domingo, 30 de abril de 2017

Trump administration lawyers to discuss Paris climate deal

Trump administration lawyers to discuss Paris climate deal

Critics of the accord have been mounting a behind-the-scenes effort to convince him that sticking with it would pose legal hurdles.

By           ANDREW RESTUCCIA     4/30/17, 7:42 PM CET Updated 4/30/17, 7:56 PM CET

Trump administration lawyers plan to meet Monday to discuss the legal implications of remaining in the Paris climate change agreement, two people familiar with the meeting told POLITICO.

Critics of the 2015 accord have quietly been mounting a behind-the-scenes effort to convince President Donald Trump that sticking with the deal would pose legal hurdles.

The meeting is expected to include lawyers from the White House, National Security Council, State Department and Justice Department, the sources said, though they said the list of attendees and timing could still change.

A Thursday meeting of Trump administration officials about the Paris agreement focused largely on legal issues. Critics of the deal, led by chief strategist Steve Bannon and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, have pushed several legal arguments, including that the Paris deal restricts countries from weakening their domestic emissions-reduction targets and that any decision to remain could be used in court to counter the administration’s bid to undo former President Barack Obama’s climate regulations for power plants.

The Monday meeting was organized after Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a proponent of remaining in Paris, called for a deeper assessment of those legal questions after the issue bubbled to the forefront on Thursday, sources said. Backers of the accord were surprised when the White House counsel’s office signaled during the Thursday meeting that it agreed with Pruitt’s legal concerns.

Current and former State Department officials strongly disagree with Pruitt’s contentions about the legal issues.

The debate over Paris has divided Trump’s team in recent months. While Bannon and Pruitt are mounting a campaign to withdraw, other advisers like Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster are said to support staying. Advisers who back remaining have taken a cynical view of Pruitt’s offensive, privately arguing that he’s trying to cloud the debate by raising legal concerns they see as invalid.

But conservatives inside and outside the administration remain shocked that the White House is even considering staying, noting that Trump promised during the campaign to “cancel” the deal.

Trump, for his part, said in a recent interview that he would make a final decision in a couple weeks. Though he hasn’t tipped his hand, he said in the interview that the U.S. is not getting a fair shake, arguing that other polluting nations aren’t forking over enough money to help countries cope with climate change.

A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Andrew Restuccia

The party city grows up: how Berlin's clubbers built their own urban village

The party city grows up: how Berlin's clubbers built their own urban village

What if a city allowed a huge regeneration project to be led, not by the wealthiest property developer, but by the club owners who put on the best parties in town? With the opening of Holzmarkt, Berlin is about to find out

Philip Oltermann
Philip Oltermann in Berlin
Sunday 30 April 2017 12.00 BST Last modified on Sunday 30 April 2017 22.00 BST

For the first decade of the 21st century, the industrial wasteland between Berlin’s Ostbahnhof station and the river Spree was earmarked for a huge urban regeneration project – one that would show that the German capital could keep up with London and New York. Where flowing water had once marked the divide between communist and capitalist spheres of influence were to be a phalanx of high-rise blocks made of shiny glass, some of them 80 metres tall, containing luxury apartments, hotels and offices.

But tomorrow, that same 12,000m2 patch of land will open with an altogether different look: an urban village made of recycled windows, secondhand bricks and scrap wood, containing among other things a studio for circus acrobats, a children’s theatre, a cake shop and a nursery where parents can drop off their children while they go clubbing next door. There’s even a landing stage for beavers.

The Holzmarkt development is the result of an unprecedented experiment in a major world capital: what if a city allowed a new quarter to be built not by the highest bidding property developers or the urban planners with the highest accolades, but the nightclub owners who put on the best parties in town?

Juval Dieziger, 42, and Christoph Klenzendorf, 43, used to run Bar25, an institution which started as a silver ‘68 Nagetusch trailer serving up whisky and techno and grew into a nightclub in the style of a Western saloon underneath the old Jannowitzbrücke station.

Along with nearby Berghain, Bar25 was one of the legendary venues that fostered post-millennial Berlin’s status as a party capital. With the site due to be regenerated by holding company SpreeUrban, Bar25 closed its doors with a five-day party in 2010.

A a cooperative founded by Bar25 regulars leases the land for the Holzmarkt development. Photograph: Christian Jungeblodt for the Guardian
But when talks between SpreeUrban and investors collapsed two years later and the plot of land was put out for tender, Dieziger and Klenzendorf spotted an opportunity to reclaim their old stomping ground.

A Swiss pension fund called Abendrot, which had been born out of the anti-nuclear movement, beat off competition from hedge funds and bought the site for over €10m (£8.5m), then leasing it back to a cooperative founded by Bar25 regulars.

Dieziger and his co-conspirators had been part of the protest movement against the original plans on the sunny northern side of the river, which culminated in locals blocking a boat tour for investors with an armada of rubber dinghies. But he felt simply being against gentrification wasn’t enough.

“We were different. We had attitude,” he said, walking across the building site a few days before its grand opening. “If your position is that you are always against everything that is changing in this city, then you’ll eventually get overrun and left behind. You have to learn to use the system to your advantage”.

The aim was create a self-sustaining microcosm: if one of the acrobats injures her back while training in the studio, she can drop off her children at the nursery and visit a chiropractor one floor up. In return, her troupe are required to host all their premiers at the events venue or the KaterHolzig nightclub on the site, thus raising cash that feeds back into the collective system.

The canteen, which serves a lunch menu for €6 to the approximately 300 people working on the site during the day, doubles up as an upmarket restaurant in the evening, serving expensive wines and a seven-course menu conceived by a Noma-trained chef.

“We wanted to disable the mechanisms of the race-to-the-bottom economy and create as many synergies as possible,” said Dieziger. “We didn’t want to build the kind of market economy where those offering the cheapest products for the cheapest conditions win out. If one of the businesses here struggles, then the others may have to help out.”

Not all of the team’s original vision has survived four years of planning applications. Bread is baked on-site, though a plan to grow the restaurant’s vegetables in allotments by the river Spree fell foul of hygiene regulations. A 24-hour-nursery for parents who worked night shifts turned out to be too complicated to organise; a proposal for 12-floor high-rise buildings made entirely out of wood sent health-and-safety officers into fits.

“It was a learning curve for us: we had to learn to obey the rules we used to ignore”, said Dieziger after over 80 visits to the Berlin building authorities. “If I had known eight years ago how much work this would require, I wouldn’t have done it.”

The project’s ambition, to show that a city can grow up without losing its soul, also required a number of self-inflicted commercial restraints: neither the cooperative nor the Abendrot foundation are contractually allowed to sell the property for their own profit. According to Dieziger, the value of properties in the area has risen ten-fold in the four years since the first cut of the spade.

In the Bar25 days most of the staff lived in self-made shacks and caravans next to the club, but in its reincarnation the site doesn’t contain any permanent housing. Eleven refugees are currently sheltered on the site, and there are plans for temporary student accommodation and a guest house, but none of the people behind the project live on the site.

