Day of Remembrance for Victims of Chemical Warfare

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare takes place annually on April 29 as a “tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.” April 29 was chosen as the date for the event’s celebration because the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force 29 April 1997. It is officially recognised by the United Nations (UN) and has been celebrated since 2005. On the 2013 observance day, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Urged the international community to intensify efforts to rid the world of chemical weapons, along with all other weapons of mass destruction and also urged them to work together to bring all States under the Convention and promote its full implementation to honour past victims and liberate future generations from the threat of chemical weapons.

In 2005, during the last day of the United Nations’ Tenth Session of the Conference of the State Parties, the members of the UN officially recognised the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, following a suggestion by Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General of the Secretariat and proposed the erection of a monument at the Hague commemorating all victims of chemical warfare

Although the majority of the world has either given up or destroyed their stockpiles of chemical weapons as of 2013, several nations have yet to do so. Five of these, Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, and North Korea, have not ratified the Convention and are suspected to possess chemical weapons. Syria is also known to possess a sizeable stockpile and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted this in his 2013 speech, condemning the nation for its alleged exploitation of chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war. On September 14, 2013 the United States and Russia announced in Geneva that they reached a deal whereby Syria would ratify the treaty and give up its chemical weapons. The Syrian government has been cooperating and as of November 2013, all but one of Syria’s 23 publicly declared chemical weapon sites have been visited by international inspectors that are dismantling the Syrian chemical weapons program.

International Dance Day

International Dance Day is celebrated annually, on April 29. It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (CID, Conseil International de la Danse), a UNESCO partner NGO. The date is not linked to a particular person or a particular form of dance, although it’s also the day when the French dancer and ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre was born. The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance, which being a part of every culture, constitutes the ideal means for bringing together people from different countries and to address people who do not follow dance events. The president of the International Dance Council also sends the official message for Dance Day to every country around the world and it is posted at the official website for Dance Day.

The International Dance Council considers that while dance is an integral part of human culture, it is less prioritized by official establishments in the world. Professor Alkis Raftis, president of the International Dance Council, said in his 2003 Dance Day Message that In more than half of the 200 countries in the world, dance does not appear in legal texts and There are no funds allocated in the state budget to support this art form.

The focus of Dance Day for 2005 was on primary education. International Dance Council urged dance establishments to contact the Ministries of Education with the proposals to celebrate this day at all schools with writing essays about dance, drawing dance pictures, dancing in the streets, etc. The 2006 message addressed the reluctance of dancers to join collective organizations, expresses an opinion that this is a major reason of the lack of the due recognition (legislation, financing, visibility) of dance in society, and calls: “Dancers of the world, unite!” The 2007 Dance Day was dedicated to children.

Individual Dancers struggle to approach Government, Sponsors and the media and often achieve poor results, so in 2008, Alkis Raftis circulated an e-mail aimed at Governments (national, regional or local), sponsors (private or public) and the media (newspapers, magazines, radio, TV) stating that they are the three most important factors affecting the practice of Dance and proposed a better way to advertise dance through CID Sections representing all forms of dance, all levels, all functions”

The United Nations proclaimed 2010 as International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and designated UNESCO as lead agency, having regard to its experience of more than 60 years in advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples. The new Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, proposed a universal vision, which she called the “new humanism” – a vision open to the entire human community, providing a humanist response to globalization and crisis, aiming at the safeguarding of social cohesion and the preservation of peace. Dance Festivals also promote reciprocal knowledge and respect of diversity in the most lively manner.

Teachers offering classes in foreign countries provide immediate bridges of understanding ingrained into the bodies of dancers; there are tens of thousands of dance teachers crossing national borders yearly. Many people also attend dance festivals yearly Congresses and open conferences also provide opportunities to showcase one’s work to an audience of peers; there are dozens of international meetings of dance researchers, historians and critics in any given year. Attending festivals, classes or conferences and watching a dance from a foreign country is another way to vividly illustrate cultural diversity, Also In 2014, a flashmob of around 50 classical dancers also got together to perform.

