city:vienna

  • ONE MILLION - ITEM 2361
    https://vimeo.com/332715618

    BELVEDERE MUSEUM VIENNA | CARLONE CONTEMPORARY
    ONE MILLION BY ULI AIGNER - ITEM 2361 - MONUMENTAL PORCELAIN VESSEL

    APRIL 12 - NOVEMBER 3, 2019

    belvedere.at/uli_aigner_en

    Porcelain is like a material memory that can endure for centuries. UIi Aigner uses this medium as a starting-point to transform loss into a material message about life and survival. Her monumental porcelain vessel is to be shown in the series Carlone Contemporary in which contemporary artworks are juxtaposed with the Baroque pictorial programme of the Carlone Hall.

    ONE MILLION – ITEM 2361 by Uli Aigner is based on a large colour pencil drawing by the artist. As part of her porcelain project ONE MILLION, she had this made into a large vessel in Jingdezhen, China, the ancient “world capital of porcelain” and painted it, working together with a porcelain painter.

    The universal subject of a sunset alludes to the harrowing experience of the suicide of a loved one. On the vessel’s body there is a depiction of a sunset in north-western Canada, the last before months without sunlight. At the top edge, the artist introduces an alternative depiction of the universe: the theory, supported by a mathematical formula, that the universe is a hologram. Aigner addresses both a physical presence in a real environment and a hypothetical model – two ways through which people can relate to the world.

    This exploration of light and shadow, of brightness and darkness in the cycle of life also appears in Carlo Innocenzo Carlone’s frescoes. These address the recurring alternation between day and night. Light is personified by Apollo as the leader of the Muses and has positive connotations, for it illuminates and exposes vices and drives them away.

    In the knowledge of the vast number of suicides worldwide, in this work Aigner is alluding to those who chose to leave us and paying tribute to those who “are still here in spite of everything”.

    Curated by Stella Rollig

    #art #porcelaine

  • City with a female face: how modern Vienna was shaped by women

    As the city’s deputy mayor, Maria Vassilakou, wrote in 2013, gender mainstreaming ensures “fair shares in the city” for all by forcing planning to be approached from different perspectives. But how do pavement widths and bench design relate to gender? And if mainstreaming aims to promote equality, does Vienna’s example prove that it works?


    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/may/14/city-with-a-female-face-how-modern-vienna-was-shaped-by-women

  • First Images of Saudi Nuclear Reactor Show Plant Nearing Finish - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-03/first-images-of-saudi-nuclear-reactor-show-plant-nearing-finish

    Saudi Arabia is nearing completion of its first nuclear reactor, satellite images of the facility show, triggering warnings about the risks of the kingdom using the technology without signing up to the international rules governing the industry.

    The research facility is located in the southwest corner of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh, according to images published by GoogleEarth. They’re the first in the public domain to confirm that the program is advancing, showing construction nearing its finish around a columnar vessel that will contain atomic fuel.

    The advancement is alarming to arms-control experts because Saudi Arabia has yet to sign up to the international framework of rules other nuclear powers follow to ensure that civilian atomic programs aren’t used to build weapons. Nuclear fuel providers won’t move to supply the unit until new surveillance arrangements have been sealed with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

    On ne va tout de même pas traiter l’Arabie de MBS comme l’Irak de Saddam ?

  • Israeli cyber firm negotiated advanced attack capabilities sale with Saudis, Haaretz reveals

    Just months before crown prince launched a purge against his opponents, NSO offered Saudi intelligence officials a system to hack into cellular phones ■ NSO: We abide the law, our products are used to combat crime and terrorism

    Amos Harel, Chaim Levinson and Yaniv Kubovich Nov 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-company-negotiated-to-sell-advanced-cybertech-to-the-saudi

    The Israeli company NSO Group Technologies offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks cellphones, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.
    But NSO, whose development headquarters is in Herzliya, says that it has acted according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror.
    Either way, a Haaretz investigation based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents, reveals the Saudis’ behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Israeli technology.
    In June 2017, a diverse group gathered in a hotel room in Vienna, a city between East and West that for decades has been a center for espionage, defense-procurement contacts and unofficial diplomatic meetings.
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    Arriving at the hotel were Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. Their interlocutors were two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, who presented to the Saudis highly advanced technology.

    >> Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays | Revealed
    In 2017, NSO was avidly promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached.
    During the June 2017 meeting, NSO officials showed a PowerPoint presentation of the system’s capabilities. To demonstrate it, they asked Qahtani to go to a nearby mall, buy an iPhone and give them its number. During that meeting they showed how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
    The meeting in Vienna wasn’t the first one between the two sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently expressed pride in the tightening ties with Gulf states, with Israel’s strength its technology. The message is clear: Israel is willing to sell these countries security-related technologies, and they forge closer ties with Israel in the strategic battle against Iran.

  • The boy left behind in Nazi Vienna - BBC News

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/left_behind_in_nazi_vienna

    In fear for her life, Kurt’s Jewish single mother fled Nazi Vienna for the UK in 1939, leaving him behind. This 14-year-old’s story of abandonment and adversity can be told for the first time, through recently discovered letters.

    It is mid-March 1939 and 14-year-old Kurt and his devoted Jewish single mother Hedwig are standing on the platform of a train station in Nazi Vienna saying their tearful goodbyes.

    The destination of the impending journey is the UK, and the purpose is to escape the intensifying persecution of Austria’s Jewish citizens.

    Since December 1938, trains have been carrying Jewish children from Germany and German-annexed Europe to safety in the UK, thanks to the Kindertransport operation, a charity-run scheme sanctioned by the British Government.

    Many children have already fled Austria, leaving selfless parents behind to face an uncertain fate - in most cases, a barbaric death.

    #shoah #nazisme #vienne

  • Israeli cyber firm negotiated advanced attack capabilities sale with Saudis, Haaretz reveals

    Just months before crown prince launched a purge against his opponents, NSO offered Saudi intelligence officials a system to hack into cellular phones ■ NSO: We abide the law, our products are used to combat crime and terrorism

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-company-negotiated-to-sell-advanced-cybertech-to-the-saudi

    The Israeli company NSO Group Technologies offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks cellphones, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.
    But NSO, whose development headquarters is in Herzliya, says that it has acted according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Either way, a Haaretz investigation based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents, reveals the Saudis’ behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Israeli technology.
    In June 2017, a diverse group gathered in a hotel room in Vienna, a city between East and West that for decades has been a center for espionage, defense-procurement contacts and unofficial diplomatic meetings.
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email* Sign up

    Arriving at the hotel were Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. Their interlocutors were two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, who presented to the Saudis highly advanced technology.

    >> Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays | Revealed
    In 2017, NSO was avidly promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached.
    During the June 2017 meeting, NSO officials showed a PowerPoint presentation of the system’s capabilities. To demonstrate it, they asked Qahtani to go to a nearby mall, buy an iPhone and give them its number. During that meeting they showed how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
    The meeting in Vienna wasn’t the first one between the two sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently expressed pride in the tightening ties with Gulf states, with Israel’s strength its technology. The message is clear: Israel is willing to sell these countries security-related technologies, and they forge closer ties with Israel in the strategic battle against Iran.
    >> $6 billion of Iranian money: Why Israeli firm Black Cube really went after Obama’s team
    According to the complaint, the affair began with a phone call received by a man identified as a European businessman with connections in the Gulf states. On the line was W., an Israeli dealing in defense-related technologies and who operates through Cyprus-based companies. (Many defense-related companies do business in Cyprus because of its favorable tax laws.) W. asked his European interlocutor to help him do business in the Gulf.

    FILE Photo: Two of the founders of NSO, Shalev Julio and Omri Lavi.
    Among the European businessman’s acquaintances were the two senior Saudi officials, Malihi and Qahtani.
    On February 1, 2017, W. and the businessman met for the first time. The main topic was the marketing of cyberattack software. Unlike ordinary weapons systems, the price depends only on a customer’s eagerness to buy the system.
    The following month, the European businessman traveled to a weapons exhibition in the United Arab Emirates, where a friend introduced him to Malihi, the Saudi businessman.
    In April 2017, a meeting was arranged in Vienna between Malihi, Qahtani and representatives of Israeli companies. Two more meetings subsequently took place with officials of Israeli companies in which other Israelis were present. These meetings took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus, where Israeli cybercompanies often meet with foreign clients.
    >> Snowden: Israeli firm’s spyware was used to track Khashoggi
    The meetings were attended by W. and his son. They were apparently friendly: In photographs documenting one of them, W. and Qahtani are shown after a hunting trip, with the Saudi aiming a rifle at a dead animal.
    In the Vienna meeting of April 2017, the Saudis presented a list of 23 systems they sought to acquire. Their main interest was cybersystems. For a few dozens of millions of dollars, they would be able to hack into the phones of regime opponents in Saudi Arabia and around the world and collect classified information about them.
    According to the European businessman, the Saudis, already at the first meeting, passed along to the representatives of one of the companies details of a Twitter account of a person who had tweeted against the regime. They wanted to know who was behind the account, but the Israeli company refused to say.

    Offices of Israeli NSO Group company in Herzliya, Israel, Aug. 25, 2016Daniella Cheslow/AP
    In the June 2017 meeting, the Saudis expressed interest in NSO’s technology.
    According to the European businessman, in July 2017 another meeting was held between the parties, the first at W.’s home in Cyprus. W. proposed selling Pegasus 3 software to the Saudis for $208 million.
    Malihi subsequently contacted W. and invited him to Riyadh to present the software to members of the royal family. The department that oversees defense exports in Israel’s Defense Ministry and the ministry’s department for defense assistance, responsible for encouraging exports, refused to approve W.’s trip.
    Using the initials for the defense assistance department, W. reportedly said “screw the D.A.” and chartered a small plane, taking with him NSO’s founder, Shalev Hulio, to the meetings in the Gulf. According to the European businessman, the pair were there for three days, beginning on July 18, 2017.
    At these meetings, the European businessman said, an agreement was made to sell the Pegasus 3 to the Saudis for $55 million.
    According to the European businessman, the details of the deal became known to him only through his contacts in the defense assistance department. He said he had agreed orally with W. that his commission in the deal would be 5 percent – $2.75 million.
    But W. and his son stopped answering the European businessman’s phone calls. Later, the businessman told the police, he received an email from W.’s lawyer that contained a fake contract in which the company would agree to pay only his expenses and to consider whether to pay him a bonus if the deal went through.
    The European businessman, assisted by an Israeli lawyer, filed a complaint in April 2018. He was questioned by the police’s national fraud squad and was told that the affair had been transferred to another unit specializing in such matters. Since then he has been contacted by the income tax authorities, who are apparently checking whether there has been any unreported income from the deal.
    The European businessman’s claims seem to be substantiated by correspondence Haaretz has obtained between Cem Koksal, a Turkish businessman living in the UAE, and W.’s lawyers in Israel. The European businessman said in his complaint that Koksal was involved in mediating the deal.
    In a letter sent by Koksal’s lawyer in February of this year, he demanded his portion from W. In a response letter, sent in early March, W.’s attorney denied the existence of the deal. The deal had not been signed, the letter claimed, due to Koksal’s negligence, therefore he was due no commission or compensation of any kind.
    These issues have a wider context. From the claims by the European businessman and Koksal’s letter, it emerges that the deal was signed in the summer of 2017, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed began his purge of regime opponents. During that purge, the Saudi regime arrested and tortured members of the royal family and Saudi businessmen accused of corruption. The Saudis also held Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri for a few days in a Riyadh hotel.
    In the following months the Saudis continued their hunt for regime opponents living abroad, which raised international attention only when the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul came to light in October.
    It has recently been claimed that NSO helped the Saudi regime surveil its opponents. According to an article in Forbes magazine and reports from the Canadian cyber-related think tank Citizen Lab, among the surveillance targets were the satirist Ghanem Almasrir and human rights activist Yahya Asiri, who live in London, and Omar Abdulaziz, who lives in exile in Canada.
    These three men were in contact with Khashoggi. Last month, Edward Snowden, who uncovered the classified surveillance program of the U.S. National Security Agency, claimed that Pegasus had been used by the Saudi authorities to surveil Khashoggi.
    “They are the worst of the worst,” Snowden said of NSO, whose people he accused of aiding and abetting human rights violations.
    NSO’s founders and chief executives are Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio. The company is registered in Cyprus but its development headquarters is in Herzliya. In 2014 the company was sold to private equity firm Francisco Partners based on a valuation of $250 million.
    Francisco Partners did not respond to Haaretz’s request for comment.
    In May, Verint Systems offered to buy NSO for $1 billion, but the offer was rejected. The company is awash in cash. Earlier this month all its employees went on vacation in Phuket, Thailand. Netta Barzilai, Lior Suchard, the Ma Kashur Trio and the band Infected Mushroom were also flown there to entertain them.
    The Pegasus system developed by NSO was a “one-click system,” meaning that the victim had to press on a link sent to him through phishing. The new system no longer requires this. Only the number of the SIM card is needed to hack into the phone. It’s unknown how Pegasus does this.
    Technology sources believe that the technology either exploits breaches in the cellphone’s modem, the part that receives messages from the antenna, or security breaches in the apps installed on a phone. As soon as a phone is hacked, the speaker and camera can be used for recording conversations. Even encoded apps such as WhatsApp can be monitored.
    NSO’s operations are extremely profitable.
    The company, which conceals its client list, has been linked to countries that violate human rights. NSO says its products are used in the fight against crime and terror, but in certain countries the authorities identify anti-regime activists and journalists as terrorists and subject them to surveillance.
    In 2012, NSO sold an earlier version of Pegasus to Mexico to help it combat the drug cartel in that country. According to the company, all its contracts include a clause specifically permitting the use of its software only to “investigate and prevent crime or acts of terror.” But The New York Times reported in 2016 that the Mexican authorities also surveilled journalists and lawyers.
    Following that report, Mexican victims of the surveillance filed a lawsuit in Israel against NSO last September. This year, The New York Times reported that the software had been sold to the UAE, where it helped the authorities track leaders of neighboring countries as well as a London newspaper editor.
    In response to these reports, NSO said it “operated and operates solely in compliance with defense export laws and under the guidelines and close oversight of all elements of the defense establishment, including all matters relating to export policies and licenses.
    “The information presented by Haaretz about the company and its products and their use is wrong, based on partial rumors and gossip. The presentation distorts reality.
    “The company has an independent, external ethics committee such as no other company like it has. It includes experts in legal affairs and international relations. The committee examines every deal so that the use of the system will take place only according to permitted objectives of investigating and preventing terror and crime.
    “The company’s products assist law enforcement agencies in protecting people around the world from terror attacks, drug cartels, child kidnappers for ransom, pedophiles, and other criminals and terrorists.
    “In contrast to newspaper reports, the company does not sell its products or allow their use in many countries. Moreover, the company greatly limits the extent to which its customers use its products and is not involved in the operation of the systems by customers.”
    A statement on W.’s behalf said: “This is a false and completely baseless complaint, leverage for an act of extortion by the complainants, knowing that there is no basis for their claims and that if they would turn to the relevant courts they would be immediately rejected.”

  • Israeli academics and artists warn against equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    Their open letter ahead of a conference in Vienna advises against giving Israel immunity for ‘grave and widespread violations of human rights and international law’

    Ofer Aderet
    Nov 20, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-professors-warn-against-equating-anti-zionism-with-anti-se

    An open letter from 35 prominent Israelis, including Jewish-history scholars and Israel Prize laureates, was published Tuesday in the Austrian media calling for a distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel, “harsh as it may be,” and anti-Semitism.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The letter was released before an international gathering in Vienna on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in Europe.
    The event this week, “Europe beyond anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism: Securing Jewish life in Europe,” is being held under the auspices of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. His Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, had been due to take part but stayed in Israel to deal with the crisis in his coalition government. 
    “We fully embrace and support the [European Union’s] uncompromising fight against anti-Semitism. The rise of anti-Semitism worries us. As we know from history, it has often signaled future disasters to all mankind,” the letter states. 
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    “However, the EU also stands for human rights and has to protect them as forcefully as it fights anti-Semitism. This fight against anti-Semitism should not be instrumentalized to suppress legitimate criticism of Israel’s occupation and severe violations of Palestinian human rights.” 

    The signatories accuse Netanyahu of suggesting an equivalence between anti-Israel criticism and anti-Semitism. The official declaration by the conference also notes that anti-Semitism is often expressed through disproportionate criticism of Israel, but the letter warns that such an approach could “afford Israel immunity against criticism for grave and widespread violations of human rights and international law.”
    The signatories object to the declaration’s alleged “identifying” of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. “Zionism, like all other modern Jewish movements in the 20th century, was harshly opposed by many Jews, as well as by non-Jews who were not anti-Semitic,” they write. “Many victims of the Holocaust opposed Zionism. On the other hand, many anti-Semites supported Zionism. It is nonsensical and inappropriate to identify anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.”
    Among the signatories are Moshe Zimmerman, an emeritus professor at Hebrew University and a former director of the university’s Koebner Center for German History; Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University emeritus professor in political science and a current Haaretz columnist; sculptor Dani Karavan; Miki Kratsman, a former chairman of the photography department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design; Jose Brunner, an emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University and a former director of the Minerva Institute for German History; Alon Confino, a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and graphic designer David Tartakover.

