Gallery Link: MEETING WITH GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL | BERLIN GERMANY | FEBRUARY 12

Taking a break from promoting his latest film, “Hail, Caesar!,” in Germany, George Clooney and his wife, Amal Clooney, paid a visit to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.  The actor-activist and the human-rights attorney sat down for a private meeting with Merkel to discuss the crisis in Syria and Europe’s efforts to help the Middle Eastern nation’s refugees, the Associated Press reported. They talked about “the responsibilities of all states, not just European states but states around the world, to deal with what is a global problem, not just a Syrian problem or a German issue,” said former British foreign secretary David Miliband, who now helms the International Rescue Committee aid group and joined the couple for the 40-minute sit-down.

100 LIVES is pleased to announce the launch of a new annual scholarship established in partnership with esteemed international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. The new ‘Amal Clooney Scholarship’ is part of an ongoing effort by 100 LIVES – the organization behind the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity – to strengthen cross-cultural education and understanding through collaborative social and philanthropic projects.

Gallery Link: 100 LIVES | AURORA PRIZE CEREMONY | YEREVAN ARMENIA | APRIL 24
Gallery Link: 101ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE WWI ARMENIAN GENOCIDE | LAYING OF FLOWERS | YEREVAN ARMENIA | APRIL 24

“As a leading human rights barrister and campaigner, Amal Clooney is an inspirational role model for young women around the world. She exemplifies integrity, compassion and dedication – and typifies what it means to be a global citizen across all cultures.” said Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of 100 LIVES and UWC Dilijan College, an international co-educational boarding school hosting students from 64 countries. “100 LIVES recognizes the need for future generations to have greater cross-cultural understanding. The college strives to make education a force for peace by bringing together aspiring young leaders from all over the world.”

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Hollywood actor George Clooney, leaves Tiger Lily restaurant after having lunch with Heather McGowan, 32, from Glasgow, who won a competition to meet the star on November 12, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The actor also visited the Social Bite cafe, which donates all its profits to homeless people, he will also address the Scottish Business awards this evening.

Gallery Link: POST CODE LOTTERY OFFICE | EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND | NOVEMBER 12
Gallery Link: SCOTTISH BUSINESS AWARDS | EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND | NOVEMBER 12
Gallery Link: TIGER LILY RESTAURANT | EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND | NOVEMBER 12
Gallery Link: SOCIAL BITE SANDWHICH SHOP | EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND | NOVEMBER 12

Video:  George Clooney tells funny medical story at Scottish Business Awards, Edinburgh 12.11.15

News Report:

Amal and George Clooney Speak to Syrian Refugees in Meeting with International Rescue Committee in Berlin, Germany.

In February of 2015, Amal Clooney and George Clooney met with one of the Syrian families that Timo Stammberger had photographed as part of “Humans of Lageso“. You can read Mahmoud and his family’s story here: Mahmoud and his family

Gallery Link: SYRIAN REFUGEE MEETING | BERLIN GERMANY | FEBRUARY 12 | PHOTOS: © TIMO STAMMBERGER

World Humanitarian Day falls on 19 August, the day when, in 2003, 22 aid workers were killed in a bombing at the UN headquarters in Baghdad. It’s a day to pay tribute to all people affected by humanitarian crises and those who lost their lives in humanitarian service. It’s a day to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the world.

In recognition, International Business Times posted a short article listing just a few celebrities who use their status to draw attention to humanitarian needs.   This is what they had to say about George and the video of George in 2012 testifying before Congress about a humanitarian crisis on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Read about the other celebs at their website.

The actor is known for speaking his mind about issues that violate justice in society. His involvement with the genocide in Sudan has been long and ceaseless. The actor founded his charity “Not on Our Watch” to help victims of the genocide. George also travelled to the country and met with people who’ve suffered rape and torture. George was named United Nations Messenger For Peace in 2008.

World Humanitarian Day.org will be running a #sharehumanity campaign through Facebook and Twitter.   You can donate your FB or Twitter feed for 24 hours to tell the story of one amazing individual in the world.   You can also sign up for Messengers of Humanity an online community of people who want to make a difference. They recognize the power of social media and know awareness is the first step in driving action. They use their social networks to tell people about those issues that need to take action and make a difference to the world we live in. You can find out all the information on the website http://www.worldhumanitarianday.org/

Andrea Bocelli brought one of the most successful charity events in the world to Italy, when Celebrity Fight Night left its hometown of Phoenix, AZ for the first time ever last week.

