Tag Archives: europe

‘Bye, Vlad’: Protesters in Ukraine topple largest Lenin monument in Europe

http://twitter.com/#!/Mikareport/status/516296179639148546

Protesters in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, pulled down the massive statue of Vladimir Lenin there overnight. This photo shows the sparks flying as a protester saws off Lenin’s leg at the base.

The crowd has come for the Lenin statue in central Kharkiv tonight… pic.twitter.com/dtXWARZIBE via Kateryna_Kruk and @MKochegura

— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) September 28, 2014

Breaking news on Russian TV right now? A group of demonstrators apparently trying to saw off the leg of a Lenin statue in Kharkov…

— Lucy Kafanov (@LucyKafanov) September 28, 2014

Another #Lenin statue on its way down in #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/pSnD36lCgg

— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 28, 2014

In #Kharkiv, a crowd is trying to bring down the Lenin monument http://t.co/jLXy8oKy5F pic.twitter.com/0bzUiu6QXx

— Olga Tokariuk (@olgatokariuk) September 28, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: The Biggest Lenin Statue in Europe was just brought down by protesters. pic.twitter.com/RJCOvSjgMt

— Breaking News (@LiveNewsTonight) September 28, 2014

Lenin statue in #Kharkiv fell down tonight. Finally – better late than never! https://t.co/SK3eMHWiD4

— Bartosz Marcinkowski (@barmarcinkowski) September 28, 2014

There he goes. Bye, Vlad. RT @ChristopherJM And… Lenin falls in #Kharkiv. pic.twitter.com/DZxC5EkUaO

— Amie Ferris-Rotman (@Amie_FR) September 28, 2014

Off with his head! Fallen Lenin statue in #Kharkiv disassembled for souvenirs via @Liveuamap pic.twitter.com/3Gr5dWC1sb http://t.co/ECtEP6JZJn

— bangkokdave (@bangkokdave) September 28, 2014

Uses for Lenin statue heads: Flower pot, large candy jar, storage for Christmas decorations, bird fountain, novelty fondue pot.

— Hagel (@MullingHagel) September 28, 2014

@wikihype @LiveNewsTonight There still was a Lenin Statue in Kharkiv? In 2014? Sorry, but WTF?

— Manfred Rosenbauer (@ingeniarius08) September 28, 2014

@olgatokariuk @ChristopherJM wow. big step for that city.

— deronaucoin (@deronaucoin) September 28, 2014

@dingalingy55 @olgatokariuk you'd think the Ukrainians would've got rid of all the Lenin shit years ago…

— Helghasm (@Helghasm) September 28, 2014

That Lenin statue falling in #Kharkov is a big deal. It's pretty much comparable to CN tower falling in TO..landmark gone.

— Communicable (@communicable) September 28, 2014

Its always nice to see a Lenin statue fall.

— Callum (ATU) (@AllThingsUKR) September 28, 2014

 

 

 

Summer Is Almost Upon Us, So Here Are 16 Travel Scams That You Should Avoid

As someone who has lived and traveled abroad, I can tell you that tourist scams abound, and they’re the worst.

Designed with stealing your money (and sanity) in mind, these maneuvers are the tools of the trade for schemers all over the world. Since summer will be here before you know it, let’s go over what you should be on the lookout for when you hop on a plane to your dream destination.

After all, nothing says “please get me out of here everything is terrible let me go home I quit” quite like losing your cash, credit cards, and passport to some lady who just threw her baby at you (more on that later). If you’re planning on visiting a major city abroad this summer, here’s what you need to know.

1. That guy handing you a friendship bracelet is 100 percent not your friend.

Remember those bracelets you used to weave for your besties in elementary school? Well, when in Rome (or anywhere else for that matter), don’t let some strange dude on the street lure you in with false promises of friendship. He isn’t Becky Williams, and this is not the third grade. By the time that heartless fraud wraps a colorful lie around your wrist, he’ll have asked you for all of your money. Nothing is sacred anymore.

2. The lady holding a rose will come between you and your significant other.

iStock

This scenario is a lot like the friendship bracelet situation, but this time, you’ll look like a bad person in front of your guy or girl. Here’s how it usually goes. The woman offers a rose to a couple strolling by. One half of said couple reaches out and takes it, because free flowers are the best flowers — but it’s not free. After the rose is taken off her hands, the lady demands money for it. Say yes, and the victim of this nasty enterprise contributes to a really irritating system. Say no, and they look like a miserly partner. Not cute.

