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New Russian Film About 20th Century Crimean Saint (Luke)

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This article originally appeared at Pravoslavie.ru


On April 30, 2015, the film, Curing Fear, will be released, based on the history of life of the outstanding surgeon, scientist, and Holy Hierarch Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and the Crimea, reports the Rossiyskaya Gazeta Russian newspaper.

He was born Valentin Felixovich Voyno-Yasenetsky (1877-1961, his feast-day is June 11). He was a brilliant surgeon-practitioner and scientist, and his notable written work, Purulent Surgery Essays, has been a manual and reference book for several generations of medics. A profoundly pious person all his life, the future saint was widowed in 1919 and became a monk in 1923 when the anti-religious and anti-Church campaign was rising in Russia. In monasticism he received the name Luke in honor of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke. In the same year he was secretly consecrated a bishop.

Later he was destined to undergo arrests, prison, exiles, and many years of ministry for the Lord and to people. In 1937, following another arrest and 13 whole days of interrogations without sleep he went on a hunger strike for 18 days and did not sign any testimony against other people who were under investigation. He performed surgeries during his exile in Yeniseysk, and received patients in Arkhangelsk. He kept searching for new methods of medical treatment and collecting materials for their support. Everywhere he remained a true physician, monk, and priest.

According to the website Pravmir.ru, the pre-premiere screening and discussion of the film, Curing Fear, has taken place at the Oktyabr cinema. The film’s general producer Oleg Sytnik, actress Yekaterina Guseva (who played the female lead), actor Vitaly Bezrukov (who played the role of Holy Archbishop Luke in his mature age) as well as Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Abbot of the Moscow Sretensky Monastery, took part in it.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has sent a message of greetings to the film makers:

“With great interest I have watched the film, Curing Fear, devoted to the life and ministry of St. Luke (Voyno-Yasenetsky), Archbishop of Simferopol and the Crimea. From the bottom of my heart I express gratitude to the director, producer, and the film’s creative team for this remarkable work of art”.

“It is extremely hard to portray sainthood by means of film-making. Not only does it require extraordinary professionalism and exclusive creative valor from the director and actors, but also the ability to touch intellectually and wholeheartedly this marvelous spiritual phenomenon. Reflecting upon sanctity, it is very important not to confuse it with the phenomenon of a superman.”

“A saint, a holy man is neither a superman nor a hero in the usual sense of these words. A saint is identified not in loud words and grandiose deeds, but rather in everyday deeds – in execution of one’s professional duty, in one’s utmost personal honesty and decency, in the ability to endure all trials courageously and firmly, the ability to remain calm and with presence of mind in the face of terrible dangers, setting all hopes upon the good will and the all-wise providence of God. It is gratifying to state that the director together with the creative team have succeeded in developing the theme of genuine Christian holiness, without running to extremes, avoiding excessive sublimity and sentimentality.”

The movie was shot for five years in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine. Producer Oleg Sytnik has expressed his hope that the picture would be watched by millions of people in Russia and the CIS states.

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Bank of Ireland linked to fund involved in massive European tax fraud

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Bank of Ireland’s services were used by a company involved in a network of hedge funds at the centre of financial transactions, dubbed fraud by a German court, that have cost European tax authorities billions of euro.

The Irish bank’s fund administration unit, Bank of Ireland Securities Services (BOISS), was the custodian bank of an investment fund involved in the scheme.

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Reader question: When must I change to winter tyres in Switzerland?

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While winters have been a little milder in recent years, the snow, ice and sleet can still play havoc with your car.

Landslides and other road damage caused by inclement winter weather can also mean you lose control a little easier. 

Even in city areas, the colder weather can increase the risk of losing control. 

READ MORE: Ten strange Swiss road signs you need to know about

In Switzerland, the law is relatively complex. While there is no hard and fast rule for winter tyres at certain times, you have a responsibility to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy – which means being ready for the conditions. 

When do I need to put winter tyres on – and what happens if I don’t? 

Unlike many of its neighbours – and many cold countries from across the world – winter tyres are not mandatory in Switzerland. 

Therefore, you will not face any penalty if you continue to drive on summer tyres all year ‘round, either on a federal or cantonal basis.  

This is somewhat surprising for people from Austria, Sweden, Finland and some parts of the United States where winter tyres are mandatory during colder months. 

In Austria, for instance, winter tyres are required from November to April, regardless of the conditions. 

