quinta-feira, 29 de setembro de 2016
Sim! É preciso desligar a música acima de tudo nos bares , esplanadas , quiosques, etc., que aterrorizam os moradores durante o dia e a noite nas principais cidades de Portugal !
É preciso desligar a música!
VÍTOR BELANCIANO 29/09/2016 – PÚBLICO
Vivemos imersos na cultura do ruído. Não é apenas a música ou a TV ligada. São os motores. Os altifalantes. Os alarmes.
As grandes transformações culturais e comportamentais são lentas. Uma das que tive a sorte de assistir no meu tempo de existência prende-se com a nossa relação com o ambiente, a ecologia, a natureza. Há 20 anos ia-se à praia e havia lixo por toda a parte. A repartição de lixos era utopia. Fumava-se em todo o lado. E o aquecimento global não era uma questão.
Claro que algumas destas conquistas não estão consolidadas, mas passaram a estar na ordem do dia e os cidadãos estão conscientes delas. Mas ecologia não é apenas resíduos ou efeito estufa. É também som, ruído, barulho, omnipresença de música nos espaços públicos. E nesse campo, apesar de eventos como o recente Lisboa Soa – que decorreu em Setembro pela primeira vez – que pretendem mentalizar-nos para as questões sociais do som, ainda está quase tudo por fazer em Portugal.
Há poucos meses, em Roterdão, na Holanda, ao entrar na Estação Central da cidade fiquei perplexo pela quase ausência de ruído num espaço público que por norma é barulhento pela combinação de milhares de pessoas, altifalantes, motores ou máquinas. Ali a concepção arquitectónica, o design e a iluminação do espaço atenuam o ruído. Percebe-se que arquitectos, urbanistas ou sonoplastas trabalharam em conjunto, pensando o espaço a partir da acústica e propriedades sonoras.
Ali parece existir a consciência que vivemos rodeados de ruído e isso afecta o ambiente, a qualidade da comunicação e a nossa saúde física e psicológica. Essa compreensão é limitada em Portugal. Não somos o único país onde música de fundo impera em bares, restaurantes, centros comerciais, lojas, transportes ou aeroportos. Ou onde as pessoas se sentam de manhã à noite, em cafés, de frente para as televisões. Ou onde a iluminação dos espaços públicos (os restaurantes são um exemplo) é descuidada (e na verdade luz e som são indissociáveis, bastando entender que os indivíduos tendem a falar mais baixo com iluminação envolvente).
Não tenho dados científicos para o afirmar, mas de uma forma impressionista diria que aqui esses ambientes são notórios e esses comportamentos são intensos. Vivemos imersos na cultura do ruído. Não é apenas a música ou a TV ligada. São os motores. Os altifalantes. Os alarmes. Os locais de diversão nocturna até de manhã. O falar alto. Uma cacofonia que se tornou normalidade, talvez porque associamos o rumor ao prazer ou à festa. De alguma forma reproduzimos isso no quotidiano, como se acreditássemos que sendo barulhentos legitimássemos perante os outros que somos bem-sucedidos ou que estamos a desfrutar de algo.
Ninguém sabe como tudo começou. Talvez mimetismo. Mas a verdade é que hoje esses hábitos estão enraizados. Entra-se num espaço público e vemos as pessoas fascinadas com o olhar dirigido para os ecrãs, ou absortas pela música que não pára, como se existisse medo do silêncio, que obriga a pensar. É como se necessitássemos de som à volta, em todo o lado, a toda a hora, para confirmar que existimos, o que paradoxalmente nos torna indiferentes perante a verdadeira experiência da música.
Sim, eu sei, as mudanças a sério são lentas. Mas espero que seja possível assistir à mudança de hábitos em relação ao som que nos circunda e que por vezes mais se parece substituir ao ar que respiramos. Não é preciso ser-se radical. Nem sempre é preciso desligá-lo, mas é necessário enquadrá-lo, pensá-lo, estarmos conscientes das suas faculdades e efeitos nocivos, para que possamos ter com ele uma relação mais saudável.
Avenida de Ceuta volta a ter um rio e no Vale de Alcântara irá nascer um corredor verde
LILIANA BORGES 28/09/2016 - PÚBLICO
Projecto para Lisboa foi apresentado pelo vereador dos Espaços Verdes que fez questão de destacar que as intervenções não vão "incomodar ninguém"
As obras em Lisboa são para continuar e desta vez é Alcântara que vai ser alvo de requalificação. Vão ser 13 hectares distribuídos ao longo de três quilómetros que desenharão o novo corredor verde do Vale de Alcântara. Antecipando potenciais críticas e questionado sobre o impacto das intervenções no quotidiano dos cidadãos, José Sá Fernandes fez questão de repetir que esta é uma intervenção que “não vai incomodar ninguém” e não existirão constrangimentos ou problemas com a circulação automóvel, “nem se estraga nada, pois os terrenos estão vazios”. As obras terão um custo aproximado de quatro milhões de euros, estima o vereador.
“Alcântara quer dizer ponte, mas não tem existido uma ponte entre Campolide e Alcântara, entre o Tejo e Monsanto”, criticou o vereador dos Espaços Verdes da Câmara Municipal de Lisboa. Por isso, o projecto da Câmara Municipal de Lisboa pretende corrigir as divisões, numa obra que pretende ser “fazível e concretizável” sem ser megalómana ou cara.
Para além de pretender oferecer “mais e melhores pontos de atravessamento e acesso às áreas habitacionais”, o novo corredor terá mais de 700 novas árvores, que irão ser regadas com água reciclada, o qual terá “uma importância vital no processo de adaptação às condições climáticas”. Ao contrário do que acontece actualmente, “o percurso poderá passar a ser feito integralmente a pé ou de bicicleta”. Além disso, a intervenção garantirá “mais e melhor iluminação” e mais equipamento urbano.
E como a água é o elemento inspirador desta intervenção, está ainda previsto um pequeno regresso ao passado, quando o vale era um rio, criando-se um canal de água no separador central da Avenida de Ceuta, ladeado por faixas destinadas aos transportes públicos.
De acordo com o vereador, grande parte das intervenções estarão concluídas no espaço de um ano. “Daqui a um ano, por esta altura, espero estar aqui numa sessão de abertura do corredor do Vale de Alcântara”, confidenciou Sá Fernandes, durante a sessão de apresentação do projecto, esta quarta-feira, na Estação de Tratamento de Águas Residuais (ETAR) de Alcântara.