Celebrity Fight Night is a star-studded annual charity event presented in honor of its yearly special guest, Muhammad Ali, and has been long supported by Andrea Bocelli. With this inaugural visit to Italy, Celebrity Fight Night eclipsed $100 million raised in its 20 year history, with the weekend’s event bringing in approximately $6 million. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ and The Andrea Bocelli Foundation.

From September 3 to 7, 100 philanthropic donors and special guests were guided around Tuscany and treated to the very best arts, entertainment and culture in the region.

On September 4, donors attended the Teatro La Pergola, in Florence, where they were served a gourmet dinner and enjoyed a music and dance show of the Renaissance, sponsored by Stefano Ricci, historical and famous maison of Italian luxury fashion.

On September 5, at Forte Dei Marmi, Andrea Bocelli performed and honored Grammy-winning composer and producer David Foster, as well as Sophia Loren for her generosity and for her efforts as an Italian ambassador around the world. During the event, which was sponsored by Antico Setificio Fiorentino, Foster was be joined by Reba McEntire, Lionel Richie, John Legend and Ronnie Dunn for a special performance.

The charity trip ended on September 7, with a featured gala that was held in the historical Salone dei Cinquecento at the Palazzo Vecchio. Andrea and Veronica Bocelli presented the inaugural Andrea Bocelli Humanitarian Awards on stage to George Clooney and Lionel Richie, who both took to the stage to accept their honors. Maestro Andrea Bocelli, along with the extraordinary orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, headlined the evening of breathtaking entertainment, incredible auction, and fine cuisine. The elegant décor was designed by the prestigious and refined hand of the Italian fashion brand, and event sponsor, Ermanno Scervino.

The auction, which raised nearly $1 million, was hosted by renowned auctioneer, Simon De Pury, and included exclusive items and celebrity experiences such as a dinner with Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal.

Additional guests at the gala included Clooney’s fiancée Amal Alamuddin, as well as Celebrity Fight Night Chairman and Founder Jimmy Walker, Host Michelle Hunziker, David & Yolanda Foster, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Roberto & Eva Cavalli, Cheryl Ladd, Ronnie Dunn, Laura Pausini, Leonardo Ferragamo & Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo, Mentalist Lior Suchard, and more.

The five day experience was sponsored by Stefano Ricci, Ermanno Scervino, Antico Setificio Fiorentino, Roberto Cavalli, Marchesi di Frescobaldi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci, Officine Panerai, and Maserati.

Source: LINK

Almost four years ago, George Clooney looked up at the East African stars and wondered why no one was looking back.

“About nine people had just been slaughtered in a town near us, so we’re sleeping out in the desert,” he recounted to Variety from his retreat in Italy. “I just kept saying ‘How is it you can Google Earth my house and anybody can take a picture of me anytime, anywhere, and you can’t do that with a war criminal?’

“I thought, well, it seems to me that we should even the score a little bit.”

That planted the seed for the Satellite Sentinel Project, which takes satellite images of global hot spots, passes them on to professional analysts and releases its findings publicly.

Activist John Prendergast, who was in the desert with Clooney that night in 2010, says, “George and I envisioned it as sort of an experiment: Let’s see if a government willing to commit genocide to stay in power could possibly be moved with the right amount of exposure.” In short, it was a test of the old maxim that sunlight is the best disinfectant.

The project pioneered the use of satellite imagery for combatting human rights violations. DigitalGlobe provides satellite photos for SSP; analysts receive them with no digital enhancement, so there can be no doubt about tampering.

Three years later, the results of SSP’s experiment are in, and Clooney and Prendergast agree: They have been mixed. So while continuing its mission, the SSP is refocusing its spotlight on those who’d prefer to remain in the shadows.

SSP’s satellite images and analysis had an obvious impact at first, says Clooney: attacks on civilians shifted from daylight to nighttime, or to cloudy days, as militias and armies avoided the eye in the sky.

Some governments and groups “are certainly pissed off at us,” says Akshaya Kumar, who doubles as Sudan coordinator for Satellite Sentinel Project and Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst for the Enough Project. “The government was able to say without any challenge, to the international community ‘People are lying, they just have a second agenda, there’s no proof of this.’ Now with this satellite imagery there is a counterweight to that. We have been able to corroborate the reports of really brave citizen journalists working in places like the Nuba Mountains and Darfur and say, ‘This is what they say, and our satellite imagery confirms (that).’ ”

SSP has documented the re-emergence of the infamous Janjaweed as a paramilitary force fighting around Sudan, and even beyond its borders. It expanded satellite observation to the neighboring Central African Republic, using infrared to penetrate the forest canopy. SSP images have been used by prosecutors at the Intl. Criminal Court.