Duke Ellington

American composer, pianist, and big-band leader Duke Ellington was Born 29th April in 1899. During his life he wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the opinion of Bob Blumenthal of The Boston Globe “In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Ellington.” A major figure in the history of jazz, Ellington’s music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards.

Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death and the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowed on him a special posthumous honor in 1999. Ellington called his music “American Music” rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as “beyond category.” These included many of the musicians who were members of his orchestra, some of whom are considered among the best in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most well-known jazz orchestral units in the history of jazz.

He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as “Jeep’s Blues” for Johnny Hodges, “Concerto for Cootie” for Cootie Williams, which later became “Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me” with Bob Russell’s lyrics, and “The Mooche” for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol’s “Caravan” and “Perdido” which brought the “Spanish Tinge” to big-band jazz. Several members of the orchestra remained there for several decades. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his “writing and arranging companion.” Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films. Ellington led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington, who had already been handling all administrative aspects of his father’s business for several decades, led the band until his own death in 1996. At that point, the original band dissolved. Paul Ellington, Mercer’s youngest son and executor of the Duke Ellington estate, kept the Duke Ellington Orchestra going from Mercer’s death onwards

Avengers:Infinity War

I would like to see Avengers: Infinity War. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It features Robert Downey Jr. Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, with Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt.

Avengers: Infinity War, takes place shortly after The destruction of Asgard. It concerns the villainous Thanos and his children—Cull Obsidian, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive who have acquired the Power Stone from the planet Xandar, and are now seeking the the Space Stone from the Tesseract. Thor, Loki and Hulk are unable to stop them so Hulk escapes to the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, and warns Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos’ evil plan to destroy half the universe. In response, Strange recruits Tony Stark. Then Maw and Obsidian arrive to retrieve the Time Stone from Strange. After a battle Maw captures Strange. Tony Stark and Peter Parker pursue Maw’s spaceship, while Banner contacts the other Avengers. In Scotland, Midnight and Glaive ambush Wanda Maximoff and Vision. However Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff and Sam Wilson rescue them, and they take shelter with James Rhodes at the Avengers headquarters. Vision, Maximoff and Rogers then attempt to stop Thanos from retrieving the Mindstone

Elsewhere The Guardians of the Galaxy rescue Thor who realizes that Thanos is also seeking the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector at Knowhere. So The Avengers work with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos from amassing the all-powerful Infinity Stones. Rocket and Groot accompany Thor to Nidavellir seeking a way to kill Thanos . Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax and Mantis find Thanos at Knowhere Where he kidnaps Gamora, his adoptive daughter, who is coerced into revealing the location of the Soul Stone where Red Skull informs Thanos how to obtain it.

Nebula escapes and requests the remaining Guardians meet her on Titan, Thanos’ homeworld. Stark and Parker attempt to rescue Strange. Venturing to Titan, they meet Quill, Drax, and Mantis and forms a plan to confront Thanos and remove the Infinity Gauntlet. However this does not go well and Strange is coerced into exchanging the Time Stone to save Tony Stark and Thanos Escapes.

Upon arriving in Wakanda, Rogers reunites with Bucky Barnes. The Avengers task Shuri with extracting the Mind Stone. Thanos’ army invades and the Avengers mount a defense alongside King T’Challa and the Wakandan forces. Banner, Thor, Rocket, and Groot rally the defenses. Midnight, Obsidian and Glaive are killed, their army destroyed. Maximoff destroys the Mind Stone, however Thanos uses the Time Stone undoing her actions and retrieves the stone from Vision, and It is up to the rest of the team to stop Thanos activating the Infinity Gauntlet in an exciting showdown….

Ian Rankin OBE DL

PProlific Scottish crime thriller writer Ian Rankin, OBE, DL was born 28th April 1960. His best known books are the Inspector Rebus novels, although He has also written several pieces of literary criticism. Rankin did not set out to be a crime writer. He thought his first novels Knots and Crosses and Hide and Seek were mainstream books, more in keeping with the Scottish traditions of Robert Louis Stevenson and even Muriel Spark . He was disconcerted by their classification as genre fiction. Scottish novelist Allan Massie, who tutored Rankin while Massie was writer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh, reassured him by saying, who would want to be a dry academic writer when “they could be John Buchan?”

