Category Archives: Health and Environment

Cancer : la formation d’une tumeur en 3D (vidéo) — L’important (@Limportant_fr) February 4, 2016


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WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! They Poisoned Our Water? Interview With UAW Region 1D Assistant Director Steve Dawes On Flint: A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY


They Poisoned Our Water? Interview With UAW Region 1D Assistant Director Steve Dawes On Flint

The Rabbit-Proof Fence


The Rabbit-Proof Fence

When Thomas Austin released 24 rabbits onto his Australian farm in 1859, he was unaware of the damage they would cause to the Australian ecosystem. Within 35 years, the rabbits, which had no natural predators in Australia, spread throughout the mainland and destroyed millions of acres of farmland. In 1901, construction began on a fence that would traverse Western Australia from north to south and was intended to contain the rabbits east of the barrier. What animal was used to inspect the fence? More… Discuss

historic musical bits: Leonid Kogan – Schumann – Fantasie in C major, Op 131


Leonid Kogan – Schumann – Fantasie in C major, Op 131


Yerba mate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yerba mate (from Spanish [ˈʝerβa ˈmate]; Portuguese: erva-mate [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmate] or [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmatʃɪ]) is a species of the holly family (Aquifoliaceae), with the botanical name Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil.[1] named by the French botanist Auguste François César Prouvençal de Saint-Hilaire.[2]Yerba mate is widely known as the source of the beverage called mate (Portuguese: chimarrão, tererê/tereré and other variations). It is traditionally consumed in central and southern regions of South America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, southern and center-western Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Chile.[3] It is also very popular in Syria where it is imported from Argentina.[4] Yerba mate was initially utilized and cultivated by the Guaraní people and in some Tupí communities in southern Brazil, prior to European colonization. It was scientifically classified by the Swiss botanist Moses Bertoni, who settled in Paraguay in 1895.[citation needed] Yerba mate can also be found in various energy drinks on the market today.

Yerba mate, erva mate, mate, or maté
Ilex paraguariensis
Ilex paraguariensis - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-074.jpg
Ilex paraguariensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: I. paraguariensis
Binomial name
Ilex paraguariensis

Description

Yerba mate, Ilex paraguariensis, begins as a shrub and then matures to a tree and can grow up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The leaves are evergreen, 7–110 millimetres (0.3–4.3 in) long and 30–55 millimetres (1.2–2.2 in) wide, with a serrated margin. The leaves are often called yerba (Spanish) or erva (Portuguese), both of which mean “herb”. They contain caffeine (known in some parts of the world as mateine) and also contains related xanthine alkaloids and are harvested commercially.

The flowers are small, greenish-white, with four petals. The fruit is a red drupe 4–6 millimetres (0.16–0.24 in) in diameter.

Cultivation

 Plantation in Misiones, Argentina.

The Yerba mate plant is grown and processed in South America, specifically in northern Argentina (Corrientes, Misiones), Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul). Cultivators are known as yerbateros (Spanish) or ervateiros (Brazilian Portuguese).

Seeds used to germinate new plants are harvested from January until April only after they have turned dark purple. After harvest, they are submerged in water in order to eliminate floating non-viable seeds and detritus like twigs, leaves, etc. New plants are started between March and May. For plants established in pots, transplanting takes place April through September. Plants with bare roots are transplanted only during the months of June and July.[5]

Many of the natural enemies of yerba mate are difficult to control in a plantation setting. Insect pests include Gyropsylla spegazziniana, an insect that lays eggs in branches, Hedyphates betulinus, an insect that weakens the tree and makes it more susceptible to mold and mildew, “Perigonia lusca”, an insect that eats the leaves, and several species of mites.[5]

When yerba mate is harvested, the branches are often dried by a wood fire, imparting a smoky flavor. The plant Ilex paraguariensis can vary in strength of the flavor, caffeine levels and other nutrients depending on whether it is a male or female plant. Female plants tend to be milder in flavor and lower in caffeine. They are also relatively scarce in the areas where yerba mate is planted and cultivated.[6]

According to FAO in 2012, Brazil is the biggest producer of mate in the world with 513,256 MT (58%), followed by Argentina with 290,000 MT (32%) and Paraguay with 85,490 MT (10%).[7]

Use as a beverage

Main article: Mate (beverage)

 Steaming mate infusion in its customary cup that resembles the shape of a gourd, the customary vessel

The infusion, called mate in Spanish-speaking countries or chimarrão in Brazil, is prepared by filling a container, typically a gourd, up to three-quarters full with dry leaves (and twigs) of the mate plant, and filling it up with water at a temperature of 70–80 °C (158–176 °F), hot but not boiling. Sugar may or may not be added; and the mate may be prepared with cold water (tereré).[8]

Drinking mate with friends from a hollow gourd (also called a guampa, porongo or mate in Spanish, cabaça or cuia in Portuguese, or zucca in Italian) through a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba in Portuguese), refilling and passing to the next person after finishing the few mouthfuls of beverage, is a common social practice in Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil among people of all ages.

Yerba mate is most popular in Uruguay, where people are seen walking the streets carrying the mate and termo (thermal vacuum flask) in their arms. You can also find hot water stations to refill the termo while on the road. In Argentina 5 kg (11 lb) of yerba mate is consumed annually per capita; in Uruguay, the largest consumer, consumption is 10 kg (22 lb).[9] The amount of the herb used to prepare the infusion is much greater than that used for tea and other beverages, accounting for the large weight used.[10]

 Yerba Mate shop, Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

The flavor of brewed mate resembles an infusion of vegetables, herbs, grass and is reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Some consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water. Flavored mate is also sold, in which the mate leaves are blended with other herbs (such as peppermint) or citrus rind.[11]

In Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, a toasted version of mate, known as mate cocido (Paraguay), chá mate (Brazil) or just mate, is sold in teabags and in a loose leaf form. It is often served sweetened in specialized shops or on the street, either hot or iced, pure or with fruit juice (especially lime – known in Brazil as limão) or milk. In Argentina and southern Brazil, this is commonly consumed for breakfast or in a café for afternoon tea, often with a selection of sweet pastries (facturas).

 Yerba for sale in the open air market of La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain.

An iced, sweetened version of toasted mate is sold as an uncarbonated soft drink, with or without fruit flavoring. In Brazil, this cold version of chá mate is specially popular in the South and Southeast regions, and can easily be found in retail stores in the same cooler as soft-drinks.[12] Mate batido, which is toasted, has less of a bitter flavor and more of a spicy fragrance. Mate batido becomes creamy when shaken. Mate batido is more popular in the coastal cities of Brazil, as opposed to the far southern states, where it is consumed in the traditional way (green, consumed with a silver straw from a shared gourd), and called chimarrão (cimarrón in Spanish, particularly that of Argentina[13]).

In Paraguay, western Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, west of São Paulo) and the Argentine littoral, a mate infusion, called tereré in Spanish and Portuguese or tererê in Portuguese in southern regions of Brazil, is also consumed as a cold or iced beverage, usually sucked out of a horn cup called guampa with a bombilla. Tereré can be prepared with cold water (the most common way in Paraguay and Brazil), or fruit juice (the most common way in Argentina). The version with water is more bitter; fruit juice acts as a sweetener (in Brazil, that is usually avoided with the addition of table sugar). Medicinal or culinary herbs, known as yuyos (weeds), may be crushed with a pestle and mortar, and added to the water for taste or medicinal reasons. Tereré is most popular in Paraguay, Brazil, and the Litoral (northeast Argentina).[14]

In the same way as people meet for tea or coffee, friends often gather and drink mate (matear) in Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Sharing mate is almost a ritual, following customary rules. In warm weather the hot water is sometimes replaced by lemonade, but not in Uruguay.

 Selection of Yerba Mate gourds and bombillas at a street vendor, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The gourd (mate in Spanish) is given by the brewer to each person, often in a circle, in turn; the recipient does not give thanks, drinks the few mouthfuls and returns the mate to the brewer, who refills it and passes it to the next person in clockwise order.

During August, Paraguayans have a tradition of mixing mate with crushed leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant known as flor de agosto[15] (the flower of August, plants of the Senecio genus, particularly Senecio grisebachii), which contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Modifying mate in this fashion is potentially toxic, as these alkaloids can cause a rare condition of the liver, veno-occlusive disease, which produces liver failure due to progressive occlusion of the small venous channels in the liver.[16]

In South Africa, mate is not well known, but has been introduced to Stellenbosch by a student who sells it nationally. In the tiny hamlet of Groot Marico in the northwest province, mate was introduced to the local tourism office by the returning descendants of the Boers, who in 1902 had emigrated to Patagonia in Argentina after losing the Anglo Boer War. It is also commonly consumed in Lebanon, Syria and some other parts of the Middle East mainly by Druze and Alawite population, following emigration to South America and return by many people, and worldwide by expatriates from the Southern Cone.[17]

Chemical composition and properties

Polyphenols

Yerba mate contains a variety of polyphenols such as the flavonoids quercetin and rutin.[18]

Xanthines

Yerba mate contains three xanthines: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, the main one being caffeine. Caffeine content varies between 0.7% and 1.7% of dry weight[19] (compared with 0.4– 9.3% for tea leaves, 2.5–7.6% in guarana, and up to 3.2% for ground coffee);[20] theobromine content varies from 0.3% to 0.9%; theophylline is present in small quantities, or can be completely absent.[21] A substance previously called “mateine” is a synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine).

Mineral content

Yerba mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.[22]

Health effects

As of 2011 there have not been any double-blind, randomized prospective clinical trials of Yerba mate consumption with respect to chronic disease.[23] Yerba mate has been claimed to have various effects on human health and these effects have been attributed to the high quantity of polyphenols found in mate tea.[18]

Research has found that Yerba mate may improve allergy symptoms[24] and reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus and high blood sugar in mice.[25]

Mate also contains compounds that act as an appetite suppressant and possible weight loss tool,[26] increases mental energy and focus,[27] improves mood,[28] and promotes deeper sleep; however, sleep may only be affected in people who are sensitive to caffeine.[27]

Lipid metabolism

Some non-blinded studies have found mate consumption to be effective in lipid lowering.[23]

Cancer

The consumption of hot mate tea is associated with oral cancer,[29] esophageal cancer,[30] cancer of the larynx,[30] and squamous cell cancers of the head and neck.[31][32] Studies show a correlation between tea temperature and likelihood of cancer, making it unclear how much of a role mate itself plays as a carcinogen.[30]

Weight loss

Yerba mate contains polyphenols such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which work by inhibiting enzymes like pancreatic lipase[33] and lipoprotein lipase, which in turn play a role in fat metabolism. Yerba mate has been shown to increase satiety by slowing gastric emptying. Effects on weight loss may be due to reduced absorption of dietary fats and/or altered cholesterol metabolism.[34]

Despite yerba mate’s potential for reducing body weight, there is minimal data on the effects of yerba mate on body weight in humans.[35] Therefore, yerba mate should not be recommended over diet and physical exercise[36] without further study on its effects being warranted.

Mechanism of action

E-NTPDase activity

Research also shows that mate preparations can alter the concentration of members of the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase) family, resulting in an elevated level of extracellular ATP, ADP, and AMP. This was found with chronic ingestion (15 days) of an aqueous mate extract, and may lead to a novel mechanism for manipulation of vascular regenerative factors, i.e., treating heart disease.[medical citation needed]

Antioxidants

In an investigation of mate antioxidant activity, there was a correlation found between content of caffeoyl-derivatives and antioxidant capacity (AOC).[medical citation needed] Amongst a group of Ilex species, Ilex paraguariensis antioxidant activity was the highest.[medical citation needed]

Monoamine oxidase inhibition activity

A paper from the University of São Paulo cites yerba mate extract as an inhibitor of MAO activity; the maximal inhibition observed in vitro was 40–50%. A monoamine oxidase inhibitor is a type of antidepressant, so there is some data to suggest that yerba mate has a calming effect in this regard.[37]

History

Main article: History of yerba mate

 
Yerba mate growing in the wild

Mate was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and also spread in the Tupí people that lived in southern Brazil, Paraguay and became widespread during European colonization.[citation needed] In the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 16th century, both Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaranís, who had, to some extent, before the Spanish arrival, consumed it.[citation needed] Mate consumption spread in the 17th century to the River Plate and from there to Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.[citation needed] This widespread consumption turned it into Paraguay’s main commodity above other wares, such as tobacco, and indigenous peoples labour was used to harvest wild stands.[citation needed]

In the mid 17th century, Jesuits managed to domesticate the plant and establish plantations in their Indian reductions in Misiones, Argentina, sparking severe competition with the Paraguayan harvesters of wild stands.[citation needed] After their expulsion in the 1770s, their plantations fell into decay, as did their domestication secrets.[citation needed] The industry continued to be of prime importance for the Paraguayan economy after independence, but development in benefit of the Paraguayan state halted after the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) that devastated the country both economically and demographically.[citation needed] Some regions with mate plantations in Paraguay became Argentine territory.[citation needed]

 Lithograph of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, a 19th-century ruler of Paraguay, holding a mate and bombilla

Brazil then became the largest producer of mate.[38] In Brazilian and Argentine projects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the plant was domesticated once again, opening the way for plantation systems.[citation needed] When Brazilian entrepreneurs turned their attention to coffee in the 1930s, Argentina, which had long been the prime consumer,[39] took over as the largest producer, resurrecting the economy in Misiones Province, where the Jesuits had once had most of their plantations. For years, the status of largest producer shifted between Brazil and Argentina.[39]

Now, Brazil is the largest producer, with 53%, followed by Argentina, 37% and Paraguay, 10%.[7][40]

In the city of Campo Largo, state of Paraná, Brazil, there is a Mate Historic Park (Portuguese: Parque Histórico do Mate), funded by that state’s government, to educate people on the sustainable harvesting methods needed to maintain the integrity and vitality of the oldest wild forests of mate in the world. As of June 2014, however, the park is closed to public visitation.[41]

Nomenclature

The name given to the plant in Guaraní, language of the indigenous people who first cultivated and enjoyed mate, is ka’a, which has the same meaning as “herb”.[citation needed] Congonha, in Portuguese, is derived from the Tupi expression, meaning something like “what keeps us alive”, but a term rarely used nowadays. Mate is from the Quechua mati,[42] a word that means container for a drink, infusion of an herb, as well as gourd.[43] The word mate is used in both Portuguese and Spanish languages.

