Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Posts Tagged ‘balance’

The death of a former president tilts the balance of power in Iran

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 gennaio 2017

akbar-hashemi-rafsanjaniTEARS always came easily to the lachrymose ayatollah. But those at a gathering on December 13th seemed more heartfelt than most. He was reading from his own biography of Amir Kabir, the Shah’s chief minister in the mid-19th century, when the blubbing began. Kabir had tried to open the Persian Empire up to the West, he wept, only to be frustrated by the hand of a hardline assassin. “Something suggested he was thinking of his own failed attempts at reform,” says one of those present.With death approaching, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died on January 8th aged 82, may also have had an eye on posterity. Eulogists are already hailing a lifetime spent trying to open Iran and its Islamic revolution to the West. Israeli officials were among the first to label him a moderate. In the midst of the Iran-Iraq war, they sold him arms. In return, he obligingly diverted the proceeds with a nod from America’s Republican leaders to the Contras, Nicaragua’s anti-communist rebels. “If people believe we can live behind a closed door, they are mistaken. We are in need of friends and allies around the world,” he explained. He persuaded Ayatollah Khomeini to end the war with Iraq, and no sooner was he anointed president than he began knocking on the door of Abdullah, Crown Prince of the Islamic Republic’s nemesis, Saudi Arabia, with which he quickly restored relations. American oil majors received invitations to return to Iran, and but for President Bill Clinton’s veto, might have come.Yet Mr Rafsanjani was also a stalwart of the regime, who believed the best way to preserve it was to accommodate outside pressures, not to defy them. Once Ayatollah Khomeini was secure as Supreme Leader, Mr Rafsanjani began eliminating the allies—Marxists, religious nationalists and rival Islamists—who had joined him in toppling the Shah. Abroad, he orchestrated assassinations and the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, said prosecutors in Germany and Argentina. To compensate for the deficiencies of Iran’s air force and navy, he is said to have initiated the country’s nuclear programme. That was for peaceful purposes, he always insisted. But Persian is a famously elastic language, and he was a master of ambiguity. He was dubbed kooseh, the shark, on account of his smooth rubbery skin, which made it hard for him to emulate the pious beards of Iran’s more senior ayatollahs. But he also had a shark’s knack of gobbling up those who stood in his way.He made an unlikely revolutionary. Whereas his peers emerged from the ranks of Iran’s downtrodden, his father was a gentrified pistachio farmer. Mr Rafsanjani briefly studied in Qom, Iran’s holy city, under Ayatollah Khomeini, until the latter fled the Shah’s goons in 1964, but was known for his truancy. If he had a constituency it was less Qom’s seminaries than the gold arcades of Tehran’s bazaar. When Ayatollah Khomenei addressed his followers, he did so from the humble surroundings of his mosque, Hosseiniyeh Jamaran, tucked into the cramped alleyways on Tehran’s heights. When Mr Rafsanjani held court, he sat on a dais in the throne room of one of the Shah’s old downtown emerald palaces.
Iran’s self-interest had a way of becoming his own. He championed opening university education to all. But some noted that the many branches of the Islamic Azad University over which he presided could also be used to build up real estate. Its assets, many acquired from the government as public works, are estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars. He championed privatisation, but like most Middle Eastern leaders used it to bolster his cronies and closer relatives. He sent his son on missions to Saudi Arabia. As the epitome of the fatted elite, the electorate turned on him when he tried to return as president in 2005. Ironically, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was judged the force for change, and attracted the youth vote.Yet no other Iranian so continuously dominated the revolution. For the Islamic Republic’s first decade (1980-89), he was parliamentary speaker; for the second (1989-97), its president. In Ayatollah Khomeini’s last months, he engineered the removal of the designated next Supreme Leader, and his replacement by a little-known lesser cleric, whom he hoped would be more malleable: Ali Khamenei. Mr Ahmadinejad aside, the presidents that came after him were his protégés. Muhammad Khatami reappointed many of Mr Rafsanjani’s senior ministers to his cabinet in 1997. And at the reformist President Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration in 2013, Mr Rafsanjani was seen beaming even more broadly than the incumbent himself. Mr Rouhani, after all, was his old national security adviser.Mr Rafsanjani’s defeat by Mr Ahmadinejad helped him redeem himself in the eyes of the electorate. A gruelling month after the streets erupted in protests in 2009, he took to the pulpit to denounce Mr Ahmadinejad for rigging elections to secure a second term. “Go,” he cried at Friday prayers, echoing Ayatollah Khomeini’s riposte to the Shah. His daughter, Faezeh, was arrested for joining the protests, as was his son, Mehdi, in 2015. In the 2016 elections Tehran’s middle classes rewarded him by voting him top of their list. A satisfied Mr Rafsanjani pronounced his political mission accomplished. As his star waned, he increasingly sparred with Mr Khamenei, questioning not just the belligerence of Iran’s foreign policy, but the very notion of rule by a single cleric.Some hardliners are already cheering that their most powerful opponent has gone; as chairman of the Expediency Council (a job he held from 1989 until his death) Mr Rafsanjani helped hold the balance between moderates in parliament and the conservative Guardian Council that is meant to ensure that all laws are in conformity with Islam. With his godfather departed and the presidency of Donald Trump imminent, some see Mr Rouhani’s hopes not just of re-election in May but rapprochement with the West as gravely weakened. Others argue, however, that set free from Mr Rafsanjani’s shadow, Mr Rouhani could emerge stronger if he wins his second term in May. Either way, the regime has lost an arch-pragmatist. Without the guile of Mr Rafsanjani, Iran looks likely to become more polarised. (photo: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani) (font: The Economist)