    Ofer Aderet
    Haaretz Correspondent

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    • La liste des signataires:
      Moshe Zimmerman, an emeritus professor at Hebrew University and a former director of the university’s Koebner Center for German History; Moshe Zukermann, emeritus professor of history and philosophy of science at Tel Aviv University; Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University emeritus professor in political science and a current Haaretz columnist; Israel Prize laureate, sculptor Dani Karavan; Israel Prize laureate, photographer Alex Levac; Israel Prize laureate, artist Michal Naaman; Gadi Algazi, a history professor at Tel Aviv University; Eva Illouz, a professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and former President of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; Gideon Freudenthal, a professor in the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University; Rachel Elior, an Israeli professor of Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Anat Matar, philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University; Yael Barda, a professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Miki Kratsman, a former chairman of the photography department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design; Jose Brunner, an emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University and a former director of the Minerva Institute for German History; Alon Confino, a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Israel Prize laureate, graphic designer David Tartakover; Arie M. Dubnov, Chair of Israel Studies at George Washington University; David Enoch, history, philosophy and Judaic Studies professor at Israel’s Open University; Amos Goldberg, Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel Prize laureate and vice-president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities David Harel; Hannan Hever, comparative literature and Judaic Studies professor at Yale University; Hannah Kasher, professor emerita in Jewish Thought at Bar-Ilan University; Michael Keren, emeritus professor of economics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel Prize laureate, Yehoshua Kolodny, professor emeritus in the Institute of Earth Sciences at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Nitzan Lebovic, professor of Holocaust studies at Lehigh University; Idith Zertal, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Dmitry Shumsky, professor of Jewish History at Hebrew University; Israel Prize laureate David Shulman, professor emeritus of Asian studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Jewish philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University; Dalia Ofer, professor emerita in Jewry and Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Paul Mendes-Flohr, professor emeritus for Jewish thoughts at the Hebrew University; Jacob Metzer, former president of Israel’s Open University; and Israel Prize laureate Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University arts faculty

  • Austrian wins Ireland’s biggest international art award

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/austrian-wins-ireland-s-biggest-international-art-award-1.3691393

    Un des co-fondateur du Vegetable orchestra de Vienne

    Austrian artist #Nikolaus_Gansterer has won the 2018 MAC International prize.

    The work of the 44-year-old Vienna-based artist was chosen from more than 800 international submissions for the £20,000 award, which has been described as “Ireland’s Turner Prize”.

    The award, which is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Tourism NI and Belfast City Council, is Ireland’s largest art prize and one of the most substantial in the UK.

    The shortlist of 13 included artists from Ireland, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Canada, USA, Palestine, Austria, France and Turkey. The artists worked across a range of mediums including photography, film, installation, sculpture and drawing.

    #art #autriche

  • Brazilian media report that police are entering university classrooms to interrogate professors

    In advance of this Sunday’s second-round presidential election between far-right politician Jair #Bolsonaro and center-left candidate Fernando Haddad, Brazilian media are reporting that Brazilian police have been staging raids, at times without warrants, in universities across the country this week. In these raids, police have been questioning professors and confiscating materials belonging to students and professors.

    The raids are part a supposed attempt to stop illegal electoral advertising. Brazilian election law prohibits electoral publicity in public spaces. However, many of the confiscated materials do not mention candidates. Among such confiscated materials are a flag for the Universidade Federal Fluminense reading “UFF School of Law - Anti-Fascist” and flyers titled “Manifest in Defense of Democracy and Public Universities.”

    For those worrying about Brazilian democracy, these raids are some of the most troubling signs yet of the problems the country faces. They indicate the extremes of Brazilian political polarization: Anti-fascist and pro-democracy speech is now interpreted as illegal advertising in favor of one candidate (Fernando Haddad) and against another (Jair Bolsonaro). In the long run, the politicization of these two terms will hurt support for the idea of democracy, and bolster support for the idea of fascism.

    In the short run, the raids have even more troublesome implications. Warrantless police raids in university classrooms to monitor professor speech have worrisome echoes of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime — particularly when the speech the raids are seeking to stop is not actually illegal.

    Perhaps the most concerning point of all is that these raids are happening before Bolsonaro takes office. They have often been initiated by complaints from Bolsonaro supporters. All of this suggests that if Bolsonaro wins the election — as is widely expected — and seeks to suppress the speech of his opponents, whom he has called “red [i.e., Communist] criminals,” he may have plenty of willing helpers.

    https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2018/10/26/18029696/brazilian-police-interrogate-professors
    #université #extrême_droite #Brésil #police #it_has_begun
    Je crois que je vais commencer à utiliser un nouveau tag, qui est aussi le nom d’un réseau : #scholars_at_risk

    • Brésil : à peine élu, Jair Bolsonaro commence la chasse aux opposants de gauche

      Les universités dans le viseur

      Enfin, toujours pour lutter contre l’opposition à gauche, Jair Bolsonaro entend faire pression sur les professeurs d’université qui parleraient de politique pendant leurs cours.

      Le président élu a récemment scandalisé une partie du monde éducatif en accusant des professeurs, cités avec leurs noms et prénoms, de défendre les régimes de Cuba et de Corée du Nord devant leurs élèves, dans une vidéo diffusée sur Internet.

      Et pour y remédier, il compte installer des pancartes devant les salles de cours pour appeler les étudiants à dénoncer leurs professeurs par le biais d’une « hotline » téléphonique dédiée à la question.

      https://www.bfmtv.com/international/bresil-a-peine-elu-jair-bolsonaro-commence-la-chasse-aux-opposants-de-gauche-

    • Au Brésil, vague de répression dans les universités à la veille du second tour

      Quelques jours avant le second tour de l’élection présidentielle brésilienne, qui voit s’affronter le candidat d’extrême droite Jair Bolsonaro et le candidat du Parti des travailleurs (PT) Fernando Haddad, les campus universitaires du pays ont fait face à une vague inédite de répression de la liberté d’expression. Jeudi 25 octobre, la police a investi 27 universités, à la demande des tribunaux électoraux, dont les juges sont chargés de faire respecter les règles de communication et de propagande électorales des partis en lice. Les forces de police étaient à la recherche de supposé matériel de propagande électorale illégale. En fait, ces opérations ont visé des banderoles antifascistes, de soutien à la démocratie, un manifeste en soutien à l’université publique, des débats et des cours sur la dictature, la démocratie et les « fakes news » – ces mensonges ayant été largement diffusés pendant la campagne, en particulier par l’extrême-droite… [1]

      À Rio, une juge a ainsi fait enlever une banderole du fronton du bâtiment de la faculté de droit de l’université fédérale Fluminense (UFF), sur laquelle était inscrit, autour du symbole antifasciste du double drapeau rouge et noir, « Droit UFF antifasciste ». À l’université de l’État de Rio, les agents électoraux ont retiré une banderole en hommage à Marielle Franco, l’élue municipale du parti de gauche PSOL assassinée en pleine rue en mars dernier.

      220 000 messages de haine en quatre jours contre une journaliste

      Dans une université du Pará, quatre policiers militaires sont entrés sur le campus pour interroger un professeur sur « son idéologie ». L’enseignant avait abordé la question des fake news dans un cours sur les médias numériques. Une étudiante s’en est sentie offensée, alléguant une « doctrine marxiste », et l’a dit à son père, policier militaire. Une enquête du journal la Folha de São Paulo a pourtant révélé mi-octobre que des entreprises qui soutiennent le candidat d’extrême droite avaient acheté les services d’entreprises de communication pour faire envoyer en masse des fausses nouvelles anti-Parti des travailleurs directement sur les numéros whatsapp – une plateforme de messagerie en ligne – des Brésiliens. L’auteure de l’enquête, la journaliste Patricia Campos Melo, et le quotidien de São Paulo, ont ensuite reçu 220 000 messages de haine en quatre jours ! [2] Le journal a demandé à la police fédérale de lancer une enquête.

      Mais ce sont des conférences et des débats sur la dictature militaire et le fascisme qui ont pour l’instant été interdits. C’est le cas d’un débat public intitulé « Contre la fascisme, pour la démocratie », qui devait avoir lieu à l’université fédérale de Rio Grande do Sul (la région de Porto Alegre). Devaient y participer l’ex-candidat du parti de gauche PSOL au premier tour de la présidentielle, Guilherme Boulos, un ancien ministre issu du Parti des travailleurs, des députés fédéraux du PT et du PSOL. « J’ai donné des cours et des conférences dans des universités en France, en Angleterre, au Portugal, en Espagne, en Allemagne, en Argentine, et ici, même pendant la dictature. Aujourd’hui, je suis censuré dans l’État, le Rio Grande do Sul, que j’ai moi-même gouverné. Le fascisme grandit », a réagi l’un des députés, Tarso Genro, sur twitter.

      Une banderole « moins d’armes, plus de livres » jugée illégale

      Dans le Paraíba, les agents du tribunal électoral se sont introduits dans l’université pour retirer une banderole où était simplement inscrit « moins d’armes, plus de livres ». « Cette opération de la justice électorale dans les universités du pays pour saisir du matériel en défense de la démocratie et contre le fascisme est absurde. Cela rappelle les temps sombres de la censure et de l’invasion des facultés », a écrit Guilherme Boulos, le leader du PSOL, sur twitter, ajoutant : « Le parti de la justice a formé une coalition avec le PSL », le parti de Bolsonaro. « De telles interventions à l’intérieur de campus au cours d’une campagne électorale sont inédites. Une partie de l’appareil d’État se prépare au changement de régime », a aussi alerté l’historienne française, spécialiste du Brésil, Maud Chirio, sur sa page Facebook.

      Dimanche dernier, dans une allocution filmée diffusée pour ses supporters rassemblés à São Paulo, Jair Bolsonaro a proféré des menaces claires à l’égard de ses opposants. « Ou vous partez en exil ou vous partez en prison », a-il dit, ajoutant « nous allons balayer ces bandits rouges du Brésil », et annonçant un « nettoyage jamais vu dans l’histoire de ce pays ». Il a précisé qu’il allait classer le Mouvements des paysans sans Terre (MST) et le Mouvement des travailleurs sans toit (MTST) comme des organisations terroristes, et menacé Fernando Haddad de l’envoyer « pourrir en prison aux côtés de Lula ».


      https://www.bastamag.net/Au-Bresil-vague-de-repression-dans-les-universites-a-la-veille-du-second-t

    • We deplore this attack on freedom of expression in Brazil’s universities

      107 international academics react to social media reports that more than 20 universities in Brazil have been invaded by military police in recent days, with teaching materials confiscated on ideological grounds

      Reports have emerged on social media that more than 20 universities in Brazil have been subjected in recent days to: invasions by military police; the confiscation of teaching materials on ideological grounds; and the suppression of freedom of speech and expression, especially in relation to anti-fascist history and activism.

      As academics, researchers, graduates, students and workers at universities in the UK, Europe and further afield, we deplore this attack on freedom of expression in Brazil’s universities, which comes as a direct result of the campaign and election of far-right President Bolsonaro.

      Academic autonomy is a linchpin not only of independent and objective research, but of a functioning democracy, which should be subject to scrutiny and informed, evidence-based investigation and critique.

      We call on co-workers, colleagues and students to decry this attack on Brazil’s universities in the name of Bolsonaro’s wider militaristic, anti-progressive agenda. We will not stand by as this reactionary populist attacks the pillars of Brazil’s democracy and education system. We will campaign vigorously in whatever capacity we can with activists, educators and lawmakers in Brazil to ensure that its institutions can operate without the interference of this new – and hopefully short-lived – government.
      Dr William McEvoy, University of Sussex, UK (correspondent)
      Dr Will Abberley, University of Sussex
      Nannette Aldred, University of Sussex
      Patricia Alessandrini, Stanford University, USA
      Dr Michael Alexander, University of Glasgow
      Steven Allen, Birkbeck, University of London
      Dr Katherine Angel, Birkbeck, University of London
      Pedro Argenti, University of Antwerp, Belgium
      Nick Awde, International Editor, The Stage newspaper, London
      Professor Ian Balfour, York University, Toronto, Canada
      Lennart Balkenhol, University of Melbourne, Australia
      Nehaal Bajwa, University of Sussex
      Dr Louis Bayman, University of Southampton
      Mark Bergfeld, former NUS NEC (2010-2012)
      Professor Tim Bergfelder, University of Southampton
      Dr Patricia Pires Boulhosa, University of Cambridge
      Dr Maud Bracke, University of Glasgow
      Max Brookman-Byrne, University of Lincoln
      Dr Conrad Brunström, Maynooth University, Ireland
      Dr Christopher Burlinson, Jesus College, Cambridge
      Professor Martin Butler, University of Sussex
      Professor Gavin Butt, University of Sussex
      Cüneyt Çakirlar, Nottingham Trent University
      Guilherme Carréra, University of Westminster
      Geoffrey Chew, Royal Holloway, University of London
      Dr Maite Conde, University of Cambridge
      Dr Luke Cooper, Anglia Ruskin University, UK, and Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria
      Dr Sue Currell, University of Sussex
      Professor Dimitris Dalakoglou, Vrije University, Amsterdam, Netherlands
      William Dalziel, University of Sussex
      Dr April de Angelis, Royal Holloway, University of London
      Dr Olga Demetriou, Durham University
      Dr Stephanie Dennison, University of Leeds
      Dr Steffi Doebler, University of Liverpool
      Dr Sai Englert, SOAS University of London
      James Erskine, University of Sussex and Birkbeck, University of London
      Professor Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London
      John Fallas, University of Leeds
      Dr Lynne Fanthome, Staffordshire University
      Dr Hannah Field, University of Sussex
      Dr Adrian Garvey, Birkbeck, University of London
      Dr Laura Gill, University of Sussex
      Dr Priyamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge
      Bhavini Goyate, University of Sussex
      Dr Craig Haslop, University of Liverpool
      Professor Björn Heile, University of Glasgow
      Dr Phil Hutchinson, Manchester Metropolitan University
      Professor Martin Iddon, University of Leeds
      Dr Eleftheria Ioannidou, University of Groningen, Netherlands
      Dr Chris Kempshall, University of Sussex
      Andrew Key, University of California, Berkeley, USA
      Professor Laleh Khalili, SOAS University of London
      Dr Theodore Koulouris, University of Brighton
      Professor Maria Lauret, University of Sussex
      Professor Vicky Lebeau, University of Sussex
      Professor James Livesey, University of Dundee, Scotland
      Professor Luke Martell, University of Sussex
      Dr N Gabriel Martin, Lebanese American University, Lebanon
      Wolfgang Marx, University College, Dublin, Ireland
      Andy Medhurst, University of Sussex
      Professor Philippe Meers, University of Antwerp, Belgium
      Dr Shamira A Meghani, University of Cambridge
      Niccolo Milanese, CESPRA EHESS, Paris, France and PUC Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
      Dr Ian Moody, CESEM – Universidade Nova, Lisbon
      Professor Lucia Naqib, University of Reading
      Dr Catherine Packham, University of Sussex
      Professor Dimitris Papanikolaou, University of Oxford
      Mary Parnwell, University of Sussex
      Professor Deborah Philips, University of Brighton
      Dr Chloe Porter, University of Sussex
      Dr Jason Price, University of Sussex
      Dr Duška Radosavljević, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
      Francesca Reader, University of Sussex and University of Brighton
      Naida Redgrave, University of East London
      Professor Nicholas Ridout, Queen Mary, University of London
      Professor Lucy Robinson, University of Sussex
      Dr Kirsty Rolfe, University of Sussex
      Dr Joseph Ronan, University of Brighton
      Dr Michael Rowland, University of Sussex
      Dr Zachary Rowlinson, University of Sussex
      Professor Nicholas Royle, University of Sussex
      Dr Eleanor Rycroft, University of Bristol
      Dr Jason Scott-Warren, University of Cambridge
      Dr Deborah Shaw, University of Portsmouth
      Dr Lisa Shaw, University of Liverpool
      Kat Sinclair, University of Sussex
      Sandrine Singleton-Perrin, University of Essex
      Despina Sinou, University of Paris 13 – Sorbonne Paris Cité, France
      Dave Smith, University of Hertfordshire
      John Snijders, Durham University
      Dr Samuel Solomon, University of Sussex
      Dr Arabella Stanger, University of Sussex
      Professor Rob Stone, University of Birmingham
      Bernard Sufrin, Emeritus Fellow, Dept of Computer Science, University of Oxford
      Dr Natasha Tanna, University of Cambridge
      Professor Lyn Thomas, University of Sussex
      Simon Thorpe, University of Warwick
      Dr Gavan Titley, Maynooth University, Ireland
      Dr Pamela Thurschwell, University of Sussex
      Dr Dominic Walker, University of Sussex
      Dr Ed Waller, University of Surrey and University of Portsmouth
      Dr Kiron Ward, University of Sussex
      Helen Wheatley, University of Warwick
      Ian Willcock, University of Herfordshire
      Professor Gregory Woods, Nottingham Trent University
      Dr Tom F Wright, University of Sussex
      Dr Heba Youssef, University of Brighton

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/01/we-deplore-this-attack-on-freedom-of-expression-in-brazils-universities
      #liberté_d'expression

    • Brazil Court Strikes Down Restrictions on University Speech

      Brazil´s Supreme Court issued an important decision striking down restrictions on political speech on university campuses in a unanimous ruling yesterday. Meanwhile, president-elect Jair Bolsonaro´s allies in Congress are pressing ahead with efforts to restrict what students and educators can discuss in the classroom.

      The court ruling overturned decisions by electoral court judges who recently ordered universities across the country to clamp down on what they considered illegal political campaigning. The orders were spurred by complaints from anonymous callers and, in a few cases, by members of conservative groups.

      For example, at Grande Dourados Federal University, court officials suspended a public event against fascism, according to the student group that organized it. At Campina Grande Federal University, police allegedly seized copies of a pamphlet titled “Manifesto in defense of democracy and public universities” and hard drives, said a professors´ association.

      At Rio de Janeiro State University, police ordered the removal of a banner honoring Marielle Franco, a black lesbian human rights defender and councilwoman murdered in March, despite not having a judicial order.

      The attorney general, Raquel Dodge, asked the Supreme Court to rule the electoral court judges´ decisions unconstitutional, and Supreme Court justice Cármen Lúcia Rocha issued an injunction stopping them. The full court upheld that decision on October 31.

      “The only force that must enter universities is the force of ideas,” said Rocha.

      “The excessive and illegitimate use of force by state agents … echoes somber days in Brazilian history,” said Justice Rosa Weber, referring to Brazil´s 1964 – 1985 military dictatorship.

      The ruling comes as Bolsonaro, who remains in Congress until he assumes the presidency on January 1, and his allies push a bill that would prohibit teachers from promoting their own opinions in the classroom or using the terms “gender” or “sexual orientation,” and would order that sex and religious education be framed around “family values.”

      A state representative-elect from Bolsonaro´s party has even called on students to film and report teachers who make “political-partisan or ideological statements.” Bolsonaro made a similar call in 2016. State prosecutors have filed a civil action against the representative-elect, alleging she instituted “an illegal service for the political and ideological control of teaching activities.”

      In his long career in Congress, Bolsonaro has endorsed abusive practices that undermine the rule of law, defended the dictatorship, and has been a vocal proponent of bigotry.

