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Archive for December, 2013

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

Wednesday, 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

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

Saturday, 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

EDUCATION: Ranking Pisa: the Champion Education inequality

Tuesday, 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