A primeira intervenção irá ser discutida em reunião de Câmara no próximo dia 13 de Outubro e abrange o parque urbano Quinta da Bela Flôr, que “irá a concurso por 1,5 milhões de euros”. Segue-se depois o Bairro da Liberdade, que concretizará a ligação com o Corredor de Monsanto. Será construído um viaduto ciclo-pedonal e um túnel que permite a passagem debaixo da linha. “O antes longe torna-se agora mais perto”, propõe o projecto. Sá Fernandes mostrou-se especialmente entusiasmado com a possibilidade de a população passar debaixo de “um dos melhores monumentos do mundo”, o Aqueduto das Águas Livres, junto aos pilares, algo até agora possível apenas através de automóvel “e normalmente depressa”. “É uma valorização patrimonial das mais importantes que se fez nos últimos anos da cidade”, acredita o vereador.
O vereador aproveitou ainda para fazer um balanço das restantes intervenções, apontando a Primavera de 2017 como data de conclusão dos corredores verdes das zonas Oriental, Ocidental e Central da cidade.
Trump violated Cuba embargo in 1998 business venture, report claims
Clinton camp seizes on Newsweek report Republican nominee spent $68,000 on investigation of business opportunities, which US law made illegal
Thursday 29 September 2016 20.58 BST
The Clinton campaign on Thursday attacked Donald Trump over reports of an historic violation of the Cuba embargo, hours after Newsweek alleged that the Republican nominee spent at least $68,000 in the island dictatorship in 1998, while investigating potential business opportunities.
Citing “interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings”, Newsweek reported that in 1998 a company controlled by Trump “secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal”.
The expenditure, Newsweek said, was indirect, involving the payment of expenses incurred on a visit by consultants from a US firm.
On Thursday, Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser to the Clinton campaign, said in a statement: “Trump’s business with Cuba appears to have broken the law, flouted US foreign policy and is in complete contradiction to Trump’s own repeated, public statements that he had been offered opportunities to invest in Cuba but passed them up.
“This latest report shows once again that Trump will always put his own business interest ahead of the national interest – and has no trouble lying about it.”
At the time of the expenditure in question, the spending of any US corporate money in Cuba was illegal without the explicit approval of the federal government.
The Trump campaign did not immediately issue a statement, but in a television interview with The View, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway seemed to acknowledge that Trump had indeed spent money in Cuba.
“It starts out with a screaming headline, as it usually does, that he did business in Cuba,” she said. “And it turns out that he decided not to invest there. They paid money, as I understand, in 1998.
“I know we’re not supposed to talk about years ago when it comes to the Clintons, but with Trump there is no statute of limitations.”
Trump, who was due to stage a campaign rally in Bedford, New Hampshire, on Thursday, has taken contradictory positions on US policy towards Cuba.
In 1999, when first exploring a presidential campaign as a third-party candidate, he took a hard line.
In a Wall Street Journal editorial headlined America Needs a President Like Me, he wrote: “I would also immediately reverse the move to normalize relations with the most abnormal political figure in our hemisphere: Fidel Castro.
“We have pushed him to the precipice with our embargo, helped of course by the withdrawal of Soviet backing.
“Now comes a movement, backed by state department bureaucrats, to rescue Mr Castro with US dollars. The striped-pants set won’t like hearing this, but normalization is pure lunacy.”
Moves towards normalisation of relations were eventually announced in December 2014, by the Obama administration. Nine months later, the US embassy in Havana was formally reopened by secretary of state John Kerry. Barack Obama visited the country in March this year.
This week, Obama nominated Jeffrey DeLaurentis to become the first US ambassador to Cuba in more than half a century.
In a 2015 interview with Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller, Trump said of the Obama administration’s policy: “I think it’s fine. I think it’s fine, but we should have made a better deal.
“The concept of opening with Cuba – 50 years is enough – the concept of opening with Cuba is fine. I think we should have made a stronger deal.”
In recent days, the Republican nominee has taken a far harder line. At an event in Miami on 16 September, he pledged: “All the concessions that Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them – and that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands.
“Not my demands. Our demands.”
Cuba policy has long been something of a political third rail, thanks to the presence in Florida, a key swing state, of a strong Cuban-American émigré community. Most presidential campaigns have therefore pursued a hard line towards the government of Fidel and Raúl Castro.
The introduction, headline and standfirst to this piece were altered on 29 September 2016, to clarify that Newsweek rather than the Clinton campaign was the source of a report that a company controlled by Donald Trump broke the Cuba embargo in 1998.
Entretanto sabemos que o debate nào correu bem a Trump e que a sua “arte”, pelo menos neste caso, não foi efectiva …
The art of defrauding America
Reality TV star turns liberal media values and voter cynicism to his advantage
SEPTEMBER 25, 2016 by: Edward Luce
In the Art of the Deal, Donald Trump’s get rich quick guide, he explains how to seduce the customer. “People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular,” he wrote. “I call it truthful hyperbole.”
At the presidential debate on Monday night, roughly 100m Americans will be exposed to Mr Trump’s magical thinking. The US can be great again by electing the best dealmaker in the world. Some will see it as a con trick. Others will be willingly gullible. A worryingly large share will care little about his truthfulness either way. Since all politicians lie, Mr Trump could hardly be worse than Hillary Clinton.
That, in purest form, is today’s voter breakdown — a world apart from the founding fathers’ informed citizenry. In the hunt for the mother of all deals, Mr Trump has two key partners. The first is the media. Conservatives believe the conventional media suffers from deep liberal bias. Most journalists probably are on the left by their measure.
But that is irrelevant. Mr Trump’s genius is to grasp that television’s desperate quest for ratings outweighs any ideological leanings. Leslie Moonves, chairman of CBS, put it well earlier this year. Mr Trump’s celebrity had worked miracles on the network’s advertising revenues. “It may not be good for America,” he said. “But it’s damn good for CBS.” In an age of ever-thinner gruel for the TV business, Mr Trump offers repeated sugar highs. Monday’s record ratings will have little to do with Mrs Clinton.
The reality TV star has also turned liberal media values to his advantage. Fox News pays lip service to being even-handed. CNN, on the other hand, balances liberal voices with credible opposing ones.
