ENVIRONMENT: "historic" agreement between Palestinians and Israelis to save the Dead Sea

December 11th, 2013

 

It never ceases to fall. Each year, the Dead Sea sees its lower level of one meter. Old bathing facilities are now far from the shore. At this rate the Dead Sea has completely disappeared in 2050.

To save her, a historic agreement was signed Monday, Dec. 9 in Washington between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. The project is to pump salt water in the Red Sea and the Dead Sea route. Objective: 200 million cubic meters per year. "We had a report in 2012 which considered that it was feasible, but now that we have the agreement, there remains the problem of funding. Who will be the main donor? We do not know yet, "raises Pierre Berthelot, scholar of water.

Strong symbol

Another part of the project, the construction of a desalination plant in Aqaba, in southern Jordan. The agreement, obtained after eleven years of negotiations, will allow a better distribution of water in the region. But it is also a powerful symbol. The Palestinians and Israelis who find common ground.

"This agreement was signed with the blessing of Prime Minister Netanyahu but also that I know by King Abdullah and President Abbas. They show us that when leaders really want to reach an agreement that is possible to achieve, "said Silvan Shalom, Israel's Minister of Water and Energy. His Palestinian counterpart, Shaddad Attili, also welcomed the news. "We showed that we could work together in spite of our political problems," he said, at a time when Palestinians and Israelis are trying to revive the process peace under the aegis of the United States.

Environmental threats

Israela agreed to sell 20 to 30 million cubic meters of desalinated water each additional year to the Palestinian Authority. The latter accused the Hebrew aggravate shortages State.

Several environmental advocacy organizations have warned against the possible adverse effects of the arrival of water from the Red Sea on the fragile ecosystem of the Dead Sea .

With AFP

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CAR: Lull in the streets of Bangui, patrolled by the French army

December 7th, 2013

 

Following the deployment of French troops in the CAR capital, Bangui residents have started to take to the streets on Saturday morning after spending 48 hours holed up in their house terrorized by the violence that left more than 300 dead according to the Red Cross.

According to AFP journalists, armored patrols of the French army were visible in the city, where armed men were less likely than pre days , cédents.

According to residents interviewed by telephone, only sporadic automatic weapons fire punctuated the night incommensurate with the two previous nights. No report of possible victims of the shooting were not available early Saturday morning.

"The presence of French reassures"

Upon lifting of the curfew to 6:00 (0500 GMT), the inhabitants began to walk along the boulevards of the capital, totally deserted the previous two days, for open trade. In some neighborhoods, "a small activity has resumed. Women traders are donuts, porridge, "has told a resident.

"The presence of French reassuring" for his part had commented another yesterday. Friday, December 6, Central Speaker ruled that only African forces and the French presidential security were allowed to patrol in Bangui.

Several people have also sought refuge in the vicinity of the airport, where the French army and the African force have their bases.

With AFP

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EDUCATION: Ranking Pisa: the Champion Education inequality

December 3rd, 2013

 

The poor performance of France in 2012 ranked Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) of the OECD are not a surprise. "You'll see in December, we will have new studies Pisa. France wins totally in the performance of his students. Over ten years, it becomes dramatic, "had advanced the Minister of Education, Vincent Peillon, October 10, on the set of Grand Journal de Canal Plus.

The Minister was right. In the new edition, published Tuesday, December 3, the classification that assesses the skills of 15 years in the areas of reading, mathematics and science, France was , demoted to 25th place of the 65 participating countries or economies.

Increasingly inequality

In the previous Pisa in 2009, in which 75 countries and economies participated, France then occupied the 22nd place in the overall ranking, not far from Germany, which now leads to 16th. 

The "performance" of French students in mathematics decreased notably 16 points between 2003 (511) and 2012 (495), which passed the nine countries France whose performance is higher than the OECD average for countries whose performance is in the average of the OECD.

