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Category Archives: European Union

Explaining the lack of rain in Spain (and Italy)

THE Gonella Hut, more than 3,000 metres up on the Italian side of Monte Bianco, should be bustling with climbers in August. Instead, it is empty. Davide Gonella, the manager, closed it at the end of last month for lack of water.“The snowfield we use for our supply had gone,” he says. The high summer temperatures that have seared southern Europe this year were only partly to blame. When he reopened his refuge in early June, Mr Gonella could already see the snowfield was much smaller than usual, because so little snow had fallen last winter.

Source: Explaining the lack of rain in Spain (and Italy)

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2017 in European Union

 

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Italy’s ‘Lord of the Spies’ Takes On a Migration Crisis

During a visit to Moscow in 1980, Marco Minniti, a bald and bold young functionary in the Italian Communist Party, mortified his comrades by asking a Red Army general why the Soviets had occupied Afghanistan. The general pointed south on a map and explained that the faraway land mattered for his country’s national security.Now, decades later, it is Mr. Minniti, Italy’s powerful interior minister and the hard-nosed veteran of its intelligence apparatus, who is looking south — but to Africa, which he calls the “mirror of Europe.”

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2017 in European Union

 

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Weg mit den Rettern

Der Anfang scheint gemacht. Am Wochenende stellten die Organisationen Ärzte ohne Grenzen und Sea-Eye ihre Rettungsaktionen für schiffbrüchige Flüchtlinge im Mittelmeer bis auf Weiteres ein. Andere werden wohl folgen. Denn Libyen hat eine nationale SAR-Zone (abgeleitet von “Search and Rescue”, deutsch: “Suchen und Retten”) ausgerufen, die weit über die libyschen Hoheitsgewässer hinausreicht. Und die Regierung in Tripolis, die im Land selbst kaum etwas regiert, hat die privaten Helfer ausdrücklich gewarnt, diese Zone zu befahren.

Die Drohung ist ernst zu nehmen, denn zu Wasser ist Libyen gut bestückt. Man hat aus Europa moderne Schiffe für die Küsten- und Seekontrolle bekommen, dazu viel Geld und Ausbildungskurse und was man sonst noch so braucht für den kleinen Seekrieg vor der Haustür.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/italien-weg-mit-den-rettern-a-1162725.html

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2017 in Africa, European Union

 

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Barcelona Tourists Become Terrorism’s Latest Victims

Every August, the traditional vacation month for Spaniards, those Barcelonans who can afford to flee the city and its hordes for the green hills and pretty beaches of the nearby Costa Brava. The legendary boulevard of Las Ramblas, in Barcelona, snaking from the city’s downtown along the ancient Gothic quarter to the Mediterranean Sea, is a must-do for all foreign visitors, and it is thronged with people at the best of times. Earlier today, Las Ramblas became the latest soft target for terrorists, when a man, evidently swearing allegiance to the Islamic State, drove a rented white van for hundreds of feet, hitting dozens of people who were walking along the tree-lined avenue. Zigzagging back and forth in an apparent effort to maximize the death toll, the driver killed at least thirteen people and injured a hundred.The earliest images to emerge from the scene, a few hours ago, had a ghoulishly reminiscent quality: one of them was an iPhone video clip, without any narrative or commentary—nor needing any—evidently shot in the first shocked aftermath of the attack. It showed several people, most of them in summer shorts and T-shirts, lying dead or unconscious and badly wounded, bleeding, on a sidewalk, as stunned survivors stumbled past.

Source: Barcelona Tourists Become Terrorism’s Latest Victims | The New Yorker

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2017 in European Union

 

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House of Herbs

Casa delle Erbe (House of Herbs) is a growing community that challenges the idea that we need a capitalistic socio-economic structure.The movement was founded in the 90s, in Capracotta, a mountain village in Molise, Central Italy. In a town with no tourism, consistent emigration, and the school on the verge of closing, the inhabitants found themselves in an old and all too common story. Sustenance and growth required capital that the people did not have. Capracotta was turning into a ghost town.Rather than resign themselves to defeat by an unforgiving future, the locals turned to the past and to the land.

Source: House of Herbs – Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in European Union, Revolution

 

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Christian conservatives don’t support Donald Trump despite his vulgarity – they support him because of it

How to account for the strange fact that Donald Trump, a lewd and morally destitute person, the very opposite of Christian decency, can function as the chosen hero of the Christian conservatives? The explanation one usually hears is that, while Christian conservatives are well aware of the problematic character of Trump’s personality, they have chosen to ignore this side of things since what really matters to them is Trump’s agenda, especially his anti-abortion stance.

If he succeeds in naming conservative new members of the Supreme Court, which will then overturn Roe v Wade, then this act will obliterate all his sins, it seems. But are things as simple as that? What if the very duality of Trump’s personality – his high moral stance accompanied by personal lewdness and vulgarities – is what makes him attractive to Christian conservatives? What if they secretly identify with this very duality?

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2017 in European Union, North America

 

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Una casa dove chi ha disturbi mentali può ricominciare

Simone è fissato con gli stivali. In camera ne ha molte paia, ordinate vicino alla porta. È un ragazzo biondo di quasi trent’anni, con un bel sorriso. Nell’aprire il suo piccolo mondo si scusa: “È un casino”. Non lo è. Sul tavolo, uno scrittoio elegante di legno chiaro, ricordi di viaggi, una salamandra di ceramica colorata, psicofarmaci e pupazzi. Dal computer esce musica per intenditori. “Adoro il pop o, meglio, questo pop: giapponese e coreano. ‘Ste ragazzette non c’hanno rivali”.La musica è parte dei suoi interessi, così come la storia dell’arte, che studia all’università di Roma Tre. “L’arte è la mia vita. Mi aiuta ad affrontare i pregiudizi. Quello verso la malattia mentale, certo. E quello sulla mia omosessualità”. Soffre di depressione cronica e vive in questa casa da un anno, dopo la morte di entrambi i genitori. La sua, quella dove è cresciuto, è poco distante. “Ogni volta che ci passo e vedo quel cancello non ce la faccio. L’ho dovuta affittare. Penso che mi fermerò a lungo qui”.Divide la casa con altre due persone: Giulia, un po’ più giovane, e Riccardo, quarant’anni. Insieme formano uno dei trenta “gruppi appartamento” di pazienti psichiatrici seguiti dall’asl Roma due. I gruppi appartamento si rifanno all’esperienza statunitense dell’abitare supportato, un approccio radicale alla salute mentale nato negli anni novanta che intreccia assistenza medica tradizionale e ricerca di autosufficienza. In pratica, le persone con disturbi mentali, anziché vivere e curarsi dentro cliniche pubbliche o private, condividono appartamenti in cui gli operatori trascorrono dalle quattro alle otto ore al giorno, a seconda dei casi. In Italia, questo tipo di esperienze nasce spesso dal basso, e oggi è diffuso soprattutto in Trentino, in Piemonte, in Toscana, nel Lazio e in Umbria.

Source: Una casa dove chi ha disturbi mentali può ricominciare – Cristiano Barducci – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2017 in European Union

 

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Energy self-sufficiency

Sweden realised how crucial it was to become self-sufficient in energy very early on. The second world war was ‘an energy trauma’, forcing Sweden to import coal from Nazi Germany, according to Teva Meyer, a geographer at the University of Haute Alsace.So over the next years, Sweden diversified its energy sources by building hydroelectric dams on its countless streams and rivers. Then, after discovering key uranium deposits in 1947, the country committed to nuclear energy: its first heat and electric power production facility entered service in 1964 at Ågesta, near Stockholm. Though neutral Sweden renounced nuclear weapons in 1968, it developed an extensive civil programme, leading to the construction of 12 nuclear reactors.

Source: Energy self-sufficiency, by Florence Beaugé (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, August 2017)

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in European Union

 

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My East in Venice 

When you get to the train station, turn left and you’ll find it. Directions in Venice are always convoluted, and directions given by a relative in Jaffa about a place in Venice create an even greater web. But that’s all my uncle told me about how I could find some family members in the city.

When I arrived at Venezia Santa Lucia train station, I went straight instead. I was drawn to the water, where the sunlight glistened like small fires. There, I could hear the ghosts of the Nakba—catastrophe—the mass exodus of Palestinians that occurred during the creation of Israel between 1947 and 1948. Some drowned, some were killed, some found refuge in places I’ll never discover.

https://www.guernicamag.com/my-east-in-venice/

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2017 in European Union, Middle East

 

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Anarchists Fill Services Void Left by Faltering Greek Governance 

It may seem paradoxical, but Greece’s anarchists are organizing like never before.Seven years of austerity policies and a more recent refugee crisis have left the government with fewer and fewer resources, offering citizens less and less. Many have lost faith. Some who never had faith in the first place are taking matters into their own hands, to the chagrin of the authorities.Tasos Sagris, a 45-year-old member of the Greek anarchist group Void Network and of the “self-organized” Embros theater group, has been at the forefront of a resurgence of social activism that is effectively filling a void in governance.“People trust us because we don’t use the people as customers or voters,” Mr. Sagris said. “Every failure of the system proves the idea of the anarchists to be true.”

 
 

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