      More than ever, Brazil needs its judiciary to defend human rights within and outside the classroom.


      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/01/brazil-court-strikes-down-restrictions-university-speech
      #cour_suprême #justice

    • Présidentielle au Brésil : relents de dictature militaire

      Présidentielle au Brésil : Bolsonaro et le « risque d’un retour à l’ordre autoritaire en Amérique latine »

      Porté par plus de deux cents universitaires, responsables politiques et citoyens d’Europe et du Canada, ce manifeste s’inscrit dans un mouvement mondial de soutien à la démocratie face à la violence déchaînée par la candidature de Jair Bolsonaro au Brésil. Il est ouvert aux démocrates de toutes les sensibilités politiques. Face au risque imminent d’un retour à l’ordre autoritaire en Amérique latine, la solidarité internationale est impérative.

      Nous, citoyens, intellectuels, militants, personnalités politiques vivant, travaillant et étudiant en Europe et au Canada, exprimons notre vive inquiétude face à la menace imminente de l’élection de Jair Bolsonaro à la présidence du Brésil le 28 octobre 2018.

      Le souvenir de la dictature militaire

      La victoire de l’extrême droite radicale au Brésil risque de renforcer le mouvement international qui a porté au pouvoir des politiciens réactionnaires et antidémocratiques dans de nombreux pays ces dernières années.

      Bolsonaro défend ouvertement le souvenir de la dictature militaire qui a imposé sa loi au Brésil entre 1964 et 1985, ses pratiques de torture et ses tortionnaires. Il méprise le combat pour les droits humains. Il exprime une hostilité agressive envers les femmes, les Afro-descendants, les membres de la communauté LGBT +, les peuples autochtones et les pauvres. Son programme vise à détruire les avancées politiques, économiques, sociales, environnementales et culturelles des quatre dernières décennies, ainsi que l’action menée par les mouvements sociaux et le camp progressiste pour consolider et étendre la démocratie au Brésil.

      L’élection de Bolsonaro menace les fragiles institutions démocratiques pour la construction desquelles les Brésilien·ne·s ont pris tant de risques. Son arrivée au pouvoir serait aussi un frein majeur à toute politique internationale ambitieuse en matière de défense de l’environnement et de préservation de la paix.

      Premiers signataires : Martine Aubry , maire de Lille, ancienne ministre (PS) ; Luc Boltanski , sociologue, directeur d’études, EHESS ; Peter Burke , historien, professeur émérite à l’université de Cambridge ; Roger Chartier , historien, directeur d’études EHESS/Collège de France ; Mireille Clapot , députée de la Drôme, vice-présidente de la commission des affaires étrangères (LRM) ; Laurence Cohen , sénatrice du Val-de-Marne (PCF) ; Didier Fassin , professeur de sciences sociales, Institute for advanced study, Princeton ; Carlo Ginzburg , professeur émérite à UCLA et à l’Ecole normale supérieure de Pise ; Eva Joly , députée européenne (groupe Verts-ALE) ; Pierre Louault , sénateur d’Indre-et-Loire (UDI) ; Paul Magnette, bourgmestre de Charleroi, ex-ministre président de la Wallonie, ex-président du Parti socialiste belge ; Thomas Piketty , directeur d’études à l’EHESS.

      http://jennifer-detemmerman.fr/index.php/2018/10/23/presidentielle-au-bresil-relents-de-dictature-militaire

    • Une pétition qui a été lancé avant l’élection...
      Defend Democracy in Brazil. Say No to Jair Bolsonaro

      Defend Democracy in Brazil,

      Say No to Jair Bolsonaro

      We, citizens, intellectuals, activists, politicians, people living, working, and studying in Europe and Canada, wish to express our growing alarm at the imminent threat of Jair Bolsonaro’s election to the presidency on October 28, 2018. The potential victory of a far-right radical in Brazil would reinforce a dangerous international trend of extremely reactionary and anti-democratic politicians gaining state power in recent years.

      Bolsonaro explicitly defends the Brazilian military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964-85 and praises torture and torturers. He condemns human rights efforts. He has expressed aggressive and vile hostility toward women, people of African descent, the LGBT+ community, indigenous people, and the poor. His proposed policies would effectively undo all of the political, social, economic, labor, environmental, and cultural gains of the last four decades, efforts by social movements and progressive politicians to consolidate and expand democracy in Brazil. A Bolsonaro presidency also threatens to undermine the still fragile democratic politics that people throughout Brazil have risked so much to build.

      His election would seriously hamper any ambitious international effort for environmental protection, against climate change and for the preservation of peace.

      Adapted version of the text « Defend Democracy in Brazil, Say No to Jair Bolsonaro! »

      https://www.change.org/p/association-pour-la-recherche-sur-le-br%C3%A9sil-en-europe-pour-la-d%C3%A9fe

  • The Grand Refugee Hotel: The Sequel to My Grandfather’s Germany

    On a visit to one of Germany’s most radical refugee integration experiments, U.S. migration journalist and academic Daniela Gerson went in search of her family history and found an increasingly uneasy relationship between past and present.

    At the #Grand_Hotel_Cosmopolis, an African teenager served cappuccinos to European travelers below clocks telling the time in Kabul, Damascus, Grozny and other global centers of crisis.

    Lamin Saidy – sporting a style he described as “American proper” with tight jeans, lots of earrings and a big smile – was 13 when he fled violence in the Gambia. After he arrived in Germany as a refugee, he was told about this place, where tourists, asylum seekers and artists all share one building. The hotel is run by staff composed of a core group of resident German artists and a diverse team that includes volunteers who may be refugees like Saidy or local college students who want to join the experiment.

    Then, in the fall of 2016, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., on immigration, a public artist gave a presentation on cultural integration initiatives in #Augsburg like none I had seen in more than a decade of reporting on immigration in the United States and Europe.

    The artist flashed images of the migrant job center, cafe and immigrant rights organization called Tuer an Tuer, which helped convince the city to take a stance against large institutional centers. Instead, all asylum seekers in Augsburg have been housed in residences of 100 or fewer people. She also showed photos of the colorful, boundary-bending Grand Hotel. This was Augsburg? It was definitely not the city of my imagination.

    Soon after, my mother forwarded me an invitation. In summer 2017, there was going to be a gathering of Jews from Augsburg and their families to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the synagogue. I set off, eager to explore my family’s past and to see if a city I associated with historic brutality had succeeded in building a more welcoming society as a result.
    A Welcoming Nation

    When I arrived in Munich, the Bavarian capital, I borrowed a friend’s bike and pedaled down to the vast main train station. In 2015, in what was known as the Welcoming Summer, more than 1 million asylum seekers came to Germany and the station was full of arriving migrants. There was such an outpouring of public support for them that they had to close the station to donations.

    Two years later, the backlash was mounting. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had taken steps to slow the tide of arrivals, limiting countries from which people are eligible for asylum and speeding up deportations of people whose applications had been rejected.

    Munich’s size has helped mask the impact of the refugee influx. Augsburg, founded more than 2,000 years ago, is a different story. With a population approaching 300,000, and a popular destination for refugees and foreign laborers, it was a contender to become the first majority minority city in Germany. Now almost 50 percent residents have a “migration background.”

    After a quick train trip an hour east of Munich, I biked across Augsburg’s picture-perfect main square of churches and beer gardens, passing by women strolling in hijabs and Chechnyan kids racing in circles on scooters. And near one of the largest cathedrals, down a cobblestone street, I found the Grand Hotel Cosmopolis. On first impression, it hardly felt grand, but rather like the 1960s old-age home it once was, converted into a lively Berlin artists’ squatter house.

    In a sun-drenched garden, I joined two of the artist founders and a refugee artist for a vegetarian lunch cooked in the communal basement kitchen. As we ate, they explained that the building had been abandoned for six years when some local artists spotted it and inquired about renting it out as a temporary exhibition space. But the owners, a Protestant social enterprise, said they had already entered into negotiations with the government to house asylum seekers.

    That’s when the idea came up to merge the two concepts, and add a hotel. The artists take care of the hotel, cafe and ateliers. The social enterprise, with government support, provides housing for the migrants.

    Three days after the first asylum seekers moved in, it became clear to the artists this was not just a utopian experiment in aesthetics and communal living when the first deportation letter for one of its residents arrived. “Many of the artists stopped their artistic work,” one of my guides, Susa Gunzner, told me. Instead, they focused all of their energies on learning about immigration laws and how to help the refugees.

    After lunch, I toured the 12 uniquely designed hotel rooms: One was bordello hot pink, another constructed to feel like a container ship, a third had a forest growing through it. My stark room, with a long wooden bench of a bed and simple, low table, struck me as a very elegant prison cell.

    Three days after the first asylum seekers moved in, it became clear to the artists this was not just a utopian experiment in aesthetics and communal living when the first deportation letter for one of its residents arrived.

    Gunzner, who teamed up with an Iranian artist to create the room, told me it symbolized freedom. The room is a homage to a Persian woman who moved with her family to Europe at the beginning of the 20th century and later became a spy against the Nazis. Gunzner pointed out illustrations of trees on the wall from Shiraz. “We are always trying to enrich each other and find out – sometimes through very slow processes – who the other person is,” she told me.

    Left on my own, I walked downstairs to the refugee floor, and passed a half-dozen or so baby carriages crowding the stairwell. I had been warned I was only allowed to intrude if an asylum seeker invited me in. The founders of the hotel like to say they “only have guests – with and without asylum.” I was also struck by the strangeness of putting us all in one building as fellow travelers: people on holiday rubbing elbows with people who have been running for their lives.

    Not far from Augsburg, in the aftermath of World War II, my other grandparents – on my father’s side – landed in a very different type of refugee camp, set up by the United Nations and largely funded by the United States. They were Polish Jews whose families had been slaughtered in the streets and in concentration camps. They survived the war in Siberian labor camps and in Uzbek villages, where my father was born.

    In the desperate limbo of the displaced persons camp, they created a community – my grandfather took part in local governance; my father remembers a pet dog, Blackie, a synagogue and a school. What would my grandmother have said if artists lived upstairs and American tourists stayed for a week or two, temporarily sharing her first home outside Poland, the place where my father formed his first memories? Would she have appreciated the attention, or would she have felt like a monkey in the zoo?
    The Shadow of the Past

    It was not the first time that I had traveled to Germany and discovered echoes of my family’s past in my present, as I grapple with issues of migration, persecution and intolerance today as a journalist and academic.

    A decade ago, I spent a little over a year researching contemporary guest worker policies in Berlin and Bonn. Despite my last living relative who survived the Holocaust reprimanding me that Germany was no place for a nice Jewish girl, I fell for the country’s bike and cafe culture, numerous lakes and deliberate approach to its troubled history. I almost always felt welcome as a Jew. Even my neighbor who was a neo-Nazi was dating a Venezuelan and liked to come over and chat with me. Another neighbor, whose grandfather had been active in Hitler Youth, became one of my closest friends.

    Though I was sometimes disturbed by the recent stance that Germany was not a country of immigration, as well as the focus on integration – this notion some leaders interpreted as demanding that newcomers should cede their other cultural identities – I, in many ways, felt that Germany had dealt with its past in ways that could be a lesson to all nations.

    Ten years later, I visited a Germany increasingly conflicted about its moral obligations as it confronted the refugee crisis. And in Augsburg the juxtaposition of this tolerant, generous nation and the pernicious shadow of its intolerant past were in stark relief.

    I left the Grand Hotel on Sunday morning to meet other descendants of Augsburg Jews in the glorious sanctuary of the synagogue built in 1917. The descendants of those who fled the Nazis, or had the foresight or luck to leave before the war, had traveled from South Africa, Norway, Israel and across the United States. Civil leaders turned out in large numbers to pledge “never again.” It was a familiar message. But the synagogue’s attic museum reminded me how quickly a nation can shift toward hate. For the first time, it felt less like a history lesson and more like a warning that struck very close to home.

    In Augsburg, the juxtaposition of this tolerant, generous nation, and the pernicious shadow of its intolerant past were in stark relief.

    Created in 1985, the Augsburg synagogue houses the first independent museum in Germany dedicated to Jewish history. It tells the story of how there were only 1,500 Jews in Augsburg when the Nazis came, but they enjoyed comfortable local prominence. The synagogue is a clear sign of that position. Congregants built the sanctuary – one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, with its 95ft (29m) dome and an architectural style that spans from Byzantine and Oriental elements to Art Noveau – investing in what they imagined would be a vibrant future in Augsburg.

    I was struck by a slide titled “Integration through Achievement.” The museum describes the dreams of these Jews, and it reminded me of the aspirations of many of the asylum seekers I met during my stay in Augsburg. They did not want just to live free from danger, they wanted an opportunity to be productive, successful German citizens. Chillingly, the museum concludes, the local Jewish communities were “extinguished totally.”
    Looking Back, Looking Forward

    In the year since my visit to the synagogue, I have covered U.S. authorities tearing apart asylum-seeking families as part of a larger, often vicious, crackdown. While I wish I could at least point to Germany today as a model of how to do things differently, the picture is unfortunately not so black and white.

    In German elections last fall, the far-right anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party – whose senior member maintains that the country should be more positive about its Nazi past – won 13 percent of the popular vote. According to current polls, the party is on track to win around a similar proportion of votes in upcoming regional parliamentary elections in Bavaria on October 14.

    This year, the leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sister party in Bavaria, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, pushed her to clamp down on border policy. In the eastern German city of Chemnitz, far-right protests against immigrants in recent weeks were accompanied by xenophobic tirades.

    In August Seehofer instituted the beginning of a new plan in Bavaria that could soon transform how asylum seekers are treated. In what he described as a national model, the goal is to expedite rapid deportations. Most new asylum seekers will be transported to institutions that can house more than 1,000 people, where they will not be in contact with anyone who is not an official or a lawyer or has specific permission.

    “That’s the opposite of what we tried to do in the last years, now we are going two steps back,” said Tuelay Ates-Brunner, the managing director of Tuer an Tuer. “For people who will be rejected, nobody will see them, nobody will know them.”

    “My first impression was that I felt like I was in a new world,” Saidy told me to the beat of Afro Pop on the jukebox. “The hotel is kind of incomparable.”

    The Grand Hotel is located in Augsburg, an ancient German city on Bavaria’s tourist-trod Romantic Road. It is also the place where my mother’s father was born. He was one of the first boys to have a bar mitzvah in the ornate, domed synagogue in Augsburg – just a few years before the Jews were forced to flee or perished at the hands of the Nazis.

    Nearly a century later, I went to stay at the Grand Hotel – one of Germany’s most radical refugee integration experiments.

    Like so many inherited homelands, Augsburg was a mythical place for me, formed from family memories I had never lived – portraits of stern ancestors, the men with elaborate waxy mustaches, the buxom women with beautifully tailored clothes and lace collars. My Augsburg froze when the Nazis took over.


    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/10/08/the-grand-refugee-hotel-the-sequel-to-my-grandfathers-germany

    #Allemagne #hôtel #réfugiés #travail #migrations #asile

  • Trentino and Yugoslavia narrated through a legend: roots of Marshal Josip Broz #Tito in #Vallarsa

    In Trentino there is a valley where the surname Broz is widely diffused. During the second half of the 20th century, a peculiar legend took shape among these mountains. We are in Vallarsa, a few kilometers from the town of Rovereto, where – according to many locals – the origins of Josip Broz, that history will remember as Tito, are to be found. The Yugoslav Marshal was one of the most peculiar and controversial figures of the 20th century: Partisan leader, head of the communist state that split with the Soviet Union, a prominent figure on the international political scene and, above all, leader and symbol of a country that disintegrated violently shortly after his death. The relationship between Marshal Tito and the Vallarsa Valley is being talked about for some time, and not only in Trentino, so that the page dedicated to Tito on the Italian Wikipedia refers to him as “the seventh of fifteen children of Franjo, a Croat who probably originated from Vallarsa”.
    A legend from Obra

    The story originates in the area around the village of Obra, in the Vallarsa Valley, where there is a small settlement called Brozzi. It is said that the Broz surname has been present in the area for centuries. Transmitted orally, the legend spread and evolved over time, assuming different shapes and contours. There is however a version which is more or less codified. It is narrated that a family of the future Yugoslav president lived in a place called Maso Geche, a bit isolated from Obra and nearby settlements. Valentino Broz, “Tito’s grandfather”, took over an old house, transforming it in a family cottage. Valentino had four children. One of them died at a tender age, while Ferdinando, Giuseppe and Vigilio started contributing to the household by working in the fields and as lumberjacks, integrating these activities, as much as possible, with other occasional jobs. Just like for all the other families in that area, emigration was always an option.

    Parochial registers confirm the structure of Valentino Broz’s family. What we learn from memories passed down through the generations is that Giuseppe (according to archives, Giuseppe Filippo Broz, born on August 29, 1853) and Ferdinando (Luigi Ferdinando Broz, born on April 13, 1848) – or, according to other versions of the story, Vigilio (Vigilio Andrea Broz, born on November 27, 1843) – emigrated from Vallarsa to Croatia between the 1870s and the 1880s, most probably in 1878 or 1879. At that time, both territories were part of Austria-Hungary, and in those years many people from Trentino emigrated in the eastern parts of the monarchy. The story of foundation of the village of Štivor, in Bosnia Herzegovina, is probably the best known. According to legend, the Broz brothers were driven to emigrate by the possibility of being engaged in the construction of railway Vienna-Zagreb-Belgrade. Indeed, in those years a new railway line, connecting Bosanski Brod to Sarajevo, was under construction. The first portion was completed in February 1879, and the last one in October 1882.

    Some time later, Ferdinando (or Vigilio) returned to Vallarsa, while Giuseppe married a Slovenian girl, and in 1892 they gave birth to Josip Broz, who became known to the whole world as Tito. The news about Giuseppes’s fate reached the valley, mainly thanks to the information his brother brought home.
    Tito between history and conspiracy

    The legend from Vallarsa is not an isolated case. Since the end of the Second World War in Yugoslavia, but not only, speculations began circulating that Tito might have (had) Russian, Polish, Austrian or Jewish roots. His life, marked from a young age by participation in illegal activities of the Communist Party, sudden movings and use of false names, offered an ideal breeding ground for speculations and conspiracy theories. The doubts about Tito’s true identity, particularly diffused during the 1990s, recently have been reactualized due to publication of declassified CIA document that puts in doubt Tito’s knowledge of the Serbo-Croatian language.

