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Ex-pro basketball player addresses accused on terror trial: “I forgive you, that is the last step in my healing”



“I extend my hand to you with the power of forgiveness”, with those haunting words ex-pro basketball player Sebastien Bellin addressed the terrorist accused of March 22, 2016 on the assizes process. Bellin was seriously injured in the second explosion at Zaventem airport at the time. He has been living with a disability ever since. 

The Belgian-Brazilian former professional basketball player was at the airline’s counter on March 22, 2016, ready to leave for the United States. “The moment I got my boarding pass I heard an explosion about 50 meters away from me. I saw parts of the ceiling coming down and I heard a terrible scream. I started to run, but I got straight toward the second bomb,” Bellin told court this morning.

Bellin was seriously injured. In a photo taken immediately after the attack, we see him lying on the floor of the departure hall. “The explosion almost destroyed my legs. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t hear anything anymore. I was almost dead. In the ambulance, the nurse had to beat me several times to keep me awake. When I woke up I was in hospital, I looked under the blanket to see if my legs were still there. They were in bad shape, but they were still there.”

But despite the horror of the attack, Bellin wants to focus on the positive. “In addition to the horror that people commit, there is the other extreme: people helping each other. I have been extremely lucky to have been surrounded by humanity, people with compassion and love at the most difficult moment in my life. You can in life choose to sink into horror or to focus on love.”

Bellin referred primarily to the aid workers, soldiers and doctors. But also to his two daughters who helped him through it. In court at the time, a photo was shown of Bellin in a wheelchair in the hospital, flanked by his daughters. At that moment he was overcome with emotions. “For my daughters, it was very difficult to see their athlete father glued to a hospital bed, not knowing if he would ever walk again.”

“I stand before you as a survivor, not a victim”

Today, Bellin says he has accepted his disability. What’s more: at the end of last year he finished the Ironman in Hawaii , thanks to the guidance of Luc Van Lierde, the Belgian who was the first European ever to win that race. “That’s how I learned that despite my disability and the atrocities inflicted on me, I can handle the toughest challenges.”

And then he also addressed the accused. “Gentlemen, you have demanded through your lawyers that you be treated as human beings. I ask today that you treat me as a human being too by listening to me and looking at me. Today I have decided to forgive you. I release the atrocities of which you are accused. I have decided to leave more room for love. I release the hatred of which you are accused.”

By forgiving you, I release the atrocities of which you are accused

“The mission you are accused of has failed. Instead of destroying me, you have created a human being with more energy, more tolerance and an open mind. A humanity that even two bombs cannot extinguish. I am not here for you as a victim, but as a survivor. I have overcome those atrocities.”

“Forgiving you is the final stage in my healing. There is a big difference between repairing and curing. I am lucky that doctors and nurses fixed me. We have the best health system in the world. But healing is more difficult. Forgiving you is the final stage in my healing. There is no place in me for hatred and vengeance. I make the choice to give that place to love and tolerance.”

“I want to give you some advice. I reach out to you with the power of forgiveness. That forgiveness may be the first step in healing for you. I am ready to help you. Forgiveness is the difference for you between rotting away in the cell and heal.” Bellin indicated in an interview afterwards that he might have reacted differently if his daughters had fallen victim to the attack that day.

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The New Bing and Edge – Progress from Our First Month




It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a month since we released the new AI-powered Bing and Edge to the world as your copilot for the web. In that time, we have heard your feedback, learned a lot, and shipped a number of improvements. We are delighted by the virtuous cycle of feedback and iteration that is driving strong Bing improvements and usage.

We wanted to share a bit about what we have learned on your usage of Bing and some of the early stats that are helping to shape our future product development.

We are pleased to share that after a number of years of steady progress, and with a little bit of a boost from the million+ new Bing preview users, we have crossed 100M Daily Active Users of Bing. This is a surprisingly notable figure, and yet we are fully aware we remain a small, low, single digit share player. That said, it feels good to be at the dance!

Of the millions of active users of the new Bing preview, it’s great to see that roughly one third are new to Bing. We see this appeal of the new Bing as a validation of our view that search is due for a reinvention and of the unique value proposition of combining Search + Answers + Chat + Creation in one experience.

Secondly not only are we seeing growth in new users, but we are seeing engagement growing as more people are conducting more searches daily.

Two factors are driving trial and usage. One is Microsoft Edge continues to grow in usage as it has done for the last seven quarters based on the quality of our browser. We expect new capabilities, like having Bing search and create in the Edge sidebar, will bolster further growth.

The second factor driving trial and usage is that our core web search ranking has taken several significant jumps in relevancy due to the introduction of the Prometheus model so our Bing search quality is at an all-time high.