More alarming, the French education system favor the gap between "very good" and "very bad" students. "In France, the system Education is more unequal than it was nine years ago. In other words, when you belong to a disadvantaged background, today there is less chance of success in France in 2003, "the study says. In addition, according to the OECD, students from immigrant families are at least twice more likely to fail at school in France.

Left and right, we refer the death poor performance responsibility. Laurent Wauquier former UMP minister of Higher Education, there are two reasons to downgrade France. "First, we try to treat all children in exactly the same way. […] The results of single college made the massacre and those we need to stimulate and those that need support. " Then "dropping takes place today in France especially at the primary level," said he said Tuesday on BFMTV and RMC.

"The education bill 10 years right"

The former UMP minister of Education Luc Chatel has also scathing against the Ayrault government. "When teachers are selected at a higher level requirement was better results. The government is doing the opposite: the last competition to recruit 60,000 additional posts, we lowered the bar was recruited students 8/20, "Has he said on France 2.

"The criticism Tuesday by Luc Chatel against the current government are perfectly intolerable and displaced under bankruptcy […]", do you reply to the Party socialist. "France has received the education bill 10 years in power right. The results of our education system, assessed by the Pisa test between 2009 and May 2012, show how the majority has abandoned the previous e education, "said the PS in a statement.

Vincent Peillon, who called the results "disturbing" and "unacceptable," but wanted to keep his optimism. "The time has come to gather around […] of our teachers", "our school has significant strengths" and results "remain positive", has he found requesting that "we do not fall into lamentation."

With AFP and Reuters

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SYRIA: The United States will destroy sea part of the Syrian chemical arsenal

November 30th, 2013

 

Part of the Syrian chemical arsenal, particularly products considered "priority" will be destroyed at sea on a vessel owned in the United States, announced the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Saturday, November 30. "The Director General (OPCW) said that the disposal operations (CW, Ed) will be carried out at sea on a ship of the United States using the hydrolysis technique, "said the organization based in The Hague in a statement. "A ship is currently being modified to accommodate the operations and support operations OPCW verification," she has said.

On November 15, the Executive Council of the OPCW had adopted a roadmap for the destruction of the Syrian chemical arsenal by the mid-2014, with a plan detailing possible methods destruction of these weapons from Syria, on land or at sea But despite the consensus on the destruction of the Syrian chemical arsenal out of the country at war, no country has so far accepted , it takes place on its soil.

Under the agreement, the most dangerous Syrian weapons must be transported out of the country at war before December 31. The majority of chemical weapons and other precursors used in the composition of toxic products, with the exception of the isopropanol can be used in the manufacture of sarin, must be removed from of country by 5 February 2014. Production facilities declared by the scheme will be destroyed between 15 December and 15 March 2014, according to the organization.

With news (AFP)

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Honduras: the victory of the presidential right is "final"

November 27th, 2013

 

"Irreversible". The electoral court ruled: the victory of Juan Orlando Hernandez, the right candidate for the presidency of Honduras, is "irreversible" and the result "no call" . "The result is final. The figures we have given reflect a trend that is irreversible. The results will not vary, "thus affirmed Monday, November 25 the presiding judge, David Matmoros, which however did not want to officially declare a winner. This statement came after counting 67% of ballots, giving the candidate to lead with 34.08% of the vote against 28.92% for his rival left, Xiomara Castro.