“If we had decided to live here as well, then everyone would have wanted to live here”, said Dieziger. “So we had to say no. Owning a home can make people very selfish.”

In contrast to Berghain, housed in an austere former power plant, Bar25 used to pride itself on its openness. Door policy was as strict and unfathomable as anywhere in Berlin clubland, but parties at Dieziger and Klenzendorf’s venue, which opened only during the summer months, took place as much outside as indoors. “Less testosterone and more love,” was the owners’ motto.

In a village with four entrances and no gates, that attitude could pose a potential problem. The nearby RAW complex – another jumble of derelict buildings turned creative hub and party mile – has in recent years begun to draw stag-dos and tourists, who in turn have attracted drug dealers and pickpockets.

Holzmarkt’s management are not planning advertise or market the development in a conventional way – word of mouth, they hope, will act as a natural filter for the kind of people their experiment attracts. The village’s layout may also act as a natural barrier to it being overrun: without a central thoroughfare and only a meandering cycling path along the river, it’s the kind of place you can amble around but not race through.

The challenge in the first few months will be whether Holzmarkt can recreate the Bar25 experience without bringing in a bouncer or some sort of village police. If their experiment succeeds, they could achieve something that Berlin under the old SpreeUrban plans would have never even imagined: not to catch up with London and New York, but to build a new model for other major cities to follow.

“Everyone is welcome, but of course we hope that people show some respect,” said Dieziger. Over the years, even Berlin’s veteran hedonists have learned to appreciate that excess is defined by limits. The people living in the apartments across the river from their club had his personal mobile number, he said. That way they didn’t have to call the police when th

France on extra high alert for May Day as protesters march against Le Pen

France on extra high alert for May Day as protesters march against Le Pen

Protesters to use 1 May marches to oppose far-right presidential candidate as Front National holds annual gathering

Kim Willsher in Paris
Sunday 30 April 2017 13.55 BST Last modified on Sunday 30 April 2017 22.00 BST

France will be on extra high alert on Monday as workers and protesters use the traditional 1 May marches to stage a show of force against the far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Up to 250 events have been planned across France on a day of symbolic importance in the Front National calendar when it holds its annual gathering to honour the party’s heroine, Joan of Arc.

In Paris, union leaders and political militants have urged a massive turnout to march between three of the capital’s most symbolic squares: from Place de la République to Place de la Nation via Bastille, in opposition to the FN and Le Pen.

The challenge for the city’s forces of law and order will be keeping the two sides apart in an already extremely volatile atmosphere and when the country is still under a state of emergency put in place after the November 2015 terrorist attack.

Police have said their biggest concern was of a potential lone act similar to that on the Champs Elysées 10 days ago when a man armed with an automatic rifle shot dead a police officer, Xavier Jugelé, and injured two of his colleagues.

In Paris, more than 9,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers will be on duty and have been authorised to stop and search vehicles and pedestrians and to conduct identity checks in four central arrondissements.

The first event will be the massing of FN supporters at 7.30am at the Palais Royal in the central 1st arrondissement, where the party founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, will lay a wreath at the statue of Joan of Arc on her horse. Supporters will then march along rue de Rivoli ending at Pyramides where Jean-Marie Le Pen will give a speech. The crowd is expected to disperse at about 1pm.

The communist newspaper L’Humanité wrote that as in 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen was in the second round of the presidential vote, “workers’ day will have a particular importance this Monday. Almost all unions have called for demonstrations not just to combat the FN but also to reclaim social progress during these marches.” It added: “The unions are unanimously against the extreme right.”

France’s main unions were unable to agree on a plan for the “day of mobilisation” and will hold separate events. Four other unions are holding a joint march leaving Place de la République at 2.30pm, at which up to 40,000 are expected to be kept in order by 2,000 police.

“The demonstration shouldn’t pose any particular problem. We’re just a little worried about radical movements joining in the workers’ celebration to upset events,” a police spokesperson told Le Figaro.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of the hard-left France Insoumise (Unbowed France) movement, who was defeated in the first round presidential vote last Sunday, will be present at the afternoon march.

Other demonstrations are planned for Toulouse, Nice, Marseille, Lille, Poitiers and other cities.

On Monday evening, the second round favourite, Emmanuel Macron, will hold a rally at Paris Event Centre in La Villette, in the eastern part of the capital. Le Pen is holding a rally starting at midday at the Exhibitions Park at Villepinte, north-east of Paris.

On Thursday, several hundred masked and black-clad anti capitalist and anti-FN demonstrators – reportedly mostly students – threw stones at police who used teargas to break up their protest. Protesters shouted: “Not Marine nor Macron, not homeland nor bosses” – a repudiation of Le Pen’s nationalism and Macron’s image as a friend to bosses and big business.

Congress agrees $1 trillion budget deal – but no money for border wall

Congress agrees $1 trillion budget deal – but no money for border wall

Negotiators reach agreement on spending package to keep the US federal government funded until September, according to aides

Ben Jacobs and agencies
Monday 1 May 2017 05.08 BST First published on Monday 1 May 2017 03.37 BST

Negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a spending package to keep the US federal government funded until the end of September, according to congressional aides.

The House of Representatives and Senate must approve the deal before the end of Friday and send it to the president, Donald Trump, for his signature to avoid the first government shutdown since 2013.

Congress is expected to vote early this week on the agreement that is likely to include increases for defense spending and border security.

No money will be allocated for Trump’s pet project of a border wall with Mexico after he bowed to Democratic resistance to the plan. However, the deal will allocate an additional $1.5bn for border security, which one congressional aide described as “the most robust border security increase in roughly a decade”, and there was no language in the bill preventing Mexico from paying for the wall if it so desired.

A senior congressional aide told the Guardian that the deal increased defense spending by $12.5bn, with the possibility of $2.5bn more contingent on the White House presenting an anti-Isis plan to Congress. Trump had requested $30bn in increased defense spending.

Democrats were pushing to protect funding for women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood and sought additional Medicaid money to help the poor in Puerto Rico get healthcare. Both of those goals were achieved.

According to a senior congressional aide, the deal also protects other important Democratic priorities. The EPA’s budget is at 99% of current levels and includes increased infrastructure spending as well.

It also achieves a bipartisan goal in achieving permanent funding to cover health care and retirement benefit for coal miners at risk of losing those benefits.

The House is likely to vote first, probably early in the week and send the measure to the Senate for approval before Friday’s midnight deadline when existing funds expire.

Republicans who control Congress and opposition Democrats have been in intensive negotiations for weeks over the legislation that would provide around $1 trillion in Washington money for an array of federal programs, from airport and border security operations to soldiers’ pay, medical research, foreign aid and domestic education.

The Republican-led Congress averted a government shutdown last Friday by voting for a stop-gap spending bill that gave lawmakers another week to work out federal spending over the final five months of the fiscal year.

Congress was tied up for months trying to work out $1 trillion in spending priorities for the current fiscal year. Lawmakers were supposed to have taken care of the fiscal 2017 appropriations bills by last October.

