Lunes, 25 de enero de 2010

Earlier this month, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would designate “critical habitat” for the endangered jaguar in the United States and take the first steps toward mandating a jaguar recovery plan. This is a policy reversal and, on the surface, it may appear to be a victory for the conservation community and for jaguars, the largest wild cats in the Western Hemisphere.

But as someone who has studied jaguars for nearly three decades, I can tell you it is nothing less than a slap in the face to good science. What’s more, by changing the rules for animal preservation, it stands to weaken the Endangered Species Act.…  Seguir leyendo »

When I was a teenager here, kids used to shoot dogs in the head. It was a way of gaining confidence with a gun, of venting your rage on another living creature. Now it seems human beings are used for target practice.

This month, rioting by African immigrants broke out in Rosarno, in southern Italy, after at least one immigrant was shot with an air rifle. The riots were widely portrayed as clashes between immigrants and native Italians, but they were really a revolt against the ’Ndrangheta, the powerful Calabrian mafia. Anyone who seeks to negate or to minimize this motive is not familiar with these places where everything — jobs, wages, housing — is controlled by criminal organizations.…  Seguir leyendo »

A decade and a half ago, when I was prime minister of Sweden, then-President Bill Clinton and I had the first e-mail exchange between heads of state. Already our two nations were at the forefront of the technological revolution about to transform our world.

We had just left an era in which communist dictatorships had tried to control fax machines and the Moscow phone directory was a closely held secret. Today, fax machines are definitely yesterday, and classical phone directories are more or less out of business.

Since that groundbreaking e-mail exchange we have seen the revolution in mobile communication coming out of Europe and the Internet revolution coming out of the United States transform the politics and economics of our world.…  Seguir leyendo »

On the morning of Nov. 1, 1755, one of history's worst sequences of natural disaster struck Lisbon, Portugal. First, with its citizens at Mass, Lisbon was shaken by an earthquake that toppled most of its buildings. Then, an hour later, a tremendous earthquake-induced tsunami crashed into the harbor, followed by two more giant waves that rushed up the Tagus River, drowning thousands who had fled the rupturing roads for the safety of their boats. Further inland, fires broke out that raged for nearly a week.

As many as 90,000 people (in a city of 250,000) perished in the natural catastrophes that destroyed 85 percent of the city, including nearly every major church.…  Seguir leyendo »

"We are at war." So said the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 7, 2010. These four words, a profound statement of the obvious, were belatedly uttered as our commander in chief transitioned from tropical sunsets on his "Hawaiian holiday" to klieg lights at the White House in the aftermath of the Christmas Day "near-miss" terror attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 enroute from Amsterdam to Detroit. The phrase was startling - because it wasn't an affirmation of a mindset Mr. Obama brought to office. Rather it was the reluctant admission of facts Mr. Obama has spent a year in office diligently trying to deny.…  Seguir leyendo »

El dictamen de la Abogacía del Estado, en el que se deja claro que no puede denegarse la inscripción al registro del padrón a los extranjeros, modifica la decisión del Ayuntamiento de Vic de negarse a empadronar a inmigrantes no legales, pero no cierra el debate que en estos días estamos viviendo en torno a la inmigración. Desgraciadamente, hemos visto y escuchado que, más allá del hecho puntual del padrón, se abría una peligrosa vía de culpabilización de la inmigración, otorgándole responsabilidades sobre las dificultades en la asignación de los recursos públicos, como han querido justificar algunos sectores políticos; o sobre la seguridad ciudadana, como ha hecho un alto dirigente patronal, que en el crecimiento económico contrataba a inmigrantes y, ahora, con la crisis, prefiere dividir a los trabajadores en función de su origen.…  Seguir leyendo »