Mary of Modena (Maria Beatrice Eleonora Anna Margherita Isabella d’Este; 05 October [O.S. 25 September] 1658 – 7 May [O.S. 26 April] 1718) was Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of King James II. A staunch Catholic, Mary was married, in 1673, to James, Duke of York. He was the younger brother and heir of England’s incumbent king, Charles II, and would later succeed him as King James II. Uninterested in politics, she was devoted to James, and bore him two children who survived to adulthood: Louise Mary and the Jacobite claimant to the English, Scottish and Irish thrones, James Francis Edward Stuart, known to history as “The Old Pretender”.

Born a princess of the Italian Duchy of Modena, Mary is primarily remembered for the controversial birth of James Francis Edward, her only surviving son. The majority of the English public believed he was a changeling, brought into the birth-chamber in a warming-pan, in order to perpetuate King James II’s Catholic dynasty. Although this accusation was completely false, and the subsequent privy council investigation only re-affirmed this, James Francis Edward’s birth was a contributing factor to the Glorious Revolution, in which King James II was deposed by his daughter Mary and her husband William III of Orange.

Exiled to France, the “Queen over the water”—as Jacobites (followers of James II) dubbed Mary—lived with her husband and children in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, courtesy of Louis XIV of France. Mary was popular among Louis XIV’s courtiers; James was considered a bore, however. In widowhood, Mary spent a lot of time with the nuns at the Convent of Chaillot, where she and her daughter stayed in summer.

In 1701, when James II died, James Francis Edward became King in the eyes of Jacobites. As he was too young to assume the nominal reins of government, Queen Dowager Mary acted as regent until he reached the age of 16. When “James III” was expelled from France as part of the Treaty of Utrecht, Mary was left without any family in France, Princess Louise Mary having died of smallpox. Fondly remembered by her French contemporaries, Mary died of cancer in 1718.

Source:  Wiki




Italian experts found a new picture of Rafael in the archives of a museum

EL PAÍS – MIGUEL MORA – Roma (English Translation)

The little book lay abandoned with its sumptuous frame in a warehouse in the Galleria Estense in Modena for many years now, thanks to the intuition of the interim superintendent of the city, Mario Scalini, which assessed several elements “troppo Raphael as to make it a mere copy “technology has confirmed the find: the hand of the” divine “Raphael painted this sweet face, pink and vaguely sensual seems porcelain.

The face, painted on a board of 35 x 30 inches, according Scalini is a fragment of an early version of the Madonna della Perla, and Raphael was painted between 1518 and the year of his death, 1520.

The scholar has explained that the first sign that made her think that this very first plane was more than a duplicate was “fine” line drawing. “Although what put me on the right path was the framework, a magnificent piece of sixteenth-century museum would never have used if the painting had been of poor quality.”

The restorer Lisa Venerosi, coordinator of scientific analysis, he discovered that the painting was retouched several times between the XVII and XIX, which indicates that it was “highly valued” in the past…

Scalini has dubbed the table Sanzio as the Pearl of Modena after matching that in the inventory of the Palazzo Ducale Estense Quadreria (Art Gallery of the Este family), developed in 1663, contained a “portrait of a woman” attributed to Raphael never found and should be it.

The investigation has concluded that, on the death of Raphael, his pupil Giulio Romano retouched painting. “In fact,” concludes Scalini, “the table is a fragment that survived of the first version of the Pearl of the Prado, which many experts now attribute to Romano and Raphael.” Scalini ha dicho hoy a Il Corriere Della Sera that the 27th will feature the work of Modena and then the superintendent will travel to Madrid to ask on loan from the Prado Lady of the Pearl to present the two works together.

Considered the best painter of history, Rafael was described by Vasari as a modest, good, excellent and funny “not only in art but also in manners.” His epitaph in paired, because Pietro Bembo, was carved in Latin over Sanzio’s tomb in the Pantheon in Rome, and says, more or less, this: “Here lies that famous Raphael, which was afraid of being conquered nature as he lived, and when he died thought she would die with him. “



The little pill that could cure alcoholism

When an alcoholic doctor began experimenting with Baclofen, he made what could be the medical breakthrough of the century

Guardian – James Medd

The Hotel Lutetia is a beautiful belle époque building in Paris’s sixth arrondissement. It’s a place steeped in history: Josephine Baker was a resident, and it was here that General de Gaulle spent his wedding night. It was also here, on 26 January 2000, that Dr Olivier Ameisen, first official physician to the prime minister of France under Raymond Barre, noted cardiologist at Cornell University, talented pianist and friend of both Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel and record producer Arif Mardin, received the Légion d’Honneur for his “contribution to the image of France abroad and to cardiology”.

