Monday, December 29, 2014


Normans first arrived in Italy as pilgrims probably either on 

their way or returning 

from Rome or Jerusalem also visiting the shrine at Monte 

Gargano in the late tenth and early

 eleventh century. In 1017, the Lombard lords 

in Apuliarecruited their assistance against the

 dwindling power of the Byzantine Catapanate of Italy. They 

soon established vassal states of their own[1] and began to 

expand their conquests until they were encroaching on the 

Benevento and CapuaSaracen controlled territories, and 


 under papal allegiance, as well as Greek. They began the 

conquest of Sicily in 1061 and it 
was complete by 1091.
Indeed Italo-Normans were the primary Norman 


in the employ of the Byzantine emperors. Many found service 

in Rome, under the pope, and some went to Spain to join 

the Reconquista. In 1096, the Normans of Bohemond of 

Taranto joined the First Crusadeand set up the principality of 


in the Levant.

The House of Hauteville(FrenchMaison de 

Hauteville,ItalianCasa d'Altavilla,SicilianCasa 

d'Autavilla) was a petty baronial Norman family from

 the Cotentin which rose to prominence in Europe

, Asia, and Africa through its conquests in theMediterranean

, especiallysouthern Italy and Sicily. They

 also participated in the Norman conquest of England.


Lon DON Bridges Falling Down. A city of many Entirety Given to Idolatry.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


y Abu Hanifah
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Ten years after the powerful tsunami devastated Banda Aceh, people living in the coastal city have bravely faced their future despite their harrowing experience and the loss of their loved ones.
Banda Aceh was the worst hit by the powerful tsunami that smashed the coastal areas facing the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26, 2004, wrecking havoc on half of the city and killing about 200,000 people in Aceh province alone.
Survivors have managed to move on even as they tried to forget their traumatic experience, thanks to rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts financed mainly by international donor countries.
Right after the catastrophe, some 5 billion U.S. dollars were pledged by donor countries for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the coastal villages of the province.
Mairiah, a 32-year-old single mother and survivor of the tragedy, is now back selling snacks to tourists who have come back to visit Ulee Lheuee water sports facility in the city.
Mairiah, who like most Indonesians has only one name, lost 24 of her relatives during the tsunami. She said she is going to raise her four children alone through her small business.
She told Xinhua that she earns about 5 million rupiah (more than 400 U.S. dollars) a month from her business. She said that she used to earn about 30 million rupiah per month before the tsunami.
Mairiah said she was grateful for the new road built by Indonesia's Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) near the coastline that makes it easy for tourists to visit their place.
The tsunami has totally flattened areas around the beach, wrecked the city's most favorite destinations such as white sands and blue waters where tourists used to surf.
Mairiah now lives in a makeshift house provided by provincial government with her four children. She said she would soon move to a permanent house built with funds from donor countries. Her husband died a year ago from acute digestive problem.
Ulee Lheuee now is a quiet and less attractive place as the high waves that were the surfers' favorite are no longer there. The white sand also has been sucked by the giant waves brought by the tsunami.
A three-meter concrete wall has been built by the BRR to prevent waves from directly hitting the beach.
The BRR, that ended its rehabilitation and reconstruction program in 2009, has turned the city into a neat place with a new layout, wider roads, and more amenities for local and foreign tourists.
The city hopes to lure more tourists to visit its beaches just like before the killer tsunami hit the place.
The BRR also coordinated projects to build houses for the survivors, new mosques, new hospital and evacuation centers in anticipation of another tsunami, which international scientific agencies have warned because of the possibility of another powerful undersea earthquake that may occur due to the unstable seabed off the coast of Sumatra.
Among the beneficiaries of the reconstruction efforts of the BRR is Sahawardi, a 34 year-old driver, a survivor of the tsunami.
Sahawardi, a father of three, said that it is now easy for him to drive because the roads linking the capital city to other cities in the province are now wider. The roads in the province used to be narrow and full of potholes.
Sahawardi, who lost his mother in the tsunami, said that the reconstruction program has also improved the supply of power to the city, adding that they now seldom experience power interruptions.
In a talk with Xinhua, Sahawardi said he was driving a minibus when giant waves swept his car. He managed to get out of his vehicle and clang to a large truck that was able to withstand the strong waves.
He said his only regret is that he was not able to find his mother's body, adding that her body might be among those buried in mass graves for the tsunami victims.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tsunami, the Indonesian government expressed on Friday its profound gratitude to donor countries for their valuable financial assistance in rebuilding the towns and villages of Aceh province and in giving new life and hope for a better future to the thousands of survivors.

