Tuesday, 2 June 2009


toda vez que o pai sai de casa, a meninada faz algazarra
Up, Down.

a friend of mine has a theory that you can tell a lot about a person (that is every quality of any significance whatsoever in her book) by the way he or she holds up their hand, witness the rightmost picture of Carlos Minc ... i don't know the guy except through his fancy vests, i do know that he took on a tough spot, a very very tough spot, a spot which did in Marina Silva before him, and she was no pushover, and so far he has neither given up nor lost his sense of humour ... and that's good enough for a round of applause in my book ...

Carlos MincCarlos MincCarlos MincCarlos MincCarlos Minc

in the early 60s days there were Beatles fans and Stones fans, it was an ideological thing, hell! who even knew what 'ideology' meant back then eh? but the thin edge of the correctitude wedge was being inserted into our collective anus, Bob Dylan was already on the scene though i, being a tad slow, had not yet realized where the ideology would take us and came along a bit later on to brother Bob

and there were Pooh fans too somewhere, they were completely off my radar, the young bourgeoisie forming their Pooh-ful social imaginaries (i imagine :-), could call them Poohfters except that it is already taken :-)

i thought it interesting that in the SubGenius the 'they' are called 'pinks' :-)

one way or another i was spared Pooh, an early antipathy recognized by may parents? who can say? never read it, stayed away from it, and when the brief flicker of the Tao of Pooh came along i managed to miss that too ...

only one Pooh story ever made it into our house when my children were small, accidentally at that, it was a Disney extract of this Chapter II of The House at Pooh Corner ... In which Tigger comes to the forest and has breakfast, and it may have gotten read two or three times before it hit the bin, but i have remembered it all this time and lately it has come to mind repeatedly, goes to show ya' eh?

like Tigger we do not know what we need to eat, that most basic of requirements, and do not even have the equipment to determine what we need without assistance, and though it is silly to attach any symbolism to such mish-mash, the fact that it is Malt Extract that he finally falls for could be connected with alcohol, or, connecting through appearance, oil - two of the big addictions or so they say

that's it ... blah blah blah ... wish i could have been spared Woody Allen too it will be a frosty Friday before he shows up in this blog

there are some points that bear on some of this, if most obliquely, at Charles Taylor - A Secular Age, Chapter 10 - The Expanding Universe of Unbelief

there are good people, no doubt they are good people, speaking out though they are meeting so much resistance and so many setbacks, a few came to my view today:
Minc irrita Lula com ataque a colegas, mas permanece no governo & 'Meninada faz algazarra', diz Lula sobre Minc e ministros, & Lula vai participar pessoalmente de ações contra desmatamento, diz Minc (rsrsrsrsrs...): Carlos Minc, the Brasilian Minister of the Environment.

Spain's 'World Court' May Be Restricted: Luis Moreno-Ocampo, at the ICC; Baltasar Garzón & Eloy Velasco & Fernando Andreu and their colleagues in Spain's Audiencia Nacional.
while the maggotty bureaucrats in high (and low) places say their prayers out loud, continuing to imagine that they will get through this with 'business as usual' and 'compensation': Eletronuclear e prefeitura de Angra dos Reis chegam a acordo sobre compensações para construção de Angra 3.

Paul QuarringtonPaul QuarringtonPaul QuarringtonPaul QuarringtonPaul QuarringtonPaul QuarringtonPaul Quarrington

some 'surreal' news, this morning about Paul Quarrington, 'sobering news' as they say, he was in my mind only last week when i read some book that had recently won the Stephen Leacock humour prize, the flyleaf told me that whoever was writing this particular inflated & polished shit had, "laughed on every page" ... suffice to say that i didn't, but Quarrington's books! well, i did laugh on every page, and it was a muchness of a richness of a polysemous laugh too! like visitors who always leave a ring around the bathtub were those books, Whale Music, King Leary ... i knew of him first from sitting in small bars in Peterborough and even Toronto in the 70s listening to Joe Hall and the Continental Drift

so, and i will bet, e eu ponho minha mão direita nas chamas por isso, that if and when he goes it will be with grace

The House at Pooh Corner - Chapter II, A. A. Milne, 1928.
Quarrington says lung cancer diagnosis 'surreal', Josh Wingrove, Tuesday, June 2, 2009.
Spain's 'World Court' May Be Restricted, Helene Zuber, 06/02/2009.
Minc irrita Lula com ataque a colegas, mas permanece no governo, Mauro Zanatta, 02-06-2009.
Eletronuclear e prefeitura de Angra dos Reis chegam a acordo sobre compensações para construção de Angra 3, Sabrina Craide/Agência Brasil, 02/06/2009.
'Meninada faz algazarra', diz Lula sobre Minc e ministros, Tânia Monteiro, 03/06/2009.
Lula vai participar pessoalmente de ações contra desmatamento, diz Minc, Luana Lourenço, 03/06/2009,

The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne, 1928 - this is one of those 'Limited preview' offerings by Google - i wish someone would hack their damned server and open it up!

