Swedish photographer Paul Hansen, under fire for potentially doctoring his award-winning image from the Gaza funeral of two children, has been cleared by the World Press Photo organization that handed him its prestigious annual prize. …
Paraguay’s celebration of its Day of the Journalist today is marked by mourning for press photographer Carlos Artaza, fatally shot two days ago by men on a motorcycle in Pedro Juan Caballero, a city on the Brazilian border that is the capital of Amambay department. Artaza, who died while being transferred by ambulance to Asunción yesterday morning, worked for the press department in the Amambay governor’s office. His murder comes at a fraught time for journalists, with local political (…) …
“Our next goal: to join the Schengen area”: Croatia’s… 10/04/2013 12:51 CET
First first MEP. elections in Croatia 13/04/2013 12:59 CET
EU enlargement 09/11/2012 05:21 CET
EU executive backs membership talks with Serbia 22/04/2013 16:43 CET
Croatians show lack of interest in first EU elections 15/04/2013 04:26 CET
Croatia’s path from a war of independence as the former Yugoslavia broke up reaches a turning point this 1 July, when the new country will join the European Union.
Photographer Wade Goddard, from New Zealand, witnessed the war’s suffering and then the transition. He has made Croatia his home.
Goddard said: “A lot of the population already moved on. There are of course a few people who have lost so much and the war has affected them so badly that they aren’t able to move on. I think that is true in any war. I am hoping that joining the European Union will not be as disastrous for us as it has been for perhaps Greece or Portugal or Spain. Italy is having trouble, Ireland has been going through hell.”
In contrast with the photographer’s opinion, however, many countries benefited from massive EU solidarity funding, including poor parts of Italy. Croatia hopes to reduce or avoid problems that many people say stemmed from public and private financial policies and the euro. Its economy is in recession like many, with high unemployment. The EU may expand options.
Jany Hansel, with the humanitarian organisation DESA, said: “Germany needs foreign workers and they are looking for Croatian workers. So, they know their abilities and they are [actively seeking] them.”
Croatia’s outer border will become an EU periphery. EU funds can also help with infrastructure, for example to cross the “Neum corridor”, a strip of Bosnian territory along the sea near Dubrovnik – a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.
Nikola Dobroslavic, Prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, said: “We want to build a bridge which will connect the two parts of Croatia – but tomorrow, also, from 1 July, two parts of the EU.”
Euronews correspondent Isabel Marques da Silva said: “The European Union is a political project promoting peace. But Croatia also sees it as a trampoline for modernising the economy. Through a decade-long reform process, Brussels considered the level of European funding for the country. By 2020, it will have received some 14 billion euros.”
Students have been able to move freely within the EU under the Erasmus mobility programme in the last two years. Now new prospects at home may tempt them.
Nikolina Potrebica, an Erasmus coordinator with the University of Dubrovnik, said: “I hope that not only our students and young people will go to Europe but that Croatia will open for foreign investment, and that some companies will open in Croatia. In that way, they can stay in their own country and work.”
Petra Cehic, a student in communications, who has spent time in Austria, said: “I learned a lot that I can use today, not only in the profession that I will be working one day, hopefully, but also I gained new knowledge about the economy and it’s helpful now that I am working in tourism.”
With its geographic and historical assets, Croatia has great tourism potential. Other countries have suffered from instability, such as the Arab Spring, while Croatia has gained. But now it has to integrate EU requirements.
Marina Kristicevic with the Dubrovnik Tourist Guide Association said: “We have an increase of tourists from Turkey, Ukraine and Russia. Starting from 1 July, they will be required to have a visa, which was not the case until now. So, we still don’t know how much this is going to affect the market… whether the number of tourists from those countries will diminish or not.”
Per capita wealth in Croatia is 60 percent of the EU average. The population of 4.3 million faces challenges far different from the past, as today even rich partners are tackling austerity.
“The golden age of the European Union has already passed. [It was] during the 1970s and 80s. Now we have a lot of crises. And not only in Spain, Portugal, Italy and specially Greece. Sophisticated countries like Sweden, Denmark, Germany also have problems.”