Democrats backed Friday’s stop-gap bill a day after House Republican leaders again delayed a vote on major healthcare legislation sought by Trump and opposed by Democrats. The legislation would dismantle the 2010 Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, but Republican moderates balked at provisions added to entice hard-line conservatives.

The Trump administration also agreed to continue funding for a major component of Obamacare despite Republican vows to end the program.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.

Renzi wins back control of his party

Renzi wins back control of his party
But the former Italian PM’s road to winning the country is long.

By           GIADA ZAMPANO           4/30/17, 10:57 PM CET

ROME — Matteo Renzi easily regained the leadership of his Democratic Party (PD) in primaries Sunday, but Italy’s former prime minister faces a much harder task in his bid to return to power.

After a lackluster campaign, Renzi won the race to head the party with a projected 75.5 percent of the votes, leaving behind his weak rivals, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, with 19.1 percent, and Puglia governor Michele Emiliano, with only 8.4 percent, with ten percent of the votes counted on Sunday night.

“This is an extraordinary responsibility. Thanks from the heart to this community of men and women who believe in Italy,” Renzi wrote in a hand-written comment posted on his Instagram profile.

The return of Renzi to the helm of the ruling center-left party marks the first step in his plan to win back the premiership in elections due by early 2018, confirming that he’s still the most popular leader among PD voters. But since his departure from government, the left has splintered and he and his party have lost ground in the polls.

A painful break

Renzi, 42, resigned as prime minister after his proposed constitutional referendum failed in December. His absence opened a painful schism on the left, with the PD’s leftist dissidents forming their own party, called the Progressive and Democratic Movement (DP). The split has dented the PD’s popular support, and it has lost its status as Italy’s largest political force, trailing behind the anti-establishment 5Star Movement.

According to most polls, the anti-euro 5Stars hovers at around 30 percent of the national vote, with a lead of between two and eight percentage points over the PD.

 “Renzi needs to reinvent himself, after failing to deliver most of his promises,” said Wolfango Piccoli, head of research at Teneo Intelligence. “The party itself, with its internal divisions, remains one of his main challenges. But he has to come up with new ideas, and a credible political program, which for now is completely missing.”

Even though they beat Renzi’s cautious expectations for turnout, the PD primaries on Sunday was believed to have attracted close to 2 million voters compared to at least 2.8 million in the previous leadership contest.

After consolidating his leadership within the party, Renzi’s uphill battle will be to ensure that disaffected PD voters and left-wing supporters don’t continue to defect to populist groups like Beppe Grillo’s 5Star Movement and the anti-immigrant Northern League, which is the emerging force within Italy’s divided center-right.

Renzi’s critics accuse him of having focused too much on his personal ambitions instead of concentrating on effective policies to solve Italy’s chronic problems such as moribund growth, youth unemployment at around 40 percent and the second-highest public debt in the eurozone after Greece.

Gentiloni headaches

The PD-sponsored government led by Paolo Gentiloni, who replaced Renzi in December, lacked the political support and a long-enough political runway to complete the needed reforms. After five months in power, Gentiloni and his cabinet are still struggling with troubles in the Italian banking sector, Europe’s migration crisis and strict demands from the European Union to keep Italy’s budget deficit under control.

While the government managed to avoid a painful tax increase this year, the EU may force it to include a value-added tax hike in its budget for 2018 — a very unpopular move just a few months before the elections.

In the final days of his electoral campaign, which he wrapped up in Brussels on Friday, Renzi openly softened his tone on the EU, having often clashed with Brussels.
Another significant headache for the Gentiloni government has been trouble at Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia. The Italian government is scrambling to protect the company’s 12,500 workers, who overwhelmingly rejected a rescue package that relied on job cuts and salary reductions, but would have unlocked a €2 billion capital increase from investors.

More love for the union

His supporters say a victory by pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of France’s presidential elections on May 7 could boost Renzi’s chances.  Macron has been depicted as “Renzi 2.0” by national and international media and Renzi hailed Macron’s victory over eurosceptic Marine Le Pen in the election’s first round.

In the final days of his electoral campaign, which he wrapped up in Brussels on Friday, Renzi openly softened his tone toward the EU, having often clashed with Brussels on issues such as migration and fiscal austerity during his premiership. On Friday, Renzi insisted that the EU needs radical change, but also warned against the risks of surging populism.

Renzi’s latest shift appears to be an attempt to distance himself from the clear anti-European agenda of the 5Stars, who support a referendum on Italian membership of the euro, and who identify Brussels and its technocrats as the origin of all Italy’s problems.

“Renzi’s message on Europe, however, remains ambiguous. If he wants to beat the 5Stars, he can’t follow them on their same ground, that of anti-European populism,” Sergio Fabbrini, a politics professor at Rome’s LUISS University, said. “The only way for the PD to win the next elections is to put Europe and a concrete project to reform it at the top of its agenda.”


Giada Zampano

Britain’s misplaced sense of economic superiority

Britain’s misplaced sense of economic superiority

The UK neither has US-style low taxes nor Germany’s level of public services
Chris Giles

APRIL 27, 2017 by: Chris Giles

Britain is traditionally confident about its economic place on the planet. With the fifth-largest economy in the world, the UK cleverly combines American levels of taxation with a European welfare state. Theresa May repeated 11 times in parliament on Wednesday that the country boasted a “strong economy” that depended on her “strong and stable leadership”.

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On some counts, the prime minister is correct. Britain’s economy is no basket case but as a nation we suffer from misplaced economic superiority and exaggeration of our success. It is time for some truth telling.

On current exchange rates, Britain is the world’s fifth-largest economy, but no one seriously believes it produces more goods and services than India, Brazil or Indonesia. On a purchasing power parity basis, which accounts for what money can actually buy, the UK comes ninth in the world. That is still big but not necessarily big enough to justify a single seat on the board of the International Monetary Fund when India, Brazil and Indonesia are forced to share. The UK’s prosperity level is not even in the top 15 per cent of IMF members.

While Britain enjoyed a relatively strong period between 1979 and 2007, the performance of the past decade, overseen by Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers, was weak. That strong economy hailed by Mrs May had one of the deepest recessions and weakest recoveries of its peers. Greece is the only advanced nation with lower real wage growth since 2008.

Rather than enjoying US taxation levels with European levels of public services, the truth is that the UK sits uneasily between the two. At 36 per cent of national income, the tax burden is 6 percentage points of gross domestic product higher than in the US. Spending on public services is severely strained: at 39 per cent of national income, it is 5 percentage points below that of Germany.

The only way for Britain to be able to boast a US level of taxes with European service standards would be for it to have much higher productivity than both. That way, a low tax burden could produce so much tax revenue that the nation could buy the desired standard of public services with the tax rates it wants to pay. Much as it would be lovely to highlight Britain’s productivity as a national strength, it is actually Britain’s international weak spot. The US, Germany and France are far ahead of Britain in the productivity league table and output per head and per worker does not even match that of Italy.