Alan Alexander Milne, Ernest Howard Shepard.

In Which
Tigger Comes to the Forest and Has Breakfast

     WINNIE-THE-POOH woke up suddenly in the middle of the night and listened. Then he got out of bed, and lit his candle, and stumped across the room to see if anybody was trying to get into his honey-cupboard, and they weren't, so he stumped back again, blew out his candle, and got into bed* Then he heard the noise again.
     "Is that you, Piglet?" he said.
     But it wasn't.
     "Come in, Christopher Robin," he said.
     But Christopher Robin didn't,
     "Tell me about it tomorrow, Eeyore," said Pooh sleepily.
     But the noise went on.
     "Worraworraworraworraworra," said Whatever-it-was, and Pooh found that he wasn't asleep after all.
     "What can it be?" he thought. "There are lots of noises in the Forest, but this is a different one. It isn't a growl, and it isn't a purr, and it isn't a bark, and it isn't the noise-you-make-before-beginning-a-piece-of-poetry, but it's a noise of some kind, made by a strange animal. And he's making it outside my door. So I shall get up and ask him not to do it"

     He got out of bed and opened his front door.
     "Hallo!" said Pooh, in case there was anything outside.
     "Hallo!" said Whatever-it-was.
     "Oh!" said Pooh. "Hallo!"
     "Oh, there you are!" said Pooh. "Hallo!"
     "Hallo!" said the Strange Animal, wondering how long this was going on.
     Pooh was just going to say "Hallo!" for the fourth time when he 'thought that he wouldn't, so he said; "Who is it?" instead.
     "Me," said a voice.
     "Oh!" said Pooh. "Well come here."
     So Whatever-it-was came here, and in the light of the candle he and Pooh looked at each other.
     'I'm Pooh," said Pooh.
     "I'm Tigger," said Tigger.
     "Oh!" said Pooh, for he had never seen an animal like this before. "Does Christopher Robin know about you?"
     "Of course he does," said Tigger,
     "Well," said Pooh, "it's the middle of the night, which is a good time for going to sleep. And to¬morrow morning we'll have some honey for breakfast. Do Tiggers like honey?"
     "They like everything," said Tigger cheerfully.
     "Then if they like going to sleep on the floor, I'll go back to bed," said Pooh, "and we'll do things in the morning. Good night." And he got back into bed and went fast asleep.
     When he awoke in the morning, the first thing he saw was Tigger, sitting in front of the glass and looking at himself.
     "Hallo!" said Pooh.
     "Hallo!" said Tigger, "I've found somebody just like me. I thought I was the only one of them."

     Pooh got out of bed, and began to explain what a looking-glass was, but just as he was getting to the interesting part, Tigger said:
     "Excuse me a moment, but there's something climbing up your table," and with one loud Worra-worrawarraworraworra he jumped at the end of the tablecloth, pulled it to the ground, wrapped himself up in it three times, rolled to the other end of the room, and, after a terrible struggle, got his head into the daylight again, and said cheerfully: "Have I won?"
     "That's my tablecloth," said Pooh, as he began to unwind Tigger.
     "I wondered what it was," said Tigger.
     "It goes on the table and you put things on it."
     "Then why did it try to bite me when I wasn't looking?"
     "I don't think it did," laid Pooh.
     "It tried," said Tigger, "but I was too quick for it."