But there are limits to that approach. For one, the public can quickly go numb from constant inundation of horror stories. The SSP found it had to pick and choose which atrocities to highlight.

“I absolutely believe that sunlight is the best way,” says Clooney. “I just worry sometimes that too much sunlight and everybody ends up sunburnt — and doesn’t seem to really know it and doesn’t seem to really care.”

As a result, says Clooney, “there’s a little bit of showmanship involved.” Sometimes that means bringing in star journalists like Ann Curry or Nicholas Kristof, knowing they bring the spotlight with them. “It’s a constantly moving thing, you know, this idea of exposure,” Clooney says.

But no matter how carefully SSP calibrates its efforts to achieve maximum public impact, there’s a bigger problem: Governments and the U.N. imposed no consequences for atrocities, even those that found public attention.

Says Clooney: “We’ve shown mass graves, we’ve shown actual bombing of innocent civilians, and we’ve shown troop buildups. (But) when they saw after a period of time that nothing changes, then (they) go, ‘Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter if the lights are on. We’re just gonna keep on acting anyway.’ ”

SSP and other orgs will continue to study satellite imagery to track atrocities, but SSP will next work to expose people who care more than Sudanese militiamen whether their good names are implicated in genocide: bankers and financiers. Without them, government officials couldn’t use inconvertible (that is, worthless) Sudanese pounds to buy weapons on the open market.

Clooney says: “We know the banks. They’re all pretty much the same banks we all use. We’re really gonna go after them and make it very public.”

After documenting atrocities in South Sudan, Kumar says, “Now we want to connect with consequences for people who are blocking the peace process. So by tracing assets and finding out where funds are diverted, we really put people who are in decision-making positions in the South Sudanese government and on the rebel side in the hot seat.”

Clooney says the warm reception for Satellite Sentinel Project has been a pleasure, but being denounced by the likes of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir is even better. “It’s expensive as hell to do. But it’s really fun when a war criminal yells out your name and says, ‘You don’t play fair.’ I can’t tell you what a blast that is. It’s​ every actor’s dream.”

David S. Cohen
Senior Editor, Features
@Variety_DSCohen

 

AMAL ALAMUDDIN – FIANCE > 2014 JUNE 12 | GLOBAL SUMMIT TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT | LONDON

Brad Pitt and George Clooney’s fiancées have more in common than meets the eye – they both work with the United Nations to make the world a better place.   Pitt and Angelina Jolie attended The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict this week in London as did Clooney’s future wife, Amal Alamuddin, though it’s unclear if they’ve crossed paths.  Alamuddin, a human rights lawyer attending on behalf of UNICEF, took notes while sitting in a different area of the auditorium during Thursday’s program, and Clooney did not attend.  Like Jolie, 39, Alamuddin, 36, works with the U.N. – the actress is a special enjoy to the U.N. Refugee Agency while the British-Lebanese attorney advises former Secretary General Kofi Annan.  Jolie gave opening remarks at the conference on Tuesday morning with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.  “It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict,” she said. “There is nothing inevitable about it. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians. It has nothing to do with sex – everything to do with power. It is done to torture and humiliate innocent people and often very young children.”  For her part, Alamuddin signed a UNICEF petition requesting that “international leaders must seize this opportunity to defend women and to commit to protect children in war zones from rape and sexual abuse.” Source

 

I’ve also added some pics of Amal at a Training Seminar in January of this year.  You can see them HERE

By George Clooney and John Prendergast

Under the cover of darkness, in a world whose attention is diverted by more camera-accessible crises in Ukraine, Syria, and the Central African Republic (CAR), the Sudan government has revived and intensified its genocidal strategy in the main war zones of Sudan. No media is allowed. The few aid organizations still permitted to operate there are under strict agreement to do so quietly. And the United Nations mission in Darfur has recently been implicated in a broad institutional cover-up of both the scale of devastation, and of the Sudan government’s direct role in creating the crisis.

Sudan may be the world’s most murderous conflict. But the suffering of its people has been obscured, redacted, made silent.

A term like genocide is incendiary and fraught with baggage. Genocide is defined in international law as killing “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” Regardless of what nomenclature you accept, specific ethnic groups are today being targeted in spectacularly destructive ways in three war-torn regions of Sudan: South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and once again, Darfur. We’ve often heard harrowing testimony from survivors in our travels there.

More than 2.5 million people have already perished in various conflicts in Sudan over the last two decades. It is almost unfathomable that things could get worse, yet today the scale of violence is rising to unprecedented levels, a fact demonstrated by Ben Anderson’s upcoming segment on this Friday’s episode of VICE on HBO.

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