A proud moment in a life of excellence and achievement, you would imagine, but you’d be wrong. Sitting in the bar of the Lutetia 10 years later, Ameisen, now 57, recalls how he felt: “When Barre and all those guys were kissing my cheeks, I thought: ‘Where are their brains?’ I mean, when I was accepted at Cornell I looked at those guys and I thought that they were mediocre – that if those guys want me, they are idiots.”

The truth was that Ameisen, for all his successes in life, was consumed with self-loathing and shame. He was a hopeless alcoholic – hopeless in the sense that, though he seemed able to achieve anything else he put his mind to, he could not stop drinking. Despite running a thriving private practice in New York, in his late thirties he had become a binge drinker and by 1997 was regularly being admitted to hospital.

He tried any treatment available: tranquillisers including Valium and Xanax, antidepressants and specific alcohol medications including Antabuse and Acamprosate. He underwent acupuncture and hypnosis, took regular exercise and practised yoga. He attended cognitive behavioural therapy and up to three meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous a day. But his drinking only got worse: “The more I drank to ease my anxiety, stave off panic and counter draining insomnia, the more I had to drink for the same effect.” No longer trusting himself to treat his patients responsibly, he stopped working altogether. Finally his doctors told him he had “at best” five years of life left.

It’s a dramatic but not unusual story. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately two million people around the world die from the effects of alcohol each year, more than from any single form of cancer. In the UK, government figures estimate that one in 13 people is dependent on alcohol. For all the efforts of doctors, therapists, social workers and support groups, only a fraction of those addicted to alcohol manage to stop drinking and remain abstinent for a significant period.

It’s not extraordinary that, despite all his efforts and his obvious intelligence and commitment, Dr Ameisen failed to overcome his addiction. What is extraordinary is that he eventually discovered a drug he claims has cured him of alcoholism and that he claims can cure all addictions, including cocaine, heroin, smoking, bulimia and anorexia, compulsive shopping and gambling. Because that is, according to all other schools of thought, simply impossible…



Western troops join Russia’s Victory Day parade

Moscow, Russia (CNN) — Troops from the United States, Britain and France marched in the annual Victory Day parade through Red Square for the first time Sunday, a step Russia’s president called a nod toward their “common victory” in World War II.

The annual parade celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany by the former Soviet Union and its Western allies and serves as a demonstration of Russian military might. More than 120 aircraft flew overhead and more than 10,500 troops paraded through the capital this year.

“The victory won in 1945 was our common victory, a victory of good over evil, of justice over lawlessness,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a reception honoring veterans after the parade.

Including military representatives from other countries in Sunday’s parade, Medvedev said, “is indicative of our solidarity, and of the understanding that universal humanistic values are becoming increasingly important for the development of the modern world.”

Chinese President Hu Jintao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the parade’s invited guests.

Millions of Russians watched the parade on television and attended smaller parades in cities across the country, and more than half of Russians greeted the invitation to foreign troops with approval, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center in April.

But leaders of the Communist Party and right-wing organizations have criticized the change. And in a country that still regards the U.S.-led NATO alliance as its primary security threat, 20 percent of respondents to Levada’s poll said they disapproved of inviting international troops to march in the parade, and 8 percent were strongly against it.

The Soviet Union suffered the most losses of any country during World War II, with more than 7.5 million soldiers killed and 5 million wounded, along with millions of civilian deaths.

Most Russians say they believe the Red Army would have defeated Hitler without Western assistance, Levada’s research shows.



Transcript of President Barack Obama’s Commencement Address at Hampton University

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, Hampton. Thank you, Class of 2010. (Applause.) Please, everybody, please have a seat.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you!

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.) That’s why I’m here. I love you guys.

Good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Good morning.

THE PRESIDENT: To all the mothers in the house: As somebody who is surrounded by women in the White House — (laughter) — grew up surrounded by women, let me take a moment just to say thank you for all that you put up with each and every day. We are so grateful to you, and it is fitting to have such a beautiful day when we celebrate all our mothers. Thank you to Hampton for allowing me to share this special occasion — to all the dignitaries who are here, the trustees, the alumni, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins — that’s a cousin over there. (Laughter).