At a time of acute polarisation, such false equivalence is gold dust to Mr Trump. He may run a pay-for-play charitable foundation but so do the Clintons. He may refuse to release his tax returns. But Mrs Clinton hid a private email server. After a while, everyone seems equally bad. In reality, the Clinton Foundation raises billions for philanthropic causes and its published accounts meet industry standards. Mr Trump, on the other hand, has used his to make political donations, buy portraits of himself and settle law suits. It is possible details of his serial “self-dealing” — painstakingly chronicled in the Washington Post — will sway some voters. But they will have to switch off their TVs first. Short of an Edward Snowden-type leak from the Internal Revenue Service, voters will never see his tax returns.
Mr Trump’s other key ally is public cynicism, which is also fuelling the media’s ratings crisis. In 1954, the career of Joseph McCarthy, the senator behind the “red scare” witch-hunts, came to a sudden end in a televised hearing when an attorney proclaimed: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or recklessness. Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
It is hard to imagine what — or who — could publicly shame Mr Trump. The gatekeepers have gone. In those days, figures like Walter Cronkite, the legendary news anchor, could turn opinion with a morally charged soliloquy. Mr Cronkite’s authority drew from a middle ground that no longer exists. It hinged on the public’s trust that it was possible to be objective. In the absence of such trust, the best Mr Cronkite’s successors can do is resort to a hollow “he said, she said” neutrality — or drop the pretence altogether. This, too, Mr Trump plays like a violin.
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Will it work on Monday night? Quite possibly. Most of today’s TV anchors say it is the other candidate’s job, not the moderator’s, to correct factual errors. Their favourite analogy is a sporting one in which best game is where the umpire’s role goes unnoticed. But the comparison does not stand up.
No soccer game would last a minute if it were up to the players to call out the opposing team’s fouls. A fair referee will discipline players on merit. If it means one team gets six yellow cards and the other only two, so be it. Nor will a referee be intimidated by the booing of the offending team’s fans. By all accounts, Lester Holt, the NBC anchor, who will moderate the first debate, will try to be fair-minded. But Mr Trump is playing games with his head. Mr Holt is a Democrat and therefore biased, he says, although voter records suggest that Mr Holt is a Republican. The whole event — and the general election — is probably rigged in Mrs Clinton’s favour, he claims.
It is worth marvelling at how well Mr Trump has played a conventionally weak hand. He has branded CNN, which devotes just four per cent of its Clinton coverage to her policies — a third of what it has allocated to her email scandal — as biased. He calls it the Clinton News Network.
The leading outlets devoted more airtime to Mr Trump’s assertion that Mrs Clinton created Isis, than to her policies for defeating it. The first was Trumpian invention. The second is serious business. But Mr Trump grasps a truth about today’s low-trust democracy that still eludes others. People want to be entertained. “I play to people’s fantasies,” Mr Trump wrote in his best-seller. On that playing field, Mrs Clinton’s edge disappears.
As a species we are always vulnerable to deception. Remember those Weimar types in early 1930s Germany? None of them could hold an audience.
Best frenemies forever: Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer
The chancellor needs Bavarian support if she wants to win a third term next year.
By JANOSCH DELCKER 9/30/16, 5:35 AM CET Updated 9/30/16, 7:34 AM CET
BERLIN — Joined at the hip for 65 years, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and Bavaria’s Christian Social Union are trapped in a love-hate relationship with little affection on display recently.
That’s about to change as the conservative allies gear up for next year’s federal elections when they will face an unaccustomed challenge from an upstart party on the far right that is appealing to the widespread unhappiness with the German chancellor’s refugee policy.
A show of unity is desperately needed. The trouble is: This is precisely where the CDU and CSU disagree.
Support for the Union, as the combined CDU/CSU are known, has plummeted to 33 percent in opinion polls, down 10 percentage points from a year ago. Meanwhile, the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), has climbed to record highs of 15 percent and now has seats in 10 of the country’s 16 state assemblies. Certain to break into the Bundestag next year, it has forced the conservatives to rethink their strategy.
Founded three years ago as a protest party during the eurozone crisis, the AfD had only 3 percent support half-way through 2015. Then came the refugees, enabling the tweedy Euroskeptics to rebrand themselves as an ultra-conservative opposition force.
The rise of the AfD has belatedly forced the CDU and CSU to bury the hatchet, in public at least, after a year of recriminations over Merkel’s decision in August 2016 to let in hundreds of thousands of refugees. After a string of CDU state election losses, she came close enough to contrition last week for the Bavarians, meeting in a monastery, to moderate their tone.
What’s for sure is that she will need the support of the CSU.
“Crucial issues can only be solved between the chancellor and me — and this is what we want to do,” CSU chief and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer told the state assembly in Munich on Wednesday, slipping in just a mention of the “bitter and difficult months” gone by.
When CDU and CSU national lawmakers met in the Bundestag earlier this week, there was a marked improvement in the atmosphere, according to one CDU official who attended.
Although Merkel’s aides emphasize that all the established parties have lost voters to the AfD, they privately acknowledge that, for the first time in Germany’s post-war history, a far-right party has managed to establish itself to the right of the Union. This is the core of a conflict between the CDU and CSU that Merkel can’t afford if she wants a third term, though she dodges questions about whether she will run.
What’s for sure is that she will need the support of the CSU. Currently, 56 of the 310 seats of her conservative group in the Bundestag are held by the Bavarians.
“We are the best example that keeping the AfD at bay can work if we take the concerns of citizens seriously,” said one CSU lawmaker in Munich, speaking on condition of anonymity. In Bavaria, the CSU is polling at a comfortable 45 percent, with AfD at around 9 percent.
It’s not that Merkel spent the past year ignoring the demand of Seehofer and the conservative wing of the CDU: She brokered the EU-Turkey refugee deal, introduced tougher asylum laws, pushed for faster deportations, campaigned for tighter protection on the EU’s external borders, and denied free passage to refugees stranded in Greece before the deal with Turkey took effect.
Instead, it was the chancellor’s tone that annoyed the Bavarians. Refusing to adopt or adapt far-right slogans to lure back voters from the AfD, she got CDU general secretary Peter Tauber to repeat over and over that the CDU was the “party of the political center.” It was enough for Seehofer, whose party is traditionally more conservative than the CDU, to see red.
German Chancellor Angela Merkeljokes beside Horst Seehofer | Christof Stache/AFP via Getty
German Chancellor Angela Merkel jokes beside Horst Seehofer | Christof Stache/AFP via Getty
His first salvo from Bavaria was to invite Merkel’s most outspoken European opponent, Hungarian Prime Minster Viktor Orbán, to a CSU party meeting. He humiliated the chancellor when she was his guest at the CSU’s annual conference in Munich; he accused her of imposing the “rule of lawlessness;” and he threatened to sue her government in the constitutional court.
