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Un nuevo blog en Educastur

Wall Street Journal - December 28, 2010 

MADRID—The leader of ETA’s political wing said in an interview from jail that the terrorist group is ready to give up violence and pursue a peaceful strategy to create an independent Basque state.The remarks by Arnaldo Otegi, a key negotiator in past peace talks with the Spanish government, come as the country prepares for an expected statement from ETA in which it could pledge to lay down arms for good.In written answers to questions sent by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Otegi stopped short of confirming that ETA is preparing to announce such an end to its 42-year campaign of violence. But he hinted that unspecified “coming developments” will ratchet up the pressure on the government to negotiate an end to the Basque conflict.In any case, he said, his movement now rejects “any violence that seeks to attain political objectives.”Mr. Otegi’s remarks, while generally in line with recent statements by ETA’s political supporters, represent one of the strongest indications yet that Basque terrorism may be nearing an end.Still, many Spaniards will likely question whether the group is sincere in its peace offer. The group has announced several cease-fires in the past, only to return to violence when its demands haven’t been met. ETA declared its latest cease-fire in September. Skeptics also point to recent activity by ETA as evidence that it isn’t preparing to disband. French authorities blamed ETA for an armed assault on a company there this month in which masked gunmen stole equipment to make fake identification cards.In the interview, Mr. Otegi, who is serving a jail sentence for trying to reconstitute ETA’s political wing, which was outlawed in 2003, appeared to recognize that ETA would have to provide significant new assurances if it is to be taken seriously.”It seems logical to me that the Spanish government would demand guarantees to preserve the security of its citizens,” he said. “We are willing to provide as many guarantees as are necessary to prove that our stance is firm and irreversible.”He didn’t specify what those guarantees could be, but ETA supporters have hinted that they are willing submit to the supervision of international monitors, as the Irish Republican Army did during the peace process in Northern Ireland.The Spanish government declined to comment on Mr. Otegi’s remarks but has recently dismissed statements by ETA and its supporters as insufficient.ETA has killed 829 people during a four-decade violent campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France. It is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Spain and the European Union.The collapse of the latest peace process in December 2006 was a blow to the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who had staked much of his political capital on an ETA peace deal.But despite its failure, the effort now appears to have put the government in a stronger position since many Basques blamed ETA for the breakdown. That appears to have eroded support for ETA and its political allies among the Basque population.Polls show that little over one-half of Basques reject ETA completely, up from under one-quarter at the beginning of the 1980s.Since the latest peace talks broke down four years ago, Spain’s center-left Socialist Party government has been using a carrot-and-stick approach in an effort to push ETA toward laying down arms. With the aid of French security forces, Spain has cracked down on ETA members and their political allies, arresting more than 400 suspects in the past four years.At the same time, the Spanish government has quietly granted benefits to ETA prisoners who break ranks with the group, moving some to jails nearer home.Critics say ETA is merely seeking to allow its political allies to take part in local elections in May, sidestepping a Spanish law that bans ETA supporters from running for office. “They want to be in the elections to get access to local financing, control of town-level budgets and attract electoral support to justify their struggle,” said Mikel Buesa, an anti-ETA activist and former Basque politician.Even if the rump of ETA is sincere, itmay not be able to force all of its members to abide by its cease-fire. The group has repeatedly splintered in the past, with older members laying down arms while younger members continue the violence.The Basque region has its own distinctive culture and language, which is unrelated to the Latin-derived tongues spoken around it. It is famous for its picturesque mountainous landscapes and Michelin-starred restaurants; it is one of the wealthiest regions in Spain and enjoys more political autonomy than any other.Around one-third of Spanish Basques favor independence, according to a recent poll by the regional government.ETA was born in the waning days of the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, who banned regional languages like Basque in an effort to forge a single, Spanish national identity. Its most famous operation—assassinating Franco’s handpicked successor in 1973—is credited by some with hastening the end of the dictatorship.But instead of laying down its arms when democracy returned to Spain in the late 1970s, ETA killed hundreds politicians and civilians in the 1980s and ’90s during the bloodiest stretch of its campaign.Write to David Roman at david.roman@dowjones.com and Thomas Catan at thomas.catan@wsj.com

See also:

- Euronews: ETA ready to give up violence (news & video).