Now, before we get started, I just want to say, I’m excited the Battle of the Real H.U. will be taking place in Washington this year. (Laughter.) You know I am not going to pick sides. (Laughter.) But my understanding is it’s been 13 years since the Pirates lost. (Applause.) As one Hampton alum on my staff put it, the last time Howard beat Hampton, The Fugees were still together. (Laughter.)

Well, let me also say a word about President Harvey, a man who bleeds Hampton blue. In a single generation, Hampton has transformed from a small black college into a world-class research institution. (Applause.) And that transformation has come through the efforts of many people, but it has come through President Harvey’s efforts, in particular, and I want to commend him for his outstanding leadership as well as his great friendship to me. (Applause.)

Most of all, I want to congratulate all of you, the Class of 2010. I gather that none of you walked across Ogden Circle. (Laughter.) You did? Okay.

You know, we meet here today, as graduating classes have met for generations, not far from where it all began, near that old oak tree off Emancipation Drive. I know my University 101. (Laughter and applause.) There, beneath its branches, by what was then a Union garrison, about 20 students gathered on September 17th, 1861. Taught by a free citizen, in defiance of Virginia law, the students were escaped slaves from nearby plantations, who had fled to the fort seeking asylum.

And after the war’s end, a retired Union general sought to enshrine that legacy of learning. So with a collection from church groups, Civil War veterans, and a choir that toured Europe, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute was founded here, by the Chesapeake – a home by the sea.

Now, that story is no doubt familiar to many of you. But it’s worth reflecting on why it happened; why so many people went to such trouble to found Hampton and all our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The founders of these institutions knew, of course, that inequality would persist long into the future. They were not naïve. They recognized that barriers in our laws, and in our hearts, wouldn’t vanish overnight.

But they also recognized the larger truth; a distinctly American truth. They recognized, Class of 2010, that the right education might allow those barriers to be overcome; might allow our God-given potential to be fulfilled. They recognized, as Frederick Douglass once put it, that “education…means emancipation.” They recognized that education is how America and its people might fulfill our promise. That recognition, that truth – that an education can fortify us to rise above any barrier, to meet any test – is reflected, again and again, throughout our history.

In the midst of civil war, we set aside land grants for schools like Hampton to teach farmers and factory-workers the skills of an industrializing nation. At the close of World War II, we made it possible for returning GIs to attend college, building and broadening our great middle class. At the Cold War’s dawn, we set up Area Studies Centers on our campuses to prepare graduates to understand and address the global threats of a nuclear age.

So education is what has always allowed us to meet the challenges of a changing world. And Hampton, that has never been more true than it is today. This class is graduating at a time of great difficulty for America and for the world. You’re entering a job market, in an era of heightened international competition, with an economy that’s still rebounding from the worst crisis since the Great Depression. You’re accepting your degrees as America still wages two wars – wars that many in your generation have been fighting.

And meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — (laughter) — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.

Class of 2010, this is a period of breathtaking change, like few others in our history. We can’t stop these changes, but we can channel them, we can shape them, we can adapt to them. And education is what can allow us to do so. It can fortify you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time.

And first and foremost, your education can fortify you against the uncertainties of a 21st century economy. In the 19th century, folks could get by with a few basic skills, whether they learned them in a school like Hampton, or picked them up along the way. As long as you were willing to work, for much of the 20th century, a high school diploma was a ticket into a solid middle class life. That is no longer the case.

Jobs today often require at least a bachelor’s degree, and that degree is even more important in tough times like these. In fact, the unemployment rate for folks who’ve never gone to college is over twice as high as for folks with a college degree or more.

Now, the good news is you’re already ahead of the curve. All those checks you or your parents wrote to Hampton will pay off. (Laughter.) You’re in a strong position to outcompete workers around the world. But I don’t have to tell you that too many folks back home aren’t as well prepared. Too many young people, just like you, are not as well prepared. By any number of different yardsticks, African Americans are being outperformed by their white classmates, as are Hispanic Americans. Students in well-off areas are outperforming students in poorer rural or urban communities, no matter what skin color.

Globally, it’s not even close. In 8th grade science and math, for example, American students are ranked about 10th overall compared to top-performing countries. But African Americans are ranked behind more than 20 nations, lower than nearly every other developed country.

