Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Friday, 26 June 2009


Pop star Michael Jackson dead at 50

Jermaine Jackson praises the 'heroic efforts' of doctors who tried to revive his brother. The singer's manager says he was in great spirits at rehearsal the night before his death.
By Andrew Blankstein, Carla Hall and Harriet Ryan
8:07 PM PDT, June 25, 2009
Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead today after paramedics found him in a coma at his Holmby Hills mansion.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Steve Ruda told The Times that paramedics responded to a 911 call from the home. When they arrived, Jackson was not breathing. The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda said.

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"It was a very serious situation when we arrived," he added. The paramedics "knew who they were working on. They performed the highest level of care as they would, whether a celebrity or anyone else."

Hundreds of reporters gathered at the hospital awaiting word on his condition. The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named, said family members rushed to the hospital, where he was in a deep coma.

The circumstances of Jackson's death remain unclear. Law enforcement sources said that LAPD robbery-homicide detectives have opened an investigation into the death, though they stressed there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The detectives plan to interview relatives, friends and Jackson's doctors to try to figure out what happened. The L.A. County coroner's office will determine a cause of death.

LAPD Lt. Gregg Strenk told reporters outside the mansion that police Chief William J. Bratton assigned detectives to the case because of Jackson's high profile. "Don't read anything into it," he said.

Strenk said paramedics got to the house in the 100 block of Carolwood Drive off Sunset Boulevard about 1 p.m., and the singer was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m.

A Los Angeles Fire Department source told The Times that Jackson was in full cardiac arrest when rescue units arrived on scene. A doctor was in the house performing CPR on him, said the source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Jermaine Jackson told reporters at the hospital that medical personnel made a heroic effort to revive his brother.

"His personal physician, who was with him [at the house] at the time, attempted to resuscitate my brother, as did paramedics," he said. "A team of highly skilled doctors, including emergency physicians and cardiologists, attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than one hour, but were unsuccessful."

Frank DiLeo, Jackson's manager and friend of 30 years, said he was with Jackson in the hospital.

"I got to kiss him and tell him goodbye," DiLeo said, his voice breaking. "I lost a very dear friend. Someone who I admired, someone who was the greatest talent I ever met or worked with."

At the end of a rehearsal the night before his death, DiLeo said, Jackson departed the stage ebullient about the progress of the show.

"He just told me how happy he was and that things were finally working out the way he wanted," he said.

He said he didn't know what caused Jackson's death.

"We don't know. That will be for the coroner to say," he said.

The news comes as Jackson, 50, was attempting a comeback after years of tabloid headlines, most notably about his trial and acquittal on child molestation charges.

In May, The Times reported that Jackson was living in a Holmby Hills mansion and rehearsing for a series of 50 sold-out shows in London's O2 Arena. Jackson had won the backing of two billionaires to get the so-called King of Pop back on stage.

The concerts were scheduled to kick off July 13.

Johnny Caswell, a principal at Centerstaging, the Burbank soundstage where Jackson rehearsed for his London concerts, watched many of the run-throughs and said he was "absolutely shocked" by the performer's death.

Jackson, he said, was "very frail" but approached the rehearsals with boundless energy.

"He was working hard. Putting four days a week in here. Six hours a day. Working hard. Dancing," Caswell said. "We're in shock over here."

The performer moved from the Burbank facility to the Forum in Inglewood earlier this month, Caswell said.

Rand Phillips, chief executive of promoter AEG Live, said in an interview last month that a medical screening of Jackson uncovered "no issues whatsoever."

Screeners "declared him healthy," Phillips said. "His cholesterol level is better than mine."

But a physical may not have revealed a looming heart attack, said Dr. John Harold, a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center cardiologist.

"This is the type of patient who could have a stress test the day before and it could be completely normal, and the next day could have a plaque rupture and a fatal heart attack," said Harold, who did not treat Jackson.

His backers envisioned the London shows as an audition for a career rebirth that could ultimately encompass a three-year world tour, a new album, movies, a Graceland-like museum, musical revues in Las Vegas and Macau and even a Thriller casino.

Such a rebound could wipe out Jackson's massive debt, estimated at $400 million.

Jackson needed a comeback to reverse the damage done by years of excessive spending and little work. He has not toured since 1997 or released a new album since 2001, but he has continued to live like a megastar.

To finance his opulent lifestyle, he borrowed heavily against his three main assets: his Neverland Ranch, his music catalog and a second catalog that includes the music of the Beatles that he co-owns with Sony Corp. By the time of his 2005 criminal trial, he was nearly $300 million in debt and, according to testimony, spending $30 million more annually than he was taking in.

Compounding his money difficulties were a revolving door of litigious advisors and hangers-on. Jackson has run through 11 managers since 1990, according to Frank DiLeo, his manager and friend of three decades.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement praising Jackson.

"Today, the world has lost one of the most influential and iconic figures in the music industry. From his performances with the Jackson 5, to the premiere of the 'moonwalk' and 'Thriller,' Michael was a pop phenomenon who never stopped pushing the envelope of creativity," the governor said. "Though there were serious questions about his personal life, Michael was undoubtedly a great entertainer, and his popularity spanned generations and the globe."

