Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Archive for 9 aprile 2014

Internatio​nal experts focus on solutions to climate change

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

amsterdamAmsterdam. Greenpeace is urging governments and corporate leaders to accelerate the transition to 100% clean, safe energy as scientists and officials meet in Berlin this week to finalise the UN climate panel’s report on the solutions to climate change. The report, to be presented on Sunday 13 April, is the third part of the Fifth Assessment Report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The previous two parts assessed the science and impacts of climate change. “We expect the IPCC’s conclusions to reflect breakthroughs with solar and wind energy that have taken place over the past few years. Renewable energy has expanded, fallen in price and is ready to challenge traditional, polluting forms of energy,” said Kaisa Kosonen of Greenpeace International. “There is still time to prevent catastrophic levels of global warming.”Lack of action by governments and corporations has meant that emissions of greenhouse gases have continued to increase since the last IPCC report was published in 2007. But at the same time renewable energy has made significant progress. Global solar photovoltaic generating capacity has increased tenfold and wind power capacity threefold. Renewable energy is now increasingly competitive with fossil fuels, and the least-cost option in a growing number of markets. “Over half of the growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide since 2002 has been from increased coal burning in China. That has created enormous air pollution problems for our cities. But China’s coal consumption trend is now changing rapidly due to new pollution prevention policies,” according to Li Shuo, Greenpeace East Asia’s Climate & Energy Campaigner, who will be participating in the IPCC meeting in Berlin.The host country, Germany, now relies on clean, renewable energy for almost 25% of its power needs, up from 8% in 2002. By 2050 it aims to satisfy at least 80% of its electricity demand from renewables while at the same time phasing out nuclear power. “Germany is committed to a clean energy transition and this is the message for everyone,” said Li Shuo. “We’re seeing signs of this shift in China, too, and the country has become the world leader in clean energy investments. But it must speed up.”Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace Germany said, “Germany’s energy transition is an inspiration to the world but we still have much to do. European climate targets allow for increased use of coal and Chancellor Merkel is failing to address this. Furthermore, she is allowing the destruction of villages for new brown coal in Germany. This is unacceptable and has to change.”A small team of Greenpeace experts will attend the IPCC meeting as civil society observers. In a separate event on Friday 11 April Greenpeace will present new data on renewable energy and report on China’s recent air quality policies and their potential significance for emission trends in China and globally.

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The single owner collection Lalique

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

montargisLondon – Christie’s London is pleased to announce the single owner collection Lalique: An Important Private Collection, which will take place at Christie’s King Street on 30 April. The calibre of this private collection bears testimony to the discerning eye of the collector, and is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary vision and creativity of the master glass-maker René Lalique, who continues to enthrall an international audience nearly seven decades after his death. Distinguished from previous collections which have appeared on the market in the last decades, this collection primarily focuses on large-scale vases in rare designs and a wide spectrum of colours. In addition to the jewel-like coloured works, there are a number of exquisite hand-crafted cire perdue vases and a selection of significant display items, such as  Oiseau De Feu, which features a mythical firebird and is illuminated from below (estimate: £25,000-35,000). With estimates ranging from £2,500 to £150,000, the 84 lots are expected to realise in the region of £2 million.Christie’s has been selling Lalique since 1971 and has offered more Lalique at auction than any other auction house internationally. In 2013, Christie’s Lalique sale in London realised over £1.3 million, the highest total ever achieved (perruches, montagis)

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World Jewish Congress head after Greek official’s resignation: Europe needs to isolate extremist parties

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

samarasNEW YORK/LONDON – The resignation of a top adviser to the Greek prime minister, after he was caught on videotape discussing an investigation of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party with an official of the same party, underscores that Europeans “need to establish a common policy against dealings with neo-Nazi, racist, and anti-Semitic elements, and a clear ‘cordon sanitaire’ vis-à-vis these parties,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder declared on Tuesday. “It’s outrageous that an aide to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras spoke to a known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, and it is only fitting that the aide resigned,” Lauder said. “But this egregious episode points to a larger problem – that legitimate European parties need to isolate racists and anti-Semites like Golden Dawn. Such a policy becomes even more important before the European elections in May, when such disgusting parties stand to gain in Greece and elsewhere.” Samaras’s chief of staff, Takis Baltakos, resigned last week after Golden Dawn released a video in which Baltakos is seen telling Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris that the prime minister had allegedly pressed judges to jail members of Golden Dawn for political reasons. Police and magistrates have been investigating charges that Golden Dawn, its members and supporters were involved in a series of violent attacks, including the killing of a left-wing rapper in September, and have formed a criminal organization. Golden Dawn’s leader and other senior members have been detained pending trial on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.Lauder further declared that WJC “has every confidence in the legal process in Greece” and said that “if the charges are upheld in court and Golden Dawn is ruled a criminal organization, the full force of the law must be brought to bear upon it.” The Greek Parliament last Wednesday voted to remove Kasidiaris’ and four other Golden Dawn lawmakers’ parliamentary immunity, clearing the way for another round of criminal charges against its members. Four of the lawmakers named on Wednesday, including the party leader’s wife Eleni Zaroulia, will now be charged with belonging to a criminal organization and of carrying unregistered firearms. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), a WJC affiliate, expressed “strong resentment that a government official was in conversation” with Kasidiaris. In a statement, KIS added: “We repeat our firm position and once more call upon the democratic political parties to join forces and combat the morphemes of Nazism in our country within the framework of the Constitution and the rule of law.”  KIS said that Greece and Europe had a “duty to isolate those who seek the return of Nazism, and those who disseminate racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic ideas, in order to safeguard democracy.”