Seehofer felt vindicated when the CDU suffered in one state election after the other, though some inside Merkel’s party blamed the constant Bavarian sniping for the setbacks.
The chancellor’s response was to use her party’s disastrous performance in Berlin’s regional elections in mid-September to build bridges with the CSU, while not quite admitting that her own refugee policy was to blame. Using uncharacteristically emotive language, she said in a news conference that she wished she could “turn back time by many, many years, so that I could better prepare myself and the whole government and all those in positions of responsibility for the situation that caught us unprepared in the late summer of 2015.”
Then, earlier this week, she told party colleagues during a meeting in the Bundestag she would henceforth refrain from repeating the “We can do it” mantra with which she had tried to rally the public behind her welcome for the refugees. If these words annoyed her allies, she was prepared to drop them, she was quoted as saying by one lawmaker who attended the meeting.
Party colleagues say Merkel remains convinced she did the right thing by granting safe passage to refugees stranded in Hungary a year ago, and the gesture is likely to secure the 62-year-old chancellor a place in the history books. But from how until the 2017 election, the pragmatic former physicist knows it is all about Realpolitik.
“Germany will remain Germany with everything we hold dear,” she told parliament in a speech in early September — a vague statement perfectly tailored to the conservative party faithful, which could become the motto of an election campaign likely to focus on domestic security, a traditional strong suit of the CDU.
The ceasefire with Seehofer will hold until the elections, but from that moment on Merkel — or whoever is leading the CDU by then — should brace for new attacks from the CSU prepares for its own Bavarian parliamentary elections in 2018.
Scramble to lead European Parliament
Schulz appears unwilling to cede his post.
By MAÏA DE LA BAUME 9/30/16, 5:27 AM CET
A broken deal between the European Parliament’s two main blocs has turned the election for the assembly’s president — a foregone conclusion the last time around — into a free-for-all.
Martin Schulz, the current president from the Socialists & Democrats, looks reluctant to honor his promise to Manfred Weber of the conservative European People’s Party to step down after his second two-and-a-half-year term and make way for the EPP — which won’t give up without a fight.
While the 2014 secret ballot among MEPs was largely ignored beyond Brussels and Strasbourg, the coming contest on January 17 has some of the suspense of a real election, largely thanks to behind-the-scenes maneuvering by Schulz, who hasn’t declared his candidacy. Along with the president, MEPs will renew the vice presidents, committee chairs and group presidents.
“This election is a leap into the unknown,” said Charles de Marcilly, who heads the Brussels office of the Fondation Robert Schuman, a French think tank. “But it will certainly re-inject more politics into the Parliament engine.”
It wasn’t supposed to be this exciting. Under the 2014 negotiations which made Jean-Claude Juncker president of the European Commission, Schulz would get another term running the Parliament, then hand over to someone from the opposing bloc.
“The assumption was that the president of the European Council had to be a Socialist. And that didn’t happen” — Udo Bullmann, German MEP
Since then, the German Social Democrat appears to have lost the support of prominent European center-left leaders and the Conservatives have fielded a motley crew of candidates, including a former spokesperson for Silvio Berlusconi and the former presenter of an Irish reality TV show called “Celebrity Farm.” The Liberals, who were also part of the 2014 power-sharing deal, are forwarding Belgium’s Guy Verhofstadt and the Greens insist it’s a woman’s turn.
Since no political group holds a majority in the 751-seat assembly, winning the presidential contest requires a coalition — hence the power-sharing deal between the EPP and the S&D to take turns holding the presidency, with each group supporting the other’s candidate. The EPP has 215 seats and the S&D has 189. If that coalition breaks down, Schulz would need to find more than 180 votes from among the assembly’s seven other factions.
MEPs and Parliament officials say Schulz has been working stealthily for months to convince colleagues he should stay on in the role, arguing that it is important not to let all three EU presidencies be held by center-right politicians: Like Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk is a member of the EPP.
But many MEPs are weary of Schulz’s presidential approach to the job and his high profile in the media, saying what they really need is a speaker of the house to chair plenary sessions and organize parliamentary work.
“The Parliament can be politicized in a different way, in a more inclusive way,” said Alojz Peterle, former prime minister of Slovenia and one of the EPP’s candidates for the presidency.
Juncker, however, has thrown his weight behind Schulz, arguing that EU institutions should be led for the next two-and-a-half years “as they have been thus far.”
“Europe is facing difficult times and at such a moment it is good for Brussels institutions to work well together,” Juncker told the German magazine Der Spiegel, arguing for the continuance of what he called “a proven team” consisting not just of Schulz and Tusk, but Weber and Gianni Pittella as the floor leaders of the main center-right and center-left blocs.
The new jobs would be spread proportionately among all the Parliament's political groups
While members of the EPP say the 2014 deal must be respected, many in the S&D group argue that it was rendered obsolete when Poland’s Tusk got the presidency of the Council at the end of 2014 — a post they had expected to go to the center-left’s Enrico Letta, a former Italian prime minister whose candidacy was scuppered by his successor in Rome, Matteo Renzi .
“The assumption was that the president of the European Council had to be a Socialist,” said Udo Bullmann, a German MEP from the S&D group. “And that didn’t happen.”
Although national leaders like Renzi don’t get a direct vote in the Parliament presidency, their endorsement matters — and even some center-left leaders are unenthusiastic about Schulz.
One European diplomat said that despite “good personal relations” between Schulz and François Hollande, the French president is likely to back EPP candidate Alain Lamassoure, a longtime French MEP and former minister. A senior official in the European Parliament said Hollande had told him that Schulz had lost the support of both Paris and Rome.
Manfred Weber, the 44-year-old president of the EPP which is the largest political group in the assembly, is emerging as a key player in the contest.
“He told me: ‘Neither Renzi nor I support Schulz,” the official said.
However, Italian officials and MEPs said Renzi’s government still supports Schulz. “He is a Socialist and has helped Rome on austerity and migration,” said one Italian official, adding the caveat however that “Schulz has stepped on many toes” and made “many enemies” in Europe.
Angela Merkel hasn’t tipped her hand yet, but German MEPs wouldn’t necessarily back the conservative chancellor “if she pleads for Schulz’s cause,” said one official, adding: “She no longer has the absolute authority she had before.”