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MEPs strengthen rights of children in criminal proceedings

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 marzo 2016

europa-261011-cMEPs backed new rules on Wednesday to ensure that children who are suspected or accused of a crime get a fair trial. The directive, informally agreed with the Council last December, recognises the right of anyone under 18 to be assisted by a lawyer and to be accompanied by the holder of parental responsibility (or another appropriate adult) through most of the proceedings.“The text presents a catalogue of rights and guarantees as a common European model of fair trials for minors in which we strike a balance between the need to ascertain responsibility for crime and the need to take due account of minors’ vulnerability and specific needs”, said Caterina Chinnici (S&D, IT), who steered the legislation through Parliament. The new directive was approved by 613 votes to 30, with 56 abstentions.
The draft directive aims to ensure that children can understand and follow court proceedings and are prevented from re-offending. The child’s best interest must always be the primary consideration, says the text. The directive also includes the right to an individual assessment by qualified personnel and to a medical examination if the child is deprived of liberty.
MEPs inserted a provision to ensure that children always have the right of access to a lawyer. Exceptions to this right may be made only if it deemed not to be proportionate in the light of the circumstances of the case, or in exceptional cases, at the pre-trial stage, given the child’s best interest..Separate detention from adults and other fair trial safeguards. The directive would require EU member states to ensure that deprivation of liberty, and in particular detention, is imposed on children only as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period. Children who are detained should be held separately from adults, unless it is considered to be in the child’s best interests not to do so.The directive also includes other safeguards, such as:
the right for children to be promptly informed about their rights and about general aspects of the conduct of the proceedings, information to be provided to the holder of parental responsibility or another appropriate adult, nominated by the child and accepted as such by the competent authority,the right to be accompanied by that person during court hearings and at other stages of the proceedings such as police questioning,the right to protection of privacy during criminal proceedings, including the option of having court hearings involving children held in the absence of the public, and specific training for justices, prosecutors and other professionals who deal with criminal proceedings involving children.The directive now needs to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers. Once published in the EU Official Journal, member states will have three years in which to transpose it into their national laws. Denmark, the UK and Ireland have opted out of this directive and will not be bound by it.