The pronunciation of yerba mate in Spanish is [ˈʝe̞rβ̞ä ˈmäte̞][42] The accent on the word is on the first syllable, not the second as might be implied by the variant spelling maté.[42] The word hierba is Spanish for “herb”; yerba is a variant spelling of it which was quite common in Argentina.[44] (Nowadays in Argentina yerba refers exclusively to the yerba mate plant.[44]) Yerba mate, therefore, originally translated literally as the “gourd herb”, i.e. the herb one drinks from a gourd.[citation needed]

The (Brazilian) Portuguese name for the plant is either erva-mate [ˈɛʁvɐ ˈmätʃi] (pronounced [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmäte], [ˈɛɾvə ˈmätɪ] or [ˈɛɻvɐ ˈmätʃɪ] in the regions of traditional consumption, [ˈæə̯ʀvə ˈmäˑtɕ] in coastal, urban Rio de Janeiro), the most used term, or rarely congonha [kõˈɡõȷ̃ɐ], from Old Tupi kõ’gõi, which means “what sustains the being”.[45] The drinks it is used to prepare are chimarrão (hot), tereré (cold) or chá mate (hot or cold). While the chá mate (tea) is made with the toasted leaves, the other drinks are made with green leaves, and are very popular in the south and center-west of the country. Most people colloquially address both the plant and the beverage simply by the word mate.[12]

Both the spellings “mate” and “maté” are used in English, but the latter spelling is never used in either Spanish or Portuguese; in Spanish, maté means “I killed” as opposed to “gourd” (the similarly pronounced Portuguese matei also meaning “I killed”).[46] There are no variation of spellings in Spanish.[42] The addition of the acute accent over the final “e” was likely added as a hypercorrection, indicating that the word and its pronunciation are distinct from the common English word “mate“.[47][48][49][50][51][52]

According to both Spanish and Portuguese spelling rules, an acute accent in that position shifts the tonic syllable to the last one, whereas in both languages the word is pronounced with the first syllable as the tonic one. Additionally, in Portuguese it changes the pronunciation of a few vowels. (É being more open and never final unstressed /ɛ/, like ó /ɔ/ and á /a/, and ê being more closed /e/, like ô /o/ and â /ɐ/ – the usual pronunciation of the mate vowel is [i ~ ɪ ~ e], never [ɛ]; the standard in all regions where the Portuguese language is official is for unstressed vowels, particularly final ones, to be reduced, in the case of e through [i] in Brazil, here strongly palatalizing, and most of Africa, and [ɯ], or occasionally non-palatalizing [i], in Portugal, Cape Verde and Macau, among a few others.)

Use as a health food

 Mate softdrinks

Mate is consumed as a health food. Packages of yerba mate are available in health food stores and are frequently stocked in the large supermarkets of Europe, Australia and the United States. By 2013, Asian interest in the drink had seen significant growth and led to significant export trade.[53]

See also

great compositions/performances: The Mission – Gabriel’s Oboe


The Mission – Gabriel’s Oboe (Full HD)

History of yerba mate wikipedia


History of yerba mate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

 Falkland gauchos having mate. Watercolour by Dale, manager of Hope Place – Saladero in the 1850s.

The history of yerba mate, that stretches back to pre-Columbian Paraguay, is marked by a rapid expansion in harvest and consumption in the Spanish South American colonies but also by its difficult domestication process, which even if discovered in the mid 17th century had to be rediscovered later when production was industrialized around 1900.

The consumption of yerba mate became widespread in the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 16th century both among Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaranís, who had to some extent consumed it before the Spanish arrival. Mate consumption spread in the 17th century to the Platine region and from there to Chile and Peru. This widespread consumption turned it into Paraguay’s main commodity above other wares like tobacco, and Indian labour was used to harvest wild stands. In the mid 17th century Jesuits managed to domesticate the plant and establish plantations in their Indian reductions in Misiones, sparking severe competition with the Paraguayan harvesters of wild stands. After the expulsion of the Jesuits in the 1770s their plantations fell into decay as did their domestication secrets. The industry continued to be of prime importance for the Paraguayan economy after independence, but development in benefit of the Paraguayan state halted after the Paraguayan War (1864–1870) which devastated the country both economically and demographically. Brazil became then the prime producer of yerba mate. In Brazilian and Argentine projects in late 19th and early 20th century the plant was domesticated once again opening the way for modern plantation systems. When Brazilian entrepreneurs turned their attention into coffee in the 1930s Argentina, that had long been the prime consumer, took over as the largest producer, resurrecting Misiones Province where the Jesuits had once had most of their plantations.

Early use

 Indigenous Guaraní (in picture) are known to have consumed yerba mate to some degree before the Spanish conquest of Paraguay.

Before the arrival of the Spanish the Guaraní people, indigenous to the area of natural distribution of the plant, are known to have consumed yerba mate at least for medicinal purposes.[1] Remnants of yerba mate have also been found in a Quechua tomb near Lima, Peru and has therefore been suggested to have been associated with prestige.[2][3] The first Europeans to establish themselves in the lands of the Guaranís and the yerba mate were the Spaniards that founded Asunción in 1537. The new colony developed with little commerce and contact from outside and which made the Spanish to establish fluid contacts beyond labour relationships with the local tribes. It is not clear exactly when Spaniards began to drink mate but it is known by late 16th century to be widely consumed.[1]

By 1596 the consumption of mate as a beverage had become so common in Paraguay that a member of the cabildo of Asunción wrote to governor of Río de la Plata Hernando Arias de Saavedra:

“the vice and bad habit of drinking yerba has spread so much among the Spaniards, their women and children, that unlike the Indians that are content to drink it once a day they drink it continuously and those who do not drink it are very rare.”

The same author of the letter went on to claim that Spanish settlers sold their clothing, weapons and horses or fell into debt to obtain yerba mate.[4]

Spread across South America (1600–1650)

 Map showing natural distribution area of yerba mate as well as important colonial settlements and the principal water ways: areas with Jesuit missions are marked with “J”. The borders are those of the modern countries.

In early 17th century, yerba mate had become the chief export of the Guaraní territories, above sugar, wine and tobacco, which had previously dominated.[5] The Governor of Río de la Plata, Hernando Arias de Saavedra, turned in the beginning of the 17th century against the burgeoning mate industry due to beliefs that it was an unhealthy bad habit and that too much of the Indian workforce was consumed in it. He ordered to end the production in the governorate and at the same time sought approval from the Spanish Crown, which rejected the ban, as did also the people involved in production who never complied with the order.[4] In contrast to other alkaloid rich cash crops found by Europeans in the Age of Discovery like cocoa and coffee, yerba mate was not a domesticated species and came to be exploited from wild stands long into the 19th century,[6] although the Jesuits domesticated it first in the mid 17th century.

Up to 1676, during the rise of the industry, the main production centre of yerba mate was the Indian town of Maracayú northeast of Asunción. In Maracayú, amid forests rich in yerba mate, settlers from Asunción dominated production. Maracayú came however to be the place of long-standing conflict when settlers from the towns of Villa Rica del Espíritu Santo and Ciudad Real del Guayrá begun to move into the Maracayú area that the old settlers regarded as theirs. In the 1630 the conflict escalated when settlers from Villa Rica and Ciudad Real del Guayrá and the Jesuit missions of Guairá had to flee over to the Maracayú area due to attacks from Portuguese settlers from São Paulo. In the Maracayú area the new settlers made mate their main income source sparking a conflict with the settlers of Asunción which only ended in 1676 when the Portuguese settlers made another push making Maracayú a rather exposed borderland zone. The settlers of Maracaýu relocated to the south forming the modern city of Villarrica and transformed their new lands into the new centre of the mate industry.[7]

The conflict between the old and the new settlers in Maracayú coincided with the spread of consumption of mate beyond the colony of Paraguay, first to the trade hub of Río de la Plata and from there to Upper Peru (Bolivia), Lower Peru, Ecuador and Chile,[4] becoming an important commodity in many cities of colonial South America.[8] During the course of the 17th century, taxes on mate became an important revenue source in Paraguay, Santa Fé and Buenos Aires and became heavily taxed: Some of the taxes applied were the tithe, alcabala and municipal taxes through the cities where it passed. In 1680 the Spanish Crown imposed a special tax on yerba mate aimed to finance Buenos Aires defence works and garrison.[8]

The shift southward to Villarrica of the production led Asunción to lose position as the sole hub of export downstream to Santa Fe and Buenos Aires. When production was centred in Maracayú transport down Paraná River was difficult and therefore the yerba was bought through Jejuy River to Asunción on Paraguay River[9] which was navigable all the way down to Río de la Plata. The local government of Asunción tried unsuccessfully to have all mate produced north of Tebicuary River to pass through the city, but the Villarrica settlers as well as the Spanish Crown largely ignored the complaints of the Asunción government.[9]

Jesuit era and domestication (1650–1767)

 Location of the most important Jesuit reductions in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, with present political divisions.

The Jesuits began in the late 16th century to establish a series of reduction settlements in the lands of the Guaraní people to convert them to Catholicism. The Jesuit missions had a high degree of autarky but needed coins to pay taxes and acquire products they could not produce.[1] While in the early 17th century Jesuits had supported governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra‘s ban on yerba mate production, they became by mid-17th century severe competitors to the harvesters of the land north of Tebicuary River who had had a practical monopoly on the product.[5][10] In 1645 the Jesuits had successfully requested the Spanish Crown to be allowed to produce and export yerba mate.[10] The Jesuits initially followed the normal production procedure by sending thousands of Guaranís out into long journeys to the swamps where the best trees grew to harvest naturally occurring stands, where many Indians fell ill or died.[10] From the 1650s to the 1670s the Jesuits succeeded in domesticating the plant,[6] something that contemporaries had found extremely difficult.[10] The Jesuits kept the domestication a secret. It apparently involved feeding the seed to birds or emulating the passing of the seeds through the digestive system of a bird.[3] The Jesuits gained a series of commercial advantages over their competitors in the Tebacuary region. Apart from their successful domestication and establishment of plantations, their missions were closer to the important trade hubs of Santa Fé and Buenos Aires and they succeeded in obtaining exemptions from the tithe, alcabala, and the additional tax established in 1680.[11] These privileges caused a conflict with the Paraguayan cities of Asunción and Villarrica that accused the Jesuits of flooding the Platine market with cheap yerba mate, and led to the imposition of limits for the Jesuit exports,[12] which they nevertheless exceeded, so that at the time of the expulsion of the Order they exported four times the amount they were legally allowed.[3] The Jesuits did not, officially, sell mate for profit beyond covering basic necessities and taxes, and accused the Paraguayans of causing prices to drop, adding that their yerba mate was preferred by merchants not due its price but due to its better quality.[12]

Due to the shortage of coins yerba mate along with honey, maize, and tobacco were used as currencies in the Jesuit reductions.[13]

Expansion (1767–1870)

 Lithograph of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, a 19th-century ruler of Paraguay, with a mate and its respective bombilla.

After the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1767 the production and importance of mate producing regions which had been dominated by Jesuits began to decline.[2][6] Excessive exploitation of Indian labour in the plantations led to decay in the industry and the scattering of Guaranís living in the missions.[3][6] With the fall of the Jesuits and the mismanagement by the crown and the new entrepreneurs that had taken over Jesuit plantations Paraguay gained an unrivalled position as the main producer of yerba mate. The plantation system of the Jesuits did however not prevail and mate continued chiefly to be harvested from wild stand through the 18th and most of the 19th century. Concepción in Paraguay, founded in 1773, became a major port of export since it had a huge hinterland of untouched stands of yerba mate north of it. As part of the Bourbon Reforms free trade within the Spanish Empire was allowed in 1778. This and a tax reform in 1780 lead to increased trade in Spanish South America which benefited the mate industry.[6] In the 1770s the habit of drinking mate reached as far as Cuenca, in present day Ecuador.[6]

During the colonial period in Europe, mate failed to be accepted like cocoa, tea and coffee. In 1774 the Jesuit José Sánchez Labrador wrote that mate was consumed by “many” in Portugal and Spain and that many in Italy approved of it.[3] In the 19th century yerba mate attracted the attention of the French naturalists Aimé Bonpland and Augustin Saint-Hilaire who, separately, studied the plant. In 1819 the latter gave yerba mate its binomial nomenclature: Ilex Paraguariensis.

After independence, Paraguay was to lose its pre-eminence as top producer to Brazil and Argentina,[14] although Argentina went into a mate crisis. At independence, Argentina inherited both the largest mate-consuming population in the world as well as Misiones Province where most of the Jesuit missions had been and where the industry was in decay. The decline of production in Argentina relative to the constant increase in demand lead Argentina in the mid-19th century to depend heavily on its neighbors for supply. Yerba mate came to be imported to Argentina from the Paraná highlands in Brazil. This Yerba mate was labelled Paranaguá after its shipping port.[2]

In Paraguay, yerba mate continued to be a major cash crop after independence but the foci of industry shifted away from the mixed plantations and wild stands of Villarrica, north to Concepción in late colonial times and then by 1863 to San Pedro.[15] During the rule of Carlos Antonio López (1844–1862), the yerba mate business was managed by the military commanders of the district, who could harvest yerba mate as a state enterprise or give concessions. The onset of the Paraguayan War (1864–1870) caused a sharp drop in the harvesting of yerba mate in Paraguay, estimated at 95% between 1865 and 1867, caused by enrolment.[15] It has been reported that during the war soldiers from all sides consumed yerba mate to calm the hunger and the combat anxiety.[3] After the Paraguayan War against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, Paraguay was demographically as well as economically ruined and foreign entrepreneurs came to control the yerba mate production and industry in Paraguay.[15] The 156.415 km2 lost by Paraguay in the war to Argentina and Brazil were mostly rich in yerba mate production.[15]

In Chile, where the habit of drinking mate had taken firm ground during colonial times, its popularity gave way after independence to drinks popular in Europe, coffee and tea that entered the country through its increasingly busy ports.[3] The spread of tea and coffee consumption in Chile, to the detriment of mate, began in the upper classes. The first coffee shop in Chile appeared in Santiago in 1808. German botanist Eduard Friedrich Poeppig described in 1827 a wealthy family in Chile where the old people drank yerba mate with bombilla while the younger preferred Chinese tea. The trend of decreasing mate consumption was noticed in 1875 by the British consul Rumbold who said that “imports of Paraguayan tea” were “steadily falling off”. Yerba mate was overall cheaper (price per kilo from 1871 to 1930) than tea and coffee and it remained popular in rural areas of Chile.[16]

Industrialization and spread to the Levant (1870–1950)

 Ukrainian immigrants harvest yerba mate in 1920. Despite its relative inhospitability, Misiones attracted considerable European immigration.

