Last night, Phish completed the third show of their semi-annual Independence Day Weekend run at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. The shows offered no shortage of highlights, including new songs, tour debuts, beloved covers, and deep jams on unexpected songs, but the undoubted centerpiece of the weekend was the monster 22+ minute “Chalk Dust Torture” from Friday evening’s performance, featuring tight, spacey improvisation and even some instrument rotating–with Trey hitting the marimba lumina and Mike taking a turn on the keys. The band has released official pro-shot video of the stellar jam for all of us to enjoy.Set aside 22 minutes, pull up a chair, plug in your headphones, turn up the volume, and give this a spin–you’ll be glad that you did:Phish’s 2016 Summer Tour continues this Wednesday with a relatively (compared to the rest of the tour) intimate show at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, ME.
Huge crowds of Belarusian protesters on Sunday flooded the capital Minsk, urging strongman Alexander Lukashenko to quit power, defying the threat of arrest and a massive deployment of forces.More than 100,000 people are estimated to have taken to the streets of the capital Minsk over the past three weekends and AFP journalists said the crowds in Minsk might have been even larger on Sunday.Troops, water cannon, armored personnel carriers and armored reconnaissance vehicles were deployed to the city center but protesters from all walks of life — from parents with children to students and even priests– rallied in a show of defiance. “I am convinced that protests will continue until we win.”Unprecedented demonstrations broke out after Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet state for 26 years, claimed re-election with 80 percent of the vote on August 9.Opposition rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya says she won the vote but Lukashenko’s security forces have detained thousands of protesters, many of whom accused police of beatings and torture. Several people have died during the crackdown.Tikhanovskaya left Belarus under pressure from authorities and took shelter in EU member Lithuania. ‘Tough nut’ Putin has been keen to unify Russia and Belarus, and Moscow has accompanied its recent offers of military aid with calls for tighter integration. Lukashenko has in the past ruled out outright unification and sought to play Moscow off against the West, but his options are now limited.On Thursday, Lukashenko hosted Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and said the two countries had managed to agree on issues they “could not agree earlier”.The mustachioed leader said he planned to “dot all the i’s” with Putin in Moscow in the next few weeks.Lukashenko made headlines this week when he claimed that his security forces had intercepted German calls showing that Navalny’s poisoning had been faked.Belarusian state television broadcast the “intercept” in which a Mike in Warsaw and Nick in Berlin discuss Navalny’s materials and call Lukashenko a “tough nut to crack.”Lukashenko also raised eyebrows last month when he brandished an assault rifle and had his 16-year-old son Nikolai appear next to him in a bulletproof vest while also wielding a weapon.Topics : ‘Honest elections’ Belarusians have been demonstrating across the country for nearly a month even though the protest movement lacks a clear leader, with many activists jailed or forced out of the country.On Sunday, the protesters marched towards Lukashenko’s residence at the Independence Palace where they chanted “Tribunal” and “How much are you getting paid?” One protester held a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny who Germany says has been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent”Please only live,” said the placard, referring to President Vladimir Putin’s main political rival. Navalny has been in a coma for the past two weeks after he drank what his aides suspect was a cup of poisoned tea in Siberia.”Sasha, have some tea. It’s Putin’s treat,” some protesters chanted, referring to Lukashenko by his diminutive name.Many say they will keep taking to the streets until Lukashenko quits.”Lukashenko must go,” said Nikolai Dyatlov, a 32-year-old protester.Another protester, 40-year-old Anastasia Bazarevich, said: “Half of the village where my grandma lives comes out and protests every night.”Russia has said it will respond to any Western attempts to “sway the situation” and Putin has raised the possibility of sending military support.As demonstrators gradually dispersed later Sunday, images showed hooded men in civilian clothes with batons chasing and beating demonstrators. Around 250 people were arrested nationwide including 175 in Minsk, according to the Viasna rights group.An interior ministry spokesperson refused to confirm the figures.Many protesters held red-and-white flags and placards while a band beat drums and played other instruments. “Despite rain and pressure from the authorities, despite repression, many more people turned up in Minsk than last Sunday,” top opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova told reporters.
1. Coroner takes aim at parents, CYF over baby’s deathNZ Herald 29 Feb 2012(Coroner Peter) Ryan also considered CYF’s role in the girl’s death, saying the agency had no involvement with her before her hospital admission despite staff taking Ms Percy’s first child from her…. The inquest revealed that CYF was not aware Sage existed until September 18, 2009 – nine days before her death – when Plunket told the agency Ms Percy had given birth to a third child but that staff had not seen that baby for nine months.Coroner says child agencies must talkNZ Herald 23 Feb 2012The inquest had heard how CYF became aware of Hail-Sage only after a doctor raised concerns about her health shortly before she died. This was despite her mother being a domestic purposes beneficiary and two of her children already being in CYF care because of safety fears.2. CYF unaware smothered baby even bornNZ Herald 1 June 2012A Rotorua mother jailed this week for suffocating her baby while drunkenly sleeping was thought to have been “coping” by Child, Youth and Family before the tragedy. The agency was unaware Ngaire Kura Tukiwaho had given birth to Tahi Elvis Edwards, who died at just 2 months old as she slept on him in the back of a parked car after a day of drinking in January last year… Three years earlier, Tukiwaho, 30, lost a 1-month-old son, Hoani Benino, to cot death and was advised of safe sleeping practices… CYF had been involved with Tukiwaho in 2008 after concerns about her two eldest children. At that time, CYF was also advised of Hoani’s death…. In 2007, CYF had previously taken into its custody two children which the boy’s father had with another woman. After Tahi’s death, two of his siblings were taken into the care of members of Tukiwaho’s family, as was a third child she gave birth to later that year.3. Mother on charge of baby murderNZ Herald 9 Dec 2010A woman yesterday charged with murdering her newborn baby pleaded guilty to disposing of the body of another newborn child earlier this year.