Mind Maps

Posted by JUAN JOSE under How to study

Mind Maps are a very useful tool. Here you have the way Tony Buzan does, As he says in his website:

If you’re a student, we know you have enough information to take in already without adding more to the list. But Mind Mapping and iMindMap is different; it can help you improve your results and enjoy learning. Take a look at what you can do with Mind Mapping:

  • Plan and write assignments, make study timetables and structure coursework.
  • Summarise information concisely, revise key ideas and forge connections between topics.
  • Generate creative ideas, form independent opinions and analyse information confidently.

Seven Mind Mapping Uses for Students

How to create a mind map

  1. One Word per branch.
  2. The length of the branch: the length of the word should be the length of the branch.
  3. Use of colour
  4. Use of image. Key words and key images. Images are the way human beings communicate. Every genius use images and associations. And you can communicate with other languages group.
  5. Clarity.

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The European Commission, and specifically Vice-President Viviane Reding, is to be hugley congratulated for her strong and outright condemnation of  French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s totally indefensible expulsion of Roma people from France.

Mrs Reding, who has responsiblility for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, has just made a statement in which she pulls no punches in condemning the French government. 

Given the significance of what Mrs Reding said, I have reproduced it almost in full, as follows: 

“Over the past weeks, the European Commission has been following very closely the developments in France regarding the Roma.

“I personally have been appalled by a situation which gave the impression that people are being removed from a Member State of the European Union just because they belong to a certain ethnic minority. This is a situation I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War.

“I have made crystal clear my doubts about the legality of the French measures in a public statement on 25 August – a statement that was made in full agreement with Commission President Barroso with whom I worked closely on this issue over summer.

“Together with Commissioner Andor and Commissioner Malmström, I submitted a preliminary legal analysis of the French measures on 1 September to President Barroso and the College of Commissioners.

“This preliminary analysis stressed, inter alia, that France would be in violation of EU law if the measures taken by the French authorities in applying the Free Movement Directive had targeted a certain group on the basis of nationality, race or ethnic origin.

“During a formal meeting with French ministers Eric Besson and Pierre Lellouche, the Commission – Commissioner Malmström and myself – received political assurances that specific ethnic groups had not been targeted in France. Our doubts remained. This is why last Tuesday, following discussion in the Commission college, I sent a further formal letter to French minister Besson to ask for additional details, which should be sent to the Commission swiftly.

“I can only express my deepest regrets that the political assurances given by two French ministers officially mandated to discuss this matter with the European Commission are now openly contradicted by an administrative circular issued by the same government.

“The role of the Commission as guardian of the Treaties is made extremely difficult if we can no longer have confidence in the assurances given by two ministers in a formal meeting with two Commissioners and with around 15 senior officials on the table from both sides.

“…this is not a minor offence in a situation of this importance. After 11 years of experience in the Commission, I would even go further: This is a disgrace.

“Let me be very clear: Discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin or race has no place in Europe. It is incompatible with the values on which the European Union is founded. National authorities who discriminate ethnic groups in the application of EU law are also violating the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which all Member States, including France, have signed up to.

“I therefore find it deeply disturbing that a Member State calls so gravely into question, by the actions of its administration, the common values and the law of our European Union.”

I also take issue with the statements made by the French Secretary of State for European Affairs yesterday questioning the role of the European Commission as guardian of the Treaties. The Commission’s role as guardian of the Treaties is one of the foundations of the European Union – a Union which is held together not by force, but by respect of the rule of law agree upon by all Member States, including France.