    Apart from dozens of newspaper articles and many publicistic texts, the question of Tito’s origins has never been the subject of proper historiographic research. None of the scholars who seriously occupy themselves with history of Yugoslavia has ever shown any particular interest in this issue. Even the most recent Tito’s biographies, written by world-renowned historians such as Geoffrey Swain and Jože Pirjevec, don’t contain any reference to different theories about his origins, only a traditional version whereby Tito was the son of Franjo Broz, a Croat from Kumrovec in Zagorje, and Marija Javeršek, originally from village of Podreda, in Slovenia. The only partial exception is represented by considerations made by Vladimir Dedijer in his monumental biography of Tito, published in 1981. A former member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, sacked at the time of the Affaire Djilas, becoming a professional historian, in his book Dedijer attempts to refute speculations about Tito’s origins, reinvigorated after his death in May 1980.
    The birth and life of a legend

    In attempting to clarify the question, Vladimir Dedijer also makes reference to the Trentine case which, few months earlier, has been reactualized in Italy in an article appeared in the weekly Gente. The article has been published few days after Tito’s death, relying on a story transmitted orally over the years, according to some since the end of the Second World War, when the name of Josip Broz began to appear in the newspapers around the world. In addition to photos of the Vallarsa Valley and Maso Geche, the article contained statements of descendants of the family of Valentino Broz. Don Giuseppe Rippa, the then parson of Vallarsa, played an important role in defining the contours of the story, contributing to a process of consolidation of its credibility.

    It is possible that Vladimir Dedijer has come to know about the Trentin legend thanks to attention given to it in the newspapers of the Italian minority in Yugoslavia. Shortly after the publication of the above mentioned article on the weekly Gente, the weekly newspaper Panorama from Rijeka started showing interest in the story, sending a crew to Vallarsa to find out more details. After talking to Don Rippa and some other local personalities, such as writer Sandra Frizzera, and studying parish registers, journalists from Rijeka have come to a conclusion that there was no evidence of a relationship between Trentin and Yugoslav Brozes. Vladimir Dedijer reacted by publishing Tito’s family tree, compiled by Andrija Lukinović, archivist from the Historical Archive of Zagreb [now called the Croatian State Archive], on the basis of preserved parish registers. Using available data, Lukinović reconstructed the paternal-line geneaology of the Broz family from the beginning of the 17th century, when parish registers were started in Kumrovec. As far as the previous period is concerned, Dedijer remains cautious, nevertheless quoting different sayings whereby the Broz family originated in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Spain, Istria, France or even Italy. In any case, we are talking about the possible settlement in Zagorje more than four centuries ago.

    However, these information have not reached Trentino, where a word began to spread that in the whole Yugoslavia there have been no trace of the Broz surname. The descendents of the family of Valentino Broz continued releasing interviews, telling family stories and anecdotes. Also, it is narrated that representatives of Yugoslav government came to Obra, maybe even Tito himself. Many newspaper articles and reportage talked about physiognomic proximity, claiming that the Trentin Brozes bore a “remarkable resemblance” to Yugoslav leader.

    In 1984 it was decided to create a commission, as part of “The Popular Committee of Obra di Vallarsa”, composed of historians, journalists and the then major, with the aim of clarifying the question through meticulous researches and investigations. However, no definite answer nor concrete evidence has been reached. Did Tito have Trentin origins or not? Over the years, the same information continued to circulate, but the story became gradually consolidated.

    In the same period, the credibility of the story has been publicly recognized by some prominent personalities, such as politician Flaminio Piccoli, who has stated, on the occasion of a congress held in Rome in 1991, that Tito’s ancestors were from Trentino. Representative of the Italian Christian Democratic party (DC) in Trentino at the time, Piccoli asserted that he had “great respect” for Marshal Tito, because “his great grandfather was Trentin, originally from the region around Rovereto”. The story changes again – it was not Tito’s father, but rather his great grandfather who was from Trentino – but it is told by a prominent politician who met Tito personally.

    What also contributed to building credibility of the story were numerous publications dedicated to emigration from Trentino, an issue that, since the 1980s, has attracted increasing interest. Already in 1984, Bonifacio Bolognani – Franciscan friar and scholar originally from Trentino who moved to the United States – mentioned a legend from Obra in his book about emigration from Trentino, published in English. The local writers and historians are those who paid greatest attention to the story: Daniella Stoffella refers to it in her book about emigration from Vallarsa, while Renzo Grosselli mentions it in a study about emigrants from Trentino which is widely read. Remo Bussolon and Aldina Martini revived it in the most important work about the history of Vallarsa. The theory of Tito’s Trentin origins is also being mentioned in different academic essays published in other countries (Frédéric Spagnoli, 2009). We are talking about more or less precise publications, some of which treat the argument with caution, but that, often citing each other, contribute to strengthening the authoritativness of the legend.

    In the meantime, a local section of RAI [Italian public radio and television broadcaster] started to show an interest in the story, relaunching it periodically through tv reports. In 2008, a special program was dedicated to the legend of Obra, and on that occasion journalists from Trentino went to Croatia for the first time to hear the other side of the story. They went to Kumrovec, where they visited the birth house of Yugoslav leader and studied parish registers, trying to learn more about the history of Tito’s family and about his “Croatian father” Franjo Broz. But the question remained: Is it possible that Marija’s marriage with Franjo was her second wedding? Or rather, did she married Franjo after she gave birth to Tito and after Giuseppe Broz died?

    In the summer of 2015, a visit of Tito’s granddaughter Svetlana Broz to Vallarsa, invited to a culture festival to present her book about the Yugoslav wars, becomes the occasion to discuss the issue. Asked during an interview to comment on the theory about Tito’s Trentin roots, Svetlana Broz responded vaguely and compliantly, saying: “That theory is just a theory. I have documentation that proves that my grandfather was born in the Croatian village of Kumrovec, as stated in his official biography. However, I can neither confirm nor deny anything about his ancestors”. In such ambivalent spaces, the legend from Vallarsa continues to live. Narrated and repeated mostly in Trentino, from time to time it arouses the interest of a wider public.
    A story about Trentino and Yugoslavia

    Of all the legends about the origins of the Yugoslav president, the Trentin one is probably most closely related to the history and identity of a local community, unlike the others, often inspired by different conspiracy ideas. It evocates the history of the territory profoundly marked by the migration phenomenon and is paradigmatic of a broader history of emigration from Trentino at the end of the 19th century and of pervasiveness of collective memories in those valleys. Its diffusion beyond the borders of Vallarsa, began in the 1980s, followed a gradual opening-up of Trentino to the international processes and reinforcement of consciousness about its “place in the world”. Above all, it is an integral part of the process of ri-elaboration of the traumatic experience of migration which profoundly marked local community: discovery of illustrious ancestors can help in making a sense of loss.

    At the same time, this legend makes us think about the image socialist Yugoslavia projected abroad, about its perception in Italy and among inhabitants of one of the most remote valleys of Trentino. Considered a hostile country in the post-war period, over the following decades Yugoslavia was increasingly perceived by the Italian public as a close neighbor, so that relationships with the political leadership of socialist country were considered a question of public interest. It is narrated that inhabitants of the Vallarsa Valley had been deeply moved by Tito’s death in May 1980 and that a local parson “had recited the prayer for Josip Broz”. A few years later, when asked for his opinion about Marshal Tito, an inhabitant of the valley pointed out a change of perception: “There is no way to reconcile obscure and bloody events from his early years, ambition, will to power, sectarianism and violence of the first Tito with wise and prudent politician, magnanimous towards his enemies, which was the second Tito”.

    The Trentin roots of Yugoslav Marshal remain a legend. In all those years, no proof has emerged that confirms that Giuseppe Broz, who probably emigrated to Croatia and Bosnia in search of work, was Tito’s real father. On the other hand, the official version of Tito’s biography remains undisputed. But like all legends, regardless of their adherence to reality, the one about “Trentin” Tito immerse us in perceptions, imaginings and memories deposited at the intersection of personal life stories, local vicissitudes and the Great History.


    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Italy/Tito-and-Vallarsa-The-history-of-a-legend-190146

    #histoire #légende #Trentino #Italie #ex-Yougoslavie #Yougoslavie #Obra

    #vidéo:
    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Media/Multimedia/Marshal-Tito-and-Vallarsa
    #film

    ping @albertocampiphoto @wizo —> articolo disponibile anche in italiano: https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Italia/Compa-esano-Tito!-Storia-di-una-leggenda-190146

  • Amnesty | Initiative « anti droits humains » de l’UDC : à rejeter sans hésitation

    L’UDC devrait déposer le 12 août son initiative « le droit suisse au lieu des juges étrangers » qui vise à assurer la prééminence du droit national sur le droit international. Ce texte est une attaque frontale contre les droits humains et plus particulièrement contre la Convention européenne des droits de l’Homme (CEDH) et la protection qu’elle offre à toute personne victime de violation de ses droits fondamentaux dans notre pays.

    L’initiative de l’UDC s’attaque directement à la CEDH et les initiants ne s’en cachent d’ailleurs pas. L’UDC voit régulièrement son programme contrarié par la CEDH. La Suisse n’a pas été condamnée à Strasbourg en relation avec une initiative controversée comme celle sur les minarets ou l’immigration de masse, mais la CEDH est régulièrement avancée comme ligne rouge à ne pas dépasser. Les initiants verraient donc d’un bon œil la Suisse dénoncer la CEDH, et accessoirement se retirer ainsi du Conseil de l’Europe.

    La Suisse serait confrontée à des problèmes insolubles

    « Cela signifierait reculer de plus de 40 ans et renoncer à la meilleure protection dont dispose tout individu contre les violations de ses droits fondamentaux en Suisse » a déclaré la Section suisse d’Amnesty International. « Ce n’est pas parce que les juges de Strasbourg ont quelquefois pris des décisions que certains considèrent comme déplaisantes que nous devons remettre en question un système de protection contre les violations des droits humains quasi unique au monde ».

    Accessoirement la Suisse serait également confrontée à des problèmes insolubles, notamment en cas d’incompatibilité de sa législation avec les Pactes des Nations Unies sur les droits économiques sociaux et culturels ou les droits civils et politiques puisque ces derniers ne prévoient pas de mécanisme pour les dénoncer.

    La Suisse qui s’est toujours faite la championne des droits humains, donnerait un signe extrêmement négatif à l’encontre de la communauté internationale quant à sa volonté de respecter les droits humains. Ne serait-ce que pour cette raison, l’initiative de l’UDC doit être fermement rejetée.

    https://asile.ch/2016/08/12/amnesty-initiative-anti-droits-humains-de-ludc-a-rejeter-hesitation

    #Initiative_autodétermination (c’est le nom choisi par les initiateurs... l’#UDC... sigh) #initiative #votation #Suisse #CEDH #droits_humains

    • An attack on human rights or strengthening democracy?

      The conservative right Swiss People’s Party today handed in the signatures collected for its people’s initiative ‘Swiss law instead of foreign judges’, launched in 2015. The aim of the initiative is to put the federal constitution above international law. What would it mean for Switzerland if the initiative is voted in?

      http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/-self-determination--initiative_an-attack-on-human-rights-or-strengthening-democracy-/42369642
      #droits_de_l'homme

    • Des professeur-e-s de droit ainsi qu’Economiesuisse critiquent l’#initiative_d’autodétermination

      Dans une publication commune de la revue Jusletter du 20 février 2017, 31 professeur-e-s de la faculté de droit de l’Université de Zurich, spécialistes du droit public, administratif et international, ont démontré les contradictions et conséquences possibles de l’initiative populaire de l’UDC « Le droit suisse au lieu de #juges_étrangers », aussi appelée initiative pour l’#autodétermination (voir notre article sur l’initiative).

      http://www.humanrights.ch/fr/droits-humains-suisse/interieure/democratie-directe/droit-international/professeur-e-s-de-droit-qu-economiesuisse-critiquent-l-initiative-d-auto

    • Une lutte autour du droit national, du droit international et des droits de l’Homme

      L’UDC (l’Union démocratique du centre), souhaite inscrire dans la Constitution la primauté de la Constitution fédérale sur le droit international. Une lutte dans les urnes qui touche aux fondamentaux. Une lutte qui est menée avec acharnement.
      « Le droit national prime le droit international » et « Le droit suisse au lieu de juges étrangers » : ces exigences ont toute leur raison d’être à une époque où le nationalisme reprend partout des couleurs. Il s’agit de messages simples qui jouent entre le tout-noir ou le tout-blanc sans laisser de place aux nuances intermédiaires. C’est sur ce modèle que s’appuie la prétendue « Initiative pour l’autodétermination » de l’Union démocratique du centre qui sera soumise au vote le 25 novembre 2018. L’exigence clé est la suivante : « La Constitution fédérale prime le droit international et lui est supérieure », exception faite de quelques dispositions obligatoires comme l’interdiction de la torture. Les traités internationaux en conflit avec la Constitution devraient alors être renégociés ou, au besoin, être résiliés. Seuls les traités ayant été adoptés par référendum seront de la compétence du Tribunal fédéral.

      Selon l’UDC, l’autodétermination et l’indépendance de la Suisse seraient menacées, à savoir par « les politiques, les fonctionnaires et les professeurs » qui souhaiteraient que « le peuple suisse n’ait plus le dernier mot. Selon l’argumentaire de l’initiative, ils auraient pour objectif de restreindre les droits du peuple. Ils seraient de plus en plus enclins à considérer que « le droit étranger, les juges et tribunaux étrangers priment le droit suisse voté par le peuple et les conseillers d’État ». L’initiative d’autodétermination proclame que « le droit suisse est censé être la source suprême de notre droit » et que « les référendums seront appliqués sans état d’âme, indépendamment du fait que la décision plaise ou non à ‹l’élite› de la capitale fédérale ». Selon l’UDC, l’initiative tendrait à promouvoir « la sécurité juridique et la stabilité dans la mesure où le rapport entre droit national et droit international serait alors sans ambiguïtés ».
      Un risque pour la stabilité et la fiabilité

      C’est précisément ce point de vue que les adversaires de l’autodétermination contestent. Dans la mesure où l’initiative impliquerait que la Suisse renégocie et, si besoin est, résilie les contrats internationaux en conflit avec la Constitution, elle mettrait en question les engagements contractés par la Suisse au niveau international et sèmerait le doute sur sa stabilité et sa fiabilité, avance le Conseil fédéral. L’autodétermination porterait ainsi atteinte à la place économique suisse. « L’autodétermination menace la sécurité juridique dans le cadre des relations commerciales internationales et rend les décisions stratégiques des entreprises suisses plus complexes.

      En voulant resserrer les règles qui régissent un éventuel conflit entre le droit constitutionnel suisse et le droit international, l’initiative ne fera que réduire la marge de manœuvre du Conseil fédéral et du parlement : il serait alors impossible de trouver de manière pragmatique des solutions reposant sur des bases solides et en conformité avec les deux régimes juridiques. La Suisse n’aurait alors que deux options : l’adaptation, à savoir la renégociation d’un traité, ou bien la dénonciation.
      Et si le droit international régissait les traités

      Opposer le droit international au droit suisse relève déjà d’une chimère car le droit international n’est pas simplement un droit étranger que l’on aurait imposé à la Suisse : le droit international est en grande partie un droit des traités, à savoir un accord conclu entre deux États ou groupes d’État. Les traités internationaux sont soumis en Suisse à une procédure démocratique à l’instar des traités régis par le droit national. Aujourd’hui, l’ensemble des traités internationaux d’envergure sont soumis à un référendum facultatif, voire obligatoire.

      Les adversaires de l’autodétermination – à savoir le Conseil fédéral, la majorité parlementaire, voire tous les partis à l’exception de l’UDC – voient d’un œil critique l’initiative d’autodétermination de vouloir retenir seuls les traités ayant auparavant été soumis à référendum. « C’est comme si l’initiative incitait les autorités à passer outre les engagements contractés, constate le gouvernement fédéral. Inciter ainsi la Suisse à une rupture des contrats pourrait massivement affaiblir le pays dans la mesure où les contractants étrangers ne se sentiraient pas non plus liés aux contrats passés avec la Suisse.

      Kathrin Alder, juriste et correspondante à la NZZ, la Neue Zürcher Zeitung, auprès du Tribunal fédéral, présente une analyse approfondie de la problématique du référendum. La discussion portant sur le conflit droit national versus droit international a, en fait, été attisée par une décision du Tribunal fédéral accordant la primauté à l’accord sur la libre circulation des personnes (ALCP) au détriment du droit fédéral : « Selon l’initiative d’autodétermination, de telles décisions ne seront plus tolérées et remplacées par une solution, à première vue simple. Il s’avère cependant que l’initiative ne viendra pas à bout du droit à la libre circulation des personnes, dans le viseur de l’UDC, et ne sera pas non plus à même de clarifier la situation juridique. Dans le cadre des accords bilatéraux I, l’ALCP était par exemple soumis à référendum et reste de ce fait déterminant pour le Tribunal fédéral. En cas de conflit d’intérêts, il est vrai, ce sont toujours les juges de Lausanne qui l’emportent. »
      Les droits de l’Homme au centre des préoccupations

      Par contre, si l’initiative était votée, la Convention européenne des droits de l’Homme et des libertés fondamentales (CEDH) ne serait, selon Kathrin Adler, plus déterminante pour le Tribunal fédéral : « Quand la Convention a été ratifiée, les traités internationaux d’une certaine importance n’étaient pas encore soumis à un référendum. Le droit constitutionnel qui sera alors en conflit avec la Convention l’emportera de ce fait avec des conséquences juridiques imprévues ». La journaliste du NZZ écrit : « Les initiateurs du mouvement se trompent de cible car plus encore que les juges ‹étrangers› à Strasbourg, ils abhorrent leurs ‹propres› juges à Lausanne. Le Tribunal fédéral a finalement décidé que la CEDH et l’ALCP priment le droit fédéral. Grâce à l’initiative d’autodétermination, l’UDC prétend vouloir renforcer la démocratie directe. Dans les faits, elle souhaite affaiblir le pouvoir judiciaire et précisément le Tribunal fédéral. »

      Les droits de l’Homme seront probablement au cœur du débat. Le Conseil fédéral met en garde, au cas où l’initiative serait adoptée, contre un « affaiblissement de la protection internationale des droits de l’Homme » et pointe les garanties accordées par la CEDH. Il se pourrait que la Suisse ne puisse plus appliquer les règlements de la CEDH. « Sur le long terme, il serait même envisageable que la Suisse soit exclue du Conseil européen ce qui équivaudrait à un divorce entre la Suisse et la CEDH. Le Conseil européen et la CEDH revêtent toutefois un intérêt existentiel pour la Suisse dans la mesure où ces institutions garantissent la stabilisation de l’État de droit, de la démocratie, de la sécurité et de la paix en Europe. »

      Au parlement, les adversaires de l’initiative d’autodétermination ont également reproché aux initiateurs du mouvement de vouloir abroger les lois fondamentales et ainsi risquer l’instauration d’un régime arbitraire exercé par la majorité. En se prononçant pour l’initiative, la rupture avec la CEDH serait engagée malgré le fait qu’elle offre la possibilité aux citoyens et citoyennes de l’invoquer ? si besoin est ? même contre l’État.

      Hans-Ueli Vogt, professeur de droit à Zurich, conseiller national UDC et père spirituel de l’initiative d’autodétermination n’en a cure. Lors d’une interview accordée à la Weltwoche, il répond à la question s’il souhaite amoindrir la portée des droits de l’homme : « Non. La protection des droits de l’Homme en Suisse ne dépend pas d’un tribunal étranger. Les droits de l’homme sont inscrits dans notre Constitution. »

      L’organisation « Schutzfaktor M » (« facteur de protection des droits de l’Homme ») insiste : « Nous avons besoin de la CEDH bien que les droits fondamentaux soient garantis par notre Constitution. Il suffit d’un vote majoritaire soutenu par des conseillers d’État pour modifier la Constitution. Suite à un référendum, les droits fondamentaux inscrits dans la Constitution pourront alors être modifiés, voire abrogés ». L’organisation « Schutzfaktor M » rejointe par plus de 100 autres organisations suisses lutte depuis des années contre l’initiative de l’UDC.

      La lutte aux urnes sera sans merci. Le débat parlementaire offrait déjà un petit avant-goût. Thomas Aeschi, chef de la fraction UDC, n’hésitait pas à parler d’un coup d’État de la part des adversaires de l’initiative qui souhaitent enlever au peuple le droit à l’autodétermination. Et mieux encore : Roger Köppel, conseiller national de l’UDC, à enchaîner : « Ce qui se passe ici est l’éviction pure et simple du peuple. Il s’agit d’une prise de pouvoir, d’une sorte de coup d’État par une classe politique qui évolue dans les hautes sphères, ni encline ni capable de protéger les droits du peuple qu’elle a promis de défendre en prêtant serment ». « L’élite politique obnubilée par ses pouvoirs est furieusement décidée à s’approprier la souveraineté du peuple ». Köppel qualifie ses adversaires politiques au Conseil national sans hésitation aucune de « non-démocrates » qui se prennent à tort pour des représentants du peuple alors qu’ils sont plus proches de l’étranger que de la Suisse.

      https://www.revue.ch/fr/editions/2018/05/detail/news/detail/News/une-lutte-autour-du-droit-national-du-droit-international-et-des-droits-de-lho

    • Juges étrangers : la démocratie, ce n’est pas la « #troupeaucratie »

      L’initiative contre les juges étrangers vise la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme, estime le professeur de droit Jacques Dubey. Elle met également la défense des minorités en danger au nom d’une idée de la démocratie qui se limiterait à imposer les vues de la majorité

      Définir la démocratie comme « un régime politique dans lequel le peuple décide », c’est comme définir le football comme « un sport de balle qui se joue avec les pieds » : aussi juste qu’insuffisant. Le fait est que la règle de base du football – soit l’interdiction de se servir des mains – est contredite par des règles qui autorisent l’usage des mains à deux joueurs en certaines circonstances, et à tous les joueurs en d’autres circonstances. On peut certes imaginer un sport de balle au pied sans gardien ni touche ; la Suisse en serait peut-être championne du monde, mais ça ne serait pas du « football ».

      De même, on ne pourrait pas appeler « démocratie » un régime politique dans lequel la règle de base – soit l’adoption des lois par le peuple – ne serait pas complétée par d’autres règles, qui confient l’application des lois à des juges (séparation des pouvoirs), et qui accordent aux citoyens des droits à l’encontre de ces lois et de leur application (Etat de droit). Si la Suisse adoptait un régime sans protection ni juridiction des droits fondamentaux, elle perdrait son titre de championne du monde de la démocratie ; elle rejoindrait même des nations de fond de classement.

      Attaque contre la CEDH

      Les auteurs de l’initiative « Le droit suisse au lieu de juges étrangers (initiative pour l’autodétermination) » ne semblent pas connaître toutes les règles du jeu démocratique. Officiellement, ils veulent faire primer le droit constitutionnel sur le droit international ; pratiquement, ils veulent contraindre la Suisse à devoir dénoncer un jour la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH) pour échapper à la juridiction de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme. Car, selon eux, ce droit international empêcherait de respecter la volonté du peuple, comme le prouverait la mise en œuvre de leur initiative de 2010 « pour le renvoi des étrangers criminels ».

      La majorité doit pouvoir imposer ses vues à la minorité, mais elle ne doit pas pouvoir opprimer une minorité quelconque

      Ces explications font d’eux des simulateurs et des mauvais perdants, puisque ce sont des juges suisses puis les citoyens suisses eux-mêmes qui ont imposé que le renvoi des étrangers criminels reste proportionné. Mais surtout, les initiants sont de piètres stratèges, lorsqu’ils prédisent que la Suisse serait plus démocratique sans CEDH qu’avec. Rappelons-leur que la démocratie suisse d’avant la CEDH, c’était une démocratie sans femmes…

      Pourquoi voulons-nous vivre en démocratie ? Parce que nous nous estimons tous libres et égaux, raison pour laquelle nous voulons tous participer de manière égale à la prise des décisions qui nous concernent – plutôt que de nous les voir imposer par un seul individu (monarchie) ou par un groupe d’individus (oligarchie).

      La loi de la majorité

      Pourquoi devons-nous protéger les droits fondamentaux dans ce contexte ? Parce que la manière dont nous prenons nos décisions en démocratie, soit à la majorité, menace la liberté et l’égalité que nous voulons justement préserver. Selon le contenu de la loi et le résultat du vote, cette manière de faire met en effet tour à tour certains individus (seuls ou minoritaires) à la merci d’autres individus (majoritaires), à l’exact opposé de ce que la démocratie est censée faire.

      D’où la nécessité de mettre chaque citoyen à l’abri des abus de l’ensemble des autres. Car la majorité doit certes pouvoir imposer ses vues à la minorité, mais elle ne doit pas pouvoir opprimer une minorité quelconque, jusqu’à et y compris cette minorité ultime qu’est notre individualité. Quant à la différence entre une décision qui s’impose et une décision qui opprime, elle s’appelle la proportionnalité ; et elle consiste à tenir compte de la situation particulière de chaque individu, fût-il étranger.

      Pour en priver les étrangers, voilà que les initiants n’hésitent pas à vous demander à vous, citoyens suisses, de renoncer à des droits fondamentaux qui vous appartiennent depuis 1974. Peu importe, direz-vous : « Le peuple c’est moi ! » ; « Les minorités c’est les autres ! »

      Attention, citoyens !

      En êtes-vous si sûr(e) ? Vous qui êtes manifestement francophone ? Et par ailleurs concubin, divorcée, orphelin, héritière, chasseuse, végétarien, piéton, motarde, propriétaire foncier, sous-locataire, aristo, secundo, indépendante, fonctionnaire, apprentie, retraité, fauché, blindée, Anniviarde, Chaudefonnier, et mille autres choses encore ? Vous que le hasard ou le destin, le mérite ou la défaillance ont placé dans des circonstances particulières dont le législateur – c’est-à-dire la majorité de vos concitoyens – n’a pas su ou n’a pas voulu tenir compte ? Vous qui ne redoutiez ni la rigueur ni l’abstraction de la loi, avant que celle qui s’applique à vous ne s’appelle Via Sicura ?

      Attention, citoyens ! Dans la « troupeaucratie » qu’on vous propose, le mouton noir auquel les moutons blancs donnent des coups de pied, ce serait vous un jour ; forcément vous. Et les juges, censés arbitrer la démocratie, ne pourraient alors plus arrêter le jeu pour si peu ; si peu que vous.

      https://www.letemps.ch/opinions/juges-etrangers-democratie-nest-troupeaucratie

    • Au fond, qu’est-ce que ça veut dire…

      Derrière les exigences simplistes de l’initiative « Le droit suisse au lieu de juges étrangers » se cachent des notions bien plus complexes qu’il ne paraît. Explications.

      Qu’est-ce que le droit international public ?

      Le droit international public est constitué pour l’essentiel des traités passés entre les États. Il règle les relations entre les pays et met en place des règles et des principes contraignants. Les traités lient tous les États qui les ont ratifiés. Le droit international public évolue en permanence et sa version moderne met de plus en plus en avant la protection et le bien des personnes (droits humains, protection des personnes dans les conflits armés). Selon la Constitution fédérale, les traités internationaux importants doivent être approuvés par l’Assemblée fédérale et sont soumis au référendum facultatif. Un traité est par contre obligatoirement soumis à l’approbation du peuple (référendum obligatoire) lorsqu’il a rang constitutionnel.
      Qu’en est-il du droit international impératif ?

      En plus du droit international public existe le droit international contraignant, appelé aussi « ius cogens ». Comme le droit international public décrit ci-dessus, le droit international impératif est contraignant, mais il lie tous les États, indépendamment du fait qu’ils aient ou pas ratifié les instruments correspondants. Ce droit comprend essentiellement des normes relatives aux droits humains comme l’interdiction de la torture, de l’esclavage ou du génocide. Il n’existe cependant pas de définition précise ni de liste exhaustive universellement reconnue. La Constitution fédérale, quant à elle, fait référence au droit international impératif et s’engage à le respecter.
      Un droit international supplémentaire : le droit international humanitaire

      Le droit international humanitaire définit les règles applicables dans les conflits armés. Il constitue donc le cadre légal dans lequel la conduite de la guerre doit être menée et régit la protection des victimes (Conventions de Genève de 1949).
      Hiérarchie du droit

      La Constitution et les lois fédérales – ainsi que les lois cantonaleset communales – constituent l’ensemble du droit national. En cas de contradictions, le niveau le plus élevé prime toujours : le droit fédéral sur le droit cantonal et celui-ci sur le droit communal. Dans l’initiative dite « pour l’autodétermination », il en va uniquement de la relation compliquée entre la plus haute source du droit national, la Constitution, et le droit international.
      Qu’en est-il des droits fondamentaux ?

      Dans la Constitution fédérale révisée de 1999, les « droits fondamentaux » rassemblent toutes les libertés essentielles qui sont également garanties par le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques et par la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme – CEDH – (liberté de conscience et d’opinion, protection de la sphère privée, etc.). Cela signifie que les droits protégés par la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme font partie intégrante de notre Constitution. Celle-ci peut cependant être modifiée par des initiatives populaires et entraîner ainsi des conflits avec le droit supérieur (Conventions telles que la CEDH, Convention sur les droits de l’enfant, etc.). Mais surtout, la CEDH offre aux citoyens suisses une protection supplémentaire de leurs droits en offrant aux personnes touchées par des violations des droits humains une autre instance à laquelle elles peuvent s’adresser.

      https://www.amnesty.ch/fr/sur-amnesty/publications/magazine-amnesty/2018-3/au-fond-qu-est-ce-que-ca-veut-dire

    • Caro Blocher, ti scrivo

      Egregio ex – Consigliere federale,
      abbiamo il diritto di ricorrere alla Corte di Strasburgo per i Diritti Fondamentali dell’Uomo? Perché ce lo volete togliere? Finora sono stati 85 cittadini e cittadine svizzeri ai quali la Corte di Strasburgo (nulla a che vedere con l’Unione Europea!) ha riconosciuto un diritto. Non erano imprese e nemmeno dei ricconi, ma persone semplici, vedove, pensionati, famiglie di operai, madri, giovani. Ottennero risarcimenti per il marito morto a causa dell’amianto, per essere stata internata a causa di una maternità fuori dal matrimonio, per una indennità assicurativa rifiutata, per violazione della libertà di espressione, per ridare il figlio strappato ad una madre. Domani, altre persone come queste, senza una famiglia milionaria come la vostra, avranno ancora bisogno della Corte di Strasburgo, e dei giudici svizzeri che ne sono membri. Perché volete toglierci questo diritto?

      Perché il Suo Collega Ueli Maurer, il 19 febbraio 2014, chiese in Governo di fare uscire i giudici svizzeri dalla Corte di Strasburgo e di denunciare la Convenzione per i Diritti dell’Uomo (CEDU)? Eppure era già stata approvata anche dai deputati del Parlamento svizzero, eletti dal popolo svizzero. Chiamate la vostra iniziativa “per la autodeterminazione”: ma la autodeterminazione dal 1966 è già garantita esplicitamente dal primo articolo del Patto ONU per i diritti politici, approvato anche dai deputati del Parlamento svizzero.La Convenzione per i Diritti dell’Uomo venne approvata dal Consiglio d’Europa, che era stato costruito anche dalla Svizzera, per evitare un’altra Guerra Mondiale, e al quale partecipano anche parlamentari svizzeri. Approvando la vostra iniziativa, costringete il Consiglio d’Europa a escluderci dalla Convenzione, perché la vostra iniziativa prevede la superiorità del diritto interno. Avete dimenticato la Bibbia del diritto internazionale, ossia la Convenzione di Vienna sul diritto degli accordi fra gli Stati. È stata approvata anche dal Parlamento svizzero. Prevede (art.27) che tutti gli Stati devono rispettare gli accordi che hanno ratificato. Semplice no? Ci diamo la mano e rispettiamo gli impegni. Da buoni Svizzeri. E invece no, Signor Blocher, con la vostra iniziativa ci volete tutti bugiardi: promettiamo di rispettare gli accordi che ratifichiamo, ma con le dita incrociate dietro la schiena. “Faremo poi secondo il nostro diritto interno”. Risultato: tutte le Organizzazioni internazionali e tutti gli Stati con cui noi Svizzeri abbiamo ratificato degli accordi (sono circa 5’500) ci chiederanno di rinegoziarli tutti, dichiarando che li rispetteremo, malgrado la vostra iniziativa. Oppure, verso la Svizzera, non li rispetteranno più, perché noi ci siamo riservati di non rispettarli.
      Ma perché, Signor Blocher, ci raccomandate di avere paura di questa rete di accordi internazionali, anche se vennero approvati dai parlamentari che abbiamo eletto? Questo diritto internazionale, è proprio il Diavolo? Io credo che sia, invece, proprio il nostro Angelo Custode: sono le promesse di collaborazione contro il terrorismo e i delinquenti, contro il traffico di medicinali nocivi, per il rispetto dei bambini, per la validità internazionale delle assicurazioni sociali, per garantire le imprese svizzere di esportazione. Siccome la vostra iniziativa si scontra con la Convenzione di Vienna, tutti questi accordi saltano. Ecco perché la vostra è una iniziativa di autodistruzione. Infatti, non prevede nemmeno chi dovrà stabilire, in Svizzera, se una regola del diritto internazionale sarà conforme o contraria alla costituzione svizzera. Sarà il tribunale federale? Sarà il parlamento? Sarà il signor Blocher? Ci dica la verità, Le piacerebbe proprio tanto essere lei a comandare, a tutti gli Svizzeri, a farci trottare come fate trottare tutti i vostri impiegati e operai della vostra ditta milionaria. Ma la democrazia Svizzera non è la vostra impresa privata. Preferiamo obbedire ai nostri Magistrati svizzeri, rispettandoli, senza buttarli fuori per vendetta personale, come avete fatto con il Procuratore della Confederazione Beyeler. Noi Svizzeri preferiamo obbedire al nostro Tribunale federale,piuttosto che al Padre Blocher,che lo ha accusato di ” voler fomentare un colpo di Stato”. ( NZZ 6.3.2013) Io ho paura del Suo Partito Personale, l’UDC, perché ha convocato a rapporto il giudice federale Yves Donzallaz, poiché scelto da UDC, per giustificarsi di sentenze “internazionaliste” che non piacevano alla stessa UDC, che gli fece scatenare addosso una campagna denigratoria dal vostro megafono, la Weltwoche del vostro deputato Köppel.

      Signor Blocher, ha paura dell’Unione Europea? Anch’io, da quando si piega sotto le pedate di Salvini, Orban, Le Pen e accoliti, distributori dello stesso odio che generò la Seconda Guerra Mondiale. Ma sull’Unione Europea la vostra iniziativa è inutile, perché comunque il popolo svizzero è già e rimane sovrano nel decidere, in votazione popolare, sugli Accordi bilaterali e sul prossimo Accordo – quadro con l’Unione Europea.Per caso,Signor Blocher, ha paura di queste prossime votazioni popolari? E allora la vostra iniziativa serve per sabotate un risultato che non vi piacerà? Avete paura della Costituzione federale, perché prevede( art.5 capoverso 4)” che la Confederazione rispetta il diritto internazionale”?

      E allora, Signor Blocher, perché come ex-consigliere federale, per i vostri interessi politici mobilitate i denigratori professionisti? Per esempio il consigliere nazionale UDC Alfred Heer, che definisce la Convenzione per i Diritti dell’Uomo ” un ascesso purulento”. Oppure il consigliere nazionale Lorenzo Quadri, che ha appena chiesto di “revocare all’istante l’incarico a Strasburgo ” del giudice svizzero signora Anne Keller, (Meschino della domenica 21.10.2018), che definisce i giudici del tribunale federale come “soldatini della partitocrazia multikulti… eletti dall’assemblea federale con il sistema del mercato delle vacche” (meschino della domenica 16/10/2018) dopo avere anche proposto la galera per un giudice del tribunale federale (Meschino della domenica 17.7.2016).
      Paolo Bernasconi, avvocato
      Articolo apparso sul Caffè, 4 novembre 2018

      http://unitidaldiritto.ch/2018/11/05/caro-blocher-ti-scrivo

  • The #architecture at « The Albertina Museum Vienna

    https://www.albertina.at/en/collections/architecture

    https://www.albertina.at/site/assets/files/1101/adolf_loos_haus_josephine_baker-_paris_xvi-_avenue_bugeaud-_frankreich-_or

    Architecture

    Be it baroque vedute, magnificent Renaissance buildings, or architectural ensembles like Vienna’s Ring Road: the Architecture Collection at the ALBERTINA Museum embodies a fascinating overview of the genre of architectural drawing that numbers over 40,000 plans, studies, and models. Extending from the Late Gothic period to the architecture of the present, the museum’s holdings include seminal works by Bernini, Borromini, Hansen, Wagner, Loos, Hollein, Hadid, and many others.

