Miércoles, 21 de mayo de 2014

Iran’s nuclear deception

The clerics who hold a tyrannical grip over Iran have done it again — hoodwinked the West while buying more time to develop nuclear weapons.

The United States must put the Islamic republic back on the front burner before it’s too late.

Last November, the regime accepted an interim agreement in Geneva with the so-called “P5+1” world powers — the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany — in which some international sanctions would be eased if Iran moderated its illicit nuclear program. The goal was to achieve a formal agreement by July 20 that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons (while accepting peaceful nuclear development) in exchange for a formula to remove sanctions as each agreed-upon step is fulfilled by Iran.…  Seguir leyendo »

L'amélioration de la condition animale n'est pas seulement un objectif moral. C'est aussi une question politique parce que les animaux sont impliqués dans la plupart des activités débattues au niveau national comme au niveau européen, qu'il s'agisse de l'élevage, de l'agriculture, de l'alimentation, de l'expérimentation ou des loisirs. Ce que nous nous autorisons à faire sur eux, les limites que nous traçons au pouvoir que nous nous octroyons sur ces êtres sensibles que nous avons domestiqués, que nous chassons ou capturons et avec lesquels nous partageons les ressources de la Terre témoignent de la manière dont nous pensons la justice. Ou bien nous estimons que notre droit sur les autres vivants est absolu ou bien nous reconnaissons qu'il est injuste de détenir un animal en lui imposant des conditions de vie incompatibles avec ses besoins de base et avec les normes de son espèce.…  Seguir leyendo »

Il parait que l'UE intéresse peu nos concitoyens sauf, à en croire les sondeurs, ceux qui aimeraient suspendre Schengen ou en finir définitivement avec sa liberté de circulation « pas assez surveillée ». Ceux-là font la course en tête aux élections européennes.

Que près de la moitié des votants souhaite le retour des douaniers, cela parait suspect tant cette idée régressive est simpliste. Mais si elle séduit autant, c'est que personne n'a pris le temps d'écouter ce que personne n'a eu envie -ou l'occasion- d'expliquer sur le rôle des frontières et de l'immigration en Europe. Nos concitoyens n'ont fait qu'entendre une éternelle rengaine, pas même remise à jour.…  Seguir leyendo »

Once again the global spotlight shines on an al Qaeda-inspired attack in Africa. This time it involves the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from a Christian enclave in northern Nigeria by a band of Boko Haram jihadists who threaten to sell them as slaves or to use them for ransom. It evoked global outrage, but it is only one in a series of violent events in this tinderbox nation, where slavery and piracy still exist.

The kidnapping prompted the United States, Great Britain, France, Nigeria and others to meet recently in Paris for a “Security in Nigeria Summit,” where participants agreed on measures intended to tame the terrorist group and bring about the safe return of the victims.…  Seguir leyendo »

You'd might be forgiven for not knowing there is an election around Europe, starting on Thursday, to elect 751 members of the European Parliament, known as MEPs.

You are not forgiven.

There are 751 seats from 28 countries up for grabs. Nearly 400 million Europeans are eligible to vote. Extreme parties on the left, and more noticeable, on the right, are expected to poll very well. It seems the angry are most likely to make the effort to vote, from Dublin to Athens.

The European Parliament gained more power in the Lisbon Treaty. It certainly does not have the legislative power of a national parliament, but it has the power to pressure Brussels.…  Seguir leyendo »

L'idée selon laquelle 80% du droit ou des lois en vigueur au niveau national est d'« origine communautaire » semble parfois relever de la vérité d'évidence, pour les contempteurs de la construction européenne comme pour nombre de ses zélateurs. Qui pourrait cependant aujourd'hui citer ces 80% de lois, alors même qu'il semble à première vue difficile d'en désigner ne serait-ce qu'une dizaine parmi la centaine de lois adoptées chaque année par les États membres ? Les normes produites par l'UE ont toutes été adoptées par des représentants des États membres, au moment de la rédaction des traités ou de l'adoption des normes de droit dérivé (règlements, directives, etc).…  Seguir leyendo »

On May 9, the World Health Organization stopped short of calling Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, a global health emergency. That's a good thing.

In the 2 1/2 years since it was first identified, MERS has had a case fatality rate of about 30%, which sounds alarming. But during that period, there have been only 594 confirmed cases. Moreover, extensive surveillance in Saudi Arabia has shown that many people infected with the virus never showed symptoms, which means the fatality rate is actually far lower.

