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Di seguito tutti gli interventi pubblicati sul sito, in ordine cronologico.
By Admin (from 13/12/2010 @ 15:15:17, in en - Global Observatory, read 3687 times)
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: US keeps Uzbekistan president onside to protect supply line

"The post-Soviet state of Uzbekistan is a nightmarish world of 'rampant corruption', organised crime, forced labour in the cotton fields, and torture, according to the leaked cables.

But the secret dispatches released by WikiLeaks reveal that the US tries to keep President Islam Karimov sweet because he allows a crucial US military supply line to run into Afghanistan, known as the northern distribution network (NDN)."
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Der Spiegel: 'Bridges to Nowhere': America's Unsavory Friends in Central Asia

"The US is anxious to broaden its influence in Central Asia -- and limit that of Russia. The result, however, are questionable alliances with some of the strangest despots in the world.

The secret country assessment from the US Embassy in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe, prepared for General David Petraeus on Aug. 7, 2009 ahead of his visit later that month, described a country on the brink of ruin. Tajikistan, a country of 7.3 million people on the northern border of Afghanistan, is a dictatorship ruled by Emomali Rakhmon, a former collective farm boss and notorious drunkard. "Parliament acts as a rubber stamp, barely discussing important legislation such as the national budget," the dispatch noted.

Some of the state's revenues were from criminal sources: "Tajikistan is a major transit corridor for Southwest Asian heroin to Russia and Europe." The country had "chronic problems with Uzbekistan," its neighbor, and the impoverished former Soviet republic faced the prospect of civil war fomented by Islamists in the east of the country."
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Le Monde: Le Pérou face à ses démons : le terrorisme et la corruption (Peru faces its demons: terrorism and corruption)

"A en croire des télégrammes diplomatiques américains obtenus par WikiLeaks et révélés par Le Monde, le Pérou n'arrive pas à conjurer ses vieux démons, le terrorisme et la corruption. La menace représentée par la guérilla maoïste du Sentier lumineux (SL) "a été contenue mais pas éliminée, et elle pourrait s'épanouir à nouveau", estime une note confidentielle de novembre 2009.

Pendant les années 1980 et 1990, le conflit armé interne provoqué par le SL avait fait 70 000 morts. Le principal dirigeant maoïste, Abimael Guzman, est emprisonné depuis 1992. En dépit de bons résultats macro-économiques, les causes sous-jacentes – la pauvreté, la corruption et les inégalités – n'ont pas disparu, reconnaissent les diplomates américains."
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El País: La retirada de Kosovo desató una crisis entre España y EE UU (The withdrawal from Kosovo sparked a crisis between Spain and the U.S.)

"Cuando las relaciones entre España y Estados Unidos parecían recuperadas tras la llegada de Obama a la Casa Blanca, una intempestiva retirada militar, esta vez de Kosovo, provocó la mayor crisis que han vivido los dos países en mucho tiempo. Los primeros resquemores comenzaron cuando Madrid se negó a reconocer la independencia de este territorio, bajo control de la comunidad internacional desde los bombardeos de la OTAN de 1999. Washington no aprobaba pero comprendía la posición española: la independencia en Europa de un territorio por motivos étnicos es un precedente preocupante. Pero, cuando la ministra Carme Chacón anunció el 19 de marzo 2009 la retirada de las tropas españolas sin haber consultado con los aliados, de resquemor se pasó a la crisis. Aunque en público se mantuvieron las formas, los despachos del Departamento de Estado muestran que la procesión iba por dentro: el vicepresidente Joseph Biden reprendió la retirada en su primer encuentro con el presidente Zapatero mientras que Hillary Clinton no dudó en hablar de "irritación" ante el ex ministro Moratinos."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: MI5 offered files on Finucane killing to inquiry

"MI5 has said that it is prepared to hand over sensitive files on one of the most high-profile murders during the Northern Ireland Troubles carried out by loyalist gunmen working with members of the British security forces.

The offer in the case of the Pat Finucane, the well-known civil rights and defence lawyer murdered in front of his wife and three young children in 1989, is contained in confidential US embassy cables passed to WikiLeaks.

Supporters of Finucane welcomed the revelation of the offer as "highly significant" and believe it could pave the way for a fresh inquiry into the killing that would be acceptable to the family."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: IRA used Irish boom to turn 'respectable'

"The IRA used the Celtic Tiger economic boom in the Irish Republic to diversify into "more sophisticated business enterprises" by buying up properties in London, Dublin and Spanish resorts, according to leaked US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

A senior Irish police officer told the American embassy in Dublin that the IRA used the booming Irish economy to move on from 1970s-style racketeering as it turned to "apparently respectable businessmen" to raise funds.

The cables also show that the growth of the Celtic Tiger was so admired in Washington that the US treasury secretary travelled to Dublin in 2004 to discover the "secrets" of Ireland's success.

