Notas ao café…

O dia de Obama

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Maio 3, 2011

1 de Maio: O Presidente Barack Obama, o vice-presidente Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton e outros membros da equipa de segurança da administração americana recebem informações sobre o decorrer da missão contra Osama Bin Laden na Situation Room da Casa Branca (foto: Pete Souza/Official White House Photo).

O pós-Bin Laden

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Maio 3, 2011


Aislin, «The Montreal Gazette»

Marc Lynch escreve sobre o impacto que a morte de Osama Bin Laden tem no mundo árabe e no futuro da al-Qaeda:

[…] The fact is, al-Qaeda had already been effectively marginalized within the mainstream of the Arab world long before bin Laden died. His death removes the only al-Qaeda figure still able to speak effectively to that Arab mainstream, and marks the end of an era of Arab politics which had already largely faded away. Al-Qaeda’s marginalization in Arab politics has been developing for a long time, and will only be further advanced by bin Laden’s death. […]

The decline in al-Qaeda’s fortunes was also driven by trends inside of Arab politics. Zarqawi’s brutality in Iraq and the wave of terrorist attacks inside Arab and Muslim countries drove a serious backlash. Arab governments began to take al-Qaeda more seriously, with the Saudis and Jordanians and many others launching major campaigns at home and across the region after suffering terrorist attacks at home. […] In short, while it was able to appeal to and recruit from the small, extreme sub-cultures which developed around jihadist ideology, al-Qaeda has long since lost its attractiveness to mainstream Arabs. […]

This does not mean, however, that al-Qaeda is forever irrelevant, as some would hope. […] Indeed, if the revolutions fail, economies don’t improve, and elections produce unattractive political leadership, it is easy enough to imagine frustrated youth a few years from now again finding al-Qaeda’s message attractive.

Bin Laden’s death marks a symbolic point of closure to an historical period which had already faded from view. Al-Qaeda as an organization and ideology will likely adapt and survive, the threat will mutate, and Islamist politics will evolve. It offers another opportunity for the United States to move on from the problems of the past and to establish the new relationship with the people of the Arab world which it so desperately needs. It doesn’t change everything, but it does matter. Beyond that, we will just have to wait and see.

Issandr El Amrani, no The Arabist, tem uma opinião semelhante à de Marc Lynch quanto à perda de relevância da al-Qaeda no mundo árabe.

A Foreign Policy apresenta uma série de testemunhos sobre o mundo pós-Bin Laden. Ezra Klein apresenta a conta do que “custou” Osama Bin Laden; sem as suas acções as guerras do Iraque e Afeganistão não teriam ocorrido.

O fim de Osama Bin Laden

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Maio 3, 2011


Chappatte, «The International Herald Tribune»

Quase 10 anos após os ataques de 11 de Setembro, o Presidente Barack Obama anunciou a morte do líder histórico da al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, num discurso proferido para a televisão. Foi feita justiça, afirmaria o Presidente americano ao revelar que forças especiais e operacionais da CIA tinham cercado e morto Bin Laden na cidade de  Abottabad, no Paquistão.

No seu discurso o Presidente afirmou:

[…] The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad. […]

Ao mesmo tempo, o Presidente teve o cuidado de afirmar que Osama Bin Laden não era um líder Muçulmano, mas sim um assassino de muçulmanos.

Ao contrário do que sempre se pensou, Bin Laden não estava escondido nas montanhas da fronteira entre o Afeganistão e Paquistão, mas sim num complexo multimilionário a menos de uma hora de carro da capital do Paquistão, Islamabad, com a sua mulher mais nova. A operação começou em Março tendo tido o seu desfecho no dia de ontem. Bin Laden foi morto com um tiro na cabeça, foi identificado por análises de DNA, e o corpo foi sepultado no mar. Glen Levy coloca a questão óbvia:

[…] But the lingering question is, Why at sea? The official said that finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world’s most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, so the decision was made to bury bin Laden at sea. Furthermore, one suspects that the U.S. would not have wanted there to be a grave site for fear of it turning into a place of worship for bin Laden’s followers. There are rumors, however, that the U.S. asked Saudi Arabia to take the body (bin Laden was born there), but it allegedly refused. […]


Frederick Deligne

Um gato em Ajdabiyah

Posted in fotografia ao café, notas ao café by JN on Maio 2, 2011

Ao deixar a cidade de Ajdabiyah, onde as forças leais a Khadafi e os rebeldes combatem, Ryan Calder decidiu fotografar um camião destruído por um dos muitos bombardeamentos; nele encontrou um gato que não se importou de ser fotografado.

Quem é Assad?

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 20, 2011


Daryl Cagle, «MSNBC. com»

As forças de segurança sírias abriram fogo sobre uma manifestação na praça central de Homs, a terceira cidade do país. Na mesma altura, governo avisou que futuras manifestações poderiam sofrer iguais medidas dentro do estado de emergência que vigora no país. Os activistas reuniram-se para prestar homenagem ao 14 manifestantes que foram mortos no domingo. O funeral rapidamente se transformou numa manifestação política ao longo do dia com oa activistas a ocuparem a praça e a prometerem não a abandonar até que o Presidente Bashar al-Assad abandone o cargo.

A manifestação foi vista como uma rejeição ao discurso do Presidente na televisão onde este prometeu reformas no país incluindo o levantamento do estado de emergência em vigor na Síria desde 1963.

O Governo anunciou, entretanto, a aprovação de um projecto de lei que levanta o estado de emergência. Falta a assinatura do próprio Bashar (o Governo não tem quase poder), uma formalidade, já que o Executivo nunca teria votado estas mudanças sem as suas ordens. Outro projecto de lei votado já esta terça-feira e anunciado igualmente pela agência de notícias oficial Sana prevê a abolição do Tribunal de Segurança do Estado, onde são julgados os presos políticos.

Na Time, Rania Abouzeid interroga-se sobre quem é o verdadeiro Presidente Assad, um homem que sempre cultivou a imagem de um reformista mas cujo comportamento muitas vezes mostra exactamente o contrário:

[…] Assad has largely stayed out of the public eye during the crisis, recalling his father’s distant mien, an image at odds with his public persona as an everyman dining in Damascus’s restaurants with his young family and strolling through its souks. Mahjoub says its because Assad isn’t “a tactical, retail politician. He doesn’t like to talk to impress, he likes to talk to achieve.” Abdel-Nour has a different interpretation. Assad is the public face of the regime, he says, and the less people see of him now, the less likely they are to associate him with the unrest. “If Assad loses this image, the respect people still have for him, the regime is finished,” he says. […]

O factor Soini

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 20, 2011

Um certo carisma e uma retórica populista de Timo Soini fizeram com que o partido de extrema-direita “Verdadeiros Finlandeses” se tornasse na terceira força política da Finlândia, nas legislativas de domingo. Com um resultado histórico o partido do Sr. Soini viu aumentar o número de votos dos 4,1 por cento, em 2007, para 19 por cento em 2011.

São muitas as explicações avançadas para justificar esta ascensão da extrema-direita na Finlândia: a crise na democracia do país, a deceção do eleitorado e a crise económica que também aqui se faz sentir neste país. Durante a campanha o partido de Timo Soini insurgiu-se contra os planos de resgate aos países endividados da Zona Euro. Timo Soini acredita que a UE está a violar as próprias leis e a Constituição porque, segundo ele, esta proíbe operações de resgate. Ao contrário do que acontece em outros países europeus, o Parlamento Finlandês tem o poder de decisão sobre os pedidos de resgate de ajuda financeira da União.


“European Economy”
Michael Kountouris

Mesmo que a Finlândia vote contra o plano de resgate a Portugal este não estará ameaçado; no entanto foi o suficinete para (mais uma vez) desestabilizar os mercados e preocupar mais uma vez os alemães, como escreve a Der Spiegel:

[T]he effect of a Finnish withdrawal would be greater on Germany than it would be on most other euro-zone member states. Germany and Finland, together with France, the Netherlands and Austria, are the only countries in the euro zone that possess the best possible rating, Triple A, from the ratings agencies. If one of these countries with the best credit ratings ceases to participate, the additional burden would likely fall on the other countries with Triple A ratings and not on countries with lesser ratings such as Estonia or Malta. […]

[T]he Finns could stir up trouble in terms of disbursing financial aid for Portugal. A unanimous decision is required by all euro-zone finance ministers in order to disburse loans under the current EFSF agreement. This is expected to take place in May. In the worst-case scenario, this would provide the Finnish finance minister with an opportunity to strike. He could demand that Finland would only agree to the bailout if Helsinki didn’t have to participate financially.

Given the relatively small, single-digit billion volume of Finland’s share of the bailout, this quasi veto power probably wouldn’t threaten Portugal’s bailout. But economist Gros at Center for European Policy Studies argues that the political symbolism of a pullout would be important, especially if other countries followed suit — particularly countries that have been leaders in a united Europe until now. Gros says it could create huge problems if sentiment like that crossed over into Germany. […]

ElBaradei em entrevista

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 20, 2011


Chappatte, «Le Temps»

O actual diretor-geral da Agência Internacional de Energia Atómica e prémio Nobel da Paz de 2005, Mohamed ElBaradei, pretende concorrer às eleições presidenciais do Egipto, agendadas para o final deste ano. Numa entrevista à Der Spiegel, o Sr. ElBaradei fala da detenção de Hosni Mubarak e da aumento da desconfiança dos egípcios na actual nos militares que governam o país:

[…]

SPIEGEL: The protesters in Tahrir Square have also been calling for the resignation of General Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of the military council.

ElBaradei: I am on the side of the protesters when it comes to calling for a national dialogue, for participation and transparency. But I think risking a clash with the army …

SPIEGEL: … which intends to take decisive action against further protests …

ElBaradei: … would be the worst thing that could happen to us. Then we will plunge into chaos. The military council is the only institution that still works well in Egypt. That’s why it is all the more important that the military leaders do not gamble away the trust of the people. They must open up and take action. Giving statements on television isn’t enough. That’s not a dialogue.