Still, case numbers have shot up in recent weeks. And the first two infections in the United States were recently reported, both of them in healthcare workers who flew in from Saudi Arabia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Often, as she travels from one foreign destination to the next, Julia Gillard is accosted by a stranger. The faces and location vary, but the message to Australia’s first female prime minister is always the same. “It still amazes me that I’ll be at an international airport and someone – usually a woman – will come up to me and say: 'Great speech.’ ”

The address to which they allude ranks among the most famous political oratories of all time. Miss Gillard’s invitation to her chief opponent to look in a mirror – “If he wants to see what misogyny looks like in modern Australia” – has had more than 2.5 million You Tube hits, attracted the notice of Barack Obama and prompted the revision of the dictionary definition of “misogyny”.…  Seguir leyendo »

During a two-week trial Kingston Crown Court heard how Mashudur Choudhury travelled to Syria with four other people from his local area Photo: Thames Valley Police

Mashudur Choudhury has become the first Briton to be convicted of terrorism offences in connection with the Syrian conflict. It was clear from his trial that he had travelled to Syria to attend a terrorist training camp – and that he intended to pursue, as prosecutors put it, a "political, religious or ideological cause" with violent means. I will set out below some more background on Kingston Crown Court’s ruling, a move that will hopefully dispel all myths about the legality of fighting in Syria.

In discussions about jihadists, many say "it is not illegal to fight in Syria", justifying this assertion by comparing it to the Britons who fought in the Spanish Civil War in the late Thirties.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bosnia and Herzegovina is drowning. Torrential rains have unleashed roaring funnels of water and mudslides that have consumed entire villages and taken more than 30 lives, according to official Bosnian counts. Almost a million are reported displaced; many more remain at risk. The economic toll will reach into billions of dollars in a small country with a tragic history. As one Bosnian remarked, “We were already struggling, now we are sinking.”

But Bosnia is drowning for another reason, too, this one no act of God. It has been eight years since a painstaking effort, started in 1995, to establish efficient, shared institutions began to steadily unravel under a fresh onslaught of nationalism, corruption, cronyism and international neglect — a stagnation that seeped slowly but overwhelmingly into Bosnia’s political, economic and even spiritual life.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pakistan’s Tyranny of Blasphemy

“I used to feel my life was too straight, too linear.”

The speaker was Junaid Hafeez, a young poet and Fulbright scholar from the south of Pakistan, telling a radio show host in 2011 why he had given up studying medicine for a life in literature. Today, he is in jail on a blasphemy charge that carries the death penalty, and is mourning the lawyer who was murdered earlier this month for defending him.

Before his arrest, Hafeez was teaching in the English Department at Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, a city in Punjab Province close to where he grew up.…  Seguir leyendo »

On the morning of May 13, Turkey finally woke up from its deep slumber on workplace safety — but at the cost of 301 lives. The subterranean fire last week at the Soma coal mine in western Turkey was the worst mining disaster in the country’s history. Hundreds of hardworking men in the district I represent are dead. And sadly, their deaths could have been prevented.

As early as last September, I had petitioned the Turkish Parliament to create a commission of inquiry, which is one way that the legislature can use its powers to oversee industry in Turkey. Ever since the Soma mine was privatized in 2005, the price of extracting coal has gone down dramatically — and so have safety conditions for workers.…  Seguir leyendo »

When we met him in The Hague the other day, Geert Wilders, chief of the Dutch far-right Party of Freedom, maintained that he was not, in fact, Vladimir V. Putin’s best ally in Europe.

My colleague and I had asserted that he and the Russian president had a shared interest: They both wanted to weaken the European Union — Mr. Putin from outside, Mr. Wilders from within. “Nonsense,” he said. “I don’t need Putin.”

But that was a dodge. Whether he needs Mr. Putin or not, Mr. Wilders and the rest of the European far right are coming together in their belief that, as the Ukraine crisis shows, Europe has long been punching above its weight, and that it is now paying the price.…  Seguir leyendo »

Brazil is racing furiously against time to deliver a World Cup tournament commensurate with its global standing as a leader in the planet's most popular sport. The challenges it faces in doing so are strikingly similar to those that are holding back the country's entire economy.