3. Someone will throw a baby at you.

iStock

The good news is that it’s usually not a real baby. The bad news is that you’re probably not a pile of human garbage, and you’ll instinctively try to catch it anyway. While you’re fumbling through what is absolutely the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you (and I can tell you from experience that it is), mom of the year will steal all of your valuables.

4. You’ll give yourself away after you see a wallet on the ground.

iStock

You revel in not being “that guy” by reaching for your own wallet when you see one on the ground. If you’re wandering around in a major European city and you see a discarded wallet, do not reach for yours. It’s still there. You just used it to buy really overpriced shoes. Scam artists plant those wallets just to figure out where you keep yours.

var OX_ads = OX_ads || []; OX_ads.push({ slot_id: “537251602_57086a5db3635”, auid: “537251602” });

5. Your taxi driver is taking his sweet time.

iStock

Taxi drivers exploit tourists by taking the longest routes possible to jack up rates. This will cause you a world of emotional and financial hurt, so familiarize yourself with the roads that lead to your destination, and call that nonsense out if it starts happening! I didn’t, which ended in a hefty, tipless payment to my driver and a frantic sprint to my terminal. It was the least fun.

6. People on packed trains are good at stealing your personal space (and your stuff).

iStock

One of my favorite things about living abroad was using public transit, which is sorely lacking here in the States. Take advantage of these inexpensive services when you travel, but if a train is crowded enough to leave you scrunched up under some guy’s armpit, zip up your bags and hold them tightly in front of you. Scammers love crowded trains, so be mindful of your purses and pockets.

7. If an overnight bus from one country to the next for almost no money sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

iStock

While you’re just trying to live your life on the night bus and snooze between Spain and France, someone’s in the luggage compartment stealing all of your valuables. That pretty much kills those bargain vibes.

8. Get all of your own luggage out of the car.

iStock

Hiring a private car to get you and your bags from the airport to the hotel is a great option, but if you can, take all of your own bags out of the vehicle. While most drivers offer to help you with luggage just to be nice, others will remove your largest bag, quickly hop back in the driver’s seat, and zip away with the smaller ones.

9. Fake cops are not the good guys.

iStock

If someone who looks like a police officer approaches you and says that there’s fake money circulating and he needs to check your wallet, ask for ID. If he doesn’t present you with proof that he’s an officer, get all up out of there. He’s posing as a cop to take your money.

var OX_ads = OX_ads || []; OX_ads.push({ slot_id: “537251604_57086a5db37af”, auid: “537251604” });

10. Always count your change.

iStock

As a way of skimming a little off the top, cashiers sometimes exploit tourists by handing them less valuable coins when giving them change, since it’s hard for people to identify foreign currency at first glance. Familiarize yourself with what bills and coins look like prior to departure if you can! It’s not like any of us need to be more broke.

11. Don’t trust anyone when you’re purchasing tickets.

iStock

Seeing plays and concerts abroad is basically the best thing ever, but when it’s time to buy tickets, go straight to the booth or the official online vendor. Scammers target people waiting in line at theaters and arenas and offer them tickets for a fraction of the cost. The only downside is that they’re usually fake.

12. Always deal directly with your hotel concierge if money is involved.

iStock

Because everything is awful and the world is a spinning ball of pain, scammers will call you late at night, posing as your hotel concierge to confirm your credit card details. They know that people are less likely to venture downstairs later in the evening, which makes it easy for them to steal your info. If you suspect foul play, it never hurts to go downstairs and see what’s going on.

13. Everyone finds strength in numbers, including the kids who want to take your money.

Getty Images

Going back to the part about you not being a piece of garbage, it only makes sense that you’d want to help kids begging on the street. This gets tricky when they approach you in massive groups. If the kiddos come out in droves to hassle you, keep a close eye on your valuables. While you’re brushing one or two of them off, the other three will set their sights on your wallet.

14. That overly friendly local at the ATM isn’t helping you use the machine.

Getty Images

Even if you’re struggling with an ATM in a foreign country, take a deep breath and figure it out on your own. Do not, under any circumstances, allow someone to help you. Although it seems like the locals are trying to help you use the machine, they’re actually memorizing your PIN so they can steal your card and use it later.

15. Beachgoers beware: those free massages will cost you a pretty penny.

Getty Images

Locals love offering up “free” massages to tourists sipping mai tais on the beach. I’m sure you can guess by now that nothing in life is free, so be on the lookout for amateur masseuses. Even when tourists resist, they’re often pestered into shelling out pretty serious amounts of money.

