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Arilena Ara

Arilena Ara was born on 17 July 1998 into an Albanian family in the city of Shkodër, Albania. She performed in diverse dancing and singing competitions as a child such as in “Gjeniu i Vogël” where she finished in the third place. She auditioned for the second series of X Factor Albania in 2012 singing “We Are” for judges Tuna, Pandi Laço, Soni Malaj and Alban Skënderaj.

She received a wild card and was placed in the Girls category with Tuna as her mentor. She defeated Aldo Bardhi to win the competition on 31 March 2012 performing the songs “No More Drama”, “Man Down” and S&M as a duet with her mentor.
In February 2014, she released her first single “Aeroplan” written by Rozana Radi and produced by Darko Dimitrov.

In November 2016, Arilena was announced to participate in the 18th edition of Kënga Magjike with the song titled “Nëntori”. She qualified for the grand final in the contest and finished third overall winning the award for the Best Ballad.

In July 2017, she performed in the Europa Plus Festival in Russia along other Albanian singers such as Bebe Rexha and Era Istrefi. In August 2017, the song achieved commercial success in Romania and debuted on the Romanian Radio and TV Airplay Charts at number one climbing to the same position at number one on 24 September 2017.

In December 2018, it was announced that she would judge alongside Aleksandër & Renis Gjoka and Miriam Cani on the third series of The Voice Kids Albania.

Information taken from Wikipedia

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Justice, News, Politics

Trump fires Gordon Sondland as EU ambassador

Trump fires key impeachment witness Gordon Sondland as EU ambassador

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland speaks with President Trump at Melsbroek Air Base in July 2018 in Brussels. Sondland is speaking to House committees on Thursday.
But the President Trump said he does not know the ambassador, so the photo may be fake 🙂

Gordon Sondland, the US’s ambassador to the EU, became the second impeachment witness to be fired on Friday. Sondland was ousted not long after Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, another crucial witness to President Donald Trump’s Ukraine dealings, was abruptly fired and escorted from the White House.

Trump fires key impeachment witness Gordon Sondland as EU ambassador

Gordon Sondland, the US’s ambassador to the EU, became the second impeachment witness to be fired on Friday. Sondland was ousted not long after Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, another crucial witness to President Donald Trump’s Ukraine dealings, was abruptly fired and escorted from the White House.

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Justice, Lifestyle, News

Our democracy is at risk’: Watch Rep. Al Green call for Trump’s impeachment on 2017

Reminder: On May 17, Representative Green made a call for impeachment on the house floor and House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced that he was issuing subpoenas on the memo FBI director James Comey wrote detailing possible obstruction of justice by the president.

Since coming out in favor of impeachment, Green told BuzzFeed News that he has faced threats and has had to hire armed security. “For some of us this is about more than votes and Congress,” he said over the phone Tuesday. “For some of us, this is about physical harm that may befall us. You can’t go into my district office unless you see a person with a gun,” he added (referring to security guards).

Green has repeatedly pushed for the inclusion of an impeachment article that addresses Trump’s history of racism, telling BuzzFeed News in September, that he hoped there would be “be at least one article of impeachment concerning the president’s bigotry infused into policy that is harming our society.”

The First Democrat To Call For Impeachment Says If The Senate Won’t Remove Trump From Office, Democrats Can Try Again

WASHINGTON – In May of 2017, Texas Rep. Al Green became the first Democrat in Congress to support impeaching President Donald Trump. Trump had, at the time, been in office for just four months. Since then, he’s forced a House vote on impeachment three times, each one garnering more support than the last.

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Justice, Lifestyle, News

9 killed by gunman in Germany

Associated Press: The gunman, a 43-year-old German man, first attacked a hookah bar in central Hanau at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, killing nine people at several locations in a Frankfurt suburb overnight in attacks that appear to have been motivated by far-right beliefs, officials said Thursday.

Witnesses and surveillance videos of the suspect’s getaway car led authorities quickly to his home, near the scene of the second attack, where he was found dead near his 72-year-old mother, said Peter Beuth, the interior minister for the state of Hesse.

A website believed to be the suspect’s is being evaluated, Beuth said.
“Initial analysis of the webpage of the suspect indicate a xenophobic motivation,” he said.

He said federal prosecutors have taken over the investigation of the crime and are treating it as an act of domestic terrorism. “This is an attack on our free and peaceful society,” he said.
Some of the victims are believed to be Turkish, and Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the consulate in Frankfurt and the embassy in Berlin were trying to obtain information on the attack.

“According to the initial information, it was an attack with a racist motive, but we would need to wait for the (official) statement,” he told state television TRT.

German news agency dpa reported that police are examining a video the suspect may have posted online several days earlier in which he details a conspiracy theory about child abuse in the United States. The authenticity of the video couldn’t immediately be verified.

9 killed in suspected far-right attack in Germany

HANAU, Germany (AP) – A man suspected of fatally shooting several people in the German city of Hanau was found dead at his home early Thursday, hours after the attacks in and outside two hookah lounges, police said. Officers also found another body at the same address, according to a police tweet.