The earthquake off Indonesia in the Indian Ocean was one of the most powerful ever recorded. When the subsequent tsunami hit large parts of the Southeast Asian coast hundreds of thousands of people were killed, many more injured and millions homeless.
Ten years later, there is silence on Nang Thong Beach in Khao Lak in southern Thailand.
A man stands out in the water fishing. Others are bathing in the turquoise waters. Others walking on the white sand as the waves lap against the shore.
Khao Lak and Thailand in general remains a very popular holiday destination for many Swedes and some 20,000-30,000 were in the tsunami-hit areas that fateful day.
Almost all of the 543 Swedes who perished that day died in this area when giant waves swept in over the Khao Lak beach shortly after 10 am local time on Boxing Day 2004.
On the tenth anniversary of the tragedy remembrance ceremonies will be held across all the affected countries and on Khao Lak beach Swedes will gather in a service organized by the Swedish embassy and Swedish church.

Friday, December 26, 2014



Vale Sister Philomene Tiernan, killed on Flight MH17

A LONE figure walked around the high-walled institution. She was noted in a way others weren’t. It was the audacity of difference.
It was arresting, moving. It felt like there was a still centre to her being; a conviction that she was strongly, joyously here, in this place; doing exactly what she wanted to do in life. She glowed with contentment. She was living freely, as a female; with great purpose. It felt oddly, exhilaratingly feminist. Empowered.

Philip Seymour Hoffman
, found dead in his New York apartment last month, died of an accidental overdose of drugs,

Phillip Joel Hughes (30 November 1988 – 27 November 2014) was an 
Australian Test and One Day 

International (ODI) cricketer who played domestic cricket for South Australia 

Phillip Street is a street in the central business district 

of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

NSW Premier Mike Baird advised people who normally work in the
... to be a Lindt uniform, is shown escaping 

out a side door on Phillip Street.

Phillip Phillips coming to Santa Rosa's Wells Fargo Center (w/video)

Listening to Phillip Phillips' hit recordings isn't adequate preparation for hearing the singer and songwriter talk. There's a bit of a twang in his .

PHILLIP Hughes' family has given their blessing to an initiative proposed by the Cricket
 Association of Nepal 
to play a 63-over tribute match in .

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Britain's Prince Andrew, left, and Sarah, Duchess of York, right, pose together with their daughter, Princess Beatrice following her graduation ceremony at Goldsmiths College, London, Friday Sept. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Ian Nicholson)
Sarah Ferguson is going to get remarried to Prince Andrew years after the pair divorced, according to a tabloid report.
Andrew, 54, the brother of Prince Charles, and Sarah, 55, the mother of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were divorced in 1996 after being married for a decade. But the new report says that Fergie and Andrew have actually been living together for the past couple years, and have finally secured Queen Elizabeth’s blessing to get remarried.
Under British law, the Queen must give permission for any of her children to marry.

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew to Remarry After Kate Middleton Implores Queen Elizabeth To Forgive Fergie and Defy Prince Philip
Sarah Ferguson & Princess Eugenie Out For Lunch In NYC

Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of...

Picture of Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of York during Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of York Hosts Reception for SOS Childrens Villages USA at Le Merigot in .