  • #Florentina_Pakosta « The Albertina Museum Vienna

    https://www.albertina.at/en/exhibitions/pakosta

    On the occasion of Austrian artist Florentina Pakosta’s 85th birthday, the ALBERTINA Museum is devoting a large-scale retrospective to her oeuvre.

    In her 1960s drawings and printed graphics, Florentina Pakosta reacted to discrimination against women in the art scene. For centuries, male artists had portrayed women as objects or muses. Pakosta consequently turned her gaze on men and proceeded to dissect their facial expressions and body language. Her satirical works attack patriarchal power structures by caricaturing male behavior and reversing traditional roles.
    Self-portraits likewise play a central role in the oeuvre of Florentina Pakosta—showing her at times serious, then self-confident, then combative. In her series Warenlandschaften [Product Landscapes ] and Menschenmassen [Crowds of People], on the other hand, Pakosta lends expression to the disappearance of the subject in capitalism. Pakosta’s mid-1980s output then gradually turns away from black-and-white, figurative painting in favor of an abstract visual language—and to this day, she has continued to create series of characteristic works comprised of geometric beams.

    #art #peinture

  • New U.S.-Russia-Saudi oil alliance could also have implications for Israel and Iran

    A reported deal between Putin and the Saudi crown prince means they will have members of OPEC over a barrel when they meet in Vienna this weekend – but Jerusalem will be an interested spectator as well

    Anshel PfefferSendSend me email alerts
    Jun 20, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-u-s-russia-saudi-oil-alliance-could-affect-israel-iran-too-1.61968

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman didn’t look like someone whose national team was losing 5-0 to Russia last Thursday. The broad smiles as he sat beside Russian President Vladimir Putin in the VIP box at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium indicated the opening match of the World Cup was just an excuse for their meeting.
    According to briefings by Russian officials after the crown prince had left Moscow, he and Putin had agreed on a joint policy worth more than any sports trophy.
    The two governments – also two of the world’s major energy producers – had reportedly agreed to “institutionalize” the relationship between Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Does this include all the OPEC members who are meeting in Vienna on Friday? Almost certainly not.
    OPEC exists in theory to ensure its members’ market share of the global energy market and to try and boost oil prices, ensuring their major source of income remains lucrative. But it depends on consensus and coordination between the members. And geopolitics can intrude – in this case, the deepening enmity between two of the major oil producers: the Saudis and Iran.
    In 2016, following a prolonged dip in oil prices (which saw the price of a barrel of crude drop to below $30), OPEC’s 14 members – along with OPEC Plus, a second group of associated nations, including Russia – agreed to cut back production. Along with the rise in global financial activity, this has gradually pushed oil prices back to over $70 a barrel.
    Now, though, some nations – led by the Saudis and Russia – are calling for an increase in production. They are losing market share to U.S. shale oil producers and argue that, since demand is currently high, putting more oil on the market will not dramatically affect prices. They calculate that any dip in prices will be offset by the increase in production.
    But not all OPEC members are capable of boosting production.
    Iran, about to come under stiff new sanctions from the Trump administration, is already losing orders worth hundreds of thousands of barrels. In Venezuela, production is already plummeting due to political turmoil and the economic meltdown under the Maduro government, which also faces U.S. sanctions. For both countries, lower oil prices will only compound their financial woes.

  • Österreich plant mit einigen EU-Ländern Aufnahmelager außerhalb der EU

    Österreich arbeite „mit einer kleinen Gruppe von Staaten“ an dem Projekt, sagte Kurz. Die Pläne seien bisher allerdings „sehr vertraulich“, um die „Durchsetzbarkeit“ des Projekts zu erhöhen. Auf die Frage, ob ein solches Aufnahmezentrum in Albanien eingerichtet werden könnte, sagte Kurz: „Wir werden sehen.“

    In der vergangenen Woche hatte bereits der dänische Ministerpräsident Lars Lökke Rasmussen bestätigt, dass einige EU-Länder, darunter auch Österreich, Aufnahmezentren für abgelehnte Asylbewerber außerhalb der EU einrichten wollen. In österreichischen Medienberichten war zuletzt mehrfach von Albanien als möglichem Standort die Rede.

    https://www.welt.de/newsticker/news1/article177463654/Fluechtlinge-Oesterreich-plant-mit-einigen-EU-Laendern-Aufnahmelager-ausserhalb
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #Albanie #hotspots (sorte de hotspot en dehors de l’UE) #Autriche #Danemark

    • C’est à la même occasion de la proposition d’un #axe contre l’immigration illégale...

      Les ministres de l’Intérieur allemand, autrichien et italien créent un « axe » contre l’immigration illégale

      « A notre avis, il faut un axe des volontaires dans la lutte contre l’immigration illégale », a annoncé le chancelier autrichien #Sebastian_Kurz, mercredi.


      https://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/europe/migrants/les-ministres-de-l-interieur-allemand-autrichien-et-italien-creent-un-a
      #Allemagne #Italie

    • L’Autriche et le Danemark veulent ouvrir des camps d’expulsés aux portes de l’UE

      Selon le premier ministre danois, Copenhague est en discussion avec Vienne et « d’autres pays » de l’Union pour la mise en place d’un « nouveau régime européen de l’asile ».

      Leurs divisions et la pression des populistes font décidément naître les idées les plus renversantes parmi les dirigeants européens quant au traitement à réserver aux demandeurs d’asile et au refoulement de ceux qui ne peuvent prétendre à celui-ci.

      Mardi 5 juin, le premier ministre danois, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, a annoncé que son pays était en discussion avec l’Autriche – qui assumera bientôt la présidence tournante de l’Union – et « d’autres pays » pour la mise en place d’un « nouveau régime européen de l’asile ». Point central du dispositif : la création de « centres communs de réception et d’expulsion en Europe ». En clair, des camps de rétention, où se retrouveraient des migrants ne pouvant prétendre à une demande d’asile, ou ne pouvant être rapidement renvoyés.

      M. Rasmussen n’a pas mentionné la possible localisation de ces camps. Ils ne seraient pas, selon lui, « sur la liste des destinations préférées des migrants et des passeurs ». Il s’agirait en fait, selon plusieurs sources, de l’Albanie et du Kosovo, candidats à l’adhésion à l’UE. Le premier ministre a évoqué des contacts « avec d’autres dirigeants européens » et se disait « optimiste », quant à la mise en place d’un projet pilote « d’ici à la fin de l’année ». Les premières discussions auraient en fait eu lieu à Sofia, en marge du sommet entre les dirigeants des Vingt-Huit et cinq pays des Balkans occidentaux, le 17 mai.

      Les sociaux-démocrates et les populistes du Parti du peuple danois (Dansk Folkeparti, DF) – ces derniers soutiennent M. Rasmussen au Parlement – ont fait savoir qu’ils étaient favorables à la proposition du premier ministre. La formation populiste avait déjà proposé de transformer une île inhabitée du royaume, située en dehors du territoire de l’Union, en centre de détention pour les déboutés. La ministre libérale de l’immigration, Inger Stojberg, avait répondu qu’elle était « toujours prête à examiner de bonnes idées », même si celle-ci présentait « des défis pratiques et légaux ».

      Paris semble tomber des nues

      A Bruxelles, mercredi, le chancelier conservateur autrichien Sebastian Kurz présentait avec son gouvernement les principaux axes de sa présidence, qui démarrera le 1er juillet. Il aurait voulu que toute l’attention soit portée sur sa volonté de renforcer les frontières extérieures de l’Union et sur ses propositions pour le budget post-Brexit – ses deux priorités.

      Or, il a évidemment été interrogé sur les propos de M. Rasmussen et a dû les confirmer, tout en ajoutant prudemment qu’il ne s’agissait pas d’un projet porté par sa future présidence mais « d’une initiative émanant d’un cercle restreint auquel le Danemark appartenait ». Quels autres Etats membres seraient concernés ?

      Les Pays-Bas, semble-t-il, mais la diplomatie néerlandaise affirmait, jeudi, ne pas vouloir se prononcer sur la concrétisation du projet. La Belgique, elle, n’aurait pas été consultée même si, lundi, lors d’une réunion des ministres européens de l’intérieur et de la migration, son secrétaire d’Etat, le nationaliste flamand Theo Francken, avait évoqué la nécessité d’empêcher l’accostage des bateaux en Europe – « push back » – et proclamé « la mort » du règlement de Dublin. Celui-ci oblige les pays de première arrivée (Italie et Grèce surtout) à enregistrer un migrant avant son transfert éventuel vers un autre Etat membre.

      L’Allemagne ? Mme Merkel aurait été « approchée » mais, jeudi, lors d’un congrès du Parti populaire européen, à Munich, elle insistait surtout sur le contrôle des frontières extérieures de l’Union et suggérait la nécessité de reproduire, avec d’autres pays tiers, l’accord conclu avec la Turquie pour la gestion des migrants. La famille des conservateurs européens prône toujours la relocalisation de demandeurs d’asile dans l’Union, à partir de pays tiers. Un proche de la chancelière ne cachait pas son scepticisme l’égard des plans de Copenhague et Vienne.

      La France, alors ? Sa diplomatie semble tomber des nues. Paris œuvre à un texte pour sortir le dossier migratoire de l’ornière mais ne pourrait accepter l’idée de camps de rétention. « Inimaginable », aussi, dit une source diplomatique, de voir des pays des Balkans se ranger à de telles initiatives, même en échange d’un coup de pouce financier ou d’une accélération de l’examen de leur dossier d’adhésion.

      Bruxelles inquiète des dérives

      Du côté de la Commission européenne – dont le président, Jean-Claude Juncker, recevait mercredi M. Kurz – la réponse est embarrassée. Le collège résume les projets en question à des « initiatives nationales », en soulignant qu’il serait préférable d’avoir une approche européenne, fondée sur « les valeurs » de l’Union.

      Bruxelles s’inquiète surtout des dérives du débat et redoute la multiplication des incidents avec la future présidence autrichienne, susceptible de rallier les voix de la Hongrie, de la Pologne ou d’autres Etats membres, hostiles à l’accueil des demandeurs d’asile.

      De précédents projets visant à la création de centres « d’accueil », sur le territoire libyen notamment, avaient été prudemment écartés. L’idée d’ouvrir des camps dans des pays européens, hors UE, portée par le ministre autrichien de l’intérieur, Herbert Kickl, poids lourd du FPÖ (Parti autrichien de la Liberté) est vue comme un nouvel obstacle à toute solution consensuelle.

      M. Kickl a aussi promis d’augmenter le nombre des personnes reconduites aux frontières. En 2017, 11 974 déboutés du droit d’asile ont quitté l’Autriche et 58 % d’entre eux ont été éloignés de force. Le ministre a également confirmé la mise en place d’une nouvelle police des frontières et annoncé que son pays ne participerait plus au programme de répartition des réfugiés arrivés en Grèce et en Italie. Il souhaite d’ailleurs que désormais, plus aucune demande d’asile ne soit étudiée sur le sol européen.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/06/08/l-autriche-et-le-danemark-veulent-ouvrir-des-camps-d-expulses-aux-portes-de-
      #Kosovo

    • L’étonnante proposition de #Donald_Tusk sur les réfugiés

      Le président du Conseil européen Donald Tusk envisage la création de centres en dehors de l’UE pour distinguer rapidement les personnes éligibles à l’asile et les migrants économiques qui ne peuvent y prétendre, ressort-il d’un projet de conclusions qu’il a fait parvenir aux chefs d’Etats et de gouvernement européens dans la perspective du sommet des 28 et 29 juin.

      Cette proposition, avancée par M. Tusk pour sortir de l’impasse sur la question migratoire, est un « #potentiel_game-changer », d’après un diplomate européen.

      Ces « plateformes régionales de débarquement » permettraient d’accueillir des personnes sauvées en mer alors qu’elles essayaient de rejoindre l’UE. Elles seraient gérées en coopération avec le Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR) et l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).

      Le document ne précise toutefois pas où elles se situeraient. Une source européenne a néanmoins précisé qu’elles étaient envisagées « en dehors de l’UE » sans donner plus de détails.

      La Tunisie et l’Albanie sont régulièrement citées comme étant susceptibles d’accueillir de telles installations. Le secrétaire d’Etat belge à l’Asile et la Migration, Theo Francken (N-VA), avait d’ailleurs récemment suggéré de ramener les migrants secourus en mer vers le pays du Maghreb pour ensuite les trier. Une idée similaire avait aussi été avancée dès 2016 par le dirigeant ultranationaliste hongrois Viktor Orban.

      Outre la création de ces « plateformes », Donald Tusk propose aux dirigeants de renforcer les moyens financiers consacrés à la lutte contre la migration illégale et d’offrir un soutien plus important aux garde-côtes libyens. Il souligne aussi la nécessité d’une coopération accrue avec des pays d’origine et de transit des migrants, pour éviter de connaître à nouveau un afflux comparable à celui de 2015.

      Les « plateformes de débarquement » seraient destinées aux migrants qui, malgré toutes ces mesures, tenteraient la traversée de la Méditerranée et seraient « secourus dans le cadre d’opérations de recherche et de sauvetage ».

      Les chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement se pencheront en détail sur les propositions de M. Tusk lors du sommet des 28 et 29 juin. Ils aborderont également l’épineuse question de la réforme du règlement de Dublin, pierre angulaire du régime d’asile européen.

      Après trois ans de palabres, les 28 Etats membres de l’UE ne sont en effet pas parvenus à s’accorder sur une réforme de ce texte, dont les failles ont été révélées lors de l’afflux massif et soudain de migrants dans l’Union en 2015.

      Ce règlement, qui détermine l’Etat membre responsable d’une demande d’asile dans l’UE, fait pour l’heure peser une pression démesurée sur les pays de « première entrée », en particulier l’Italie et la Grèce. Les chances qu’un compromis se dégage sur ce point lors du sommet semblent toutefois infimes, pour ne pas dire inexistantes.

      http://www.lalibre.be/actu/international/l-etonnante-proposition-de-donald-tusk-sur-les-refugies-5b29222e5532a296888d

      autre mot barbare : #potentiel_game-changer

    • L’axe commence à se mettre en place...

      Germany and Austria start joint police work to combat illegal migration

      The Austrian and German federal police and the Bavarian state police plan for the first time this Friday to work together in their border area to assess ways they can combat increasing illegal immigration and crime. The authorities will start by taking a closer look at rail traffic.

      https://www.thelocal.de/20180601/germany-and-austria-strengthen-borders-to-combat-risky-illegal-migration

    • Migranti, Conte: «In autunno vertice sulla Libia». E intanto a Innsbruck asse con Germania e Austria

      Il premier: «Invierò una lettera da spedire a Juncker e a Tusk». Intanto, intesa a tre per arginare i flussi migratori in modo da far arrivare in Europa solo chi fugge da una guerra.

      «Il merito dell’Italia è stato riuscire a ricondurre in un quadro unitario organico vari aspetti di un fenomeno complesso e avere compreso che il fenomeno della gestione dei flussi migratori non è emergenziale». Così il presidente del Consiglio Giuseppe Conte in conferenza stampa alla fine del vertice Nato. «Stiamo organizzando una conferenza in Italia sulla Libia in autunno per dar seguito a quella di Parigi», ha aggiunto il premier,«il processo di stabilizzazione non può riguardare solo l’Italia ma nemmeno soltanto Macron». Sulla Libia, ha spiegato invece Conte, «c’è tanto da fare, il Paese va affiancato» nel suo percorso di stabilizzazione che porti alle elezioni. Ma Conte ha avvertito che «se arriviamo troppo presto alle elezioni, si rischia di avere il caos totale. Bisogna prima creare le condizioni sociali ed economiche necessarie per reggere l’impatto di un sistema democratico».

      «Presto una lettera a Juncker e Tusk»

      Il presidente del Consiglio ha affermato poi di non aver parlato di Libia con Trump a Bruxelles: lo farà nel dettaglio nella sua prossima visita negli Usa. «Il problema», ha detto, «non è modificare il regolamento di Dublino» che è «asfittico come approccio, è assolutamente inadeguato. I principi delle Conclusioni Ue attestano che è superato». Conte ha parlato di una lettera da spedire a Juncker presidente della Commissione europea e a Tusk a capo del Consiglio europeo: «Nella mia lettera si chiederà che anche Sophia, anche questa missione internazionale sia adeguata alle conclusioni del Consiglio Ue. E così per le altre». «La mia lettera partirà molto presto, non so a che punto è Juncker ma appena rientrerò a Roma lavorerò a questo». «L’ultima notizia», ha poi detto, «è che la nave Diciotti si sta avviando in porto. Abbiamo dato indicazione di individuare le persone o i migranti che si sono resi responsabili di atti che contrastano con le nostre leggi».

      Il vertice a tre

      In mattinata, sul tema migranti era già stato protagonista Matteo Salvini, ministro dell’Interno. Un’intesa a tre, un «asse di volenterosi» guidato da Austria, Germania e Italia per arginare i flussi migratori. È ciò che è emerso dall’incontro trilaterale fra Salvini e gli omologhi tedeschi e austriaci, Horst Seehofer e Herbert Kickl a Innsbruck, che precede il vertice Ue. Si tratta di un’intesa per frenare le partenze di migranti e gli sbarchi, in modo da far giungere in Europa solo chi fugge da una guerra.