A verdict expected to cut short the post-election debates. Sunday, the candidate of the National Party (right) and his main opponent have plunged the country into uncertainty proclaim their respective victory. Monday, trends continued to be published in the dropper by the electoral authorities. Face to official figures, the opposing sides are sticking to their guns, refusing in advance to deal with the opposite camp. If the Left Party continues to denounce fraud, the candidate of the right claimed victory. "This victory is the result decided by the Honduran people at the polls, it is negotiating with anyone," said Monday Juan Orlando Hernandez told reporters. The left denounces fraud Xiomara Castro, 54, who did not hesitate to declare Sunday evening "President of Honduras" denounces fraud. , Monday, she left her husband speak, fallen former President Manuel Zelaya. "The polls have spoken to a profound change in our country (…) We do not want any negotiation," said Manuel Zelaya, echoing statements by Juan Orlando Hernandez. Manuel Zelaya provides "does not recognize" the results of the TSE. Xiomara Castro's party, Freedom and overhaul (Free) said, without providing details about a fifth of votes is concerned with "a series of irregularities" , including the transmission of information to the TSE. For their part, representatives of some 800 foreign observers deployed Sunday to ensure transparency in the election have so far not reported fraud. A country with weak institutions The post-election situation raised fears of renewed tensions in this small, poor countries with fragile institutions, four years after the military coup that overthrew Zelaya. Elected in 2005 on behalf of the Liberal Party (center-right), the latter was ousted in 2009 when the right, the business community and the army had wanted to end the left turn policy. Manuel Zelaya today hope the same mass mobilization in 2009 and calls down the street: "If necessary, we take to the streets to defend our rights as we have always done, "he warned. Monday, November 25, calm reigned in the streets of Tegucigalpa and other major cities of the country's president and other strategic areas of the capital were under close surveillance and military police. With AFP dispatches

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CINEMA: Georges Lautner, director of "Flingueurs Tontons" died

November 24th, 2013

 

He died at the age of 87 years. Georges Lautner, popular and prolific filmmaker, director of the cult film "Les Tontons gunslingers" and many successes of Jean -Paul Belmondo, died Friday, Nov. 22 following a long illness.

With forty films to his credit in sixty-year career of "Barbouzes" to "Cop or Hood" through the "The Professional", Georges Lautner turned with the greatest: Jean-Paul Belmondo, to whom he gave some of his greatest triumphs, Bernard Blier, Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, Jean Yanne, Mireille Darc …

Born in Nice January 24, 1926, Georges Lautner had discovered as a child the world of dark rooms by her mother, actress Renée Saint-Cyr, who later appeared in several of his films. He began studying law before making his first steps in cinema from 1949, as assistant director.

Ratings success

He signed his first film in 1958, "La Vie en Rose buttons". Then, in 1960, he directed "Sink or Swim", Bernard Blier, marking the beginning of a long collaboration with the actor.

In 1961, he met the popular success with "The Black Monocle" thriller that allows Paul Meurisse shine in French secret agent. Two years later, Georges Lautner knows the consecration with "Les Tontons gunslingers" comedy driven by cults replicas screenwriter Michel Audiard.

Incorrigible ratings success to each of his television appearances, the film with Bernard Blier, Lino Ventura, Francis Blanche, Jean Lefebvre and Robert Dalban celebrates 50 years Wednesday its theatrical release. "I never understood the miracle of the Tontons gunslingers + + through the ages," said the filmmaker, who is annoyed by this success, having other ambitions.

Close-ups and tight fit

Adept closeups, Georges Lautner knew also give rhythm to his films with a tight fit. "Michel Audiard said that he was the king of editors," recalls Remy Julienne, who performed stunts in many of his films. "He had the knowledge of popular cinema."

After the "Tonton", the duo Lautner / Audiard then connects the audience success between comedies and thrillers franchouillard gangsters, which appear in turn Lino Ventura, Jean Lefebvre, Francis White, Mireille Darc and Jean-Pierre Marielle: "The Great Spy Chase" (1964), "Do not get angry" (1966), "The Suitcase" (1973) …

In the late 1970s, Georges Lautner made two darker movies with Alain Delon ("Breasts ice" and "Death of a rotten") before rotate who would become his great friend Jean-Paul Belmondo: "Cop or Hood" (1978), "The guignolo" (1980), "The Professional" (1981), a huge commercial success in musical theme signed Ennio Morricone, or yet "Happy Easter". 

In the 80s, the success is rare even if it still meets the public in 1986 with "The Murdered House" with Patrick Bruel. In 1992, "Bebel" which will play the hero of the last film by Georges Lautner, "Strangers in the house."