     Pooh put the cloth back on the table, and he put a large honey-pot on the cloth, and they sat down to breakfast. And as soon as they sat down, Tigger took a large mouthful of honey ... and he looked up at the ceiling with his head on one side, and made exploring noises with his tongue and considering noises, and what-have-we-got-here noises ... and then he said in a very decided voice:
     "Tiggers don't like honey."
     "Oh!" said Pooh, and tried to make it sound Sad and Regretful, "I thought they liked everything."
     "Everything except honey," said Tigger.
     Pooh felt rather pleased about this, and said that, as soon as he had finished his own breakfast, he would take Tigger round to Piglet's house, and Tigger could try some of Piglet's haycorns.
     "Thank you, Pooh," said Tigger, "because haycorns is really what Tiggers like best."
     So after breakfast they went round to see Piglet, and Pooh explained as they went that Piglet was a Very Small Animal who didn't like bouncing, and asked Tigger not to be too Bouncy just at first. And Tigger, who had been hiding behind trees and jumping out on Pooh's shadow when it wasn't looking, said that Tiggers were only bouncy before breakfast, and that as soon as they had had a few haycorns they became Quiet and Refined. So by and by they knocked at the door of Piglet's house.
     "Hallo, Pooh," said Piglet.
     "Hallo, Piglet, This is Tigger."
     "Oh, is it?" said Piglet, and he edged round to the other side of the table. "I thought Tiggers were smaller than that."
     "Not the big ones," said Tigger,
     "They like haycorns," said Pooh, "so that's what we've come for, because poor Tigger hasn't had any breakfast yet."
     Piglet pushed the bowl of haycorns towards Tigger, and said; "Help yourself," and then he got close up to Pooh and felt much braver, and said, "So you're Tigger? Well, well!" in a careless sort of voice. But Tigger said nothing because his mouth was full of haycorns. ...
     After a long munching noise he said:
     "Ee-ers o i a-ors."
     And when Pooh and Piglet said "What?" he said "Skoos ee," and went outside for a moment.
     When he came back he said firmly:
     "Tiggers don't like haycorns."
     "But you said they liked everything except honey," said Pooh.
     "Everything except honey and haycorns," explained Tigger.
     When he heard this Pooh said, "Oh, I see!" and Piglet, who was rather glad that Tiggers didn't like haycorns, said, "What about thistles?"
     "Thistles," said Tigger, "is what Tiggers like best."
     "Then let's go along and see Eeyore," said Piglet.
     So the three of them went; and after they had walked and walked and walked, they came to the part of the Forest where Eeyore was,
     "Hallo, Eeyore!" said Pooh. "This is Tigger."
     "What is?" said Eeyore.
     "This," explained Pooh and Piglet together, and Tigger smiled his happiest smile and said nothing.

     Eeyore walked all round Tigger one way, and then turned and walked all round him the other way.
     "What did you say it was?" he asked.
     "Ah!" said Eeyore.
     "He's just come," explained Piglet.
     "Ah!" said Eeyore again.
     He thought for a long time and then said:
     "When is he going?"
     Pooh explained to Eeyore that Tigger was a great friend of Christopher Robin's, who had come to stay in the Forest, and Piglet explained to Tigger that he mustn't mind what Eeyore said because he was always gloomy; and Eeyore explained to Piglet that, on the contrary, he was feeling particularly cheerful this morning; and Tigger explained to anybody who was listening that he hadn't had any breakfast yet.
     "I knew there was something," said Pooh. "Tiggers always eat thistles, so that was why we came to see you, Eeyore."
     "Don't mention it, Pooh."
     "Oh, Eeyore, I didn't mean that I didn't want to see you -----"
     "Quite—quite. But your new stripy friend — naturally, he wants his breakfast. What did you say his name was?"
     "Then come this way, Tigger."
     Eeyore led the way to the most thistly-looking patch of thistles that ever was, and waved a hoof at it.
     "A little patch I was keeping for my birthday," he said; "but, after all, what are birthdays? Here to¬day and gone tomorrow. Help yourself, Tigger."
     Tigger thanked him and looked a little anxiously at Pooh.
     "Are these really thistles?" he whispered.
     "Yes." said Pooh.
     "What Tiggers like best?"
     "That's right," said Pooh.
     "I see," said Tigger.
     So he took a large mouthful, and he gave a large crunch.
     "0w!" said Tigger.
     He sat down and put his paw in his mouth.
     "What's the matter?" asked Pooh.
     "Hot!" mumbled Tigger.
     "Your friend," said Eeyore, "appears to have bitten on a bee."
     Pooh's friend stopped shaking his head to get the prickles out, and explained that Tiggers didn't like thistles.
     "Then why bend a perfectly good one?" asked Eeyore.

     "But you said," began Pooh — "you said that Tiggers like everything except honey and haycorns."
     "And thistles," said Tigger, who was now running round in circles with his tongue hanging out.
     Pooh looked at him sadly*
     "What are we going to do?" he asked Piglet.
     Piglet knew the answer to that, and he said at once that they must go and see Christopher Robin.
     "You'll find him with Kanga," said Eeyore. He came close to Pooh, and said in a loud whisper:
     "Could you ask your friend to do his exercises somewhere else? I shall be having lunch directly, and don't want it bounced on just before I begin. A trifling matter, and fussy of me, but we all have our little ways."
     Pooh nodded solemnly and called to Tigger.
     "Come along and we'll go and see Kanga. She's sure to have lots of breakfast for you."
     Tigger finished his last circle and came up to Pooh and Piglet.
     "Hot!" he explained with a large and friendly smile. "Come on!" and he rushed off.
     Pooh and Piglet walked slowly after him, And as they walked Piglet said nothing, because he couldn't think of anything, and Pooh said nothing, because he was thinking of a poem. And when he had thought of it he began:

     What shall we do about poor little Tigger?
     If he never eats nothing he'll never get bigger.
     He doesn't like honey and haycorns and thistles
     Because of the taste and because of the bristles.
     And all the good things which an animal likes
     Have the wrong sort of swallow or too many spikes.