After Brexit, public finances, taxation and services are likely to dominate the coming election debate as always. The political arguments will sadly be about the trivialities. Are the Tories breaking promises if they do not guarantee to lock the rates of income tax, national insurance or value added tax? Does Labour understand who in Britain is rich and can afford to pay a lot more tax? Should ministers guarantee the state pension will rise in line with the highest of prices, average earnings growth and 2.5 per cent in perpetuity?

These are all important questions, but cannot be answered unless Britain decides the sort of country it wants to be. We are stuck in the middle without low US tax rates, without German public services and without even Italian productivity levels. Once, this compromise seemed to satisfy the public. That is no longer true. The public become angry with politicians who contemplate higher taxes, are furious that public services are under such pressure and become incandescent if anyone suggests productivity-enhancing reforms that involve building projects near their homes or foreigners improving the dynamism of the economy.

Britain likes to look at the eurozone and laugh at its tendency to kick decisions into the long grass and stall necessary reforms. We need to get over

sábado, 29 de abril de 2017

Funicular da Graça põe em risco estrutura medieval única no país

Funicular da Graça põe em risco estrutura medieval única no país

Apesar de o projecto ter sido revisto, os serviços da DGPC alertaram para a possível destruição de 80% de uma estrutura com “elevado interesse patrimonial”. Câmara garante que monumento não será afectado, mas o arquitecto responsável não tem assim tanta certeza.

JOÃO PEDRO PINCHA 26 de Abril de 2017, 8:27

A instalação de um funicular entre a Mouraria e o Miradouro da Graça, em Lisboa, vai destruir quase por completo uma estrutura medieval única no país: o alambor da Muralha Fernandina. Foi essa a conclusão a que chegaram os técnicos da Direcção-Geral do Património Cultural (DGPC) depois de analisarem uma versão revista do projecto, que se destinava precisamente a evitar que aquela estrutura fosse afectada.

Um alambor é uma rampa inclinada construída na base de uma muralha com o objectivo de dificultar as acções militares inimigas. O alambor da Muralha Fernandina de Lisboa foi descoberto pela primeira vez em 2016, junto ao Miradouro da Graça, durante as escavações arqueológicas prévias aos trabalhos de construção do funicular. Depois desse achado, o projecto foi revisto, mas não o suficiente, defendem os serviços da DGPC que acompanham o assunto.

Em Dezembro, e apesar de os técnicos terem defendido “a não aprovação do projecto devido à afectação substancial do alambor”, a directora-geral da DGPC consentiu no avanço dos trabalhos. No despacho, Paula Silva justificou assim a decisão: “Atendendo a que o projecto nesta fase evoluiu positivamente e salvaguarda os aspectos essenciais da preservação do alambor (com uma pequena afectação).”

No fim de Março, durante uma reunião entre as várias entidades envolvidas no assunto, o arquitecto João Favila Menezes e o vereador Manuel Salgado entregaram o projecto de especialidades. Mais uma vez os serviços da DGPC não o aprovaram. “É lamentável que o projecto de arquitectura não registe e represente o troço da Muralha Fernandina, e respectivo alambor, classificado como monumento nacional, e que será afectado pela intervenção proposta”, lê-se num parecer datado de 5 de Abril.

A arquitecta que assina este documento, Maria João Parreira, refere que “a muralha e o alambor não estão representados nas plantas específicas da zona de chegada [do funicular] ao miradouro” e lembra que “o projecto continua a não ser acompanhado por relatório prévio/intercalar conforme legislação em vigor”. De acordo com um decreto-lei de 2009, que estabelece o “regime jurídico dos estudos, projectos, relatórios, obras ou intervenções sobre bens culturais classificados”, a entrega desse relatório prévio é obrigatória.

O parecer arqueológico é ainda mais contundente. “O arquitecto projectista continua a não assumir clara e frontalmente o grau de afectação que a sua proposta impõe à integridade patrimonial [da muralha e do alambor]”, escreve a arqueóloga Maria José Sequeira, que já em anteriores fases tinha mostrado reservas ao processo. Perante a ausência desses dados, a técnica superior faz estimativas com base nas plantas disponíveis: 75% a 80% do alambor será destruído.

Por isso, escreve: “Tendo presente o grau de afectação do monumento nacional parece-nos que o desenvolvimento da proposta em projecto de execução não se enquadra nos termos do despacho exarado a 22 de Dezembro.” Esse despacho, assinado por Paula Silva, referia “uma pequena afectação”.

O PÚBLICO questionou a Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, promotora da obra, e o arquitecto João Favila Menezes, autor do projecto, sobre este assunto. As respostas foram contraditórias. A autarquia informou, através do seu gabinete de comunicação, que a “solução alternativa” apresentada à DGPC “não afecta a referida estrutura arqueológica”. João Favila não foi tão peremptório. “Estamos a estudar qual é o tipo de afectação”, disse, acrescentando que ela “será mínima”.

No mesmo dia 5 de Abril em que as duas técnicas assinaram os seus pareceres críticos, o processo subiu na hierarquia da DGPC. Carlos Bessa, chefe da Divisão de Salvaguarda do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico, remeteu o assunto para a sua superior, a directora do Departamento de Bens Culturais, Catarina Coelho, apenas com uma nota: “Deverá a execução da obra minimizar os impactos sobre o alambor e a Muralha Fernandina.”

Por sua vez, Catarina Coelho enviou os documentos a Paula Silva com outro comentário: “Deverá ser avaliada a metodologia da intervenção junto ao paramento da Muralha Fernandina.” A directora-geral da DGPC aprovou o projecto nesse mesmo dia, sem mais acrescentos.

Uma “novidade enorme”
Os trabalhos arqueológicos que decorreram no Verão de 2016 permitiram identificar um novo troço da Muralha Fernandina, o que não foi uma surpresa total, uma vez que já aparecia referenciado em mapas renascentistas da cidade. A descoberta do alambor é que foi inesperada.

Em Outubro, tal como o PÚBLICO noticiou, a arqueóloga Maria José Sequeira escreveu que o alambor estava “muito bem preservado”, tinha um “inequívoco valor patrimonial” e um “carácter único”. Ideias corroboradas e reforçadas por Mário Barroca, professor catedrático da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, especialista em castelos, arquitectura militar e História medieval.

Chamado pela DGPC a dar parecer, o docente destacou a importância das descobertas, especialmente pelo material de construção usado. “O aparecimento de muralhas em taipa, para mais em Lisboa, capital do reino, e para mais em obra de iniciativa régia, não deixa de ser um acontecimento extraordinário”, escreveu Mário Barroca. Para o especialista, a existência de um alambor constitui um “aspecto de enorme novidade” que faz questão de deixar claro. “Devemos sublinhar a enorme novidade destes elementos: por se tratar do primeiro exemplo, arqueologicamente detectado entre nós, de alambor erguido em taipa”, escreveu.
Mário Barroca não tem dúvidas em afirmar que as descobertas têm “elevado interesse patrimonial, arqueológico e histórico, que ultrapassa em muito a importância – já de si não despicienda – que representam para a História da cidade de Lisboa”. E acrescenta: “Estamos na presença de vestígios que assumem uma novidade enorme no panorama da arquitectura militar portuguesa e que, por isso, merecem ser estudados com mais profundidade.” “Mas, sobretudo, estamos perante vestígios que é fundamental serem preservados”, conclui o especialista.