Outside the white walls of the UCLA emergency center, valets stood idle as dark-suited men moved back and forth between the entrance and a number of parked black SUVs.

In the circle driveway a woman, who identified herself as Jackson's cousin, waited with a friend. A harried man in a suit got out of his car and barked into his cellphone, "Did Latoya come in?"

Jackson's music blares from speakers on the balcony of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house across the street.

"Oh, now they're playing Michael Jackson," the man in the suit said into his phone.

As the music played, a gaggle of crying young girls gathered in the emergency room driveway until police moved them and other bystanders back onto the sidewalk.

Seth Casteel, 28, a photographer who lives in Westwood Village, was among hundreds of fans and spectators gathered outside the hospital this afternoon. He said Jackson was his favorite artist and that "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" were among his favorite songs.

"He's just an icon of music," said Casteel, who was playing the Jackson song "Heal the World" on his iPod. "He's created music that has changed the world. I think his music has brought people together."

At the Jackson family compound in Encino, rapper Flava Flav, a reality television star, stopped by to see the family about 4 p.m.

"Music has lost a king, music has lost an icon, music has lost a friend," he said, his eyes welling. "It's unbelievable, but we don't have any choice but to believe it."

At the gates of Neverland Ranch, Jackson's former estate in Santa Barbara County, a handful of fans gathered late in the afternoon and more were trickling in.

"It's a huge tragedy," said Kristen Esparza, 28, a recently laid-off teacher from Santa Maria. "With the economy, it's been one thing after another."

In Hollywood, fans wanting to honor Jackson could not get to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame because it was blocked by a movie premiere. Instead, many went to the star of former KABC radio talk show host Michael Jackson.

Times staff writers Richard Winton, Raja Abdulrahim, Garreck Kennedy, Chris Lee, Phil Willon, Ari B. Bloomekatz, Anna Gorman, Steve Chawkins and Nicole Santa Cruz contributed to this report.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Luciano Vassallo campione Africano di calcio e miglior giocatore di calcio Africana (1962) premiato a Cisterna di Latina

Chukwubike,il sindaco di Cisterna -A. Merolla ,Carmello Giordano & Luciano Vassallo

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Thursday, 11 June 2009

Berlusconi y Gaddafi cambian dinero por inmigrantes 'sin papeles' en Roma

Berlusconi y Gaddafi cambian dinero por inmigrantes 'sin papeles' en Roma

Las ONG denuncian la política libia en la primera visita del dictador a Italia

MIGUEL MORA - Roma - 11/06/2009

El líder libio Muammar el Gaddafi llegó ayer a Roma para ratificar el acuerdo bilateral de cooperación económica y migratoria con Italia, que zanja décadas de tensión entre la ex colonia y la ex metrópolis. Gaddafi, de 67 años, fue recibido por Silvio Berlusconi, de 72, en el aeropuerto, mientras en la calle se organizaban sentadas de protesta y manifestaciones. La oposición se opuso a que Gaddafi pronunciara hoy un discurso ante el Senado. El coronel se limitará a visitar el Parlamento.

      Jaima de Gaddafi

      La jaima de Gaddafi, en los jardines de Villa Pamphili.- REUTERS

      La noticia en otros webs

      Italia invertirá 3.564 millones de euros para mejorar las infraestructuras

      El pacto tiene un elemento crítico: el uso de patrullas navales conjuntas

      Gaddafi aterrizó con sus inseparables amazonas y su habitual parafernalia beduina. Desafiante, llevaba cosida en la pechera de la casaca militar una foto de Mukhtar, líder de la guerra colonial asesinado por los fascistas italianos. La jaima quedó instalada en Villa Pamphili, un enorme parque, entre excepcionales medidas de seguridad. Berlusconi dijo que se trata de una visita histórica y Gaddafi recordó que ha venido porque Italia finalmente pidió perdón por los abusos coloniales.

      La primera visita de Gaddafi a la capital italiana sella el importante acuerdo según el cual Roma invertirá 5.000 millones de dólares (3.564 millones de euros) en el país africano, a razón de 200 millones anuales durante 25 años, para mejorar las infraestructuras.

      Fuentes oficiales revelan que Italia aportará recursos humanos y tecnología a Libia para construir un sistema de radares para vigilar las fronteras del desierto sur.

      El pacto tiene un elemento crítico, el uso de patrullas marítimas conjuntas en aguas libias e internacionales para evitar que los inmigrantes que zarpan en barcos desde Libia lleguen a las costas italianas. La ONG Human Rights Watch recordó que en un mes de patrullas han sido devueltos a Libia 500 inmigrantes, y aportó testimonios directos de torturas y maltratos en los centros libios.