With AFP

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PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Amal Haniyeh, the granddaughter of the leader of Hamas in Gaza, hospitalized in Israel

November 20th, 2013

 

The granddaughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, was hospitalized on Monday, 18 November, Israel in critical condition, told AFP several Palestinian sources.

The Israeli military administration, questioned on the subject, assured that it was not informed of the transfer for medical reasons.

"Beloved brothers, Amal crossed the Green Line [the border with Israel, Ed] now, and I ask God to grant him health," said , Sunday, son of Ismail Haniyeh, Abdessalam Haniyeh on his Facebook page. 

State of clinical death

"I ask God to grant health to my daughter Amal, entering a state of clinical death," he added in another message Monday afternoon.

Amal Haniyeh, one year old, is a severe infection of the digestive system, which reached its nervous system, specify medical sources in Gaza.

On social networks, snapshots show Ismail Haniyeh, whose movement does not recognize Israel, visiting her granddaughter at Children's Hospital "Al Nasser "in Gaza before his transfer to Israel. 

Despite the non-recognition of the Jewish state by Hamas, thousands of Gazans are allowed each year to cross the border to bene , acquirable care in Israel, reveal statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

With headlines (AFP)

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A victory not so easy to Michelle Bachelet

November 16th, 2013

 

In his last campaign rally in Santiago Thursday, Michelle Bachelet danced cumbia, mambo and hummed songs of historical Chilean left. An atmosphere worthy of a victory tonight as the former president … [2006 - 2010] seems assured of a return to the palace of La Moneda, the outcome of the election presidential election, the first round will be held Sunday, November 17.

Four years after leaving the reins of the country-party center-right National Renovation (RN) Sebastián Piñera, Michelle Bachelet, 62, enjoys a popularity , indisputable, which exceeds that of Nueva Mayoría [New Majority], the coalition of the left which she defends the colors. According to the Institute CEP, it inherits 47% of the vote, far ahead of the candidate of the right Evelyn Matthei, supported by Alianza, credited as 14%. Some studies even predict his victory in the first round …

"The mother of all Chileans"

Chileans have never stopped plebiscite that they have dubbed the "mother of all Chileans" for his spontaneity and natural touch. The first woman president in the country's history has left office with a peak popularity more than 80%, but could not imagine in 2010 for a second consecutive term, according to the Chilean Constitution. Michelle Bachelet was then flown to New York to head UN Women, an organization that defends the rights of women worldwide.

During the past three years, Chileans have continued to watch his back, highly publicized in March. Strengthened by its international stature, the new candidate is then told ready to "take the challenge" of another term, by giving priority to "overcome ined Galite in Chile. "

Over the past twenty years, the country has experienced a period of growth and prosperity, fueled by the extraction of copper, has risen to the ranks of developed countries. But his rise was accompanied by an unequal distribution of wealth.  

Reduce inequalities Protests have increased in the country under the mandate Piñera to require changes in the economic and political model: students demanding free education , workers demanding reforms to the Labour Code and a better wage. Officials, such as postal workers or garbage collectors have even launched strikes to pressure the government a few days before the election.

For now, only the program Michelle Bachelet seems to meet all these expectations. On the social level, the candidate promised to reform higher education, providing free , and putting an end to private schools, but also to open kindergartens and schools. To achieve this, it will allocate annually 1.5 to 2% of GDP.

In terms of health, the applicant, a doctor by training, plans to legalize abortion in cases of rape or risk to the mother or the unborn child - a practice totally banned in several countries in Latin America. It also promises four billion dollars for the construction of new hospitals, clinics and physician recruitment. And further agrees to open a national debate on the right to gay marriage.

On the fiscal side, she wants to gradually increase the tax on companies with 20 to 25% and end the Fondo de Utilidades Tributables (FUT), a mechanism that allows some companies to re reduce their tax bill. It also intends to terminate the opportunity for companies to defer indefinitely the payment of tax on reinvested profits, a measure adopted in 1984 under Pinochet.