No seio dos serviços técnicos da DGPC, a discordância face a este assunto não se manifesta só nos pareceres e informações oficiais. Em Novembro, aquando da apresentação do projecto revisto, o gabinete do vereador do Urbanismo, Manuel Salgado, escreveu uma carta a defender “a importância da concretização do percurso da Graça”, que é um dos vários que constam do Plano Geral de Acessibilidades Suaves e Assistidas à Colina do Castelo.

A carta tem várias páginas e, em todas elas, alguém pôs notas manuscritas à margem com críticas às palavras do vereador – por exemplo, Manuel Salgado escreve, em determinada passagem, que “o Estado português (…) subscreveu diversos documentos nos quais assume que a promoção da mobilidade e da acessibilidade para todos deve constituir uma prioridade das políticas públicas”. Comentário escrito a lápis ao lado: “Também subscreveu as cartas e convenções internacionais de defesa do património!”

Segundo a câmara transmitiu ao PÚBLICO, agora que já foi obtida a aprovação da DGPC ao funicular, “está em preparação o lançamento do concurso público para a sua construção.”

Michael Heseltine: ‘Signing article 50 is the worst decision we’ve made’

Michael Heseltine: ‘Signing article 50 is the worst decision we’ve made’

Lord Michael Heseltine, 84, the senior politician and businessman, reflects on what he owes his dyslexia, his fears over Brexit and why he has no plans to retire

Tim Adams
Saturday 29 April 2017 14.00 BST Last modified on Saturday 29 April 2017 15.02 BST

At my age there is no such thing as a good winter. There is a wonderful day in mid-March when you feel the sun on your back for the first time, and it straightens you.

I was no good at games and the only time I came top of the form was when my parents offered to buy me a new bike if I did so. I found an outlet for my energy by going to the local post office, buying as much lemonade as I could carry, and selling to the hearties by the glass what I’d bought by the bottle.

There have been two moments in my life when I have witnessed real history. First, my parents happened to have booked us into a hotel on Piccadilly Circus on VJ night. And then, by chance, I was in Berlin the day the Russians closed the Wall. I think we are at one of those moments again. I think [signing Article 50] is the worst decision we’ve made since the war.

I am appalled by people who pretend to regret the decline in standards of public life and only exacerbate them. The bigotry of the editor of the Daily Mail, coupled with that of Nigel Farage, have been among the most potent driving forces of this tragedy.

People were looking for a scapegoat and Europe was the convenient candidate
The garden has been my therapy. No matter what has happened in my political life I can be potting out some seedlings and it is all forgotten. I think you can link my work in creating the garden to the work I did in urban deprivation. Both are about changing perspective, introducing new visuals, getting rid of mess.

Good news occasionally comes around the corner for everybody. It is up to you to be prepared for it and grab it.

I am worried when people want to use me as a role model for dyslexia. My problem is that I see it mostly as a help. It taught me to short circuit procedures which were time consuming.

I was ambitious. But you aren’t interested in power for its own sake, only for what it will allow you to do. Power allows you to contribute.

I had only been in parliament a year when I voted twice against my party on race issues. The feeling that Enoch Powell’s speech evoked was far more divisive than anything in Britain since.

I think you can link our work in creating the garden to the work I did in urban deprivation. Both are about changing perspective, introducing new visuals, getting rid of mess.

Wales is still where my heart beats fastest, the land of my fathers. I am very proud to be patron of the Morriston Orpheus choir.

Life has pretty much gone to plan. Looking back, I don’t think I could have asked for any more.

I was devoted to my father, but I don’t think his premature death changed me. I had already been president of the Oxford Union, and started my own business. The die was cast.

Referenda seldom reflect the issue under discussion. This one was no exception. People didn’t like eight years of frozen living standards and they were anxious about immigration. They were looking for a scapegoat and Europe was the convenient candidate.

You have only one choice when things aren’t going well: find a way to pay the bills.

Retirement doesn’t feature on my agenda, because I have never regarded the things I do as work. I have no sense of mortality. I recognise my limitations, b

For EU27, the hard part of Brexit starts now

For EU27, the hard part of Brexit starts now

Remaining members show remarkable unity in approving negotiation guidelines — but tougher challenges lie ahead.

By           DAVID M. HERSZENHORN            4/29/17, 2:52 PM CET Updated 4/29/17, 7:06 PM CET

So far, so surprisingly good. But staying united on Brexit is about to get harder for the EU’s remaining members.

From the moment last June when the British voted to ditch the European Union, senior officials in Brussels have labored fastidiously to keep the rest of the bloc together.

Given that disagreement, debate and discord are encoded in the EU’s DNA — a genetic mutation supporters of the European project call democracy —  they have had remarkable success.

At a summit in Brussels on Saturday, leaders of the 27 countries staying in the EU swiftly approved their guidelines for the Brexit negotiations. It took one minute or four minutes, depending on whose account you believe, but the key message from EU officials was that approval was quick and unanimous.

“EU27 firm and fair political mandate for the #Brexit talks is ready,” European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.

Perhaps no one has been more astonished, or disappointed, at the EU’s ability to hold together than U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who warned this week that the 27 are lining up “to oppose us.”

And no one knows better than the 27 leaders gathered in Brussels today how hard, if not impossible, it will be to keep up the unified front as the two sides plunge into the detailed negotiations.

The risk of disagreement among the EU 27 on detailed aspects of the Brexit negotiations is high
The risk of disagreement among the EU 27 on detailed aspects of the Brexit negotiations is high | Virginia Mayo/AFP via Getty
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker predicted that the Council would never be as unified as it was Saturday. “It was the first and the last time that we were able to conclude in four minutes, so don’t expect us to keep the same speed,” Juncker said at a news conference immediately after the conclusion of the summit. “It will never happen again.”

Developing the guidelines was the relatively easy part, largely because they emphasize points all EU countries agree on: the need to negotiate withdrawal terms before agreement on future relations, and prioritizing citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, and border concerns — particularly for Ireland.

Now the hard part begins, and the risk of cracks is already clear in how countries have begun jockeying for the two EU agencies, the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority, that will move out of London.

“Mike Tyson said ‘the battle plan doesn’t survive the first punch in the nose,'” a senior EU diplomat said. Actually, it was Joe Louis who said “everybody has a plan until they get hit.” But point taken.

The punches are coming.

The risk of disagreement among the EU 27 on detailed aspects of the Brexit negotiations is high, largely because the interests of individual countries in the Brexit talks diverge as much as they do on any other issue.

Different priorities

When it comes to citizens’ rights, for instance, countries such as Spain and Malta have a primary interest in the fate of British retirees who live in those countries, and the related costs for health care and other services. Countries such as Poland and Lithuania are far more concerned about their own citizens now living and working in the U.K., who send crucial remittances home.

