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Refugee issue has to be solved at its source: Croatian PM

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Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović. Photo Credit: www.croatiaweek.com

Zagreb: Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said that the refugee issue had to be solved at its source, reiterating his country “would not be a European refugee center”.

On Saturday, Milanovic said the problem had to be solved in Greece and Turkey, and the arrival of new migrants could be prevented by the Greek coast guard, Xinhua reported.

According to him, 75-80 percent of all refugees were arriving via Greece and Turkey.

Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said earlier on Saturday that around 2,000 refugees remain at the train station in Tovarnik, the town near the border with Serbia.

(IANS)

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These 10 Weird Museums around the World will Certainly Amuse You!

List of 10 Weirdest Museums in the World

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Museums
These 10 Weird Museums around the World will Certainly Amuse You. Pixabay

August 5, 2017: Not every museum is about art, science, culture, and history, some of them show different sides of the world. A side which has a niche audience as not everyone will be interested to see them. We are talking about the weird museums around the world, which have its own peculiarity, oddities and sometimes downright weird. Some of these can even leave you confused, who would think of creating a museum on this idea or notion? But it can also drive you to dig deeper, to gain more knowledge. As these are not the mundane artifacts.

Plastinarium, Germany

Plastinarium Museum
Plastinarium Museum. Wikimedia

It’s a home of the morbid art of corpse plastination, a technique by which human or animal bodies are preserved. They use this scientific technique and present them in creative positions like an archer. It makes one wonder how intricate the human form is. Gunther Von Hagens perfected plastination (using polymers to preserve human tissue) after many years of studying medicine, dissection, and chemistry.  Visitors of this museum not only learn about the history of anatomy but also witness’s the graphic process of it.  The center also supplies traveling Body Worlds, which they call an original exhibition of real human bodies.

The Mummy Museum, Guanajuato, Mexico

The Mummy Museum
The Mummy Museum. Wikimedia

A popular tourist attraction, this museum has a mystical aura to it and has mummified bodies. The mummies have generated a lot of interest since the time this museum opened as people were already inquisitive about mummies and visiting it will give them a chance to see the mystery unfold in front of their eyes.

Hundreds of bodies were once buried in the Santa Paula Pantheon’s crypts around the mid-19th century. If families were unable to pay a burial tax imposed by the town, the bodies were exhumed.  Later they discovered the bodies had been mummified through a natural process, likely due to the region’s unique climatic factors.  The museum houses more than hundred mummies and a mummy of an infant as well. On June 9, 1865, the mummified body of a French doctor, Remigio Leroy, was exhumed from Niche 214 of the Pantheon’s first series. This is the first and therefore the most ancient of the Guanajuato Mummy Museum’s collection. Going to this museum will calm your curious soul. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, The exhibition has an introductory video about the meaning of death for Mexicans and their way of accepting it.

ALSO READ: “The Museum Within” : Art Exhibition in Delhi dwells on Position and Function of Museums in India
Museum of Torture, Zagreb, Croatia

Museum of Torture
Museum of Torture. Wikimedia

The sinister museum has over 70 historical instruments of torture. Visitors can see, touch and even try out the 1792 guillotine replica, pendulum- a swinging blade that descends lower and lower with each sweep, rack- one of the oldest instruments of torture or iron maiden- the most brutal medieval instrument of torture, scold’s bridle, an instrument used to punish women accused of scolding and gossiping, as well as many other instruments that were used to humiliate, torture, cause injury or execute the victim. This weird museum gives a take on historical means and ways of violence.

It’s a one of its kind experience; there are multi sensory rooms, such as the semi-dark Cabinet of Wonders or the Dungeon. In the Cabinet of Wonders, there is semi-darkness in which the exhibits are bathing in a discomforting sound environment. It will prompt questions about sick human minds, which would let humans suffer such torture. It can make you vulnerable and can also bring back to mind issues of today’s hidden forms of torture, such as bullying or domestic violence. The Dungeon is a miniature cool room in which the visitor can spend a minute of his life in pitch blackness, anticipating the uncertain future…

Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum, Kentucky, USA

Ventriloquist Doll
Ventriloquist Doll. Pixabay

The Museum houses smiling ventriloquist dolls. William Shakespeare Berger bought his first dummy in 1910- Tommy Baloney. By 1947, his collection had grown so large he renovated his garage to house the figures, and in 1962, he had to construct a second building. Vent Haven Museum was officially opened to the public on June 30, 1973, , with the dedication of the W.S. Berger Memorial Building.  Ventriloquist legends Edgar Bergen and Jimmy Nelson performed for all who attended the ceremony.