With the devastation of Paraguay and insignificant Argentine production, by the end of the 19th century Brazil became the leading producer of yerba mate.[3] In the 1890s yerba mate plantations regained prominence in the markets when plantations began to be developed in Mato Grosso do Sul.[3][6]

In the early 20th century Argentine production began to recover, rising from less than 1 million kg in 1898 to 20 million kg in 1929 in Misiones Province.[2] In the first half of the 20th century Argentina ran a state programme to populate Misiones Province and kick-start a mate industry. Family-sized parcels of land in Misiones were given to foreign settlers, most of them from Central and Eastern Europe.[17] In the 1930s Brazil changed from mate to coffee production, as it gave more income, leaving the resurrected Argentine industry as the biggest producer,[3] which benefited the Argentine economy as it was also the largest consumer of mate.

Syrian and Lebanese immigrants to Argentina spread the habit of drinking mate to their homelands, where it became particularly associated with the Druze.[3]

Like a bridge over troubled waters (Simon and Garfunkel YouTube)


image

Like a bridge over troubled waters

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over troubled water (with lyrics)

The Cliffs of Insanity


The Cliffs of Insanity

The Namurian shale and sandstone Cliffs of Moher are a major tourist attraction in Ireland, where they are noted for the spectacular views they provide of the Aran Islands and Connemara. Even in the early 19th century, tourists flocked to the site; and in 1835, O’Brien’s Tower, a round stone observation tower located approximately at the midpoint of the cliffs, was built to accommodate the visitors. The cliffs were featured in what popular 1987 cult film as the “Cliffs of Insanity”? More… Discuss

this pressed for your hearts and minds: STATELESS OF LEBANON | Linda Dorigo


The offspring of a Lebanese woman who is married to a non-Lebanese man cannot be considered Lebanese citizens. Even if they have been born and raised in the country. These children are Al-Maktum Qaid or “Stateless.” The stateless in Lebanon also consist of Palestinian refugees or descendants of Palestinians who rejected Lebanese citizenship in order to steer clear of military service when the country was under the French mandate in 1932. Unofficial estimates speak of 35,000 women married to foreigners, and a number of stateless that exceeds 100,000 out of a population of almost 4 million.The stateless have no passports, do not have access to public health care and cannot attend public schools. They are also unable to own private property. Even marriage and travel are incredible obstacles. Gender inequality in nationality laws can create statelessness in which children cannot acquire nationality from their fathers, and are forced to live an incomplete life.The Lebanese government has refused to discuss the archaic law, which dates back to 1925. Some critics say this is because a change in numerical terms by one group over another would result in a shift in political representation and the balance of power within the already vulnerable and sectarian-divided government. Granting women the right to pass on citizenship would lead to an increase in the number of Muslims within Lebanon and could possibly open the doors to Palestinian refugees too.Karim is 9 years old. Every 3 years he has to renew his resident visa to remain in Lebanon. He must study at a private school, since he is not allowed to attend public school. He says he would like to become a doctor to help his mother, Nadia, who is paying for his education. His father, who is also stateless and is of Kurdish origin, was born in Lebanon 55 years ago. Ibrahim lives with his mother in the Beqa‘ valley. He never knew his Syrian father because he left the family and never returned home. “I did not grow up with my real father,” he says. “My brothers and I can not even go to Syria because when we were born there was not enough money to register births, marriages and deaths.” Ibrahim went to school for only 4 years. He was engaged once, but she left him because of his social condition. Moustafa is the founder of the independent movement “Our rights group”. He is stateless, married and father of 3 children, who are therefore also stateless. “I started this campaign alone, without money, more or less two years ago,” he explains. “I suffered a lot for my condition. Today we need to be united because the inability to extend the nationality denies not only women their full rights as nationals, but also denies her children their basic rights as human beings. The same happened to Youssef: he is Palestinian, married to Nada, and they have 3 children. He and his wife are engineers, they work together, they have a studio, but officially he is her employee. The family house, cars, and properties belong to Nada because Youssef is not allowed to own anything. “Before opening the studio with Nada, I was project manager and I had 12 engineers under me,” Youssef says. “No one knew my origins, otherwise I would have been forced to leave the job. Our children understand the restrictions, and when they get married, we will be careful to choose the ‘right’ person”. The story of Samira is well known in Lebanon. She was married to an Egyptian man who passed away in 1994. She has 5 children. None are studying at university because education for non-Lebanese is very expensive. In 2009, for the first time in Lebanon, Judge John Azzi granted citizenship to her children, but two days later the government intervened and quashed the decision. Azzi, who was Head of the Court, lost his office and became a lawyer. He wrote his experience in “A Trip of a Lifetime to Nationality”. Many other families pay the consequences of the Lebanese law. Yousra for example is mother of 2 sons. Hani’s father is Jordanian, while Ali’s father is Lebanese. Yousra has been divorced twice. Since Hani, the youngest, has no nationality he cannot go to public school. The family pays $2.000 a year for his education and his residence permit needs to be renewed every 3 years. Lorenzo he is an Italian journalist married to a Lebanese woman. Their 2 sons can apply for Italian IDs but not Lebanese ones. “I did not think this could be a problem,” Lorenzo said “But talking with my wife I felt more involved, and discovered the injustice”.Links: Private Magazine, Cargo Collective

Source: STATELESS OF LEBANON | Linda Dorigo

this pressed for the Jubilee Year of Mercy: Meet the Christian Minorities of the Middle East | TIME


Ani, Turkey. Ani is the ancient capital of the Armenian empire, situated at the closed border between Armenia and Turkey. Nowadays Ani is a stack of churches’ ruins, homes and the Cathedral. August 2013.

Ani, Turkey. Ani is the ancient capital of the Armenian empire, situated at the closed border between Armenia and Turkey. Nowadays Ani is a stack of churches’ ruins, homes and the Cathedral. August 2013.

During a four-year journey throughout the Middle East – one that placed photographer Linda Dorigo and journalist Andrea Milluzzi on the trail of Christian minorities in countries where Christianity originated and took root – the two reporters, often against their will, adopted what might be considered a theatrical disguise: they were welcomed as academic researchers in Iran, confused for a newlywed couple in Syria, and even referred to as a priest and nun in Gaza.This speaks for only a fraction of the adventures that marked their extensive “pilgrimage” on the trail of secluded Christian minorities, as the reporters sought them out in the capital cities of Muslim countries such as Damascus, or in remote Assyrian towns like Qaraqosh, Iraq. Their interest in this subject was sparked by a dramatic event – a suicide bomb attack that shocked a Coptic Christian Mass in Alexandria, Egypt, on New Year’s Eve 2011. After the news made headlines, it quickly faded from broader media attention, prompting Dorigo and Milluzzi to start their project.The result is Rifugio – Christians of the Middle East, a black-and-white photobook and journalistic reportage that documents their project chronicling the life of Christian communities in nine countries – Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Milluzzi’s essays and Dorigo’s photographs complement each other seamlessly, grouped into six chapters, describing what they say is the burdensome and often heart-rending plight that these minorities endure. Dorigo’s subtle but eloquent photographs – often blurry, elusive, at time dramatic – capture both joyful moments and oppressions encountered, illustrating a reality suspended between the cultural heritage that these communities embody and their minority nature.“It has been a discovery, a never-ending discovery really, because surely we began our journey with an idea in mind of what we were going to look for,” Dorigo says. “But it is [only] when you travel that you realize that, comparing the reality of each country, that you can’t equate Christians in Egypt with Christians in Iran,” she adds.As they toured the area, their research brought them to some of the most remote places in the region, covering events so extraordinary that they seem part of a different era: In the Old City of Jerusalem, they watched the enactment of the Via Crucis staged by Capuchin monks in the streets of the Christian Quarter. In Rojava, in the Syrian Kurdistan, Dorigo photographed the ruins of the last church in Gharduka, which ISIS jihadists bombed. In Iran’s west Azerbaijan province, they witnessed the annual Armenian pilgrimage to Saint Thaddeus monastery, a custom dating back to 68 AD. On that occasion, the ancient church became their dwelling.Planning their trip, Dorigo and Milluzzi avoided hotels and opted for local lodging. “The more you share, the more you are actually able to go deep in what you’re documenting,” Dorigo says. “We sought the real stories, inside the houses, inside the families.”Some destinations, however, proved difficult to explore. To reach Syria’s far east region from its capital, they bypassed ISIS-controlled territories only by returning to Lebanon, flying to Turkey, taking a bus to Iraq and finally entering Syria’s east border all in the same day. On another occasion, as Iranian authorities were after them, they left the country in a couple of days (but returned after a few months.) They gained access to Christian minorities through religious gatherings, local priests or through the encounters in cosmopolitan Beirut. Surprisingly to them, more than once the Muslims themselves introduced the reporters to their Christian neighbors. “That was a beautiful thing,” Dorigo says, “and it really testifies that a spirit of friendship and brotherhood does exist, despite being often flattened and even obstructed by a series of propagandistic efforts in the name of a religious conflict.

Linda Dorigo is an independent documentary photojournalist and Andrea Milluzzi is a freelance journalist. They are based both in Italy and in the Middle East. Their latest work, Rifugio – Christians of the Middle East, is published by Schilt Publishing.

Paul Moakley, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise. Follow him on Twitter @paulmoakley.

Lucia De Stefani is a writer and contributor at TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow TIME LightBox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Source: Meet the Christian Minorities of the Middle East | TIME

this pressed for our future: Donald Trump’s Muslim ban proposal throws Republican party into chaos | US news | The Guardian


Donald Trump speaks during a rally coinciding with Pearl Harbor Day aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Monday. Photograph: Mic Smith/AP

Tom McCarthy in New York, Ben Jacobs in Washington, Ryan Felton in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Kate Lamb in Jakarta, Indonesia

Tuesday 8 December 2015 15.19 EST

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was disowned by his own party’s top leadership on Tuesday and faced calls to drop his White House bid as the world reacted with outrage to his plan for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The billionaire frontrunner’s plan tipped the Republican presidential race into chaos, with party leaders from the chairman of the Republican National Committee to former US vice-president Dick Cheney condemning the idea as “un-American”.
How does Trump do it? Understanding the psychology of a demagogue’s rally

Trump toured the US television studios in unrepentant form, unmoved by the gale of criticism that followed his speech aboard an aircraft carrier on Monday evening. Speaking aboard the USS Yorktown, he acknowledged that his proposal was “probably not politically correct”, before whipping up a cheering crowd and adding: “But. I. Don’t. Care.”

“We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on,” Trump said. “We are out of control.”

But for perhaps the first time of the election cycle, Trump seemed at risk of being drowned out by voices raised on all sides in protest against him.

Horrified Muslims in the United States heard in Trump’s rhetoric an echo of Nazism, and they joined the Republican condemnation of Trump as un-American.

“He’s trampling on our constitution and packaging it as a snake oil cure for our security concerns,” said Kassem Allie, executive administrator of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, one of the largest mosques in the US. “He’s using fear-mongering reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Stalin.”
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A significant silence that had followed past outrageous statements by Trump – in which Republican elders have declined direct confrontation, and the targets of his remarks have seemed humiliated or intimidated – seemed finally shattered at the billionaire’s latest offense.

Republican establishment figures from Cheney to rivals like Jeb Bush and RNC chairman Reince Priebus ramped up their condemnations.

“Well, I think this whole notion that somehow we need to say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in,” Cheney told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I mean, religious freedom’s been a very important part of our, our history.”

House speaker Paul Ryan said Trump’s remarks violated the constitution and were “not who we are as a party”.

“This is not conservatism,” the Wisconsin representative said, adding: “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.”

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, backed Ryan, his former running mate, adding on Twitter: “On Muslims, @realDonaldTrump fired before aiming…@SpeakerRyan is on target.”

Party chairman Preibus said of Trump’s remarks: “I don’t agree. We need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism but not at the expense of our American values.”

There were signs that Trump was not deaf to the Republican insurrection. He appeared to make a veiled threat on Twitter on Tuesday to run as an independent. “A new poll indicates that 68% of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP & ran as an independent,” he wrote.
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While such a bid would face logistical barriers that differ from state to state, experts have said an independent run would be possible for a candidate with money to spend on lawyers and signature-collection campaigns. Such a move would have a potentially disastrous effect on Republican hopes of winning back the White House.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest called Trump’s remarks “incendiary” and “morally reprehensible”, adding: “What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president.”

In Congress, a Florida Republican spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to make a passionate demand for Trump to quit the presidential race.

“It should be heartbreaking to every American that we have a frontrunner in the presidential race that suggests there will be a religious test for anybody who wishes to come to our shores,” said Representative David Jolly. “It is an affront to the principles upon which our nation was founded.”

Bush, a would-be presidential rival of Trump who has been trailing him badly in the polls, said the real estate mogul was “unhinged”. An outside political group supporting Bush, meanwhile, announced a $3.7m ad campaign featuring a video calling Trump “impulsive and reckless”.

The outrage was not limited to the United States. British prime minister David Cameron issued a statement that said he “completely disagrees” with Trump’s comments and regards them as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage released a statement saying Trump had “gone too far”.

Muslim groups around the world expressing outrage at Trump’s proposal included Dar al-Ifta, the state religious body in Egypt.

“Such hostile attitudes towards Islam and Muslims will increase tensions within the American society of which Muslims represent around 8 million peaceful and loyal American citizens,” the group said in a statement.

The call was echoed by Muslims in the United States.

“This statement is pretty much un-American, and goes against every value and principle that we hold dear as American citizens,” said Adam Soltani, executive of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Oklahoma. “And it’s not a stance we should be taking as a country, and it’s definitely not a stance that an individual running for the highest office in our country should adopt.”

Trump followed up the speech with a media blitz Tuesday morning, in which he claimed the mantle of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, citing the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war as precedent for his policy.

“This is a president highly respected by all, he did the same thing,” Trump said on ABC News. “If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse.”

However, Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist who has been a vocal critic of Trump, told the Guardian: “There was a whiff of fascism around this guy. Now there’s a reek of fascism”.
‘I. Don’t. Care’: Trump brushes off horrified reaction to his Muslim ban
Read more

Wilson noted with horror that Trump has been evasive on whether his ban applies to American citizens, something which would be grotesquely unconstitutional. “I wanted to hear that explicitly stated,” Wilson said. “American citizens are exempted from this, and in order to satisfy his supporters, he can’t and won’t say that.”

Wilson thought that Trump posed a profound challenge for the future of the Republican party. “We are going to end up having a point where there’s going to be a ‘come to Jesus’ moment about whether this party can survive Donald Trump.” Wilson also noted: “A lot of Trump’s fans and supporters don’t want the party to survive. They want to form a populist, nationalist party that isn’t about limited government and the constitution.”