Among his best known novels are The Flood, Knots and Crosses, Watchman, Westwind, Hide and Seek, Tooth and Nail, Strip Jack, Witch Hunt, Bleeding Hearts, Mortal Causes, Blood Hunt, Let it Bleed, Black and Blue, The Hanging Garden, Dead Souls, Set in Darkness, The Falls, Resurrection Man, Beggars Banquet, A Question of Blood, Flesh Market Close, Exit Music, A Cool Head and Doors Open.

Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels are set mainly in Edinburgh and are considered major contributions to the Tartan Noir genre. Ten of the novels have also been adapted for a television series on ITV, starring John Hannah as Rebus in Series 1 & 2, with Ken Stott taking on the role for Series 3-5. In 2009, Rankin also recently donated the short story “Fieldwork” to Oxfam’s Ox-Tales project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors and Rankin’s story was published in the Earth collection. Rankin’s latest novel include Standing in Another Man’s Grave( 18th Inspector Rebus & 3rd Malcolm Fox novel), Saints of the Shadow Bible (19th Inspector Rebus & 4th Malcolm Fox novel), Dark Road Stage play, The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories Short stories And Even Dogs in the Wild (the 20th Inspector Rebus & 5th Malcolm Fox novel).

Workers Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day, International Workers’ Memorial Day or International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured or Day of Mourning takes place annually around the world on April 28, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. Workers’ Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace incidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety. The slogan for the day is Remember the dead – Fight for the living. Although April 28 is used as the focal point for remembrance and a day of international solidarity, campaigning and other related activities continue throughout the year right around the world.

In 1970, the AFL-CIO declared April 28 “Workers’ Memorial Day” to honour the hundreds of thousands of working people killed and injured at work every year. Following the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by the U.S. Congress in 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed in 1971. In 1984, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) did the same in Canada. The Canadian Labour Congress declared an annual day of remembrance in 1985 on April 28, which is the anniversary of a comprehensive Workers’ Compensation Act (refer to the entry Workplace Safety & Insurance Board), passed in 1914. In 1991, the Canadian parliament passed an Act respecting a National Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace, making April 28 an official Workers’ Mourning Day.

Many Workers’ Memorial Day events have been organised in North America, and worldwide. Since 1989, trade unions in North America, Asia, Europe and Africa organised events on April 28. The late Hazards Campaigner Tommy Harte brought Workers’ Memorial Day to the UK in 1992 as a day to ‘Remember the Dead: Fight for the Living’. In the UK the campaign for Workers’ Memorial Day has been championed by the Hazards Campaign and taken up by trade unions, adopted by Scotland’s TUC in 1993, followed by the TUC in 1999 and the Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive in 2000.

April 28 is recognised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) as International Workers’ Memorial Day. In 1996 the ICFTU commemorated Workers’ Memorial Day and began to set annual ‘themes’. For 2006 the ICFTU theme was Union workplaces: safer workplaces, focusing on a global ban on asbestos and increased awareness of HIV/AIDS. During 2001 the ILO, part of the United Nations, recognised Workers’ Memorial Day and declared it World Day for Safety and Health at Work and in 2002 the ILO announced that April 28 should be an official day in the United Nations system.

Workers’ Memorial Day is recognised as a national day in many countries including: Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Gibraltar, Ireland, Luxembourg, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan, United States and the United Kingdom. Trade unions in other countries including Benin, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand, Romania and Singapore seek government recognition for Workers Memorial Day.