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Lifestyle, News

China: 2,641 new coronavirus cases and the death toll rose to 1,523

Reuters – More than 2,600 new cases were confirmed from a coronavirus outbreak in mainland China, health officials said on Saturday, a day after people returning to the capital from holidays were ordered to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

The total of confirmed infections across mainland China was now 66,492 after 2,641 new cases were confirmed, as of Friday, the National Health Commission said.

The death toll rose by 143 to 1,523, it said, with most of the new deaths in central Hubei province and in particular the provincial capital of Wuhan, the city of 11 million people where the outbreak began in December.

Outside mainland China, there have been nearly 450 cases in some 24 countries and territories, and three deaths.

Egypt confirmed its first coronavirus case on Friday, saying the affected person was a foreigner who had been put into isolation in hospital.

Three people have died outside mainland China – one in Japan, one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

The virus is killing about 2% of those infected, but has spread faster than other respiratory viruses that emerged this century.

China sees 2,641 new coronavirus cases, 143 deaths, as it struggles to slow spread

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Feb 15 (Reuters) – More than 2,600 new cases were confirmed from a coronavirus outbreak in mainland China, health officials said on Saturday, a day after people returning to the capital from holidays were ordered to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

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News, Politics

China is cooperating on coronavirus, WHO expert says

A World Health Organization official said Friday that the group had no evidence to support a claim by a White House economic adviser of lack of transparency by China over the coronavirus outbreak and called on countries to “avoid politicizing this issue right now.”

Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, was responding to comments by Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, who said the U.S. feels let down by China’s response to the virus.

“We are a little disappointed that we haven’t been invited in and we’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese,” Kudlow told reporters Thursday.

Ryan called the remarks “opinion” and noted that he expects U.S. experts to be part of the WHO team in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus. He added that there has long been “deep scientific collaboration” between the U.S., international organizations and China, including extensive publishing by China in international medical journals about the virus.

China is cooperating on coronavirus, WHO expert says, disputing White House official’s claims

A World Health Organization official said Friday that the group had no evidence to support a claim by a White House economic adviser of lack of transparency by China over the coronavirus outbreak and called on countries to “avoid politicizing this issue right now.”

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News, Politics

Boris Johnson postpones White House visit

Boris Johnson postponed a White House visit planned for next week after a furious phone call during which President Trump accused the British prime minister of betraying him over Huawei.

It is the latest sign of a tense relationship between two leaders many thought would forge an easy, populist, transatlantic alliance.

However, two sources told the Washington Examiner that Johnson’s plans for a visit at the end of next week, when the British Parliament is in recess, were shelved after a contentious telephone call last week.

Johnson is expected to visit Washington soon, but no visit has been announced yet. With Brexit finalized, the US and the UK are preparing to start negotiations on a new transatlantic trade deal.Trump has publicly stated that Johnson reflects a “British Trump,” but the two men remain at odds on a number of issues, including Huawei and the Iran nuclear deal.

Boris Johnson postpones White House visit after nasty phone spat with Trump over Huawei

Boris Johnson postponed a White House visit planned for next week after a furious phone call during which President Trump accused the British prime minister of betraying him over Huawei. It is the latest sign of a tense relationship between two leaders many thought would forge an easy, populist, transatlantic alliance.

Justice, Lifestyle, News, Politics

How Mitch McConnell Delivered Acquittal for president Donald Trump

“We can be smart or we can be stupid,” Mr. McConnell warned his rank and file during a closed-door lunch of halibut, fried chicken and pecan pie in the Capitol, steps from the Senate floor where the trial was to convene shortly. “The choice will be up to us.”

Republicans ultimately opted, as they almost invariably do, to stick with Mr. McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and block Democrats’ attempts to allow new evidence to be considered. All but one of them voted on Wednesday to acquit Mr. Trump of both of the charges against him.

The story of how Mr. McConnell held Republicans together — even in the face of stunning revelations about the president’s conduct and uneasiness in his party about Mr. Trump’s actions — reflects how a master Senate tactician deployed his command of procedure and keen political instincts to lock down a process that posed an existential threat to the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the chamber after leading the impeachment acquittal of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In doing so, he may have cemented the president’s hold on his office and provided a defiant campaign message to propel him to re-election, uniting the party around a figure who brooks no dissent and dealing a death blow to Democrats’ hopes of removing him.

“We thought they would finally work themselves up to doing this on something,” Mr. McConnell said. “It has been threatened endlessly. We needed to come up to speed on what actually happens, and that began in earnest last fall.”

So when Mr. McConnell fielded a phone call from Mr. Trump days before Christmas, he was ready. Stung by the House vote to impeach him on two charges, the president reached out to the majority leader from his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Fla., throwing out ideas about how to handle his coming Senate trial.

Mr. McConnell had a reassuring response for the third president ever to face removal by the Senate, urging Mr. Trump to trust him to manage the confrontation.