The IRA's changing business practices are revealed in a cable by Jonathan Benton, the then deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Dublin, which reported on meetings with senior Irish police officers and senior officials from the department of justice."
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Der Spiegel: 'Boys and Their Toys' The US Befriends Azerbaijan's Corrupt Elite

"Azerbaijan is rife with corruption and comparisons to European feudalism in the Middle Ages are hardly a stretch. But with vast reserves of oil and natural gas at stake, the US is willing to risk the embarrassment that comes with courting the country.[...]

Azerbaijan, which lies in the Caspian basin and has a population of 9 million, is one of the US's strategic energy partners, despite being located within Russia's sphere of influence. The country boasts proven energy reserves of roughly 7 billion barrels of oil and 1.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Millions of barrels of these natural resources flow to the West each year via a pipeline connecting the Azerbaijani capital with Ceyhan, a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea.[...]

The American documents leave no doubt that the diplomats know exactly who they are courting. Cables bear titles like 'Who owns what?' in which they provide portraits of the country's most powerful families. 'Observers in Baku often note that today's Azerbaijan is run in a manner similar to the feudalism found in Europe during the Middle Ages,' one such cable reads. 'A handful of well-connected families control certain geographic areas, as well as certain sectors of the economy.'"
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El País: Perú pide ayuda a EE UU ante el rebrote de Sendero Luminoso (Peru asks for US help, facing the resurgence of the Shining Path)

"Estados Unidos prestará asistencia militar a Perú para acabar con el terrorismo de Sendero Luminoso, que causó buena parte de los más de 69.000 muertos registrados en las décadas de los ochenta y noventa, según muestran los cables del Departamento de Estado. Esa guerrilla colocó al Estado contra las cuerdas, y ha resurgido en el Alto Huallaga y Valles del Apurímac y Ene, donde cobra peaje al narcotráfico y adoctrina a los empobrecidos habitantes de esas regiones andinas.

El salvajismo de la milicia maoísta fue tan intenso, y los nuevos ataques, tan alarmantes, que la Embajada norteamericana ha pedido a Washington más colaboración con el Ejército peruano y un programa contra las minas detonadas por Sendero Luminoso en las rutas transitadas por el Ejército, según un cable del pasado año. La prioridad del Gobierno es liquidar a Sendero en el Apurímac y para ello firmó un contrato de nueve millones de dólares con un especialista israelí, según otro despacho."
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Le Monde: Washington s'inquiète d’un possible programme nucléaire birman (Washington worried about a possible nuclear programme in Burma)

"Depuis 2002, les diplomates américains en poste à Rangoun reçoivent des indications sur la construction possible d'une installation nucléaire près de Minbu, dans la division de Magway, sur le fleuve Irawaddy. Plusieurs télégrammes diplomatiques, obtenus par WikiLeaks et consultés par Le Monde, font état de témoignages dans ce sens, émanant tantôt d'un homme d'affaires expatrié, tantôt d'un collaborateur birman ayant recueilli les confidences d'un proche.

Il a d'abord été question d'une coopération russe, puis, plus récemment, de la présence de "300 Nord-Coréens" pour participer à cette tâche. Chaque fois, l'ambassade prend les plus grandes précautions en rapportant ces témoignages, précisant qu'elle n'est pas en mesure de les confirmer de manière indépendante, ou que le chiffre de 300 lui paraît excessif."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables paint bleak picture of Tajikistan, central Asia's poorest state

"Tajikistan is losing the battle against the flow of drugs from neighbouring Afghanistan and is characterised by "cronyism and corruption" emanating from the president downwards.

A series of leaked US diplomatic dispatches released by WikiLeaks paint a bleak picture of Central Asia's poorest state. They note that it suffers from 'earthquakes, floods, droughts, locusts and extreme weather' and is situated next to 'obstructive Uzbekistan', 'unstable Afghanistan' and the 'rough, remote' Pamir mountains next to western China.

But Tajikistan's worst obstacle is the country's venal president Emomali Rahmon, diplomats say. A secret cable dated 16 February 2010, from the US embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan's capital, describes how Rahmon runs the ex-Soviet republic's economy for his own personal profit: 'From the president down to the policeman on the street, government is characterized by cronyism and corruption.'"
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Le Monde: WikiLeaks: dictatures et mafias d'Asie centrale (Dictatorships and mafias in Central Asia)

"L'Asie centrale: ses ressources naturelles, ses régimes autoritaires, ses aéroports essentiels pour le transit vers l'Afghanistan. Pas évident, pour les Etats-Unis – après étude par Le Monde des télégrammes diplomatiques américains obtenus par WikiLeaks – de défendre ses intérêts nationaux dans cette zone sensible, arrière-cour traditionnelle de la Russie."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables name UK banker as middleman in Kazakh corruption ring

"A British tycoon is identified by US diplomats as the man at the centre of one of America's worst recent corruption scandals, in which large bribes were allegedly handed over in the ex-Soviet state of Kazakhstan.

Robert Kissin, a UK banker and commodity trader, is alleged to be the key middleman who handled a $4m (£2.5m) secret payment.

According to leaked US diplomatic dispatches released by WikiLeaks, the cash was moved through a Barclays bank account set up in London on behalf of an offshore shell company registered in the Isle of Man, where true ownerships are easier to conceal.