Manfred Weber, the 44-year-old president of the EPP which is the largest political group in the assembly, is emerging as a key player in the contest. Despite the S&D’s objections to having a triumvirate of EPP presidents in Brussels, his group intends to select a candidate by December 13. So far, the declared EPP candidates are Lamassoure, Peterle, the former Irish TV presenter Mairead McGuinness and Italy’s Antonio Tajani, a former commissioner and a spokesperson for Berlusconi.
However, Weber may also be coming under pressure to clear the path for Schulz. Der Spiegel reported that Juncker and Schulz took Weber to lunch at the Commission and urged him not to upset the current cohabitation between the EPP and S&D. Weber and Schulz get along “very well,” according to one Parliament official. He’s not the only conservative to like Schulz: Karl-Heinz Florenz, another German EPP member, praised Schulz for raising the assembly’s profile.
“I would be happy to see him at the top team of the EU,” Florenz told the German newspaper Bild. “He did his job well and he is a strong European.” Contacted by POLITICO, Florenz said he stood by the comment.
Jacopo Barigazzi contributed to this article.
Maïa de La Baume
Uma vergonha chamada Metro de Lisboa
JOÃO MIGUEL TAVARES 29/09/2016 – PÚBLICO
Desde que vim para Lisboa, há 26 anos, não me recordo de algum dia o serviço de metro ser tão mau como é actualmente.
Se alguém tivesse dúvidas de como este país roça por vezes os limites da indigência política, económica, sindical e mediática, o actual estado do Metro de Lisboa estava aí para o provar. Embora eu corra o risco de desiludir todos aqueles que estão convencidos de que sou um beto de Cascais com motorista e caddie, a verdade é que passo a vida a andar de metro. E desde que vim para Lisboa, há 26 anos, não me recordo de algum dia o serviço de metro ser tão mau como é actualmente.
Nós já conhecíamos as escadas rolantes que não rolam. Experimentámos carruagens a abarrotar. Vimos os comboios da Linha Verde diminuírem de quatro para três composições ao mesmo tempo que o turismo explodia em Lisboa. Deparámo-nos com obras na estação do Areeiro dignas de Santa Engrácia. Aguentámos intermináveis problemas técnicos na Linha Azul e envelhecemos a escutar avisos de que “o tempo de espera pode ser superior ao normal”. Penámos, e muito, com resmas de greves consecutivas, que nunca foram descontadas nos passes mensais. E a única coisa que podemos celebrar é o facto de essas greves terem diminuído imenso no último ano, apesar da qualidade do serviço ser cada vez pior. Fazer acordos com o PCP traz certas vantagens.
Há duas semanas, contudo, aconteceu coisa nunca vista: o esgotamento de stock dos cartões Viva Viagem. “Viva Viagem” é apenas um nome fino para um simples bilhete – o único bilhete que permite entrar e viajar no metro, e que pode ser comprado nas máquinas automáticas. Ou melhor: podia. Agora voltámos ao tempo do trabalho braçal. As máquinas do metro ostentam um autocolante a dizer que não emitem cartões e para distribuir os poucos que ainda há foi preciso reabrir vários pontos de atendimento das estações, onde zelosos funcionários os entregam à mão. Aos utentes resta acertar no átrio onde os funcionários se encontram (não há funcionários para todos) e ir para a fila. Quanto aos turistas, podem sempre apreciar o nosso modo de vida terceiro-mundista, tirando selfies com os indígenas.
A minha questão é esta: por que raio não há bilhetes? Os (poucos) jornais que já falaram sobre o assunto nunca chegaram a explicar. O Metro apenas refere “falhas na entrega” por parte da Otlis, empresa que é um “agrupamento complementar” das várias empresas de transporte a actuar na Grande Lisboa, e que no caso do metro detém o monopólio dos seus bilhetes – ah, como é bom estar nas mãos de um só fornecedor. Aparentemente, ninguém na comunicação social foi ainda bater à porta da Otlis – ou sequer explicou o que a Otlis é –, e 15 dias depois a situação não só continua por resolver, como não há prazo definido para a sua resolução. Os sindicatos do Metro, antigamente tão lestos a avançarem para greve, mostram-se agora disponíveis para colaborar num “plano de contingência”, e as televisões, sempre tão lestas a fazer directos à porta de estações fechadas com bilhetes, parecem impressionar-se pouco com estações abertas sem bilhetes.
Felizmente, a página de austeridade foi virada. Não tivesse sido, e o estado miserável em que a empresa se encontra, com comboios impedidos de circular por falta de peças, dever-se-ia a um ministério das Finanças obcecado com o défice, por se recusar a abrir a bolsa para as despesas mais elementares. Como a austeridade acabou, nada disto se passa. O povo é sereno. E, mais importante do que tudo, o metro é nosso. Antes uma empresa pública parada do que uma privada a funcionar.
Don’t look now, Venice tourists – the locals are sick of you
This week, Venetians have taken to the water to protest agaiinst the cruise ships that swamp their city. It’s just the latest fightback against the endless waves of visitors
Tuesday 27 September 2016 16.34 BST
Imagine a packed Emirates Stadium emptying its stands on a town the size of Margate every day and you begin to get a sense of how swamped sinking Venice has become. Now tensions that have simmered for decades are boiling over as the city’s vanishing population of 55,000 fight back against the tourist tide.
On Sunday, members of the Comitato NO Grandi Navi, a group campaigning against the giant cruise ships that daily disgorge visitors into the fragile lagoon, took to dinghies to get in the way. Or at least to make a noise while some of the estimated 30,000 peak-season daily cruise visitors peered down at them from the upper decks.
More than 60,000 people descend on Venice each day, with less than half staying the night. “At least the tourists in the hotels are easier to manage, and bring richness to the city,” says Marco Caberlotto, a member of Generation 90, a campaign group established this summer. “Most people just want to take a selfie in St Mark’s Square before they go back to their ships.”
Caberlotto, 25, represents a generation of Venetians being priced and crowded out of their city by tourists who come in search of history and bad pizza. They have had enough. The city’s population is now shrinking by about 1,000 people a year as property prices and rents soar. Landlords are increasingly renting space via Airbnb.
For those who remain – Caberlotto, a masters student, lives in a small apartment owned by his parents – daily life can be an assault course of choked streets and overloaded vaporetti. Last month, more than 500 members of Generation 90 staged a march. They held up shopping trolleys and push chairs and chanted in Venetian dialect: “Watch your legs, I’m coming through with a trolley.”