So all of us have a responsibility, as Americans, to change this; to offer every single child in this country an education that will make them competitive in our knowledge economy. That is our obligation as a nation. (Applause.)

But I have to say, Class of 2010, all of you have a separate responsibility. To be role models for your brothers and sisters. To be mentors in your communities. And, when the time comes, to pass that sense of an education’s value down to your children, a sense of personal responsibility and self-respect. To pass down a work ethic and an intrinsic sense of excellence that made it possible for you to be here today.

So, allowing you to compete in the global economy is the first way your education can prepare you. But it can also prepare you as citizens. With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, and on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s not. Let’s face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I’ve had some experience in that regard.

Fortunately, you will be well positioned to navigate this terrain. Your education has honed your research abilities, sharpened your analytical powers, given you a context for understanding the world. Those skills will come in handy.

But the goal was always to teach you something more. Over the past four years, you’ve argued both sides of a debate. You’ve read novels and histories that take different cuts at life.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Amen!

THE PRESIDENT: You’ve discovered — see, I got a little “Amen” there, somebody — (laughter) — you’ve discovered interests you didn’t know you had. You’ve made friends who didn’t grow up the same way you did. You’ve tried things you’d never done before, including some things we won’t talk about in front of your parents. (Laughter.)

All of this, I hope, has had the effect of opening your mind; of helping you understand what it’s like to walk in somebody else’s shoes. But now that your minds have been opened, it’s up to you to keep them that way. It will be up to you to open minds that remain closed that you meet along the way. That, after all, is the elemental test of any democracy: whether people with differing points of view can learn from each other, and work with each other, and find a way forward together.

And I’d add one further observation. Just as your education can fortify you, it can also fortify our nation, as a whole. More and more, America’s economic preeminence, our ability to out compete other countries, will be shaped not just in our boardrooms, not just on our factory floors, but in our classrooms, and our schools, at universities like Hampton. It will be determined by how well all of us, and especially our parents, educate our sons and daughters.

What’s at stake is more than our ability to out compete other nations. It’s our ability to make democracy work in our own nation. Now, years after he left office, decades after he penned the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson sat down, a few hours’ drive from here, in Monticello, and wrote a letter to a longtime legislator, urging him to do more on education. And Jefferson gave one principal reason – the one, perhaps, he found most compelling. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,” he wrote, “it expects what never was and never will be.”

What Jefferson recognized, like the rest of that gifted founding generation, was that in the long run, their improbable experiment – called America – wouldn’t work if its citizens were uninformed, if its citizens were apathetic, if its citizens checked out, and left democracy who those — to those who didn’t have the best interests of all the people at heart. It could only work if each of us stayed informed and engaged; if we held our government accountable; if we fulfilled the obligations of citizenship.

The success of their experiment, they understood, depended on the participation of its people – the participation of Americans like all of you. The participation of all those who have ever sought to perfect our union.

I had a great honor of delivering a tribute to one of those Americans last week, an American named Dorothy Height. (Applause.)

And as you probably know, Dr. Height passed away the other week at the age of 98. One of the speakers at this memorial was her nephew who was 88. And I said that’s a sign of a full life when your nephew is 88. Dr. Height had been on the firing line for every fight from lynching to desegregation to the battle for health care reform. She was with Eleanor Roosevelt and she was with Michelle Obama. She lived a singular life; one of the giants upon whose shoulders I stand. But she started out just like you, understanding that to make something of herself, she needed a college degree.

So, she applied to Barnard College – and she got in. Except, when she showed up, they discovered she wasn’t white as they had believed. And they had already given their two slots for African Americans to other individuals. Those slots, two, had already been filled. But Dr. Height was not discouraged. She was not deterred. She stood up, straight-backed, and with Barnard’s acceptance letter in hand, she marched down to New York University, and said, “Let me in.” And she was admitted right away.

I want all of you to think about this, Class of 2010, because you’ve gone through some hardships, undoubtedly, in arriving to where you are today. There have been some hard days, and hard exams, and you felt put upon. And undoubtedly you will face other challenges in the future.

But I want you to think about Ms. Dorothy Height, a black woman, in 1929, refusing to be denied her dream of a college education. Refusing to be denied her rights. Refusing to be denied her dignity. Refusing to be denied her place in America, her piece of America’s promise. Refusing to let any barriers of injustice or ignorance or inequality or unfairness stand in her way. (Applause.) That refusal to accept a lesser fate; that insistence on a better life, that, ultimately, is the secret not only of African American survival and success, it has been the secret of America’s survival and success. (Applause.)