In 2007, Brazil prevailed with flair over other Latin American countries in its bid to host the 2014 World Cup. Pride and jubilation extended well beyond the soccer-crazy nation of 200 million. What could be better than holding the tournament in the country that produced Pele, Kaka, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo? Brazil has qualified for every World Cup ever held and won five times -- the only country ever to do so on both counts.…  Seguir leyendo »

La UE y Rusia, un matrimonio de conveniencia

Ahora que estamos inmersos en unas elecciones europeas y los candidatos, en su mayoría, se refieren a temas internos y prosaicos, propongo un ejercicio de reflexión sobre lo que es Europa y lo que podría ser en el futuro. ¿Se imaginan ustedes una Unión Europea que incluyera a Rusia? Sería un proyecto menos intenso pero más extenso, menos federalista y tecnocrático y más político y de responsabilidad no transferida a Bruselas, es decir, más nacional y supranacional a la vez. Una Europa esencialmente atlántica, pero abierta también a la fachada del océano protagonista del siglo XXI, el Pacífico.

En política hacer previsiones con decenios de anticipación no está de moda y menos ahora que muchos líderes políticos, tecnócratas, ni siquiera hablan de política, sólo de la prima de riesgo diaria y de Merkel.…  Seguir leyendo »

En momentos en que se discute en España una nueva normativa en materia de seguridad ciudadana, la academia jurídica debe contribuir a enriquecer la conversación colectiva al respecto. Debates semejantes no pueden ser llevados adelante, exclusivamente, a partir de la consideración de las necesidades del mercado, la libre empresa o los valores del orden y la estabilidad sociales. Como forma de empujar esa discusión, en lo que sigue me concentraré en un solo aspecto de la misma, vinculado con el derecho a la protesta.

El derecho a la protesta no es un derecho más, sino uno de especial relevancia dentro de cualquier ordenamiento constitucional: se trata de un derecho que nos ayuda a mantener vivos los restantes derechos.…  Seguir leyendo »

La más crucial de las votaciones en Europa

Olvidémonos de los candidatos a la presidencia de la Comisión Europea. Ucrania es el yunque de Europa, y Alemania, su martillo.

Esta semana, Europa va a celebrar 30 elecciones: 28 en los Estados miembros de la UE para el Parlamento Europeo, una votación en toda la Unión para designar al candidato a encabezar la Comisión, y la elección presidencial del 25 de mayo en Ucrania. Entre todas, dibujarán el mapa de un continente en pleno desbarajuste.

Si los sondeos de opinión no se equivocan, las 28 elecciones en los Estados miembros van a dar un gran número de votos a una colección variopinta de partidos anti, desde el UKIP en el Reino Unido hasta Jobbik en Hungría, pasando por el Frente Nacional en Francia y Syriza en Grecia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Como embajadores de la Unión Europea en diferentes países del mundo queremos compartir con nuestros conciudadanos nuestra experiencia que hace de Europa un actor protagonista e influyente en los distintos escenarios internacionales, ya sea en las relaciones bilaterales, en la gestión de crisis, en la resolución de conflictos, o en la ayuda a los países empobrecidos para contribuir a su desarrollo.

La imagen de Europa en el exterior no es la de una Europa cansada de sí misma, que duda de su vocación y de su sentido, sino la de una Europa como utopía realizable e instrumento de transformación de las sociedades.…  Seguir leyendo »

El jilguero, por el precio de una comida sencilla. Ustedes pueden adquirir la novela de Donna Tartt, aupada escritora norteamericana, a cualquier hora del día sin necesidad de ir a librería alguna, pues Jeff Bezos, uno de los hombres más ricos del 1% más rico del mundo, se la traerá a casa y, además, recordará su compra para siempre. Y si les indignan las librerías arrasadas por el monopolio visionario de Amazon, Bezos está también dispuesto a descargarles en sus tabletas una crítica feroz de ese 1%, El capital en el siglo XXI, del economista francés Thomas Piketty, un libro que, característicamente, se vende muchísimo más en inglés, lengua de ricos, que en su francés original, idioma de posricos.…  Seguir leyendo »

El síndrome de retaguardia

Probablemente fuera mi paisano Rusiñol quien se dejó decir que los catalanes somos animales que añoran. La sociedad catalana, en este momento, añora la unanimidad política y social del final del franquismo. Los separatistas, ignorando a la mitad de sus conciudadanos, han querido reproducir esa unanimidad con herramientas institucionales y han fracasado groseramente. Han creado un ambiente irrespirable, coercitivo, donde los medios de prensa que tendrían que ser los garantes de la libertad de expresión cobran subvenciones del gobierno autonómico y, si te atreves a expresar opiniones contrarias a él, sencillamente te liquidan de sus noticias.

Estamos hablando de un ambiente donde, desde las instituciones, se incita a los adeptos a tomar la calle.…  Seguir leyendo »