A demonstration against cruise liners being allowed into the city. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
The longer-term threats are graver still. In July, Unesco’s world heritage site committee voted to postpone a decision on whether to put Venice on its list of endangered sites. The decision followed a damning 2015 report into the effects of overcrowding, construction and pollution on Venice’s teetering foundations and ecology.
Campaigners are calling for visitor caps, a cruise ship cordon and measures to tackle the housing crisis. Generation 90 want at the very least a version of an Airbnb tax introduced in Florence this year (€2.50 per person per night). But the city government, which could not respond in time for publication, has been beset by accusations of inaction and the fallout of a 2014 corruption scandal related to the building of flood defences.
As for the cruise companies? Nobody at P&O, Cunard, Royal Caribbean or Thomson could explain how they plan to respond to the problem of overcrowding when contacted by the Guardian. Cruise Lines International Association, the industry body, says it is urging the Venetian authorities to find a solution, insisting that it already self-imposes a ban on the biggest ships. It also points out the economic benefits of cruising to the region.
“The problem is that these tourists think this is a kind of Disneyland,” Caberlotto says in a break from studying at a library on the Zaterre promenade, where many of the cruise ships dock. “They should remember that this is a living city.”
A Manhattan flutuante
ANTÓNIO SÉRGIO ROSA DE CARVALHO 03/03/2016 – PÚBLICO
Vamos ter garantida, mesmo em frente a Alfama, a dominadora e esmagadora omnipresença de uma verdadeira Manhattan.
Há alguns anos atrás, a possível construção da Manhattan de Cacilhas, preocupava aqueles que se indignavam com a possibilidade de ver crescer na Margem Sul, mesmo em frente ao Centro Histórico, uma selva de torres que iriam dominar e esmagar o horizonte de Lisboa.
No entanto, com o completar em breve do Terminal de Cruzeiros vamos ter garantida, mesmo em frente a Alfama, a dominadora e esmagadora omnipresença de uma verdadeira Manhattan, constituída por colossos flutuantes em volume e altura, com uma capacidade gigantesca e renovada de despejar avalanches de turistas, confirmadoras da transformação de Lisboa numa Monocultura e da sua redução a uma Monofuncionalidade.
Veneza tornou-se no exemplo extremo de como uma Turistificação maciça pode destruir toda a autenticidade e identidade de uma cidade.
Assim, a população residente de Veneza foi reduzida a 59.000 habitantes. No entanto, recebe num dia de Verão 130.000 turistas. Veneza recebe anualmente entre 14 a 15 milhões de habitantes.
Todo o edificado do centro histórico foi transformado em residência secundária de aposentados milionários ou está ao serviço da residência turística, seja em hotéis ou residência temporárias.
É quase impossível de encontrar uma loja de comércio local.
Veneza luta há anos contra os navios de cruzeiros de alta tonelagem, e, depois de uma breve vitória em Novembro de 2014, onde parecia que os mesmos iriam ser banidos do Centro, com o desenvolvimento de um porto alternativo, a nomeação de um novo presidente da Câmara anulou esta aparente vitória.
Enquanto Fernando Medina afirma que o centro histórico está a ser recuperado e Manuel Salgado se declara impotente, depois de ter entregue a cidade aos especuladores, todos os dias recebemos notícias confirmadoras de que o mesmo processo se está a desenrolar em Lisboa.
A sede do Diário de Notícias, a da antiga Rádio Renascença, o edifício do Brás e Brás, o Palácio Costa Cabral, etc., etc., numa interminável lista crescente.
Vem agora a CML declarar oficialmente a intenção de implementar o seu programa de Lojas com História acrescentando ao seu conselho consultivo, um grupo de trabalho a fim de analisar, com rigor, caso a caso, os processos.
Ora atenção a esta formulação: O grupo de trabalho será chamado a emitir um “parecer prévio não vinculativo” quando estiverem previstas “operações urbanísticas que tenham impacto directo sobre as lojas distinguidas”. Um parecer, portanto, Não Vinculativo.
Isto mereceu comentários e moções na Assembleia Municipal, assim como as perguntas das Juntas de Freguesia sobre o efeito da Turistificação e Gentrificação para as populações locais, e as perguntas do Público ao Vereador Manuel Salgado sobre o prometido relatório sobre os efeitos dos excessos de Turismo sobre a cidade, ficaram sem resposta.
Aguarda-se e espera-se agora do Conselho Consultivo e do Grupo de Trabalho do programa Lojas com História (ou é isto a mesma coisa?) um rigor e uma exigência confrontadora, uma consciência portanto, do perigo de neutralização por integração que a sua missão implica.
Estes grupos de notáveis e conhecedores têm portanto uma grande responsabilidade.
Especialmente, na tradição de um País que não ousa exigir ou confrontar, habituado a uma dependência sistemática, e aqui, também “flutuante”.
A frase que ficou nestes dias foi a proferida em síntese por António Coimbra de Matos: “Somos um País de Medrosos”.
Historiador de Arquitectura
MH17: Buk missile finding sets Russia and west at loggerheads
Acrimonious legal standoff likely after inquiry says Buk brought from Russia hit
Malaysia Airlines flight, killing 298 people
Luke Harding and Alec Luhn in Moscow
Wednesday 28 September 2016
Moscow faces the prospect of an acrimonious legal standoff with the west after an international investigation concluded that a Buk missile brought across the border from Russia had shot down flight MH17.
The Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT) said the missile had been fired from a village under the control of pro-Russia rebels. At a press conference in the Dutch town of Nieuwegein, its investigators said there was “irrefutable evidence” that a Buk 9M38 missile downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, killing all 298 people on board.
Russia immediately dismissed the findings, which could lead to attempts to extradite Russian citizens to stand trial. Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press spokesman, said the “whole story is unfortunately surrounded by a huge amount of speculation and unqualified, unprofessional information.”
The investigators, who include representatives from Australia, Malaysia, Ukraine, and Belgium, said their conclusions were based on a wealth of supporting evidence, including forensic examinations, witness statements, satellite images, radar data and intercepted telephone calls.
The investigation found:
The missile was fired from an arable field 6km south of the town of Snizhne, an area was under the control of pro-Russia fighters.
The Buk came from Russian territory into eastern Ukraine and was later transported on a white Volvo truck. Witnesses, photographs and video show it escorted by several other vehicles and by “armed men in uniform”.
Around 100 people have been identified who can be linked to the downing of MH17 or the transport of the Buk.
Witnesses at the launch site near the village of Pervomaiskyi reported hearing “a very loud noise” and “a high whistling sound”. They also saw a plume of smoke.