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Enstar Group Limited Completes Acquisition of U.S. and Canadian Closed-Life Insurance Operations From HSBC Finance

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 aprile 2013

Hamilton, Bermuda, (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Enstar Group Limited (Nasdaq:ESGR) announced today that one of Enstar’s wholly-owned subsidiaries completed the previously announced acquisition from Household Insurance Group Holding Company of HSBC Insurance Company of Delaware and Household Life Insurance Company of Delaware, as well as its three subsidiary insurers, on March 31, 2013. Household Insurance Group Holding Company is a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.The HSBC companies acquired added approximately $1.4 billion in total cash and investments to Enstar’s balance sheet. As previously disclosed, the base purchase price of $181 million was rolled forward under the terms of the stock purchase agreement based upon changes to the capital and surplus of the acquired entities arising from the operation of the business prior to closing. The amount paid at closing was approximately $155.7 million and was financed in part by a drawing under Enstar’s revolving credit facility.
Enstar, a Bermuda company, acquires and manages insurance and reinsurance companies in run-off and portfolios of insurance and reinsurance business in run-off, and provides management, consultancy and other services to the insurance and reinsurance industry.

Posted in Economia/Economy/finance/business/technology, Estero/world news | Contrassegnato da tag: , , , | 10 Comments »

The route: a perfect balance of sport and show

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 17 febbraio 2011

Selective: like a round of the FIA European Rally Championship must be.
Rational: to meet the drivers’ needs during the reconnaissance and for the teams’ movements before, during and after the rally.
Spectacular: as the public wishes and as the drivers and organisers’ commercial partners’ needs request.
This is the essence of the route of the 38th Croatia Rally, third round of the FIA European Rally Championship, scheduled from May 19th to 21st, with start and finish in Rijeka.
Three days of competition, each within a specific geographic area and with a remarkable overall compactness, since for a total of 250 km in 15 special stages, all on tarmac, there are about 500 km road sections.
Thursday, May 21st will see the shakedown in the morning, and the first two special stages repeated twice in the evening, after the departure from Rijeka at 18.00: Ucka (km 14.09) and Studena (14.99 km), north-west of the town.
Friday, May 22nd is the longest (from 11.00 to 21.30) and most intense day, with three special stages located a little more to the west, close to the border with Slovenia, repeated twice (Brest, 23.47 km, Buzet 22.51 km and Lupoglav, 11.57 km). These will be followed by the super special stage of Preluk (14.63 km in total, about 2.5 laps of a circuit), near Rijeka.
Saturday, May 23rd the third and final day from 11:00 to 17:00, with two special stages repeated twice: Platak (16.42 km) and Lokve (12.76 km), east of the town.
Drivers also have an appointment with the crowd in the center of Rijeka, namely in the pedestrian zone of Korzo which will host not only the start and finish, but also the service park, where the cars will return for 9 times during the three days of the event.
Entries to the 38th Croatia Rally will open on February 18th and will close on May 5th 2011.
http://www.croatia-rally.com

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New five aircraft

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 5 agosto 2009

Toronto, Ontario Based on the list price for the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the firm order contract is valued at approximately $159 million US, and could rise to $332 million US if the five options are exercised. The transaction announced increases firm orders for Q400/Q400 NextGen aircraft to 362, with 245 delivered as of April 30, 2009. Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft are in service with, or have been ordered by, 30 operators around the world. “Comfortably Greener” Q400 and Q400 NextGen Aircraft Ideally suited to short-haul operations and optimized for best-in- class efficiency, Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners are fast, quiet, fuel-efficient and low-emission 70- to 80-seat large turboprops. The Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft’s jet-like cruise speed of 360 knots (667 km/h) allows for airline schedule optimization, and the aircraft provide a perfect balance of passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental footprint. The Q400 NextGen aircraft features a redesigned interior to enhance the passenger experience including the introduction of LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls and larger overhead luggage bins. Combining these features with the Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system gives passengers on the Q400 NextGen aircraft an even more pleasant flight experience.
About Bombardier. A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardie r Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, were $19.7 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at http://www.bombardier.com.

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