The money was designed to help Texas oil services company Baker Hughes make corrupt payments to Kazakh state oil chiefs in return for a lucrative $219m contract, according to the company's subsequent admissions."
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By Admin (from 13/12/2010 @ 12:00:10, in ro - Stiinta si Societate, read 1934 times)

 Progresele extraordinare inregistrate, in ultima suta de ani, in domeniul inventicii, au permis producerea unor materiale cu proprietati deosebite. In anii 30, a aparut bachelita, peste jumatate de secol a venit rândul fibrei de carbon, pentru ca in anii 90 sa fie inventat siliconul. Acum, savantii vorbesc despre un material, numit aerogel, care, opineaza ei, va revolutiona evolutia multor domenii ale civilizatiei umane.

Primul care a incercat sa creeze acest material-minune a fost chimistul american Steven Kistler. In 1931, el a facut un amuzant pariu cu un coleg, sustinând ca poate inlocui lichidul dintr-un recipient de jeleu cu gaz, fara ca recipientul sa se micsoreze. Kistler a câstigat pariul, inventând un precursor al actualului Aerogel dar, pentru ca producerea acestui material era prea scumpa, nimeni nu s-a aratat interesat de idee.

In anul 2000, cercetatorii americani care lucrau in cadrul NASA si-au amintit insa de nazbâtia lui Kistler, pentru ca aveau nevoie de un material foarte usor si in acelasi timp foarte rezistent la temperaturi scazute. Extragând componenta lichida dintr-un gel, prin uscare rapida, ei au reusit sa nu avarieze matricea solida, asa cum s-ar fi intâmplat in mod normal, prin evaporare conventionala.

Un material cu o mie de utilizari

 Primele aerogeluri au fost produse din geluri de siliciu, dar ulterior s-au realizat si altele, pe baza de carbon, aluminiu si crom. In ciuda numelui, aerogelurile sunt materiale uscate, care nu seamana deloc cu gelul clasic, fiind insa, fiabile, foarte elastice si extrem de rezistente la socuri si variatii mari de temperatura. „Aerogelurile sunt izolatori termici remarcabili, pentru ca ele aproape anuleaza cele trei cai de transfer ale caldurii, convectia, conductia si radiatia, spune Peter Tsou, de la Jet Propulsion Laboratory, din cadrul NASA. Desi este, la origine, hidrofilic, gratie unui tratament chimic special, aerogelul poate deveni hidrofobic. Totodata, el se topeste doar la 1200 grade, are o conductibilitate apropiata de 0 si este considerat drept cel mai putin dens material solid.

Cât despre utilizarile produsului, acestea sunt nenumarate. Practic, nu este domeniu in care, sunt de parere specialistii, aerogelul sa nu poata fi folosit. Fiindca absoarbe complet radiatiile infrarosii, el va permite construirea unor cladiri in care sa poata patrunde lumina solara, dar nu si caldura toropitoare a astrului zile. Asternând, asadar, un strat din acest material pe peretii exteriori ai caselor, vom spune, asadar, adio atât zapuselii cât si aerului conditionat!

Multumita aerogelului, catastrofele ecologice produse prin deversarea accidentala a produselor petroliere in apa marilor si oceanelor vor fi evitate, intrucât materialul are o capacitate de absorbtie fantastica, actionând ca un adevarat burete. NASA foloseste aerogelul pentru izolarea termica a costumelor astronautilor (un strat de 18 mm din material asigura protectia la temperaturi de pâna la minus 150 grade Celsius!). Probabil una dintre cele mai importante caracteristici ale aerogelului ramâne insa rezistenta la socuri.

Un strat de doar 8 mm de aerogel poate asigura supravietuirea in fata exploziei apropiate a unui kilogram de dinamita si a unui soc termic ce degajeaza o caldura de peste 1000 grade Celsius! „Este un material absolut fantastic. Are cea mai mica densitate dintre toate produsele realizate de om si poate face o multime de lucruri. Acest fum inghetat, cum a fost supranumit aerogelul, si-a gasit utilitatea in aproape orice domeniu, de la filtrarea apei poluate la prelucrarea bijuteriilor si fabricarea rachetelor de tenis”, spune Mercouri Kanatzidis, profesor de chimie la Universitatea Evanston, din Illinois.


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By Admin (from 13/12/2010 @ 10:00:34, in it - Scienze e Societa, read 4263 times)

Dominata dal Castello di Mildenburg, edificato sulla prospiciente collina nel 1200 dall’arcivescovo di Mainz, Miltenberg è conosciuta come “ La Perla del Meno”. Il riconoscimento quale “ Città” arriva già nel 1237 a solo undici anni dalla sua fondazione, rendendo il giusto onore a questa piccola meraviglia della Franconia.


Il terribile periodo della “ caccia alle streghe” la vede, purtroppo, protagonista dal 1615 al 1629: su un totale di 453 donne sospettate di compiere sortilegi, 69 vengono arse sul rogo. Nel 1816 Miltenberg entra a far parte del Regno di Baviera.