“What I have consistently said to him is I think I know more about the Senate than you do, which he usually concedes,” Mr. McConnell recalled, saying he told the president to keep public commentary about impeachment to a minimum. “My consistent advice to him with regard to this subject was to avoid it — and for the most part, for the most part, he did.”

Throughout the process, Mr. McConnell consistently refused to say how he viewed the president’s conduct, even as other Republicans eventually said that Mr. Trump’s actions were wrong, inappropriate and even shameful.

“I say things I choose to say,” he said when pressed Thursday.

Mr. McConnell set out to create the framework for a trial that his members could get behind, that could withstand the possibility of compromising new information emerging and that would deliver the White House a quick but credible verdict of “not guilty.” It went far from perfectly for Republicans — among other setbacks, Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, voted “guilty” on the charge of abuse of power, depriving Mr. Trump of the absolute party loyalty he coveted — but Mr. McConnell reached his desired end.

“I’ve been in politics long enough to know you should never say never, but let me say this,” Mr. McConnell told Mr. Hoyer. “I will never allow the House of Representatives to dictate rules to the Senate. Never.”

Behind the scenes, Mr. McConnell was trying to nail down the backing of the handful of Republicans who could complicate his careful planning. Four senators had expressed enough qualms about the president to give them leverage to win concessions from Mr. McConnell: Mr. Romney of Utah, the 2012 presidential nominee; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who had in the past bucked Mr. McConnell and the White House; Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a veteran politician with plans to retire, and Susan Collins of Maine, a centrist facing the re-election challenge of her career.

When Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat running for president, asked whether the chief justice overseeing a trial without witnesses would undermine the courts, Mr. McConnell scrawled a quick note to Ms. Murkowski, who was still undecided on witnesses, to point out the attack.

With his eye on the undecided senators, Mr. Cruz also counseled the White House legal team to avoid arguing that there was no quid pro quo — “a strategic mistake” that might make Mr. Bolton’s testimony seem more relevant to those lawmakers. During questioning, Mr. Cruz helped draft a question, submitted jointly with senators like Ms. Murkowski and Mr. Alexander, that asked Mr. Trump’s legal team whether, if Mr. Bolton testified to the existence of a quid pro quo, it would amount to an impeachable offense.

When Patrick Philbin, a deputy White House counsel, rose to answer, asserting that Mr. Trump had never engaged in a quid pro quo, Mr. Cruz was “a little white-knuckled,” he recalled. But then the answer he was looking for came: Even if there was a quid pro quo, it did not matter.

“I think that answer played a really important part in helping get the votes of both Lamar and Lisa,” Mr. Cruz said later.

By the next day, Ms. Murkowski had come out against witnesses, using as a rationale what she characterized as an attack on Chief Justice Roberts. She followed Mr. Alexander, who said that while Mr. Trump had acted inappropriately, his actions did not merit impeachment. The final vote on witnesses was 51 to 49 and the trial hurtled to its finale, with Mr. Romney’s vote to convict the president as the final twist.

wikipedia – talk about Trump acquittal

Mr. McConnell shrugged off fierce criticism that he had overseen a sham.

“I didn’t rig anything,” he said. “We had a vote. No vote was prevented. No debate was prevented. These guys didn’t have the votes,” he said of Senate Democrats.

But this vote was of course influenced by a dozen reasons : confrontation with re-election of senators, pressure from president Trump, the fears they will lose presidential elections and the wonderful Senate seat.

Conclusion: President Donald Trump had what he wanted – Acquittal – Not guilty!

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News

Turkey: an airplane skidded off a runway as it tried to land at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport

A Turkish airliner skidded off a runway and broke apart as it tried to land in bad weather in Istanbul Wednesday, killing one person and injuring dozens more. Passengers had to scramble through the split fuselage to escape.

The aircraft operated by low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines was arriving at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport from the western Turkish city of Izmir with 177 passengers and crew members on board when it had what the Transportation Ministry described as a “rough landing.”

Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said the plane failed to “hold onto the runway” and skidded some 50-60 meters (yards) before it crashed into a ditch from a height of about 30 meters.

“We are deeply saddened … (But) we are very happy that we escaped a greater accident,” Yerlikaya said, adding that the plane could have burst into flames. 

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News

Avalanche in eastern Turkey

An avalanche in eastern Turkey killed at least 21 people, including military police and civilians who were working to rescue victims of an earlier snowslide, the local governor said on Wednesday, according to the news agency Reuters.

Mehmet Emin Bilmez, governor of the eastern province of Van, said some 30 people had been pulled out from under the snow.

More people are believed to be still trapped, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said earlier, without giving a number.

TV footage from Van’s Bahcesaray district showed dozens of people using shovels and sticks in snowfall and high winds to dig out buried vehicles, and other overturned vehicles.

Soylu said the conditions in the area made it difficult for rescue vehicles to operate, adding a vehicle had been pulled out from under 4-5 meters (16 feet) of snow.

Rescue teams were working to rescue people trapped under an earlier avalanche that struck on Tuesday, killing five people. Eight people were rescued from that avalanche and the second snowslide occurred as teams were searching for two others.

Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen