Viernes, 20 de octubre de 2006

By David Ignatius (THE WASHINGTON POST, 20/10/06):

Here’s a real-life international mystery: What happened in Tehran in September that torpedoed the prospect of negotiations with the United States over Iran’s nuclear program? Were Western hopes of Iranian pragmatism simply an illusion? Are there other channels open for discussion with Tehran if the nuclear route is blocked?

U.S. and European intelligence analysts are debating these questions, and for now they don’t seem to have good answers. The process of decision making in Tehran remains a «black box.» Analysts can see the decisions that emerge from the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and they can hear the competing arguments of pragmatists and hard-liners.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Gerard Baker (THE TIMES, 20/10/06):

FOR FOUR DECADES the October Surprise has loomed large in the US electoral landscape. Every two years, in presidential and midterm congressional campaigns, as we approach the electoral witching hour of the first Tuesday in November, parties scan the horizon nervously for the unexpected event that suddenly shifts voters’ well-laid plans.

The original October Surprise was one that backfired. In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson hoped a late breakthrough in the Paris peace talks would end the Vietnam War just in time to produce a last-minute victory for his Vice-President, Hubert Humphrey, in the presidential election.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Charles Krauthammer (THE WASHINGTON POST, 20/10/06):

The first stop on Condoleezza Rice’s post-detonation, nuclear reassurance tour was Tokyo. There she dutifully unfurled the American nuclear umbrella, pledging in person that the United States would meet any North Korean attack on Japan with massive American retaliation, nuclear if necessary.

An important message, to be sure, for the short run, lest Kim Jong Il imbibe a little too much cognac and be teased by one of his «pleasure squad» lovelies into launching a missile or two into Japan.

But Rice’s declaration had another and obvious longer-run intent: to quell any thought Japan might have of going nuclear to counter and deter North Korea’s bomb.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Eugene Robinson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 20/10/06):

It would be easy to ridicule Madonna for her «I’ll take that one over there» adoption of a baby from an orphanage in Malawi. But it would be wrong.

No, really, it would be wrong.

Granted, the Material Girl makes it hard to take her side. For those who haven’t been following the story, Madonna has ostentatiously joined the rush of Beautiful People to the villages and shantytowns of Africa, where there is a wealth of poverty and suffering to bemoan. She picked Malawi, a small, impoverished, AIDS-stricken nation in southern Africa and has pledged to donate $3 million for programs to help poor children.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Ben Macintyre (THE TIMES, 20/10/06):

THE ARMY OF BLOGGERS came in their thousands. They came to muse, complain, laugh, observe and, above all, to record their lives. They came, at the invitation of the National Trust, to document what happened (or did not happen) to them on October 17, 2006, a single, arbitrary day in the nation’s existence. Some entries were fascinating; the majority were fascinatingly dull. A few bloggers were famous, but most were not. This is autobiography as DIY, all-encompassing CCTV in words.

The One Day in History experiment demonstrated that for all our concerns about educational standards, this is a profoundly literate culture; it proved that the British really do regard tea-drinking as a form of life-punctuation, each cup worth recording for posterity; and it proved that we still believe ordinary life can be spiced up by multiple exclamation marks!!!!…  Seguir leyendo »

By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 20/10/06):

Earnest Finns say today’s EU summit in Lahti, north of Helsinki, will zero in with icy precision on two key issues: external energy relations, meaning Russia’s willingness to keep Europe’s lights on; and innovation policy, meaning Europe’s cutting-edge commercial competitiveness or rather, six years after the Lisbon technology summit, the continuing lack of it.But the one-day gathering will side-step bigger and more intractable problems facing the EU, such as Turkey’s shredding membership hopes, institutional reform in the wake of last year’s constitutional collapse, security and enlargement in the western Balkans, and growing political strains between «new» (eastern) and «old» (western) Europe.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Nehad Salem, a novelist and freelance interpreter (THE GUARDIAN, 20/10/06):

Egypt in the 50s was a time of elation born of hope in the future and pride in the distant past. The country was young again, emerging from a long period of lethargy. With Nasser, our new charismatic leader, anything seemed possible. A whole generation was fired with enthusiasm. On October 29 1956 the Israelis attacked. What happened to the army is well documented. That Nasser gave orders to distribute weapons to the inhabitants of Port Said and Suez is less common knowledge. Cases of brand new guns still covered in grease were handed to crowds eager to fight for their country.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Mark Lawson (THE GUARDIAN, 20/10/06):

From the Guardian Archives, October 20 2014:

Two more US astro-marines died yesterday in skirmishes with Iranian cosmosoldiers on the borders of the disputed territory in outer space which the Americans controversially claimed as their own eight years ago.

The latest deaths bring to 548 the number of extraterrestrial personnel who have died during what opponents of the Cheney administration are now calling «an extra-planetary Iraq». The apparent failure of the president’s pledge to «control and patrol» the galaxy threatens the Republicans’ prospects in the impending midterm elections.

An official spokesman for President Cheney, who was yesterday reported to have undergone «a routine heart-transplant» at Walter Reed naval hospital in Washington, said that he was determined to keep US troops in space in order to honour a pledge made by his predecessor, President George Bush, at a similar stage in the 2006 mid-term campaign.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jonathan Freedland (THE GUARDIAN, 20/10/06):

General Sir Richard Dannatt’s brave call for an early British withdrawal from Iraq contained one logical flaw. It did not apply to Afghanistan, he said, because foreign troops were invited by the Kabul government. This gave them a different status from coalition forces in Iraq, «which is why I have much more optimism that we can get it right in Afghanistan». It was an odd remark since US and British forces have a standing invitation from the Baghdad government. There is a clear parallel with Afghanistan, just as there is in his core arguments: Britain’s presence in Iraq is exacerbating the security problems, and «we are in a Muslim country and Muslims’ views of foreigners in their country are quite clear».…  Seguir leyendo »

By Brian Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia, is the author of “The Elegant Universe” and “The Fabric of the Cosmos” (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 20/10/06):

SEVENTY-FIVE years ago this month, The New York Times reported that Albert Einstein had completed his unified field theory — a theory that promised to stitch all of nature’s forces into a single, tightly woven mathematical tapestry. But as had happened before and would happen again, closer scrutiny revealed flaws that sent Einstein back to the drawing board. Nevertheless, Einstein’s belief that he’d one day complete the unified theory rarely faltered.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Luis Pizarro Medina, secretario de Organización del PSOE de Andalucía (EL PAÍS, 20/10/06):

La reforma del Estatuto de Autonomía acaba de entrar en su recta final en el Congreso de los Diputados coincidiendo, precisamente, con el XXV aniversario de la aprobación en referéndum del texto actual. Tal día como hoy, 20 de octubre, de hace dos décadas y media, Andalucía emprendía por fin el ansiado camino de su autogobierno. Los andaluces y andaluzas decidimos entonces, en una fecha histórica, aprobar por una mayoría aplastante, casi el 90 por ciento de los votos, el Estatuto de Carmona. Un porcentaje que reflejaba el afán de cambio y el deseo de la ciudadanía andaluza por disfrutar de una autonomía de primera y contar con una herramienta que ayudara a esta tierra a dar el salto que necesitaba para dejar atrás el subdesarrollo en el que la derecha nos había sumido.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Esther Bendahán, escritora (EL PAÍS, 20/10/06):

Como otras muchas mujeres que padecen el cáncer de mama, una enfermedad que obliga a reflexionar sobre la salud y la enfermedad, el cuerpo y la apariencia, he aprendido a amar mis heridas.

He descubierto que el paso de la salud a la enfermedad supone una alteración para el enfermo en su relación con el mundo y consigo mismo, porque se es enfermo después de que se está enfermo. No tiene que ver tanto con la verdad, cuanto con una alteración de la imagen, del lugar donde uno se sitúa. No es tanto el síntoma ni el dolor, cuanto el descubrirse enfermo, una nueva dimensión del ser.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Joaquín Calomarde, diputado del PP al Congreso por Valencia (EL PAÍS, 20/10/06):

Tras las recientes elecciones municipales belgas, el fantasma, más que real, de la extrema derecha europea cabalga de nuevo, irredento, pendenciero, analfabeto, pero contumaz y efectivo, frente al miedo a la inmigración, el cultivo exacerbado y brutal de la xenofobia y el racismo, la alarma frente a la corrupción política o económica, la inseguridad ciudadana (especialmente en las zonas más vulnerables de las grandes urbes europeas), la cuidada desafección al sistema de partidos (que es sistemáticamente presentado como perturbador y origen de desórdenes, decadencia de los valores tradicionales de la nación y fuente de todo tipo de atropellos, dejaciones y nepotismos), y el cultivo de la constante pérdida de confianza en las instituciones democráticas del Estado (a las que se acusa no sólo de no poder, ni saber, sino de no querer solucionar los graves problemas que supuestamente atenazan la libertad de los ciudadanos nacionales).…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Bernard-Henry Levy, escritor y filósofo francés, nacido en Argelia (EL MUNDO, 20/10/06):

De acuerdo. Sé que no se puede acusar a nadie sin pruebas. Sé que hay numerosos instigadores posibles de la muerte, el pasado día 6 de septiembre, de la periodista Anna Politkovskaya, vilmente asesinada de varios disparos de pistola makarov, la misma que utiliza la policía rusa. Y concedo que el ex miembro del KGB [la agencia principal de policía secreta de la extinta Unión Soviética] reconvertido en dueño y señor de todas las mafias rusas sea considerado inocente de este crimen, como cualquier otro sospechoso, mientras no se pruebe formalmente que es culpable.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Álvaro Delgado-Val (ABC, 20/10/06):

Parece que no se trata de un cálculo difícil de hacer: si las condiciones económicas que reclama el Estatuto de Cataluña se universalizaran al conjunto de comunidades, la capacidad redistribuidora del Estado se reduciría en dos puntos del PIB. La broma de Solbes sobre el sudoku presupuestario no es por tanto una broma. Los números no cuadran, se mire como se mire. Esto suena a rompecabezas contable, y quizá aburra a los de letras. Intentaré en consecuencia enfilarlo por un ángulo distinto. Hasta la fecha, se ha venido decidiendo qué dinero tocaba a cada región, en el Consejo de Política Fiscal y Financiera.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Pedro González-Trevijano, rector de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (ABC, 20/10/06):

LA Constitución de Cádiz de 1812 ha pasado por derecho propio a la mejor historia de nuestro constitucionalismo. Un texto que iniciaba nuestra andadura constitucional, consagraba la Nación española como única depositaria de la soberanía, reconocía el principio de separación de poderes -apuntado por Locke y Montesquieu-, plasmaba un cierto catálogo de derechos y libertades de la persona y acogía una noción de representación política nacional más allá de la fragmentada y estamentaria medieval. En suma, una Constitución modernizadora y vertebradora del país. Una Constitución que atisbaba, con inteligencia, los cimientos de un auténtico régimen constitucional.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Anna Veiga, doctora en Biología (LA VANGUARDIA, 20/10/06):

Un cambio en la legislación en reproducción asistida en el Reino Unido y en Suecia ha hecho disminuir de forma espectacular el número de donantes de semen en esos países. Las nuevas normas eliminan el anonimato de los donantes y, por lo tanto, permiten conocer su identidad a la descendencia, una vez cumplidos los dieciocho años. De hecho, no sólo han disminuido los donantes, sino que ha cambiado radicalmente su perfil. Se trataba, cuando se mantenía el anonimato, de donantes jóvenes, en su mayoría estudiantes de disciplinas ligadas a la medicina o a la biología.…  Seguir leyendo »