When the point comes, Wilson said, “we have to decide if this going to be the troll party or the Republican party”.
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Reactions elsewhere in the national politics ranged from amused to exasperated. The Philadelphia Daily News put a picture of Trump delivering a stiff wave on its cover, with the caption “The New Furor”.

The Democratic mayor of St Petersburg, Florida, Rick Kriseman, tweeted that Trump was not welcome in the city. “I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St. Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps,” he wrote.

In a meeting with local church groups in Baltimore, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders expressed general frustration with the conversation around Trump.

Sanders was questioned in a press conference about why his staff had instructed journalists not to ask him about him about Islamic State.

“What about Isis, guys?” Sanders asked as he laughed and he turned to the black church leaders standing next to him. “How often are these people talking about the issues that we talked about today?”

Source: Donald Trump’s Muslim ban proposal throws Republican party into chaos | US news | The Guardian

 

today’s holiday-commemoration: Armenia Earthquake Memorial Day


Armenia Earthquake Memorial Day

On December 7, 1988, a severe earthquake struck in Armenia, causing catastrophic damage to the entire country’s infrastructure and virtually destroying the cities of Spitak, Leninakan (now Gyumri), Kirovakan (now Vanadzor), and Stepanavan. More than 25,000 people were killed in the disaster, with another 140,000 injured and more than one million left homeless, in a disaster zone that measured about 30,000 square kilometers. That day is now remembered each year as a national holiday, marked across the country with prayer, memorial services, and a moment of silence. More… Discuss

La Tomatina


La Tomatina

Approximately 30,000 people participate in La Tomatina, an annual festival held on the last Wednesday in August in the Spanish town of Buñol. A weeklong festival features music, parades, dancing, and fireworks, but it is the tomato fight that draws the crowds. During the battle, more than 100 metric tons of overripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. Participants must follow certain safety guidelines during the event, and wearing goggles is recommended. When does the tomato throwing begin? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Our Lady of the Angels School Fire (1958)


Our Lady of the Angels School Fire (1958)

Shortly before classes were dismissed on December 1, 1958, a fire broke out at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, Illinois. A total of 92 students and 3 nuns died and another 100 were seriously injured when smoke, heat, and fire cut off their normal means of escape. Many perished jumping from second-floor windows. The tragedy dominated headlines and led to nationwide changes to school fire safety regulations. How is the fire thought to have started? More… Discuss

great compositions/performances: CHARLES VALENTIN ALKAN – Estudio Op. 39 Nº 3 – Scherzo Diabolico Piano: Bernard Ringeissen


CHARLES VALENTIN ALKAN – Estudio Op. 39 Nº 3 – Scherzo Diabolico

The Jubilee Year of Mercy reminds us that God is waiting for us with open arms, just like the father of the prodigal son. — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) November 29, 2015


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Brooklyn Bridge painters at work on, 1915 — OnThisDay & Facts (@NotableHistory) November 29, 2015


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The Climate of Antarctica


The Climate of Antarctica

About 200 million years ago, Antarctica was joined to South America, Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand in a single, warm continent called Gondwana. According to the plate tectonics theory, Antarctica split from Gondwana and drifted to its present location at the South Pole. Persistent westerly winds began to circle Antarctica, blocking heat transport to the continent and making it the coldest region on Earth. When was the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth reported? More… Discuss

Chitlin’ Strut


Chitlin’ Strut

The Chitlin’ Strut is a feast of chitlins, or chitterlings (hog intestines), held in the small town of Salley, South Carolina. The affair features a “hawg-calling” contest, country music, arts and crafts, a parade, lots of chitlins (about 8,000 pounds are devoured each year), and chicken for those not enamored of chitlins. Chitlins are prepared by cleaning them well, boiling them until they are tender, and then, after coating them in egg and crumbs, frying them in deep fat until they’re crackling crisp. More… Discuss

this pressed for History: Istoria sumbră a Braşovului: oraşul a purtat numele lui Stalin timp de zece ani pentru a celebra comunismul | adevarul.ro


Timp de zece ani, pe Muntele Tâmpa a stat scris „Stalin“. FOTO prinbrasov.ro Între 1950 şi 1960, Braşovul s-a numit oraşul Stalin.

Timp de zece ani, pe Muntele Tâmpa a stat scris „Stalin“. FOTO prinbrasov.ro Între 1950 şi 1960, Braşovul s-a numit oraşul Stalin. Toată clasa muncitoare de atunci trebuia să se arate fericită de „onoarea“ care i se făcea. În plus, au fost şi apariţii în ziare cum că schimbarea denumirii oraşului a venit direct din popor.Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă Statuia uriaşă a căpeteniei maghiare Árpád de pe Muntele Tâmpa: dinami… Cum a ajuns Braşovul să fie oraşul din România care să poarte numele lui Stalin? Există o legendă care circulă de peste o jumătate de secol, dar până acum nu a fost şi dovedită. Aceasta spune că în România ar fi fost vizat iniţial Sibiul, dar comuniştii au considerat că nu sună bine Salam de Stalin şi astfel „onoarea“ a revenit Braşovului. Se întâmpla în 1950, când în toată Europa de Est se „sărbătorea“ instalarea comunismului şi se recunoştea puterea rusească. Astfel, 14 oraşe din tot atâtea ţări au ajuns să fie redenumite Stalin. În România a fost Braşovul. În ziare s-a scris că muncitorii au dorit acest lucruCa să nu se creadă cumva că ruşii au impus acest lucru, s-a fabricat un document print care muncitorii din Braşov cereau insistent ca oraşul să poarte denumirea de Stalin. Practic s-a dorit să se creadă că poporul este cel care vrea acest lucru cu ardoare. Pe 19 august 1950, cererea muncitorilor apărea în ziarul Drum Nou, pe 22 august 1950 era dat decretul de schimbare al numelui, iar pe 25 august, în acelaşi an, Drum nou publică “salutul călduros” al Guvernului şi Comitetului Central al Partidului Muncitoresc Român (viitor Partid Comunist Român) vizavi de schimbarea numelui din Braşov în Oraşul Stalin.„Dragi Tovarăşi, la iniţiativa C.F.R.-iştilor, noi, oamenii muncii din oraşul Braşov am hotărât să propunem ca numele oraşului nostru să fie schimbat dându-i-se numele marelui geniu al omenirii muncitoare, scumpului şi iubitului prieten al poporului muncitor din ţara noastră, învăţătorului şi eliberatorului nostru – marelui Stalin.Oraşul nostru este unul dintre principalele centre industriale ale ţării; marile sale întreprinderi, ca uzinele de tractoare „Sovromtractor”, ca întreprinderea metalurgică „Steagul Roşu” şi multe altele, sunt binecunoscute oamenilor muncii din întreaga ţară. În oraşul nostru convieţuiesc frăţesc, muncind şi lucrând cot la cot, muncitorii români cu muncitorii unguri şi cu muncitori de alte naţionalităţi.Suntem convinşi că conducerea Partidului şi Guvernului Republicii Populare Române vor satisface dorinţa noastră înflăcărată şi vor acorda oraşului nostru înalta cinste de a purta numele de oraşul Stalin“, se scria în articolul apărut în Drum Nou.Oamenilor le era frică să vorbeascăPe muntele Tâmpa a fost scris din Brazi numele lui Stalin pentru ca toată lumea să salute schimbarea. Toţi muncitorii ştiau că este o făcătură, dar nimeni nu avea curajul să spună nimic. „Nu muncitorii au cerut schimbarea numelui. A fost impusă de comunişti, care îi preaslăveau pe ruşi. Noi trebuia să tăcem. Dacă ne întreba cineva spuneam că aşa este, noi am vrut. Frica era mare atunci. Nimeni nu avea opinii proprii. Dacă aduceai critici comuniştilor familia ta era persecutată. Puteai fi rapid deportat sau băgat la închisoare. Aşa a fost atunci. Aşa erau vremurile“, spune Valentin Oproiu, fost muncitor la Steagu Roşu, acum pensionar. Braşovul a fost ales pentru că avea mulţi muncitoriIstoricii spun că Braşovul a fost ales de comunişti pentru că era un exemplu de oraş unde industria mergea foarte bine. „ Ideea cu redenumirea numelor oraşelor a fost un mod de a le gâdila orgoliul ruşilor. Există zvonuri să iniţial a fost vizat Sibiul, dar eu cred că Braşovul a fost ales pentru că era unul dintre cele mai puternice centre industriale în ale vremii, erau aici zeci-sute de mii de muncitori. Oricum a fost o perioadă sumbră, când oraşul a fost la un pas să-şi piară identitatea. Exista tentinţa ca tot ceea ce era dinaintea comunismului, orice credinţă, orice obicei să fie îndepărtat“, a spus Iosif Domora, istoric.Îndoctrinarea Braşovului a durat un deceniu. Chiar dacă comunismul a rezistat până în decembrie 1989, la 24 decembrie 1960 Braşovul şi-a recăpătat denumirea original, iar de pe Tâmpa a fost şters numele lui Stalin.citeste totul despre: Brasov orasul stalin comunisti muncitori steagu rosu

Source: Istoria sumbră a Braşovului: oraşul a purtat numele lui Stalin timp de zece ani pentru a celebra comunismul | adevarul.ro

today’s birthday: Jimi Hendrix (1942)


Jimi Hendrix (1942)

One of the tragic figures of 1960s pop music, the left-handed Hendrix taught himself to play the guitar, which he held upside down. His appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and the success of the album Are You Experienced? lifted him to instant stardom. A year after his legendary performance at Woodstock in 1969, Hendrix died at age 27 of an apparently accidental barbiturate overdose. Hundreds of people attended his funeral, including which well-known musicians? More… Discuss

this pressed for reality check: France – French PM Valls says ‘no room for more refugees’ in Europe – France 24


© AFP | French Prime Minister Manuel Valls wants to limit the number of refugees coming into Europe Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-11-25European countries are stretched to their limits in the refugee crisis and cannot take in any more new arrivals, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was quoted as saying in a German newspaper on Wednesday. Europe is grappling with its worst refugee crisis since World War Two. Germany so far has taken in the bulk of some 1 million people expected to arrive this year.“We cannot accommodate any more refugees in Europe, that’s not possible,” Valls told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, adding that tighter control of Europe’s external borders would determine the fate of the European Union. “If we don’t do that, the people will say: Enough of Europe,” Valls warned.The comments were published only hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris. Merkel was initially celebrated at home and abroad for her welcoming approach to the refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East. But as the flow has continued the chancellor has come under increasing criticism.Some conservatives say Merkel’s decision to open up Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees in September has spurred more migrants to come.The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears Islamic State militants could exploit the migrant crisis to send extremists to Europe. Valls avoided criticising Merkel directly for having suspended European asylum rules to allow in Syrian refugees stranded in Hungary. “Germany has made an honourable choice there,” he said.But he signalled that Paris was taken by surprise by Merkel’s decision: “It was not France that said: Come!” French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, have proposed setting up a 10 billion euro fund to pay for tighter security, external border controls and caring for refugees.The United Nations on Tuesday condemned new restrictions on refugees that have left around 1,000 migrants stuck at the main border crossing into Macedonia from Greece.(REUTERS)Date created : 2015-11-25

Source: France – French PM Valls says ‘no room for more refugees’ in Europe – France 24

trecut prin presa…pentru posteritate: Perle ale absolvenţilor de Drept care vor să ajungă magistraţi: „Ca judecător nu trebuie să fiu imparţial”/„Prin verbul a discredita înţeleg a înjura” | adevarul.ro


Unii absolvenţi de Drept care participă la concursul de admitere la Institutul Naţional al Magistraturii „se exprimă cu dificultate accentuată, comit numeroase erori gramaticale şi de comunicare, sunt inabili de a purta un dialog, nu au proprietatea termenilor sau sunt în imposibilitate de a formula definiţia unora”. Aceasta este concluzia unui raport al Consiliului Superior al Magistraturii (CSM).Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă VIDEO Descinderi în nordul Republicii Moldova. O grupare paramilitară … Moment de excepţie pentru handbalul românesc: CSM şi HCM sunt în Runda… Imunitatea lui Dan Şova, primul examen pentru Liviu Dragnea. Ce şanse …“În şedinţa Plenul CSM de marţi, 24 noiembrie 2015, am validat concursul de admitere la Institutului Naţional al Magistraturii (INM) desfăşurat în această vară. Cea mai discutată – dar nu şi discutabilă, zic eu – probă a fost cea a interviului. Membrii comisiilor în faţa cărora s-a susţinut această probă au formulat în scris un punct de vedere pe care, cu acordul lor, am ales să îl dau publicităţii”, a scris judecătorul Cristi Danileţ pe blogul său, într-o postare intitulată “Deficienţe în pregătirea candidaţilor pentru magistratură”.Judecătorul arată că susţinerile constituie o atenţionare foarte serioasă asupra stadiului educaţiei unor tineri şi a calităţii învăţământului românesc – „desigur, ne referim la tinerii candidaţi la concursul de admitere la INM sau la admiterea directă în magistratură, care este probabil cel mai greu şi mai serios concurs desfăşurat în România pentru o instituţie public”.Cristi Danileţ a precizat că în cadrul probei interviului se examinează trei aspecte: motivaţia, aptitudini specifice profesiei de magistrat (comunicarea, gândirea autonomă, cooperarea, înţelegerea realităţii sociale, folosirea corectă a limbii române), elemente de etică specifică persoanei (identificarea dilemei etice, identificarea opţiunilor, analiza valorii acestora alegerea justificată a variantei optime a acţiunii umane, implicarea subiectului în argumentarea alternativelor).Concluziile ComisieiComisia prin faţa căreia anul acesta s-au perindat sute de candidaţi a ajuns la anumite concluzii cu privire la candidaţi şi cu privire la măsuri necesare pentru îmbunătăţirea concursurilor următoare. Iată câteva constatări: din cei 3.297 de candidaţi la INM, 285 candidaţi au reuşit la probele anterioare, iar dintre aceştia 217 au trecut de proba interviului, astfel că în final au fost selectaţi primii 140 în ordinea mediilor; dintre cei respinşi 29 se situau pe primele 150 locuri, iar 39 în ultimele 135 locuri după parcurgerea primelor două probe; unii candidaţi au un nivel redus de instruire educaţională, de cultură generală, lipsă de orizont şi de repere culturale, profesionale, morale; unii se exprimă cu dificultate accentuată, comit erori gramaticale şi de comunicare, sunt inabili în a purta un dialog, nu au proprietatea termenilor folosiţi; unii au demonstrat o incapacitate de a înţelege problemele şi realităţile sociale; unii învaţă grile sau învaţă mecanic coduri; unii au anumite activităţi, dar nu dobândesc experienţa cuvenită în exercitarea acestora; unora le lipseşte gândirea logică, alţii simulează abilităţi, deprinderi sau calităţi inexistente.Potrivit raportului CSM, un semnal autentic de alarmă este acela că mulţi candidaţi se exprimă cu dificultate accentuată, comit numeroase erori gramaticale şi de comunicare, sunt inabili de a purta un dialog, nu au proprietatea termenilor sau sunt în imposibilitate de a formula definiţia unora.”Persoanele care se sacrifică pentru idealuri, principii sunt fanatice”Cu titlu exemplificativ, redăm câteva fragmente din răspunsurile formulate de candidaţi, exemple care relevă necunoaşterea semnificaţiei unor termeni:”Ignoranţa presupune, în viziunea mea, a nu acorda atenţie fiecărui element care construieşte drumul către realizarea ”justiţiei”. La insistenţele comisiei de a da un sinonim pentru ignoranţă, a afirmat că ”înseamnă a nu avea disponibilitatea de a te perfecţiona.””Libertatea este o valoare fundamentală a unui stat de drept, un atribut al tuturor oamenilor, care dacă îşi cultivă stăpânirea de sine pe un drum ce nu tot timpul este uşor o vor găsi în forma ei cea mai autentică.” Întrebare: O calitate? Răspuns: ” Perseveritatea.””Persoanele care se sacrifică pentru idealuri, principii sunt fanatice.”„Cunoaşterea de sine presupune cunoaşterea limitelor şi atunci eşti un om moral”.”Un prieten adevărat nu mi-ar putea cere aşa ceva, el cunoaşte etica mea faţă de justiţie.””Totodată, după trecerea în nefiinţă, din viaţa unui om rămân realizările sale, iar pentru el însuşi amintirile şi experienţele trăite pe parcursul vieţii.””Procurorii au prea mult liber-arbitru, iar eu nu o să tolerez aşa ceva ca judecător”.”Sunt foarte corectă, dar cu excepţii.””Prin verbul a discredita înţeleg a înjura.”