Impossible to ignore with its painful recent past, Croatia needed to meet human rights criteria to join the EU. It is s expected that financial convergence to become a member of the euro zone in a climate of uncertainty will also require perseverance.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
The first blast occurred on a natural gas barge on the east side of Mobile River around 8:30 pm local time. Officials told Fox 10 News that there were no fatalities although some crew members did report burn injuries.The first explosion was followed shortly by four more blasts.A fourth explosion was reported by Fox 10 news reporter Lenise Ligon amidst scanner chatter amongst firemen that one of the barges may have hundreds of gallons of gasoline still on board.The fifth and, some reports say, largest barge explosion came over an hour after the first blast and just moments after fire officials told media that a rumbling heard on the scene was the sound of untreated gas building pressure. Photo from @lagniappemobile Chief Photographer Dan Anderson: #mobileexplosion twitter.com/LagniappeMobil… — Lagniappe (@LagniappeMobile) April 25, 2013 Authorities are reported to have requested a one-mile evacuation zone around the shipyard. BAE is sheltering in place. Part of Austal has been evacuated. A fourth explosion has occurred. Planning to let it burn. Still too unstable. — Mobile Fire-Rescue(@MobileFRD) April 25, 2013 Initial reports indicated that the explosions came from one vessel, although the Mobile Fire Department’s official Twitter feed reported that the blasts came from two barges. Fire and emergency crews rushed to the scene Wednesday night. UPDATE: two barges with natural gas exploded. Three injured and transported to hospitalThey were reportedly empty. — Mobile Fire-Rescue(@MobileFRD) April 25, 2013 Coast Guard representatives however told the Alabama Press-Register that a single barge had produced the multiple explosions.The barges were at the Austal shipyard, early reports said. They were transporting natural gas and were believed to be partially emptied, according to Steve Huffman, a spokesperson for Mobile Fire-Rescue. The crew on the Carnival cruise liner, which sits an estimated 1,000 feet away from the blast site, has been evacuated, local Channel 6 News reports. Emergency responders plan to let the fire burn out naturally throughout the night, citing conditions too dangerous to approach. Part of Austral, Alabama has also been evacuated.Alan Waugh, the general manager of Ft. Conde Inn, told Fox 10 News that the blast could be felt throughout downtown Mobile.“We were up on a second floor balcony and the sky lit up in orange and yellow,” he said. “My partner was on one end of the balcony and I was on the other. And you thought it was the Carnival cruise ship at first but then you realized it was a little further from the ship. It sounded like planes above you dropping bombs.”The initial blast was triggered by a static charge after crews had been working throughout the day to empty the ship and prepare it to transport gas Thursday. Subsequent explosions have made it impossible for firefighters to board the ship and put out the blaze.Each of the three injured are reportedly in critical condition.Those wounded in the blast are being treated at USA Medical Center with burns, Lt. Timothy Williams from the US Coast Guard said, confirming numerous explosions on one barge.He also added that the barge contained multiple compartments to transport natural gas, with rescue teams estimating the two other compartments could contain 2,000 gallons of gas.The Coast Guard meanwhile has closed the channel and issued an order to restrict flights near the site.DEVELOPING STORY …
Photographer Lisa Mikulski profiles Gothenburg for this week’s My Sweden, explaining how it’s the “delightful” little things that make it Sweden’s best city to visit. …
Over 100 demonstrators were reportedly detained and eight officers injured as massive street protests once again rocked the city. One of the injured officers is said to be in critical condition after being hit by acid. Some 80,000 protesters took part in the demonstration, authorities said, while organizers – the Student Federation of the University of Chile – put the figure as high as 150,000. The bulk of the protests did not see any major violent incidents, though small pockets of vandalism caused property damage and some protesters threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at riot police. The organizers complained of excessive use of force by police, who have employed riot control tactics such as water cannons and tear gas. One AP photographer documenting the protest captured two students clad in leopard print clothing and bright makeup, holding up signs that read, “The state does not regulate the business of prostitution because it is a ‘private business.’ If education is a private business, what can we expect?”The protests, which have been ongoing in Chile since the 2006-2010 term of former President Michelle Bachelet, have proved to be an even larger political liability for her successor Sebastian Pinera.Students taking part in the protests are demanding that the Chilean government provide free education, and have complained of inadequate public schools and unaffordable private universities. Though Pinera’s administration vowed to allocate a portion of the country’s 2013 budget to finance school loans at lower rates, student alliances seem dissatisfied with the government’s lack of progress in the two-plus years of his term.Chile is considered to have one of the best – and most expensive – education systems in Latin America. The country also has one of the world’s lowest levels of public funding for higher education, which protesters believe has resulted in poor teaching quality and overall inequality in Chilean society.The massive protests are mainly organized by the Confederation of Chilean Student Federations (CONFECH), which has presented a ‘Social Agreement for Chilean Education’ that proposes increased state support for public higher education leading to free education, the elimination of for-profit universities and the repeal of laws that prohibit student participation in university governance.The unrest has badly damaged President Pinera’s approval ratings, which sank below 30 percent in 2011 and have not made a significant rebound. Though Chile is considered one of the most stable countries in the region, student protests have accounted for the largest civil unrest since the country’s return to democracy in 1990, making education reform one of the top issues in the upcoming 2013 presidential elections. …
During the next three months, the tourism board will be busy picking up the winners, most of whom are reportedly from the US and the UK. The winners will be able to take up their positions on August 1. An adventurist spirit and positive attitude are required to get this ‘dream job,’ which comes with a six-month contract worth AUS$100,000.According to AdNews, 40,000 people have uploaded 30-second video clips explaining why they think they are right for the ‘lead role.’ The posted job titles speak for themselves: Taste Master, Outback Adventurer, Chief Funster, Park Ranger, Wildlife Caretaker and Lifestyle Photographer.Those who applied for the Taste Master post said they were keen to “uncover the best bars and restaurants.”“This tongue has the perfect palette to be your next Taste Master,” 21-year-old applicant Katie revealed in her video. “Trust me, I’ll eat anything,” the Australian blonde promised.Those who considered taking the job of Wildlife Caretaker were promised to spend their time “in a very relaxing working environment” – swimming with dolphins while exploring the island.“This is a job for me,” Cesar from France rushed to respond in his short video. With one parrot, a piton, three iguanas and two turtles already living with him at home, the Frenchman promised to adopt a crocodile, a kangaroo and “maybe a koala – there’s enormous space in my room.” The most sought-after job may be that of the Chief Funster, who will “live the life of a Sydney VIP” with access to exclusive parties and star-studded events. The position attracted Cameron, “a small town boy from Kansas” who said he still lives with his parents. “Yeah, I know it’s embarrassing. I’m ready to go see what the big world has for me,” the American explained in a hip-hop-style video clip he uploaded on Facebook.Applications were closed earlier this week on Wednesday. Participants will be notified by email if they have made the shortlist in late April. On June 21, the 18 finalists will be flown to Australia for personal interviews, with the six successful winners announced after that. Australia’s Queensland’s 2009 campaign inspired similar campaigns across the world, the latest in China where a Facebook campaign to discover a ‘Modern Day Marco Polo’ kicked off in the city of Hangzhou. The first campaign was launched when local authorities in Queensland State were looking for an Island Caretaker on the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Much to everyone’s surprise, the job offer attracted 35,000 applicants, with Ben Southall from the UK winning the contest. …