     "He's quite big enough anyhow," said Piglet.
     "He isn't really very big."
     "Well, he seems so."
     Pooh was thoughtful when he heard this, and then he murmured to himself:

     But whatever his weight in pounds, shillings, and ounces.
     He always teems bigger because of his bounces.

     "And that's the whole poem," he said, "Do you like it. Piglet?"
     "All except the shillings," said Piglet "I don't think they ought to be there."
     "They wanted to come in after the pounds," explained Pooh, "so I let them* It is the best way to write poetry, letting things come."
     "Oh, I didn't know," said Piglet.

     Tigger had been bouncing in front of them all this time, turning round every now and then to ask, "Is this the way?" — and now at last they came in sight of Kanga's house, and there was Christopher Robin. Tigger rushed up to him.
     "Oh, there you are, Tigger!" said Christopher Robin. "I knew you'd be somewhere."
     "I've been finding things in the Forest," said Tigger importantly. "I've found a pooh and a piglet and an eeyore, but I can't find any breakfast."
     Pooh and Piglet came up and hugged Christopher Robin, and explained what had been happening.
     "Don't you know what Tiggers like?" asked Pooh.
     "I expect if I thought very hard I should," said Christopher Robin, "but I thought Tigger knew."
     "I do," said Tigger. "Everything there is in the world except honey and haycorns and — what were those hot things called?"
     "Yes, and those."

     "Oh, well then, Kanga can give you some breakfast."
     So they went into Kanga's house, and when Roo had said, "Hallo, Pooh," and "Hallo, Piglet" once, and "Hallo, Tigger" twice, because he had never said it before and it sounded funny, they told Kanga what they wanted, and Kanga said very kindly, "Well, look in my cupboard, Tigger dear, and see what you'd like." Because she knew at once that, however big Tigger seemed to be, he wanted as much kindness as Roo.
     "Shall I look, too?" said Pooh, who was beginning to feel a little eleven o'clockish. And he found a small tin of condensed milk, and something seemed to tell him that Tiggers didn't like this, so he took it into a corner by itself, and went with it to see that nobody interrupted it.
     But the more Tigger put his nose into this and his paw into that, the more things he found which Tiggers didn't like. And when he had found everything in the cupboard, and couldn't eat any of it, he said to Kanga, "What happens now?"
     But Kanga and Christopher Robin and Piglet were all standing round Roo, watching him have his Extract of Malt. And Roo was saying, "Must I?" and Kanga was saying "Now, Roo dear, you remember what you promised."
     "What is it?" whispered Tigger to Piglet.

     "His Strengthening Medicine," said Piglet. "He hates it."
     So Tigger came closer, and he leant over the back of Roo's chair, and suddenly he put out his tongue, and took one large golollop, and, with a sudden jump of surprise, Kanga said, "Oh!" and then clutched at the spoon again just as it was disappearing, and pulled it safely back out of Tigger's mouth. But the Extract of Malt had gone.

     "Tigger dear!" said Kanga.
     "He's taken my medicine, he's taken my medicine, he's taken my medicine!" sang Roo happily, thinking it was a tremendous joke.
     Then Tigger looked up at the ceiling, and closed his eyes, and his tongue went round and round his chops, in case he had left any outside, and a peaceful smile came over his face as he said, "So that's what Tiggers like!"

     Which explains why he always lived at Kanga's house afterwards, and had Extract of Malt for breakfast, dinner, and tea. And sometimes, when Kanga thought he wanted strengthening, he had a spoonful or two of Roo's breakfast after meals as medicine.
     "But I think," said Piglet to Pooh, "that he's been strengthened quite enough."

Quarrington says lung cancer diagnosis 'surreal', Josh Wingrove, Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

Writer and musician ‘hopes to see some projects through'

Early last month, about a week after Toronto writer Paul Quarrington had three litres of fluid taken from his chest, he met again with a doctor.

Mr. Quarrington was feeling much better, but was still unsure why the fluid had built up, causing him severe shortness of breath over the past few months. He thought it was allergies, or that he was out of shape. The doctor had some sobering news.