Source: Perle ale absolvenţilor de Drept care vor să ajungă magistraţi: „Ca judecător nu trebuie să fiu imparţial”/„Prin verbul a discredita înţeleg a înjura” | adevarul.ro

The Deepest Ocean


The Deepest Ocean

In 1951, the British Royal Navy ship HMS Challenger II surveyed the Challenger Deep trench of the Pacific Ocean, located between Indonesia and Japan, establishing it as the deepest known point of any ocean on Earth. Less than a decade later, a US Navy deep-sea diving submersible descended to the trench floor. There, the crew observed small sole and flounder and noted that the floor consisted of diatomaceous ooze. What is the maximum depth surveyed at the Challenger Deep? More… Discuss

this pressed for Jolly Roger: Activists ‘glue themselves to immigration centre gate’ in deportation protest – Telegraph


Activists ‘glue themselves to immigration centre gate’ in deportation protest Two protesters attempt to stop departure of charter flight deporting people from UK back to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone 11 0 1 12 Email By Agency1:21AM GMT 25 Nov 2015Two people are believed to have glued themselves to the gate of an immigration centre in an attempt to stop the departure of a charter flight deporting people from the UK.Ten anti-deportation activists gathered to protest at Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow airport, the Unity centre said.The protesters formed a blockade in a bid to stop a bus carrying deportees from the centre being taken to Stansted airport for a flight to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, the group added.Police attended the scene on Tuesday evening for around five-and-a-half hours but no arrests were made.London Fire Brigade also sent a fire engine to the scene.A Met police spokesman said: “There were a small number of demonstrators in attendance at the immigration centre who had been there since 5.30pm.”We were on the scene with the fire brigade in a monitoring role and there have been no arrests.”

Source: Activists ‘glue themselves to immigration centre gate’ in deportation protest – Telegraph

this pressed for Jolly-Rogers=ISIS: Honduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documents


Honduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documentsHonduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documentsTEGUCIGALPA A judge in Honduras on Tuesday ordered that five Syrians allegedly caught traveling with fake Greek documents as they tried to head north to the United States must remain behind bars as they await trial to face charges of falsifying documents.The Syrians were caught last week after crossing continents from war-torn Syria, traveling through South America and ending up in Honduras. The five men, aged 19 to 30, acquired forged passports in Brazil, a U.S. source said.The judge decided that the five men, who have asked to be granted refugee status, should remain behind bars pending the trial, said judicial spokeswoman Barbara Castillo.

Source: Honduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documents

this pressed…so you too can remember…: Flashback September 5th 2014 – ISIS: McCain says everyone in the National Security Team recommended arming ISIS | David Icke


Listen at the 1:40 mark

Listen at the 1:40 mark

Source: Flashback September 5th 2014 – ISIS: McCain says everyone in the National Security Team recommended arming ISIS | David Icke

this pressed for…”Wake up and start thinking people”: Nato and UN seek calm over Turkish downing of Russian jet | World news | The Guardian


Turkmen militiamen in Syria claimed to have shot the pilots as they descended on parachutes from the stricken Su-24 bomber. The Turkmen rebels, who are supported by Ankara and who have been the target of earlier Russian bombing, broadcast a video of what appeared to be a dead Russian pilot.The rebels also posted footage appearing to show one of their missiles destroying a helicopter while it was on the ground, which they said was a Russian aircraft sent to rescue the downed Su-24 crew, although it was not possible to verify the footage.A Russian military spokesman later said one of the rescue helicopters had been forced to make an emergency landing after being hit by fire from the ground and a marine on board had been killed.Within hours of the jet’s downing, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, announced the first reprisal, warning Russian tourists not to go to Turkey, a potentially significant loss of revenue for Ankara. Lavrov compared the terrorist threat there to Egypt, where a Russian airliner was brought down by a bomb earlier this month, and he cancelled a planned trip to Ankara on Wednesday.Mute Current Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:53Loaded: 0%Progress: 0cebookTwitterPinterestRussia cancels Turkey meeting and warns its citizens not to visit The Russian defence ministry said on its website that it considered the “actions of the Turkish air force as an unfriendly act”, adding that it was “designing a complex of measures directed to respond such incidents”. In his remarks, Putin complained in particular that Turkey had contacted its Nato allies before getting in touch with Moscow, “as if we shot down their plane and not they ours”. Analysis Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey ‘accomplices of terrorists’?The relationship hinted at by Russian leader after warplane was shot down is a complex one, and includes links between senior Isis figures and Turkish officials Read more Ankara summoned an emergency meeting of Nato ambassadors in the North Atlantic Council on Tuesday evening to share information about the incident. However, the Turkish government stopped short of calling the meeting under article 4 of the alliance’s founding treaty, which would have represented a more formal response to a threat to a member state’s territorial integrity and security.Turkey said one of its US-made F-16 fighters fired on the Russian plane when it entered Turkish airspace after having been warned on its approach to the Turkish border.In a letter to the British ambassador to the United Nations, currently serving as the president of the UN security council, the Turkish government wrote: “This morning, two Su-24 planes have approached Turkish national airspace in Yayladaga/Hatay region. The planes in question have been warned 10 times during a period of five minutes via ‘emergency’ channels and asked to change their headings south immediately. Disregarding these warnings, both planes, at an altitude of 19,000 feet violated Turkish airspace to a depth of 1.36 miles and 1.15 miles for 17 seconds from 9.24.05 local time.

Source: Nato and UN seek calm over Turkish downing of Russian jet | World news | The Guardian

this pressed as very expensive ($ 5,000,000): Richard Dawkins links Isis child who beheaded man and ‘clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed | Science | The Guardian


Richard Dawkins links Isis child who beheaded man and ‘clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed, The scientist and leading atheist faces a barrage of criticism after posting comments on Twitter about the Muslim teenager Richard Dawkins appears to have linked a grisly video of a Islamic State child soldier beheading a man and the case of ‘clock boy’, Ahmed Mohamed.Richard Dawkins appears to have linked a grisly video of a Islamic State child soldier beheading a man and the case of ‘clock boy’, Ahmed Mohamed. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian Elle Hunt and Michael Safi Tuesday 24 November 2015 20.26 EST Last modified on Tuesday 24 November 2015 20.42 EST Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+Shares1Comments5Save for later Richard Dawkins has sparked a wave of criticism after appearing to draw a tenuous link between Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas Muslim teenager whose homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, and a child forced by Islamic State militants to behead his victim. Dawkins tweeted a link to an International Business Times report on a video posted to YouTube that appears to show a child of about ten being forced by Isis fighters to decapitate a Syrian regime army officer early on Wednesday morning.‘“But he’s only a kid.’ Yes, a ‘kid’ old enough to sue for $15m those whom he hoaxed,” tweeted Dawkins.Then after a paragraph break, as though the question had occurred to him just before he went to click “Tweet” – “And how old is this ‘kid’?”Dawkins was referring to Mohamed’s family’s demanding $15m in damages – $10m from the city of Irving, and $5m from the school district – and an apology after the 14-year-old was arrested in September, when his homemade clock was taken for a bomb.Family of Texas boy arrested over clock demands $15m in damagesRead moreHe denied comparing – in the words of another Twitter user responding to Dawkins’ initial post – a “child trained to kill people to the kid that made the shitty clock”.“No. Just fed up with people saying of the click [sic] hoax boy, ‘He’s only a kid’, as though that means he can’t be criticized.”In subsequent responses, he clarified that the two were “comparable in NO other respect than that they are both young”, and that he “[didn’t] hate Muslims”.

Source: Richard Dawkins links Isis child who beheaded man and ‘clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed | Science | The Guardian

fABULOUS HISTORIC MUSICAL BITS: Leonid Kogan – Mozart – Adagio in E major, K 261 (1981)


Leonid Kogan – Mozart – Adagio in E major, K 261(1981)

GREAT COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: BEDŘICH SMETANA – VLTAVA


BEDŘICH SMETANA – VLTAVA

GREAT COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: Bedřich Smetana – The Bartered Bride (Prodaná nevěsta) – Polka (Conductor: Herbert von Karajan Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker)


Bedřich Smetana – The Bartered Bride (Prodaná nevěsta) – Polka

GREAT COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: Edvard Grieg – Norwegian Dances / Danses Norvégiennes


Edvard Grieg – Norwegian Dances / Danses Norvégiennes

great compositions/performances: Theme From Schindler’s List conducted by John williams (featuring Itzhak Perlman)


Theme From Schindler’s List conducted by John williams (featuring Itzhak Perlman)

historic musical bits: Appalachian Spring · Leonard Bernstein · New York Philharmonic · Aaron Copland (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Appalachian Spring

this pressed: Putin, mai periculos pentru vestul Europei decât ISIS. Europa de Est, îngrijorată de o posibilă cooperare între Franţa şi Rusia, în detrimentul Ucrainei |via adevarul.ro


Atentatele de la Paris au influenţat rapid retorica Occidentului faţă de Rusia. Anterior considerat un paria, în prezent Vladimir Putin pare tratat cu bunăvoinţă de vestici, tot mai îngrijoraţi de actele extremiştilor din Statul Islamic (SI). Însă preşedintele rus este mai periculos pentru vestul Europei decât SI, avertizează un editorialist britanic, în timp ce statele baltice atrag atenţia asupra contopirii dosarului ucrainean cu cel sirian.Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă Atentate teroriste la Paris. Preşedintele François Hollande şi premier… Operaţiuni antiteroriste în Caucazul de Nord. Autorităţile ruse anunţă… Crimeea în întuneric. Provincia a rămas fără curent electric după ce m… Intenţiile globale ale Rusiei, explicate printr-o lecţie de geografie….Dacă până la atentatele teroriste care au însângerat Parisul pe 13 noiembrie Vladimir Putin era dur criticat pentru anexarea Peninsulei ucrainene Crimeea, în martie 2014, şi modul de desfăşurare a intervenţiei aviaţiei militare ruse în Siria, care viza mai degrabă poziţii ale rebelilor sirieni susţinuţi de Occident decât poziţii controlate de SI, de-acum liderul de la Kremlin este luat în calcul ca pe un potenţial aliat împotriva jihadiştilor, consideraţi principala ameninţare la adresa Occidentului. Dar oare lucrurile stau aşa?Teritoriul francez nu este singura parte a Europei aflată sub stare de urgenţă. Stâlpi de susţinere a celor patru linii care asigură alimentarea cu energie electrică a Peninsulei Crimeea, locuită de aproximativ două milioane de persoane, au fost aruncaţi în aer, sâmbătă seara, probabil de către activişti ucraineni, aşa cum sugerează imagini răspândite pe larg pe reţelele de socializare ce prezintă steaguri în culorile Ucrainei – galben şi albastru – lăsate la locurile exploziilor. Această întâmplare nefericită arată cât de fragilă este situaţia în sud-estul Ucrainei. De asemenea, ea mai arată cât de repede se schimbă priorităţile ţărilor în materie de politică externă, potrivit unei analize publicate în The Independent de Ian Birrell, fostul redactor-şef adjunct al acestei publicaţii britanice şi autor al discursurilor lui David Cameron în timpul campaniei electorale din 2010.Acum câteva luni, liderii occidentali au fost de avertizaţi, „în mod justificat“ în opinia lui Ian Birrell, că preşedintele rus se foloseşte de minciună pentru a câştiga timp de manevră şi reprezintă cea mai mare ameninţare la adresa securităţii Europei, după ce Moscova a anexat o parte din teritoriul Ucrainei şi a destabilizat alte două regiuni ale acestei ţări care încearcă să se apropie de Occident.De la rivalitate la cooperareLiderii occidentali au reacţionat dur faţă de intervenţia Rusiei în Ucraina, impunând sanţiuni în 2014 şi prelungindu-le în prima jumătate a acestui an. Mai mult, la începutul anului, premierul britanic David Cameron cerea ca sancţiunile impuse Rusiei să nu fie ridicate până când liderul de la Kremlin nu îşi va schimba comportamentul. „Cred că ar trebui să fim foarte clari că Vladimir Putin trebuie să ştie că, dacă nu-şi schimbă comportamentul, sancţiunile pe care noi le-am luat nu vor fi schimbate“, declara premierul britanic în februarie, în timpul sosirii la un summit european la Bruxelles. Cinci luni mai târziu, preşedintele american Barack Obama continua în nota lui David Cameron, acuzându-l pe omologul său rus că încearcă să restabilească gloria fostului Imperiu Sovietic cu preţul distrugerii economiei şi izolării ţării sale. „Rusia se află în recesiune profundă. Acţiunile Moscovei în Ucraina afectează Rusia şi poporul rus“, afirma preşedintele Obama la summitul G7, în Bavaria.În doar câteva luni, priorităţile par diferite. „După atrocităţile de la Paris, Obama şi alţi lideri occidentali s-au ghemuit pe lângă Putin pentru a pune la cale înfrângerea actualului inamic“, scrie Ian Birrel. Şase atentate, revendicate de SI, au însângerat pe 13 noiembrie Parisul, provocând moartea a 130 de persoane şi 352 de răniţi, cel mai grav atac terorist din istoria Franţei. Acest atac, comparat cu atentatele din 11 septembrie 2001 din SUA, au mişcat profund Occidentul, care şi-a intensificat eforturile în vederea creării unei „mari alianţe“ anti-SI. În acest context, preşedintele rus Vladimir Putin, a cărui ţară a pierdut 224 de cetăţeni în urma prăbuşirii unui avion pe 31 octombrie – un atac revendicat de o grupare afiliată Statului Islamic -, este văzut ca un potenţial aliat.Însă „comportamentul (lui Putin) nu s-a schimbat“, avertizează autorul. El a invadat Ucraina pentru a păstra influenţa Rusiei în fostul spaţiu sovietic. Ulterior, el a intervenit în Siria atât pentru a-şi proteja aliatul, preşedintele Bashar al-Assad, cât şi pentru a nu pierde portul Tartus, singura bază navală a Rusiei de la Marea Mediterană, explică Birrell, avertizând totodată că Putin „rămâne, fără îndoială, o ameninţare mai mare la adresa stabilităţii Vestului decât SI“.Europa de Est, îngrijorată de o posibilă cooperare între Franţa şi RusiaLa rândul lor, sta

