April 19, 2015 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Jordan, France Sign Nuclear, Uranium Mining Deal

Posted in: Jordan

In a state visit to France, King Abdullah II has been working on nuclear energy agreements for his country. Within one day, a civilian nuclear deal was signed with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as a uranium mining deal with Areva and Jordan’s Atomic Energy Commission.r41949272861 300x199 Jordan, France Sign Nuclear, Uranium Mining Deal

Sarkozy’s office says the deal will “reinforce and institutionalize” nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

Sarkozy has said France would support Muslim nations seeking civilian nuclear technologies. Under Sarkozy, France has signed similar nuclear accords with Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

Areva was a frontrunner among several international firms in talks with Jordan to develop a nuclear reactor as part of a longer term strategy of the energy importer to meet rapidly rising demand for power.

No details emerged on the nature of the reactor sought.

Jordan has signed agreements with France, China and Canada to co-operate on the development of civilian nuclear power and the transfer of technology.

article based on reports from Reuters and USA Today

Crown Princess Mary Snubs Danish Media, Welcomes Australian

Posted in: Denmark

An agitated Crown Princess Mary told Danish media to leave her family alone during a trip to the zoo – but allowed the Australian media to stay.

This is the latest move where the Australian-born Mary seems to be favoring her home country over her adopted homeland.0621898000 300x249 Crown Princess Mary Snubs Danish Media, Welcomes Australian

Speaking in Danish, the Crown Princess told reporters and photographers from two Danish publications to leave the Zoodoo Wildlife Park in Tasmania, where Mary is visiting relatives.

But no similar request was made in English to other media, which captured photographs of Mary, her husband Crown Prince Frederik and their children two-year-old Christian and 16-month-old Isabella in an arranged photo shoot.

“We realized later we missed the chance, of course we are angry,” said Anna Johannesen, who writes for the Danish newspaper Billed Bladet. “We are decent and treat them well so we left, we are not paparazzi.”

A witness said Mary was clearly not happy her family had been followed to the park.

“She was very angry by the sound of her voice,” the witness said. “I got the impression she did not want to be hassled.”

Zoodoo owner Trevor Cuttriss said the royals complained they received more media attention in Tasmania than in Denmark.

The snub could rub many Danes the wrong way. It comes less than a month after Mary noticably favored the Australian team over the Danish during the recent Beijing Olympics.

But then again, it was the Danish media who published nude photos of Prince Christian taken at a beach in July. However, it is unknown if the tabloid, Seg on Hor, which was the sole outlet that published those pictures, was shooed away by Crown Princess Mary.

Swedish King Awards Music Legends

Posted in: Sweden

Rock band Pink Floyd and opera singer Renee Fleming were the receivers of the Polar Music Prize – for their contributions to music. r4503959661 300x224 Swedish King Awards Music Legends

The winners got their awards from King Carl Gustaf XVI at the Stockholm Concert Hall, with each receiving one million kroner (70,523 pounds, 106,700 euros, 156,385 dollars) from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

The Academy honored Renee Fleming “in recognition of her sublime unparalleled voice and unique stylistic versatility.”

“Connoisseurs and the general public alike have been dazzled by the beauty of her soft and natural voice, which is equally supple in every register and exudes sensitivity in every tone,” it said.

Nick Mason and Roger Waters accepted the award on behalf of Pink Floyd, selected “for their monumental contribution over the decades to the fusion of art and music in the development of popular culture.”

r41036212111 300x210 Swedish King Awards Music LegendsThrough extensive sonic experimentation, they captured the mood and spirit of a whole generation in their reflections and attitudes,” the academy said.

Waters, 64, paid tribute to his 96-year old mother at the ceremony.

“If there is any humanity and empathy in my work, which I think there is, I would rather owe it to her,” he said.

The Polar Music Prize has been awarded since 1992, when it went to ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.

Among other winners are Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil and German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, American jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie, Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovitch, British pop musician Elton John, French classical conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, US musician B.B. King, British rock legends Led Zeppelin and American popular and folk musicians Bruce Springsteen, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan.