Hamas makes revenge bid against Fatah members, suspected collaborators

Israeli troops marched home Monday but there was no end to the bloodshed in Gaza as Hamas began carrying out vicious reprisals against suspected collaborators. Members of the rival Fatah party said dozens of their men were executed by Hamas, allegedly for helping Israel target Hamas, and several were being tortured. Three Fatah men had their eyes put out during "interrogation" by Hamas thugs and as many as 80 Fatah members were either shot in the legs or had their hands broken for defying Hamas' house-arrest orders. "What's happening in the Gaza Strip is a new massacre that is being carried out by Hamas against Fatah," said a Fatah activist in Gaza City. "Where were these cowards when the Israeli Army was here?" Israeli troops and tanks that poured into Gaza Jan. 3 were in full retreat. Officials told the Haaretz newspaper that they aimed to have every soldier out by Barack Obama's inauguration at noon Tuesday. Obama and incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have signaled they plan a hands-on Middle East policy. The Bush administration, until recent years, has been largely hands off. Internal Palestinian schisms are certain to complicate matters for the new administration. Hamas and Fatah have been bitter rivals since June 2007, when Hamas launched a bloody coup against the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, killing about 400 Fatah supporters and maiming many others. The issue of collaboration is urgent in Gaza because Israel was able to pinpoint the secret locations of many Hamas homes and offices - suggesting the use of high-level informants. Hamas repeatedly accused Abbas and his men of backing the three-week Israeli assault on Gaza that ended Sunday. Hamas legislator Salah Bardaweel said Fatah "spies" helped Israel to assassinate Hamas security chief Said Siam, who was killed in a missile strike on his brother's home last week. Bardaweel said informants reported directly to Abbas' office in the West Bank. Continue Reading

Taliban tortures policemen as warning to collaborators in Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents abducted and tortured five policemen in southern Afghanistan and hung their bodies from trees, officials said Sunday. The executions were meant as a warning to government collaborators, according to officials, and followed a violent stretch of days that left 63 dead, including two Canadian troops and 58 militants in the south.The Taliban had snatched the officers in Uruzgan province two months ago, according to police chief Juma Gul Himat, then slashed their limbs and hung the mutilated bodies on trees in Gazak, a village in the Derawud region, on Saturday."The Taliban told the people that whoever works with the government will suffer the same fate as these policemen," he said. "This village is under Taliban control. There are more than 100 Taliban in this village." More than 6,000 people have been killed in insurgency violence so far this year, making 2007 a record-breaking year, according to the Associated Press. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Milwaukee bar and brewery collaborate for a Hate Has No Home Here beer

Burnhearts and Enlightened Brewing have teamed up for an event they call Enlighten Up and Tear Down Hate from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.The party is at Burnhearts, 2599 S. Logan Ave. They'll tap a special beer — NH3, named for the Hate Has No Home Here signs and movement — a Kolsch collaboration between the Burnhearts staff and Enlightened brewers. A portion of beer sales will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In July, a man tore down a "Hate Has No Home Here" sign in an ugly scene at the Enlightened taproom, 2018 S. 1st St."I'm not looking at this as a direct response to the man ripping down our sign, but I guess that did drive us to do an event to promote the fact that we want our businesses and our neighborhood to be inclusive and promote rational civil dialogue instead of reactionary speech or actions." said Enlightened co-founder Tommy Vandervort. RELATED: Man hates brewery's anti-hate sign and tears it down Representatives from Hate Has No Home Here-Milwaukee will have signs available and will collect donations to continue spreading the message.Other beer events include: Friday-Saturday: MobCraft Brewing, 505 S. 5th St., a crowd-sourced brewery, celebrates its first anniversary in Milwaukee with two days of party favors. Friday includes a cellar bottle release, and on Saturday the brewery brings out its first anniversary release, a triple barrel-aged Imperial Stout — Rye barrel aged stout blended with bourbon barrel-aged stout. One version is aged in a Great Lakes whiskey barrel and the other was aged in a Twisted Path rum barrel. Events begin at noon. See the event page on Facebook.Friday-Saturday: The Humboldt Park Beer Garden toasts Oktoberfest from 6 to 9 p.m. It's also the last hurrah of the season for the beer garden. Look for polka music and an Oktoberfest beer tap takeover. On Saturday, the beer garden will sell and serve a pig roast beginning at 5 p.m. Continue Reading

Beer collaborations on tap at Oktoberfest

Beer is always a big part of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. This year, the event's biggest beer news is collaborations: Braxton and Graeter's, Sam Adams and Urban Artifact.Both pairs will debut their creations during the annual celebration of eating, drinking and chicken dancing, set for Sept. 15-17.Braxton Brewing Company and Graeter’s Ice Cream worked together on a new Graeter's flavor. They aren't saying what it is, though, until it's unveiled at the event. (But if you miss it there, you can get it at Graeter's stores starting Oct. 1.) What is for sure is that Braxton will serve its other Graeter's collaboration, Graeter’s Blueberry Pie brown ale, during the festival. (A portion of the proceeds will benefit cancer nonprofit The Cure Starts Now.)  More: Oktoberfood: What to eat at Oktoberfest As for Samuel Adams and Urban Artifact, they'll be debuting Tricorne, a tart New England IPA, at both Oktoberfest and the Ohio Pawpaw Festival. Yes, that's because the beer is made with Ohio's native paw paw fruit. Its creators are calling it "super juicy with bright tropical fruit notes."In total, more than 100 different beers will be available at nine different beer gardens and fest tents. New this year is the Braxton Fass Bar at Third and Walnut streets, where beer drinkers can grab a seat and watch sports on a 20-foot LED TV. Every time a keg blows at the bar, the bartenders will do some whistling and toasting, and they'll give the person who ordered the beer a free T-shirt. Several special tappings will take place throughout the event. They are: Braxton Brewing Co. specialty tappings: Friday    5-6:30 p.m.: SuperfectaSaturday    11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Braxton Labs Cherry SaisonSunday    11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Jammer PilsnerSierra Nevada specialty tappings (at the Sierra Nevada Fest Tent on Race Street between Second and Third streets):Friday    5 p.m.: Continue Reading

Sam Smith, John Legend collaborate on ‘Lay Me Down’ song for charity

Sam Smith and John Legend put their talents together for a good cause. The Grammy-winning artists recorded their own version of Smith's song "Lay Me Down" for Comic Relief Charity's annual Red Nose Day. The profits from the new track, released Monday, will go towards the cause, which is "based in the U.K., with a vision of a just world, free from poverty," the website reads. Smith spoke in a statement about the collaboration and said the song from his popular album "In The Lonely Hour" "holds a very special place" in his heart." "Not only did I perform it at the (Brit awards), I'm now going to perform it live on the Red Nose Day show with the extremely talented John Legend," he says during Comic Relief's "Face the Funny," airing March 13 on BBC One. "I recently visited a Comic Relief-funded project in my hometown which supports the young LGBT community in London," said Smith, 22. "I'm extremely proud that my single will help raise money for projects like this and many others in the U.K. and across Africa." "Sam is such a talented artist. We've been looking forward to working together for a while now," Legend, 36, said of the duet. "I'm so glad we could collaborate on such a great song and for such a great cause." ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

A charter-city deal that doesn’t really help kids: New York should look to Denver and Washington for truly productive collaboration

Any day now, we can expect news out of Albany that will sound like an ideal compromise for New York City schools. Sadly, it won’t be. Lawmakers will extend mayoral control of schools in New York City, probably for less time than Mayor de Blasio wants. Also, the cap on charter schools will get a lift, probably less than what charter advocates want. But this is not a plan that will improve schools. What New York City badly needs instead is a Denver-style compact between charters and traditional schools, a collaboration that exposes thousands more students to high-performing schools and the lessons they have learned about how to drive achievement higher. This deal will not make that happen. Not even close. All it will do, instead, is cement the already-terrible relationship between charters and the traditional public schools overseen by de Blasio and his chancellor, Carmen Fariña. How bad is the relationship? Farina has yet to even visit a Success Academy charter school, part of the highest performing charter network in the city, possibly in the country. What could Fariña learn from a charter group that is taking in thousands of low-income minority children and turning them into academic stars? Plenty, but so bitter is the political climate, she won’t even peek. Meantime, Eva Moskowitz, the head of that charter network, regularly lobs angry attacks at the city’s Department of Education. The fact that these two sectors are barely on speaking terms borders on the bizarre, and kids are getting hurt in the process. To understand the degree of hurt, New Yorkers need to shed a bit of their parochialism and look beyond their borders. In Denver, for example, the district makes charter schools a core part of its strategy, inviting successful charters to either take over struggling schools or share space with traditional schools. Not only do Denver students get access to high performing charter groups such as DSST Continue Reading

Facebook launches Riff, new app that lets friends collaborate on videos

Facebook released a new video app, and no, it's not another rip off of Meerkat. Riff is a video app that lets friends collaborate on videos by adding up to 20-second clips to an existing stream. The creation starts with a video and topic, such as #AprilFools, then after watching the original video, friends can add their own clip to it. The process can continue for as long as it needs to and multiple people can participate. "Our hunch was that if you could make videos collaboratively, the creative process would be more fun and the final product would be cooler," said Josh Miller, Facebook product manager, in a statement. Once the video stream is complete, it can be shared on Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet for others to watch. The cast of the Broadway show "An American in Paris" had the opportunity to test the app and created a backstage video that features clips for various cast members. Riff debuted Wednesday on both iOS and Android phones and will be available in 15 languages. The app began as a side project from Facebook engineers at the Facebook Creative Labs, who are also responsible for developing Mentions, Facebook Groups, Slingshot and Paper. Some of these side projects — like Slingshot — have not been successful, but it's too early to tell if Riff will take off. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Marina Abramovic slams Jay Z after collaboration: ‘He completely used me’

Jay Z says that he considers rap an art but one of his inspirations claims that the star used her. Marina Abramovic's original piece, "The Artist Is Present," was presented at the New York's Museum of Modern Art and included her sitting at a table across from others for 736 hours. Her art influenced the rap star so much that he worked with her for his 2013 video "Picasso Baby," but the artist was not pleased with the outcome. "I am very pissed by this, since he adapted my work only under one condition: that he would help my institute," she explained to Spike magazine. "Which he didn't." The artist said she told Jay Z she would help him with his video, but in return he had to help her as well. "It was a "one-way transaction,' she said. "He just completely used me and that wasn't fair." Abramovic has collaborated with other stars, but the "99 Problems" rapper is the only one to leave her feeling this way. Jay Z, Beyonce donated bail for Baltimore, Ferguson protesters: writer Jay Z 'B-Sides' concert, streamed on Tidal: A hot show through a cold computer screen "This is very different from Lady Gaga, for example, who has done great work for me," she explains, regarding the singer appearing in one of her videos. "Just by having 45 million followers, she brought all these young kids into my public." The artist said her experience with Jay Z has deterred her from working with a big name again, but it's also taught her a lot. "I will never do it again, that I can say," she told Spike. "Never. I was really naive in this kind of world. It was really new to me, and I had no idea that this would happen. It's so cruel, it's incredible. I will stay away from it for sure." ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

‘The Visit,’ with Chita Rivera, marks 50th year since the start of Broadway collaboration by John Kander and Fred Ebb

Fifty years after his first Broadway collaboration with lyricist Fred Ebb, composer John Kander is opening their last — “The Visit.” A half-century after “Flora, the Red Menace” won Liza Minnelli a Tony, Kander, 88, reflects on his collaboration with Ebb, who died in 2004. Their shows include “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” “Woman of the Year” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” “I pretty much live in the present,” he says, but he acknowledges that over more than five decades there have been favorites. One of them: “Love and Love Alone,” from “The Visit.” It’s sung by Chita Rivera, who plays a woman who evens the score with the man who rejected her. The show’s based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s dark-toned play. “For a long time, Freddie and I were trying to write a song about revenge,” he says. Then, an epiphany — that the show “was about love. “Almost instantly,” says Kander, “we were able to write this song.” Like many of his standouts, he says, the song came very fast. “Some of the best songs that we wrote we wrote very quickly.” The worst ones, he adds, “we labored over for days and days.” On “The Joe D Show” podcast this week, Kander shares more favorites, including “Coloring Book” and “I Don’t Care Much,” which were written for comedian Kaye Ballard and covered famously by Barbra Streisand. And he reminds how Robert De Niro deserves credit for their enormous hit “New York, New York.” “I don’t think we led very colorful careers,” Kander says. “We just wrote.” “The Visit,” now in previews, opens Thursday at the Lyceum. Continue Reading

Don Omar returns with ‘The Last Don II’ featuring collaborations with Daddy Yankee, Tego Calderon, Yandel, more

Don Omar is back! The internationally renowned reggeaton star is set to release "The Last Don II" on Wednesday. Omar's latest album is the follow up to his highly successful 2003 solo debut release "The Last Don." Just as the first album saw collaborations with some of the genre's biggest stars, including Daddy Yankee, the sequel will also see superstar features. Yankee returns for part II along with Tego Calderon, Wisin, Yandel, Plan B, and Natti Natasha. Omar, who's been described as "The King of Latin Music," includes 12 songs on his latest album that will be available in stores and on iTunes on June 16. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Follow @RiveraZayda Continue Reading