Hard to swallow?

How it was possible?  

Perhaps the contemporary art is transformed in a mere financial product where the artist/PR count more than the "product" itself. When musiciens work hard, year after year, sometimes to achieve very little, here, in the contemporary art world, relations - artists/gallerists/curators - and the arranged image of the artist - is whats make things move further. Little surprise if Damien Hirst is "the artist" in the city of the city... It still real great artists in the world today, so we can just to compare - but the point is how it was possible to someone like Hirst get where he is now: at Tate Modern. We can just to reduce it to the british art and to the british society - where two guys were able to make a huge business with Hirst's objects and collections of objects?

Anguish in Azerbaijan

Baku, set to host the Eurovision Song Contest in just over a month, is rapidly trying to become a modern city. To do so, it is forcibly removing residents from their homes to make way for slick new skyscrapers and other development projects. Those who try to stay bear the brunt of the government's wrath.

Web freedom faces greatest threat 

Rebellion in the Nuba Mountains *

Syrian regime accused

The UN has accused the Syrian regime of "crimes against humanity" – including the use of snipers against small children – and has drawn up a list of senior officials who should face investigation, reportedly including President Bashar al-Assad. guardian

Patients tortured by medical staff 

A video leaked from a military hospital in the embattled Syrian city of Homs has revealed horrific images of patients receiving torture, instead of treatment, by medical staff. alarabiya

A fleeing refugee tells Channel 4 News of "total genocide" and sexual violence allegedly committed by Syrian soldiers in and around the besieged city of Jisr al-Shughour. channel4

Assad is keeping his troops in the dark. To prevent them from defecting, the soldiers are deployed to new locations every few days, primarily in the sprawling, poor northern suburbs of the capital city -- with no mobile phones and no knowledge of where they are.

Russia, a longtime Assad ally, was giving Assad diplomatic cover to intensify his crackdown

The reports from Syria of the deliberate savagery of government forces as they shell, torture and shoot civilians from areas that have dared to protest against them is unbearable to read or to watch. In the city of Homs, families just like yours or mine are trapped in a city which is being shelled from early morning until darkness falls. Buildings are being obliterated as terrified inhabitants hide in cellars. There is no water or electricity and people are running out of medicines and food.

Certainly the massacre at Houla on Friday was horrible even by the standards of this conflict: more than 100 people killed, many of them young children. They join the estimated 13,000 Syrians who have died in the past 15 months, most at the hands of the regime.

Iran to execute five Ahwazis 

Putin's Mafia State

The West must speak out against this thug - Economic growth based on gas and oil can no longer compensate for the lose of industry, education and dignity that comes from living in a mafia state. (Garry Kasparov in The Times)

Putin mingles with Berlusconi (Bunga-Bunga)

How did Vladimir Putin afford his £450,000 watch collection?

Putin's 'Luxurious Life' Set Out By Activists

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alehina – all members of the anarchic Pussy Riot punk band – have been in prison since March, held on charges of hooliganism which could eventually mean a seven-year sentence.

Ukraine Is Becoming Increasingly Authoritarian

Murder and power, Chinese style

The son of the premier Wen Jiabao, a supposed "liberal" opposed to Bo, has been linked to a dollars 100m investment fund, a story kept out of Chinese newspapers. Wen's wife is a lover of expensive jewellery. A secret US diplomatic cable, quoted by WikiLeaks, suggests influence is for sale by the Wen family.
President Hu Jintao's son has been linked to a controversial telecoms deal in Africa. When a young man died in a black Ferrari crash in Beijing last month, rumours soon had it that he was the illegitimate son of the politburo stalwart Jia Qinglin, who is said to have large property interests. And so it goes on.

Chang welcomes Bo’s downfall: “I think it’s a very good thing this guy fell because he was a huge promoter of Mao, and he did it in a very cynical way. This guy was portraying himself as an anti-corruption zealot. He was torturing people, executing people, for alleged gangsterism — true or not, these cases aren’t going through any legal process — and yet was himself very corrupt. He was one of the top guys, you can see how murky it is. Anyone who promotes the Mao era as the era most free of corruption, who knows Mao was responsible for the death of well over 70 million Chinese ... it makes my blood boil.”

Falun Gong practitioners have heard 610 Office, labor-camp, and prison staff repeat certain policies over and over: “Being beaten to death will count as suicide.” “Cremate the body immediately.” “Ruin their reputations, exhaust their finances, and destroy them physically.”

‘Partnership’ in which one partner robs the other

Joseph Stiglitz characterizes the Obama administration’s vast transfer of money and pubic debt to the banks as a “privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses. It is a ‘partnership’ in which one partner robs the other.” 

Prof. Bill Black describes banks as becoming criminogenic and innovating “control fraud.” globalresearch

Far away from funding industrial growth and development 

Banking has moved so far away from funding industrial growth and economic development that it now benefits primarily at the economy’s expense in a predator and extractive way, not by making productive loans. This is now the great problem confronting our time. Banks now lend mainly to other financial institutions, hedge funds, corporate raiders, insurance companies and real estate, and engage in their own speculation in foreign currency, interest-rate arbitrage, and computer-driven trading programs. Industrial firms bypass the banking system by financing new capital investment out of their own retained earnings, and meet their liquidity needs by issuing their own commercial paper directly. Yet to keep the bank casino winning, global bankers now want governments not only to bail them out but to enable them to renew their failed business plan – and to keep the present debts in place so that creditors will not have to take a loss. Michael Hudson

New Labour imitated Mrs Thatcher in much of her rhetoric and some of her ideas. The trouble was that they learned only half the lesson. They confused the creation of wealth, of which she was a passionate advocate, with the wisdom of the wealthy, about which she was sceptical.

The Governor of the Bank of England ... launched a stinging attack on the culture of the industry he oversees, condemning bankers for high pay, immoral practices and providing shoddy service to customers.