In Germany, Italy and Norway, winter tyres are not mandatory on the basis of the year’s calendar, but they are required in certain road conditions. 

However, certain roads can require you to have chains or winter tyres in order to drive on them at certain times.

This will be designated by a sign on a particular road or pass that winter tyres are required. 

Generally speaking, this will be on mountain roads or other passes, rather than in city streets. 

OK, so I don’t have to, but when should I change? 

The Swiss Road Traffic Act (Art. 29) says that all drivers on Swiss roads have a responsibility to ensure their vehicles are in a roadworthy condition. 

In slippery, winter conditions, the best way to ensure that your car does not lose control is to have it fitted with winter tyres. 

There are also insurance obligations to consider. 

The Swiss government notes that drivers without winter tyres may be deemed to be negligent. 

Driving in Europe: What are the Covid rules and checks at road borders?

“In the case of an accident, the driver may be found liable if the car is not properly equipped for the winter. The insurance company may not cover the full cost of the damage or may even take action against the insured person for negligence.”

Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) says that you should consider putting winter tyres on your car if the temperature drops below 7 degrees. 

Auto Suisse says that a default rule to follow is consider replacing summer tyres with winter ones from October until Easter, although this is of course dependent on the conditions. 



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Social media: Why vaccines, paella and ‘tortilla’ trend on Spanish Twitter | Opinion

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The content that gets shared the most on social media is not always an indignant message or an ingenious insult. Sometimes, it can even be pleasant to be on Twitter. This past weekend, the German television network Deutsche Welle published an English-language video special about Spain’s successful Covid-19 vaccination campaign. This video has been shared by Twitter users more than a thousand times in messages that expressed pride and included the hashtag #marcaEspaña (or, Brand Spain).

The Deutsche Welle video compared the 78% rate of fully vaccinated people in Spain at the time the report was made (the figure is now closer to 80%) to the 69% in Italy, 68% in France and 65% in Germany. Some of the reasons put forward to explain this success, despite a slow start, include widespread faith in the country’s public health system, the media’s scant coverage of vaccine conspiracy theories, and also “the devastating first wave of the pandemic.”

Positive messages about Spain from a foreign source are usually popular on social media. But at the same time it seems that if a Spaniard mentions that the country is doing something reasonably well, such as the vaccination campaign for instance, their fellow countrymen have trouble believing it. The impression (not always off base) is that the speaker has an axe to grind or may be trying to sell us a story (or even worse, a flag). But if a foreign media outlet says the same thing – well, we may not be fully convinced, but at least we enjoy hearing it.

And it’s not just with crucial subject matter such as vaccines. It also happens with other less critically important issues, such as Spain’s famous potato omelet, or tortilla de patatas. When a reporter from The New York Times extolled celebrity chef Ferrán Adriá’s version, made with potato chips from a bag rather than freshly sliced potatoes, it prompted nothing but satisfied tweets. But messages about the same recipe shared before the article came out showed a marked difference of opinions, to put it mildly.

It also works the other way around: when our dear old Spain comes under attack, we view it as an affront requiring revenge. There are still Twitter users out there who have not forgiven British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for making a paella with chorizo in 2016 (at the time, some people compared his creation with the notorious botched restoration of a Christ figure in 2012).

And let’s not forget what happened to an Italian citizen who tweeted this summer that Spain was like Italy, but a bit worse. I will refrain from mentioning his name because he has already put up with enough grief. “Hey guys,” he amusingly tweeted afterwards. “Just checking, does ‘me cago en tu puta madre’ mean ‘I respectfully disagree’?”

I don’t think that Twitter turns us into patriots, fortunately enough for everyone. There’s no doubt that a lot of different elements are at play here: it’s easier to praise the Deutsche Welle video if you are a supporter of public healthcare (or even of the government). As for the food disputes, there is a lot of joking and pretending going on there. There is also an element of surprise: while we find it normal for there to be talk in Spain about the US, the UK or Germany, we are surprised every time Spain is mentioned abroad, and that’s because we tend to view ourselves as rather insignificant (which is understandable). And I’m also not ruling out the view held by some that focusing so much on what the foreign media says is, in itself, quite provincial.

But it’s also true that we should all find some joy in the fact that, once in a while, we can work together to do something well. And perhaps even celebrate with a good tortilla de patatas. I won’t go into whether it should have onion in it or not, because I don’t want to ruin the moment with another argument.



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