Source: Putin, mai periculos pentru vestul Europei decât ISIS. Europa de Est, îngrijorată de o posibilă cooperare între Franţa şi Rusia, în detrimentul Ucrainei | adevarul.ro

historic musical bits: Dinu Lipatti – Chopin Grande Valse Op. 42 in A flat major n. 5


Dinu Lipatti – Chopin Grande Valse Op. 42 in A flat major n. 5

great composition/performances: G.Rossini “Guillaume Tell” – Pas de six


G.Rossini “Guillaume Tell” – Pas de six

great compositions/performances: Barenboim plays Mendelssohn Songs Without Words Op.30 no.1 in E flat Major


Barenboim plays Mendelssohn Songs Without Words Op.30 no.1 in E flat Major

historic musical bits: Mahler – Symphony No. 1 “The Titan” / Bernstein · Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra


Mahler: Symphony No. 1 “The Titan” / Bernstein · Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Famous People: Cicero (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Cicero

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Cicero
(Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Cicero - Musei Capitolini.JPG

A first century AD bust of Cicero in the Capitoline Museums, Rome
 
Consul of the Roman Republic
In office
63 BC – 63 BC
Serving with Gaius Antonius Hybrida
Preceded by Lucius Julius Caesar and Gaius Marcius Figulus
Succeeded by Decimus Junius Silanus and Lucius Licinius Murena
Personal details
Born 3 January 106 BC
Arpinum, Roman Republic
(modern-day Arpino, Lazio, Italy)
Died 7 December 43 BC (aged 63)
Formia, Roman Republic
Nationality Roman
Political party Optimate
Occupation Politician, lawyer, orator, philosopher and poet
Cicero
Subject Politics, law, philosophy, rhetoric
Literary movement Golden Age Latin
Notable works Orations: In Verrem, In Catilinam I-IV, Philippicae
Philosophy: De Oratore, De Re Publica, De Legibus, De Finibus, De Natura Deorum, De Officiis

Marcus Tullius Cicero[n 1] (/ˈsɪsɨr/; Classical Latin: [ˈmaːr.kʊs ˈtʊl.li.ʊs ˈkɪ.kɛ.roː]; Greek: Κικέρων, Kikerōn; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.[2][3]

His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style.[4] According to Michael Grant, “the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language”.[5] Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia)[6] distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.

Petrarch‘s rediscovery of Cicero’s letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture.[7] According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, “Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity.”[8] The peak of Cicero’s authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment,[9] and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Montesquieu was substantial.[10] His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history, especially the last days of the Roman Republic.[11]

Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, and Cicero suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar’s death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum.

Early life

Cicero was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, a hill town 100 kilometers (62 mi) southeast of Rome. His father was a well-to-do member of the equestrian order and possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he could not enter public life and studied extensively to compensate. Although little is known about Cicero’s mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Cicero’s brother Quintus wrote in a letter that she was a thrifty housewife.[12]

Cicero’s cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was originally given to one of Cicero’s ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more likely that Cicero’s ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas.[13] Romans often chose down-to-earth personal surnames: the famous family names of Fabius, Lentulus, and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils, and peas. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus (“Swollen-ankled”) and Catulus (“Puppy”).[14]

 The Young Cicero Reading by Vincenzo Foppa (fresco, 1464), now at the Wallace Collection

During this period in Roman history, to be considered “cultured” meant being able to speak both Latin and Greek. Cicero was therefore educated in the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers, poets and historians. The most prominent teachers of oratory of that time were themselves Greek.[15][full citation needed] Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience. It was precisely his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite.[16]

According to Plutarch, Cicero was an extremely talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome,[17] affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola.[18] Cicero’s fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus (who became a famous lawyer, one of the few whom Cicero considered superior to himself in legal matters), and Titus Pomponius. The latter two became Cicero’s friends for life, and Pomponius (who later received the nickname “Atticus”) would become Cicero’s longtime chief emotional support and adviser.[citation needed]

Cicero wanted to pursue a public career in politics along the steps of the Cursus honorum. In 90 BC–88 BC, he served both Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo and Lucius Cornelius Sulla as they campaigned in the Social War, though he had no taste for military life, being an intellectual first and foremost. Cicero started his career as a lawyer around 83–81 BC. His first major case, of which a written record is still extant, was his 80 BC defense of Sextus Roscius on the charge of patricide.[19] Taking this case was a courageous move for Cicero; patricide was considered an appalling crime, and the people whom Cicero accused of the murder, the most notorious being Chrysogonus, were favorites of Sulla. At this time it would have been easy for Sulla to have the unknown Cicero murdered. Cicero’s defense was an indirect challenge to the dictator Sulla, and on the strength of his case, Roscius was acquitted.[citation needed]

Cicero’s case was divided into three parts. The first part detailed exactly the charge brought by Ericius. Cicero explained how a rustic son of a farmer, who lives off the pleasures of his own land, would not have gained anything from committing patricide because he would have eventually inherited his father’s land anyway. The second part concerned the boldness and greed of two of the accusers, Magnus and Capito. Cicero told the jury that they were the more likely perpetrators of murder because the two were greedy, both for conspiring together against a fellow kinsman and Magnus, for his boldness and for being unashamed to appear in court to support the false charges. The third part explained that Chrysogonus had immense political power, and the accusation was successfully made due to that power. Even though Chrysogonus may not have been what Cicero said he was, through rhetoric, Cicero successfully made him appear to be a foreign freed man who was devious enough to take advantage of the aftermath of the civil war, and to prosper. Cicero surmised that it showed what kind of a person he was and that something like murder was not beneath him.[20]

In 79 BC, Cicero left for Greece, Asia Minor and Rhodes, perhaps because of the potential wrath of Sulla.[21] Charting a middle path between the competing Attic and Asiatic styles, he would ultimately become considered second only to Demosthenes among history’s orators.[22]

Cicero’s interest in philosophy figured heavily in his later career and led to him introducing Greek philosophy to Roman culture,[23][clarification needed] creating a philosophical vocabulary in Latin. In 87 BC, Philo of Larissa, the head of the Academy that was founded by Plato in Athens about 300 years earlier, arrived in Rome. Cicero, “inspired by an extraordinary zeal for philosophy”,[24] sat enthusiastically at his feet and absorbed Plato’s philosophy. Cicero said of Plato’s Dialogues, that if Zeus were to speak, he would use their language.[25]

Family

 Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero married Terentia probably at the age of 27, in 79 BC. According to the upper class mores of the day it was a marriage of convenience, but endured harmoniously for some 30 years. Terentia’s family was wealthy, probably the plebeian noble house of Terenti Varrones, thus meeting the needs of Cicero’s political ambitions in both economic and social terms. She had a half-sister (or perhaps first cousin) named Fabia, who as a child had become a Vestal Virgin, a very great honour. Terentia was a strong willed woman and (citing Plutarch) “she took more interest in her husband’s political career than she allowed him to take in household affairs.”[26]

In the 50s BC, Cicero’s letters to Terentia became shorter and colder. He complained to his friends that Terentia had betrayed him but did not specify in which sense. Perhaps the marriage simply could not outlast the strain of the political upheaval in Rome, Cicero’s involvement in it, and various other disputes between the two. The divorce appears to have taken place in 51 BC or shortly before.[27] In 46 or 45 BC,[28] Cicero married a young girl, Publilia, who had been his ward. It is thought that Cicero needed her money, particularly after having to repay the dowry of Terentia, who came from a wealthy family.[29] This marriage did not last long.

Although his marriage to Terentia was one of convenience, it is commonly known that Cicero held great love for his daughter Tullia.[30] When she suddenly became ill in February 45 BC and died after having seemingly recovered from giving birth to a son in January, Cicero was stunned. “I have lost the one thing that bound me to life” he wrote to Atticus.[31] Atticus told him to come for a visit during the first weeks of his bereavement, so that he could comfort him when his pain was at its greatest. In Atticus’s large library, Cicero read everything that the Greek philosophers had written about overcoming grief, “but my sorrow defeats all consolation.”[32] Caesar and Brutus as well as Servius Sulpicius Rufus sent him letters of condolence.[33][34]

Cicero hoped that his son Marcus would become a philosopher like him, but Marcus himself wished for a military career. He joined the army of Pompey in 49 BC and after Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus 48 BC, he was pardoned by Caesar. Cicero sent him to Athens to study as a disciple of the peripatetic philosopher Kratippos in 48 BC, but he used this absence from “his father’s vigilant eye” to “eat, drink and be merry.”[35] After Cicero’s murder he joined the army of the Liberatores but was later pardoned by Augustus. Augustus’ bad conscience for not having objected to Cicero’s being put on the proscription list during the Second Triumvirate led him to aid considerably Marcus Minor’s career. He became an augur, and was nominated consul in 30 BC together with Augustus. As such, he was responsible for revoking the honors of Mark Antony, who was responsible for the proscription, and could in this way take revenge. Later he was appointed proconsul of Syria and the province of Asia.[36]

Public career

Early political career

His first office was as one of the twenty annual quaestors, a training post for serious public administration in a diversity of areas, but with a traditional emphasis on administration and rigorous accounting of public monies under the guidance of a senior magistrate or provincial commander. Cicero served as quaestor in western Sicily in 75 BC and demonstrated honesty and integrity in his dealings with the inhabitants. As a result, the grateful Sicilians asked Cicero to prosecute Gaius Verres, a governor of Sicily, who had badly plundered the province. His prosecution of Gaius Verres was a great forensic success[37] for Cicero. Governor Gaius Verres hired the prominent lawyer of a noble family Quintus Hortensius Hortalus. After a lengthy period in Sicily collecting testimonials and evidence and persuading witnesses to come forward, Cicero returned to Rome and won the case in a series of dramatic court battles. His unique style of oratory set him apart from the flamboyant Hortalus. Upon the conclusion of this case, Cicero came to be considered the greatest orator in Rome. The view that Cicero may have taken the case for reasons of his own is viable. Hortalus was, at this point, known as the best lawyer in Rome; to beat him would guarantee much success and the prestige that Cicero needed to start his career. Cicero’s oratorical skill is shown in his character assassination of Verres and various other techniques of persuasion used on the jury. One such example is found in the speech Against Verres I, where he states “with you on this bench, gentlemen, with Marcus Acilius Glabrio as your president, I do not understand what Verres can hope to achieve”.[38] Oratory was considered a great art in ancient Rome and an important tool for disseminating knowledge and promoting oneself in elections, in part because there were no regular newspapers or mass media. Cicero was neither a patrician nor a plebeian noble; his rise to political office despite his relatively humble origins has traditionally been attributed to his brilliance as an orator.[39]

Cicero grew up in a time of civil unrest and war. Sulla‘s victory in the first of a series of civil wars led to a new constitutional framework that undermined libertas (liberty), the fundamental value of the Roman Republic. Nonetheless, Sulla’s reforms strengthened the position of the equestrian class, contributing to that class’s growing political power. Cicero was both an Italian eques and a novus homo, but more importantly he was a Roman constitutionalist. His social class and loyalty to the Republic ensured that he would “command the support and confidence of the people as well as the Italian middle classes”. The optimates faction never truly accepted Cicero; and this undermined his efforts to reform the Republic while preserving the constitution. Nevertheless, he successfully ascended the cursus honorum, holding each magistracy at or near the youngest possible age: quaestor in 75 BC (age 31), aedile in 69 BC (age 37), and praetor in 66 BC (age 40), when he served as president of the “Reclamation” (or extortion) Court. He was then elected consul at age 43.

Consul

 Cicero Denounces Catiline, fresco by Cesare Maccari, 1882–88

Cicero was elected consul for the year 63 BC. His co-consul for the year, Gaius Antonius Hybrida, played a minor role. During his year in office, he thwarted a conspiracy centered on assassinating him and overthrowing the Roman Republic with the help of foreign armed forces, led by Lucius Sergius Catilina. Cicero procured a senatus consultum ultimum (a declaration of martial law) and drove Catiline from the city with four vehement speeches (the Catiline Orations), which to this day remain outstanding examples of his rhetorical style. The Orations listed Catiline and his followers’ debaucheries, and denounced Catiline’s senatorial sympathizers as roguish and dissolute debtors clinging to Catiline as a final and desperate hope. Cicero demanded that Catiline and his followers leave the city. At the conclusion of his first speech, Catiline hurriedly left the Senate, (which was being held in the Temple of Jupiter Stator). In his following speeches, Cicero did not directly address Catiline. He delivered the second and third orations before the people, and the last one again before the Senate. By these speeches, Cicero wanted to prepare the Senate for the worst possible case; he also delivered more evidence against Catiline.[40]

Catiline fled and left behind his followers to start the revolution from within while Catiline assaulted the city with an army of “moral bankrupts and honest fanatics”. Catiline had attempted to involve the Allobroges, a tribe of Transalpine Gaul, in their plot, but Cicero, working with the Gauls, was able to seize letters which incriminated the five conspirators and forced them to confess their crimes in front of the Senate.[41]

The Senate then deliberated upon the conspirators’ punishment. As it was the dominant advisory body to the various legislative assemblies rather than a judicial body, there were limits to its power; however, martial law was in effect, and it was feared that simple house arrest or exile – the standard options – would not remove the threat to the state. At first Decimus Silanus spoke for the “extreme penalty”; many were then swayed by Julius Caesar, who decried the precedent it would set and argued in favor of life imprisonment in various Italian towns. Cato the Younger then rose in defence of the death penalty and all the Senate finally agreed on the matter. Cicero had the conspirators taken to the Tullianum, the notorious Roman prison, where they were strangled. Cicero himself accompanied the former consul Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, one of the conspirators, to the Tullianum. Cicero received the honorific “Pater Patriae” for his efforts to suppress the conspiracy, but lived thereafter in fear of trial or exile for having put Roman citizens to death without trial.