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Christie’s will offer Andy Warhol’s White Marilyn

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

marilynNew York – On May 13, Christie’s will offer Andy Warhol’s White Marilyn, 1962, one of the most iconic portraits created by the artist and widely recognized as one of the finest examples of Warhol’s greatest and most sensational bodies of work, the Death and Disasters series. The spectacular White Marilyn (estimate: $ 12–18 million), a stunning image of one of Hollywood’s larger-than-life legends, was created immediately after Monroe’s untimely death in 1962, when Warhol became fascinated with the idea of Monroe as a pre-fabricated media product.  White Marilyn emerges as an emblem of 1960s Pop. Belonging to the twelve “single Marilyns” mentioned by Warhol in POPism, White Marilyn was one of eight Marilyns selected for Warhol’s first one-man exhibition at Eleanor Ward’s renowned Stable Gallery in New York in 1962, and was once part of her personal collection.“We are extremely proud to present White Marilyn, one of the nucleuses of Warhol’s first ever and most significant solo exhibition organized by Eleanor Ward for the Stable Gallery in 1962.  With his unique ability to fuse painting and photography into an unforgettably iconic image, Warhol condensed all the themes of his art in this magnificent White Marilyn which keeps one such icon alive and forever in style. Compared to the perfectly coiffed media propagated publicity images of the actress, in White Marilyn she appears touched by humanity, and transcends reality to become a modern Saint. Warhol dedicated this work to Ward and expressed his gratitude scattering hearts on the reverse of the painting. Warhol gave Mint Marilyn to Jasper Johns, Gold Marilyn Monroe and Blue Marilyn were acquired by Phillip Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Barr before being gifted respectively to the National Gallery of Arts in Washington, and the Princeton University Art Museum.” declared Laura Paulson, Christie’s Chairman and International Director for Post-War and Contemporary Art.

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The Collection of the Marquesses of Londonderry

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

londonLondon – Christie’s is proud to announce the two day sale of The Raglan Collection: Wellington, Waterloo & The Crimea & Works of Art from the Collection of the Marquesses of Londonderry on 22 and 23 May, respectively. These two distinguished historical aristocratic families are linked through their prominence in early 19th century British history. Comprising a total of over 500 lots, the sale as a whole presents a cornucopia of rare and unique opportunities which will excite connoisseurs, institutions and enthusiasts around the world; it is expected to realise a combined total in the region of £1.5 million.

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Civil Liberties MEPs concerned about “overload and degradation” of Italian prisons

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

anguillarA Civil Liberties Committee delegation visited Italy on 26-28 March to gather information on the prisons system in Italy. The delegation assessed detainees’ rights and conditions, pre-trial and prison regime for foreigners and the execution of sentences. Commenting on MEPs’ first impressions, the Head of the delegation and Chairman of the Civil Liberties Committee Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) said:”The European Parliament is concerned about the overload and degradation of Italian prisons. The Civil Liberties Committee delegation notes the lack of adequate budgetary resources and the political impetus needed to improve the existing tough conditions in obsolete facilities such as Poggioreale”. “The European Union must make a difference in how it deals with its most unprotected citizens. In this sense, the Civil Liberties Committee will continue to oversee the situation of prisons in all EU Member States to make sure that detainees’ fundamental rights are duly respected and proper conditions provided”, he added.

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Le pouvoir aux citoyens : conditions d’un espace public européen?