      Salvini: «Proposte italiane diventano proposte europee»

      «Le proposte italiane su migranti diventano proposte europee: contiamo che finalmente l’Europa torni a difendere i confini e il diritto e alla sicurezza dei 500 milioni di europei» ha detti Matteo Salvini. «Con i colleghi di Austria e Germania - ha spiegato al termine dell’incontro - abbiamo affrontato il grande problema degli arrivi: se si riducono questi si risolvono anche i problemi minori interni tra le nazioni e non ci sarà alcun problema alle frontiere». «Meno migranti, meno sbarchi e meno morti» ha poi aggiunto. «Chiederemo sostegno alle autorità libiche, dare a Tripoli il diritto ai rimpatri e la redistribuzione delle quote degli arrivi. Chiederemo alle missioni internazionali di non usare l’Italia come unico punto d’arrivo e il sostegno nelle operazioni di soccorso, protezione e riaccompagnamento di migliaia di clandestini nei luoghi di partenza. Credo quindi - ha detto poi Salvini - che questo nucleo di amicizia e di intervento serio concreto ed efficiente di Italia, Germania ed Austria, possa essere un nucleo che darà un impulso positivo a tutta Europa per riconoscere il diritto di asilo a quella minoranza di donne e bambini che fuggono dalle guerre ed evitare l’arrivo e la morte di decine di migliaia di persone che non scappano da nessuna guerra».

      «Proteggere le frontiere esterne all’Unione Europea»

      A fargli eco il ministro dell’Interno tedesco Seehofer:«I tre Paesi si sono messi d’accordo per controllare l’immigrazione. Vogliamo introdurre ordine nella politica migratoria ma garantire un approccio umanitario e proteggere effettivamente le frontiere esterne dell’Unione Europea». «Sarebbe importante - sottolinea poi il ministro - che l’intera Unione europea decidesse qualcosa. Noi possiamo avere delle iniziative, ma l’Unione europea deve avere un’opinione comune. Sono ottimista e qui abbiamo l’occasione di procedere in una direzione positiva». E il ministro dell’Interno austriaco Kickl sottolinea come «questo asse di volenterosi può prendere iniziative ma è l’intera Unione Europea che deve intervenire». «Le cose sono relativamente semplice - aggiunge - noi tre siamo d’accordo sul fatto che vogliamo mettere ordine» e «mandare il chiaro messaggio che in futuro non dovrebbe essere possibile calpestare il suolo europeo se non si ha il diritto alla protezione». Previsto un nuovo incontro a Vienna sempre fra i ministri dell’Interno di Italia Germania e Austria il prossimo 19 luglio.


      https://www.corriere.it/politica/18_luglio_12/migranti-asse-germania-austria-fermare-sbarchi-6ba33c18-859b-11e8-b570-8bf3

  • 5 Things That Sound, Move, or Smell Like a Nuclear Explosion - Facts So Romantic
    http://nautil.us/blog/-5-things-that-sound-move-or-smell-like-a-nuclear-explosion

    The Licorne (“Unicorn”) thermonuclear test; Fangataufa, French Polynesia; 1970Photograph courtesy of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization / FlickrAfter most of the world’s nations signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, in 1996, they set up a new commission to watch out for clandestine explosions. Since then the commission (CTBTO) has wired the world with hundreds of seismometers, infrasound detectors, radionuclide sniffers, and underwater microphones. The stations send their data to the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where it is analyzed for signs of a secret bomb. But the system keeps picking up other things, too—which is sometimes a problem for the system and sometimes a boon to science. Here are some of the things that can at first seem like nuclear (...)

  • The #Iran deal explained: what is it and why does Trump want to scrap it? | World news | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/08/iran-nuclear-deal-what-is-it-why-does-trump-want-to-scrap-it

    Au cas où on aurait oublié.

    What is the Iran nuclear deal?

    Iran and a six-nation negotiating group reached a landmark agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015. It ended 12 years of deadlock over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Struck in Vienna after nearly two years of intensive talks, the deal limited the Iranian programme to reassure the rest of the world that it would be unable to develop nuclear weapons, in return for sanctions relief.

    At its core, the JCPOA is a straightforward bargain. Iran’s acceptance of strict limits on its nuclear programme in return for an escape from the sanctions that grew up around its economy over a decade prior to the accord. Under the deal, Iran unplugged two-thirds of its centrifuges, shipped out 98% of its enriched uranium and filled its plutonium production reactor with concrete.
    Iran deal: Donald Trump says US will no longer abide by nuclear agreement – live
    Read more

    Tehran also accepted extensive monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has verified 10 times since the agreement, and as recently as February, that Tehran has complied with its terms. In return, all nuclear-related sanctions were lifted in January 2016, reconnecting Iran to global markets.
    Which countries are involved?

    The six major powers involved in the nuclear talks with Iran were in a group known as the P5+1: the UN security council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US – and Germany. The nuclear deal is also enshrined in a UN security council resolution that incorporated it into international law. The 15 members of the council at the time unanimously endorsed the agreement.

    #nucléaire

  • The Berlin Kremlin

    The Douglas S-47 described a spiral. Below, as far as the eye could see, extended a cemetery of ruins. We must be over Berlin. The prospect beneath resembled a relief map rather than a city. In the slanting rays of the sinking sun the burnt-out skeletons of the walls threw sharply cut shadows.

    During the fighting in the streets of Berlin it had not been possible to see all the immensity of the destruction. But now, from above, Berlin looked like some dead city, the excavations of some prehistoric Assyrian town. Neither human beings nor automobiles in the streets. Only endless burnt-out stone chests; gaping, empty window-holes.

    I had gained all my knowledge of Berlin from books. I had thought of it as a city in which the trains were more reliable in their punctuality than a clock, and all the human beings went like clockwork. I thought of Paris as a city of continual joy, of Vienna as one long carefree song; but I thought of Berlin as everlastingly grim, a city without smiles, and a city whose inhabitants had no knowledge of the art of living.

    I had first come to know Berlin in April 1945, at a season when the blood pulses faster through the veins, as the poets say. But it was not love that sent it coursing faster, but hate. And it flowed not only in the veins, but also over the roadways of the Berlin streets.

    Our first encounter reminded me rather of an American wild-west story. All means of killing one another were justified. A dead soldier lying in the street flew into the air at the least touch, thus taking revenge on the victors even in death. Individual soldiers were shot down with anti-tank guns intended for tank battles. And the Russian tanks stormed down the stairs into the underworld of the Berlin Underground and danced madly in the darkness, spurting fire in all directions. War till ’five minutes past twelve’.

    Now I was returning to Berlin for the purpose, in the language of official documents, of demilitarizing Germany in accordance with the agreement between the victorious powers.

    A major in the Army Medical Service stared through the round window at the picture of Berlin slowly flowing beneath us. His face was thoughtful, expressive of regret. He turned to me and remarked: “After all, these people didn’t have such a bad life. So you can’t help asking yourself what else they wanted.”

    The Alder airport. All round the edges of the flying field were Junkers with their tails up, like gigantic grasshoppers. Above the administration building rose a bare flagpole. In the control room the officer on duty, an air force captain, was answering three telephones at once and trying to reassure an artillery colonel whose wartime wife had got lost in the air between Moscow and Berlin.

    A lieutenant-colonel walked up to an air force lieutenant standing close by me - evidently the colonel had more faith in junior officers. Five paces earlier than necessary he saluted, and asked with an artificial, hopeful smile: “Comrade Lieutenant, could you be so kind as to tell me where the Bugrov household is to be found?” (At this time most of the troop formations were familiarly called ’households’, being distinguished by the name of the formation’s commander.) He spoke in a whisper, as though betraying a secret.

    The lieutenant stared in amazement at the lieutenant-colonel’s tabs, and was obviously unable to decide whether he was suffering from an acoustical or an optical illusion. Then he ran his eves blankly over the lieutenant-colonel, from head to foot. The senior officer was still more embarrassed and added in the tone of a help-less intellectual: “You see, we’ve got our orders, but we don’t know where it is they order us to.”

    The lieutenant gaped like a fish, then snapped his mouth shut. What was this ’lieutenant-colonel’, really? A diversionist?

    I, too, began to take an interest in the lieutenant-colonel. He was wearing a new uniform, new military boots and a rank-and-file waist-strap. Any real officer would rather have put on a looted German officer’s belt than a private’s strap. On his shoulders were brand-new green front-line tabs. Normally, real officers even at the front preferred to wear gold tabs, and since the end of the war it was rare to find a front-line officer wearing the front-line tabs. A pack hung over his back, and he was clearly not used to it.

    But officers generally aren’t fond of packs and get rid of them at the first opportunity. His belt was stranded well below his hips, a challenge to every sergeant in the Red Army. All his uniform hung on him like a saddle on a cow. At his side was an imposing, Nagant-type pistol in a canvas holster. No doubt about it, he’d come out to fight all right! But why did he use such a tone in speaking to a lieutenant? A real army lieutenant-colonel would strictly observe regulations and never speak to a lieutenant first; if he wanted him, he would beckon the junior officer across. And without any ’would you be so kind’!

    A little distance off there was a group of fellows looking equally comical, hung about with packs and trunks, and clinging to them as tightly as if they were on a Moscow railway station. I turned to the flying officer and asked, with a glance at the lieutenant-colonel and his companions: “What sort of fish are they?”

    The officer smiled, and answered: “Dismantlers. They’ve been so intimidated at home that they’re afraid to stir hand or foot now they’re here. They take their trunks around with them, even to the toilet. What are they afraid of, the dolts? Here in Germany nothing’s ever stolen, it’s simply taken. That’s what they themselves have come here for. They’re all dressed up as colonels and lieutenant-colonels, but they’ve never been in the army in their life. However, they’re pretty harmless. They’ll strip Germany of her last pair of pants. Those colleagues of theirs who have been here for some time have settled down so well that they’re not only sending home dismantled installations, but also even cows, by air. Not to mention gas-fires and pianos. I’m on the Moscow-Berlin route myself, so I know!”

    A furious roar from an automobile engine interrupted our talk. A little way off a small tourer automobile stood puffing out blue exhaust gas, and trembling all over. Red pennons were fluttering at the front mudguards. A thickset major was at the wheel, working the gear lever and pedals determinedly. His neck was crimson with the unaccustomed exertions. He was attempting to drive the car away, but each time he engaged either the fourth or the reverse gear. Unfortunate gears! Against human stupidity not even Krupp steel would be of avail! At last the poor victim started off and vanished in clouds of smoke and dust, just missing a concrete post at the gate.

    I turned to the flying officer again: “Who is that ass?”

    He was silent for a moment, as though the subject did not deserve an answer. Then he replied with the contempt that the men of the air always have for infantry: “Some riffraff from the commandatura. They’re introducing cleanliness and order here! Before the war that man was digging up potatoes in some collective farm. But he’s struck lucky, he’s a major, and he’s out to make up for all his past dog’s life. Strip him of his epaulettes and he’ll mind cows again.”

    After a while we managed to get through on the telephone to the staff of the Soviet Military Administration, and to order a car. In the evening twilight we drove to the S. M. A. headquarters.

    The staff of the Soviet Military Administration had taken up quarters in the buildings of the former pioneer school at Karlshorst, a suburb of Berlin. In this place, a month earlier, one of the most remarkable historical documents of our times had been signed. On 8 May 1945 the representatives of the Allied Supreme Command, Marshal Zhukov and Air-Marshal Tedder for the one part, and representatives of the German Supreme Command for the other part, had signed the document of the unconditional capitulation of the German armed forces on land, on sea, and in the air. The headquarters consisted of several three-storied buildings, rather like barracks, unequally distributed round a courtyard, and surrounded by a cast-iron raffing, in a typical quiet suburb of Eastern Berlin. From this place we were to re-educate Germany.

    The day after my arrival in Karlshorst I reported to the head of the S. M. A. Personnel Department, Colonel Utkin. In the colonel’s office I clicked my heels according to regulations, raised my hand to my cap, and reported: “Major Klimov, under orders from the Central Personnel Department of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, reports for duty. May I present my documents, Comrade Colonel?”

    “Hand over whatever you’ve got.” He stretched out his hand.

    I took out my documents and gave them to him. He opened the carefully sealed packet and began to glance through my numerous testimonials and questionnaires.

    “So you were in the Military-Diplomatic College too? We’ve already got some men from there,” he said half aloud. Then he asked: “Which course did you attend?”

    “I graduated with the State examination,” I replied.

    “Hm... hm... How did you do that so quickly?”

    “I was posted straight to the last course, Comrade Colonel.”

    “I see... ’Awarded the rank of repporteur in the diplomatic service,’” he read. “In that case we’ll have plenty of work for you. Where would you prefer to work?”

    “Wherever I can be of most service.”

    “How about the Juridical Department, for example? Issuing new laws for Germany. Or the Political Adviser’s Department? But that would be rather boring,” he added without waiting for my reply. “What would you say to the State Security Service?”

    To turn down such a complimentary suggestion outright would have been tantamount to admitting my own disloyalty, it would have been an act of suicide. Yet I did not find the idea of working in the secret police very attractive; I had passed the age of enthusiasm for detective novels. I attempted to sound the ground for an unostentatious retreat: “What would my work there consist of, Comrade Colonel?”

    “Fundamentally it’s the same as in the Soviet Union. You won’t be kicking your heels. Rather the reverse.”

    “Comrade Colonel, if you ask me my opinion, I think I’d be of most use in the industrial field. I was an engineer in civilian life.”

    “That’s useful too. We’ll soon see what we can find for you.”

    He picked up a telephone. “Comrade General? Pardon me for disturbing you.” He drew himself up in his chair as if he were in the general’s presence, and read the details of my personal documents over the phone. “You’d like to see him at once? Very good!” He turned to me. “Well, come along. I’ll introduce you to the supreme commander’s deputy for economic questions.”

    Thus, on the second day of my arrival in Karlshorst I went to General Shabalin’s office.

    An enormous carpeted room. Before the window was a desk the size of a football field! Forming a T with it was another, longer desk, covered with red cloth: the conference table, the invariable appurtenance of higher officials’ offices.

    Behind the desk were a grizzled head, a square, energetic face, and deeply sunken gray eyes. A typical energetic executive, but not an intellectual. General’s epaulettes, and only a few ribbons and decorations on his dark-green tunic; but on the right hand breast was a red and gold badge in the shape of a small banner: ’member of the C. C. of the C. P. S. U.’ So he was not a front-line general, but an old party official.

    The general leisuredly studied my documents, rubbing his nose occasionally, and puffing at his cigarette as if I was not there.

    “Well... Arc you reliable?” he asked unexpectedly, pushing his spectacles up on to his forehead in order to see me better. “As Caesar’s wife,” I replied.

    “Talk Russian! I don’t like riddles.” He drew the spectacles back on to his nose and made a further examination of my documents.

    “Then why haven’t you joined the Party?” he asked without raising his eyes.

    ’So the badge is talking now!’ I thought. “I don’t feel that I’m quite ready for it yet, Comrade General,” was my reply.

    “The old excuse of the intelligentsia! And when will you feel that you’re ready?”

    I answered in the customary Party jargon: “I’m a non-party bolshevik, Comrade General.” In ticklish cases it is always wise to fall back on one of Stalin’s winged words. Such formulae are not open to discussion; they stop all further questions. “Have you any idea of your future work?”

    “I know it will be concerned with industry. Comrade General.” "Here knowledge of the industrial sphere is not sufficient in itself. Have you permission to work on secret matters?"

    “All the graduates of our college receive permission automatic-ally.”

    “Where was it issued to you?”

    “In the State Personnel Department (G. U. K.) of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, and in the Foreign Department of the C. P. S. U. Central Committee.”

    This reply made an impression on him. He compared the documents, asked about my previous work in industry, and my service in the army. Evidently satisfied with the result, he said: “You’ll be working with me in the Control Commission. It’s excellent that you know languages. My technical experts are duffers at languages, and my interpreters are duffers at technical matters. Have you ever worked abroad before?”

    “No.”

    “You must understand now, once for all, that all your future coworkers in the Control Commission are agents of the capitalist espionage. So you must have no personal acquaintance with them whatever, and no private conversations. I take it you know that already, but I may as well remind you of it. Talk as little as you can. But listen all the more. If anyone talks too much, we cut out his tongue by the roots. All our walls have ears. Bear that in mind. It is quite possible that attempts will be made to enlist you in a foreign secret service. What will you do in that case?”

    “I shall agree, but making my terms as stiff as possible, and establishing really practical conditions for the work.”

    “Good, and then?”

    “Then I report the matter to my superior authorities. In this instance, to you.”

    “Do you play cards?”

    “No.”

    “Do you drink?”

    “Within the permitted limits.”

    “Hm, that’s an elastic conception. And what about women?”

    “I’m a bachelor.”

    He took a deep draw at his cigarette, and blew out the smoke thoughtfully. “It’s a pity you’re not married, major.”

    I knew what he meant better than he thought. The college had a strict law that bachelors were never sent to work abroad. This, however, did not apply to the occupied countries. It was quite common for an officer to be summoned in the middle of the school year to the head of the college, to be notified that he had been assigned to a post abroad, and at the same time to be told to find a wife. It was so common that men who anticipated being sent abroad looked about them betimes for a suitable partner and... hostage.

    “One thing more. Major,” he said in conclusion. “Be on your guard with those people on the Control Commission. Here in Berlin you’re in the most advanced line of the post-war front. Now go and make the acquaintance of my chief adjutant.”

    I went into the outer office, where a man in major’s uniform was sitting. By my look the adjutant realized that the interview had had a favorable outcome, and he held out his hand as he introduced him-self: “Major Kuznetsov”. After a brief talk I asked him about the kind of work that was done in the general’s department.

    “My work consists of sitting in this seat until three in the morning as adjutant to the general. As for your work... you’ll soon see for yourself,” he answered with a smile I did see, quite quickly. And I was reminded of the general’s advice to be careful in my contacts with the Allies. A morning or two later the door of the general’s room flew open violently and a brisk little man in major’s uniform shot out.

    “Comrade Klimov? The general wishes to see you for a moment.” I did not know who this major was, but I followed him into the general’s office. Shabalin took a file of documents from him and handed it to me: “Examine those papers. Take a typist who has permission to handle secret matters and dictate to her the contents of the material you will find in them. The work must be done in the Secret Department. You may not throw anything away, but hand it all back to me, together with your report, as soon as you’ve finished.”

    As I went past the adjutant sitting in the outer room I asked him: “Who is that major?”

    “Major Filin. He works in the Tagliche Rundschau,” he answered.