After the conspirators were put to death, Cicero was proud of his accomplishment. Some of his political enemies argued that though the act gained Cicero popularity, he exaggerated the extent of his success. He overestimated his popularity again several years later after being exiled from Italy and then allowed back from exile. At this time, he claimed that the Republic would be restored along with him. [42]

Exile and return

In 60 BC Julius Caesar invited Cicero to be the fourth member of his existing partnership with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus, an assembly that would eventually be called the First Triumvirate. Cicero refused the invitation because he suspected it would undermine the Republic.[43]

In 58 BC, Publius Clodius Pulcher, the tribune of the plebs, introduced a law (the Leges Clodiae) threatening exile to anyone who executed a Roman citizen without a trial. Cicero, having executed members of the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy four years previously without formal trial, and having had a public falling out with Clodius, was clearly the intended target of the law. Cicero argued that the senatus consultum ultimum indemnified him from punishment, and he attempted to gain the support of the senators and consuls, especially of Pompey. When help was not forthcoming, he went into exile. He arrived at Thessalonica, Greece, on May 23, 58 BC.[44][45][46] Cicero’s exile caused him to fall into depression. He wrote to Atticus: “Your pleas have prevented me from committing suicide. But what is there to live for? Don’t blame me for complaining. My afflictions surpass any you ever heard of earlier”.[47] After the intervention of recently elected tribune Titus Annius Milo, the senate voted in favor of recalling Cicero from exile. Clodius cast the single vote against the decree. Cicero returned to Italy on August 5, 57 BC, landing at Brundisium.[48] He was greeted by a cheering crowd, and, to his delight, his beloved daughter Tullia.[49]

Cicero tried to re-enter politics, but his attack on a bill of Caesar’s proved unsuccessful. The conference at Luca in 56 BC forced Cicero to recant and support the triumvirate. After this, a cowed Cicero concentrated on his literary works. It is uncertain whether he was directly involved in politics for the following few years.[50] He reluctantly accepted a promagistracy in Cilicia for 51 BC, because there were no other eligible governors because of a legislative requirement of an interval of five years between a consulship or praetorship and a provincial command.[citation needed] He served as proconsul of Cilicia from May 51 to November 50 BC. Accompanied by his brother Quintus as a legate, he was mostly spared from warfare due to internal conflict among the Parthians, yet for storming a mountain fortress he acquired the title of imperator.

Julius Caesar’s civil war

The struggle between Pompey and Julius Caesar grew more intense in 50 BC. Cicero favoured Pompey, seeing him as a defender of the senate and Republican tradition, but at that time avoided openly alienating Caesar. When Caesar invaded Italy in 49 BC, Cicero fled Rome. Caesar, seeking the legitimacy an endorsement by a senior senator would provide, courted Cicero’s favour, but even so Cicero slipped out of Italy and traveled to Dyrrachium (Epidamnos), Illyria, where Pompey’s staff was situated.[51] Cicero traveled with the Pompeian forces to Pharsalus in 48 BC,[52] though he was quickly losing faith in the competence and righteousness of the Pompeian side. Eventually, he provoked the hostility of his fellow senator Cato, who told him that he would have been of more use to the cause of the optimates if he had stayed in Rome. After Caesar’s victory at Pharsalus, Cicero returned to Rome only very cautiously. Caesar pardoned him and Cicero tried to adjust to the situation and maintain his political work, hoping that Caesar might revive the Republic and its institutions.

In a letter to Varro on c. April 20, 46 BC, Cicero outlined his strategy under Caesar’s dictatorship. Cicero, however, was taken completely by surprise when the Liberatores assassinated Caesar on the ides of March, 44 BC. Cicero was not included in the conspiracy, even though the conspirators were sure of his sympathy. Marcus Junius Brutus called out Cicero’s name, asking him to restore the republic when he lifted the bloodstained dagger after the assassination.[53] A letter Cicero wrote in February 43 BC to Trebonius, one of the conspirators, began, “How I could wish that you had invited me to that most glorious banquet on the Ides of March“![54] Cicero became a popular leader during the period of instability following the assassination. He had no respect for Mark Antony, who was scheming to take revenge upon Caesar’s murderers. In exchange for amnesty for the assassins, he arranged for the Senate to agree not to declare Caesar to have been a tyrant, which allowed the Caesarians to have lawful support and kept Caesar’s reforms and policies intact.[55]

Opposition to Mark Antony and death

 Cicero’s death (France, 15th century)

Cicero and Antony now became the two leading men in Rome—Cicero as spokesman for the Senate; Antony as consul, leader of the Caesarian faction, and unofficial executor of Caesar’s public will. Relations between the two, never friendly, worsened after Cicero claimed that Antony was taking liberties in interpreting Caesar’s wishes and intentions. Octavian was Caesar’s adopted son and heir; after he returned to Italy, Cicero began to play him against Antony. He praised Octavian, declaring he would not make the same mistakes as his father. He attacked Antony in a series of speeches he called the Philippics, after Demosthenes‘s denunciations of Philip II of Macedon. At the time Cicero’s popularity as a public figure was unrivalled.[56]

Cicero supported Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus as governor of Cisalpine Gaul (Gallia Cisalpina) and urged the Senate to name Antony an enemy of the state. The speech of Lucius Piso, Caesar’s father-in-law, delayed proceedings against Antony. Antony was later declared an enemy of the state when he refused to lift the siege of Mutina, which was in the hands of Decimus Brutus. Cicero’s plan to drive out Antony failed. Antony and Octavian reconciled and allied with Lepidus to form the Second Triumvirate after the successive battles of Forum Gallorum and Mutina. The Triumvirate began proscribing their enemies and potential rivals immediately after legislating the alliance into official existence for a term of five years with consular imperium. Cicero and all of his contacts and supporters were numbered among the enemies of the state, and reportedly, Octavian argued for two days against Cicero being added to the list.[57]

Cicero was one of the most viciously and doggedly hunted among the proscribed. He was viewed with sympathy by a large segment of the public and many people refused to report that they had seen him. He was caught December 7, 43 BC leaving his villa in Formiae in a litter going to the seaside where he hoped to embark on a ship destined for Macedonia.[58] When his killers – Herennius (a centurion) and Popilius (a tribune) – arrived, Cicero’s own slaves said they had not seen him, but he was given away by Philologus, a freed slave of his brother Quintus Cicero.[58]

 Cicero about age 60, from a marble bust

Cicero’s last words are said to have been, “There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.” He bowed to his captors, leaning his head out of the litter in a gladiatorial gesture to ease the task. By baring his neck and throat to the soldiers, he was indicating that he wouldn’t resist. According to Plutarch, Herennius first slew him, then cut off his head. On Antony’s instructions his hands, which had penned the Philippics against Antony, were cut off as well; these were nailed along with his head on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum according to the tradition of Marius and Sulla, both of whom had displayed the heads of their enemies in the Forum. Cicero was the only victim of the proscriptions to be displayed in that manner. According to Cassius Dio (in a story often mistakenly attributed to Plutarch),[59] Antony’s wife Fulvia took Cicero’s head, pulled out his tongue, and jabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin in final revenge against Cicero’s power of speech.[60]

Cicero’s son, Marcus Tullius Cicero Minor, during his year as a consul in 30 BC, avenged his father’s death, to a certain extent, when he announced to the Senate Mark Antony’s naval defeat at Actium in 31 BC by Octavian and his capable commander-in-chief, Agrippa.

Octavian (or Augustus, as he was later called) is reported to have praised Cicero as a patriot and a scholar of meaning in later times, within the circle of his family.[61] However, it was the acquiescence of Augustus that had allowed Cicero to be killed, as Cicero was proscribed by the new triumvirate.

Cicero’s career as a statesman was marked by inconsistencies and a tendency to shift his position in response to changes in the political climate. His indecision may be attributed to his sensitive and impressionable personality; he was prone to overreaction in the face of political and private change. “Would that he had been able to endure prosperity with greater self-control, and adversity with more fortitude!” wrote C. Asinius Pollio, a contemporary Roman statesman and historian.[62][63]

Legacy

 Henry VIII’s childhood copy of De Officiis, bearing the inscription in his hand, “Thys boke is myne”.

Cicero has been traditionally considered the master of Latin prose, with Quintilian declaring that Cicero was “not the name of a man, but of eloquence itself.”[64] The English words Ciceronian (meaning “eloquent”) and cicerone (meaning “local guide”) derive from his name.[65][66] He is credited with transforming Latin from a modest utilitarian language into a versatile literary medium capable of expressing abstract and complicated thoughts with clarity.[67] Julius Caesar praised Cicero’s achievement by saying “it is more important to have greatly extended the frontiers of the Roman spirit (ingenium) than the frontiers of the Roman empire”[68] According to John William Mackail, “Cicero’s unique and imperishable glory is that he created the language of the civilized world, and used that language to create a style which nineteen centuries have not replaced, and in some respects have hardly altered.”[69] Cicero was also an energetic writer with an interest in a wide variety of subjects, in keeping with the Hellenistic philosophical and rhetorical traditions in which he was trained. The quality and ready accessibility of Ciceronian texts favored very wide distribution and inclusion in teaching curricula, as suggested by an amusing graffito at Pompeii, admonishing: “You will like Cicero, or you will be whipped”.[70] Cicero was greatly admired by influential Church Fathers such as Augustine of Hippo, who credited Cicero’s lost Hortensius for his eventual conversion to Christianity[71] and St. Jerome, who had a feverish vision in which he was accused of being “follower of Cicero and not of Christ” before the judgment seat.[72] This influence further increased after the Early Middle Ages in Europe, which more of his writings survived than any other Latin author. Medieval philosophers were influenced by Cicero’s writings on natural law and innate rights. Petrarch‘s rediscovery of Cicero’s letters provided impetus for searches for ancient Greek and Latin writings scattered throughout European monasteries, and the subsequent rediscovery of Classical Antiquity led to the Renaissance. Subsequently, Cicero came to be synonymous with classical Latin to such an extent that a number of humanist scholars began to assert that no Latin word or phrase was to be used unless it could be found in Cicero’s works, a stance criticized by Erasmus.[73] His voluminous correspondence, much of it addressed to his friend Atticus, has been especially influential, introducing the art of refined letter writing to European culture. Cornelius Nepos, the 1st century BC biographer of Atticus, remarked that Cicero’s letters contained such a wealth of detail “concerning the inclinations of leading men, the faults of the generals, and the revolutions in the government” that their reader had little need for a history of the period.[74] Among Cicero’s admirers were Desiderius Erasmus, Martin Luther, and John Locke.[75] Following the invention of the printing press, De Officiis was the second book to be printed, after the Gutenberg Bible. Scholars note Cicero’s influence on the rebirth of religious toleration in the 17th century.[76]

While Cicero the humanist deeply influenced the culture of the Renaissance, Cicero the republican inspired the Founding Fathers of the United States and the revolutionaries of the French Revolution.[77] John Adams said of him “As all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united than Cicero, his authority should have great weight.”[78] Jefferson names Cicero as one of a handful of major figures who contributed to a tradition “of public right” that informed his draft of the Declaration of Independence and shaped American understandings of “the common sense” basis for the right of revolution.[79] Camille Desmoulins said of the French republicans in 1789 that they were “mostly young people who, nourished by the reading of Cicero at school, had become passionate enthusiasts for liberty”.[80]

Jim Powell starts his book on the history of liberty with the sentence: “Marcus Tullius Cicero expressed principles that became the bedrock of liberty in the modern world.”[81]

Likewise, no other ancient personality has inspired as much venomous dislike as Cicero, especially in more modern times.[82] His commitment to the values of the Republic accommodated a hatred of the poor and persistent opposition to the advocates and mechanisms of popular representation.[83] Friedrich Engels referred to him as “the most contemptible scoundrel in history” for upholding republican “democracy” while at the same time denouncing land and class reforms.[84] Cicero has faced criticism for exaggerating the democratic qualities of republican Rome, and for defending the Roman oligarchy against the popular reforms of Caesar. Michael Parenti admits Cicero’s abilities as an orator, but finds him a vain, pompous and hypocritical personality who, when it suited him, could show public support for popular causes that he privately despised. Parenti presents Cicero’s prosecution of the Catiline conspiracy as legally flawed at least, and possibly unlawful.[85]

Cicero also had an influence on modern astronomy. Nicolaus Copernicus, searching for ancient views on earth motion, said that he “first … found in Cicero that Hicetas supposed the earth to move.”[86]

Works

Cicero was declared a righteous pagan by the Early Church, and therefore many of his works were deemed worthy of preservation. The Bogomils considered him to be a rare exception of a pagan saint.[87] Subsequent Roman and medieval Christian writers quoted liberally from his works De Re Publica (On the Commonwealth) and De Legibus (On the Laws), and much of his work has been recreated from these surviving fragments. Cicero also articulated an early, abstract conceptualization of rights, based on ancient law and custom. Of Cicero’s books, six on rhetoric have survived, as well as parts of eight on philosophy. Of his speeches, 88 were recorded, but only 58 survive.

Speeches

Treatises

Letters

Cicero’s letters to and from various public and private figures are considered some of the most reliable sources of information for the people and events surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic. While 37 books of his letters have survived into modern times, 35 more books were known to antiquity that have since been lost. These included letters to Caesar, to Pompey, to Octavian, and to his son Marcus.[91]

Notable fictional portrayals

Ben Jonson dramatised the conspiracy of Catiline in his play Catiline His Conspiracy, featuring Cicero as a character. Cicero also appears as a minor character in William Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar.