Vent Haven Museum houses more than 800 dummies, playbills, photos and historical books from Berger’s personal collection. In addition to this, the museum also hosts the annual convention- a ventriloquist meeting attracting many professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world.

Avanos Hair Museum, Avanos, Turkey

Avanos Hair Museum
Avanos Hair Museum. Wikimedia

The museum was created by a potter by profession, Chez Galip and is located in the rural Turkish town of Avanos. The story behind the origin of it is that the local potter Chez Galip was bidding farewell to a dear friend of his when he asked for something to remember her by. She cut off a piece of her hair to leave as a reminder. He put it up in his shop and told the story to the visitors and tourists who passed through. Other women who enjoyed the story left a piece of their hair as well and from there started the collection of hair. The museum started in 1979 when a selection was put up for display.

It now features a gigantic collection of hair gathered from more than 16,000 women, and if that isn’t creepy enough. It lies in a small, dark cave. Locks of women’s hair adorn the walls of this weird museum. The museum fills up a section of the shop where the earthen wares are stored. Visitors roam in the cave-like room with hair attached to every available surface. Pencils, paper, pins, and scissors are offered to those wanting to add their own piece to the collection.

 International Cryptozoology Museum, Maine, USA

Skunk Ape
Skunk Ape. Pixabay

Cryptozoology means- the study of hidden animals and involves the search for animals whose existence has not been verified, like the Yeti or Bigfoot (skunk ape). This museum’s collection has specimens and artifacts allegedly related to these kinds of mythical, unverified creatures. It includes everything from the hair samples, fecal matter, and native art. A rather odd collection to be incorporated and maybe it just might turn you into a Bigfoot believer.

The museum was started in 2003.  Loren Coleman who wanted to share the items he collected with researchers, scholars, colleagues, and the general public. He went on to interview eyewitnesses, chronicle the reports, and gather material evidence and cultural artifacts related to cryptozoology. It modestly began with sculptures and paintings created just for it, hundreds of cryptozoology toys and souvenirs from around the world, and one of a kind artifacts. The museum has a life-size, 8 feet tall Bigfoot representation, a full-scale, six-foot-long thousand dollar coelacanth model, 100 Bigfoot, Yeti, Yowie, and other foot casts, fakes like jackalopes, Fiji Mermaid & furred trout.

ALSO READ: Virtual museums to be opened at 50 places in India to accentuate “significant” role of Tribals in Freedom struggle: PM Narendra Modi

 Meguro Parasitological Museum, Tokyo, Japan

 world's longest tapeworm
World’s longest tapeworm. Wikimedia

 Do you know everything about the parasite world? If you’ve ever wanted to know about tapeworms, head lice and plenty of other parasites you’ve probably never heard of. You can see it all at this museum. The collection boasts of around 300 specimens, including a 29-foot tapeworm. Not recommended for anyone with a weak stomach.

On the first floor of the museum, the ‘Diversity of Parasites’ displaying various types of parasitic specimens and accompanying it is educational movies, if you are interested to know more. The second-floor exhibits are ‘Human and Zoonotic Parasites’ showcasing parasite life cycles and the symptoms they cause during human infection. In addition to research, the museum also performs other activities such as education and provides special publications as well. The man behind the museum is Satoru Kamegai.

 The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, Kansas, USA

Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire. Pixabay

Yes, it’s true. There is a museum dedicated to barbed wires out there in the world. It features more than 2,400 varieties and explores the role barbed wire played in the settlement of the United States. Well, don’t touch any of the displays. The museum was established in 1970. There is an international organization, Antique Barbed Wire Society, committed to collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the historical heritage of barb wire and barbed wire related item. There is Dioramas of early barbed wire use, a theatre featuring educational films, the Barbed Wire Hall of Fame, the museum archives room, and a research library for visitors.