Ad accogliere il visitatore le storiche porte di accesso, le più pregevoli delle quali, la Mainzer Tor e la Würzburger Turm, datano 1379.


La parte vecchia della città non ha eguali: antiche abitazioni dai colori scintillanti le cui facciate, abbellite da cascate di fiori, fan bella mostra di sé, proponendo un effluvio di colori e profumi con i gerani a farla da padrone. Atmosfere fiabesche nella Marktplatz, l’antica Piazza del Mercato, dalle incomparabili case a graticcio che paiono uscite dalle pagine di un libro “ fantasy”.

Concedevi qualche scatto ricordo con la Fontana e la Rokokohaus alle spalle. A tenervi compagnia nella vostra visita i rintocchi della parrocchiale di St. Jakobus i cui campanili gemelli, eretti nel 1830, rapiscono lo sguardo anche del turista più avvezzo a simili architetture per la loro maestosa essenzialità.


Per uno spuntino, scelta obbligata la Gasthaus “ Zum Riesen”, la più antica locanda della Germania, nella quale trovarono ristoro Federico Barbarossa (1158), Ludwig il Bavaro (1314), l’imperatrice Maria Teresa d’Austria e in tempi più recenti Richard Strauss e... Elvis Presley. Se volete infine approfondire ulteriormente la conoscenza della città, non mancate di visitare il Museo Civico, ospitato nella rinascimentale “Haus Miltenberg”.



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By Admin (from 13/12/2010 @ 08:00:46, in en - Video Alert, read 2074 times)

The superhero with omnipotent powers!

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By Admin (from 12/12/2010 @ 17:05:34, in en - Global Observatory, read 1914 times)
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Julian Assange's Swedish lawyer, Björn Hurtig, said that he had seen police documents that prove Mr Assange is innocent, and that the accusers had a "hidden agenda" when they went to the police:

"From what I have read, it is clear that the women are lying and that they had an agenda when they went to the police, which had nothing to do with a crime having taken place. It was, I believe, more about jealousy and disappointment on their part. I can prove that at least one of them had very big expectations for something to happen with Julian."

He has asked for the Swedish prosecutor's permission to disclose the evidence: "If I am able to reveal what I know, everyone will realise this is all a charade," he said. "If I could tell the British courts, I suspect it would make extradition a moot point. But at the moment I'm bound by the rules of the Swedish legal system, which say that the information can only be used as evidence in this country. For me to do otherwise would lead to me being disbarred."

Mr Hurtig added that he was ready to fly to London and present the evidence at the court hearing this Tuesday, if he was given permission. "That said, I’m convinced that as soon as the case is heard in Sweden it will be thrown out," he added.

You can read the full interview here.

Also, please do not miss Australian lawyer Peter Kemp's new post on the Swedish law and its implications in this case: Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse, But...., and part one of his analysis of the extradition case: Extradition Part 1.

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By Admin (from 12/12/2010 @ 12:00:19, in en - Video Alert, read 1886 times)

When Elliot and Turk learn that they have to present their paper to a board they get mopey. J.D. is jealous but once he learns their parents are arriving he understands why they are sad. After paying no attention to karma and joking with Turk about his mother coming he accidentally invites his father to come visit. When Sam arrives J.D. is upset that he still acts like a buddy to him rather than a father. The next day at the hospital when Dr. Cox tosses him a decent idea, J.D. ignores it, but when he gets a chance to think about it, he heeds Dr. Cox's advice and invites his father to his lecture on heart murmurs. In the cafeteria Sam later tells J.D. that he is going to see a good friend off and have to miss the lecture. After getting upset, J.D. stops being selfish and thinks about things from his father's point of view and leaves work early to tell his father goodbye.


Meanwhile, Turk's mother Margaret and Elliot's parents Simon and Lily come to the hospital before the presentation. Turk is afraid to introduce Carla to his mother because he has yet to mention her to his mother. When the two finally meet Turk is surprised they like each other so much. Carla later notices that the two are very similar and gets freaked out that Turk is only attracted to her because she is so much like his mother. He informs her that only their good qualities match, and that he is glad they do. Elliot has to struggle with the pressure from her judgmental parents who don't approve of Sacred Heart. Simon and Dr. Kelso butt heads and Elliot has to pay at rounds. After getting worried that she only got into medicine because of her father, she realizes that she is happy where she is, and isn't upset that she got there for the wrong reasons.

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By Admin (from 12/12/2010 @ 10:00:45, in ro - Stiinta si Societate, read 3342 times)

 Cititorul nostru Gheorghe Bolog, din comuna bacauana Negri, se declara interesat de un subiect pe care l-am considera si noi de mare actualitate, tinând seama de schimbarile drastice petrecute in ultimii ani in domeniul fenomenelor meteorologice si, prin extensie, in clima globala. Este vorba despre fântânari (cuvântul a intrat si in onomastica, semn al vechimii si al importantei acestor oameni), cei pastrati in memoria colectiva ca niste cautatori de apa cu nuielusa de alun. Problematica nu este doar spectaculoasa, ci si deosebit de complexa, iar stiinta de azi ii acorda o atentie aparte.

O practica veche de patru milenii

Nu peste multi ani, apa potabila va deveni la fel de pretioasa ca petrolul - sustin cu toata responsabilitatea oamenii de stiinta. Cautarea acestei materii vitale fara a se face foraje se stie cu certitudine ca o practicau sumerienii in urma cu patru milenii. Explorarea nevazutului a facut insa ca fântânarii sa fie considerati un fel de vrajitori, pe de alta parte totul fiind privit cu scepticism. Vechile baghete aveau de obicei forma literei Y sau V si proveneau din ramuri de alun, de maslin, de smochin sau din trestie.

Astazi, se vorbeste mai degraba despre radiestezisti, care folosesc baghete in forma de L confectionate din cupru, uneori si din plastic sau din alama. In fine, o alta „unealta” agreata frecvent la tara este pendulul: o mica sfera (forma poate varia, insa nu ca piese cu muchii) de lemn, metal sau piatra, suspendata de un fir de ata. Ansa face si ea parte din arsenalul cautatorului de apa, care o tine intre degetul mare si cel aratator.

Oricine poate deveni fântânar?

Intrebarea nu e lipsita de temei. Unii considera ca fiecare om e inzestrat cu o anume sensibilitate necesara in cautarea pânzelor freatice si a izvoarelor subterane. Instrumentul de lucru cel mai simplu se realizeaza dintr-o tija de alama indoita in unghi drept, astfel incât partea verticala sa fie de doua ori mai lunga decât cea orizontala (30/15 cm, 24/12 cm etc.). Partea mai scurta va fi introdusa intr-un tub de cupru cu diametrul interior putin mai mare decât cel al tijei.

Se tine aceasta parte in mâna (de obicei se folosesc doua asemenea dispozitive), astfel ca tija mai lunga sa stea in pozitie orizontala si sa poata pivota in tubul de cupru. Cautatorul nu are mare lucru de facut, insa succesul depinde de sensibilitatea sa, de experienta, de concentrare. El inainteaza pe teren având cele doua baghete tinute in pozitia mentionata. Cei ce folosesc bagheta in Y sau V vor exercita o usoara presiune asupra celor doua ramuri, pentru a o mentine paralela cu solul. Ajunsi deasupra unei ape subterane, vor simti o vibratie in palme si bagheta se va tensiona usor.

A inceput o noua era

Un bun cautator (radiestezist) poate determina nu doar adâncimea la care se afla sursa de apa, ci si latimea albiei, sensul curentului, debitul etc. Speculând posibilele slabiciuni ale metodei, contestatarii arata ca in depistarea apei subterane se pot folosi indicii de suprafata, ca vegetatia, caracteristici ale solului, dar si elemente psihice ori care tin de reteaua geo-magnetica Hartman, perturbata de apa din scoarta terestra.

Totusi, cautatorii sunt solicitati astazi si pentru analiza geobiologica a terenurilor destinate unor constructii, detectia si armonizarea undelor nocive din locuinte, birouri, ateliere s.a.m.d. De curând, rezultate senzationale (si certe!) s-au obtinut cu ajutorul sistemului Numis, având la origine cercetari de prospectie prin rezonanta magnetica (asa-numitul RMN din medicina, care ajuta la vindecarea cancerului), realizate in 1978 in fosta URSS.

Pe teren de granit, in Burkina Faso s-au putut face detectii la 100-150 metri, debitul izvoarelor fiind de 5-10 ori mai mare decât in mod obisnuit. Asadar, o noua era deschisa in domeniul depistarii pretioasei ape potabile. Element care lipseste sau e insuficient astazi pentru mai mult de 2 miliarde de fiinte umane.


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By Admin (from 12/12/2010 @ 08:00:40, in it - Scienze e Societa, read 5376 times)

Il comune di Bardolino è situato sulla riviera orientale del Lago di Garda, a 30 km da Verona, su di un territorio dai pendii dolci, affacciato ad ovest sulle acque azzurre del lago, e affiancato ad est dalle colline moreniche. Tra i luoghi di interesse artistico e culturale spiccano alcune chiese, prima fra tutte la Chiesa di San Zeno: si tratta di una delle più belle chiese Carolingie del nostro paese, edificata nella seconda metà del IX secolo, con i bracci laterali della pianta a croce latina che ospitano ancora le decorazioni originali. Anticamente parte del feudo monastico dell’Abbazia di San Zeno, è tra le poche chiese del territorio veronese ad essere stata risparmiata dal terribile terremoto del 1117.

Vale la pena, poi, di visitare la Chiesa di San Severo, del XI secolo, con i suoi raffinati affreschi del XII, XIII e XIV secolo; i resti dell’antico monastero di San Colombano, del XI secolo; la Pieve di Santa Maria, che contiene la più antica iscrizione altomedievale della zona; la Chiesetta di San Vito, romanica, in località Cartelline; infine, la Chiesa di San Nicolò, costruita su progetto dell’architetto Bartolomeo Giuliari tra il 1830 e il 1847.

Oltre alle chiese, numerose ville dell’Ottocento fanno bella mostra di sé disseminate nel territorio di Bardolino, alcune delle quali immerse in ampi parchi rigogliosi di verde, altre nascoste tra le case più semplici del paese, pronte a stupire chi non si aspetta tanta bellezza. Dotata di un bel parco, esteso su tutta la parte nord della baia di Bardolino, è Villa Bottagisio; il parco di Villa Guerrieri, invece, in via San Martino, si affaccia direttamente sul Lago di Garda, e custodisce entro i suoi confini i resti di un antico fortilizio. Nel dopoguerra è stato purtroppo distrutto il parco di Villa Bassani Raimondi, in via Fosse, mentre è stata ristrutturata di recente Villa Marzan, la più bella del comune di Cisano. Meritano un’occhiata, per finire, Villa Giuliari-Gianfilippi, e Villa Betteloni.

Bardolino nacque come piccolo borgo, ma nel corso dei secoli il nucleo originario fu più volte ampliato, aumentando di volta in volta le dimensioni della sua cinta muraria: oggi è possibile ammirare i resti delle mura del XII secolo, di cui rimane una ridotta ma comunque afascinante porzione.

Il più importante e partecipato appuntamento a cui Bardolino partecipa ogni anno è la celebre Regata delle Bisse, organizzata dalla lega Bisse del Garda, di cui costituisce una tappa insieme ad altri numerosi comuni che si affacciano lungo le rive del Garda. Tra giugno e agosto sono molte le imbarcazioni che si sfidano per ottenere il prestigioso, simbolico premio della bandiera del lago. Ma lo sport non è l’unica passione che pulsa nei cuori degli abitanti del luogo: grande importanza viene riconosciuta anche alla musica, grazie al concorso pianistico nazionale “Città di Bardolino”, organizzato dalla Filarmonica Bardolino, un’antica e prestigiosa associazione musicale da lungo tempo attiva sul territorio. Il concorso, che ricorre nel maggio di ogni anno, è una valida occasione di farsi conoscere per giovani artisti dotati di talento, che hanno qui la possibilità di misurarsi con candidati provenienti da ogni parte d’Italia.

Per chi preferisce abbandonarsi ai piaceri del palato, sarà una delizia visitare Bardolino in maggio, quando si tiene la Festa del Chiaretto, in ottobre durante la Festa dell’Uva, o in novembre in occasione della Festa del Novello. Infine, Cisano è animata in primavera dalla tradizionale rassegna campanaria, e in settembre dalla Sagra degli Osei.

Raggiungere Bardolino in aereo è possibile scegliendo il vicino aeroporto Valerio Catullo di Verona, situato a 31 km, per poi usufruire dei mezzi pubblici. Diversamente, volendo servirsi del treno, la stazione più vantaggiosa è quella di Peschiera del Garda, che dista da Bardolino una decina di km. In auto, percorrendo l’autostrada A22, sarà sufficiente imboccare l’uscita per Affi e seguire le indicazioni.

Il clima mite della zona fa di Bardolino una meta indicata per le vacanze in ogni stagione, infatti, grazie all’influsso delle acque del lago, le minime invernali arrivano appena a -2°C, mentre le massime dei mesi più caldi, luglio e agosto, non superano i 28 gradi. I mesi più piovosi dell’anno sono maggio, giugno e agosto.


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Der Spiegel: Copenhagen Climate Cables: The US and China Joined Forces Against Europe

"Last year's climate summit in Copenhagen was a political disaster. Leaked US diplomatic cables now show why the summit failed so spectacularly. The dispatches reveal that the US and China, the world's top two polluters, joined forces to stymie every attempt by European nations to reach agreement.[...]

The cooperation began under the last US president, George W. Bush. In 2007 Bush's senior climate negotiator, Harlan Watson, organized a 10-year framework agreement with China on cooperation on energy and the environment. The two countries also agreed to hold a "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" -- backroom talks that neither the Americans nor the Chinese were willing to admit to at first.

Bush's successor, President Barack Obama, and the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, continued this dialogue. During Clinton's inaugural visit to China, Beijing agreed to the formation of a "new partnership on energy and climate change," according to a US embassy dispatch dated May 15, 2009. Here too the aim was to ensure the outcome of the climate talks in Copenhagen would be favorable to Washington and Beijing."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse inquiry

"The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.

Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy "offended many in the Vatican" who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations", a cable says."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU

"The pope is responsible for the Vatican's growing hostility towards Turkey joining the EU, previously secret cables sent from the US embassy to the Holy See in Rome claim.

In 2004 Cardinal Ratzinger, the future pope, spoke out against letting a Muslim state join, although at the time the Vatican was formally neutral on the question.

The Vatican's acting foreign minister, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, responded by telling US diplomats that Ratzinger's comments were his own rather than the official Vatican position.

