Monthly Archives: May 2008

Press freedom

I´m going to speak about the world press freedom-

In the last year 95 journalist killed, 127 in prison and 875 was arrested.

To remember the importance the press freedom, each 3 o May is celebrated the World Press Freedom Day.

The World Press Freedom Day started in a african journalist meeting in 1991, in Namibia. In this meeting was established the conditions to the

the press freedom, pluralism and independenc of the african mass media.

These year, in October, to recognize this effort, the UNESCO established the day of 3 of May World Press Freedom Day

This year, the Wold Newspaper Association (wan) dedicate his effort in freedm press in China..

Since the Games were awarded, media restrictions ordered by the government and the Communist Party have grown.

Censors still issue day-to-day “guidance” on exactly what can be reported in print, on the air, and on the Internet in all its manifestations—Web sites, blogs, message boards.

Timothy Balding, director Wold Newspaper Association ,said that over 30 journalists and 50 cíber disidentes are in jail in China, for that, this is the country more journalist jairler in the world

Unless things change, and soon, reporters who venture beyond the Olympic Village should be prepared to work in an environment where official interference and detentions of journalists are common and sources are at risk.

Now I would speak about of some famous mourder journalist

ANNA Politkovskaya made her name reporting from lawless Chechnya, where many journalists and humanitarian workers have been kidnapped or killed.

She was arrested and subjected to mock execution by Russian military forces there, and she was poisoned on the way to Beslan, but survived and continued her reporting.

She authored several books about Chechen wars as well as Putin´s Russia and received numerous prestigious international awards for her work.

She was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building two years ago.

But we can speak about Spaniards, too.

In the last years there are two famous cases:

On 8 april 2003, José Couso, a cameraman for the Spanish television station Telecinco, died after a U.S. tank fired a shell at Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel, , where most journalists in the city were based during the war

In one hour they attacked Al yazzera, Abu dhabi tv and the Palestina Hotel, that is, all the press that the Pentagono did´tn control.

His family want that the court recognize that was a war crim.

Finally, I would like to speak about José Luis López de la Calle.

On 7 May 2000, José Luis López de la Calle, of El Mundo, was gunned down in a hail of bullets

José Luis López de Lacalle, 62, was shot four times in the head and stomach on May 7 in the Basque town of Andoain as he hurried home through the rain, covering his head with the Sunday newspapers. López de Lacalle, a retired attorney who was jailed for his leftist activities during the Franco dictatorship, wrote for the Basque edition of El Mundo.

In his columns, he accused the ETA of using the same kind of terror tactics employed by Franco. Despite death threats and the fire bombing of his home in February, he had refused a bodyguard.

Editors at several papers in Madrid and the Basque capital of San Sebastián were sent letter bombs or received bomb threats.

The purpose of the attacks is to stop critical reporting on the ETA.

The power of freedom press is the reason which Napoleon said that he rather to control of newspaper than the armoured in fight.

Spain, number 1

The spanish consumption of cocaine and marihuana is in the top. Cannabis is the most popular drug between young people. The annual report of Bpservatory European of Drugs and Toxics inform that the 20% young people smokes a joint last year.

A lot of people defend the therapeutic use of cannabis. Raphel Mechoulan, for example. He is pionering in investigate this therapeutics applications. Mechoulan assures that the THC (main component of this plant) improves the humour, reduces the vomits and counters effects of alzheimer or parkinson. Even, the THC is good to people with depression or anxiety.

In addition, in Holland, where is legal the send and cosumption of cannabis in special coffe, is the firs chemist dedicate only the cannabis with therapeutics objectives.

On the other hand, people against the legalize the cannabis. Arguments: encouraging any drug taking is a bad thing, cannabis can lead to harder drugs, smoking cannabis is bad for the health…

Last impactant news is Fabrice Veriel case. The french pilot has been prosecute for involuntary homicide get worse for use of cannabis when runs over a child in a rally.

To finish with this text, the spanish case. The Congress refuses a proposal of IU-ICV to no punishment smoke a ojint in the street. To IU-ICV is unfair because other drugs are legal (tobacco, alcohol). But the proposal was refused for 35 votes against and only one a favour.