“I said, ‘I feel fine, I feel great.' He said, ‘Wonderful, wonderful. We have some answers for you. It's cancer. It's lung cancer.' And I said: ‘Hold on, wait a second, I was just telling you how great I feel,'” Mr. Quarrington said last night. “Very surreal, you know.”

Mr. Quarrington, a 55-year-old father of two, didn't know what to say. He'd been researching what could be wrong, and had ruled out lung cancer because he hadn't had a sudden weight loss, which he understood was customary with the disease.

“I quite pitifully had my bottle of Tums,” he joked. “At first I went home and sat, stunned. I took a walk in the Bluffs, and blubbered a bit like anyone would. I sort of said, ‘Well, you know, let's make the most of it.' You know, stop drinking cheap wine immediately and enjoy what one can.”

Mr. Quarrington, a musician, non-fiction writer and filmmaker, is perhaps best known for his novel Whale Music, which won the 1989 Governor-General's award and was turned into a movie five years later. Two of his recent novels have been long-listed and short-listed for the Giller prize.

He has Stage 4 lung cancer, and is “sort of beyond odds.” He has been told he has months, possibly years, to live. Once a smoker of cigarettes and cigars, he said that, “somewhere in there, there was a bad smoke, I guess.”

“But I still feel pretty good and I'm still fairly hale.”

Mr. Quarrington is not resigned to the diagnosis. Although set to begin chemotherapy soon, he hopes to continue working. Among the projects on his plate are his band, the Porkbelly Futures, and his latest book, for which he's finished a first draft (he jokes that he now has “new thematic material” to add). His most recent novel, The Ravine, is being turned into a TV show, one of several film or television adaptations of his works.

“I hope to see some of these projects through,” he said.

He's been touched by the outpouring of support from friends and colleagues who have contacted him in recent weeks to offer their support.

“It was quite overwhelming,” he said. “If anything, I'm here to serve as a [warning]: One mustn't make foolish self-diagnoses, because the doctors are actually pretty good. ... Now when talking to [friends], they give a little cough and I say, ‘get that checked.'”

Spain's 'World Court' May Be Restricted, Helene Zuber, 06/02/2009.

Victims of human rights abuses from around the world have turned to Spain's National Court for help from its bold examining magistrates. But now the Spanish government, responding to pressure from abroad, wants to clip the court's wings.

When Spanish justice Baltasar Garzón ordered the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in London in October 1998, under an international arrest warrant, the world first took notice of the Audiencia Nacional, the National Court in Madrid. There, in an ugly but functional building near Plaza Colón, a jurist was prepared to dispense justice on a global scale. From then on, no dictator or human-rights abuser, anywhere in the world, could travel to Europe with an easy heart.

Since 1985, Spanish criminal law has allowed the National Court, or Audiencia Nacional, to pursue criminal cases outside Spain. When either foreigners or Spanish nationals are accused of piracy, terrorism, drug trafficking, or human-rights abuses, the National Court has jurisdiction. A general consensus has formed since the Nuremberg Trials after World War II that acts of horror shouldn't go unpunished, especially when they can't be prosecuted in the country where they occurred.

Garzón, nicknamed "The Bulldog" because of his insistent pursuit of Basque terrorists from Eta as well as the Galician cocaine mafia, became a global nemesis. The son of a farmer from Andalucia found himself on the bloody trail of military juntas in Chile and Argentina after Spanish citizens were "disappeared" alongside Chilean and Argentinian political dissidents.

But the justice with the rimless glasses and gray receding hairline couldn't, in the end, follow through with Pinochet's arrest. He even wanted to call former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to the witness stand. But the Chilean dictator was not to remain untouched -- he was put on trial and under house arrest in Santiago. In Argentina, the campaign by the Spanish judge led President Nestor Kirchner to end a general amnesty for the military.

Nevertheless, the Spanish public prosecutor's office challenges the power of the Audiencia Nacional and regularly orders the judges to end their international investigations. These orders are prompted, above all, by pragmatic considerations, when the suspects aren't easy to arrest. Higher levels of jurisdiction in Spain have long demanded a Spanish link to the crimes in question before proceedings can be opened in Madrid.

In October 2005, though, the constitutional court decided that in cases of human-rights violations, the principle of "universal jurisdiction" could be applied without limitation in Spain. This meant the judges in Madrid had a duty to pursue breaches of international agreements -- like the Geneva Convention on handling prisoners of war, or treaties against genocide or torture -- which Spain had signed. All the justices had to determine was that no other court in the world was already trying the same crime.

Other nations have taken on international cases in their court systems -- Germany has done so since 2002. But in Germany the federal prosecutor's office has the final word on whether to set a trial in motion. The justice ministry makes the ultimate decision in case of any doubt, and the federal prosecutor insists on a German connection before allowing a trial to proceed.