I take note that the French authorities seem themselves to become aware that the developments of this weekend put them into an untenable situation. I also take note that yesterday afternoon the French Minister of the Interior signed a new circular on the matter eliminating the references to a specific ethnic group, the Roma. We are currently looking into the legal implications of this – it is important that not only the words change, but also the behaviour of the French authorities. I am, therefore, asking the French authorities for immediate and swift explanation of the matter.

The Commission will include all these developments, as well as other relevant documentation, into our final legal analysis of the situation. This legal analysis is done in close cooperation by my services, the services of Commissioners Malmström and Andor, as well as with the Legal Service of the President, and I expect it to be completed in the days to come.

I am personally convinced that the Commission will have no choice but to initiate infringement action against France:

-        Infringement proceedings against France for a discriminatory application of the Free Movement Directive.

-        And infringement proceedings against France for lack of transposition of the procedural and substantive guarantees under the Free Movement Directive.

I will of course give the French authorities the right to submit comments on the new developments in the course of the next days. But I make it very clear my patience is wearing thin: enough is enough.

No Member State can expect special treatment, especially not when fundamental values and European laws are at stake. This applies today to France. This applies equally to all other Member States, big or small, which would be in a similar situation. You can count on me for that.”

Source: The Honeyball buzz

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Romania has expressed concern about the deportations of Gypsies, or Roma, from France, saying it could lead to “xenophobic reactions”. Friday’s statement came as French authorities put some 100 Roma, on a charter flight headed to their native Romania after expelling scores of others on Thursday.

As hundreds of deported Roma, were expected to arrive in Romania from France on Friday and the coming days, Romanian President Traian Basescu expressed concern about the situation.

In a statement, he said Romania “understands the position of the French government.” But Mr. Basescu stressed Romania also supports “unconditionally the right of every Romanian citizen to travel without restrictions within the European Union” as his country is an EU member state.

These concerns are shared by the EU’s executive body, the European Commission said spokesman Matthew Newman.

“We are obviously, very concerned about any form of discrimination, our policies is always to promote full integration of the Roma population in Europe. Let me just remind that Roma people are just like any Europeans people, they are full European citizens, they have the right to free movement anywhere in the EU,” said Newman.  “…These are the rights that they have and they need to be respected. And all member states need ensure that these rights are respected.”

The Vatican, rights groups and the Council of Europe have also criticized the massive expulsions of Roma. Authorities in France say the deportations are part of an effort by conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy to dismantle what they call “illegal” Roma camps.

They have pledged to give each adult $386 and each child $128 to help them get back on their feet in their home country, if they leave without resistance.

With no signs of France backing down, Romanian President Basescu has offered to send police to help in the careful repatriation of Roma, who have been described as among Europe’s most discriminated and impoverished people.

Talking to reporters, expelled Roma expressed concerns about their future in Romania.

One man explained that he studied for 10 years and has a diploma. Yet, he claimed, he will only earn 250 euro, about $317 (U.S.) per month.

Roma are also expected to be expelled to Bulgaria.

Although Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, the French government says Roma should show work permits and prove they can support themselves if they stay in France for more than 90 days.

Source: VOA News

Gilles Deleuze

Posted by JUAN JOSE under 1º Bach - Philosophy

Gilles Deleuze

The philosopher: Gilles Deleuze

The text: Nietzsche and philosophy.

         “When somebody asks “what’s the use of philosophy”, the reply must be aggressive, since the question tries to be ironic and caustic. Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. Its only use is the exposure of all forms of baseness of thought. Is there any discipline apart from philosophy that sets out to criticise all mystifications, whatever the source and aim, to expose all the fictions without whiche reactive forces would not prevail? Exposing as a mystification the mixture of baseness and stupidity that creates the atonishing complicity of both victims and perpetrators. Finally, turning thought into something aggressive, active and affirmative. Creating free men, that is to say men who do not confuse the aims of culture with the benefit of the State, morality or religion. Fighting the ressentiment and bad conscience which have replaced thought for us. Conquering the negative and its false glamour. Who has an interesting in all this but philosophy? Philosophy is at its most positive as critique, as an enterprise of demystification. And we shoul not be too hasty in proclaiming philosophy’s failure in this respect. Great as they are, stupidity and baseness would be still greater if there did not remain some philosophy which always prevents them from going as far as they would wish, which forbids them –if only by yea-saying- form being as stupid and base as they would wish. They are forbidden certain excesses, but only by philosophy.                   (Gilles Deleuze. Nietzsche and philosophy)