16. Think twice about taking pictures for strangers.

Getty Images

Sadly, being nice to people on vacation isn’t usually rewarded with anything but a headache. One trick that locals pull on tourists seems innocent at first but quickly turns into something awful. Someone from a group approaches a traveler and asks them to take their picture. As the photographer is handing the camera back to its owner, the scammer purposely drops it and demands payment for the broken device.

(via Reddit)

Traveling is a blast, but you can never be too careful. When you’re out of your element, scammers know that you’re ripe for the picking. Maybe getting one of those horrible neck wallets your mom can’t stop talking about isn’t such a bad idea, after all.

This Photographer Traveled To 37 Countries To Prove That Female Beauty Is Everywhere

The photo project “Atlas of Beauty” took photographer Mihaela Noroc to 37 countries, where she saw endless versions of beauty over 15 months.

1. Two years ago Romania-based photographer Mihaela Noroc decided she needed a change in her life.

Mihaela Noroc / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

Havana, Cuba

2. “I had jobs that I didn’t like. I was working just for money, had exhausting and uniform days, and I realized that all my life could be like this,” she told BuzzFeed News.

Riga, Latvia

Mihaela Noroc / theatlasofbeauty.com

Amazonian Rain Forest

Mihaela Noroc / theatlasofbeauty.com

 

3. A vacation abroad inspired her to make a change.

Mihaela Noroc / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

El Paico, Chile

4. “A trip to Ethiopia showed me some wonderful women, far away from our modern world and trends. This was the moment when I realized that beauty is everywhere and I could show this to all the world.”

Mihaela Noroc

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

5. This led to her photo project “Atlas of Beauty,” where she spent the next 15 months traveling the world taking pictures of women in 37 different countries.

Mihaela Noroc / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

Medellin, Colombia

6. She told BuzzFeed that there are many aspects to beauty:

Mihaela Noroc / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

Plantou Tibetan, China

7. “We shouldn’t lose our cultures, traditions, and origins because these make us different and beautiful.”

San Francisco, USA

Mihaela Noroc / theatlasofbeauty.com

Yangon, Myanmar

Mihaela Noroc / theatlasofbeauty.com

 

8. But the trip wasn’t always easy.

Noroc Mihaela / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

Tbilisi, Georgia

9. “I met all kinds of viruses, and had some exhausting rides by land.”

Maramures / Romania

Mihaela Noroc / theatlasofbeauty.com

Ecuador

Mihaela Noroc / theatlasofbeauty.com

 

10. Though ultimately, the project affirmed Noroc’s beliefs.

Noroc Mihaela / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

Shiraz, Iran

11. “I can say that every day of traveling confirms to me that beauty really is everywhere,” she said.

Mihaela Noroc / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

12. Mihaela hopes to continue her ambitious project and plans to travel to even more countries in the future.

Mihaela Noroc / Via theatlasofbeauty.com

“I want to publish the first edition of the ‘Atlas of Beauty’ after I make another journey,” she said. “I need more images and more diversity to show that we live in an amazing world.”

The Creepiest Places You Can Visit in Europe (But Should Probably Avoid).

If you’re looking for something spooky to do in Europe this Halloween, there are many eerie sights to see…if you dare. While there are no grand tours for the scariest sights across the continent, you can easily plan a trip for yourself. These are some of the best places to visit if you’re looking to shake in your boots.

1.) The Crypt Of Santa Maria

1.) The Crypt Of Santa Maria gapyear This creepy crypt is located in Rome, Italy. Thousands of bones line the walls, including skeletons left fully in tact and placed in traditional robes for everyone to get spooked.

2.) Maunsell Forts

2.) Maunsell Forts gapyear In the U.K., these abandoned forts from WWII are enough to give anyone the willies.

3.) Skull Chapel

3.) Skull Chapel gapyear Poland is home to this intricate arrangement of bones known as Skull Chapel. The main chapel with made of the remains of over 3,000 people, and this was built by ONE MAN.

4.) City of the Dead

4.) City of the Dead gapyear This Russian hillside seems like a nice little cottage community, but those little houses are really tombs. They are filled with possessions, clothing, and of course, bodies.

5.) Pripyat

5.) Pripyat gapyear In the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, this Ukrainian town was abandoned due to the dangerous radiation levels. It is one of the spookiest and most dangerous ghosts towns you can visit.

6.) Sedlec Ossuary

6.) Sedlec Ossuary gapyear Thought to contain the remains of up to 70,000 people, this creep show in the Czech Republic was created in 1870. The bones were exhumed over 300 years, when the current church was constructed and bodies were taken from a mass grave of 14th century plague victims.

7.) Bran Castle

7.) Bran Castle gapyear Transylvania, Romania. Ring a bell? It should, because that is the fictional hometown of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The castle where he got his inspiration is the one seen above, the castle of the cruel leader, Vlad the Impaler.