In Spain, however, the victim of a crime -- or even a third party, like a nongovernmental organization -- can bring a case before an examining magistrate at the Audiencia Nacional. The judges are also free to gather evidence without special permission from the public prosecutor's office, and to push these investigations as far as possible.

Of course, special international courts were set up to deal with certain cases, like allegations of human-rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Lebanon. At last, in mid-2002, the International Criminal Court opened its doors in The Hague.

However, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor in The Hague, can only get to work when he's assigned a case from ICC signatory nations or when the UN Security Council hands down a mandate. He can also deal only with crimes committed after 2002. Belgium itself -- in its national court system -- also tried to bring international criminals to justice, but since Belgium's claim on "universal jurisdiction" was tightened in 2003 because of mounting diplomatic problems with the home nations of some defendants, cases have piled up in Madrid.

Even Cheney and Rice?

At the moment, the six justices at the Audiencia Nacional have 14 criminal cases to consider under international law, which affect eight nations -- out of a total of 2.5 million related cases. One case has been closed so far: The Argentinian naval captain Adolfo Scilingo, who turned himself in to Garzón in 1997, was sentenced to 640 years in jail.

But Garzón, 53, has caused the most commotion by investigating six advisors to George W. Bush who helped establish the legal basis for waterboarding and similar interrogation methods at the American jail in Guantanamo Bay. While his colleague Eloy Velasco investigates whether US courts will take up the case, Garzón is considering accusations by four onetime Guantanamo inmates who claim to have been abused during their arrest and long imprisonment. He personally oversaw their extradition and charged them with belonging to a Spanish cell of al-Qaida. (One of them is a Spaniard.) High-ranking American military figures and members of the Bush administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, are now in the judge's sights because they allegedly signed off on "a systematic plan for abuse."

Fernando Andreu, for example, is investigating seven Israeli politicians and military officers, including a former defense minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, because of an airstrike in the Gaza Strip in July 2002 that killed 14 civilians. Justice Santiago Pedraz is hearing charges against three ministers of the Chinese government -- among other defendants -- who are accused of a "systematic attack on the people of Tibet." These prominent cases have put the Audiencia Nacional back in the headlines and brought the Spanish government under foreign pressure.

Beijing has brusquely rejected a petition by Pedraz to interrogate the ministers at home. The Madrid justice would be arrested immediately if he travelled to China, the government threatened. The Chinese foreign ministry warned the Spanish govenrment -- which is interested in good trade relations -- not to meddle in China's internal affairs or to support the Tibetan separatists.

Spain's Socialist president, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, felt even more direct pressure from emissaries of US President Barack Obama in Madrid after he tried, in April, to improve relations with the world's sole superpower -- which have been clouded ever since his removal of Spanish troops from Iraq in 2004.

And in January, Israel's then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni wrested a promise from her Spanish counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos to reform the rules of procedure that have made the Audiencia Nacional a de facto international court.

"We cannot become the world's judicial gendarme," said Carlos Divar, chief justice of the Spanish Supreme Court and chairman of an internal watchdog body that oversees Spanish courts. "Who are we to pass judgment in foreign countries when we have so much to deal with at home?" said the man who until recently was president of the Audiencia Nacional and disapprovingly witnessed his judges' ardor for pursuing foreign cases. His successor, Angel Juanes, also wants to see more consideration for "national interests" in the court's behavior.

'Against the Spirit of Universal Jurisdiction'

Critics of the court in Madrid may find satisfaction by the end of the year. The ruling Socialists have forged a rare agreement with the conservative opposition to rein in the principle of "universal jurisdiction." The accused will have to be arrested in Spain, a victim will have to be a Spaniard, or there will have to be some other decisive connection to Spain before the court will be allowed to proceed. There will also have to be proof that no other national court system has taken up a given case.

Most of the justices in the Audiencia Nacional are against these restrictions, which are "against the spirit of universal jurisdiction as a mechanism to end impunity," according to Baltasar Garzón. The justices believe their international battle, with law book in hand, is the price the Spanish government must pay to defend its human-rights agreements.

The reform by the Spanish government that promises to restrict the court's jurisdiction may come into force by the end of 2009. That would mean the dismissal of five international investigations -- three dealing with China and two with Israel. Then the plaintiffs will have to find Spaniards affected by any given case, and the process would have to start over again.

Minc irrita Lula com ataque a colegas, mas permanece no governo, Fonte (fechada): Valor Econômico S.A., Mauro Zanatta, 02-06-2009.

