News & mood…

Political situation in the world changed a lot during the last few years. As far as we can see there are many events that can have negative impact on us. Crisis after crisis, conflict after conflict, bad economy and many more news deeply affect out mood and perception of the reality. Some people even try to analyze situation and try to find the reason of all those stressful events. They read a lot of books, which is a good thing, watch documentary movies, news etc. What is really bothering them? Sometimes it is a curiosity and the hunger for information, but sometimes it is a fear of instability and uncertainty.

The natural state of human mind is to feel safe, and be comfortable. This is why in all commercials they offer you something that sounds reasonable, like a good deal if buy it, you’ll something: prestige, respect, comfort, even profit. When you watch news the event that you didn’t like affect your mind more than positive things. That is why some channel bases their news feed mostly on that kind of events. People watch it, think about and discuss it. The rating is going high, channel gets an income, but viewers get fear about the present and the future.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t mean that channel showed whole truth. They just could focus on things that will attract the audience, while the objective picture remains untold. Therefore, you should keep your distance from the information you hear in different channels.

The news feed about all sorts of crisis and disasters are not necessarily prettified by the reporters. In nowadays the political situation in the world became unpredictable, the climate is changing and there are a lot of conflicts. Reporters usually looks for is a sensation. This is why they concentrate on things that seem to be interesting or controversial.

Once you understood the concept of news preparation, you should compare different sources to get an objective picture of the event, which sometimes can trigger a chain reaction. This means that different news agencies write about the same event with the minor alterations. Hence, you learn more after a while, when details will became available.

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The travel story. At bazaar…

This story has happened in Egypt. Few tourists knew the rumors that if you visit the country, it should definitely go to the market. So they decided to take a short walk.
Now the English language is widely known language, so people who know it, it’s not a problem to get to any place. After they reached the point, they were walking around and decided to buy incense sticks. At first stand they asked salesman about them, but the merchant but did have that kind of merchandise. His English was almost perfect, so he offered to help. However, he had something else in mind
The group of three people was walking from stand to stand and merchandiser was with them. The interesting thing is that he was the one who did the talking in English (!). Almost in every point he was asking salesmen about  incense sticks. Finally, when they found some that cost 1$ per each, Egyptian asked tourists, will you buy it for 3$ per each (from me)?

 

Facebook and German government are working together…

It’s not a secret that many people in Germany are not happy because of refugees who came from Syria, Afghanistan and other Arabic countries. What are they worrying about? Generally, their concerns go as far as safety and culture protection. These two issues impact people’s mood and social perception of the situation. This is a reason why yang people are against the idea to give them an asylum.

In modern world the best way to share your thoughts and ideas is to use social media. Many people have account on Facebook, where they wrote their views, described fears, showed attitude. The government has considered it as negative trend, mostly with hate speeches.

Social networking service can be a source of legal troubles. Three days ago German government asked Facebook Inc. to help monitor and shut down groups which are based on xenophobic views(1)(2). This means that the hate thoughts about immigrants will be punished as the law requires.

The non-profit organization called Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers(3) will make sure that all prohibited content will be removed from the Facebook. Therefore, German users should be careful what are writing about and be more politically correct, I guess. Is this good idea? We’ll see it later.

From looks of things, it’s needleless to remind that Facebook keep all your data and you should use caution when you write about different topics even if you think that they pure and simple. It’s because your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues read it and can get their own conclusion about you (sometimes very superficial, wrong and unfair).

References:

1. Facebook Hate Speech: Site Teams With Germany To Quell Migrant Attacks – Fortune [Internet]. [cited 2015 Sep 17]. Available from: http://fortune.com/2015/09/15/facebook-hate-speech-germany/

2. Bender R, Schechner S. Facebook Outlines Measures to Combat Racist and Xenophobic Content. Wall Street Journal [Internet]. 2015 Sep 14 [cited 2015 Sep 17]; Available from: http://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-outlines-new-measures-to-combat-racist-and-xenophobic-content-1442242351

3. Donahue BJP. Facebook to Target Racist German Posts Amid Surge in Refugees [Internet]. Bloomberg.com. [cited 2015 Sep 17]. Available from: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-14/facebook-to-target-racist-german-posts-amid-surge-in-refugees

How tourists saved passengers in France

Train was going to Paris. Passengers were calm and enjoyed the travel. Suddenly, one passenger realized that man with the backpack is acting suspicious… Spencer Stone woke up by the mayhem. Crew members were running scared. After attacker was pacified, Spencer Stone was saving wounded Mark Moogalian with Anthony Sadler assistance.

True story. On August 21, 2015 train Thalys 9364 from Amsterdam was heading to Paris[1]. Passengers were mostly calm and enjoyed their travel. Crew members were on their stations dealing with everyday routine. That was a high-speed train and the journey from on capital to other takes about 3.5 hours, but that day was about to be different.