One EU diplomat suggested that it would be better to let the negotiators get on with their work and limit the number of meetings among diplomats and higher-level officials.
Some EU countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, are nearly as eager as the U.K. to move to discussions on a future free trade agreement. France and Germany, the biggest economies of the 27, can afford to demand that Britain feel some pain from leaving the EU’s single market.

 “The most divisive issues are not on the table yet,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said in an interview with POLITICO.

There were also signs that EU countries were beginning to use Brussels’ desire for unity on Brexit as leverage in negotiating concessions from the European institutions on other matters.

“Countries are already starting to link issues that are off the table with the Brexit talks,” an EU diplomat said. “They start sending the message that if you want to keep unity on Brexit then they have to get this or this other thing on other dossiers. I expect that this will increasingly be the case.”

As if to underscore the point, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told reporters at the summit that maintaining unity on Brexit would be easier going forward if the EU adjusted its policies on fiscal austerity and migration.

To build the unity on display at Saturday’s summit, senior EU officials began working immediately after the Brexit referendum last June. They held an informal EU 27 summit in Bratislava, where they laid out a roadmap for the Brexit process ahead. They also used the occasion of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, one of the EU’s foundational documents, to rally countries and express renewed common cause.

Tusk also acknowledged how unusual it was for the EU to have everyone on the same page, and he expressed confidence that the togetherness would last.
At the Commission, Juncker has also led a bold push to focus the 27 on the EU’s common future by publishing a well-received White Paper laying out various options for the bloc.

“The Commission’s approach has been particularly intelligent and sophisticated,” an EU diplomat said. “You should see the Juncker White Paper as a very important flip side process of the Brexit negotiations and the need to ensure that member states buy into this project of continuing EU unity.”

But the ability to continue such hand-holding of the 27 leaders will be vastly reduced once the formal negotiations begin in June. The talks are expected to quickly become intensive, with negotiators potentially working six days a week in a race against the clock to clinch an accord within the two-year deadline set out in the EU treaties.

Devil in the directives

Already, the discussions among EU diplomats over more detailed “negotiating directives” being developed by the European Commission are more complicated than the talks on the broader guidelines.

One EU diplomat suggested that it would be better to let the negotiators get on with their work and limit the number of meetings among diplomats and higher-level officials.

“The original text was so well done, so well oriented, that from Poland to Sweden there haven’t been substantial” differences, the diplomat said. “Sometimes even if you have nothing to object [to], you start discussing for the sake of discussing — so let’s better not even start getting into a meeting-frenzy.”

Before and after Saturday’s summit, Tusk emphasized the importance of holding ranks, and seemed to send May a subtle warning not to try to split the 27, by saying that would be bad for Britain.

“If someone expected some divisions among the 27 would help the U.K. to achieve something better for them, it’s a pure illusion,” Tusk said at the closing news conference. “The only possible way to achieve a final agreement between the 27 and the U.K. is unity of the 27. I have no doubts this is the first and most important political condition.”

Jacopo Barigazzi, Jakob Hanke, Maïa de la Baume, Quentin Airés, Carmen Paun and Joanna Plucinska contributed reporting.

EU threatens Theresa May on trade talks and its citizens' rights

EU threatens Theresa May on trade talks and its citizens' rights

European leaders take hard line on Brexit at special summit, agreeing unanimously on rigid stance in just four minutes

Daniel Boffey in Brussels
Saturday 29 April 2017 19.55 BST Last modified on Sunday 30 April 2017 00.55 BST

The European Union has called on Theresa May to provide immediate “serious and real” guarantees to its citizens living in Britain. The EU leaders took just four minutes at a special summit to agree unanimously an uncompromising opening stance in the Brexit negotiations.

Leaders said they would not discuss a future trade deal with the British government until “sufficient progress” is made on the issues of Britain’s estimated €60bn divorce bill, the rights of EU nationals in the UK, and the border in Ireland.

The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, told reporters at the special summit in Brussels that EU citizens in Britain were the number one priority, and that he had discussed the need for Britain to now live up to its warm words regarding EU citizens during a dinner with the prime minister in Downing Street last week.

“We have already prepared a text that could be adopted immediately if our British friends would be willing to sign it, but that probably won’t happen,” Juncker told reporters, adding that there was an element of tragedy in the situation of some in the UK.

“I have the impression sometimes that our British friends, not all of them, do underestimate the technical difficulties we have to face,” he said, adding that May had told him, to each of his questions about the future: “Be patient and ambitious.”

Donald Tusk, president of the European council, whose members comprise the EU states, added: “For the past weeks we have heard from our British friends, also during my visit in London, that they are ready to agree on this issue quickly.

“I would like to state very clearly that we need real guarantees for our people who live, work and study in the UK and the same goes for the Brits. The commission has prepared a full list of the rights and benefits that we want to guarantee for those affected by Brexit. To achieve sufficient progress we need a serious British response.”

 Donald Tusk speaks during a press conference after an EU Council meeting on 29 April about Brexit.
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 Donald Tusk speaks during a press conference after an EU Council meeting on 29 April about Brexit. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
The two EU leaders were speaking after European leaders agreed in record time to adopt nine pages of negotiating guidelines at a special summit in Brussels.

Responding to the summit’s conclusions, David Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the European Union, said that he feared the coming talks would be “confrontational” and echoed May’s comments last week about member states “lining up to oppose us”.

He said: “Both sides are clear: we want these negotiations to be conducted in a spirit of goodwill, sincere cooperation and with the aim of establishing a close partnership between the UK and the EU going forward.

“But there is no doubt that these negotiations are the most complex the UK has faced in our lifetimes. They will be tough and at times even confrontational. There are already people in Europe who oppose these aims and people at home trying to undermine them. That is why it is so important that the UK has the right leadership in place.”

Speaking in the margins of the summit, leaders had taken turns all day to warn the British government that the EU was unified and would fight hard for the interests of its member states. The French president, François Hollande, told reporters: “There will inevitably be a price and a cost for Britain; it’s the choice they made.

“We must not be punitive, but at the same time it’s clear that Europe knows how to defend its interests, and that Britain will have a less good position outside the EU than in the EU.”

Asked about her suggestion last week that some in the UK were deluded about the coming talks, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she feared there was a lack of understanding about the EU’s resolve to only talk about trade once the opening issues had been resolved.

Merkel also appeared unconvinced by May’s claim that a landslide election victory would strengthen her negotiating position in the talks when they start in June, although she applauded the prime minister for calling it.

“The British prime minster thinks that a clear vote [in the general election] will strengthen her position in the negotiations,” she said. “It will certainly give her a very credible platform. The election has removed this sword of Damocles over the negotiations.”

Other leaders also appeared bemused by the prime minister’s claims about being empowered by an election triumph. Hollande, who is now in his last week as president, said: “That is an election argument that I can understand. But this is not an argument against the European Union. Why? Because the bases, the principles, the objectives are already fixed: these will be the lines that will be chosen by the negotiators and there will be no others.”

Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, claimed May had called the election to resolve an internal problem in the Conservative party.

She wanted “not a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit but Theresa’s Brexit,” he said. Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, added: “I wouldn’t want to intrude in the prime minister’s decisions but the fact is we are wasting one month now.”

EU leaders at the summit also agreed a declaration that would allow northern Ireland to swiftly rejoin the EU, in the event of a vote for Irish unification. With polls showing that a majority of voters in Northern Ireland want to stay part of the UK, the Irish taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said the clause was not about triggering a poll.

“I have always been very clear that the conditions for a referendum do not currently exist, but the endorsement of the principle, the potential agreement of the Good Friday agreement is hugely important.”

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said it was in Britain’s interests for the EU to be unified, as it would boost the chances of a Brexit deal. “This extraordinary meeting shows the unity of the 27 on a clear line, but this unity is not directed against Britain; I think that it is also in its interest,” he said.

Sondagem em França: Macron em vantagem, mas Le Pen recupera terreno

Sondagem em França: Macron em vantagem, mas Le Pen recupera terreno

A sondagem revela ainda que só 40% dos apoiantes de Jean-Luc Mélenchon tencionam votar em Emmanuel Macron, sendo que os outros 40% tencionam abster-se.

PÚBLICO 28 de Abril de 2017, 17:19

Uma sondagem feita pelo Odoxa, um instituto francês de estudos independentes que analisou as intenções de voto dos eleitores franceses, dá a vitória ao candidato independente Emmanuel Macron na segunda volta das eleições presidenciais em França, que se realiza a 7 de Maio. Ainda assim, prevê-se que seja eleito com 59% dos votos, quatro pontos percentuais abaixo da última sondagem. Em contrapartida, a candidata de extrema-direita Marine Le Pen conquistaria 41% dos votos, mais quatro pontos do que na sondagem anterior.

A sondagem foi feita nos dias 26 e 27 de Abril e os resultados foram publicados esta sexta-feira. Já a sondagem anterior tinha sido feita nos dias 24 e 25 de Abril, logo no rescaldo das eleições presidenciais.

De acordo com a sondagem mais recente, 40% dos apoiantes do candidato presidencial de esquerda Jean-Luc Mélenchon, derrotado na primeira volta de 23 de Abril, tencionam votar em Emmanuel Macron, assim como metade dos apoiantes de François Fillon. Já outros 40% dos cidadãos francesas que votaram em Mélenchon tencionam abster-se na segunda volta das presidenciais.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon tinha anunciado anteriormente que não iria apelar ao voto em nenhum dos dois candidatos que passaram à segunda volta das presidenciais francesas, numa altura em que muitos dos seus apoiantes lançavam uma campanha pela abstenção nas redes sociais.

Por outro lado, o antigo Presidente francês Nicolas Sarkozy apelou ao voto em Emmanuel Macron, não porque concorde com o seu projecto mas sim para evitar aquilo que considera ser um mal maior.

As sondagens já previam que a segunda volta das eleições presidenciais iria ser disputada entre Emmanuel Macron e Marine Le Pen.

Brazilians sick of corrupt politicians hit the streets to protest austerity measures

Brazilians sick of corrupt politicians hit the streets to protest austerity measures

Police clash with striking union workers in streets of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo as protesters in 26 states demonstrate against Michel Temer’s proposed reforms

Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro
Saturday 29 April 2017 03.33 BST First published on Friday 28 April 2017 19.01 BST

Brazilian unions have ratcheted up the pressure on president Michel Temer with a nationwide general strike that closed schools, disrupted transport networks and led to clashes with public security in several cities.

Demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo blocked key roads with barricades of burning tires on. Riot police used teargas and percussion grenades to try to disperse the crowds and open the routes.

Domestic media said it was the biggest general strike in decades, with protests reported in 26 states and strikes by teachers, bus drivers, healthcare providers, oil industry workers and public servants.

As night fell on Friday, there were multiple clashes in central Rio between protesters, who set fire to a bus, and riot police, who fired dozens of rounds of tear gas.

Cintia Manoel, a municipal employee, joined the crowd chanting “Fora Temer” (Temer out). Despite the friction, she felt it was necessary to participate. “I was there primarily against the government, which I consider illegitimate and because of the worker’s rights and pension reform, which made this protest much bigger.”

Daniela Barbosa, an elementary school teacher, said the proposed changes to the pension system would oblige her to work for several years longer than she wanted.

The protest comes at a difficult time for the labour movement. Earlier this week, congress passed labour law reforms that weaken worker’s rights. The figurehead of the Workers party, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, is on trial, facing corruption charges.

His successor Rousseff said the strike was a symbol of courage. “This is a historic day,” she said. “In these difficult time, a fight for democracy and in defence of our social gains is the duty of all of us.”

Many voters are furious that politicians are insisting on the need for cuts in benefits and public services even as evidence grows that they benefited personally from illegal kickbacks on overinflated contracts.

Eight cabinet ministers have been implicated in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) investigation into corruption at the country’s two biggest companies, Petrobras and Odebrecht. Temer’s approval ratings have slipped into single digits, similar to the level of his predecessor, Rousseff, when she was impeached last year.

A firefighter works douses a burning bus in Rio. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Government spokesman Alexandre Parola played down the significance of the industrial action. “A strike is a part of democracy. It’s acceptable as long as participants stay within the law. The country is still functioning,” he noted.

The shutdown was not total. In Rio, bus and metro companies ran a reduced service. Most shops and banks remained open. But students were told to remain at home and there were skirmishes between protesters and police at Santos Dumont airport and the main bus terminal. São Paulo was hit harder, with a shutdown of many bus lines and fierce clashes on the road to the Congonhas airport. More protests were expected later in the day.

“It is going to be the biggest strike in the history of Brazil,” said Paulo Pereira da Silva, the president of trade union group Força Sindical.

Nara Pavão, a professor in the political science department at the Federal University of Pernambuco, said it would be the biggest mobilization since 1996. He saw this as a sign of a crisis of representation as voters feel betrayed by politicians.

Flávia Biroli, a political science professor at the University of Brasília, said planned austerity cuts had stirred up public anger.

“The general strike shows that the organized sectors of society clearly understand that the proposals, if approved, will be the end of the fundamental guarantees provided for in Brazilian legislation, which will increase instability and poverty.”

North Korea missile test: regime has 'disrespected China', says Trump

North Korea missile test: regime has 'disrespected China', says Trump

US says initial indications suggest test was unsuccessful
Rex Tillerson had warned of ‘catastrophic consequences’ of missile program

Staff and agencies in Seoul
Saturday 29 April 2017 00.44 BST First published on Friday 28 April 2017 22.53 BST

Donald Trump has condemned North Korea, saying it “disrespected the wishes of China”, after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile.

The unsuccessful test comes as the United States pushed for tougher sanctions to curb the country’s nuclear threat.

Writing on Twitter, the US president said Pyongyang had defied Chinese president Xi Jinping by going ahead with the launch.