Investigators are now examining who gave the order to smuggle the Buk system into Ukraine, and who gave the order to shoot down MH17.
Wilbert Paulissen, the head of the Dutch national detective force, told the press conference: “MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 series missile, launched from a Buk-Telar. This Buk-Telar was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation, and after launch was subsequently returned to Russian Federation territory.”
Satellite data from the US and the European Space Agency identified the launch site, along with testimony from numerous witnesses, he said.
Paulissen said the JIT had examined and ultimately rejected other scenarios. They included the possibility that there was a terrorist attack on board the flight, or that it was shot down by a military aircraft. Radar data from Russia and Ukraine proved there were no other planes in the vicinity.
The investigators said they had demonstrated that a ground-based air defence system downed the Boeing 777. They compared pieces of the Buk retrieved from the crash site with various types of missile from the 9M38 series. They also exploded a missile in a controlled test in Finland.
Forensic examinations gave further clues. Fragments of the Buk missile were found in the bodies of MH17’s pilot and crew during autopsies. There were traces of cockpit glass, showing the fragments pierced the plane “from the outside”. A twisted piece of metal from the missile shot “with great force” was recovered from the cockpit window.
The JIT said it had identified a large part of the route taken by the Buk after it arrived from Russia and was deployed inside rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
The evidence includes damning intercepted telephone calls between rebel leaders. There are also photos, analysed and authenticated, plus a previously unknown video obtained from a witness. Several anonymous witnesses had come forward following an appeal for information on the JIT’s website, Paulissen said.
A video reconstruction shown at the press conference revealed the Buk’s journey. It was seen leaving rebel-held Donetsk on a low-loader, heading east. After arriving in Snizhne on the afternoon of 17 July, the Buk was offloaded and drove to a field south of town. Early the next day it was taken back across the Russian border via the rebel-held city of Luhansk.
Wednesday’s press conference raises the prospect of a long and bitter standoff with the Kremlin, which vehemently denies all involvement.
“The conclusions by the working group on the crash of the Malaysian Boeing are extremely politicised. I don’t believe any of their conclusions,” Leonid Slutsky, the newly appointed head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s parliament, told the RBC newspaper.
Eduard Basurin, a representative of the Russia-backed separatist forces in Donetsk, said the rebels “couldn’t have shot down the Boeing” because they did not have Buk anti-aircraft missiles.
Basurin also said no one had seen the US satellite imagery that allegedly recorded the missile launch. He accused Ukraine of not presenting information on “what aircraft were in the air at the time”, even though the Russian military has backtracked on its claims that a Ukrainian jet could have shot down MH17.
The JIT has so far not identified the 100 suspects it now has under investigation. Nor did it say which country they were from, but they are widely believed to be serving Russian soldiers and officers.
It seems highly unlikely Moscow would allow suspects to be extradited from Russia to stand trial. It is also unclear where a possible trial would take place, though the international criminal court in The Hague is the obvious choice. Two-thirds of the victims were Dutch. The others came from nine countries and included ten Britons.
Will Mayne, whose 20-year-old brother Richard was killed on board MH17, said he and other relatives were satisfied with the investigation. “They went into a lot of depth. The Buk came from Russia and went back after a day. This highlights once again how Russia has been lying and manipulating.”
Mayne said he was cautiously optimistic that the suspects would eventually be extradited from Russia. “It’s going to be a struggle, but you always have to be hopeful,” he said.
Investigators were unable to say how long their inquiry would now take, adding on Wednesday that it would be a “long haul”. “I told the grieving relatives that I can’t make any promises,” the chief Dutch prosecutor Fred Westebeke said. “The work is going on with all countries, and our best people,” he said.
The JIT’s interim report is a vindication for the British-led online investigation team Bellingcat. It correctly identified the field from which the missile was fired. On the basis of social media posts it traced the Buk to Russia’s 53rd anti-aircraft unit, based in the city of Kursk. As a result Bellingcat has come under withering attack from Russian state media.
Donald Trump attacks 'biased' Lester Holt and accuses Google of conspiracy
The Republican nominee lashes out in the wake of his poor debate showing and hints at more attacks on the Clinton marriage
Ben Jacobs in Washington DC
Thursday 29 September 2016 04.58 BST
Donald Trump has gone on the offensive after his underwhelming debate performance by criticizing debate moderator Lester Holt as biased and accusing Google of a conspiracy to rig search results in favor of Hillary Clinton.
He also had surrogates attack his Democrat rival for her husband’s infidelities while suggesting she wants to “strip [the United States] of its status as a sovereign nation”.
The Republican nominee launched the latest salvo of attacks in an interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly where he claimed Holt “was much, much tougher on me than he was on Hillary”. Trump said that while initially “I said good things right after the show” he had changed his mind about Holt’s performance “after seeing the way he badgered and even the questions I got”.
In particular, Trump expressed his discontent over the fact that Holt asked him “the birther question” in Monday’s debate. The Republican nominee had long falsely claimed that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, an accusation widely considered to be a racist dogwhistle. Although Trump only recently acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States in an event at a Washington hotel, he falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for the conspiracy theory’s origin. He since said that he only acknowledged Obama’s actual birthplace in order to “get on with the campaign”.
Trump also introduced a new conspiracy theory to the campaign on Wednesday night when he accused Google of somehow colluding with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “Google search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton,” the Republican told a cheering crowd of supporters in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Neither Google nor the Trump campaign responded to requests for comment on this accusation, which seems to stem from a report in Sputnik News, a Russian state propaganda outlet. The reference to Google did not appear to be ad libbed as it was in Trump’s prepared remarks.
Also, at the rally, Trump unveiled a new accusation towards Clinton, whom he has repeatedly attacked as “a globalist”, by saying she was a “vessel for special interests ... who want to strip [the United States] of its status as a sovereign nation”. Although the former secretary of state has long favored immigration reform as well as number of free trade agreements, there is no evidence that she has ever supported stripping the United States of its sovereignty.
However, Clinton is facing scrutiny over her complicated marital history. After Trump publicly congratulated himself for not bringing up former President Bill Clinton’s past infidelities in Monday’s debate, his campaign has cited them in talking points in an attempt to rebut past crude statements about a beauty queen.
The statements about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, which included calling her “Miss Piggy” for her weight and “Miss Housekeeping” in reference to her Hispanic heritage, were brought up by Hillary Clinton in Monday’s debate. Trump owned part of the Miss Universe pageant at the time.