O surpreendente desabafo do ministro do Meio Ambiente, Carlos Minc, contra colegas de governo deixou irritado o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ao reafirmar a impressão de que o auxiliar prefere "jogar para a plateia" em questões internas da gestão federal. Mas Lula não pensa em demitir o ministro nem espera um pedido de demissão de Minc, segundo relato de interlocutores do presidente ao Valor.

Na semana passada, Minc provocou surpresa ao revelar detalhes da conversa privada com Lula. Colegas viram no episódio uma tentativa de desembarcar do governo no papel de vítima. "O Minc é um sujeito leal, responsável, e não seria leviano de construir uma saída do governo para alavancar uma candidatura", avalia um ministro. Por meio de sua assessoria, Minc voltou a negar, ontem, a intenção de deixar o governo. "Não existe nada neste sentido", informou.

Mesmo contrariado com discussões "pela imprensa", o presidente entende que Minc "não foi derrotado" nas disputas internas, tem "saldo geral positivo" e até nutre simpatia pela "tensão" gerada no embate entre as áreas ambiental e de infra-estrutura do governo. "Desde que isso produza resultados, é claro", informa um auxiliar direto de Lula. Mas a avaliação interna do governo é de que Minc "está errado" em sua oposição ao asfaltamento de 405 quilômetros da rodovia BR-319 (Manaus-Porto Velho). "Já existe", diz o auxiliar. Mas Minc estaria correto ao exigir condições para conceder a licença da obra incluída no Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC).

Outro colega de Esplanada dos Ministérios avalia que Carlos Minc, considerado internamente por seus simpatizantes como "voluntarioso" e "instintivo", ainda está "aprendendo a ser governo" e a "combinar o jogo" nos bastidores do governo antes de manifestações públicas. A reação intempestiva de Minc teria, nesta versão, como alvos "ganhar terreno" nos bastidores do governo e "acalmar" sua base política e social: os ambientalistas.

Deputado estadual licenciado no Rio, Minc tem acumulado desgastes com sua base, colecionados sobretudo em embates perdidos para o ministro da Agricultura, Reinhold Stephanes, como um acordo para recomposição da floresta amazônica com espécies exóticas, o zoneamento da cana-de-açúcar e a reforma do Código Florestal Brasileiro.

Em relato na véspera da reunião com Lula, Minc reuniu-se com outros três colegas no Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, sede provisória da Presidência. Na ocasião, disse sentir-se "isolado e muito cobrado" dentro do próprio ministério. Afirmou que estaria pagando um "preço político" muito alto sem o respaldo público de Lula. E avisou aos colegas que deixaria claro o desconforto e que pediria "um mínimo de proteção" ao presidente.

Na descontraída e reservada reunião, Minc referiu-se a seus esforços em destravar licenças para obras do PAC. "Ele queria um "obrigado" público", comentou um ministro.

Na versão de bastidores do governo, o ministro Carlos Minc teria uma vantagem sobre sua antecessora, a senadora Marina Silva (PT-AC), que, segundo seus críticos, não buscava a mediação dos conflitos com outras áreas e ameaçava deixar o cargo para constranger o governo. "O Minc estica a corda para conseguir algo e a Marina ia para casa", relata um ministro.

No Congresso, Carlos Minc tem sofrido uma forte oposição da bancada ruralista e não tem conseguido articular a resistência com a bancada ambientalista. A disputa envolve propostas legislativas como a reforma do Código Florestal, a imposição de travas ambientais ao processo de regularização fundiária na Amazônia e o licenciamento automático para asfaltamento e duplicação em rodovias federais já abertas. Em busca de reforço político, Minc fez um acordo com seu colega Guilherme Cassel (Desenvolvimento Agrário) para atrair produtores familiares e assentados da reforma agrária. Ao acenar com licenças ambientais menos exigentes a esse público, Minc quer neutralizar os ruralistas e ganhar terreno dentro de uma das principais bases sociais do presidente Lula. Ao lado da pressão exercida por militantes da Contag e do MST, por exemplo, seriam encurtados os caminhos até os ouvidos do presidente. Mesmo que a avaliação na Esplanada seja de que Lula não gosta de arbitrar disputas internas de seus ministros e prefere deixar que cada assunto encontre uma "solução natural".