The cable released by WikiLeaks shows that Ratzinger was the leading voice behind the Holy See's unsuccessful drive to secure a reference to Europe's 'Christian roots' in the EU constitution. The US diplomat noted that Ratzinger 'clearly understands that allowing a Muslim country into the EU would further weaken his case for Europe's Christian foundations'."
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Le Monde: Wikileaks : les Américains se demandent où se trouve le cœur du pouvoir en Algérie (Americans ask who holds real power in Algeria)

"Qui détient le pouvoir en Algérie? Les militaires ou les civils? Une poignée de généraux qui ont la haute main sur l'armée et les services de renseignements ou le président de la République élu au suffrage universel, Abdelaziz Bouteflika?

La question continue à diviser les chancelleries étrangères tant le cœur du pouvoir à Alger est impénétrable depuis des décennies. Pour le chef de l'Etat algérien, la réponse est évidente : l'armée algérienne respecte "absolument" l'autorité d'un président qui est un civil et non un militaire. "Ça n'est pas du tout comme en Turquie", assure-t-il lors de sa première entrevue avec le général William Ward, le chef de l'Africom, la structure de commandement américaine pour l'Afrique, en novembre 2009."
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The New York Times: China Resisted U.S. Pressure on Rights of Nobel Winner

"It was just before Christmas 2009, and Ding Xiaowen was not happy. The United States ambassador had just written China’s foreign minister expressing concern for Liu Xiaobo, the Beijing intellectual imprisoned a year earlier for drafting a pro-democracy manifesto. Now Mr. Ding, a deputy in the ministry’s American section, was reading the riot act to an American attaché.

Mr. Ding said he would try to avoid “becoming emotional,” according to a readout on the meeting that was among thousands of leaked State Department cables released this month. Then he said that a “strongly dissatisfied” China firmly opposed the views of the American ambassador, Jon Huntsman, and that Washington must “cease using human rights as an excuse to ‘meddle’ in China’s internal affairs.”"
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Pfizer 'used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout'

"The world's biggest pharmaceutical company hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general in order to persuade him to drop legal action over a controversial drug trial involving children with meningitis, according to a leaked US embassy cable.

Pfizer was sued by the Nigerian state and federal authorities, who claimed that children were harmed by a new antibiotic, Trovan, during the trial, which took place in the middle of a meningitis epidemic of unprecedented scale in Kano in the north of Nigeria in 1996."
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Der Spiegel: 'No and No Again': The Rocky US Relationship with Little Austria

"Austria may be small, but according to US Embassy dispatches from Vienna, the country causes big headaches in Washington. Not only are Austrian leaders seen as disconnected from international affairs, the country's neutrality means it is willing to do business with America's enemies.

The tone used by the US envoys in their reports to Washington ranges from resigned to openly hostile. Is it possible, they ask in bewilderment, for a tiny Alpine republic only half the size of the US state of Washington to ignore the primary objectives of American foreign policy? It would seem that it is."
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El Pais: EE UU considera Cataluña el "mayor centro mediterráneo del yihadismo" (The US considers Catalonia the "biggest mediterranean center for jihadism")

"La Embajada de EE UU en Madrid cree que Cataluña es el punto más caliente del islamismo radical en España , un escenario que debe vigilar y controlar como puente hacia el Mediterráneo. La fuerte implantación de la comunidad paquistaní y marroquí en Barcelona y la efervescente actividad de islamistas en localidades como Tarragona, Hospitalet, Badalona y Reus preocupan a los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses que han convertido a esa comunidad en su primer objetivo de investigación. Los documentos secretos del departamento de Estado definen Cataluña como el principal centro mediterráneo de los islamistas."
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Le Monde: Guinée : Comment France et Etats-Unis ont écarté le chef de la junte (Guinea: How France and the US neutralized the chief of the junta)

"L'occasion était trop belle pour neutraliser un chef de l'Etat devenu très embarrassant. Français et Américains cherchaient à écarter le capitaine Moussa Dadis Camara depuis le massacre par des militaires de la garde présidentielle d'au moins 156 opposants à Conakry, en Guinée, le 28 septembre 2009.

Les événements du 3 décembre vont forcer le destin. Ce jour-là, le chef de la junte militaire au pouvoir depuis moins d'un an est victime d'une tentative d'assassinat. Grièvement blessé à la tête, le chef de la junte est envoyé d'urgence vers le Maroc pour y être hospitalisé. Dans la foulée, un diplomate américain en poste à Ouagadougou écrit : "La communauté internationale est d'une façon générale sur la même position. L'absence de Dadis a ouvert une fenêtre d'opportunité pour faciliter une transition démocratique."

"Bien qu'il ait été chassé de la scène violemment plutôt que par des moyens constitutionnels, il serait mieux pour la Guinée qu'il ne rentre pas dans son pays", ajoute l'ambassadrice américaine en poste à Conakry, Patricia Moller, dans un des télégrammes diplomatiques obtenus par WikiLeaks et révélés par Le Monde."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Former Croatia PM flees over corruption claims

"The former prime minister who dominated Croatian politics for most of the past decade fled the country today as state prosecutors moved to have him arrested in connection with a major sleaze investigation.

According to cables from the US Zagreb embassy released by WikiLeaks, Ivo Sanader, the centre-right politician who stood down suddenly as prime minister in summer last year, features in several of the corruption cases currently terrorising the Croatian political class.

The country's chief prosecutor told US diplomats in Zagreb this year he had evidence that Sanader had arranged a bank loan for a business crony in return for a kickback."
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Der Spiegel: The Nigeria Report: A Cesspool of Corruption and Crime in the Niger Delta

"The leaked US diplomatic cables reveal just what multinational oil companies are up against in the Niger Delta. Security forces are ineffective and involved in dubious oil deals. The government demands millions in bribes. Even university students have earned pocket money by working as kidnappers.

Bombs used against civilians; millions paid to corrupt officials; and a kidnapping industry that employs students during university vacations: The US diplomatic cables from the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos paint an unusually bleak picture of the situation in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Hardly any of the international oil companies active in the delta publishes production figures, kidnappings and hostage-taking are a daily occurence and the civilian population is suffering -- not least because they too are occasionally targets of the Nigerian Army's special forces."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Serbia suspects Russian help for fugitive Ratko Mladiæ

"Russia may be withholding vital information about the whereabouts of the fugitive Bosnian Serb general and genocide suspect, Ratko Mladiæ, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague, senior Serbian government officials have privately told American diplomats in Belgrade.

In discussions detailed in a diplomatic cable marked "secret" and sent to Washington by US chargée d'affaires Jennifer Brush in September 2009, Miki [Miodrag] Rakiæ, chief of staff to the Serbian president, Boris Tadiæ, tells Brush it remains likely Mladiæ is hiding somewhere in Serbia.

But Rakiæ also suggests the fugitive is being assisted by "foreign sources" and hints darkly that Moscow may have better information about Mladiæ's exact situation than does the Serbian government."
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El Pais: Palomares: 50.000 metros contaminados con plutonio (50,000 sq.meters contaminated with plutonium)

"España y Estados Unidos tienen un problema enquistado desde 1966: el accidente nuclear en Palomares, en el que cuatro bombas atómicas cayeron en la pedanía almeriense. España decidió en 2004 descontaminar la zona e insiste en que EE UU pague parte de la limpieza y se lleve la tierra contaminada con plutonio. Así se lo transmitió el 14 de diciembre de 2009 el entonces ministro de Exteriores, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, a la secretaria de Estado, Hillary Clinton, en Washington. Moratinos reclamó, según un cable confidencial, que Clinton hiciera lo posible "para ayudar desde el punto de vista de la opinión pública española, de la que temió que se volviera en contra de EE UU si se divulgaran los resultados de un reciente estudio sobre la contaminación". Clinton no contestó. El estudio, a cuyas conclusiones ha tenido acceso EL PAÍS pero que no ha sido hecho público, concluye que en Palomares queda medio kilo de plutonio que ha contaminado unos 50.000 metros cúbicos de tierra -el volumen de 27 piscinas olímpicas-."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables cast Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's ruler for life

"Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's long-serving president, is likely to seek re-election next year and will "inevitably" win a poll that will not be free and fair, the US ambassador to Cairo, Margaret Scobey, predicted in a secret cable to Hillary Clinton last year.

Scobey discussed Mubarak's quasi-dictatorial leadership style since he took power in 1981; his critical views of George Bush and American policy in the Middle East; and the highly uncertain prospects for a succession."
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By Admin (from 11/12/2010 @ 12:00:51, in en - Science and Society, read 2625 times)

Light swearing at the start or end of a persuasive speech can help influence an audience.

Lack of passion can be fatal to our attempts to persuade others of our point of view. Even if all the right facts are trotted out in an intelligible order, even if the argument is unassailable, when the speaker doesn't appear to believe it themselves, why should anyone else bother?

Show your passion, however, and people have one more emotional reason to come around to your point of view.

But how can we convince others of our conviction?

Up the intensity

One unconventional way is by using a little light swearing. The problem is that we run the risk of losing credibility and appearing unprofessional.

To see whether swearing can help change attitudes, Scherer and Sagarin (2006) divided 88 participants into three groups to watch one of three slightly different speeches. The only difference between the speeches was that one contained a mild swear word at the start:

"…lowering of tuition is not only a great idea, but damn it, also the most reasonable one for all parties involved."

The second speech contained the 'damn it' at the end and the third had neither.

When participants' attitudes were measured, they were most influenced by the speeches with the mild obscenity included, either at the beginning or the end.

It also emerged that the word 'damn' increased the audience's perception of the speaker's intensity, which was what lead to the increased levels of persuasion. On the other hand, swearing did not affect how the audience perceived the speaker's credibility.

So it seems that light swearing can be useful, even in a relatively formal situation like a lecture. When you show some feeling, the audience notices, credits you with sincerity and takes your message to heart.

How far you can go is difficult to know. Certainly things have changed a lot. In the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, after Rhett Butler's famous line "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn", the producer, David Selznick, was fined $5,000 for this 'shocking' outburst.

That was a long time ago but audiences are diverse and will respond in different ways. It's likely that stronger or more persistent swearing would adversely affect credibility. But a little damn and blast is more likely to be seen as a genuine display of emotion, which is refreshing. If nothing else, swearing is persuasive because it's human.


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