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 The Dog Collar Museum, England

Red Cross dog collar
Red Cross dog collar. Wikimedia

Dog collars are the little piece of accessory that transforms dogs from wild animals to man’s best friend. There is dog paraphernalia that dates back more than 100 years in this museum and inside you can see the history of canine accessories. This place is perfect for people who always wondered what a medieval dog collar may have looked like. In today’s time, dog collars are simple pieces of sturdy, flexible nylon in assorted colors and designs. However, in this Museum, you are treated to some of the fanciest dog collars there are.

This unique collection consists of nearly 100 collars that were collected by Irish medieval scholar John Hunt and his wife, Gertrude. Extended by the Leeds Castle Foundation, the collection has pieces that span history that is from medieval to Victorian times. The royal pet’s had baroque leather embellished dog collars with metalwork and velvet. This unusual place is visited by more than 500,000 dog lovers a year, both local and from overseas.

Le Musée des Vampires, France

Vampire
Vampire. Pixabay

The Le Musée des Vampires is a study of vampires’ place in France’s culture throughout history and today, a small private museum dedicated to vampires and the study of their place in folklore and modern culture. This weird museum has autographs of every actor who’s ever starred as Dracula, a mummified cat from Paris’ famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, and a vampire painting by famous French murderer Nicolas Claux. This is a cool place to be at if vampires fascinate you.

– by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


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Ancient India Maritime History: Trade Links With Europe and Southeast Asian Nations

Excavations Provide Evidence About Ports that Played a Major Role in Overseas Trade in Past

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Ancient India maritime route
Ancient Indo-Oman maritime trade route. Wikimedia
  • The maritime history begins from the 3CE when the Indus Valley people initiated trading contact with Mesopotamia
  • Tamil Nadu being a coastal state had more than 16 ports across Chennai which had trade links with China, Egypt, parts of Europe
  • Presently in Tamil Nadu, a deep-sea port has been proposed in Enayam which would emerge as a major port for Indian cargo to be exported

June 27, 2017:

Before the incipience of air transport, mankind was dependent on sea links for transportation and trading of goods between continents. Sea was the major form of transportation in the past and even though people still use the sea for transport, most of the trading is now usually done through the air transport.

As we look back in time, the ports were the busiest place to be, because sailors were the only people who could get you and your goods across countries. In India too, we had ports down on the southern region so that we could access trade with all over Europe and Middle East countries.

The Ancient India maritime history begins from the 3CE when the Indus Valley people initiated trading contact with Mesopotamia. Indian Silk was one of the most traded product but later on, Indian spices took hold of most of the trading to the West surpassing Silk.

Tamil Nadu being the coastal state had more than 16 ports across Chennai and Tirunelveli which had trade links with China, Egypt, parts of Europe and South-east Asian countries. Archaeologists say ancient Tamil literature and excavations provide evidence about the existence of such ports that played a major role in overseas trade in the past.

C Santhalingam, the secretary of Pandya Nadu Centre for Historical Research told that these sea routes in Tamil Nadu can be traced to the Sangam Period which was from (3CE BC to 3CE AC) and said, “The historical coastal town of Kaveripoompattinam (Poompuhar in Nagapattinam district) recorded import of horses from Arab countries and finished goods from Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The port was also a major centre for the export of spices from South India.

Ancient port was built differently from the modern ports which are at the coastline as they were situated over the river mouths because the transporting ships in the past were not as big as the ones now, so the river mouths were the right places for safe docking of the ships.

Presently in Tamil Nadu, a deep-sea port has been proposed in Enayam in Kanyakumari district which would emerge as a major port for Indian cargo to be exported. The proposed budget for this port is 27,570 crore and the port would act as a hub for the global east-west trade route and also reduce the logistics cost for Indian traders dependent on transhipment in Colombo and Singapore giving rise to maritime link jobs.

prepared by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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Timeline of Terror in Last 2 Years: Why Islamic Terrorism is on the Rise and What is leading to Islamophobia?

