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November 08 2013

Giant Cruise Ships to be Banned from Venice Beginning Next Year | Italy Magazine

Giant Cruise Ships to be Banned from Venice Beginning Next Year | Italy Magazine

Large cruise ships passing through the Venice lagoon are to be banned effective November 2014, and a limit on smaller cruise vessels will kick in January, government officials in Rome ordered on Tuesday.
The order came following a meeting between Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta, his transport and culture ministers and Venice city officials and regional authorities, discussing how to implement in Venice a law that bans large ships from passing near Italian shores. The law was enacted nationwide following the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship in early 2012, which killed 32 people off the coast of Tuscany, but was not applied in Venice where the cruise industry plays a key role in the local economy.
As of January, the traffic volume of cruise ships weighing between 40,000 and 96,000 tonnes must be reduced to no more than five ships per day. The outright ban starting November 2014 only applies to those over 96,000 tonnes (similar to the Costa Concordia).
According to the order, cruise traffic will eventually be rerouted through the Contorta Sant’Angelo Canal. Environmentalists warn that the lagoon surrounding Venice, itself a UNESCO heritage site, is at great risk due to its fragile ecosystem and Venice residents have staged many protests over the invasion of the cruise ships. Currently, cruise ships pass within 300 metres (1,000 feet) of St Mark’s Square. Over the past 15 years, Venice has become one of the world’s most important cruise destinations, with more than 650 cruise ships passing through the city annually.
“Finally the trend towards gigantic ships in the lagoon has been turned around,” the mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We’ve had enough of these mega cruise ships just meters away from San Marco; from now on there will be clear limits on the size of ships that can enter Venice.”


October 01 2013

POLITICS - Government takes steps on headscarf, Kurds, electoral system ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily…

POLITICS - Government takes steps on headscarf, Kurds, electoral system
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

The Turkish government will lift its much-debated ban on wearing headscarves in public offices, permit education in mother tongues in private schools and commence a debate on the country’s much-criticized electoral system with a long-anticipated democratization package announced yesterday. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the package was a result of Turkey’s “democratization history,” particularly over the last 11 years. “This package is not a first and will not be the last package of such reforms,” Erdoğan said, stressing that the package was not the “final point” of a reform process that he claimed the ruling party had been pursuing since coming to power in 2002. 

“Turkey is progressing irreversibly toward democracy. This package is a fundamental and historic phase of this progress,” he said at the press conference in Ankara. He read a statement and outlined the reform list but did not take questions.

Sponsored post

Iranian FM denounces Israeli « lies »

Iranian FM denounces Israeli “lies”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of lying in his rejection of Tehran’s overtures to the West as a cosmetic ‘charm offensive.’ “We have seen nothing from Netanyahu but lies and actions to deceive and scare, and international public opinion will not let these lies go unanswered,” Zarif said in an interview with Iranian television broadcast on Tuesday. read (...)

#Iran #Israel #Top_News #united_states

September 13 2013

Georgian politics : Bidzina is not the messiah | The Economist

Georgian politics: Bidzina is not the messiah | The Economist

Bidzina is not the messiah
Sep 10th 2013, 11:56 by G.E. | TBILISI

IT IS a phrase more readily associated with Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian”, a comic film with a cult-like following. On September 2nd, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Georgian prime minister, released an open letter to explain his decision to leave his position shortly after the presidential elections on October 27th. The main reason, he says, is that he is not the messiah.

Georgia has a complicated relationship with political saviours. All three of Georgia’s previous post-independence leaders, Zviaad Gamsakhurdia, Eduard Shevardnardze and Mikheil Saakashvili, the current president, fitted this mould. Each man courted wildly unrealistic expectations from the Georgian public, but yielded little by way of accountability in return. As Georgians saw reality, their dreams turned to deep disillusionment.

#géorgie #caucase

September 03 2013

En janvier 2012, le gouvernement du Royaume-Uni a autorisé la livraison de composants susceptibles…

En janvier 2012, le gouvernement du Royaume-Uni a autorisé la livraison de composants susceptibles d’être utilisés pour la fabrication du gaz sarin.

Revealed : UK Government let British company export nerve gas chemicals to Syria - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, will today be asked by MPs to explain why a British company was granted export licences for the dual-use substances for six months in 2012 while Syria’s civil war was raging and concern was rife that the regime could use chemical weapons on its own people. The disclosure of the licences for potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride, which can both be used as precursor chemicals in the manufacture of nerve gas, came as the US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States had evidence that sarin  gas was used in last month’s atrocity in Damascus.

Mais c’était pour des usages civils et d’ailleurs le temps a manqué pour les livrer.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “You see the system working, with materials not exported. The facts are that the licences were revoked and the exports did not take place. The Prime Minister’s view is that that demonstrates that the system is working. There is a sanctions regime, which is a very active part.”

Critics of the Business Secretary, whose department said it had accepted assurances from the exporting company that the chemicals would be used in the manufacture of metal window frames and shower enclosures, said it appeared the substances had only stayed out of Syria by chance.

August 22 2013

In Nunavut, Harper pledges $100M for geomapping | NunatsiaqOnline

In Nunavut, Harper pledges $100M for geomapping | NunatsiaqOnline

While in Rankin Inlet Aug. 22, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced what a government news release called “significant new support for geo-mapping in Canada’s North, which will promote resource exploration in the region”

#mines #cartographie #canada via @visionscarto

July 25 2013

Whistleblowers expose unspeakable conditions in Australian refugee camps - World Socialist Web Site

Whistleblowers expose unspeakable conditions in Australian refugee camps - World Socialist Web Site

Whistleblowers expose unspeakable conditions in Australian refugee camps
By James Cogan
25 July 2013

Horrific details have emerged about the conditions inflicted on refugees imprisoned by the Australian Labor government in its South Pacific detention camps on Manus Island, to the north of Papua New Guinea, and Nauru. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has responded by insisting there will be no turning back from Labor’s policy of indefinitely condemning asylum seekers to what are being described as “hell-holes” and “gulags.”

#migrations #réfugiés #australie #camps

July 17 2013

Austerity government appointed in the Czech Republic - World Socialist Web Site

Austerity government appointed in the Czech Republic - World Socialist Web Site

Austerity government appointed in the Czech Republic
By Markus Salzmann
17 July 2013

A transitional cabinet was sworn into office in the Czech Republic last Wednesday, four weeks after a corruption scandal led to the resignation of Prime Minister Petr Necas and his right-wing government.

#république_tchèque #tchéquie #austérité #crise

July 12 2013

What Netanyahu should learn from the fall of apartheid By Ilan Baruch Haaretz

What Netanyahu should learn from the fall of apartheid
By Ilan Baruch

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared his – at least rhetorical - willingness to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas without preconditions, even if he must do so in a tent on the way from Jerusalem to Ramallah. Netanyahu even committed to confining himself in the tent until peace is concluded. United States Secretary of State John Kerry has focused his efforts in recent weeks to bringing the two to a negotiating ‘tent’ in Jordan but, so far, without success.

What is likely to bring the two leaders - from Ramallah and from Jerusalem - to this tent of meeting? Can we in the Middle East learn how to negotiate a settlement to a conflict that spans generations from South Africa’s experience during the twilight of apartheid? Can the examples of leadership embodied by Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk at that time and place offer us a way to break the ice separating the Palestinian and Israeli leaderships right now?

July 10 2013

JAPON • L'ex-directeur de la centrale de Fukushima meurt d'un cancer | Courrier international

JAPON • L’ex-directeur de la centrale de Fukushima meurt d’un cancer | Courrier international

vu sur Rezo. Il FAUT rappeler que si tout n’a pas pété, c’est essentiellement à ce bonhomme qu’on le doit.

En poste depuis 2010 à Daiichi, Masao Yoshida était très respecté par son équipe et avait confié au Mainichi Shimbun qu’il s’était préparé à mourir sur le site en réalisant à quel point la situation était critique. « M. Yoshida avait donné l’ordre de poursuivre le refroidissement des réacteurs par l’eau de mer, alors que le siège de Tepco avait ordonné l’interruption de cette opération depuis Tokyo », rappelle le Yomiuri Shimbun.

Dans les descriptions de l’incident juste après, il y avait à ce sujet précis une description du coup de téléphone entre Yoshida et sa direction qualifiant le niveau des échanges quelque chose comme « musclé ».

On March 12, about 28 hours after the tsunami struck, TEPCO executives had ordered workers to start injecting seawater into Reactor No. 1. But 21 minutes later, they ordered Yoshida to suspend the operation. Yoshida chose to ignore the order. At 20:05 JST that night, the Japanese government again ordered seawater to be injected into Unit 1.[3]
The week of June 7, 2011, TEPCO gave Yoshida a verbal reprimand for defying the order and not reporting it earlier.

Article du 23/11/2012

Give thanks for Masao Yoshida, Fukushima plant manager, who ignored orders and prevented a meltdown

Giving thanks to a rebel

Luckily for him, Masao Yoshida, 55, was on watch. He was Fukushima’s plant manager, and he was among the 50-odd employees who stayed in the hot zone as radiation levels rose well above toxic levels. He was already a hero, although at that point only a foolish one. Yoshida knew that the reactor was vulnerable to seawater, and in the absence of emergency power or viable containment rods, that natural salty fluid was the only weapon he had. At the same time, he knew that the moment the reactor core came into contact with sea water, the plant itself would be effectively inoperable forever. His bosses at TEPCO ordered him to do nothing while they modeled the potential consequences of injecting seawater into the reactor core. An early attempt to flood part of the core was done improperly, and engineers worried that the contaminated seawater would simply flow back into the ocean. Also, by damaging the reactor this way, too much radioactive gas might be released.
Yoshida and his workers figured out how to prevent backflow of seawater, but TEPCO still ordered him to wait on word from the prime minister. He ignored them, and on his order, decided to flood the bay. Problem: Getting seawater into the core was impossible, or almost impossible, because of the debris and damage done by the earthquake and the flood. Fukishima workers began to use abandoned firefighting equipment to literally pump water in, just gallons at a time, equivalent to a dropper of ink in a well.
TEPCO told him to stop.

He conveyed the orders to his crew, telling them simply to ignore what upper management was saying. He had cultivated enough loyalty among his engineers, and they obeyed his disobeyance.

TEPCO then said in a press statement that said that there was little risk of a radioactive plume being released because the reactor core hadn’t been destroyed; in blunt terms, the radioactive particles were still contained. That was a lie. Yoshida and his crew were successful; they managed to corrode the core.

ou encore (au milieu d’un récit long et détaillé)

The only one who didn’t appear confused at this point was Yoshida. He had just taken a call from Ichiro Takekuro, TEPCO’s government liaison, telling him to stop the seawater injections, which he had started.
Showing the maverick streak that had endeared him to his colleagues inside the bunker, Yoshida disobeyed Takekuro’s order and continued injecting seawater into Reactor 1. As plant manager, Yoshida had the authority to ignore, overrule and defy head office. He was in the bunker. He was in control. He had hundreds of people’s lives in his hands. “Suspending the seawater could have meant death [for those at the plant],” he later revealed. Already, he felt they’d cheated death several times.
Nearly a year and a half after the meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Masao Yoshida broke his silence. In a video message, the manager of the nuclear plant at the time of the disaster confessed he thought he and his fellow workers would never make it out alive. It was Yoshida’s only appearance since the meltdowns. He had preferred not to comment about what had happened until all the official investigations were completed and their reports were released. And the plant manager was also in hospital being treated for cancer of the oesophagus.
In his message, Yoshida repeatedly praised the courage of his workers. “It was clear from the beginning we couldn’t run. Reactors 5 and 6 would have also melted down if people hadn’t stayed on site. My colleagues went out there again and again. The level of radiation on the ground was terrible, yet they gave everything they had. Pushing their physical limits, they would go out and risk their lives, come back in, then go out to do it again.”
Yoshida is now regarded as a national hero by many. He was the man who ignored orders from his TEPCO superiors to stop pumping seawater into one of the stricken reactors, and he was the man who refused to be pushed about by pesky politicians like Naoto Kan. And he was a hero for staring death in the face to save his country from an even worse nuclear nightmare.
The plant manager dismissed any suggestion, such as the one from the former prime minister, Kan, that an evacuation of Fukushima Dai-ichi was contemplated. At least, it wasn’t contemplated by him. “I never said to headquarters anything about pulling people out - it never occurred to me ... There was no way we were going to leave the plant,” Yoshida insisted.

July 09 2013

Australian prime minister seeks Indonesian support for anti-refugee policies - World Socialist Web…

Australian prime minister seeks Indonesian support for anti-refugee policies - World Socialist Web Site

Australian prime minister seeks Indonesian support for anti-refugee policies

By Patrick O’Connor
9 July 2013

In his first overseas trip since being reinstalled as prime minister on June 27, Kevin Rudd went to Indonesia late last week, to seek Jakarta’s support for harsh new measures to prevent asylum seekers from reaching Australia by boat. The Labor and Liberal parties are both making the issue central to their 2013 election campaigns as a diversion from their plans for stepped up austerity against the working class at home, and the promotion of war and militarism abroad.

#migrations #réfugiés #australie #indonésie

July 08 2013

*Unchangeable educational system in Latvia* Educational system in Latvia in all levels needs huge…

Unchangeable educational system in Latvia
Educational system in Latvia in all levels needs huge changes both to survive and compete with other countries. There are many problems starting from too many universities in such a small country and ending with teachers' salaries. We need changes but till now we have not had any considerable improvement.
Newest discussions refer to teachers's salaries - as crisis in Latvia is perceived to be gone, Latvia's education and science labour union (LIZDA) demands to raise monthly salary. Prime minister promised to solve this question accordingly to budget. But my concern is if prime minister will be strong enough to allow salary raise just to level we really can afford. Because one of the reasons economic crisis hit us so hard was unreasonable salary raise.

Mudina ātrāk palielināt skolotāju algas - Latvijā -

Tiekoties ar premjeru Valdi Dombrovski, LIZDA vadība 5. jūlijā atkal akcentēja šo jautājumu, taču vienošanās par « konkrētiem cipariem un procentiem » nav notikusi.
Pēc tikšanās ar arodbiedrības pārstāvjiem premjers uzsvēra, ka pedagogu algas risināmas kontekstā ar nozarē veicamajām strukturālajām reformām. Vienlaikus esot jādomā par pedagogu darba samaksu, sociālajām garantijām un motivācijas sistēmu. Tikšanās laikā esot panākta vienošanās, ka jautājumus risinās atbilstoši budžeta iespējām, jau sākot ar nākamo gadu. Taču paralēli tam runāts arī par profesionālo izglītību un infrastruktūras attīstību, un šeit studējošo stipendijām. Neesot aizmirsta arī augstākā izglītība un zinātne – konkrētāk, granti un tas, cik lielā mērā nodrošinātas studiju izmaksas minimālās prasības.

#Economy #Latvia #Educational system

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