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

Notre Europe – Institut Delors, en partenariat avec EuroCité et Europartenaires, a organisé le sixième séminaire du cycle “Espace public européen : en route vers les élections européennes” autour du thème “Le pouvoir aux citoyens : conditions d’un espace public européen ?”. Claire Versini, chargée de projet à Notre Europe – Institut Jacques Delors, synthétise ce séminaire autour de trois points principaux :
1. Donner le pouvoir aux citoyens, une réponse institutionnelle au déficit démocratique?
2. Prendre le pouvoir : un véritable parcours du combattant pour les citoyens
3. Ni populisme, ni technocratie : comment communiquer pour donner aux citoyens les moyens de construire un espace public européen ?
Après une introduction de Renaud Soufflot de Magny, chef adjoint de la représentation de la Commission en France, revenant sur les modalités d’expression d’ores et déjà existantes, et la nécessité d’améliorer la dimension participative des outils mis à la disposition des citoyens européens, Nicolas Leron, président d’EuroCité, a modéré un débat entre Sandrine Bélier, députée européenne Verts/ALE et Anne-Marie Perret, présidente de la Fédération syndicale des services publics et présidente du comité des citoyens de l’Initiative citoyenne européenne “Right 2 Water”. Notre Europe – Institut Jacques Delors, Eurocité et Europartenaires remercient la Représentation de la Commission européenne en France d’accueillir ce cycle.

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World Bank Group Invests in Energy Trade between Central Asia and South Asia

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

World_BankWASHINGTON. The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors today approved US$ 526.5 million in grant and credit financing for the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) for four countries: Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. CASA-1000 will build more than 1,200 kilometers of electricity transmission lines and associated sub-stations to transmit excess summer hydropower energy from existing power generation stations in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The project will finance the engineering design, construction, and commissioning of transmission lines and three new converter stations. The power generation stations that provide the energy to be traded over CASA-1000, including Toktogul in Kyrgyz Republic and Nurek in Tajikistan, are already in place – and in Tajikistan currently “spill” or waste the hydropower energy during summer months. This transmission infrastructure project will put in place the commercial and institutional arrangements as well as the infrastructure required for 1,300 megawatts (MW) of sustainable electricity trade. The total project cost is estimated at US$ 1.17 billion, and several other development partners will provide financing for CASA-1000, including the Islamic Development Bank and United States Agency for International Development. In addition to the infrastructure investments, the World Bank Group will also provide country-specific community support programs through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. These programs will help improve livelihoods in communities living along the project corridor and facilitate revenue-sharing. An Inter-Governmental Council has been established to supervise the design and implementation of these programs. “These four countries are demonstrating strong regional cooperation by addressing their energy challenges together,” said Sri Mulyani Indrawati, World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. “CASA-1000 is a transformational project that will give a much-needed boost to energy security, improved connectivity and trade across two regions at a critical time.” Nearly 400 million people in South Asia lack reliable access to electricity. Businesses cite energy shortages as one of the most binding constraints to their operation, expansion, and job creation. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan rely heavily on oil for power generation. Cleaner and affordable electricity imports from Central Asia will enable improved service, reduce shortages over the critical summer period, and lessen the financial pressure of fuel imports. The Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan have abundant hydropower, but power generation capacity exceeds national needs during the summer and is insufficient during the winter. Exporting surplus electricity during the summer will help the two countries generate the revenues they need for priority energy sector investments, particularly to cover energy shortages during the winter. The sale of Tajik electricity through CASA-1000 will come exclusively from existing surplus generation from May to September in order to maintain the seasonal pattern of water flows and winter power generation. The commercial and operating framework for CASA-1000 is specifically based on “open access” principles which will allow additional energy supplying countries to connect with wider regional transmission networks. CASA-1000 will enable the development of the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM) – a long-term plan for regional energy trade. “There is too little trade among these regions today and opportunities are being missed. CASA-1000 is just one of several important regional energy initiatives that can help strengthen economic ties while improving the energy situation,” said Philippe Le Houérou, Vice President for South Asia. Of the total project financing, Afghanistan will receive US$ 316.5 million in the form of an IDA grant; Pakistan will receive $120 million in IDA credit; Kyrgyz Republic will receive $45 million in IDA grant and credit; and Tajikistan will receive $45 million in grant financing. “CASA-1000 can help improve performance in the transportation, telecommunications, and industrial sectors – all of which are critical elements of a functioning economy and all of which depend on electricity,” said Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia. “Improvements in the transparency of revenue management will be implemented by the Central Asian countries, demonstrating their commitment to improving the performance of their energy sectors.”