SPIEGEL: Many are now saying that “Mubarak and Tantawi are the same hand.” The general was a close adviser to the president for more than 20 years.

ElBaradei: Egypt is in a very critical phase. Every change from an autocratic regime to a democracy comes with compromises. I believe Tantawi and the military leaders and assume that they really only want to manage the transition. […]


Chappatte, «NZZ am Sonntag»

O mundo real

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 20, 2011


Scott Adams, «Dilbert»

Scott Adams, o autor da série Dilbert, reflecte sobre a educação dos nossos dias e da necessidade da integração da complexidade do mundo actual nos currículos, mesmo que seja em detrimento de matérias mais clássicas:

[…] I’ll begin by stipulating that any field of study is helpful in training a student’s mind to become more of a learning machine.[…]

Today, life is more complicated than school. That means the best way to expand a student’s mind is by teaching more about the practical complexities of the real world and less about, for example, the history of Europe, or trigonometry.

I’ll pause here to acknowledge that both history and trigonometry are useful for students who plan to become historians or rocket scientists. For the other 99.9% of the world, little from those classes will be retained. The only benefit from much of what is taught in school is generic training of the mind, and for that we now have a better and more complicated option: the real world.

Some of you will argue that learning history is important on a number of levels, including creating a shared culture, understanding other countries, and avoiding the mistakes of the past. I agree. And if the question was teaching history versus teaching nothing, history would be the best choice every time. But if you compare teaching history with, for example, teaching a kid how to compare complicated financial alternatives, I’d always choose the skill that has the most practical value. You get all the benefit of generic mental training plus some real world benefits if any of it is retained.

I’d still teach history in school. But I think the world will survive if some of the details are skipped to make room for more relevant coursework.

O que é uma educação voltada para o mundo real será sempre um assunto ambíguo e aqui o Sr. Adams mostra a sua visão que é em muito centrada na sua própria actividade, pessoalmente não concordo com esta visão. Este post de Scott Adams vem na sequência de um artigo que este publicou no The Wall Street Journal e da necessidade de currículos alternativos para alunos que não têm tanto interesse em matérias como Física, Química, Cálculo ou Literatura… outra opinião discutível.

Aceitar o erro

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 20, 2011

A maioria de nós fará tudo para evitar estar errado ou cair em erro. Mas e se isso for um erro? A especialista na arte do erro, Kathryn Schulz, autora do blog na Slate The Wrong Stuff: What it Means to Make Mistakes, apresenta um argumento convincente para admitir e abraçar a nossa falibilidade.

Viagens no tempo e a censura

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 18, 2011

Antes de a H.G. Wells — que em conjunto com Julio Verne é considerado um dos pais da ficção cientifica — e da sua obra “The Time Machine, Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau, em 1887, escreveu “El anacronópete” e foi ele o primeiro a escrever sobre viagens no tempo, como escreve Jerónimo Andreu no El País.

Mais de um século depois, o governo chinês decidiu proibir as viagens no tempo, um género cada vez mais apreciado na televisão chinesa:

Now there’s an interesting trend in China’s film and television industry: more and more time-travel themed dramas are made and aired. In these time-travel based TV plays, usually the protagonist is from the modern time and for some reasons and via some means, travels through time and all the way back to the ancient China where he/she will constantly experience the “culture shock” but gradually get used to it and eventually develop a romance in that era. […]

[…] Nothing is off limits in this television genre. While some find it hilarious, others think the exaggeration and even ridiculous elements added into the story is a real source of annoyance and is a disrespectful for history.

The authority’s decision was made on the Television Director Committee Meeting on April 1st. – but obviously it’s not a prank to fans of the drama genre. The authority has a good reason to go against the genre. “The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore.” […]

Richard Brody, na The New Yorker, explica o que incomoda os censores chineses:

[…] What the Chinese time-travel plots, as described above, have in common is the notion of escape: leaving contemporary, Communist-dominated China for the China of another era, one where, despite mores that are, in some ways, odd and outdated, love and happiness can be found. Time travel serves here as a dream of freedom from present-day strictures—or simply as a cry for freedom, from precisely this kind of idiotic and despotic regulation. As I suggested, today and earlier this week, regarding “Meek’s Cutoff,” the narrow representation of material history serves a programmatic view of political art. The free play of imagination—the liberation of the inner life—is itself a higher stage of politics. […]

Os políticos e a literatura

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 18, 2011

Na Foreign Policy, Suzanne Merkelson escreve sobre ditadores famosos que, em alguma altura das suas vidas, foram (maus) escritores. Entres eles estão o Coronel Muammar Khadafi, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il (este foi crítico de cinema), Estaline (poeta), Saparmurat Niyazov e o Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Seth Fischer explica porque os políticos são maus romancistas:

[…] It’s a running joke that politicians tend to do a poor job of writing fiction, and for the most part, the joke holds true. But I think there may be something more to this failure than just the fact that many of them are trained in legalese or that they’re busy. I think it has to do with the fact that being a politician requires putting the human capacity for empathy on hold, or at least minimizing it. It requires putting an idea or a philosophy or a party above people in order not to go mad.

[…] When I had even a little bit of power, and when people came to me night and day with the most horrendous stories imaginable, I had to learn how to shut off my capacity for empathy to avoid going mad. When I worked there, I had to learn how to say no, to not lose sleep over the veteran I just talked to who was missing half a head and would still not get enough disability. Or the fact that there was no way I could help that federal employee with cancer who was getting screwed out of her retirement on a technicality. I had to really believe that my political philosophy and my leaders would help fix all this in the end. […]

It’s not a surprise that these members want to write a novel, to create a fictional world that supports their worldview, that shows how their philosophy can help change the world for the better despite all the terrible things that they are tacitly accepting. Like almost every writer, they want to justify their existence through their words. But for the most part, it appears that they are writing ghosts, or character outlines. The characters in these books are ideas, not people, and I can’t blame them for making this mistake. For a politician to relearn how to actually empathize with a character, and hence a person, the pain of the responsibility of their power would become unbearable.

[Via: The Dish]

A Grande História

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 18, 2011

Numa das palestras no TED, David Christian narra a história completa do Universo, desde o Big Bang à Internet, em 18 minutos. A “Big History”, uma visão da complexidade, da vida e da humanidade.

O Coronel tem que sair…

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 16, 2011


Michael Kountouris

David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy e Barack Obama são os autores de um artigo de opinião no New York Times sobre a Líbia. No referido artigo, os autores afirmam que o Coronel Muammar Khadafi deve abandonar o poder de uma forma definitiva:

[S]o long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. In order for that transition to succeed, Qaddafi must go and go for good. At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Qaddafi has destroyed — to repair homes and hospitals, to restore basic utilities, and to assist Libyans as they develop the institutions to underpin a prosperous and open society. […]

Só não dizem é como será a queda do Coronel, como escreve, apontando o óbvio, Greg Scoblete:

[…] Nowhere in the article, however, do they explain how they intend to bring about his downfall. The leaders state that unseating Gaddafi was not the point of the mission, but then declare that the NATO mission will not end unless and until Gaddafi steps aside. So it’s only natural for people to point out that there is a rather glaring mismatch between means and ends here. Why harp on the fact that the goal is Gaddafi’s departure if you’re not going to take the necessary steps to hasten him to the door?

This isn’t simply incoherent, it’s dangerous. It is obviously foolish to try and unseat Gaddafi – the U.S.and NATO are completely unprepared to police and stabilize a post-Gaddafi Libya. But by publicly affirming that the goal is regime change, Western leaders are ultimately committed to doing so down the road.


John Cole, «The Scranton Times-Tribune»

Na Time, Aryn Baker escreve que o verdadeiro problema não é a partida de Muammar Khadafi, mas sim com ele irá sair:

[W]e should be careful about painting the rebels as a purely liberating force. The truth is, the east and west of the country have had bad blood going back decades, so supporting the rise of one group over the other is not necessarily going to lead to a peaceful and prosperous Libya. Tunisia and Egypt were exceptions. As a rule, revolutions are bloody affairs that scar generations. Libya, where arms are plentiful, threatens to become a bloodbath if conflict is not averted. […]

[…] That Gaddafi must go has been made clear, but how that happens is just as important as the fact that it does happen. External intervention risks leaving a dangerous power vacuum that could be easily exploited by rival groups. An ouster by rebel groups (how ever improbable that sounds now) could lead to a bloody cycle of revenge by alienated tribes and clans. A referendum, if he could be persuaded to accept such a proposal, could lend a sense of national will, but it would be too easy to manipulate in his favor. […]


Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»

Uma armadilha

Posted in música ao café, palavras ao café by JN on Abril 16, 2011

“O amor é que fica quando o coração está cansado. Quando o pensamento está exausto e os sentidos se deixam adormecer, o amor acorda para se apanhar. O amor é uma coisa que vai contra nós. É uma armadilha. No meio do sono, acorda. No meio do trabalho, lembra-se de se espreguiçar. O amor é uma das nossas almas. É a nossa ligação aos outros. Não se pode exterminar. Quem não dava a vida por um amor? Quem não tem um amor inseguro e incerto, lindo de morrer: de quem queira, até ao fim da vida, cuidar e fugir, fugir e cuidar?”

Miguel Esteves Cardoso, in «Último Volume»

A Chernobyl do Japão

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 14, 2011

A Foreign Policy apresenta uma foto-reportagem sobre as cidades desertas que se encontram na zona de exclusão à volta da central nuclear de Fukushima.

7 de Abril: Uma rua deserta da também deserta cidade de Mianamisoma, depois das autoridades terem estabelecido um perímetro de segurança ao redor da central nuclear de Fukushima (foto: Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images).

Japão, um mês depois

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 14, 2011


Emad Hajjaj

Além do perigo nuclear, os japoneses têm de continuar a lidar com os sismos e réplicas que continuam a abalar o país. Entretanto foi elevada de 5 para 7 o nível do acidente nuclear de Fukushima, colocando-o no grau de gravidade máxima, idêntico ao da catástrofe de Chernobyl. A atribuição do nível 7 ao acidente na central de Fukushima significa que ocorreu uma libertação importante de matérias radioativas com efeitos consideráveis para a saúde e o ambiente.

A decisão reflecte o total das radiações libertadas até ao momento na central de Fukushima e não um agravamento da situação, esclareceram as autoridades japonesas. Apesar de o nível de gravidade ser idêntico ao de Chernobyl, as emissões radioactivas desde o início do acidente nuclear de Fukushima equivalem a um décimo das registadas em 1986, após a catástrofe na central ucraniana. Apesar da revisão do grau de gravidade da situação em Fukushima, o primeiro-ministro japonês, Naoto Kan, afirmou que a libertação de partículas radioactivas na central danificada está a diminuir.

Um mês depois depois do Japão ter sido devastado a crise continua e as perguntas aumentam, principalmente sobre o futuro, como escreve a Time:

[…] One month ago, that was hardly a radical thing to say in Japan. But one month ago, Japan was a different place. On March 11, millions of people’s lives were thrown into a tailspin after the largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history struck off the northeast coast, triggering a tsunami that swallowed swaths of the rugged shoreline and set off a nuclear crisis that is still unfolding. Each day in the past four weeks has brought more grim news; on Monday another massive 7.1 aftershock struck the northeast, prompting a tsunami alert and workers to evacuate their posts at Fukushima yet again. The official tally of those who have died is nearly 13,000. Each day, thousands of Japanese and American troops set out to look for the 15,000 people who are still formally categorized as missing. As their search, and time, wears on, questions mount: Why have officials waited so long to finalize the death toll? Why did Prime Minister Naoto Kan wait over three weeks to visit the disaster zone? And what’s next? […]


John Cole, «The Scranton Times-Tribune»

Entre tantas asneiras…

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 14, 2011

Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho garante que, se soubesse como o país ia ficar, não teria realizado o 25 de Abril. Porquê? Vivia-se melhor antes da Revolução? E não sabia que a Revolução de Abril tinha um dono.

Líbia divide NATO

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 14, 2011

Sem grande surpresa começam as divisões quanto à estratégia a seguir pela NATO na Líbia, principalmente porque os progressos no terreno não serão significativos. O Reino Unido e a França são dois dos países que não estão satisfeitos com a interpretação à letra da resolução 1973 da ONU e querem que os ataques aéreos sejam intensificados. Nem será também de surpreender que senadores americanos como John McCain achem que os EUA decidiram intervir tarde demais e culpem Barack Obama e sua estratégia pelo impasse que se verifica na Líbia.

Para o Presidente americano uma meia-guerra em parceria com sanções e o isolamento diplomático, são a melhor opção. Se a alternativa à estratégia do Sr. Obama é abortar a missão ou um escalar da mesma e correr o risco de um segundo Iraque, então a opção do Presidente ainda é a melhor.


Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»

Na Der Spiegel, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, o secretário-geral da NATO, afirma que não há uma solução militar para o conflito na Líbia:

[…]

SPIEGEL: What criteria have to be met so that you can call the NATO operation “Unified Protector” a success?

Rasmussen: If we manage to stop the violence, so that there is no longer a threat to the Libyan civilian population.

SPIEGEL: The implementation of a no-fly zone alone is extremely costly. Such zones had to be maintained for years in the Balkans and Iraq.

Rasmussen: I very much hope that we will be able to find a political solution in the near future. The worst outcome would be a military stalemate or a de facto partition of Libyan society, in which Libya would become a failed state and a breeding ground for terrorist groups — and that so close to Europe’s borders.

SPIEGEL: At the moment, it’s looking like a military stalemate is a very real possibility. Libya is already de facto divided. Is peace in a divided Libya possible?

Rasmussen: In the end, it will be up to the UN to help Libya achieve a political solution to this crisis. The territorial integrity of Libya must be maintained.

SPIEGEL: Would you welcome a cease-fire? Would it have to be tied to conditions?

Rasmussen: The UN resolution calls for a cease-fire. It should be credible and verifiable. The protection of the civilian population must be guaranteed. Under no circumstances may a cease-fire cement the current situation. On the contrary, it must create the conditions for a constructive political process. […]

Portugal no NYT

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 14, 2011


Riber Hansson

A situação de Portugal, e a entrada do FMI, vista por Raphael Minder no New York Times:

To secure a bailout worth about €80 billion, Portugal may have to agree to international creditors’ demands that it impose tougher austerity measures than those its own lawmakers rejected less than a month ago.

This paradoxical situation is fueling divisions in Lisbon before a June 5 general election that was itself called because of a parliamentary standoff over how to clean up the public finances. In fact, Portuguese politicians may be more concerned about not getting blamed by voters for seeking outside help than about negotiating favorable terms for that rescue, valued at $116 billion.

“For the first time in three generations, the Portuguese are being forced to accept that they may find themselves worse off than their parents, and that is a huge shock for which nobody wants to take the blame,” said Miguel Morgado, a political science professor at the Catholic University of Portugal. […]

Berlusconi no seu melhor

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 14, 2011


Petar Pismestrovic, «Kleine Zeitung»

O inenarrável mundo de Silvio Berlusconi:

Silvio Berlusconi has denied accusations that he paid a teenage runaway for sex. The Italian prime minister said on Monday he gave €45,000 (£39,700) to Karima el Mahroug, a belly dancer who uses the name Ruby, to help her launch a beauty centre, complete with a laser hair-removing machine, so that she could escape a life of prostitution. “The girl told a very painful and moving story,” he said. Berlusconi is on trial for using an underage prostitute because prosecutors believe he had sex with Mahroug in 2010 when she was 17, a year younger than the legal age for prostitution in Italy. He is also accused of coercing police into freeing Mahroug when she was arrested last year on suspicion of theft.

Berlusconi repeated his claim that he had mistakenly believed Mahroug could be the granddaughter of former Egyptian leader, Hosni Mubarak. He told police so after her arrest to avoid “a diplomatic incident”. […]

A nova lei da burqa

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 12, 2011


Joep Bertrams

Na França entrou ontem em vigor a polémica lei da burqa que proíbe o uso do véu integral em espaços públicos; quatro mulheres de véu foram detidas por desobedecerem à nova lei. Henry Farrell vai buscar um estudo que tenta explicar as razões para a descriminação contra os Muçulmanos na França:

This working paper (PDF) on discrimination against Muslims by Claire Adida, David Laitin and Marie-Ann Valfort is interesting in the wake of today’s decision by France to ban the full veil. The authors set up a set of experiments (using various twists on the dictator game) to try to figure out what drove French discrimination against Muslims in the workplace and elsewhere. […]

Adida, Laitin and Valfort suggest that employers discriminate against Muslims because of their beliefs that more Muslims in the workplace will lead to lower workplace efficiency, because of French workers’ animus towards them. Occam’s razor would suggest that without further direct evidence, it is simpler to assume that much of the time French employers will share the motivations of other French people – that is, that they will frequently be directly biased against Muslims themselves. Notably, this bias seems distinguishable from simple anti-black racism – the experiments find differences in how French people respond to Senegalese immigrants when they are presented as being Muslim and Christian. Obviously, this does not make this apparently irrational bias any more normatively defensible than racism simple.

[Via: The Dish]

O fim para Gbagbo

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 12, 2011


Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»

Laurent Gbagbo foi finalmente retirado do poder na Costa do Marfim e detido pelas forças leais ao Presidente eleito Alassane Ouattara com a ajuda dos militares francesas. No The Guardian, David Smith escreve:

There was to be no suicide pill, no bullet in the brain, no heroic martyrdom. Instead, it is claimed, there was a humiliating slap on the cheek. Laurent Gbagbo came blinking into the sunlight on Monday with the look of an actor hearing his applause turn to jeers.

The fall of the African strongman came after one of the most drawn-out election results in history. Gbagbo was forced to bow to the inevitable and leave his power base in Ivory Coast four months after the votes were cast against him. […]

The 65-year-old former history professor, who once dismissed the beheading of France’s Louis XVI as public “ebullience”, could be seen wearing a military flak jacket and was flanked by two soldiers. His son, Michel, was beaten and bleeding, according to an Ouattara spokesman.

Gbagbo was then reportedly taken to meet his nemesis at the city’s Golf hotel, where Ouattara’s government-in-waiting has been encamped under UN protection since Gbagbo’s intransigence plunged the country back into civil war. […]

O destino de Laurent Gbagbo ainda é incerto, mas Alassane Ouattara afirmou que o antigo Presidente será entregue à justiça e terá direito a julgamento imparcial. Começa agora o processo de reunificação do país.

11 de Abril: Laurent Gbagbo e a sua mulher Simone, sentam-se numa cama do Hotel Golf, em Abidjan, após terem sido detidos (foto: Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images).

Benghazi diz não

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 12, 2011


Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»

O Coronel Muammar Khadafi aceitou o plano proposto pela União Africana (UA) para um cessar-fogo imediato, seguido de negociações com a oposição. O acordo foi apresentado aos líderes rebeldes em Benghazi, mas foi recusado por estes já que não contemplava a saída imediata do Coronel do poder. Juan Cole, no Informed Comment, coloca no real contexto a recusa dos rebeldes para um cessar-fogo, e boa parte dessa recusa está na visão que os líbios têm da UA:

[…] The problem with having the AU mediate is that the leaders chosen are not viewed by the rebels as honest brokers.

While the world has not been paying attention, Qaddafi has been using his oil wealth (and I do mean ‘his’) to peddle influence in Africa, to gain the loyalty of it leaders, and to intervene militarily.

It is so ironic that critics of the UN intervention in Libya keep asking why there was no such humanitarian mission in Darfur in the Sudan, where separatists among the black African Fur people have been massacred by Arabic-speaking black Africans loyal to Khartoum. But it was Qaddafi’s disastrous interventions in Chad and the Sudan that initiated that bloodbath. […]

Se o Presidente da África do Sul, Jacob Zuma, quer realmente ganhar a confiança dos rebeldes para o plano de paz que a UA propõe, e conhecidas que são as relações do Coronel com muitos membros desta organização, terá que se esforçar muito mais e afirmações deste tipo pouco irão ajudar:

“We have completed our mission with the brother leader, and the brother leader’s delegation has accepted the road map as presented by us,” Jacob Zuma, the South African president, said.

Moussa Koussa, o ministro de Muammar Khadafi que se refugiou recentemente em Londres, em entrevista à BBC avisa para o perigo que existe de uma guerra civil  e da Líbia poder transformar-se numa nova Somália

Na Foreign Policy, Aaron David Miller chama à intervenção das forças ocidentais na Líbia a Guerra do Séc. XXI de Obama, uma que parece que não tem um fim à vista, como tantas outras:

[…] What were U.S. objectives in Iraq? To destroy Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? Get rid of him? Build a new Iraq? Promote a democracy in the heart of the Middle East? All of the above?

In Afghanistan, the objective has gone from getting rid of al Qaeda and weakening the Taliban to a very thinly disguised effort to build a nation, create good government, end corruption, and train security and military forces that can stand up on their own. In Libya, though, it has never been quite clear from the outset. Is America there to protect civilians? Empower the opposition? Or defeat Qaddafi and usher in a new, democratic Libya?

Without clear objectives, it’s nearly impossible to bring the necessary means into play to achieve them. […]


Mike Keefe, «The Denver Post»

Mubarak defende-se

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 12, 2011


Joep Bertrams

Hosni Mubarak, o antigo senhor do Egipto e que foi forçado a sair do poder há dois meses por causa de um levantamento popular, falou pela primeira vez. Na gravação, o Sr. Mubarak nega as acusações de corrupção, de ter amealhado enormes fortunas no estrangeiro e defende o seu legado:

[…] “I have been pained and am still in pain because of what I have been subjected to, my family and I,” he said, “from unjust campaigns and false allegations aimed at hurting my reputation and questioning my integrity, stances and military and political history, through which I have striven for the sake of Egypt and its sons in war and in peace.” […]

But the revolution has been slow to produce the results that people expected, and the renewed demonstrations on Friday and Saturday were aimed at speeding up the process. In particular, the crowd demanded accountability for the lavish life of Mr. Mubarak and his family as he led this impoverished country of 85 million.

It has been widely rumored but unproven that he has salted away millions — some say billions — of dollars overseas while more than a third of the Egyptian population survives on less than $2 a day.

It was that accusation that Mr. Mubarak, in his audiotape, sought most to counter. He said that neither he nor his wife had a foreign bank account and that no one in his family held foreign property.

He said he authorized the prosecutor general to ask countries for any proof that he or his wife, Suzanne, or sons Gamal and Alaa, both wealthy businessmen, owned any real estate or property, commercial or private, beyond Egypt’s borders.

“I can no longer stay silent in the face of the continuous campaigns of falsehood, slander, defamation and the continued attempts to get at my reputation and integrity and questioning the reputation and integrity of my family,” Mr. Mubarak said. […]

O problema partidário

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 11, 2011

Não faço a mínima ideia qual o sentimento de Fernando Nobre para com o PSD ou se alguma vez votou neste partido. Mas o casamento deste com o PSD é notícia maior do que a entrada dos técnicos do FMI em Portugal. Foi provavelmente a melhor forma que Passos Coelho encontrou para conseguir votos do centro-esquerda, se quer chegar a uma maioria, ao convidar o líder de um movimento cívico que fez história na sociedade portuguesa — quatorze por cento é um número que até impressiona (se estes o perdoam é outra história). Numa era em que as máquinas partidárias são cada vez menos interessantes, vinculadas a interesses que pouco têm a ver com o interesse de todos, nada melhor do que oferecer algo que aparentemente poderá ser diferente. Esta é a primeira conclusão a tirar deste convite (o PS terá feito um semelhante): os partidos já não atraem ninguém.

Virtual Choir 2.0

Posted in música ao café by JN on Abril 11, 2011

“For anyone who wants to believe in the humanizing possibilities of a connected world, here is your anthem.”

Chris Anderson, TED.

Um coro virtual de 2052 pessoas, de 58 diferentes países, formam este Virtual Choir 2.0. Interpretam “Sleep” de Eric Whitacre, que é quem conduz.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A próxima vez…

Posted in arte ao café, cinema ao café by JN on Abril 11, 2011

O amor será sempre um processo incremental

Vodpod videos no longer available.

La Prochaine Fois (The Next Time)“, um filme da A76 PRODUCTIONS no Vimeo.

África recua no nuclear

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 7, 2011


Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»

Joshua E. Keating escrevia que um dos pontos a ter atenção em 2011 iria ser o aumento da produção de energia nuclear no continente africano. O que aconteceu no Japão veio contrariar essa previsão. Um dos primeiros a abandonar esse projecto foi o Senegal que planeava ter a sua primeira central a funcionar no fim da década:

Senegal canceled plans to build what would have been the first African nuclear power plant outside of South Africa, President Abdoulaye Wade told a cabinet meeting yesterday.

The West African nation had ordered nuclear equipment from a Russian company, Wade said in an e-mailed statement, without identifying the company.

In the aftermath of a March 11 earthquake in Japan, which has placed the Pacific nation’s nuclear reactors at risk, Wade canceled that order, according to the statement.

Além do Senegal, a Nigéria e o Egipto também irão rever os seus planos para a energia nuclear. Na África do Sul há um intenso debate sobre a construção de seis novos reactores e no Quénia o mesmo tipo de debate também existe actualmente. A excepção é o Gana que mantém os seus planos de ter uma central nuclear a funcionar em 2018.

Idosa derruba a Internet

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 7, 2011


Arcadio, «La Prensa»

Neste mundo da era digital tudo pode acontecer e os utilizadores da Internet da Arménia bem o podem confirmar. Uma senhora de 75 anos do país vizinho, a Geórgia, que procurava por cobre para vender, acidentalmente cortou um cabo que não devia e 3,2 milhões de arménios ficaram sem acesso à rede no dia 28 de Março:

[…] The woman, 75, had been digging for the metal not far from the capital Tbilisi when her spade damaged the fibre-optic cable on 28 March.

As Georgia provides 90% of Armenia’s internet, the woman’s unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours as the country’s main internet providers – ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa – were prevented from supplying their normal service. Television pictures showed reporters at a news agency in the capital Yerevan staring glumly at blank screens.

Large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected. […]

A infeliz senhora foi solta devido à sua idade, mas pode incorrer numa pena que pode ir até três anos de prisão, caso seja condenada. Caso para dizer que deu uma lição a muitos hackers.

Gbagbo corre contra o tempo

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Abril 7, 2011


Chappatte, «Le Temps»

O ministro das Relações Exteriores da França, Alain Juppé, disse nesta quarta-feira que fracassaram as negociações para que o Presidente da Costa do Marfim Laurent Gbagbo deixe a Presidência, cargo que ocupa apesar de não ser mais reconhecido pela comunidade internacional. As tentativas de desalojar Laurent Gbagbo, que contaram com o apoio de tropas francesas, até ao momento falharam. Segundo o The Guardian, Gbagbo corre agora contra o tempo:

[…] Gbagbo told French TV channel LCI that his army had only called for a ceasefire, not surrender. “I’m not a kamikaze,” he said by phone. “I love life. My voice is not the voice of a martyr, no, no, no, I’m not looking for death. It’s not my aim to die. For peace to return to Ivory Coast, I and Ouattara, the two of us have to talk.”

Later he told a French radio station: “I am in the residence, the residence of president of the republic. When it rains, can’t one take shelter inside one’s house? We are not at the negotiating stage. And my departure from where? To go where?”

Gbagbo’s characteristic play for time dashed hopes that the conflict, which is causing a humanitarian crisis, would be over on Tuesday. Instead there was still a frantic search for food and water in Abidjan and a stench of corpses in the streets. […]

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, o procurador do Tribunal Penal Internacional, afirmou que poderá requerer a autorização para abrir uma investigação sobre os crimes cometidos na Costa do Marfim nos últimos meses. Algo que poderá não agradar muito ao Presidente eleito, Alassane Ouattara, já que há indícios que as forças leais a este estiveram envolvidas em mortes de civis em Duékoué. Num país polarizado como a Costa do Marfim, num estado de guerra civil, a missão de Ouattara de coesão social não será fácil.

Escreve Elizabeth Dickinson:

[…] The point is this: the crisis in the Ivory Coast is at an unbelievably delicate moment. The country is polarized. If Gbagbo is not allowed a dignified exit — much as it seems unfair — the crisis runs a serious risk of getting worse. Militias armed in favor of one side or the other — or in some cases loyal to no one in particular — can’t be accomodated but neither can they be forgotten. Once the immediate political crisis ends, social cohesion will be Ouattara’s biggest challenge as president. He’s going to have to ensure that divided Ivorians can live with one another again.

Successful justice has often taken place in countries as divided as this one — take Chile after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet of Sierra Leone after its civil war at the turn of the century. The succesful keys of those processes were the securing of a political solution first, integrating local courts and reconciliation processes into the quest for justice, and whole lot of community outreach so that citizens throughout the country would understand that indictments of individuals were not indictments of their group, be it religious, ethnic, or political. […]


Chappatte, «Le Temps»

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