Cicero was portrayed on the motion picture screen by British actor Alan Napier in the 1953 film Julius Caesar, based on Shakespeare’s play. He has also been played by such noted actors as Michael Hordern (in Cleopatra), and André Morell (in the 1970 Julius Caesar). Most recently, Cicero was portrayed by David Bamber in the HBO series Rome (2005–2007) and appeared in both seasons.

In the historical novel series Masters of Rome, Colleen McCullough presents an unflattering depiction of Cicero’s career, showing him struggling with an inferiority complex and vanity, morally flexible and fatally indiscreet, while his rival Julius Caesar is shown in a more approving light.[citation needed] Cicero is portrayed as a hero in the novel A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell (1965). Robert Harris‘ novels Imperium, Lustrum (published under the name Conspirata in the United States) and “Dictator” is the three-part novel series based upon the life of Cicero. In these novels Cicero’s character is depicted in a more balanced way than in those of McCullough, with his positive traits equaling or outweighing his weaknesses (while conversely Caesar is depicted as more sinister than in McCullough).[citation needed] Cicero is a major recurring character in the Roma Sub Rosa series of mystery novels by Steven Saylor. He also appears several times as a peripheral character in John Maddox RobertsSPQR series. The protagonist, Decius Metellus, admires Cicero for his erudition, but is disappointed by his lack of real opposition to Caesar, as well as puzzled by his relentless fawning on the Optimates, who secretly despise Cicero as a parvenu.[citation needed]

See also

this pressed: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse…with Diabetes|via Lilly


Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse…with Diabetes by Amy O’Connor 11/17/15 1 Comment Facebook Twitter Google+ Email Spoiler Alert: This post contains details about last weekend’s episode of The Walking Dead. But, don’t worry, I don’t tell you what happens to Glenn because we still don’t know! On this week’s The Walking Dead, viewers faced a previously unexplored danger in the post-Apocalyptic world—managing diabetes. AMC’s Sunday night favorite introduced Tina, a young woman with more than just hordes of the undead on her mind as she wandered the roads near Alexandria; she also had diabetes. Let’s be honest, managing your diabetes can be tricky. Many viewers on Twitter and Reddit had a hard time fathoming how exactly one survives months or even years into a zombie apocalypse. One thing’s clear to me: Tina had an emergency plan for her diabetes. Life is full of unexpected events, disasters and tragedies, both natural and man-made. For diabetics, these situations become even more challenging. That’s where your emergency plan comes in to play. Check out this handy graphic from our partnership with the American College of Endocrinology for tips on how to make sure you’re prepared for any emergency, zombie or otherwise. Tina may not have survived long in The Walking Dead universe, but, ultimately, it was the bites of two zombies that brought her to her end – not her diabetes. As the episode came to an end, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that we couldn’t have had a few more weeks to understand just how Tina had made it this far. It seems I wasn’t the only one. Here are a few of my favorite tweets sent during last night’s episode:

Source: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse…with Diabetes | via Lilly

this pressed: New York Emergency Responders Go Through Active Shooter Drill|via NDTV


New York police line up near an abandoned subway station in a lower Manhattan to stage a drill simulating a terrorist attack

New York police line up near an abandoned subway station in a lower Manhattan to stage a drill simulating a terrorist attack

Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in New York. (AP)New York: Hundreds of New York emergency responders simulated a coordinated terror attack Sunday, days before one of the city’s biggest public events: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.The long-planned drill at a Manhattan subway station got a last-minute update in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris. Officials added an “attacker” wearing a suicide vest.”In New York City, we are, at this time, very well-prepared and continually improving that preparedness,” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said outside the abandoned Bowery station in Lower Manhattan.The three-hour active-shooter exercise took place in the pricey Soho neighborhood populated by art galleries and boutiques. Members of the police, fire and federal Homeland Security departments went into action after a mock call reporting a gunman on the station platform.Of about 30 simulated straphangers in the station, a dozen suffered “critical wounds” from weapons firing blanks. Firefighters removed them on thick yellow plastic sheets and law enforcement personnel took on the threat.First responders from various emergency departments worked as a team, with communication and coordination between agencies an important goal.”There have been very significant improvements in that capacity since 9/11, also the coordination with the fire department,” Bratton said.The Department of Homeland Security used the exercise to test technologies including GoPro-like cameras worn by first responders and acoustic gunshot detection systems designed to give police and firefighters information to coordinate their responses. Such systems are being developed for surveillance of the subway system, the commissioner said.Sunday’s drill was funded by Homeland Security, and Bratton said there would be more such practice runs he says are “vitally necessary” and provide valuable response lessons.Bratton said New York law enforcement authorities, together with Homeland Security, are working closely with Paris investigators studying details of the Nov. 13 attacks there, aiming to prepare for similar suicide-bomber terrorism that New York has never experienced.The commissioner said New York would send a law-enforcement team to Paris when that probe was completed to learn as much as possible from those operations.Mayor Bill de Blaiso watched the three-hour drill, later calling it “an impressive display of the capacity of this city to respond.”The Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, has said it would target the U.S., especially Washington and New York.Bratton noted that there is no specific threat against the city. But security in the subways, Times Square and other prominent sites has been bolstered.On Thanksgiving, thousands of officers – including 1,300 counterterrorism officers – will patrol the parade route and watch over millions of spectators, Bratton said. The parade passes through Times Square.Story First Published: November 23, 2015 01:55 IST

Source: New York Emergency Responders Go Through Active Shooter Drill

this pressed: How counselors help survivors of terrorist attacks and other tragedies: https://t.co/LEXOI63Vox— CNN Health


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this pressed: Ghoulish Martyrdom from Hell|via Info 24.us


News24US.comGhoulish Martyrdom from HellGhoulish Martyrdom from HellIt’s now a macabre routine: As soon as the bodies of innocent mothers and daughters and fathers and sons are carted off the sidewalk, someone from a virulent theocracy hails the suicide bombers as “martyrs.” How twisted. A word encapsulating one of the noblest human acts now conjures horror. The very concept of martyrdom is martyred.Genuine martyrs don’t fire AK-47’s in a crowded theater while collaborators blow themselves up near a football stadium and rampage in bars. They reluctantly sacrifice themselves so others might thrive. They’ll even bless their attackers, with Mohandas Gandhi serving as the stellar example. His proclamation after a failed assassination attempt: “If I am to die by the bullet of a madman, I must do so smiling. There must be no anger within me. God must be in my heart on and my lips.”A fanatic fulfilled his wish in January of 1948. Nathuram Godse emerged from an admiring throng, bowed before the Mahatma, then shot him three times in the stomach and chest. Gandhi raised his hands in a Hindu greeting and collapsed. Some heard him proclaim, “God, God.” Perhaps Gandhi remembered one of the last prayers of Christ, whom he admired but did not worship: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” or the prayer of Saint Stephen as he was stoned: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”No innocent civilians lay in pools of blood. No mother wails over her dead child.These martyrs are celebrated and canonized. There’s Justin (often called “Justin Martyr”), beheaded in Rome in about 165 AD. There are the twelve Scillitan martyrs, victims of the final wave of persecution during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in 180. And don’t forget saints Perpetua and Felicity, executed in Carthage in about 203; Pope Fabian (250); Origen (circa 254); Cyprian (256); Saint Agnes of Rome (circa 304); twenty-six Jesuits crucified in Japan in 1597 and seventeen more seventeenth-century Jesuits in Micronesia.And, please, always remember the mostly pacifist Anabaptists, slaughtered in the 16th and 17th centuries.The list goes on, unabated, into our era. Among the latest may be two Orthodox bishops – Metropolitans Boulos Yazigi and Mar Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim – as well as Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, each abducted by ISIS in 2013.
Their fates are uncertain.Such people – often humble and joyful – tilt the modern, techno-savvy mind. No business school offers martyrdom courses and no goal-oriented, five-year plan begins with the words: “I will take the following practical steps so that I can be jailed, tortured, and possibly murdered …” Yesteryear’s martyrs focused on eternity (where will I be a thousand years from now?); today’s pragmatists dwell on the here and now.Yet they won’t let us go. They sneak into our irreligious world and remind us that there is more to life than bits and bytes. We admire the successful, especially those who spread their success to others: Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, among others. But we don’t hold them in awe. We reserve reverence for Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero, the four Maryknoll sisters and missionaries killed in El Salvador in 1980, and the six Jesuit priests killed there in 1989 – along with their housekeeper and her daughter.Somehow, we see their deeper and richer humanity. We want what they have despite ourselves. Perhaps that’s why their sacrifices – which may come in the form of their freedom or their lives – often change history in ways their persecutors didn’t anticipate.But now there are these pseudo-martyrs wielding death before they supposedly catapult themselves into the laps of virgins. They’re maiming and killing at random and poisoning magnanimity itself.That’s obscene.– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Source: Ghoulish Martyrdom from Hell

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this pressed: Cei mai bogaţi terorişti din istorie. Cum a reuşit Statul Islamic să adune în doar câţiva ani o avere fabuloasă | adevarul.ro


În doar câţiva ani, reţeaua extremistă sunnită Statul Islamic (SI) a reuşit să-şi asigure independenţa financiară şi să devină cea mai bogată structură teroristă din istorie. Potrivit cotidianului francez Le Figaro, patrimoniul din teritoriile ocupate de SI este în valoare de 2.260 de miliarde de dolari, în timp ce bugetul pe 2015 al reţelei extremiste ajunge la 2,6 miliarde de euro.Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă FOTO „Fetele Soarelui“ jură să se răzbune pe jihadiştii din Statul Isl… Kerry: SUA pot neutraliza Statul Islamic mai repede decât au anihilat …Cum a reuşit Statul Islamic să adune această avere fabuloasă, inclusiv cu ajutorul Irakului şi al Franţei?Statul Islamic este cea mai puternică structură teroristă din lume. Califatul său, autoproclamat de jihadişti în vara anului 2014 în teritoriile ocupate în Siria şi în Irak, se întinde pe o suprafaţă cât jumătate din cea a Franţei, care are peste 640.000 de kilometri pătraţi. Teritoriile ocupate de SI sunt locuite de aproximativ zece milioane de persoane şi sunt bogate în diverse resurse naturale (cereale, zăcăminte de petrol, gaze şi fosfaţi etc.), vestigii istorice, de cultură şi artă.În prezent, Statul Islamic este o entitate financiară autonomă, spre deosebire de reţeaua teroristă al-Qaida, care depinde în mare parte de sponsori. Structura jihadistă ocupă teritorii cu un patrimoniu evaluat la 2.260 de miliarde de dolari şi are un buget pe 2015 estimat la 2,6 miliarde de euro, potrivit unor date furnizate pentru Le Figaro de Jean-Charles Brisard, un expert în finanţarea terorismului care conduce Centrul de Analiză a Terorismului. Această avere îi permite Statului Islamic să lanseze operaţiuni armate, să-i înarmeze, hrănească şi plătească pe cei 30.000 de combatanţi ai săi, să achite pensii familiilor militanţilor ucişi, să întreţină baze militare, să administreze teritoriile ocupate, să realizeze înregistrări video de propagandă, să „reeduce profesorii“ şi să ademenească ingineri şi comercianţi în vederea exploatării puţurilor petroliere şi gazeifere aflate sub controlul său. În plus, Statul Islamic îşi permite să aibă un sistem economic „normal“, prevăzut cu servicii publice şi de protecţie socială.Pe 16 noiembrie, G20 a făcut apel la „consolidarea luptei împotriva finanţării terorismului“, semn că doar acţiunile militare nu sunt suficiente. Dar lupta împotriva finanţelor SI nu se anunţă deloc uşoară, ţinând cont de faptul că reţeaua extremistă şi-a diversificat sursele de venit.Patrimoniu în valoare de 2.260 de miliarde de dolari, în creşterePatrimoniul SI a ajuns de-acum la 2.260 de miliarde de dolari, potrivit ultimelor estimări ale lui Jean-Charles Brisard, care vor fi făcute publice la sfârşitul lunii. Valoarea acestui patrimoniu creşte de la an la an. Anul trecut, patrimoniul SI a fost evaluat la 2.043 de miliarde de dolari. Estimarea include toate resursele naturale şi siturile arheologice şi culturale din teritoriile ocupate de SI.Buget pe 2015 de 2,6 miliarde de euro, în creştereStatul Islamic obţine venituri convenţionale, asemeni unui stat în toată regula, cât şi în urma unor activităţi specifice economiei subterane, asemeni unui grup infracţional sau unei structuri teroriste. Deşi Statul Islamic nu îşi publică veniturile şi cheltuielile, specialiştii în finanţarea terorismului au reuşit totuşi să facă estimări privind finanţele sale, iar tendinţele sunt coerente. Grosul veniturilor SI vine din resursele naturale (60%), ponderea petrolului reprezentând 24%, în scădere, în timp ce activităţile de natură infracţională asigură 40% din bugetul structurii teroriste, în creştere cu 24% faţă de anul trecut.Veniturile din petrol, doar un sfert din bugetul SI, în scădereVeniturile obţinute din exploatarea şi prelucrarea petrolului ar urma să ajungă la peste 563 de milioane de euro în 2015. Ele au scăzut drastic de la precedentele estimări datând din octombrie 2014 (aproximativ 940 de milioane de euro). Două cauze au contribuit la această tendinţă de scădere. În primul rând, preţul petrolului s-a prăbuşit în 2015, de la 100 de dolari pe baril în 2014 la mai puţin de 50 de dolari pe baril în acest an. Dar Statul Islamic îşi vinde petrolul mult sub preţul pieţii, mai exact la 25 de dolari pe baril. În al doilea rând, coaliţia occidentală a efectuat, din august 2014, aproximativ 10.000 de atacuri aeriene contra unor poziţii ale SI, fiind ţintite în special rafinării, oleoducte şi camioane de transport.Potrivit unei ample cercetări publicate de Financial Times, veniturile din petrol ale SI se ridică la 1,4 milioane de euro pe zi, adică aproximativ 516 milioane de euro pe an, la o producţie cuprinsă între 35.000 şi 40.000 de barili pe zi. Aceste date au fost furnizate de comercianţi şi ingineri prezenţi la faţa locului.Statul Islamic produce petrol atât pentru propriile nevoi, cât şi pentru export, vânzându-l chiar şi opozanţilor săi din Siria. Deşi este vizată de embargo, reţeaua extremistă reuşeşte să-şi vândă petrolul pe piaţa neagră, exportându-l….(read More)

Source: Cei mai bogaţi terorişti din istorie. Cum a reuşit Statul Islamic să adune în doar câţiva ani o avere fabuloasă | adevarul.ro