Taubira has sparked much soul-searching among liberal commentators over whether racism has become widely acceptable in parts of French society. Source: Raw Story

This comes as black TV personality Harry Roselmack spoke out against the alarming resurgence of racism in France. It’s a sad commentary that diversity is suddenly a dirty word to people on the right, no matter which country.