I hadn't heard about the conflict in Syria recently, until I saw a piece in the "Global Post"...a shocking look at the horror the girls and women in that country face every day is mind blowing. Tracey Shelton reports that violence against women has skyrocketed...gang rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse throughout the country and in refugee camps across the region is an ongoing plague. A "BBC" article profiles Lauren Wolfe, an award winning journalist, who heads "Women Under Siege". She has documented reports of sexual violence in Syria over the last year and has found that it's used as a weapon and states that "after years of working on this issue, I don't know how to stop it".
In this hellish land, rape of both men and women happens in government detention centers...70% by government or government allied forces.
6,500 women are being detained in Syrian prisons and the number of rape incidents totals approximately 6,000, since March of 2011.
There appears to be no end to this misery...I'm so sad to know this and so grateful to be where I am.
I was so touched when I saw photos of Pope Francis holding a man whose face and head are covered in growths, due to a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis. He caressed his head and wounds and kissed him on his face, then blessed him. Vinicio Rivo was 15 when the disease appeared and is now 53...having been reviled and shunned for his appearance, he responded to Pope Francis by saying, "It was like being in Paradise...I felt only love".
The Pope is a revelation... with a "revolutionary" approach...he has attacked institutional corruption and unbridled capitalism...he advises "love, forgiveness and brotherhood everywhere". A media star, his popularity has produced "The Francis Effect". He already has 10 million twitter followers and his message has greatly increased church attendance and interest in general, after only 8 months as Pope.
St. Malachy, a Medieval Irish priest and Kabbalist, predicted that the 112th pontiff, would be the last...meaning Pope Francis, with a four year tenure. This is controversial, however, although believed by many.
Pope Francis has made an incredibly powerful impression with his expressions of compassionate, loving emotion...may he continue to continue.
Sotheby's saw a "spending frenzy in the high end of the art world", on Wednesday, when an "Andy Warhol" painting, "Silver Car Crash", sold for $105 million. On Tuesday, Christie's sold, "Three Studies of Lucian Freud", a triptych by British artist, "Francis Bacon", for a record price of $142.4 million. Their total sales for the day broke a record, at $691.5 million. The buyers are mainly from Asia, the Middle East and Russia. This is truly amazing...!
In my own little art world, I recently finished two paintings that were commissions.I was happy about that, as the galleries are showing slow sales."Local Color" is a gallery, here in Chatham, that I connected with this summer. It's run by a talented potter and has a fun ambience...not intimidating at all...which is much more appealing in general than a more formal gallery I've found.
Photos of Martin MacNeill and his family show a handsome couple surrounded by their beautiful children. Now, he's on trial for his wife's murder...that he gave her a lethal drug cocktail because he no longer loved her and wanted to conceal an affair he'd been having with a woman known as "Gypsy" Willis. After his wife's death, he moved her in as a "nanny" for his children...although she didn't act like one. They went on to be arrested on identity theft...
Martin seems like the ultimate conman/psychopath...many disturbing facts have come to light about his past. And, he faked academic records to practice law and medicine. He told a former mistress, in 2005, that he'd killed his brother and made it look like a suicide and bragged about killing handicapped patients at a state center where he was a clinical director.
His four biological daughters are sure he plotted and killed their mother...Vanessa, a beautiful 30 year old, testified earlier...she's very fragile being a recovering drug addict...another daughter previously testified who had to admit to a bi-polar condition...she was heartbreaking to watch. The only biological son, who had felt his father was innocent, killed himself while in law school, after the death of his mother. Alexis, who has been very outspoken about her father's guilt, is to testify this afternoon...she became guardian to her younger adopted siblings, completed medical school and she and her husband welcomed twins two weeks ago...she appears to be very strong emotionally.
As the story, about this family unfolds, it's an amazing psychological study ...how each person in the family has survived this tragedy perpetrated by a "father" held in high esteem by his community.
Went to Provincetown yesterday...warm and sunny...a perfect Fall day to enjoy the energy of the many visitors and street performers.
It was a good break after a frustrating several days attempting to get an insulin prescription refilled through the new medical center in our town. R. had seen the new MD, after his previous doctor retired, having had 40 years of a great patient/doctor relationship. He wanted to make sure there would be no problem getting his medications renewed, especially regarding the insulin he needs every day to stay alive and healthy. The office has been a disorganized mess since they opened about 6 months ago...we thought the kinks would be out by now...but, worse then even, trying to get anything accomplished. After getting a runaround by the office receptionist for several days, I called Cape Cod Healthcare, the corporation that the Chatham Medical Group is part of...I was so happy to speak to an intelligent, aware person who said she could act as our "advocate" and would call the office for us. Within an hour the prescription was filled. But, as I said to the receptionist..."Why is this so hard??" "This is life and death!"