22 I 2007
Ryszard Kapu¶ciński - great journalist died.
''I wanted to describe the people, their mentality, their way of seeing the world. And experience taught me that from each spot in the world one sees the planet differently. A person who lives in Europe sees the world differently than a person who lives in Africa. Without trying to enter into these other ways of looking and perceiving and describing, we won't understand anything of this world.'' R.Kapu¶ciński
For Ryszard Kapuscinski, who has died aged 74, journalism was a mission, not a career, and he spent much of his life, happily, in uncomfortable and obscure places, many of them in Africa, trying to convey their essence to a continent far away. No one was more surprised than him when, in his mid-40s, he suddenly became extremely successful, with his books translated into 30 languages. He won literary prizes in Germany, France, Canada, Italy, the US, and was made journalist of the century in Poland.
Kapuscinski was born in Pinsk, now in Belarus, and in 1945 was taken to Poland by his mother, searching for his soldier father. War as the norm for life was deep in his young psyche after those early years of ceaseless hunger, cold, sudden deaths, noise and terror, with no shoes, no home, no books in school. Decades later he wrote: "We who went through the war know how difficult it is to convey the truth about it to those for whom that experience is, happily, unfamiliar. We know how language fails us, how often we feel helpless, how the experience is, finally, incommunicable."
Tighter Passport Rules for U.S. Citizens Start Tuesday
“All our lives, Canada and the United States have enjoyed freedom of travel across a trusting border,” Mr. Williams said. “Now adding these new costs and bureaucracy to that invisible line will change the psyche. That freedom will become a little more restricted — in some regards, a victory for terrorism.”
Talk about culture
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Mobility conference highlights deficits and progress
At the closing conference of European Year for the Workers' Mobility, Commission EU mobility actors took a positive outlook but stressed that, under EU Treaties, this fundamental freedom of movement is still not commonplace.
Commissioner Vladimír Špidla looked back at the year's initial objective, namely creating awareness of the mobility issue, exchanging best practices and consolidating the figures. All three had been attained, he said, in what he called "a provisional stock-taking". Špidla recalled that, during the year, the 'transitional measures' preventing labour migration from had been lifted in five member states. At the same time, the new EURES internet portal attained as many as 900,000 visitors per month. Regarding the Commission, the creation of a vast database of mobility stakeholders and placing the issue at the heart of European policies were cited as the most important successes.
Let's say farewell to the 'ethnic minorities'
Matthew Parris: My Week
Ten per cent of the British population come from “ethnic minorities”, a reporter on the BBC Today programme told us solemnly on Monday. He was discussing the Conservative Party’s drive to make the choice of candidates better reflect what Tories, too, call the “ethnic minority” population. The reporter added that this should be 10 per cent. By “ethnic minorities” he didn’t (and the Tories don’t) mean Albanians (Christian or Muslim) or the Irish, or Australians, Japanese or Jews. Oh, come on. Ethnic means “coloured” doesn’t it? If not, tell me in what respect not.
My Week "Times" Dec. 7, 2006,
On a voyage of peril to the mirage of Europe
There are few people in Senegal who don't know of someone who has emigrated to Europe. The few who have made enough money there to buy a big house in an upmarket district of Dakar inspire others. Most who take the pirogues have a contact who is already in Europe - maybe working in a market garden or a building site in Spain - and has promised to help them find their feet. And who doesn't want to believe they won't be one of the lucky ones?
On a remote beach in west Africa, men clamour to board a boat for a 1,250-mile crossing to the Canaries. In a dramatic dispatch, Hannah Godfrey, in Diogue, Senegal, hears of their hopes for a new life - and of the fears that mass emigration will ruin Africa.
Hannah Godfrey, "The Guardian", 22 Nov 2006
Black and white view of immigrants from Eastern Europe
HOW many is too many? The Home Office has been grappling with this nettle for many months and yesterday John Reid, the Home Secretary, finally came to a decision about European migration. Bulgarians and Romanians who join the European Union are too many.