As more people come to use the new Bing and Edge, we’re seeing trial and adoption of new capabilities that prove out the value of an integrated Search + Chat experience. Roughly one third of daily preview users are using Chat daily. We’re seeing on average, roughly three chats per session with more than 45 million total chats since the preview began. And 15 percent of Chat sessions are people using Bing to generate new content demonstrating we are extending search to creativity.

We are also pleased to see the new Bing start to be used on mobile phones given the release of our new Bing Mobile app. On the small screen, Answers and Chat, now with voice input, are much more helpful, and have led to a 6X increase in the daily active users from pre-launch levels.

It’s been an amazing 30 days and the team is energized to continue to iterate and improve Bing and Edge to deliver the next generation of search and what we hope becomes your trusted copilot for the web

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Commotion about long, gray hair of actress Helen Mirren: why is it “not done” to grow your hair from a certain age?




When the British actress Helen Mirren recently appeared on the red carpet of the Berlin Film Festival, it was not her outfit but her haircut that was the topic of conversation. At the age of 77, Mirren has decided to grow her hair. Why is the idea still alive that women of a certain age should cut their hair short? 

Actress Helen Mirren is roaming the red carpets to promote her new movie “Golda,” in which she plays the leading role. But instead of the movie, the last few weeks have been talking about Mirren’s haircut. Since the hairdressers were closed for a while due to the corona lockdowns, Mirren says she has not made the effort to cut her hair short. And that has been noticed by many people. Much to the frustration of the actress herself. Mirren doesn’t understand why the stereotype is still alive that older women shouldn’t have long hair.

“The typical criticism is that women with long hair look older, but that cliché makes no sense”, stylist and fashion connoisseur Linda Van Waesberge responds in “The world today” on Radio 1. “If you feel better with long hair, then that’s all that matters.” Van Waesberge also has long locks at the age of 69. “I try to stay as natural as possible as I get older. I’ve always had long hair myself, why would I suddenly change something about it when I get older?”

Is this preference for short cuts in older women something typically Western? Or does this idea also exist elsewhere in the world? “In the East, women often have shorter hair anyway,” says Van Waesberge. “That’s because their hair has a different structure. It falls down like a clear waterfall. That’s why many women cut it straight off for convenience. The African women have their frizzy hair, which also requires a different approach.” 

What are the pitfalls?

Western women have the worst hair quality of all. “That means we have to pay more attention to it if we want to grow it,” says Van Waesberge. This is especially true as you get older, because then your hair will become brittle and weaker anyway. “Our hair dries out with age. So if you want long locks as a woman, you have to take good care of your hair.”

“Dull and lifeless hair can effectively make you look older,” warns Van Waesberge. Some even think that older women would look like a witch.” But if you buy the right products to take good care of your long locks, long locks are magnificent, as Helen Mirren shows. 

According to Van Waesberge, times are also changing. “Awareness is growing that you shouldn’t take anything from anyone. Our society is in transition.”

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NOS Sport editor-in-chief resigns after years of cross-border behavior at the editorial office




The editor-in-chief of NOS Sport resigns after several cases of cross-border behavior were ignored by the editors. This was announced by the Dutch public broadcaster itself. Among other things, there would be reports of bullying and (sexual) harassment.

Last year in November it emerged that a culture of fear had prevailed for years behind the scenes of the popular Dutch talk show “The world is spinning” due to transgressive behaviour. That is why the editors-in-chief of NOS Sport has called on its editors to report inappropriate behaviour

The editors-in-chief were then accused that these reports had been there for a long time, but that nothing was done with them. That writes the NOS itself.  An external confidential adviser was appointed to map out the situation.

There would be reports of bullying, (sexual) intimidation, discrimination, verbal aggression and integrity issues from the last twenty years. “The report has provided penetrating insights that affect NOS and force it to take action,” the broadcaster said in a

“New Leadership”

The broadcaster now announces that the four-person editor-in-chief of the sports editors is stepping down to make room for “new leadership” and a culture change. The resignation will be phased “to ensure the continuity of sports coverage”. 

Employees can receive professional guidance. In addition, the broadcaster wants to train its managers to identify undesirable behavior earlier and to be able to act accordingly.

These experiences teach us that we need to do better in the future.

Editor-in-chief Maarten Nooter points out that there will be an investigation into the culture at the editorial office and that “we and our organization will be looked critically at. And therefore also at the people who lead it.” A committee is also conducting a broader investigation.

NOS director Gerard Timmer says he is “touched” and apologizes. He emphasizes that this situation does not fit with what the NOS stands for. “These experiences teach us that we need to do better in the future.”

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