Tabloids & Broadsheets

Posted by JUAN JOSE under General

The Sun

More daily newspapers, national and regional, are sold for every person in Britain than in most other developed countries. On an average day, nearly 60 percent of people over the age of 15 read a national morning paper and over 65 percent read a Sunday newspaper. There are 10 national morning daily newspapers, 9 Sundays, about 1,400 regional and local newspaper titles, and over 6,500 periodical publications on sale. There is no state control or censorship.

There are two types of newspaper, Tabloid and Broadsheet. Tabloids dominate the market; they provide a mainly entertainment and sports news, usually in a sensational or scandalous way, they use their own interpretation of current news issues. The Sun is bought by around 4 million people every day, four times the number who buy the highest selling broadsheet paper, the Daily Telegraph. Middle-range papers (Mail and Express) claim about a quarter of readers, with ‘quality’ newspapers (The Times, Guardian, Independent etc) less than 20%

On Sundays, the News of the World is read by up to a third of newspaper readers. It is published by News International which also owns The Sun, The Times, and the Sunday Times, and has a 40% share in BskyB. Many of the large media groups have business interests in other areas of the media (e.g. regional ITV companies, satellite or cable TV, magazines, books or regional newspapers). 

In addition to national newspapers, there are also 43 million local or regional papers bought or delivered free to homes in Britain every week. (SOURCE: http://www.xiangtan.co.uk/2lesson3.htm)

Audio files:

- Introduction.

- Local newspapers.

24 February 2010

In his speech at the 4th World Congress against the Death Penalty, opened today in Geneva (Switzerland), the President of the Government defended the establishment of an effective moratorium for 2015 as a preliminary step to total abolition. Furthermore, he offered that the next World Congress be held in Spain.

The 4th World Congress against the Death Penalty is being held in Geneva (Switzerland) and has been organised by the NGO “United against the Death Penalty” in collaboration with another NGO, “World Coalition against the Death Penalty”.

Over the course of three days, from 24 to 26 February, more than a thousand people representing civil society, international organisations and government institutions will exchange ideas and experiences in order to establish a universal moratorium against executions, as a preliminary step to total abolition.

The previous editions of this event were held in Strasbourg (2001), Montreal (2004) and Paris (2007).

In his speech at the opening session, the President of the Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, reminded his audience that Spain has been one of the countries in support of holding this Congress and proposed that the next one be held in Spain. He said it would be “an honour”.

For the President of the Spanish Government, these Congresses represent a “meeting point and forum for validation” that will grow in “strength and determination”. He said that it brings us together in a “noble movement” that is “militant and valuable”.

Progress

Over the course of recent decades, a global movement in support of the right to life and human dignity has gradually consolidated its position.

“Progress has been very significant, particularly in the last twenty years, but we cannot rest on our laurels in satisfaction just yet because there are still many countries that apply the death penalty”, added Mr Rodríguez Zapatero.

He stressed that Spain is a completely abolitionist country and that eradication of the death penalty forms part of the priorities for the foreign policy of the Spanish Government, as established by the Human Rights Plan approved by the Government in 2008.

He assured that Spain will continue to incorporate its petitions for the eradication of the death penalty in its diplomatic activities, initially from a standpoint of respectfully not interfering but also from one of respect for human rights.