South Korea’s military said the test of the missile took place near Bukchang in South Pyeongan Province early on Saturday morning.

A US government source told the Reuters news agency that initial indications suggested the test was unsuccessful.

The US military’s Pacific Command said the missile did not leave North Korean territory.

“US Pacific Command detected what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 10:33am Hawaii time ... The ballistic missile launch occurred near the Pukchang airfield,” PACOM spokesman Commander Dave Benham said in a statement.

“The missile did not leave North Korean territory.”

Japan joined in criticism of the test launch, saying it was absolutely unacceptable and a violation of UN resolution.

A US official said the Trump administration could respond by speeding up its plans for new US sanctions against Pyongyang, including possible measures against specific North Korean and Chinese entities.

“It’s possible that something could be sped up,” the official said of the potential for imposing new unilateral sanctions on North Korea. “Something that’s ready to go could be taken from the larger package and expedited.”

The official said the missile launch was the kind of “provocation” that had been anticipated ahead of South Korea’s 9 May election, and that the president could use the test-firing to further press China to do more to rein in North Korea.

The launch comes with tensions high on the Korean peninsula, with this the latest in a series of missile launches by the North and warnings from Trump’s US administration that it was running out of patience.

At the UN security council on Friday, Washington pushed for tougher sanctions to confront the North Korean threat, piling pressure on China to rein in its ally while warning it was keeping military options “on the table”. Trump himself of Thursday warned of the prospect of a “major, major conflict” with North Korea.

The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, warned that failure to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile abilities could lead to “catastrophic consequences”, while China and Russia cautioned Washington against threatening military force to solve the problem.

“Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences,” Tillerson said in his first remarks to the council as secretary of state.
The United States was not pushing for regime change and preferred a negotiated solution, but Pyongyang, for its own sake, should dismantle its nuclear and missile programs, he said.

“The threat of a nuclear attack on Seoul, or Tokyo, is real, and it’s only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the US mainland,” Tillerson said.

While Tillerson repeated the Trump administration’s position that all options are on the table if Pyongyang persists with its nuclear and missile development, Yi said military threats would not help.

The Russian deputy foreign minister, Gennady Gatilov, also said on Friday the use of force would be “completely unacceptable”.

AFP and Reuters contributed to this report


quinta-feira, 27 de abril de 2017

A tempestade perfeita

A tempestade perfeita

O ensino da Arquitectura em Portugal tem sido dominado por uma geração que nega a importância do restauro.

6 de Abril de 2017, 5:39

Através de um texto de opinião da autoria do arquitecto Nuno Almeida, o debate sobre a intervenção de arquitectos “criadores” em áreas patrimoniais consolidadas, constituindo estas, no seu conjunto intacto, um valor histórico insubstituível, surge nas páginas do PÚBLICO.

As aspas em “criadores” aponta para a não referência a outro tipo de arquitectos quase não existentes em Portugal mas necessários e indispensáveis: os arquitectos de restauro.

Com efeito, toda a retórica do autor é construída à volta de uma argumentação que, de forma enganadora, só reconhece duas alternativas para a intervenção arquitectónica na cidade: arquitectura contemporânea, leia-se modernista, em ruptura e afirmação consciente e demarcada com a envolvente histórica, que o autor considera como a única capaz de representar autenticidade, ou o perverso “fachadismo”, ou artificial operação cutânea que constitui uma mentira perigosa para o futuro da Arquitectura e da autenticidade da cidade.

Ora o “fachadismo” é sem dúvida uma perversão, mas sim, do conceito do restauro integral que considera um edifício histórico como uma unidade indivisível, entre fachada e interior.

Para dar um exemplo muito rapidamente: qual é o valor de um edifício pombalino, que faz parte de uma solução sistemática e global para uma reconstrução funcional de uma imensa área vítima de um cataclismo sísmico, sem a “gaiola”, que constitui precisamente a solução estrutural anti-sísmica pensada por engenheiros da mesma reconstrução?

Toda esta confusão “arquitolas” é fruto do facto de o ensino da Arquitectura em Portugal ter sido dominado ideologicamente por toda uma geração que, de forma manipuladora, tem sempre negado o reconhecimento da importância do ensino e da prática do restauro. Utilizando de forma manipuladora o argumento da Carta de Veneza crítico do restauro integral, os arquitectos de restauro são vistos e acusados no ensino como apologistas do sacrílego “pastiche”. Compreende-se o nervosismo de Nuno Almeida e de toda uma classe, agora sujeita a “honorários limitados” e a um crescente e justificado clamor crítico da opinião pública, capaz de inibir e amedrontar os técnicos responsáveis pelas aprovações.

Em 2008, Manuel Salgado, neutralizando a intenção da candidatar a Baixa a Património Mundial, veio anunciar que “a Baixa nunca será um bairro residencial” e propor exclusivamente um investimento na hotelaria, residências universitárias e alojamentos de curta e média permanência, entregando a dinâmica do investimento unicamente às exigências dos “mercados” e, assim, abdicando da sua responsabilidade planeadora e reguladora, abrindo a caixa de Pandora. Para isso, foi criada uma comissão “facilitadora” na DGPC em 2007 a fim de garantir uma autêntica “via verde”, capaz de “neutralizar” as exigências do PDM.

José António Cerejo publicou um artigo (PÚBLICO, 29.03.2016) onde referia como responsáveis das decisões desta comissão os arquitectos Flávio Lopes e Teresa Gamboa e descrevia as tensões mal disfarçadas entre esta comissão e os directores-gerais Nuno Vassalo e Silva e Paula Silva, que reivindicavam o seu direito à apreciação prévia a fim de “assegurar uma defesa eficiente e eficaz do património”. Ficou famosa a frase de Manuel Salgado: "E se formos muito exigentes com a pedrinha e com o azulejo não conseguimos reabilitar nada."

“Reabilitar” nesta perspectiva significa demolir integralmente os interiores históricos e aplicar o fachadismo. Os efeitos devastadores e irreversíveis nas Avenidas, na Baixa e em toda a cidade são visíveis e ilustrativos deste fenómeno.

Agora que um clamor profundo de resistência começa a dominar a opinião pública e a Internet, contestando, através de petições e acções, toda esta situação, e juntando a estas questões as graves consequências de uma gentrificação/turistificação galopante, a política profissional tem demonstrado uma incapacidade total para representar estes urgentes desafios, deixando exclusivamente à cidadania activa o desempenho deste papel.

Nas próximas eleições autárquicas, Fernando Medina não terá adversários credíveis e de conteúdo e, tendo a vitória assegurada, irá continuar na ilusão de que a sua recusa sistemática em reconhecer e regulamentar estes problemas não irá ter consequências.

Entretanto, no horizonte, acumulam-se as energias e os sentimentos de revolta que estão a desenhar de forma crescente uma tempestade futura. Curiosamente, inadvertidamente e involuntariamente, o texto de Nuno Almeida é mais um sintoma que anuncia a tempestade perfeita.

 Historiador de Arquitectura