So, yes, an education can fortify us to meet the tests of our economy, the tests of our citizenship, and the tests of our times. But what ultimately makes us American, quintessentially American, is something that can’t be taught – a stubborn insistence on pursuing our dreams.

It’s the same insistence that led a band of patriots to overthrow an empire. That fired the passions of union troops to free the slaves and union veterans to found schools like Hampton. That led foot-soldiers the same age as you to brave fire-hoses on the streets of Birmingham and billy clubs on a bridge in Selma. That led generation after generation of Americans to toil away, quietly, your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents and great-great grandparents, without complaint, in the hopes of a better life for their children and grandchildren.

That is what makes us who we are. A dream of brighter days ahead, a faith in things not seen, a belief that here, in this country, we are the authors of our own destiny. That is what Hampton is all about. And it now falls to you, the Class of 2010, to write the next great chapter in America’s story; to meet the tests of your own time; to take up the ongoing work of fulfilling our founding promise. I’m looking forward to watching.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)





The Moral Life of Babies

NYT – By PAUL BLOOM

Not long ago, a team of researchers watched a 1-year-old boy take justice into his own hands. The boy had just seen a puppet show in which one puppet played with a ball while interacting with two other puppets. The center puppet would slide the ball to the puppet on the right, who would pass it back. And the center puppet would slide the ball to the puppet on the left . . . who would run away with it.

Then the two puppets on the ends were brought down from the stage and set before the toddler. Each was placed next to a pile of treats. At this point, the toddler was asked to take a treat away from one puppet. Like most children in this situation, the boy took it from the pile of the “naughty” one. But this punishment wasn’t enough — he then leaned over and smacked the puppet in the head.

This incident occurred in one of several psychology studies that I have been involved with at the Infant Cognition Center at Yale University in collaboration with my colleague (and wife), Karen Wynn, who runs the lab, and a graduate student, Kiley Hamlin, who is the lead author of the studies. We are one of a handful of research teams around the world exploring the moral life of babies.

Like many scientists and humanists, I have long been fascinated by the capacities and inclinations of babies and children. The mental life of young humans not only is an interesting topic in its own right; it also raises — and can help answer — fundamental questions of philosophy and psychology, including how biological evolution and cultural experience conspire to shape human nature. In graduate school, I studied early language development and later moved on to fairly traditional topics in cognitive development, like how we come to understand the minds of other people — what they know, want and experience.

But the current work I’m involved in, on baby morality, might seem like a perverse and misguided next step. Why would anyone even entertain the thought of babies as moral beings? From Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget to Lawrence Kohlberg, psychologists have long argued that we begin life as amoral animals.

One important task of society, particularly of parents, is to turn babies into civilized beings — social creatures who can experience empathy, guilt and shame; who can override selfish impulses in the name of higher principles; and who will respond with outrage to unfairness and injustice. Many parents and educators would endorse a view of infants and toddlers close to that of a recent Onion headline: “New Study Reveals Most Children Unrepentant Sociopaths.” If children enter the world already equipped with moral notions, why is it that we have to work so hard to humanize them?

A growing body of evidence, though, suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.

Which is not to say that parents are wrong to concern themselves with moral development or that their interactions with their children are a waste of time. Socialization is critically important. But this is not because babies and young children lack a sense of right and wrong; it’s because the sense of right and wrong that they naturally possess diverges in important ways from what we adults would want it to be…]



Franco is no longer a secret

35 years after Franco’s death, copies of your documents are freely available on the Center of Historical Memory in Salamanca

EL PAÍS – TEREIXA CONSTENLA – Salamanca (English Translation)

Franco’s papers are already in a public archive. Anyone can view them at the Documentation Center of Historical Memory in Salamanca, which was in October rolls of microfilm that had been kept six years safe in the Ministry of Culture. Hidden, as if burned. 27 490 are copies of documents (more than 100,000 pages) belonging to the Fundación Francisco Franco, who has kept the original guarantees secrecy and without access to a public archive.

Since Franco’s death, the papers remained until the eighties in the house of his widow, Carmen Polo. It was she who invited the medieval historian Luis Suárez Fernández-examined. “I discovered a messy and valuable documentation, which cost me five years to order, but I had no monopoly. I tried to help many people,” he told this newspaper. Suarez, who demanded work with photocopies “to avoid problems,” published the results of their research in Franco’s time, revised and corrected in Franco. Chronicle of a time. In addition, he oversaw the publication of six volumes of documents until 1942. “After the project was halted due to lack of money,” he said.

The truth is that historians such as Paul Preston, author of a celebrated biography of Franco, did not have access to the material of the foundation, which goes from 1938 to 1976. Even Javier Tusell turned to Luis Suarez access to papers on the attack in Carrero Blanco. After the help of 150,841.22 euros granted by the Ministry of Culture between 2000 and 2003 to digitize the papers, the Fundación Francisco Franco gave in return a copy to the Administration which, paradoxically, remained stored in the safe ministry. THE COUNTRY has selected some interesting papers are already available in Salamanca…

United States, Kennedy, benevolent

Always vital relations with the United States can be traced in numerous documents. There are telegrams and letters from 1952 Lequerica ambassador reporting persons and obstacles that torpedo the agreement between the two countries (bases in exchange for financial aid) as respect for religious freedom (Protestant demand) and dislike of President Truman to the Franco dictatorship.

Nothing to do with the attitude that shows President Eisenhower in March 1960, following his visit to Spain. Their common anti-communist front outweighs the lack of Spanish freedoms. “I share your view that the Communist offensive today is not only military but political and economic main (…) We must continue our policy of collective security and measures connected with it to contain communist expansion,” he wrote to Franco .

Three years later, with Kennedy in the White House, the relationships are not muddy. The ambassador then, Antonio Garrigues, recounts a dinner and “informal and intimate” with the clan: “The president turned to me and said, ‘Well, now Spain is a rich country, I think that you are already in the 1300 billion of reserves are far richer than us. I do not think they will have no choice but to give us a Marshall Plan for the United States.

“We all laughed and explained naturally in this same light tone how poor we were.” No longer humorous winks, Kennedy was “very pleased” by the Spanish economic improvement, but worried about “the problem of succession in Spain and in Portugal” and the future of Latin America. The ambassador invited to visit Spain to Robert Kennedy, his brother’s right hand. With Nixon, shake the relationship. On August 17, 1971, sent a personal message to Franco to anticipate withering anti-crisis measures will announce hours later that will impact on Spain. Wage and price freeze, tax cuts, suspension of the dollar’s convertibility into gold and temporary surcharge on imports. “I recognize that these measures affect Spain while vital for us,” he writes…



The Italian government is boycotting the Cannes Film Festival

The Italian Minister of Culture intends to protest against the selection of “Draquila,” a film about post-earthquake L’Aquila, who wants to be “a reflection on the authoritarian drift of this country,” says its director.

Le Figaro (English Translation)

The Italian Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi, has decided not to go to the Cannes Film Festival. The reason for his anger: the selection of “Draquila”, a “propaganda film” he said on the post séisme à L’Aquila d’avril 2009, which had 308 deaths and 80,000 private housing.

«Draquila – l’Italia che trema» (Draquila – Italy trembling “), Sabina Guzzanti, an expert mimic of political satire, contained in the official selection, out of competition and must be screened in” special session “. According unused footage seen on television, Sabina Guzzanti, the grim picture of the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi denounced, just as U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore, a close male stranglehold on power reconstruction projects in the city.

In an interview with website Articolo 21, The director said she wanted to show that “the inhabitants of L’Aquila stayed in tents for six months only because the government wanted to see the ‘miracle’ houses’ issued with great fanfare disaster from September last. “This film is a meditation on the authoritarian drift of this country,” added the director.

The only Italian director contained in the official selection at Cannes this year with “La Nostra Vita, Daniele Luchetti, strongly criticized the boycott by the Minister Bondi, very close to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. “I do not know what to say about a minister who is ashamed of a free artist,” he told Italian media on Saturday. “A free country must show what type of shows. Be proud to take it abroad as a demonstration of freedom, “said the filmmaker whose film will be released May 21 in Italian theaters.

The MEP party Italy of Values (center-left opposition), Luigi De Magistris has been even harder against the government. “Those who insult the free and the Italian people, it is neither art nor information, but a minister who, instead of honoring its commitments recites the institutional role of loyal servant of the Prime Minister by deserting” Cannes.





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