In that day among the passages were three American citizens who visited Europe in that time and wanted to see as much sights as they could during short amount of time. It seemed that travel was going as scheduled. Two of them Spencer Stone – a member of United States Air Force (USAF)[1], and college student Anthony Sadler decided to take a nap, while third one Alek Skarlatos – former Army National guardsman was fully up and enjoyed the trip.

The train already crossed the border of France and was on his way to Paris. Some of the railroad cars were empty because in that day there were not so many passengers as usually. Meanwhile, one of them was heading to the bathroom and had a backpack with him. People didn’t pay too much attention to bearded man who walked though the car. His name was Ayoub el-Qahzzani – the 26-year-old Moroccan national, who lived in Spain from 2007 to 2014. Local authorities kept an eye on him after he was promoting jihad and was connected with drugs trafficking[2].

Outside the train the scenery was beautiful and some of the travelers were fascinated by it, while for those who traveled a lot it was just the view from the window. Suddenly, one passenger realized that man with the backpack spent some time in the bathroom, which was unusual… After some time, when the train was passing Oignies, Pas-de-Calais (France), the man with the backpack came out armed with automatic rifle AK-47, also known as Kalashnikov[3].

In that moment Frenchman was going to the toilet as well. After he saw armed man, he tried to neutralize him with the bare hands, but fell to the floor. Second passenger Mark Moogalian – a 51-yers old professor of the Sorbonne[1] tried to take out the riffle and got shot to the neck. The injury was serious, as bullet went though. He had no other choice but to play dead. Another bullet ricocheted the conductor. After that the riffle malfunctioned.

Shots were fired. No one really knew what bearded man with the backpack and AK-47 had in mind, but situation got life-threatening for all passengers. Many of them though that they are going to die…

Veteran Alek Skarlatos for a few milliseconds didn’t believe that he’s heard gun fire, and then he realized that his worst suspicions were real and vivid. Spencer Stone woke up by the mayhem[4]. Crew members were running scared. Until that time Anthony Sadler was still asleep but rush and noise woke him up.

Alek Skarlatos decided to get him and yelled it to Spencer Stone. In the moment he was hesitating a little and wasn’t sure was his idea good or not, but after he saw Spencer going to the gunman, he followed him[5]. They didn’t know that AK-47 is no more functional[6]…

A member of USAF took huge risk and attacked man with a gun. It appeared that attacker had an office knife, known as box cutter. He injured Spencer multiple times. His friend Alek acted rapidly and neutralize him with riffle’s shoulder stock. Two more passengers Chris Norman and another Frenchman came to help. After attacker was pacified, Spencer Stone – trained EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) was saving wounded Mark Moogalian with Anthony Sadler help.

On August 22, 2015 United States President Barack Obama called them personally and thank for what they’ve done[7].

On August 24, 2015 French President François Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve honored brave men, who stood up and protected 554 passages. They got National Order of the Legion of Honour, established by Napoleon Bonaparte – a medal that is the highest decoration in France[3].

How did this happened that European Union is so unprotected and Americans risked their lives to save people? The answer is easy. First, it’s because Americans traditionally have can-do spirit that found the nation. Second, these men were trained soldiers and student was sharp and clever. Third, in Europe because of individualism and selfishness many people are “trained” to be afraid of danger and run away. Well, those two things are natural, but in some countries it’s quite fashionable. Forth, in western European countries politicians think they are safe just because it’s European Union, but what they don’t see that there is an uncivilized threat in civilized time. Firth, sadly in some societies bravery is not a value anymore. This is how Europe changed.

References:

[1]        “2 U.S. service members overpower attacker on train in Belgium – CNN.com,” CNN. [Online]. Available: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/21/europe/france-train-shooting/index.html. [Accessed: 13-Sep-2015].

[2]       M. Townsend and K. Willsher, “France train shooting: Europe on high alert after attack by armed gunman,” The Guardian, 23-Aug-2015.

[3]       “France train shooting: Hollande thanks ‘heroes’ who foiled gunman,” BBC News. [Online]. Available: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34023361. [Accessed: 13-Sep-2015].

[4]       “Megyn Kelly Full Exclusive Interview With The 3 American Heroes On The French Train – YouTube.” [Online]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCIeXQqTFBg. [Accessed: 13-Sep-2015].

[5]       A. Chrisafis, “France train attack: Americans overpower gunman on Paris express,” The Guardian, 22-Aug-2015.

[6]       A. Nossiter, “A Shot, a Glimpse of an AK-47, and U.S. Servicemen Pounced on Gunman on Train to France,” The New York Times, 22-Aug-2015.

[7]       “Obama Calls Americans Who Subdued Gunman on French Train,” WSJ Blogs – Washington Wire, 22-Aug-2015. .

[1] 65th Air Base Group, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal.