Editor's Picks 20 May 2013

Collection with 10 media items created by Editor's Picks

20 May 2013 08:00

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An Ancient Tradition of Lelo (8 of 20)
Shukhuti, Georgia
By Arturas Morozovas
05 May 2013

Male residents of the village of Shukhuti in Georgia fighting over a 16-kilogram leather ball during the traditional Lelo Barti game.

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Female Monks in Thailand 14
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

New Samaneris (Buddhist novice nun) learn head massage techniques during their ordination training at Wat Songkdhammakalayani, the first temple gathering fully ordained nuns in Thailand since 1960, in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. May 2013.

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Strike over kidnapped soldiers in Sinai
Cairo, Egypt
By Video Cairo Sat
21 May 2013

Egyptian security forces continue to block the Rafah Crossing border, which leads to the Gaza Strip, for the fourth day in protest at the recent incident of kidnap.

Seven Egyptian soldiers were kidnapped in the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, including a member of the armed forces, four port security officers and two state security officers.

The Egyptian police angered by the kidnapping of seven of their colleagues stressed that they won’t open the crossing until the kidnapped soldiers are freed. Security forces at El-Ouga crossing, bordering Israel, began a strike also on Sunday.

The scope of the protests expanded in northern Sinai on Monday after Central Security Forces conscripts at five police stations have gone on strike to demand the release of the Egyptian soldiers kidnapped in the region.

North Sinai Traffic Department workers join the strike against the kidnap.

Egypt's army sent dozens of armored vehicles and personnel carriers across the Suez Canal into North Sinai early on Monday.

Major-General Ahmed Wasfy, commander of Egypt's Second Army (a regional sub-division of the country's armed forces) later arrived in Al-Arish city in northern Sinai with a delegation of military leaders.

The move comes as speculation grows that force could be used to rescue seven Egyptian soldiers kidnapped last week.

President Mohamed Morsi's office released a statement late on Sunday vowing to secure the release of the soldiers swiftly and safely and in a manner that would maintain the state's prestige.

The statement was released after President Morsi met with the Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, Head of the General Intelligence, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Chief of Operations of the Armed Forces and other army officials.

A security source said the kidnappers have demanded the release of Islamist militants detained for almost two years.

The militants, who allegedly belong to Tawhid wal-Jihad, were convicted of killing five security officers and one civilian during attacks in June/July 2011 on an Al-Arish city police station and a North Sinai branch of the Bank of Alexandria.

Early on Monday, unidentified gunmen stormed an Egyptian security base in the Sinai Peninsula and exchanged gunfire with forces inside the base. The attack did not result in any casualties.

President Morsi said that "all options" remained open to secure the release of the kidnapped soldiers, stressing that Egypt would "not be blackmailed" by the captors.
Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: May 20, 2013
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: May 20, 2013
Length: 00:02:17
Video Size: 113 MB
Language: Arabic
Organized by:
Camera: VCS


  1. Various shots of Arish's first police station, North Sinai
  2. Various shots of Central Security Forces conscripts join the strike as a sign of protest against the kidnap
  3. Various shots of Central Security Forces and police vehicles outside the Arish's first police station
  4. Various shots of the North Sinai Traffic Department workers who join the strike against the kidnap
  5. Various shots of President Mohamed Morsi meeting with Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, Head of the General Intelligence, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Chief of Operations of the Armed Forces and other army officials
  6. Various shots of North of Sinai
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Mayotte, The Dark Side of The Lagoon ...
Mayotte Island
By Adrien MATTON
17 May 2013

In the Kawéni slum, Djof and his friends are preparing the traditional "voulé", Mahorese (Mahorais) barbecue.

Djof et ses amis préparent le traditionnel "voulé", barbecue mahorais, dans le bidonville de Kawéni.

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Deir Ezzor 1: The Nusra Front
Deir Ezzor, Syria
By Nils Metzger
06 Mar 2013

Interview with Abu Hasim, a Jabhat al-Nusra field commander (dressed in black), and Abu Ishaq, his spokesperson (blue sweater), conducted at their headquarters in Deir Ezzor. They explain why they welcome foreign fighters in Syria and how they want to establish Islamic rule over Syria. Among other things, they address suicide bombings, their position towards religious minorities and their relations with al-Qaida in Iraq.

Sound bites:
01:44 - 01:51
In the phase following Bashar's removal, our first and primary objective is to establish an Islamic nation ruled by the Qur'an.

02:53 - 03:16
With some groups that are fighting the regime, we believe that there are shared interests in terms of overthrowing Bashar. But after Bashar is gone, we have our own aims and plans.

Terrorism is a doctrine for Muslims.

04:25 - 04:32
We do not receive financial support from other countries-- not from Al Qaeda, the Arab League or NATO.

11:55 - 12:08
Until now, Christians have not turned against us. We'll deal with the issue of Christians, Armenians and other minorities after we get rid of Bashar.

00:00 - 00:44
Abu Ishaq: I will speak in terms in accordance with Sharia law, so the term revolutionaries is not acceptable, we are waging Jihad. I see myself as one of the mujahideen, fighters who have gone out to fight in the name of God and establish God's law in this land, and this is a legitimate right that is in our hands. Bush spoke of the war in Iraq as a crusade, citing the Bible. So as Muslims we have the right to follow this religion and to fight against anyone who stands between us and this objective.

00:45 - 02:07
AI: The truth of the matter is that the infidels are the ones who enter our lands so we are not the ones who attack them. At the moment, we see the FSA as a legitimate group that defends the faith and we support them to be victorious. This is how it looks to us. In the future, we may act differently, but at the current time we support the FSA against Bashar and his allies to overthrow them. We show them the meaning of self-sacrifice and Jihad, which is not limited to carrying arms, as the Prophet said: “Fight the inidels with your money, souls and tongues.” So Jihad in our Islamic Sharia has all these forms, fighting with weapons, with the pen, helping the poor, protecting public institutions, all these are forms of Jihad.In the phase following Bashar's removal, our first and primary objective is to establish an Islamic nation ruled by the Qur'an. In terms of the civil state, if this is to be a civil state as to the fact that it's governed by institutions, this is not against the law. But if it is to be a democratic state then of course we say no. But if it is a country of institutions according to God's prescription, then yes.

02:08 - 03:24
AI: This is our aim, an Islamic civil state. Like Abu Satef says, if it is a country against Islamic prescriptions then we don not agree to it, but if we say we create this, this and that institutions then we are OK with it – there are two meanings to the word civil.

AI: This is one of the faulty ideas, that politics and Sharia are far apart. There is a book called “The Book of Sharia Politics”, written by some scholars, and some concepts can confuse people. Politics is a part of religion, and it is not to be separated from religion – otherwise we would become secularists. With some groups that are fighting the regime we believe that there are shared interests in terms of overthrowing Bashar. But after Bashar is gone, we have our own aims and plans. We know that we are in the right.

03:25 - 04:10
AI: Since the time of the Prophet until God takes over his land and who is on it there will be falsehoods. When Muhammad came out with his call, they said he was a poet, a wizard, a liar. This is the way of unjust people, tarnishing the people who are in the right. And terrorism is a doctrine for Muslims.

[inaudible question] 04:11 - 09:06 [partial translation]
AI: No, these are lies, the Front is a group among many that fight for Syria to topple the dictator and install the law of God. We do not receive financial support from other countries-- not from Al Qaeda, the Arab League or NATO.

AI: First, all our strenght comes from and is the will of God. It is the faith of our fighters, the suicide attacks of our heroes that make us what we are in relation to other groups. But our weapons we have obtained from Bashar's soldiers.

AI: The mass media spread false allegations in order to destroy the truth. How can we compare suicide attacks with bombings by American fighter jets that destroy entire cities? They are just a drop in the ocean. One or two civilians get killed but if we compare this to thousands who get killed by German or US soldiers in Afghanistan then you have to agree this comparison is unjust.

Deir Ezzor is suffering from the absence of foreign media. Especially if you think about that this is the region in Syria with the most oil. But thank God we are advancing every single day and we will pursue this goal until every square meter of Deir Ezzor and Syria is freed.

AI: alhammdulah we have many members ... but I can not tell exactly how many we have. We have no financial support from al-Qaeda or Arab countries or any foreign country. All our weapons were snatched by our heroes from regime soldiers in battles.

AI: What characterizes the Front in combat situations is the courage and the discipline of our fighters. Thank God many fighters arrived who helped in past revolutions in Libya and Iraq. This is what makes us stronger in combat. We have many specialists and missile experts. Also our social work has been well accepted by the Syrian people. We are known for our our services and that we protect their property.

(question: There are many rumors circulating about the al-Midan bombings in January 2012 especially since many civilians have been killed – were these the first attacks by Jabhat al-Nusra?)

AI: There is no proof that our brothers were responsible for this operation. According to my knowledge, the regime planed them in order to destroy the positive image of the fighters. They have not presented us with proof. If al-Nusra were responsible for this attack it would have been one of the very few mistakes. In every military organization orders by the commander have to be followed, this is also true for those by Abu Muhammad al-Golani. This is true for combat units but also for the Emirs who lead entire cities. In the end they all respond to the orders of Sheikh al-Golani.

09:07 - 10:44
Abu Hasim: There are courses and training camps but those are all secret and no one must tell about them. Al-Nusra is always working in secret until it strikes...

[missing translation]

We have in many ways a special relationship with the media. Most of our operations are secret and they are superior for being secret. That way no rumors get out – no one manipulates more than the media...

[missing translation]

10:45 - 11:07
There are many false rumours about us. Jabhat al-Nusra is in a situation of self-defense. We defend the people of Syria. It is Bashar who murders children and rapes women. We are not responsible for that.

It is America, Walid bin Talal and the Jews who control the media.

11:08 - 12:00
... [missing translation] AH: Our aim is to demonstrate our faith to the almighty God and to end the injustice against muslims. This includes Christians and all other faiths that accept the divine sharia.

11:55 - 12:08
AI: Until now, Christians have not turned against us. We'll deal with the question of Christians, Armenians and other minorities after we get rid of Bashar.

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Azaz Camp, Syria (36 of 41)
Azaz, Syria
By Michele Pero
06 Dec 2012

Refugee camp of Azaz, Syrian border.
Refugees from Halep and surrounding areas have lost their houses under the bombings. They left Halep with just the clothes they had at the time. They have no documents, no money, no belongings. The refugees believed the could cross the Turkish border to escape the massacres, but after a limited number of refugees were accepted by the Turkish government who settled in the nearby camp of Kilis, the border was closed. They had to settle in the camp right on the Syrian border, waiting for a move that does not arrive.

Turkey cannot take more refugees and cannot do more than what actually it does. The refugees must stay were they are, with no home in Syria anymore, no passport to leave the country, as if convicted to stay in the camp.
The excess number refugees not accepted into Turkey settled in September 2012 under big hangars once used by Syrian customs police for storing and checking goods before letting them pass the border. For months the refugees had to sleep right on the pavement, under hangars, under trucks or any other shelter available. No heating, no running water, no latrines, no roof above their heads.

Tents arrived just at around the middle of November 2012, donated by the Red Crescent of Qatar. Since that, three hangars were filled with tents, then other tents were placed on open ground. In December 2012, the number of refugees at the Azaz camp reached about 7000.

Life at the camp is hard. Volunteers from various ONG such as IHH provide meals every day. Supplies come from world wide relief organizations and volunteer donations, but they are not enough to meet the needs of so many. Tents are not waterproof. The pavement is constantly wet when the rain falls, especially hard for those ones settled on open ground. No electricity is supplied. Water is scarce and is brought in big containers for those who need it most. Heating becomes a real issue with the oncoming winter. Kids are sent to the surrounding fields to gather any burning material, but they cannot go too far since the mine fields protecting the no-man’s land are right at border line next to the camp. Refugees burn dry grass. At dusk, they must make return to their tents, because all around there is no light to even walk. They rest by candlelight in their tents until they fall asleep.
Recently a protest calling for better conditions at the camp was held at the border (see other reportage “Syria - protest in the camp of Azaz”, © Michele Pero) to get attention from the Turkish Governor of the area, with no results. These people must stay here. No place where to go, no place to return to. Convicted, forgotten. No one knows for how long.

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Deir Ezzor 4: Hospital and Social Ser...
Deir Ezzor, Syria
By Nils Metzger
06 Mar 2013

00:00 - 01:05
Surgeons operate on a severely wounded person.

01:06 - 02:14
B-roll of hospital, patients and supplies.

02:15 - 03:35
Interview Ahmed, a volunteer with al-Rawafed

Ahmed: This money comes from private organisations that help our organisation in a complete and continuous manner, to help this organisation go on with its great and hard work. Like we've said before, our volunteers already work in all areas, in everything, the kitchen, the bakery the food shop to prepare the food. The organisation feeds more than 500 families. It is currently responsible for over 500 families in this city. As much as we can we try to find a protected place for the organisation and the volunteers out of fear for their safety and to enable them to keep preparing food and to distribute it. This is because of the ferocity of the bombardment under which the people of this city have suffered for a long time.

04:45 - 06:05: Interview with resident at al-Rawafed social centre

Resident: For us, the aid we currently receive is absolutely necessary. Every day they distribute bread that is basic food, and then there are additional things. The people cannot work, the shops are closed, the houses destroyed and everyone is out of work . The aid organisations help the citizens that have stayed in the country to live. Staying in our country is better than living refugee camp. This country is our country and will stay our country. The more it is destroyed and the more it decays, the more will we resist the bombardment. We can never abandon this country. I have no intention to go to a refugee camp.

R: The land is inhabited by it's people, we will properly live here again. We are calm and we are not afraid, No one else will live here. We will stay here and live here.

R: We do not care about this any more, the bombardments and the destruction. We are people who believe in God and fear no one but Him, he is the one who cares for us and protects us.

06:05 - 06:20
A child collecting bread

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Delhi's Urban Crisis -- Growing Waste...
Delhi, India
By bajpairavi
05 Jul 2012

Indian capital Delhi and its satellite towns have nearly 23 million residents, making it the world’s second most populous metropolitan region. Its population is growing at a phenomenal pace, demanding a commensurate increase in infrastructure support to keep the city livable. But the rate of development is lagging behind.

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Stateless Part 1
Kampala, Chicago, London, Geneva
By DocuProf
01 Jan 2013

Part 2 http://transterramedia.com/media/16897

Since the 1994 Genocide, Rwandan refugees from that conflict- and from subsequent events- have created a population of over 150,000 (some say 250,00) living around the world.
In June of 2013, most of these refugees will lose their refugee status and be forced back to Rwanda by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) and host countries.
The refugees fear repatriation to a country they see as oppressive, dictatorial and discriminatory.

This film explores why it is NOT a proper time to invoke this return by the UN and host countries.

It has interviews with major figures in refugee studies, Paul Rusesabagina (The REAL "Hotel Rwanda" person), Theogene Rudesingwa (former Ambassador to the US from Rwanda) who has been exiled as well as UN officials, Human Rights activists and refugees themselves.
Much of the film was actually shot by the refugees.
46 min long for a broadcast hour

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Moscow, Russia
By Marina Fonda
03 Apr 2013

Wissam is a Journalism student in Moscow and former Syrian Army officer. After being forbidden by his advisor teacher of writing his final paper on the farce of Russian coverage of the conflicts on Syria, a brainwashing aimed to make Russians stand by Bashar al Assad and the Russian government protecting him, he decides to head back to his homeland to make a film and show Russians what's really going on in his country. The film depicts Wissam's entrance in Syria by a Free Syrian Army controled border, citizens running from snipers and their stations working mode, temporary hospitals, refugees crossing the border with Turkey, destroyed Suni mosques, schools, residential buildings by government army's bombs and contains interviews with refugees (internal and fleeing abroad), injured, FSA soldiers etc.
This is a 15 min, full-HD documentary film.


(VO) My name is Wissam and I'm from Syria, I'm a student of Journalism in my final year ...In Moscow The reason why I came to study in a country that lacks freedom of press is that Russia was the only country to give me a visa after I resigned. Oh, I forgot to tell you... I was an officer in the Syrian army

(VO) After the Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad's death, his son Bashar inherited the power for that, the Constitution was amended, in the world's fastest assembly. The former Constitution demanded that the minimum age for being president should be 40 years of age. They've changed it for 34, the age of Bashar at the time I realized it was about time to write my resignation letter and leave Syria I didn't see my mom for the last 8 years I was afraid of visiting my family in Syria since an old friend from the army told me I was wanted
by the Syrian intelligence they've received a report from the embassy in Moscow saying I was against the regime I remembered my father at that point When I was a kid, he used to say: “The walls have ears” By that time, I didn't understand He lived 79 years in fear. When I was in the army, he advised me not to speak about the regime in front of other officers I used to find it funny, him worried about me, and then he told me: “These people are criminals, you didn't see what I saw” Once, he told me about an event so that I could understand his uncommon fear of the regime He told me how the army came and took one person from each house during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, in 1980, in Aleppo They took around 100 people, among them children and elderly. It was a very difficult moment for my father, when he saw his childhood friends lined against the wall and get executed These crimes were called Al Mashariqa Massacre, named after the neighborhood where it occurred That's how Hafez al-Assad controlled the country for 3 decades, committing the worse massacres of these times The most famous of them was the Hama Massacre In this city, he killed dozens of thousands of civilians through shelling and artillery in 1982

(VO) In March 2011, the revolution began in Syria I realized then that the blood series started again The dictator inherited from his father not only the country, but also his criminality The difference this time was the will of the people, which had already changed with the generations The dictator used all means of intimidation, such as executions, torture and rape to eliminate the peaceful protests He counts on the support of loyal states, such as Iran and Russia, which provide him with weapons and hinder international resolutions against him But with the continuous bloodshed, people decided to take up arms and defend themselves After the liberation of wide areas in Aleppo, I decided to go back there where I grew up and from where I was away for a long time

(VO) This is the border of Bab al Salam, the security entrance which leads to Turkey

Bashar’s hired thugs, the “shabihha”, spent a long time in the region stealing The “Shabihha” used these offices to torment civilians A bunch of impolite people who got from the regime the power of making Syrian people’s lives unbearable

(Wissam says) But, thank God for the Free Syrian Army and free militias, we are free!

(Driver shout) Peace be upon you!

(VO) We entered Aleppo during the night to avoid the air strikes and snipers I was afraid, but my fears spread away when I saw the first FSA control station

(Militia) Peace be upon you! Where are you from?
(Driver) Aleppo (Militia) Where in Aleppo? (Driver) Al Jamiliyeh (Militia) Show me your documents (Driver) Here it is (Militia) Brother, could you show me your document as well? There are people trying to infiltrate during the night
(Driver) Ok, ok Did we arrive in Al Mushat already?
(Militia) It's Al Mushat! (Driver) We didn't realize because it's night We are part of your Tawhid Brigade
(Militia) Welcome! Honestly, it's because the regime infiltrated last week and took two of us
(Driver) Really? (Militia) Yes! Take care in Al Sinaa! The regime's snipers killed already 4 people there!

(VO) So much destruction made impossible for me to recognize the streets where I grew up The smell of blood replaced the fragrance of flowers
The sound of shelling took the place of birds singing The birds, just like the Syrian people, either died or ran away Young people lost their limbs in savage shelling I couldn't see any of this on Russian TV in 2 years of revolution World history doesn't know anyone who have killed its own people and destroyed its own country such as Bashar al Assad This fool overcame the madness of Nero burning Rome, and didn't spare women, children or elderly

(Wissam) This is an innocent 2year old child “Mig” bomber planes killed her parents and she was rescued by a civilian who brought her to a temporary hospital

(Wissam) Cluster bombs are still incubated. There it is. Bombs that didn't explode. It's a danger to every civilian who lives in this building, because inside there are dozens of bombs. It's internationally forbidden to use these bombs in populated areas. But this criminal regime doesn't see the difference between civilians and militaries. It points to residential buildings just to force people to leave Syria

(Wissam) This... We can hear the snipers, who’d target anyone that crosses the parallel street. They are based there, to the left. These are residential areas, which were abandoned because of the air strikes. Assad's snipers are on the top of the buildings. Anything that crosses their field of view will be targeted: children, women, and elderly... Even a dog or a cat!

(Wissam) Now we are in a building in Salah al Deen neighborhood and, because of the snipers, we are going to cross trough these wholes that the FSA opened. The fear of snipers forced these people to flee. Even they left their clothes behind. They left everything in the wardrobe. Here is a sniper shot. Looking down... Two more shots. And one here, through the glass. I can't continue, or a sniper will notice us.
This is a kitchen in a residence. They even targeted a kitchen... There are no terrorists here. It's a peaceful people's home.

(FSA soldier) Can you see him? (Wissam) I see! (FSA soldier) Do you want me to open the curtain a little bit? (Wissam) No, no, I see it! (Wissam) That's a mosque’s minaret in front of this house. There it is one, of them... There are many snipers based there. He shoots! He shoots, targeting civilians...

(FSA soldier) I'm an army deserter (Wissam) Why did you desert? (FSA soldier) Because of the injustice we presented (Wissam) Where did you serve? (FSA soldier) In Qatana's 10th platoon (Wissam) Did they order you to kill peaceful protesters? (FSA soldier) Yes (Wissam) Or isn't it true? (FSA soldier) Of course, and they gave us pills... (Wissam) They medicated you? (FSA soldier) Yes (Wissam) And the protesters? (FSA soldier) They'd put us in front of the protesters and told us to open fire. They didn't have permission to pass by. We wanted to protect the people, but we were only protecting a throne.

(VO) After all this, I arrived to my uncle's home. I wanted to surprise him with my visit. But I was the one surprised. The building was already empty. Aleppo is a historical city that the terror of the regime turned into a ghost city. People abandoned
their neighborhoods, leaving behind piles of pain and destruction that tears won't eliminate from

(Wissam) Did they shoot you in your leg? (Old man) They shot 4 times (Wissam) 4 times! (Old man) Russian shots AK-47 And what happened to you? (Old man) It’s broke! This bone here was shattered as well. Yes, it’s broke. (Wissam) Was it the Syrian army? (Old man) It was Bashar al-Assad's army! (Wissam) May God heal you! Who destroyed all this?

(Old man) It was his bombers and mortars, which invaded the Martyrs' street. We renamed it... (Wissam) Martyr's street? (Old man) We called it this way... (Wissam) Why Martyr's street? (Old man) Because during peaceful protests the regime opened fire and killed 14 civilians in here. The army sacked us, stole us, emptied our homes.

(Wissam) “Bashar's men passed here”... This school was used as a prison and headquarters. It was terrible for this neighborhood’s people.

(Wissam) “Scud” soviet missiles are sent from the capital, about a Km from Aleppo. Artillery and aviation are the means used to terrify the remaining population and force it to obey

(Boy) He attacked us with missiles, cluster bombs, “Mig” and “Shukhoi” airplanes...

(Woman) We came here because of Bashar. May he go to hell!

(Wissam) Why are you in this mosque? (Kid) Because of the bombings (Wissam) did you flee to the mosque because of the bombings?

(Wissam) What's your name? (Girl) Kifaa (Wissam) What? (Girl) Kifaa (Wissam) How old are you, Kifaa? (Girl) I'm seven years old (Wissam) Why do you live in the mosque? (Girl) They bombed our house

(VO) Terrifying the local population and destroying their homes, forcing people to flea the homeland: this is the regime's policy to try to eliminate the revolution.

(Refugee) The air force is bombing the Northern villages (Wissam) The air force? (Refugee) Yes (Wissam) Might God protect you! Is your family in Turkey?
(Refugee) Yes