    I shut myself into the Secret Department room and began to study the contents of the file. Some of the documents were in English, others in German. There were lots of tables, columns of figures. At the top was a sheet of paper stamped ’Secret’ in red in one corner. An anonymous rapporteur stated:

    ’The intelligence service has established the following details of the abduction of two workers in the Reich Institute for Economic Statistics, Professor D. and Dr. N., by agents of the American intelligence service. The Americans sent agents to call on the above-named German economists, and to demand that they should make certain statements to the American authorities.

    The two Germans, who live in the Soviet sector of Berlin, both refused. They were forcibly abducted, and returned home only several days later. On their return Professor D. and Dr. N. were examined by our intelligence service and made the following statement: “During the night of July - we were forcibly abducted by officers of the American espionage and taken by plane to the American economic espionage headquarters in Wiesbaden. There we were examined for three days by officers of the espionage service... The data in which the American officials were interested are cited in the appendix.”

    The appendix consisted of further statistics taken from the Reich Institute for Economic Statistics. This material had obviously been duplicated and run off in many copies, and it contained no profound secrets. Evidently it had been issued before the capitulation, to serve internal German requirements. Despite their ’forcible abduction’ the two Germans thoughtfully abstracted the material from the Institute archives and had given one copy to the Americans. Then with the same forethought they had given another to the Russians. The documents in English were more interesting. Or rather, it was not the documents that were so interesting, but the very fact of their existence.

    They were copies of the American reports on the examination of the German professors made in Wiesbaden, together with copies of the same Institute material, only now in English. Clearly our intelligence service did not entirely trust the Germans’ statements, and had followed the usual procedure of counter-check. The American documents had no official stamps, nor serial numbers, nor addresses. They had come from the American files, but not through official channels. So it was clear that our intelligence service had an invisible hand inside the American headquarters of economic intelligence. Evidently Major Filin was used to working with unusual accuracy, and the Tagliche Rundschau was engaged in a decidedly queer line of journalism.

    A few days later a bulky packet addressed to General Shabalin arrived from the American headquarters in Berlin-ZehIendorf. The Control Commission was not yet functioning properly, and the Allies were only now beginning to make contact with one another. In a covering letter the Americans courteously informed us that as the terms of establishment of the Control Commission provided for the exchange of economic information they wished to bring certain material relating to German economic affairs to Soviet notice.

    Enclosed I found the same statistical tables that Major Filin had already supplied by resort to ’forcible abduction’. This time the material was furnished with all the requisite seals, stamps, addresses, and even a list of recipients. It was much more complete than the file Filin had provided. It was interesting to note that whereas we would stamp such material ’secret’ the Americans obviously did not regard it as in the least secret, and readily shared their information with the Soviet member of the Commission.

    I went to the general, and showed him the covering letter with the sender’s address: ’Economic Intelligence Division’. He looked through the familiar material, scratched himself thoughtfully behind the ear with his pencil, and remarked: “Are they trying to force their friend-ship on us? It certainly is the same material.” Then he muttered through his teeth: “It’s obviously a trick. Anyhow, they’re all spies.”

    The Administration for Economy of the Soviet Military Administration was established in the former German hospital of St. Antonius. The hospital had been built to conform to the latest technical requirements; it stood in the green of a small park, shielded from inquisitive eyes and the roar of traffic. The park gave the impression of being uncultivated; last year’s leaves rustled underfoot; opposite the entrance to the building the boughs of crab-apple trees were loaded to the ground with fruit.

    The main building of the administration accommodated the Departments for Industry, for Commerce and Supplies, for Economic Planning, Agriculture, Transport, and Scientific and Technical. The Department for Reparations, headed by General Zorin, and the Administrative Department under General Demidov were in two adjacent buildings. The Reparations Department, the largest of all those in the administration, enjoyed a degree of autonomy, and maintained direct relations with Moscow over Shabalin’s head. General Zorin had held a high economic post in Moscow before the war.

    The Administration for Economy of the Soviet Military Administration was really the Ministry for Economics of the Soviet zone, the supreme organ controlling all the economic life in the zone. At the moment it was chiefly concerned with the economic ’assimilation’ of Germany. In those days it was by no means clear that its real function was to turn Germany’s economy, the most highly developed economy in Europe, completely upside down.

    When I arrived in Karishorst General Shabalin’s personal staff consisted of two: the adjutant, Major Kuznetsov, and the head of the private chancellery, Vinogradov. The plans made provision for a staff of close on fifty persons.

    According to those plans I was to be the expert on economic questions. But as the staff was only now beginning to develop, I had quite other tasks to perform. I accompanied the general on all his journeys as his adjutant, while the official adjutant, Kuznetsov, remained in the office as his deputy, since he had worked for many years with the general and was well acquainted with his duties. Kuznetsov was very dissatisfied at this arrangement, and grumbled: “You go traveling around with the general and drinking schnapps, and I stay at home and do all your work!” Many of the departmental heads preferred to deal with Kuznetsov, and waited for the general to go out. The major’s signature was sufficient to enable a draft order to be put through to Marshal Zhukov for ratification.

    I once asked Kuznetsov what sort of fellow Vinogradov really was. He answered curtly: “a ?.U. official.” "What do you mean?" I queried. “He’s a ?.U. official, that’s all.” I soon realized what he meant. To start with, Vinogradov was a civilian. He had a habit of running up and down the corridors as though he hadn’t a moment to lose, brandishing documents as he went. One day I caught a glimpse of one of these documents, and saw that it was a list of people who were assigned a special civilian outfit for their work in the Control Commission. Vinogradov’s own name headed the list, though he had nothing whatever to do with the Control Commission.

    Outwardly he was not a man, but a volcano. But on closer acquaintance one realized that all his exuberant activity was concerned with pieces of cloth, food rations, drink, apartments, and such things. In distributing all these benefits he was governed by the law of compensation, what he could extract from those on whom he bestowed them. He kept the personnel files, occupied himself with Party and administrative work, and stuck his nose in every-body’s business. There was only one thing he was afraid of, and that was hard work.

    Once I saw his personal documents. Kuznetsov was right; he was nothing but a ?. U. official. He had spent all his life organizing: labor brigades, working gangs, enthusiasm, Stakhanovism. He had had no education, but he had an excess of energy, impudence, and conceit. Such people play no small part in the Soviet state machinery, functioning as a kind of grease to the clumsy works, organizing the song and dance round such fictitious conceptions as trade unions, shock labor, socialist competition, and enthusiasm.

    Soon after my arrival a Captain Bystrov was inducted as head of the Secret Department. He spent the first few nights after his appointment sleeping on the table in the Secret Department room, using his greatcoat as a blanket. Later we learnt the reason for this extraordinary behavior. There was no safe in the Secret Department and, in order to foil the plans of the international spies, General Shabalin ordered the captain to make a pillow of the secret documents entrusted to him. Captain Bystrov treated Vinogradov with undisguised contempt, though the latter held the higher position. One evening Bystrov met me in the street and proposed:

    “Let’s go and drop in on Vinogradov.”

    “What on earth for?” I asked in astonishment.

    “Come along! You’ll laugh your head off! Haven’t you ever run across him at night?”

    “No.”

    “He prowls around Karlshorst like a jackal all night, looking for loot in the empty houses. Yesterday I met him just as dawn was coming: he was dragging some rags across the yard to his apartment. His place is just like a museum.”

    I didn’t want to give offense to my new colleague, so I went with him. Vinogradov opened the door half an inch and asked:

    “Well, what do you expect to see here this time?”

    “Open the door,” Bystrov said, pushing at it. “Show us some of the treasures you’ve collected,”

    “Go to the devil!” Vinogradov protested. “I was just off to bed.”

    “Going to bed? I don’t believe it! You haven’t ransacked all Karlshorst yet, surely?”

    At last Vinogradov let us in. As Bystrov had said, his apartment was a remarkable sight, more a warehouse than a living-place. It contained enough furniture for at least three apartments. The captain looked about him for things he hadn’t seen on previous occasions. A buffet attracted his notice. “What’s that?” He asked. "Open it up!”

    “It’s empty.”

    “Open it, or I will!” Bystrov raised his boot to kick in the polished; doors.

    Vinogradov knew that the captain would not hesitate to do as he had said. He reluctantly took out a key. The buffet was full of crockery. Crockery of all kinds, obviously taken from abandoned German houses.

    “Would you like me to smash the lot?” the captain asked. “You can always lodge a complaint. Shall I?”

    “You’re mad! Valuable articles like them, and you talk about smashing them!” Vinogradov protested.

    I looked round the room. This man talked more than anybody else did about culture, our regard for the human being, our exalted tasks. And yet he was nothing but a looter, with all his thought and activity concentrated on personal enrichment. Bystrov thrust his hand into an open chest and took out several packages in blue paper wrappings. He tore one of them open, and roared with laughter. I, too, could not help laughing.

    “What are you going to use these for?” He thrust a bundle of ladies’ sanitary towels under Vinogradov’s nose. “For emergencies?”

    Only after much persuasion did I succeed in getting him to leave Vinogradov’s apartment.

    During the early days of my stay in Karlshorst I had not time to look about me. But as the weeks passed I learned more and more about our relations with the rest of Berlin. For security reasons Karlshorst lived in a state of semi-siege. The whole district was ringed with guard posts. All street traffic was forbidden after 9 p. m., even for the military. The password was issued only in cases of strict necessity, and it was changed every evening. I frequently had to be out with General Shabalin on service affairs until two or three in the morning. As we went home, at every fifty yards an invisible sentry called through the darkness: “Halt! The password!”

    The general lived in a small one-family house opposite the staff headquarters; most of the S. M. A. generals lived in the vicinity. The guards posted here were still stronger, and special passes were required.

    Later, as we grew more familiar with conditions in Karlshorst, we often laughed at the blend of incredible strictness and vigilance and equally incredible negligence and indolence, which characterized the place. The front of the S. M. A. staff headquarters, where Marshal Zhukov’s private office was situated, was guarded in full accordance with regulations. But behind the building there was sandy wasteland with dense forest, quite close up, beyond it. But here no guard was posted at all. Anybody acquainted with conditions in Karlshorst could have brought a whole enemy division right up to the marshal’s back door, without giving one password or showing one pass.

    Major Kuznetsov and Shabalin’s chauffeur, Misha, had their quarters in a small house next to the general’s. The general had a sergeant, Nikolai, an invariably morose fellow, in his house to act as batman, though batmen are not recognized in the Soviet army. There was also a maidservant, Dusia, a girl twenty-three years old, who had been brought from Russia by the Germans for forced labor.

    I asked her once how she had got on under the Germans. She answered with unusual reserve: “Bad, of course, Comrade Major.” Her words conveyed something that she left unexpressed. Without doubt, like all the Russians waiting for repatriation, she was glad of our victory; but there was something that took the edge off her joy for her.

    From time to time groups of young lads under armed escort marched through Karlshorst. They wore Soviet military uniforms, dyed black. These lads were former forced laborers brought from the east, which we had organized into labor battalions to do reconstruction work. They looked pretty miserable. They knew that they could not expect anything pleasant on their return to the Soviet Union.

    Apart from the buildings on Treskow-Allee, and certain other; large buildings occupied by various offices of the S. M. A., the Karlshorst district consisted mainly of small one-family residences, standing amid gardens and trees, behind fences. The German middle class had occupied most of them. They were plain and tasteless outside, built of smooth concrete blocks and surmounted by red tiles. But the internal arrangements, all the domestic fitments and equipment, greatly surpassed anything Soviet people were accustomed to.

    The doors often showed traces of bayonets and rifle-butts, but the handles were not loose, the hinges did not squeak, the locks were effective. Even the stairs and the railings shone with fresh paint, as if they had been newly decorated for our arrival. No wonder we were struck by their apparent newness. In the Soviet Union many of the houses haven’t been redecorated since 1917.

    During my first few days in Karlshorst I was accommodated in the guesthouse for newly arrived S. M. A. officials. But after I had settled down and familiarized myself with conditions, I simply took over empty house standing surrounded with trees and flowering shrubs. Everything was just as its former inhabitants had left it. Evidently Vinogradov hadn’t been there yet. I made this house my private residence.

    Sommaire https://seenthis.net/messages/683905
    #anticommunisme #histoire #Berlin #occupation #guerre_froide

  • Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia: Top three stunning admissions from the top U.S. general in the Middle East

    Assad has won, Iran deal should stand and Saudis use American weapons without accountability in Yemen: head of U.S. military’s Central Command’s stunning Congressional testimony

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/top-three-stunning-admissions-from-the-top-u-s-general-in-the-region-1.5910

    Haaretz and Reuters Mar 16, 2018

    The top U.S. general in the Middle East testified before Congress on Tuesday and dropped several bombshells: from signaled support for the Iran nuclear deal, admitting the U.S. does not know what Saudi Arabia does with its bombs in Yemen and that Assad has won the Syrian Civil War.
    U.S. Army General Joseph Votel said the Iran agreement, which President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from, has played an important role in addressing Iran’s nuclear program.
    “The JCPOA addresses one of the principle threats that we deal with from Iran, so if the JCPOA goes away, then we will have to have another way to deal with their nuclear weapons program,” said U.S. Army General Joseph Votel. JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is the formal name of the accord reached with Iran in July 2015 in Vienna.
    Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the accord between Tehran and six world powers unless Congress and European allies help “fix” it with a follow-up pact. Trump does not like the deal’s limited duration, among other things.
    Votel is head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, which is responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia, including Iran. He was speaking to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the same day that Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after a series of public rifts over policy, including Iran.
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    Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a skeptical Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran.
    “There would be some concern (in the region), I think, about how we intended to address that particular threat if it was not being addressed through the JCPOA. ... Right now, I think it is in our interest” to stay in the deal, Votel said.

    When a lawmaker asked whether he agreed with Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford’s position on the deal,Votel said: “Yes, I share their position.”
    Mattis said late last year that the United States should consider staying in the Iran nuclear deal unless it was proven Tehran was not complying or that the agreement was not in the U.S. national interest.
    A collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would be a “great loss,” the United Nations atomic watchdog’s chief warned Trump recently, giving a wide-ranging defense of the accord.
    Iran has stayed within the deal’s restrictions since Trump took office but has fired diplomatic warning shots at Washington in recent weeks. It said on Monday that it could rapidly enrich uranium to a higher degree of purity if the deal collapsed.
    Syria
    Votel also discussed the situation in Syria at the hearing.
    During the Syrian army’s offensive in eastern Ghouta, more than 1,100 civilians have died. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russia and Iran, say they are targeting “terrorist” groups shelling the capital.
    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Monday that Washington “remains prepared to act if we must,” if the U.N. Security Council failed to act on Syria.
    Votel said the best way to deter Russia, which backs Assad, was through political and diplomatic channels.
    “Certainly if there are other things that are considered, you know, we will do what we are told. ... (But) I don’t recommend that at this particular point,” Votel said, in an apparent to reference to military options.
    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked whether it was too strong to say that with Russia and Iran’s help, Assad had “won” the civil war in Syria.
    “I do not think that is too strong of a statement,” Votel said.
    Graham also asked if the United States’ policy on Syria was still to seek the removal of Assad from power.
    “I don’t know that that’s our particular policy at this particular point. Our focus remains on the defeat of ISIS,” Votel said, using an acronym for Islamic State. 
    Saudi Arabia
    In a stunning exchange with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, Votel admitted that Centcom doesn’t know when U.S. fuel and munitions are used in Yemen. 
    “General Votel, does CENTCOM track the purpose of the missions it is refueling? In other words, where a U.S.-refueled aircraft is going, what targets it strikes, and the result of the mission?” Warren asked.
    “Senator, we do not,” Votel replied.
    The Senator followed up, citing reports that U.S. munitions have been used against civilians in Yemen, she asked, “General Votel, when you receive reports like this from credible media organizations or outside observers, is CENTCOM able to tell if U.S. fuel or U.S. munitions were used in that strike?”
    “No, senator, I don’t believe we are,” he replied.
    Showing surprise at the general’s response, Warren concluded, “We need to be clear about this: Saudi Arabia’s the one receiving American weapons and American support. And that means we bear some responsibility here. And that means we need to hold our partners and our allies accountable for how those resources are used,” she said.

  • Iran’s Zarif forced to ask German military for help to refuel his official jet - The National
    https://www.thenational.ae/world/iran-s-zarif-forced-to-ask-german-military-for-help-to-refuel-his-offici

    Munich airport authorities told Mr Zarif’s department he could either fly in with a sufficient reserve of fuel for his trip to Munich, in the southern state of Bavaria, or fly to the nearby Austrian capital of Vienna, where the suppliers did not take the same precautionary view.

    Suddeutsche Zeitung said Mr Zarif had planned to travel to Moscow after leaving the security conference

    Iranian officials rejected the choices and instead requested the conference organiser, Wolfgang Ischinger, who was previously Germany’s ambassador to the US, lobby the German government to assist their plans. Germany’s defence ministry agreed to take over the refuelling a day before Mr Zarif’s arrival.

    In a robust address to the conference, Mr McMaster decried the European rush to invest in Iran following the 2015 accord that eased sanctions over its nuclear programme.

    “Now is also the time to address serious flaws in the Iran deal and counter Iran’s destabilising activities, including its development and proliferation of missiles—and its support for terrorist proxies and militias that fuel destructive conflicts across the greater Middle East,” the US national security adviser said. “The Iranian regime foments this violence with support from commercial entities affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC—including Mahan Air, which lands right here in Munich Airport.”

    In addition to citing Mahan Air, a subsidiary of the state airline, Mr McMaster went on to say that corporations dealing with Iran “might as well cut the IRGC a cheque” to fund its killing activities in the Middle East.

    #Europe #comparses #Etats-Unis

  • Marin Alsop appointed first female artistic director of top Vienna orchestra | Music | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/29/exclusive-marin-alsop-appointed-first-female-artistic-director-of-orf-o

    Alsop, one of the world’s leading conductors, and the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, said she was honoured to be assuming the post in Vienna, which she called “the seat of classical music”.

    #musique #vienne #cheffe_d_orchestre
    Acknowledging how groundbreaking the appointment was for the classical music capital of the world, which has often been shockingly slow to welcome female musicians, let alone promote them to leadership roles, Alsop said she welcomed the chance to “push the envelope” for women in music. But she said she hoped the time would soon come when being “the first woman” would no longer be news.