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Family members and friends of victims of suicide bombing at a wedding celebration attend their funeral ceremony in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016. VOA
  • Due to recent terror attacks, questioning Islam as the religion of peace has become a trend
  • Islamophobia has emerged where people supposedly “fear Islam” at large
  • Terror attacks in Europe are becoming increasingly common especially in the past couple of years

June 05, 2017: A recent security threat that has developed over the years, having affected and killed many, is terrorism. This post becomes necessary as part of the growing acts of violence that we read and hear about so often.

Terrorism is an act executed in pursuit of causing terror/ fear in the minds of the civilian population. It usually aims at bringing a change in the status quo. It is, however, unlawful.

What has led to Islamophobia?

Needless to say that these series of attacks, the majority of the attackers were believers of Islam and therefore this led to Islamophobia in people belonging to other communities.

The term ‘Islamophobia’ was coined first in the UK. It was quickly popularized all over Europe and the West in general. The term means fear of Islam and was aimed at popularizing the fights against Islamic nations. The western society now strongly questions if Islam actually promoted peace.

Nationalists and Conservatives at large claim that Islam is a religion of hate, violence and absolute barbaric nature. It sponsors war in the name of God and seeks to force its religion upon others. They rightly state that European and Western culture is very different, and signing up to be a part of their country or seeking asylum there demands you surrendering part of your identity in the name of acculturation.

Leftists and liberals promote tolerance. They make a valid point that generalizations are to be avoided at all costs. But what we see is a pattern that must be accepted in order to counter terrorism. The terror attacks are taking place in a broader sense by followers of Islam.

In the name of religion, adherents of Islam are radicalized. They are given a wrong notion of God, religion, and heavens. It is brainwashing in the most remarkable of senses. But it is a duty on the part of the adherent to interpret the scriptures and teachings in a right and ethical problem and to question any ideas that are worth contesting.

ISIS has been a major player in the growing Islamophobia. It has radicalized hundred of youth and has tried to spread its strict religious ideologies. It spreads the wrong ideology based entirely upon violence and brutality.

Timeline of Terror

September 11, 2001, attacks on the twin towers marked the beginning of the ongoing war we see today. Click To Tweet
  • September 11, 2001- Attacks on the Twin Towers: The attacks on the twin towers in New York marked the beginning of the ongoing war we see today. The US was quick to respond by declaring a “war on terror”. Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the worst attack that the country has seen.

In the past recent years, we have seen numerous terror acts in Europe. France, Germany and the UK have particularly felt the impacts of terrorism. This combined with the growing power of ISIS in the middle east is seen as a threat to global security.

  • January  07, 2015- Charlie Hebdo Attack: This was a horrific act by the Islamic extremists who sought to suppress the very idea of freedom of speech. Two gunmen carried out shootings against the French weekly newspaper ‘Charlie Hebdo’. The two gunmen were the Kouachi brothers (Said and Cherif Kouachi) killed 12 people. The next day on January 08 a policewoman was killed. On 09 January 4 people were taken as hostages and killed.
Charlie Hebdo is a weekly satirical magazine. VOA.
  • November 18, 2015- Paris Attacks: A series of attacks took place in Paris and were considered the deadliest assault on French soil since world war II. The Stade de France stadium was targetted by a suicide bomber. More shootings and explosions followed in restaurants and other places. 
France marks one year anniversary of the November 2016 Paris Attacks. VOA.
  • March 22, 2016- Brussels Bombings: The capital of Belgium, the city of Brussels, felt the brunt of two suicide bombings. 32 people were killed and 300 others injured. The Brussels airport and Metro station were the targetted areas.
Belgium mourns the Brussels Bombings. VOA.
  • July 14, 2016- Nice Terror Attacks: France was celebrating the Bastille day on July 14, 2016. Nice became the target to spoil the day. Civilians had just watched the grand fireworks display when a terrorist lorry over speed and mowed them down. The attack claimed 84 lives. The terrorist was identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born French citizen. The 41-year-old attacker was shot dead by the police. 
A memorial to honor the victims of the Nice attack. VOA.
  • July 2016- Germany Attacks: Germany witnessed a series of terror attacks in the week of July. On July 18, a terrorist with an ax hacked passengers on a train. On July 26, a doctor was killed in the Berlin Hospital. On July 22, an Iranian gunman went on a deadly rampage. On July 24, a pregnant woman was killed by a machete attacker and another man blew himself up in Ansbach. 