Em seu programa semanal de rádio, o presidente Lula defendeu ontem a gestão ambiental do governo. Enumerou os feitos federais, como a criação de 25 milhões de hectares de áreas de conservação na Amazônia e a fixação de metas para a redução das emissões de gases causadores do "efeito estufa", na área ambiental. "Tudo isso mostra que nós estamos agindo no caminho correto. Os números mostram que estamos no caminho certo", decretou o presidente. Mesmo sem citar Carlos Minc, o presidente gabou-se do "aperfeiçoamento" do sistema de monitoramento da Amazônia que provocou queda na taxa anual de desmatamento. "Saiu de 21.050 quilômetros quadrados em 1998 para 11.968 quilômetros quadrados em 2008", afirmou. Lula afirmou, no programa oficial, ter reduzido "em mais de 45%" a devastação da floresta amazônica, " coibindo a impunidade ambiental e tirando o crédito dos desmatadores", justamente duas das ações mais criticadas pelos ruralistas. "Também criamos o Fundo Amazônia, que vai fomentar diversos projetos de combate ao desmatamento, recuperação de áreas degradadas e dos recursos hídricos", disse Lula, em referência ao fundo criado por Minc.

Eletronuclear e prefeitura de Angra dos Reis chegam a acordo sobre compensações para construção de Angra 3, Sabrina Craide/Agência Brasil, 02/06/2009.

A Eletronuclear e a prefeitura de Angra dos Reis chegaram a um acordo sobre as compensações socioambientais para a concessão da licença de uso do solo para a retomada das obras na Usina Nuclear Angra 3. Ficou acertado que, para atender às condicionantes estabelecidas pela licença ambiental, serão destinados R$ 317 milhões em projetos e atividades que serão executados entre 2009 e 2014.

Desse total, R$ 150 milhões serão aplicados em Angra dos Reis em convênios diretos da Eletronuclear com a prefeitura. Mais R$ 167 milhões serão destinados ao município, mas por meio de convênios com os governos estadual e federal e entidades não governamentais. A prefeitura de Angra dos Reis informou que os recursos serão utilizados principalmente na execução de projetos nas áreas de saúde, saneamento básico, educação e meio ambiente.

De acordo com a Eletronuclear, responsável pelo empreendimento, a expectativa é que a prefeitura conceda em breve a licença de uso do solo para a usina, o que irá permitir o início das obras. Segundo a prefeitura de Angra, a licença será assinada até a primeira quinzena de junho.

Para que as obras sejam retomadas, ainda falta o parecer do Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU) sobre o aditivo do contrato de construção civil, previsto para ser concedido este mês. As construção de Angra 3 foram paralisadas em 1986. O cronograma da obra prevê que a usina entre em operação em 2014.Angra 3 terá potencial energético de 1.350 megawatts. O custo estimado para as obras é de R$ 7,3 bilhões.

'Meninada faz algazarra', diz Lula sobre Minc e ministros, Tânia Monteiro, 03/06/2009, Fonte: Estadão Online.

O presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, que está em visita à Cidade da Guatemala, disse nesta terça-feira (2) que, enquanto estiver fora do Brasil, evitará fazer qualquer comentário sobre o confronto entre o ministro do Meio Ambiente, Carlos Minc, e outros ministros. As principais divergências são entre Minc e os ministros Reinhold Stephanes (Agricultura) e Alfredo Nascimento (Transportes) em torno de questões de preservação ambiental.

A uma pergunta se tomará alguma providência para superar o confronto entre ministros, Lula respondeu: "Eu tenho muitos filhos, e toda vez que o pai sai de casa, a meninada faz algazarra." Em seguida, o presidente disse que precisa, primeiro, voltar ao Brasil e saber exatamente o que está acontecendo, para poder falar alguma coisa. "Deixa eu chegar lá, na sexta-feira (5). Não vou falar nada agora sobre isso."

Lula vai participar pessoalmente de ações contra desmatamento, diz Minc, Luana Lourenço, 03/06/2009, Fonte - Agência Brasil.

O presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva vai participar pessoalmente de ações da Operação Arco Verde, elaborada pelo governo para evitar o desmatamento a partir do estímulo de práticas sustentáveis na Amazônia e compensar pessoas que perderam emprego com o fechamento de empreendimentos ilegais na região.

De acordo com o ministro do Meio Ambiente, Carlos Minc, no dia 19 deste mês, uma espécie de caravana de ministros seguirá com o presidente para alguns dos 43 municípios que mais desmataram a Amazônia em 2008.

"Se por um lado aumentamos a repressão, fechando madeireiras, por exemplo, de outro temos que aumentar as alternativas para a população, senão a gente fica enxugando gelo", argumentou o ministro ontem (2).

Segundo Minc, entre as ações de intensificação da Operação Arco Verde estarão a regularização fundiária de propriedades, a concessão de crédito para quem se comprometer a adotar métodos de produção sustentáveis, assistência técnica da Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa) para viabilizar agricultura de baixo impacto ambiental e o estabelecimento de preços mínimos para nove produtos extrativistas.


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