      Bill Frelick, director para refugiados políticos de la ONG, afirmó que "Berlusconi y Gaddafi venden el acuerdo como un tratado de amistad, pero en realidad es una alianza sucia que permite a Roma eludir las leyes internacionales sobre el asilo. Libia tiene una terrible marca de abusos y maltrato de emigrantes, y no puede ser visto en ningún caso como un socio serio para proteger a los refugiados".

      Human Rights Watch, que acaba de visitar Libia, Malta e Italia para entrevistar a inmigrantes, afirma que todos los sin papeles que han pasado por los centros libios se quejan de haber sufrido torturas, malos tratos, hambre, detenciones sin límite de tiempo y "condiciones inhumanas y degradantes".

      Libia no ha firmado la convención de la ONU de Derechos Humanos y carece de un sistema de asilo político. Las ONG calculan que hay miles de sin papeles en los 40 centros de retención libios, pero ignoran cuántos de ellos son refugiados. Los emigrantes interceptados son devueltos a Libia en masa y sin criba. Si alguno necesita protección o es particularmente vulnerable, si hay enfermos o heridos, embarazadas, menores o víctimas de trata, no se sabe.

      En este momento hay tres navíos militares italianos patrullando en aguas libias y está previsto que otros tres entren en acción en semanas. El centro de Lampedusa, hasta hace un mes abarrotado y que en tiempos recientes sufrió un motín y un incendio, está hoy vacío.

      El Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR) expresó su profunda preocupación el 7 de mayo por la devolución automática de sin papeles. Tomas, un eritreo de 24 años que intentó abandonar Libia cuatro veces hasta que Italia le concedió asilo, fue torturado en numerosas ocasiones, según ha explicado a HRW: "Me pegaron tres guardias con palos de metal y de madera. Me pegaron durante más de 10 minutos. Me llamaban negro y me pegaban. Cuando caí al suelo me dieron patadas. Me golpearon la cabeza con una barra de metal".

      Su relato completo se puede leer en la web www.hrw.org/node/83699.


      Libia sì ma povertà in Africa no. L'Italia non mantiene le promesse

      Libia sì ma povertà in Africa no. L'Italia non mantiene le promesse

      Giovedí 11.06.2009 15:33

      All’attenzione che l’Italia mostra nei confronti della Libia e del suo leader Muemmer Gaddafi, non corrisponde uguale sollecitudine dei governi di Roma nel sostegno delle popolazioni sahariane che lottano da anni contro la carestia e la fame. Lo stato italiano ha disatteso in modo clamoroso l’impegno preso in modo solenne nel corso della riunione del G7 di Gleneagles del 2005 di incrementare il volume degli aiuti verso la regione suhasahariana.

      A condannare l’Italia, ed a giudicare la sua azione questi quattro anni, “un completo fallimento”, è One, l’associazione filantropica che ha tra i sui fondatori Bono e vede tra i suoi sostenitori Bill Gates.

      Silvio Berlusconi, anche allora alla guida del Paese, aveva promesso nel maggio del 2006 che entro la fine del 2008 l’ammontare degli aiuti sarebbe arrivato a superare i 5 miliardi di euro, tre miliardi e mezzo di euro in più rispetto al livello precedente. A 6 mesi e mezzo dalla scadenza del termine, One mette in evidenza nel report presentato mercoledì, ha rispettato solo per il 3% l’impegno assunto e non avrebbe alcuna intenzione di colmare il gap, al contrario, l’esecutivo starebbe preparandosi a tagliare ulteriormente lo stanziamento. Il presidente di One, James Drummond, afferma che l’Italia, per altro il Paese che ha in questo momento la presidenza del G8, ha perso completamente la credibilità sui temi della lotta alla povertà.

      Nel suo report, l’associazione condanna anche la Francia, che ha disatteso il suo impegno di incrementare gli aiuti a 8,4 miliardi di euro da 3,1 miliardi di euro. Negli ultimi due anni Parigi ha tagliato in modo pesante il flusso degli aiuti con una delle zone dell’Africa con cui ha forti legami storici e culturali dovuti al passato coloniale.


      Awkward photo? There may be more to come as Colonel Gaddafi visits Rome

      Silvio Berlusconi welcomes Muammar Gaddafi at Rome Ciampino airport

      Silvio Berlusconi welcomes Muammar Gaddafi, who arrived wearing a photo of Omar Mukhtar, a resistance leader against Italian colonialism. Photograph: Alessandro Di Meo/EPA

      One of them likes to call himself an "emancipator of women". The other likes women to call him "papi". So when two of the world's most flamboyant and eccentric politicians – the Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi – met yesterday in Rome, women figured large.

      The Libyan leader was accompanied by his all-female, 40-strong bodyguard squad, its members dressed in khaki uniforms and red berets. And the schedule for his controversial first visit to Italy included, at his own request, a meeting tomorrow with large numbers of Italian women. Very large numbers.

      The plan was for "only" 700. But officials said yesterday that such was the colonel's drawing power the event had had to be moved to a concert hall with a capacity for 1,000.

      Berlusconi has had more than a little trouble lately with embarrassing photos. So it must have been with a sinking ­feeling that he watched the Libyan leader descend the aircraft steps with another one pinned to his chest.