This taboo to be continued…

Not its English but…It´s a big song to me

Istrian food

Istrian food is similar to Italian food, but with its own identity, nurtured over the last 10 years. There are 600 restaurants in Istria, quite a feat for such a small region, hence the choice is huge. Yet quality is assured because the tourist office vets all restaurants and tavernas and recommends a fine-tuned 80 of them, ask your local tourist office for the Istria Gastro Guide. Original dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients and with a bygone level of service are what await you in these eateries.

Here is a ‘hit parade’ of Istrian food that simply must be tried:

Creamy fusi al tartufo, little pasta cylinders, with white truffle shavings; scampi alla buzzara, with tomato, garlic and lemon, serviettes in collars are a must for the delicious soup that comes with this dish!; cevapcici, herby little sausages, eaten with a side dish of onions and ivar (a red, peppery sauce); fresh wild asparagus in April, sold at the roadside by charming old ladies; Istrian ham, cut thicker than the Parma variety and very flavourful on its own or as an ingredient. Speaking of ingredients, truffles, very high quality white and black that are even exported to Italy, the white truffle is valued at 10 times more highly than the black, and abounds in Istria.

And all this washed down with wines that compare with the best French and Italian, the most notable are:

Malvasia or Malvazija, a crisp, straw-yellow, fruity wine, is the most popular white while lively Terran, a ruby coloured red is used as the prime ingredient for making supa, a red wine soup. Other notables are the Muscats of Momjan and the Muscat Rose of Porec with good Chardonnays and white and grey pinots bringing up the not inconsiderable rear. To finish, Kruskovac, a delicious pear liqueur.

Istrians are renowned as particularly hospitable people, especially in inland Istria, and you may be invited in for some locally dried ham washed down by a drink of home-made rajika, a grape or fig brandy.


Hello again!

as I said in Pula post, I will go to Croacia. Next friday is the date. I´m a little nervous because I don´t remember well my italian. Yesterday I had a coffe with Sento to speak italian and I mixed english-italian-valencian….it was a disaster but I hope remember little by little there.

Another day I will tell you more about my trip becuase now, Norte wants walking.


Why italian language in Pula?

Ancient period

The Istrian peninsula was conquered by the Romans in 177 B.C., starting a period of Romanization. The town was elevated to colonial rank between 46-45 B.C. . During that time the town grew and had at its zenith a population of about 30,000 It became a significant Roman port with a large surrounding area under its jurisdiction. During the civil war of 42 B.C. of the triumvirate of Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus against Caesar’s assassins Brutus and Cassius, the town took the side of Cassius, since the town had been founded by Cassius Longinus, brother of Cassius. After Octavian’s victory, the town was demolished. It was soon rebuilt at the request of Octavian’s daughter Iulia and was then called Colonia Pietas Iulia Pola Pollentia Herculanea’. Great classical constructions were built of which a few remain. The Romans also supplied the city with a water supply and sewage systems. They fortified the city with a wall with ten gates. A few of these gates still remain : the triumphal Arch of the Sergii, the Gate of Hercules (in which the names of the founders of the city are engraved) and the Twin Gates. During the reign of emperor Septimius Severus the name of the town was changed into “Res Publica Polensis

In 425 A.D. the town became the center of a bishopric, attested by the remains of foundations of a few religious buildings.

Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city and region were destroyed by the Ostrogoths. Their rule ended about 60 years later, when Pula came under the rule of the Exarchate of Ravenna (540-751). During this period Pula prospered and became the major port of the Byzantine fleet. The cathedral and the Mary of Formosa church date from this period.

The first arrival of the Slavs in the environs of the town dates to the 7th century, but they never really settled the city, which always kept its Italian soul. The history of the city continued to reflect its location and significance, like that of the region, in the redrawing of borders between European powers.

From 788 on Pula was ruled by the Frankish kingdom under Charlemagne. Pula became the seat of the elective counts of Istria until 1077. The town was taken in 1148 by the Venetians and in 1150 Pula swore allegiance to the Republic of Venice, thus becoming a Venetian possession. For centuries thereafter, the city’s fate and fortunes were tied to those of Venetian power. It was conquered by the Pisans in 1192 but soon reconquered by the Venetians.

In 1238 Pope Gregory IX formed an alliance between Genoa and Venice against the Empire, and consequently against Pisa too. As Pula had sided with the Pisans, the city was sacked by the Venetians in 1243. It was destroyed again in 1267 and again in 1397 when the Genoese defeated the Venetians in a naval battle.

Pula then slowly went into decline. This decay was accelerated by the infighting of local families : the ancient Roman Sergi family and the Ionotasi (1258-1271) and the clash between Venice and Genoa for the control of the city and its harbour (late 13th – 14 th century).

Pula is quoted by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, who had visited Pula, in the Divine Comedy: “come a Pola, presso del Carnaro ch’Italia chiude e i suoi termini bagna” or “as Pula, along the Quarnero, that marks the end of Italy and bathes its boundaries”. The “Istarski Razvod” (1325), dates from this same period. This is a crucial Croatian manuscript written in Latin, German, and Croatian, using the oldest Croatian alphabet called Glagolitic alphabet.

Venetian, Napoleonic and early Habsburg rule

Venetians took over Pula in 1331 and would rule the city until 1797. During the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, Pula was attacked and occupied by the Genoese, a Croatian-Hungarian army and the Habsburgs; several outlying medieval settlements and towns were destroyed. In addition to war, the plague, malaria and typhoid ravaged the city. By the 1750s there were only 300 inhabitants left in the city.

With the collapse of the Venetian Republic in 1797, when Venice was beaten by the army of Napoleon, the city became part of the Habsburg Monarchy. It was invaded in 1805 after the French had beaten the Austrians. It was included in the French Empire‘s puppet Kingdom of Italy, then placed directly under the French Empire’s Illyrian Provinces.

Austro-Hungarian and Italian rule

In 1813, Pula and Istria were restored to the Austrian Empire (later the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and became part of the Austrian Littoral crown land. During this period Pula regained prosperity. From 1859 Pula’s large natural harbor became Austria’s main naval base and a major shipbuilding center. The city transformed from a small city with a a fading antique splendor into an industrial town The island of LošinjHabsburg royal family. (Lussino) to the south of Pula became the summer vacation resort of Austria’s

Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Pula and the whole of Istria were given to Italy under the Peace Treaty. That period was marked by economic and political unrest. Under the fascist government of Benito Mussolini, non-Italians, especially Slavic residents, faced huge political and cultural repression and many fled the city and Istria altogether. Italian rule lasted until its capitulation during World War II, in September 1943. The Nazi German army went in to fill the vacuum left by retreating Italian soldiers. During the German military rule Pula saw its worst period so far: arrests, deportations and executions of people suspected to help the partisan’s guerrilla struggle. Also, Allied strategic bombings repeatedly destroyed whole parts of the city.

Post-WWII and modern era

For several years after 1945, Pula was administered by the United Nations. Istria was partitioned into occupation zones until the region became officially united with the rest of Croatia within SFR Yugoslavia on September 15 1947.

When the city was ceded to Yugoslavia, its population was largely made up of ethnic Italians — up to 90 per cent by some accounts, but with the signing of the peace treaty in 1947, most of those who had not already fled after 1945 left. Between December 1946 and September 1947, the city was abandoned by most of its Italian residents (istrian exodus). Between 1947 and 1953, the Italian cultural heritage (inscriptions, symbols, etc.) was almost completely removed from the Pula monuments.

On August 18, 1946 it was the site of the Vergarolla explosion.

In 1946, C. Schiffer noticed the Pula County has 87,787 inhabitants (54,074 (64%) Italians, 27,102 (32%) Croats, 771 Slovenes). The Italian component in the town of Pola reaches 90% of population. In 1931 Pula had 41,439 residents, and in 1948 there were only 19,595 residents.

Subsequently, the city’s Croatian name of Pula became official. Since the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1992, Pula and Istria have become part of the modern Republic of Croatia.


129 journalists, 7 media assistants and 63 cyberdissidents jailed, 8 journalists killed since the begenning of the year.

Reporters Without Borders today accused public officials around the world of “impotence, cowardice and duplicity” in defending freedom of expression.

“The spinelessness of some Western countries and major international bodies is harming press freedom,” secretary-general Robert Ménard said in the organisation’s annual press freedom report, out today (13 February) and available at “The lack of determination by democratic countries in defending the values they supposedly stand for is alarming.”

He charged that the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva had caved in to pressure from countries such as Iran and Uzbekistan and expressed concern at the softness of the European Union towards dictators who did not flinch at the threat of European sanctions.

The report’s introduction listed problems expected in the coming year, especially physical attacks on journalists during key elections in Pakistan (18 February), Russia (2 March), Iran (14 March) and Zimbabwe (29 March).

The worldwide press freedom organisation voiced concern about the safety of journalists covering fighting in Sri Lanka, the Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Niger, Chad and especially Iraq, where it said “journalists continue to be buried almost every week.”

It also protested against censorship of new media (mobile phones transmitting photos and film and video-sharing and social networking websites) and highlighted media repression in China in the run-up to the Olympic Games there this summer.

“Nobody apart from the International Olympic Committee seems to believe the government will make a significant human rights concession before the Games start,” it said. “Every time a journalist or blogger is released, another goes into prison. (…) China’s dissidents will probably be having a hard time this summer.”

The report includes surveys of press freedom in every region of the world over the past year and chapters on 98 countries, including European Union members and the United States.

A press conference to introduce the report will be held in Washington on 13 February in the presence of journalists from Iraq, China, Eritrea and Pakistan. Another will be held in Berlin with Russian and Zimbabwean journalists.

Spain annual reporter

The Catalan regional assembly’s passing of a broadcasting law that includes threats to press freedom is a call for vigilance and a warning that membership of the European Union does not guarantee protection against the temptation to obstruct journalists. The threats to the media by the ETA still oblige several of them to work under protection.

The Catalan assembly passed a law on 29 December 2005 giving the regional broadcasting authority (CAC) undue quasi-legal powers (similar to those in Navarre and Andalucia) to regulate media content. It provides for heavy fines (between €90,000 and €300,000) and cancellation of operating licences (and thus closure of the media-outlet). Media must also comply with “the principle of truthful and verified news” and must not “obstruct government surveillance activity.” These provisions contravene the much more liberal European Union press freedom laws.

Two major press freedom cases advanced in 2006. The seven-year prison sentence imposed in 2005 on Tayssir Allouni, of the pan-Arab satellite TV network Al-Jazeera, was confirmed by an appeal court on 1 June. He had been convicted on 26 September 2005 of “collaboration” with Al-Qaeda as part of a trial of 24 people accused of involvement in terrorist activities in Spain. The prosecution mentioned an interview he had had with Osama bin Laden in October 2001 when he was Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Kabul. He also pointed to the many contacts he had with Islamic fundamentalists. Allouni was transferred to house arrest for humanitarian reasons on 3 October 2006 and was able to return to his family in Granada. Al-Jazeera announced on 14 July it was opening a bureau in Spain.

The supreme court on 5 December ordered the reopening of the enquiry into the death of Spanish cameraman José Couso in Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel after US army shelling on 8 April 2003. The enquiry had been formally closed on 10 March but the supreme court said Spanish courts were competent to handle the case, which could affect relations between the US and Spain. This means Spain could seek extradition of three US soldiers responsible for the shelling.

The state prosecutor said on 14 December that legal action against the Basque-language newspaper Egunkaria by a judge was unjustified because he had not proved the paper was an arm of the pro-independence ETA. The paper faces another legal actions.

Journalists who mention Basque terrorism and the ETA – put in the list of predators of press freedom by Reporters Without Borders – find it difficult to do their job. Despite the permanent ceasefire declared by the ETA on 22 March, several dozen journalists still have to work with protection because of ETA threats.