8.) Miranda Castle

8.) Miranda Castle gapyear Belgium is home to one of the creepiest old castles in the world. This foreboding Gothic castle served as an orphanage for much of the 20th century. Since 1990, it was totally abandoned and is now (perhaps unsurprisingly) said to be haunted. Children’s dolls lay scattered throughout some of the rooms – a ghoulish reminder of the castle’s history.

9.) The Catacombs of Palermo

9.) The Catacombs of Palermo gapyear This Sicilian monastery buried their monks beneath the church…until one day, when they began mummifying and hanging them on the wall in their Sunday best.

10.) Old Jewish Cemetery

10.) Old Jewish Cemetery gapyear Established about 600 years ago, the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague contains more than 12,000 tombstones. However, many more thousands of people are thought to be buried there. The reason for the extreme overcrowding is due to Jewish religious law, which prohibits the disturbance of graves.

11.) Hill of Crosses

11.) Hill of Crosses gapyear No one is quite sure how or why this small patch of land in northern Lithuania became a site for hundreds of thousands of crosses. Yet the tradition is well and truly cemented, as thousands more appear each year (these days mainly from Catholic pilgrims). At first glance, it looks like an incredibly crowded burial ground, but as far as anyone knows, there isn’t a single grave here.

12.) SS America

12.) SS America gapyear This magnificent vessel was built in America in 1939 and served as a cruise liner and US Navy ship for half a century. At the time of its construction, the SS America was the pride of the U.S. maritime industry and a pinnacle of ship design. As the years passed, the competition from newer and faster ships led to its demise. It was eventually sold to a Thai company planning to renovate it into a floating hotel off the coast of Phuket. However, when it was towed from Greece, the SS America was caught in a thunderstorm. It was eventually wrecked off the coast of the Canary Islands in Spain.

13.) Capuchin Crypt

13.) Capuchin Crypt gapyear This recently discovered crypt is another creepy place to visit in the Czech Republic. This ghoulish crypt beneath the Holy Cross Church in Brno is home to 24 former monks and churchgoers, who were entombed hundreds of years ago. Each of their heads is propped up by a pillow of bricks, and they all clutch an ancient rosary in their folded arms.

If you were planning a Halloween trip to Europe, hopefully these can help get you in the spirit. If you’re looking to avoid Halloween, now you know where you shouldn’t go! Either way, maybe it’s best to stay out of a place made entirely out of skeletons at all times.

Israel Approves $46 Million Plan To Absorb European Jews Following Terror Attacks

“We are bracing ourselves and calling for a mass immigration from Europe,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool

The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved a $46 million plan to finance the arrival of thousands of Jewish people expected to immigrate from Europe, following a number of anti-Semitic attacks on the continent in recent months.

Just hours after a gunman in Copenhagen, Denmark, fatally shot a man outside a synagogue as part of twin terrorist attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was ready to welcome Jews “home.”

“I would like to say to all of Europe’s Jews, and Jews everywhere, Israel is the home of every Jew,” he said in a Facebook post.

Under Israeli law, Jewish immigrants to Israel are entitled to financial support. The multi-million-dollar package approved Sunday will finance the arrival of what the government estimates will be thousands of Jews from Ukraine, France, and Belgium.

While much of eastern Ukraine has been left devastated by civil war, France and Belgium have been the target of anti-Semitic attacks in recent months. In Paris last month, four Jewish men were killed inside a kosher supermarket by an Islamist gunman, while four people were killed at a Jewish museum in Brussels in May 2014.

“This wave of attacks is expected to continue,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.”

However, Netanyahu’s comments were met with anger by Copenhagen’s chief rabbi, Jair Melchior.

“People from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel, because of Zionism. But not because of terrorism,” Melchior told the Associated Press. “If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island.”

On Sunday, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt lay flowers outside the synagogue where a security guard was shot dead.

REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

“Our thoughts go to the whole of the Jewish community today,” she told reporters. “They belong in Denmark. They are a strong part of our community, and we will do everything we can to protect the Jewish community in our country.”

Netanyahu is in the middle of a re-election campaign, with elections scheduled for March 17.

Ezra Klein is concerned about why Ferguson’s government is ‘so white’

http://twitter.com/#!/TrentFlubbs/status/500045905564041216

Of course he is. He’s a liberal. They see color first, people second.

If he’s worried about too much whiteness congregating in a particular place maybe he should look a little closer to home.

Boom.