In talking points distributed to Trump surrogates on the topic, they were told to change the topic to Monica Lewinsky and included the line “Mr Trump has never treated women the way Hillary Clinton and her husband did when they actively worked to destroy Bill Clinton’s accusers.” In interviews on Wednesday, Trump surrogates repeatedly brought the subject up. Trump himself tried to cast himself as an ally of Machado in an interview with O’Reilly. He repeatedly said “I saved her job” and added in seeming regret: “I helped somebody and this is what you get for helping somebody.”
Clinton spent the day campaigning with former rival Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. The two tried to appeal to millennial voters by repeatedly touting Clinton’s proposal to reduce the cost of college tuition. Clinton is facing declining enthusiasm among millennial voters who were one of the key groups in the winning coalition forged by Obama in his election victories. According to a recent poll conducted by ABC/Washington Post only 49% of voters under the age of 40 said they were likely to vote in November. A similar poll in 2012 put that number at 71%. The Democratic nominee also held two fundraisers on Wednesday, one of which featured an appearance from Massachusetts senator and progressive, Elizabeth Warren.
The leading third party alternative to Clinton and Trump suffered his own embarrassment on Wednesday. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for the White House, was unable to name a single foreign leader he admired in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. He referred to his inability to come up with a single name as “another Aleppo moment.” This was a reference to a televised interview several weeks ago when the former two-term governor of New Mexico came up empty when asked “what is Aleppo?” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Johnson seemed unaware of the Syrian city which has been long under siege in the midst of that country’s civil war and the site of numerous atrocities by the Assad regime and its allies.
The candidates will return to the campaign trail on Thursday by meeting voters in states that they are long familiar with from the primaries. Clinton is holding an event in Iowa while Trump returns to the trail in New Hampshire.
How the west might soon be lost
Under a President Trump, democracy would lose credibility as a model for a civilised political life
YESTERDAY by: Martin Wolf
Sometimes history jumps. Think of the first world war, the Bolshevik revolution, the Great Depression, the election of Adolf Hitler, the second world war, the beginning of the cold war, the collapse of the European empires, Deng Xiaoping’s “reform and opening up” of China, the demise of the Soviet Union, and the financial crisis of 2007-09 and subsequent “great recession”.
We may be on the brink of an event as transformative as many of these: the election of Donald Trump as US president. This would mark the end of a US-led west as the central force in global affairs. The result would not be a new order. It would be perilous disorder.
The fact that Mr Trump can be a credible contender for the presidency is astounding. In business, he is a serial defaulter and litigator turned reality TV star. He is a peddler of falsehoods and conspiracy theories. He utters racist calumnies. He attacks the independence of the judiciary. He refuses to reveal his taxes. He has no experience of political office, and incoherent policies. He glories in ignorance. He even hints at a federal default. He undermines confidence in the US-created trade order, by threatening to tear up past agreements. He undermines confidence in US democracy by claiming the election will be rigged. He supports torture and the deliberate killing of the families of alleged terrorists. He admires the former KGB agent who runs Russia.
Evidently, a huge number of US voters have lost confidence in the country’s political and economic systems. This is so to an extent not seen even in the 1930s, when voters turned towards an established politician. Yet, for all its challenges, the US is not in such terrible shape. It is the richest large country in the history of the world. Growth is slow, but unemployment is low. If voters were to choose Mr Trump — despite his failings, displayed again in the first presidential debate — this would tell us grim things about the health of the US.
It is the world’s leading power, so this is not just a domestic US concern. What might a Trump presidency mean? Forecasting the policies of someone so unpredictable is impossible. But a few things seem at least reasonably clear.
The US and its allies remain immensely powerful. But their economic dominance is in slow decline. According to the International Monetary Fund, the share of the high-income countries (essentially, the US and its chief allies) will fall from 64 per cent of global output (measured at purchasing power) in 1990 to 39 per cent in 2020, while the US share will fall from 22 per cent to 15 per cent over this period.
While the US military might is still huge, two caveats must be made. One is that winning a conventional war is quite a different matter from achieving one’s aims on the ground, as the Vietnam and Iraq wars showed. Furthermore, China’s rapidly rising defence spending could create serious military difficulties for the US in the Asia-Pacific region.
It follows that the ability of the US to shape the world to its liking will rest increasingly on its influence over the global economic and political systems. Indeed, this is not new. It has been a feature of US hegemony since the 1940s. But this is even more important today. The alliances the US creates, the institutions it supports and the prestige it possesses are truly invaluable assets. All such strategic assets would be in grave peril if Mr Trump were to be president.
The biggest contrast between the US and China is that the former has so many powerful allies. Even Vladimir Putin is not a reliable ally for China. America’s allies support the US largely because they trust it. That trust is based on its perceived commitment to predictable, values-based behaviour. Its alliances have not been problem-free, far from it. But they have worked. Mr Trump’s cherished unpredictability and transactional approach to partnerships would damage the alliances irreparably.
A vital feature of the US-led global order has been the role of multilateral institutions, such as the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. In binding itself by the rules of an open economic system, the US has encouraged others to do the same. The result has been extraordinary growth in prosperity: between 1950 and 2015, average global real output per head rose sixfold. Mr Trump does not understand this system. The results of repudiation could be calamitous for all.
Trump fails to clear low bar in the US presidential debate
A split-screen America will have seen different realities in the clash between him and Clinton
The Iraq war has damaged trust in US wisdom and competence. But the global financial crisis has been even more destructive. Many have long suspected US motives. But they thought it knew how to manage a capitalist system. The crisis devastated that confidence.
After all this damage, election of a man as unqualified as Mr Trump would call into question something even more fundamental: belief in the capacity of the US to choose reasonably well-informed and competent leaders. Under a President Trump, the democratic system would lose much of its credibility as a model for the organisation of a civilised political life. Mr Putin and other actual or would-be despots would cheer. Their belief that talk of western values is just hypocrisy would be vindicated. But those who see the US as a bastion of democracy would despair.
If Mr Trump were to win, it would be a regime change for the world. It would, for example, end efforts to manage the threat of climate change, possibly forever. But even his candidacy suggests that the US role in the global order risks undergoing a transformation. That role depended not only on American economic and military prowess, but also on the values it represented. For all its mistakes, the ideal of a law-governed democratic republic remained visible. Hillary Clinton is an imperfect candidate. Mr Trump is something else altogether. Far from making America great, his presidency might unravel the world.