 

  • July 26, 2016- Normandy Church Attack: Two men carried out an attack on a Church in Normandy, France. The Priest was murdered and people were taken, hostage. ISIS claimed responsibility. The terrorists were shot dead.

 

  • December 19, 2016- Berlin Christmas Market Attack: In December 2016, Europe was gearing up for Christmas celebrations. A Jihadi by the name Anis Amri capitalized on this situation and ran down a lorry in Berlin Christmas market killing 12 people and injuring another 60.
Flowers and candles in the form of tribute to the Berlin Christmas Market. VOA.
  • February 03, 2017- Louvre Knife Attack: A Knifeman tried to attack a group of soldiers who were on duty guarding the Louvre in Paris. The attacker shouted “Allah Akbar” and took out his machete but was shot before any damage could be inflicted. It was an attack of “clearly terrorist nature” according to the then Prime Minister Cazeneuve.
Men guarding Louvre, France. VOA.
  • March 22, 2017- Westminster Terror Attack:  2 women and 2 men were killed and many people were injured by London Attacker Khalid Masood as he mowed down the pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. He also stabbed a police officer when he crashed his car outside the Parliament and ran into New Palace Yard. Later, he was shot dead by armed police.
Woman injured in the Westminster attack. VOA.
  • April 7, 2017- Stockholm Terror Attack:  4 people died and at least 15 people were injured when a man drove a truck in the busy shopping street of a Stockholm market in Sweden. Rakhmat Akilov who was responsible for the attack was a failed asylum seeker from Uzbekistan. The 39-year-old admitted being a member of ISIS terrorist group. On being arrested, he said told police investigators that he had “achieved what he set out to do”.
Stockholm, Sweden stands in solidarity against terrorism. VOA.
  • April 20, 2017Champs Elysees Terror Attack, Paris: ISIS claims the responsibility of this attack that killed a policeman and injured 2 others just days before the French Presidential election. The gunman was identified to be 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi who served 15 years in prison for 3 attempted murders.
  • May 22, 2017- Manchester Terror Attack: The city of Manchester was attacked by a lone suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on Monday, May 22. The explosive went off when people were leaving the concert. 22 People were killed and 59 people were injured in this terror attack. The attack took place around 10:33 pm.
Manchester Sikh Community condemns the terror attack. VOA.
  • June 2, 2017- London Bridge Attack: Just one week after Manchester terrorist attack, two attacks took place in London and where terrorists went on stabbing innocent civilians. The London terror attack injured 58 people and killed 7 people on the London Bridge and in a nearby Borough Market. 3 Knifemen were on a killing Spree at restaurants and pubs at 10 pm and also mowed pedestrians at the bridge, but were shot dead by the Police. There have been numerous other attacks on the European soil by Islamic fundamentalists. On most occasions, ISIS has claimed responsibility.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, speaks to media on the terror attack. VOA.

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Negative impact of Islamophobia

Due to rise in terrorism and with the belief that majority of attackers are from the Islamic community; the majority of the population in the world has become skeptic to the religion and as a result, the other half of the Islamic community has become the victim of hate crime.

Conversion (both religious and culture) has resulted in the emergence of insecurity on the part of both the distinct groups. While native European population is going down, the Muslim population in Europe is at an all-time high.

Another reason for this is the refugee problem. People choose European land to take refuge or seek asylum due to the instability in their lands. Some migrants have known to be associated directly or indirectly with ISIS. Migration must, therefore, be done on strict background checks.

Immigration is seen as one of the most important aspects of political campaigns (Thank you POTUS). The debate of wearing hijab or anything remotely of religious value has emerged in European parliaments.

Questioning Islam and its teachings is a process where the justification of which lies in subjective thought. But from a broader perspective, it must be questioned in the right manner and solved through dialogue. If Islam really is peaceful, then the majority of the adherents need to come out more openly and say that, so that brainwashing of young minds by terrorist groups become tough.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394