 

Here’s The Interesting Bits From The Prime Minister’s European Battle With Jean-Claude Juncker

An ongoing saga that is finally coming to an end.

1. This is Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourgh and the new president of the European Commission.

This is Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourgh and the new president of the European Commission.

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Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters / Reuters

2. He has a rather tense relationship with David Cameron, mainly because the prime minister said at the beginning of June that Britain could leave the EU if Juncker was named president of the commission.

He has a rather tense relationship with David Cameron, mainly because the prime minister said at the beginning of June that Britain could leave the EU if Juncker was named president of the commission.

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Stefan Wermuth / Reuters / Reuters

3. Jucker was expected to be elected because his party, the European People’s Party, received the highest number of seats and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel had already given him her backing.

Jucker was expected to be elected because his party, the European People's Party, received the highest number of seats and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel had already given him her backing.

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Thomas Peter / Reuters

4. Which led to a slightly awkward relationship between these two, as Cameron and Merkel were thought to be close allies in Europe. Put simply, she didn’t respond well to his threats.

Which led to a slightly awkward relationship between these two, as Cameron and Merkel were thought to be close allies in Europe. Put simply, she didn't respond well to his threats.

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AP Photo / Yves Herman, Pool

At a joint press conference, Merkel said: “I made myself clear by saying that I am for Jean-Claude Juncker. But when I made that statement in Germany I also made the point that we act in a European spirit.

We always do that because otherwise you would never reach a compromise … Threats are not part and parcel of that spirit. That is not part of the way in which we usually proceed.”

5. And then they went on a boat.

And then they went on a boat .

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AP Photo / TT, Anders Wiklund

6. Cameron then had a chat with European Council President Herman Von Rompuy demanding, in softer terms, that EU leaders should vote on the next European Commission president.

Cameron then had a chat with European Council President Herman Von Rompuy demanding, in softer terms, that EU leaders should vote on the next European Commission president.

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Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images

7. Not long afterward, rumours started to spread that Juncker is an alcoholic and a massive chain-smoker and this might affect his ability to do the job.

Not long afterward, rumours started to spread that Juncker is an alcoholic and a massive chain-smoker and this might affect his ability to do the job.

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Georges Gobet / AFP / Getty Images

8. And then Cameron prepared to leave for Ypres, where the leaders would vote on the president.

And then Cameron prepared to leave for Ypres, where the leaders would vote on the president.

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Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

9. Such concentration.

Such concentration.

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Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

10. The vote took place. And this man won anyway with only 2 out of 28 European leaders voting for Juncker not to be the next president.

The vote took place. And this man won anyway with only 2 out of 28 European leaders voting for Juncker not to be the next president.

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AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File

11. Awkward. Cameron turned it up a notch and declared it to be “a bad day for Europe.”

Awkward. Cameron turned it up a notch and declared it to be "a bad day for Europe."

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Paul Hackett / Reuters UK Prime Minister @Number10gov

PM: I'm unapologetic about calling for EU reform & standing up for principle that national leaders choose next Commission Pres

13. Cameron then realised he could no longer do anything and was forced to make a rather embarrassing phone call to Juncker to congratulate him and talk about “how they would work together.”

Cameron then realised he could no longer do anything and was forced to make a rather embarrassing phone call to Juncker to congratulate him and talk about "how they would work together."

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Pool / Reuters

14. But things were looking up for the prime minister. His continued, public struggle to convince other European leaders not to vote for Juncker meant some leaders promised Britain would be given future concessions.

But things were looking up for the prime minister. His continued, public struggle to convince other European leaders not to vote for Juncker meant some leaders promised Britain would be given future concessions.

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Pool / Reuters

15. And unsurprisingly Ed Miliband challenged the prime minister in the House of Commons, saying that Cameron’s inability to convince other leaders to vote against Juncker was an “utter humiliation.”

And unsurprisingly Ed Miliband challenged the prime minister in the House of Commons, saying that Cameron's inability to convince other leaders to vote against Juncker was an "utter humiliation."

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Pool / Reuters James Chapman (Mail) @jameschappers

Miliband: Cameron “may think it's splendid isolation – it isn't, it's utter humiliation” #juncker #euco

17. And finally, Cameron retorted by telling Miliband that he was full of “endless wind, endless rhetoric”, to the pleasure of his colleagues.

And finally, Cameron retorted by telling Miliband that he was full of "endless wind, endless rhetoric", to the pleasure of his colleagues.

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Pool New / Reuters / Reuters

18. Until tomorrow then.

Here's The Interesting Bits From The Prime Minister's European Battle With Jean-Claude Juncker

View this image ›

Illumination Entertainment