Workers’ Memorial Day is now an international day of remembrance of workers killed in incidents at work, or by diseases caused by work, and annually on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day events are held throughout the world. Some examples include active campaigning, and workplace awareness events. Public events include speeches, multi-faith religious services, laying wreaths, planting trees, unveiling monuments, balloon releases, raising public awareness of issues and laying out empty shoes to symbolise those who have died at work. World Day for Safety and Health at Work also takes place every 28 April to raise awareness of the consequences of work-related accidents and diseases; and to stress the importance of occupational safety and health (OSH) at work and provide support for the improvement of international working conditions and labour standards.

Sir Terry Pratchett OBE

English novelist Sir Terry Pratchett OBE, was born 28th April in 1948. He is best known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre In particular the popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. Pratchett’s first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971, and his first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic was published in 1983. Since then he has been very prolfc, writing on average, two books a year . After finishing the fourth Discworld novel, Mort, he decided to focus fully on hs novels and make his living through writing and published his fifth book Equal Rites soon after. Since then He has written many other discworld Novels including , wyrd sisters, pyramids, Guards Guards, Eric, Moving Pictures, Reaper Man, Witches Abroad, Lords and ladies, Men at arms, Maskerade, Feet of Clay, Hogfather, Jingo, Small Gods, The Last Continent, Interesting Times, the Fifth Elephant, The Truth, Thief of Time, Maurice & his Educated Rodents, Carpe Jugulum, Monstrous Regiment, the Last Hero, Night Watch, Wee Free Men, Hatful of Sky, Going Postal, Dodger, Making Money, Wintersmith, Thud!, Night Watch, Unseen Academicals, Raising Steam, The Shepherds Crown and I shall Wear Midnight. The Discoworld novel Snuff became the then third-fastest-selling novel since records began in the United Kingdom selling 55,000 copies in the first three days (and I bought one of them). The novels all had distinctive cover art by Josh Kirby and Since Kirby sadly passed away in October 2001, the covers have been designed by Paul Kidby. Pratchett has also written The Long Earth, The Long Mars and The Long Cosmos with Stephen Baxter and Good Omens with Neil Gaiman

 

 

Many of Pratchett’s books have also been adapted for Radio and Television, the BBC’s Woman’s Hour broadcast The Colour of Magic as a serial in six parts and Truckers was adapted as a stop motion animation series for Thames Television by Cosgrove Hall Films in 1992. Johnny and the Dead was also made into a TV serial for Children’s ITV on ITV, and in 1995. Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music were adapted as animated cartoon series by Cosgrove Hall for Channel 4 in 1996. In January 2006, BBC One also aired a three-part adaptation of Johnny and the Bomb. A two-part, feature-length version of Hogfather starring Michelle Dockery, David Jason and featuring the voices of Christopher Lee and Ian Richardson, was first aired on Sky One in the United Kingdom in December 2006, and on ION Television in the U.S. in 2007. A two-part, feature-length adaptation of The Colour of Magic and its sequel The Light Fantastic aired during Easter 2008 on Sky One. A third adaptation, Going Postal was aired at the end of May 2010. The Sky adaptations are notable also for the author’s presence in cameo roles.

He remains a hugely popular author to this day and many of his books have occupied top places on the best-seller list. According to the Bookseller’s Pocket Yearbook from 2005, in 2003 Pratchett’s UK sales put him in 2nd place behind J. K. Rowling and in the paperback sales list Pratchett came 5th, behind James Patterson, Alexander McCall Smith, John Grisham and J. R. R. Tolkien). His sales in the UK alone are more than 2.5 million copies a year. In 1998 Pratchett was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” . In addition, he was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours. In 2001 he won the Carnegie Medal for his children’s novel The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. In December 2007, Pratchett publicly announced that he was suffering from posterior cortical atrophy, a variation of Alzheimer’s disease and, subsequently, made a substantial public donation to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, and filmed a programme chronicling his experiences with the disease for the BBC. Sadly though Sir Terry Pratchett OBE, passed away on Thursday, 12 March 2015 at the age of 66 after a lengthy battle with the disease at his home surrounded by his family and with his cat sleeping on his bed. His latest novel “The Shepherd’s Crown” was published posthumously in 2015.