He added that, during the six-month period of Spanish EU Presidency, we will work for the immediate establishment of a moratorium in those countries that remain “retentionist”. We will also undertake direct action in individual cases, fundamentally those that affect minors, pregnant women or people with mental disabilities.

Along the same lines, he announced that we are going to push for the approval of a new Resolution by the General Assembly within the framework of the United Nations at the end of this year.

International commission

Mr Rodríguez Zapatero announced the creation of an International Commission against the Death Penalty, whose purpose will be to contribute to strengthening the international momentum leading towards its Universal Abolition. The creation of this Commission was established in the Human Rights Plan approved by the Spanish Government.

This Commission will become operational during the second half of this year and will consist of individuals of high moral authority and internationally-recognised prestige from all regions of the world.

Source: Government of Spain. La Moncloa. Highlights

How to Write a Newspaper Article

Posted by JUAN JOSE under General

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Wondering how to write that story, press release or announcement for your local newspaper? Have you been assigned to write a newspaper article for a journalism class?

Follow these hints for how to write a newspaper article — presented in the format of a news story, of course — and you’ll be well on the way to effectively communicating through writing.

How to Write an Article for a Newspaper – Components of a Newspaper Article

There’s a specific formula that newspaper journalists should follow when authoring a news story, and when done correctly, the writer can effectively educate and entertain readers from all walks of life. The “lead” of a news story, typically the first paragraph, should provide a clear and concise overview of the main point(s) (who, what, when, where, how and why), thereby conveying to the reader what he or she will be learning about in the piece.

The content of a news story should be unbiased, and completely fact-based. Sources of the information should be clearly cited and integrated into the piece.

Sentences should be clear, concise and worded in a manner that is appropriate for the audience.

Another important concept to keep in mind when writing a news story is the pyramid format, developed in the early years of broadcasting when reception was often inconsistent. News reporters placed the most important facts at the beginning of the broadcast and additional information was mentioned in order of descending importance so that listeners received the most important information first, even in the event that a listener’s reception was interrupted part-way through the broadcast. Using the pyramid style of reporting ensured that the most important information would be disseminated first.

Today, the pyramid format serves to present the reader the most important facts first, drawing him in to read the remainder of the story. Facts should be mentioned in order of descending importance.

“Quotes can be a wonderful tool for a news writer, when used appropriately,” explained longtime journalist Doug Wood-Boyle, who has worked in the field for over a quarter century.

He added, “Quotations can clearly illustrate opposing opinions. They can also add a human feel to a story, while also providing the writer with an outlet to clearly illustrate a person’s thoughts or opinion on an issue. They’re also perfect when someone says something or illustrates a point more effectively than you, the reporter, can accomplish.”

Writing a Newspaper Article – Consider the Newspaper Audience

Writers should also provide background information when writing about the latest in a series of stories on a particular subject. Provide background information on past proceedings and clearly outline the evolution of the story. Writers should always assume that the reader has no prior knowledge of the event, organization, etc. This same rule can also be applied when covering an event or when writing a story about an organization.

“My rule of thumb is this: Assume that the reader has never read your publication. Reporters should then fill-in any gaps in the information,” Wood-Boyle explained.

Complementary information, such as the history of an organization or event, should be prominently cited in a story. Often, this information is included at the end of the piece, after the most important and timely information is discussed.

Preparing to Submit a Newspaper Article

Once the author has completed the actual writing process, there are several additional steps that should be taken to ensure that the piece is ready for publication. Facts cited in the story should be verified in order to ensure accuracy. Spelling and grammatical errors can serve as a distraction to the reader, so accuracy is key and all errors should be corrected before a news story is submitted.

Source: http://newspaper-journalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_write_a_newspaper_article

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Meaning of “Up yours

Trapped “coma” man

Posted by JUAN JOSE under News

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London, England (CNN) — A Belgian car crash victim who was misdiagnosed as being in a vegetative state for 23 years was conscious the whole time, it has emerged. Rom Houben was 23 at the time of his accident, but tests carried out by Dr. Laureys of the University of Liege, in Belgium, revealed that although Houben was believed to be in a persistent vegetative state, he was fully aware.

