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Today's Chat, No Set Topic

  

.........................................Something comes into your mind? share it, as everyone is different so all topics have followers :) Happy thoughts, sad thoughts or just reflective thoughts - let's enjoy chatting without agro or nastiness. Who knows what we might learn from each other..........................................:) 

(A combination of Lets Chat and Today in memory of Gerry, Geomac and Seth.) 

Please keep it general so all can be included not about subjects that can aggravate like Politics or Religion. 

Today's Date Sunday 7th May 2017   

Many thanks to RnR and Toot for making this into such an interesting topic on past events for us all to learn so much. 

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1939 – Last public guillotining in France: Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles outside the Saint-Pierre prison.

Eugen Weidmann (February 5, 1908 – June 17, 1939) was a German criminal and serial murderer who was executed by guillotine in France in June 1939, the last public execution in that country.

Weidmann was born in Frankfurt am Main in Germany to the family of an export businessman, and went to school there. He was sent to live with his grandparents at the outbreak of World War I; during this time he started stealing. Later in his twenties he served five years in Saarbrucken jail for robbery. During his time in jail Weidmann met two men who would later become his partners in crime: Roger Million and Jean Blanc.

After their release from jail, they decided to work together to kidnap rich tourists visiting France and steal their money. They rented a villa in Saint-Cloud, near Paris, for this purpose. They enticed or kidnapped several victims whom Weidmann murdered before stealing their possessions. After the capture and trial, Weidmann and Million received the death sentence while Blanc received a jail sentence of twenty months. Million's sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

The public guillotining in France of Eugen Weidmann, 17 June 1939.

On 17 June 1939, Weidmann was beheaded outside the prison Saint-Pierre in Versailles. The "hysterical behaviour" by spectators was so scandalous that French president Albert Lebrun immediately banned all future public executions.

Executions by guillotine continued in private until Hamida Djandoubi's execution on 10 September 1977.

More: Eugen Weidmann. Guillotine.

On 17 June 1939, Weidmann was beheaded outside the prison Saint-Pierre in Versailles. The "hysterical behaviour" by spectators was so scandalous that French president Albert Lebrun immediately banned all future public executions.

I should think he would, what a horrible sight to see, the head rolling around and the blood still pumping, ooah

1940 – WWII: RMS Lancastria is attacked and sunk by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France. At least 3,000 are killed in Britain's worst maritime disaster.

RMS Lancastria was a British Cunard liner commandeered by the UK Government during World War II as HMT Lancastria. She was sunk on 17 June 1940 during Operation Ariel, the evacuation of British nationals and troops from France, two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation.

Lancastria sinking off Saint-Nazaire, France, 17 June 1940.

Lancastria sank within twenty minutes. When German aircraft began strafing survivors in the water, this ignited the fuel oil which had leaked into the sea, which was quickly transformed into a flaming inferno. Many drowned, were choked by the oil, or were shot by strafing German aircraft. Survivors were taken aboard other evacuation vessels, the trawler Cambridgeshire rescuing 900. There were 2,477 survivors.

Modern analyses estimate there were between 3,000 and 5,800 fatalities, the largest single-ship loss of life in British maritime history. The sinking of HMT Lancastria claimed more lives than the combined losses of the RMS Titanic (1,517 passengers and crew) and RMS Lusitania (1,198 passengers).

More.

1991 – Apartheid: The South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act which required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.

The Population Registration Act of 1950 required that each inhabitant of South Africa be classified and registered in accordance with his or her racial characteristics as part of the system of apartheid. Social rights, political rights, educational opportunities, and economic status were largely determined by the group to which an individual belonged.

This law worked in tandem with other laws passed as part of the apartheid system. Under the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of 1949, it was illegal for a white person to marry a person of another race. With the enactment of the Immorality Amendment Act of 1950, it also became a crime for a white person and a person of another race to have sexual intercourse.

In reality.

The South African Parliament repealed the act on 17 June 1991. However, the racial categories defined in the act remain ingrained in South African culture and they still form the basis of some official policies and statistics aimed at redressing past economic imbalances.

More.

Throughout the Oscar Pistorius trial, Judge Thokozile Masipa stood as a figure of pride for many black South Africans. There she was, a black woman presiding over a globally televised spectacle. In front of her were two armies of mainly white lawyers. The accused was a white Afrikaner. Except for the interpreters and a few witnesses, most of those who were called to the stand were white. The witnesses included Pistorius's white neighbours, his white friends and associates as well as other white people he had come across in his personal and professional life.

In a country where race is still a major fact of life, the significance of all these whites daily showing deference to a black woman was not lost on the millions avidly following the trial. She was their pride as she imperiously but unobtrusively directed proceedings.

This pride was matched last week by disappointment when Masipa acquitted the Paralympian of murder and instead found him guilty of culpable homicide. When her legal reasoning was questioned and ridiculed, it was as if she had let the entire side down. The source of pride had become a target of derision, and this hurt badly.

The disappointment was accompanied by a deflation from the millions-strong armchair jury who had long found him guilty.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/13/pistorius-case-race-colours-justice-rainbow-nation

For the life of me I cannot understand as to why the Oscar Pistorius trial was a globally televised spectacle ???

Last year, A South African appeal court more than doubled the former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s prison sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. High court judge Thokozile Masipa initially sentenced Pistorius to five years for culpable homicide in 2014. The sentence was much lower than many had expected and was widely criticised. He served only 10 months of the five-year sentence in prison before being released and put under house arrest.

In an announcement that took a matter of minutes, the supreme court justice Willie Seriti said a panel of judges had unanimously upheld an appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius’s original six-year sentence. Under that initial sentence, the double-amputee runner could have been released on parole in mid-2019. Now, the earliest he will be eligible for parole is 2023.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/24/oscar-pistorius-prison-sentence-doubled-south-african-court-reeva-steenkamp

The Mafia is more powerful than it;s ever been

 

Carabinieri and scientific police at the scene of the murder of Leonardo Portoraro, a ’Ndrangheta boss, who was shot dead on June 6 in Villapiana, in Calabria, Italy, by two killers.

 

Alex Perry: We tend to think of the Mafia as something from the past, with The Godfather. The ’Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, is actually the mafia that you’ve never seen pictured in a movie, or really in any books. For the same reason, it’s more powerful than it’s ever been. It was actually kind of a revelation to me—and I thought I knew something about the world—[to learn] quite how powerful it is. It’s an enterprise that draws in somewhere between $50 [billion] and $100 billion a year. It smuggles 70 percent of the cocaine in Europe. It runs arms all around the world. It embezzles tens of billions from the European Union and the Italian government. All that activity requires a secondary industry of money laundering. So good has it become at money laundering, and its penetration of the financial market, that other major organized crime groups ask the ’Ndrangheta to wash their cash as well.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/ndrangheta-mafia-more-powerful-and-scarier-than-its-ever-been.html

 

In 1867 Russia sold Alaska to America for 7.2 million dollars.

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1866-1898/alaska-purchase

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