      The photograph Gaddafi wore to several of the ceremonies on the opening day of his visit did not show young women in underwear by Berlusconi's poolside, let alone a former Czech prime minister in the altogether. But it was discomforting for his hosts all the same: it showed the Libyan resistance leader, Omar Mukhtar, the "Lion of the Desert", on the day before he was hanged by ­Italian colonialists in 1931.

      Gaddafi flew in with a 300-strong retinue, on three Airbuses. As ever, he brought with him a giant Bedouin tent, which was erected in a Rome park.

      Security for his visit was tight. But that is partly because, while Gaddafi may have bones to pick with Italy, some Italians have bones to pick with him.

      Officially yesterday it was all smiles as the colonel praised Italy for having "turned a page on the past". Relations have improved since Berlusconi's ­government agreed last year to pay $5bn (about £3bn) reparations for Italy's ­colonial rule. Italy, Gaddafi said, had "apologised, and that is what allowed me to be able to come here today". But not everyone is happy about the visit. Gaddafi is set to encounter protests over a deal that allows Italian patrols to return would-be migrants, including asylum seekers, to Libyan ports. Yesterday he dismissed claims that the deal prevented asylum seekers from applying for protection, in a way that visibly disconcerted his host, normally a champion of political incorrectness.

      "This is one of the lies that is put about," the colonel declared at a joint press conference after his talks with ­Berlusconi. "The Africans do not have problems of political asylum. People who live in the bush, and often in the desert, don't have political problems. They don't have oppositions or majorities or elections."

      The Libyan leader, who is also chairman of the African Union, went on: These are things that only people who live in cities know. [Other Africans] don't even have an identity. And I don't mean a political identify; they don't even have a ­personal identity. They come out of the bush and they say: 'In the north, there's money, there's wealth' – and so they go to Libya, and from there to Europe."

      According to the UN, an unusually high proportion of the migrants who cross from Libya are ­asylum seekers fleeing wars and disorder. But Gaddafi was having none of it. "Please, don't take seriously this business about political asylum. The idea they are all asylum seekers makes you laugh sometimes."

      Gaddafi tries to shame Italians

      Gaddafi tries to shame Italians

      Colonel Gadaffi; Silvio Berlusconi; Libya; Italy

      The Libyan leader turned up in Rome with a photo pinned to his chest, designed to provoke his hosts

      FIRST POSTED JUNE 11, 2009

      If there was one world leader who could upstage Silvio Berlusconi in terms of embarrassing behaviour it was Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. And yesterday he duly obliged when he arrived in Rome for a state visit, accompanied by his all-female troupe of 40 bodyguards, turned out in khaki uniforms and red berets, and with a special request for a meeting with 700 Italian women.

      This is the sort of thing 'Papi' Berlusconi understands, of course, and a concert hall has been booked so that Italian women prominent in the fields of business, politics and culture arts can be assembled for a speech from the Libyan leader.

      But what got Berlusconi's goat was that when Gaddafi came down the aircraft steps at Rome's Ciampino airport, he had a photograph pinned to his chest - a black and white picture of the Libyan resistance leader, Omar Mukhtar, the so-called 'Lion of the Desert', taken on the day before he was hanged by the Italians on September 16, 1931.

      Gaddafi insisted on wearing the picture to the various state functions he attended on Wednesday, to remind his hosts that Mukhtar had led the guerilla war against Italy's ambition to open up 'The Fourth Shore' in Libya - in effect, to re-establish a Roman Empire in north Africa. Asked by his executioner if he had any last words, Mukhtar replied only: "From Allah we have come, and to Allah we will return."

      It was a mystery why Gaddafi felt the provocative photo was necessary, given that one of the purposes of the trip was to shake hands on Berlusconi's recent agreement to pay £3bn in reparations for Italy's colonial rule of Libya from 1911 until the end of World War Two.

      Gaddafi praised Berlusconi for having "turned a page on the past". Italy, he said, had apologised and "that is what allowed me to be able to come here today

      Sunday, 7 June 2009

      Lettera a Gheddafi (giugno 2009)

      Al Leader della Gran Giamahiria Araba Libica Popolare Socialista

      (Per conoscenza, alle e ai rappresentati del governo italiano e dell’Unione europea)

      Gentile Muammar Gheddafi,

      noi non facciamo né vogliamo far parte delle 700 donne che lei ha chiesto di incontrare il 12 giugno durante la sua visita in Italia. Siamo, infatti, donne italiane, di vari paesi europei e africani estremamente preoccupate e scandalizzate per le politiche che il suo Paese, con la complicità dell’Italia e dell’Unione europea, sta attuando nei confronti delle donne e degli uomini di origine africana e non, attualmente presenti in Libia, con l’intenzione di rimanervi per un lavoro o semplicemente di transitarvi per raggiungere l’Europa. Siamo a conoscenza dei continui rastrellamenti, delle deportazioni delle e dei migranti attraverso container blindati verso le frontiere Sud del suo paese, delle violenze, della “vendita” di uomini e donne ai trafficanti, della complicità della sua polizia nel permettere o nell’impedire il transito delle e dei migranti. Ma soprattutto siamo a conoscenza degli innumerevoli campi di concentramento, a volte di lavoro forzato, alcuni finanziati dall’Italia, in cui donne e uomini subiscono violenze di ogni tipo, per mesi, a volte addirittura per anni, prima di subire la deportazione o di essere rilasciati/e. Alcune di noi quei campi li hanno conosciuti e, giunte in Italia, li hanno testimoniati.
      Tra tutte le parole e i racconti che abbiamo fatto in varie occasioni, istituzionali e non, o tra tutte le parole e i racconti che abbiamo ascoltato, scegliamo quelli che anche Lei, insieme alle 700 donne che incontrerà, potrà leggere o ascoltare.

      Fatawhit, Eritrea : “Il trasferimento da una prigione all’altra si effettuava con un pulmino dove erano ammassate 90 persone. Il viaggio è durato tre giorni e tre notti, non c’erano finestre e non avevamo niente da bere. Ho visto donne bere l’urina dei propri mariti perché stavano morendo di disidratazione. A Misratah ho visto delle persone morire. A Kufra le condizioni di vita erano molto dure (…) Ho visto molte donne violentate, i poliziotti entravano nella stanza, prendevano una donna e la violentavano in gruppo davanti a tutti. Non facevano alcuna distinzione tra donne sposate e donne sole. Molte di loro sono rimaste incinte e molte di loro sono state obbligate a subire un aborto, fatto nella clandestinità, mettendo a forte rischio la propria vita. Ho visto molte donne piangere perché i loro mariti erano picchiati, ma non serviva a fermare i colpi dei manganelli sulle loro schiene. (…) L’unico metodo per uscire dalle prigione libiche è pagare.” (http://www.storiemigranti.org/spip.php?article67).

      Saberen, Eritrea: “Una volta stavo cercando di difendere mio fratello dai colpi di manganello e hanno picchiato anche me, sfregiandomi il viso. Una delle pratiche utilizzate in questa prigione era quella delle manganellate sulla palma del piede, punto particolarmente sensibile al dolore. Per uscire ho dovuto pagare 500 dollari.” (http://www.storiemigranti.org/spip.php?article67).

      Tifirke, Etiopia: “Siamo state picchiate e abusate, è così per tutte le donne”. (Dal film “Come un uomo sulla terra”).

      Siamo consapevoli, anche, che Lei e il suo Paese non siete gli unici responsabili di tali politiche, dal momento che gli accordi da Lei sottoscritti con il governo italiano prevedono ingenti finanziamenti da parte dell’Italia affinché esse continuino ad attuarsi e si inaspriscano nei prossimi mesi e anni in modo da bloccare gli arrivi dei migranti sulle coste italiane; dal momento, inoltre, che l’Unione europea, attraverso le sue massime cariche, si è espressa in diverse occasioni a favore di una maggiore collaborazione con il suo Paese per fermare le migrazioni verso l’Europa. Facciamo presente innanzitutto a Lei, però, e per conoscenza alle e ai rappresentati del governo italiano, alle ministre e alle altre rappresentanti del popolo italiano che Lei incontrerà in questa occasione, così come alle e ai rappresentanti dell’Unione europea, una nostra ulteriore consapevolezza: quella per cui fare parte della comunità umana, composta da donne e uomini di diverse parti del mondo, significa condividere le condizioni di possibilità della sua esistenza. Tra queste, la prima e fondamentale, è che ogni donna, ogni uomo, ogni bambino, venga considerato un essere umano e rispettato/a in quanto tale.
      Finché tale condizione non verrà considerata da Lei né dalle autorità italiane ed europee noi continueremo a contestare e a combattere le politiche dell’Italia, della Libia e dell’Unione europea che violano costantemente i principi che stanno alla base della sua esistenza e fino a quel momento, quindi, non avremo alcuna voglia di incontrarla ritenendo Lei uno dei principali e diretti responsabili delle pratiche disumane nei confronti di una parte dell’umanità.

      Firmatarie: Federica Sossi, Alessandra Sciurba, Isabelle Saint-Saens, Glenda Garelli, Anna Simone, Floriana Lipparini, Cristina Papa, Enrica Rigo, Maria VIttoria Tessitore, Barbara Bee, Maddalena Bonelli, Chiara Gattullo, Elisa Coco, Gabriella Ghermandi, Elisabetta Lepore, Barbara D’Ippolito, Paola Meneganti, Anna Maria Rivera, Judith Revel, Vanessa Giannotti, Enza Panebianco, Angela Pallone, Di Lauro Gabriella, Sara Prestianni, Valentina Maddalena,

      ( per adesioni individuali semir@libero.it )


      African Diaspora..........History

      African Diaspora

      Over a period of almost four centuries, four milion Africans were transported to North America and the Caribbean Islands in the Atlantic slave trade. Captured from their homeland and seperated from their tribes and families they were enslaved in a new world, where all familiar customs were absent. The African diaspora is the story of how Africans, though scattered disperesed, managed to retain their traditions and reform their identities in a new world. Elements of African culture such as religion, language, and folklore endured and were their links to their past lives. In the process of americanization, Africans formed another culture known as Afro-Americans or Creoles.