The case has highlighted the difficulties doctors face when trying to diagnose the level of consciousness of a patient in a coma-like state.

A study carried out last year on 103 patients by Laureys and his colleagues at Liege’s Coma Science Group found that 41 per cent of patients in a Minimally Conscious State (MCS) were misdiagnosed as being in the much more serious Vegetative State (VS).Dr. Daniel Hanley, professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, in Maryland, told CNN that VS is a coma-like state in which patients have a sleep and wake cycle, and can show reflex chewing, swallowing and blinking, but don’t respond to language or stimulation.Patients in MCS occasionally show they are aware of their environment, for example moving to face a doctor when asked, but only infrequently.

Laureys said of his research, “Differentiating the vegetative from the minimally conscious state is often one of the most challenging tasks facing clinicians involved in the care of patients with disorders of consciousness.”

Misdiagnosis can lead to grave consequences, especially in end-of-life decision-making.” 

Caroline Schnakers, who carried out the research with Laureys, told CNN that one probable reason for the high rate of misdiagnosis is that doctors often base their diagnosis on observations of a patient’s behavior, rather than assessing patients using standardized tests.

“Assessment is usually behavioral,” Schnakers told CNN. “For example, if you come into a room and a patient’s eyes follow you, or if they smile when you make a joke, they are conscious — but it doesn’t mean they will still be able to do that one hour later.”Schnakers said that using standardized tests could reduce incidents of misdiagnosis. The Glasgow Coma Scale is a standardized test that classifies a patient’s motor, verbal and eye response on a graded scale. It was widely used until about 2000 to classify a patient’s level of consciousness, but Schnakers says it may contribute to misdiagnosis.She told CNN, “In our study we used the JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R), which is standardized for detecting signs of consciousness in someone recovering from a coma. It’s very sensitive and avoided a lot more misdiagnosis than the Glasgow Coma Scale.”

The CRS-R was developed at the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute and grades patients’ verbalization, communication, motor function, visual function and response to sound.Diagnosis can be further complicated by another condition, called Locked-In Syndrome. Much less common than VS or MCS, patients in a locked-in state are totally aware of their environment but have minimal reflexive movements, typically only being able to blink their eyes. Hanley told CNN that Houben may have been in a locked-in state.

But Houben’s diagnosis may have been made more difficult by the fact that he was partly paralyzed, meaning he was unable to show a motor response.”He was conscious for a long time, but it’s difficult to know for how long,” said Schnakers. “Maybe he had a period of VS, but you wouldn’t know how long it lasted, even if you ask a patient how long they were in VS or MCS.”

Hanley explained that diagnosis is also more difficult if a patient is being treated with sedative drugs, which can cause severe neurological impairment that can mimic VS. But even given those considerations, Hanley says neurologists should easily be able to tell the difference between a patient in VS and MCS.

Dr. Nicholas Schiff, of the Weill Cornell Medical Center, in New York, told CNN that the risk of misdiagnosis is increased because a patient’s condition can change over a long period and the transition from VS to MS often takes place outside the time window of careful assessment.

“The ’standard’ is probably transfer to nursing home from acute care at an early stage, where an accurate diagnosis of VS gets replaced at the nursing home with an inaccurate prognosis of permanent VS, explicitly or implicitly,” Schiff said.

“Because there are no standards for reassessment or any access to rehabilitation centers for many of these patients this is the status quo.”

The New in CNN

Video in youtube

European Union Map

Posted by JUAN JOSE under General
Europe Map  
“Write the name of the European Country that corresponds to each of the numbers”. It’s an exercise by  Isabel Pérez for students in E.S.O.
    - The European Union.
   - European Union Map.
   -Europe Map Puzzle.