Constitutional reform, but if the voice seems wide open for access to the presidency, paths lead to the various reforms ahead sown institutional barriers, as it was the case for Sebastian Piñera.

At issue: the de1980 Constitution, in force since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. If it has been amended several times, the text remains unchanged, including the electoral system, which does not favor the party out on top. C ' Therefore, the revision of the Constitution has become a major theme of the campaign, offered by almost all new candidates. To achieve this, some propose to go through a constituent assembly, while Michelle Bachelet prefer consider parliamentary channels.

In this case, the favorite of the election requires a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament. But all observers agree that this challenge is far from won. Aware of the issue, the daughter of General Bachelet, died in custody during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), focused on mobilizing voters, both Presidential the laws, which take place on the same day, "because I need a Congress able to take the plunge for the changes Chile a need, "she warned.

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The dream of "Yellow Dogs" Iranian murdered in Brooklyn

November 13th, 2013

 

They fled Iran to go after their dream rock. Invited in 2010 by the SXSW festival in Texas, the Soroush and Arash Farazmand (guitarist and drummer respectively) brothers had decided not to return home. The musicians had sought asylum in the United States and began to make a name in the grunge bars in Brooklyn.

In Iran, where rock is an "illegal activity" deemed contrary to religion, Yellow Dogs [Yellow Dog Ed] occurred in garages and basements for underground concerts . But the United States, post-punk their sound weird and exotic words were warmly welcomed. Prominently in Rolling Stone, they were invited to play all over the country with the other two members of their group: Siavash Karampour singer and bassist Koory Mirz. There are three weeks, the entire group produced the famous Brooklyn Bowl. On its website, the club described the Yellow Dogs as a "roaring life, spirit, tension and imagination" group.

Monday, November 11th in the morning, the two brothers were found dead, shot to death, along with their roommate and Iranian musician and songwriter Ali Eskandarian, 35. Their killer, Ali Akbar Mohammadi Rafie, a former member of another Iranian group, the Free Keys, has committed suicide shortly after the incident.

Shot dead in their apartment

According to the spokesman for the police, John J. McCarthy, interviewed by the New York Times, Rafie accessed the apartment through the roof. He had placed his gun in a guitar case. It was first shot Ali Eskandarian through a lounge window. Then in the chest Soroush, 27, who was lying in bed. Then came the turn of Arash, 28, shot in the head while he was on his computer.

Another resident of the apartment, the Iranian street-artist Sasan Sadeghpourosko, was shot twice in the shoulder and elbow, but survived. Rafie smashed the door of another apartment in the building, finding himself born in born with Pooya Hosseini, also a musician. The latter fought with him and escaped unharmed. Rafie is then returned to the roof of the building where he was shot in the head.

Salehezadeh Ali, who was the manager of the group and lived in the same block, told Reuters they had cut off contact with Rafie after he e , ty excluded Free Keys for stealing money. "When he was fired from his own group, we almost severed all ties with him. We were not really friends with him, "said Ali Salehezadeh in a telephone interview from Brazil. Himself had trouble finding a possible motive for the killings. "I do not know if it is right for them, for us, or for revenge because a member of the Free Keys live with us."

"Good boys"

Bassist and singer Koory Mirz Siavash Karampour were not there at the time of the attack. Monday, they posted a message on the group's Facebook page to announce the news, thanking their fans for the many messages of condolence still kept coming Tuesday.

Brian Kiernan Devine Jr., a member of a film crew who made a documentary about the group, said he was "shattered" by the news. "This is the youth group of the warmest, sincere and idealistic we had the chance to know artists. They managed to escape from Iran, were granted political asylum in New York to pursue their creative dreams (…) All this to be slaughtered in their beds. It is incomprehensible. This is madness. "

Yanira Lantigua, cashier of a local grocery store where young people would do their errands, calls "lovely and quiet boys who have never had a cross word." Monday, around 1 am, she heard the police helicopters flying over the area. It made him a shock to learn that she knew the victims. "They came to buy sandwiches and coffee as recently as a few days ago," she tells FRANCE 24. "The brothers were inseparable. They were really good boys. "

Alireza Tabiban an Iranian expatriate based in Austin, Texas, who had met and had seen them twice in concert, describes them as "very cool boys who just wanted to play their music and have fun. "He added that his family and friends in Tehran would be horrified by the details of this story. "There are not many murders by firearms [in Iran], since it is illegal to possess weapons," he told FRANCE 24. Mehdi Saharkhiz, an Observer FRANCE 24 who met the group in 2010 and spoke of them with passion, tweeted Monday: "This is hell. I still can not believe it. "

Slaughtered on the rise

The Yellow Dogs had built a solid fan club in the United States and beyond. The last member of the group to be granted asylum in the United States had received his papers there are only a few months. The rockers were planning a tour of Europe and Turkey, where they hoped to happen to their family and friends. "Our parents have never seen us play!" Confided Soroush Farazmand in April 2012 in an interview with eMusic.

Before leaving Iran, the group formed in 2006 in Tehran appeared in a documentary about the underground music scene of the Iranian capital, "Persian Cats". The film won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 2009. That same year, in a CNN report, Siavash Karampour judged its affiliates as "closer than [his] brothers."

In the last interview that Soroush Farazmand gave before being killed, he explained to Vice magazine: "We have decided to live in Brooklyn because it's a place where we can grow. "Their apartment 318 East Williamsburg became a gathering place for artists and Iranian musicians.

"It was a small group of punk underground from Iran who was turning heads," explains Ali Salehezadeh their manager in an interview with Reuters. "They always said, 'If you want to get there, we must do so in New York,'" he relates. "But they have not been so lucky."

Adapted by Steven Jambot in Paris.

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WEATHER: Massive evacuations in Vietnam with the approach of Typhoon Haiyan

November 10th, 2013

 

More than 200,000 people were evacuated in Vietnam with the approach of Super Typhoon Haiyan must hit the country on Sunday, two days after sweeping the central Philippines where he made many victims.

The typhoon, the most powerful ever to have products on the planet with winds reaching peaks of 315 km / hour, could have done about 1,200 deaths, according to the local Red Cross.

"This is an estimate. Others (the authorities) must make a precise count "casualties caused by this storm with waves and winds incredible force said Saturday AFP the secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross Gwendolyn Pang.

In Vietnam, it should touch the ground in the center of the country Sunday morning. The authorities began mass evacuations in at least four coastal provinces, according to the official news website VnExpress.

"More than 200,000 people were evacuated to shelters, some shelters are overcrowded," said he added.

Some 170,000 soldiers were mobilized to participate in rescue operations after the arrival of the typhoon.

Many schools were closed and people living in coastal communities most vulnerable to the storm have been moved to places higher up . Images of state media showed women, children and elderly crammed into shelters.

Haiyan, considered the strongest typhoon of 2013 and one of the most powerful ever to hit land for decades, should have lost some of its strength when it hit Vietnam.

But it remains in the category of super typhoon, with a potential "serious developments," said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at an emergency meeting Friday. Some 6.5 million Vietnamese could be affected

Central Vietnam has recently been hit by two typhoons, Wutip and Nari, which caused flooding and damaged hundreds of thousands of homes. 

"Haiyan two or three times more powerful than Wutip or Nari and should do more damage," he told AFP Michael Annear, representing the Red Cross in Vietnam.

The Red Cross reported that about 6.5 million Vietnamese people could be affected by the typhoon.

The national carrier Vietnam Airlines has warned that some flights may be delayed or canceled Sunday.

All ships were recalled in ports and authorities ordered hydroelectric dams to enhance security "to limit the human and material consequences," according a statement posted on the government website. 

The extent of damage caused by Haiyan Philippines was still unknown Saturday as the worst affected areas were cut off from the world, electricity networks and phone had been destroyed.

With news

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