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Author Launches Kickstarter Campaign To See Her Novel On The Syrian Conflict Edited & Mass-produced

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

syrian civil warWestford, MA – ‘War Kids — A Syrian Story’ is the shocking Syrian Civil War story as portrayed through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old survivor. The author is seeking crowdfunding via her Kickstarter campaign to help fund the professional editing costs of this young adult novel and to see it mass-produced.Hayley J. Lawson, the author of War Kids — A Syrian Story, has announced that she is launching her Kickstarter campaign on which aims to cover the cost of having this young adult novel professionally edited and mass-produced.
‘War Kids — A Syrian Story’ deals with the very real crisis of the ongoing Syrian Civil War through the eyes of young children as they try to stay strong despite the overwhelming presence of death. The novel provides a number of perspectives from young characters as they deal with the deaths of their families, the destruction of their villages and their ongoing need to survive. “It really is heartbreaking what is happening in Syria. As I watched TV and folded up my laundry, an image of a young girl appeared. She was older than my daughter by a few years,” said Hayley J. Lawson, author of the book War Kids — A Syrian Story.  When a fourteen-year-old Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself. Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom Fighters. With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to stay vigilant in the face of war. To help fund the contemporary young adult novel War Kids — A Syrian Story, visit the Kickstarter Campaign page here. About Hayley J. Lawson
Hayley J. Lawson is the author of the young adult contemporary novel War Kids — The Syrian Story. On August 21st 2013, she was moved by the images of the Syrian conflict and embarked on an unlikely journey of writing her first novel. The novel is set in Syria and encapsulates the Syrian Civil War as seen through the eyes of children. Hayley was born in Lancaster, England. Growing up in a single parent household with five other siblings; was hard, and also character building. Diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age, Hayley always believed that if you worked hard, you could do anything you wanted. If she didn’t know how to do something she would research until she did. As a young child, she found a passion for drawing, and continued her artistic slant into adulthood — graduating from the University of Central Lancashire, England with a BA (Hons) in fashion design. Aged twenty seven, Hayley and her husband left the UK and moved to California, where she gave birth to her daughter. The family relocated to Long Island, NY, where she currently resides.

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OMA’s design for Axel Springer’s new media centre in Berlin has been chosen as the winner in the final round of a public design competition

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

berlinoThe building will embody Axel Springer’s corporate shift from print to digital media, and will create a new hub in the existing Axel Springer campus in central Berlin. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer: “We are very happy to be able to build the new building of our publishing house together with Rem Koolhaas. He presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house.” Rem Koolhaas, founding partner of OMA: “It is a wonderful occasion for our office to build in Berlin again, on this historical site of all places, for a client who has mobilized architecture to help perform a radical change…a workplace in all its dimensions…” Opposite the existing Axel Springer headquarters on Zimmerstrasse, a street which previously separated East and West Berlin, the building will be situated at one of the city’s most significant locations. The new office block is bisected by a diagonal atrium that opens up to the existing Springer buildings — an extension of the Springer campus. The essence of the proposal is a series of terraced floors that together form a ‘valley’. Each floor contains a covered part for formal work, which is then uncovered on the terraces to act as an informal stage and a place to broadcast ideas to other parts of the company. The ground floor is open to the city and contains studios, event and exhibition spaces, canteens and restaurants. OMA’s design team is led by partners-in-charge Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon, and project leaders Katrin Betschinger, Alain Fouraux and Betty Ng. The project was developed in collaboration with Chris Carol from Arup London, Duncan Phillips from RWDI for microclimate consultation, Eckhard Kahle of Kahle Acoustics, Christian Wernicke and Christoph Winter of SMV Bauprojektsteuerung & Emproc GmbH for cost consultation, and Peter Stanek for fire safety consultation. (oma)

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Data protection: “Today’s ruling is good news for 500 million Europeans”

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 aprile 2014

court justiceReacting to today’s decision by the EU’s Court of Justice to invalidate the 2006 data retention directive, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) said: “Today’s ruling by the Court of Justice is good news for 500 million European citizens. It reminds us that Europe is not only about the Euro and the single market, but it is mainly about rights. The Court of Justice, the highest guardian of Community law, has ruled that privacy and confidentiality of communications must prevail”, he said.”Data protection is a fundamental right secured like never before after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and threatened by the digital revolution and intrusive practices by big firms, security agencies and mass surveillance, as revealed by the NSA scandal in the USA”, he added.”It is now more urgent than ever that the Council unlock the data protection regulation that the Civil Liberties Committee and the European Parliament approved in this legislative term. The data protection regulation is a European law, directly binding on EU countries, and citizens may directly invoke it before any EU court. If it is not already in force it is not because Parliament has not done its job, but because the Council has not reached a common position yet. We urge the Council to do so in this term. There is still time under the Greek Presidency”, he concluded.

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