      Afro-American Culture


      The transatlantic slave trade was the largest forced migration in the world. It created permanent ties between Africa and North America. Africans were shipped from many regions of Africa but mostly from those areas along the coast. The Bantu, along the Guinea coast had largest homogenous culture followed by the Mande, thus the culture of African-Americans was influenced the most by the people of these regions.

      In the colonies the economic demand for slaves and the demographics of the slave population had an enormous effect on the developement of Afro-American culture. Never did their exist one Afro-American culture, for each area had a different social, economic, and political relience on slavery, which characterized a unique slave culture. For example, areas that depended on plantation farming such as the deep South and the Chesepeake had a huge number of slaves, while in comparison the North had relitively few slaves. As a result, the southern colonies more frequently imported new African slaves which constantly re-established African traditions. Each area in the colonies had the developement of a specific Afro-American culture.

      Though Afro-American culture was specific to each area, there were several general cultural themes that ran throughout the Afro-American population in the colonies, one was religion. Christianinty is an execellent example of how Africans merged their own beliefs with the existing religion, and produced a theology of their own. Christianity spread rapidly throughout the slave communities during the Great Awakening, a surgence of evangelical Christianiy which swept the colonies. This movement illuminated the mystical and magical elements of Christianinty, a side which the Africans could understand and identify with. It is ironic, for white slaveholders originally used Christianinty as a tool to perpetuate obedience and docility in slaves; yet, Africans recognized the hypocrsy in the white's version of Christianity, realizing they were equal in God's eyes. Africans took the tool ment to manipulate them and used Christianinty to give them hope for the future and to strenghten their bonds between one another. While slaves were Christianized and assimilated to white culture they kept elements of their native culture alive.

      African Americans blended old style with new when cooking, smithing, woodcarving, storytelling, and gospel singing traditions. Africans added their own spices and cooking style to some pre-existing European dishes. Slaveowners were also influenced by African cooking styles which is an example of the blending of the cultures. Many African traditions were kept alive by placing familiar, symbols (such as the snake) in smithed gates and window frames. The wood that the carver chose played an important role in native culture preservation. This meticulous tradition lead the way for woodcarvers to make canes, statues, and sculptures such as chains, to show the bondage they endured. The carvings were very detailed and had relevance to the family and friends of the woodcarver. Songs that began in the fields of the plantations to pass the work day evolved into a new type of music, gospel. Gospel music combined the themes of salvation and freedom of Christianity with a native style of singing and dancing. These examples show the integration of native culture with traditional european culture.


      In the past the Pigeon English spoken by Africans was seen as proof that Africans were not intelligent enough to learn the English language. Through recent studies, we have learned that in the English spoken by African Americans, ties to African Languages can be traced. The Creole languages like Gullah and Pigeon English, still spoken in parts of the U.S. today, reflect pieces of the African culture that survived slavery, not an inability to learn English.

      The English spoken by the slaves was greatly influenced by their native languages. Gullah was influenced by the languages of the Fante, Ga, Kikongo, Kimbundu, Mandinka, Twi, Ewe, Ibo and Yorba. As time went on, the Creole languages (influenced and) were also influenced by the languages of settlers, such as, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, as well as Native Americans such as theCreek, Cherokee and many others. By mixing parts of the languages spoken around them, African-Americans created a way to express themselves and communicate with others in the "New World."


      For more specific regional information on the diaspora, refer to:

      William D. Pierson. Black Yankees(Boston, 1988)

      Charles Joyner. Down by the Riverside(Chiacgo, 1984)

      Ira Berlin, "Time, Space, and the Evolution of Afro-American Society on the British Mainland North America"American Historical Review 85, 1(1980)

      Joseph E. Holloway, ed. Africanisms in American Culture(Indiana, 1990)

      For further information on the diaspora in the Carribean, Brazil, and Latin America refer to:

      Michael L. Conniff and Thomas J. Davis, Africans in the Americas(New York, 1994)

      For further information on religion refer to:

      Albert J. Raboteau, Slave Religion(New York, 1978)

      For further information on cultural aspects refer to:

      Black People and their Culture, Selected Writings from the African Diaspora,(Washington D.C., 1976)

      To learn more about the African Diaspora, here are some cool links:

      The roots of Afro-American music can be explored in Native African Music.

      Look at Documents of the History of African Descents throughout the World or the Library of Congress

      links to brush up on African history.


      Friday, 5 June 2009

      Berlusconi: "Milano sembra l'Africa"

      Berlusconi: "Milano sembra l'Africa" Bossi lo sfida: "Al Nord vince la Lega"

      Bossi, Berlusconi e Podestà, candidato alla presidenza della Provincia di Milano
      MILANO - Berlusconi chiude la campagna elettorale con una frase dal sapore leghista: "Milano sembra una città africana. In alcune città, a camminare per il centro, vedendo il numero di cittadini stranieri, sembra di essere proprio in una città africana". Ma Bossi, al suo fianco nell'utimo comizio elettorale, poco prima parlando con i giornalisti lo aveva gelato: "Al Nord vinceremo noi". E del patto sacro con Berlusconi? "Non c'è: lui ci spera perché è più giovane di me", replica il leader della Lega alle parole del premier che aveva annunciato un contratto con il Carroccio secondo il quale "se va via l'uno, lascia anche l'altro".

      Il capo del Carroccio derubrica il "patto" ad una solida amicizia. Una solidità che dimostra presentandosi al comizio di chiusa del Pdl al Palaghiaccio di Milano, (non pieno come da attesa, anzi con molti vuoti) come "ospite d'onore" e annunciando infine che "fra noi l'accordo lo troveremo sempre".

      Ma la competizione elettorale c'è e infatti il ministro delle Riforme con linguaggio spiccio dice: "Col cazzo che il Pdl prenderà più voti di noi al Nord". Anzi, è talmente sicuro che affida al risultato elettorale la scelta dei candidati presidenti di Veneto e Lombardia, oltre che al sindaco di Milano. "Non voglio spaventare nessuno - ha detto il ministro - Lascio votare la gente tranquilla e poi in base al numero dei voti vedremo di fare le richieste".

      Nel presente, intanto si rivolge al candidato del centrodestra alla Provincia di Milano. "Se Podestà vince le elezioni - dice il leader leghista - deve rigare dritto. Deve cercare di andare d'accordo con quelli della Lega. Va bene avere tanti uomini della Lega in giunta o in consiglio ma bisogna andare d'accordo''. Sorrisi, abbracci e alla fine, la promessa di Silvio Berlusconi ai suoi fan: "Non mollarò mai. Promesso".

      Thursday, 4 June 2009

      Libya: The Italian Connection

      Libya: The Italian Connection
      Copyright © 2009 Energy Intelligence Group, Inc. (click for details)
      Friday, March 27, 2009
      Immigration is a hot political issue in Italy, and one that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has proved a master of exploiting. The two countries have engaged in on-off spats for years over the flow of African migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from Libya's shores, which seems to vary according to what benefits Libya can extract. For Tripoli, one clear result was the European Union's decision in 2004 to lift sanctions on Libya, including an arms embargo, with Italian support. Another was the $5 billion Italy-Libya friendship treaty agreed last year, under which Italian companies -- funded by a tax on energy giant Eni -- should invest $250 million annually over 20 years in Libyan infrastructure projects (EC Sep.5,p10).

      The $5 billion treaty was billed by Qaddafi as reparation for colonial wrongs -- more than 100,000 Libyans are said to have died during Italy's violent occupation of 1911-43. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi provided a different spin, reportedly quipping during the signing ceremony in August that the treaty was about "less migrants" and "more oil." Italy is a major consumer of Libyan oil and gas, while 30% state-owned Eni dominates Libya's hydrocarbon sector and was the first foreign producer to agree to major extensions of its contracts under Epsa-4 terms (EC Jun.13,p11).


      Although fewer than 15% of migrants to Italy come from Libya, those that do -- pitching up in leaking boats on the shores of the small vacation island of Lampedusa -- generate the most media attention. But Berlusconi's offhand remark belies a more complicated relationship. While maintaining preferential access to Libya's reserves is a key aim, Italy also tends to use Libya to project itself as an international actor, says Oxford University's Claudia Gazzini. Rome believes it facilitated Libya's return to the international fold by being the first to initiate strong diplomatic relations and, under former Prime Minister Romani Prodi's presidency of the European Commission, ending the EU embargo. Last August, Berlusconi rushed to Libya to sign the friendship treaty, preempting a Tripoli visit by then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- even though diplomats were still working on the accord's wording. Berlusconi addressed Libya's General People's Congress early this month. This week, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Italy was ready to mediate in a simmering spat between Libya and Switzerland (EC Aug.1,p4).

      Tripoli likewise uses its access to Rome to boost its international standing, most recently securing an invitation from Berlusconi to attend an African session of the G8 conference, to be held in Italy in July. The alliance with Italy also provides a counterweight to Libya's oft-troubled relationship with the US.

      Commercially, Eni produces some 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Libya, or 15% of its output, making Libya its top producing country. Eni also helped build Libya's main export route, the Greenstream gas pipeline to Italy. Under new Epsa-4 deals agreed last year, the company agreed to invest a further $14 billion. Libya has long dabbled in Italy, owning shares in automaker Fiat and soccer club Juventus, but has recently stepped up the momentum, deploying its $70 billion sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority, in search of bargains. These include Eni, in which Libyan state entities already own a 2% stake and are targeting as much as 10%, potentially making Tripoli the biggest stakeholder after the Italian government. Tripoli has also acquired a 4.6% holding in Italian bank UniCredit, where it is now the second-largest shareholder. Earlier this month, Libya expressed an interest in taking a stake in cash-poor, debt-ridden Enel.

      Surprisingly, there has been little public debate in Italy about this activity. Officials at Eni, Enel and UniCredit seem untroubled: The companies need the money, and are not too worried about where it comes from. Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni described Libya's purchase of Eni stock as a "positive thing" and suggested that Eni would have no problems with a jump to 10%, while the government publicly supported the idea. UniCredit head Alessandro Profumo expressed similar sentiments. The thinking seems to be that any risks are worth it, even though Qaddafi is a master of the unexpected (EC Jan.30,p4).

      Tax Burden

      Scaroni was less enthusiastic about funding the $5 billion friendship treaty. In February, he said that while Eni welcomes the new agreement, "we welcome the 'bill' much less, a tax which in some way imposes the cost on our shoulders" (EC Feb.20,p13). Eni Chief Financial Officer Alessandro Bernini said it should not have any "significant" impact on the group's overall tax level.

      But, according to Gazzini, "It's always been understood in Rome -- and in Eni -- that the treaty would be paid for by Eni," rather than by the state treasury or foreign aid budget. Libya has long pursued some form of colonial compensation, and a reparations treaty has been in the works for some four years. For Italy, the deal serves to put a lid on future Libyan demands, while facilitating business for Italian firms in Libya.

      Jill Junnola, London

      Compass Points

      • SIGNIFICANCE: The special relationship between Libya and Italy, as embodied by the friendship treaty, brings mutual benefits: Italy maintains access to Libya's reserves and generates business for Italian companies, while Libya's leadership boosts its credentials by extracting a landmark reparations deal and keeping an EU player on its side.

      • CONTEXT: The adventures of Libya's sovereign wealth fund highlight the connection: Its quest for investments in Italy has been welcomed by companies and government alike, whereas plans to pursue a stake in Spanish Repsol YPF seem bound to encounter political opposition (EC Dec.5,p6).

      • NEXT: Watch for further Libyan equity investments in Eni, and how the two sides approach the thorny issue of board representation. Tight ties aside, market conditions could undermine some of Eni's ambitious plans for Libya, such as a new LNG plant.


      Monday, 1 June 2009

      La Diaspora africana in Italia.....

      La Diaspora africana in Italia tra rilancio culturale e cattiva informazione

      ROMA - Interessanti risvolti giornalistici nella conferenza "Madre Africa", tenutasi ieri in occasione della Giornata internazionale dedicata al Continente Nero e organizzata dalla Diaspora africana in Italia .Tra i vari interventi, tutti più che significativi in ottica di un futuro diverso, alcuni hanno inquadrato pienamente la carente diffusione - da parte dei media italiani - delle notizie provenienti dal continente africano (argomento di cui Reporters si occupa da tempo).Parlare di Africa oggi implica purtroppo partire da una griglia culturale tendenzialmente rigida. "Quest'immagine però è stata costruita dagli altri (a partire dai colonizzatori europei), non dagli africani - ha affermato il prof. Mariano Pavanello, ordinario di antropologia alla Sapienza - ed è da questi "altri", insieme agli africani in un rapporto di scambio reciproco, che deve cominciare una revisione del sistema di valori con la quale percepiamo l'Africa.Domanda frequente, che mi sono posto fino alla nausea: perché l'Africa non fa notizia? Dopo aver letto varia letteratura sull'argomento, in mio aiuto sono ...Continua a leggere: La Diaspora africana in Italia tra rilancio culturale e cattiva informazione


      Libya's Gaddafi to visit Italy in June ahead of G8

      Libya's Gaddafi to visit Italy in June ahead of G8

      Wed May 13, 2009 9:13pm IST

      ROME, May 13 (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will pay his first official visit to Italy next month and return for the G8 summit in July, the Italian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

      Libya's ambassador to Italy Hafed Gaddur said the visit from June 10 to 12 would mainly address bilateral issues.

      The two countries signed an accord last August under which Rome will provide billions of dollars in investments and compensation for its colonial rule of the North African country from 1911 to 1943, ending a long-running dispute.

      They have also signed an agreement meant to stop illegal immigrants from reaching Italy, and last week Rome began sending migrants intercepted at sea directly back to Libya before they reach its shores, drawing criticism from the United Nations.

      Libyan investment funds have bought stakes in major Italian companies in recent months and have said they are considering further investments.

      Gaddafi will return to Italy in July to attend, as chairman of the African Union, part of a G8 summit due to include African leaders. He could then meet U.S. President Barack Obama, in what would be his first meeting with a U.S. president.

      Italy, which this year chairs the Group of Eight, has been at the forefront of the thaw in the West's ties with Tripoli since Libya announced in 2003 that it would stop pursuing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

      Gaddafi, who seized power in a 1969 coup, has met some European leaders since the thaw began, including Britain's Tony Blair in 2007, and has visited some European countries, though not Italy so far. (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi and Deepa Babington; editing by AndrewRoche