quarta-feira, 28 de março de 2018

Livro recomendado - "A tragédia de um povo"

1979 - "Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island"

At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was built in 1974 on a sandbar on Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, just 10 miles downstream from the state capitol in Harrisburg. In 1978, a second state-of-the-art reactor began operating on Three Mile Island, which was lauded for generating affordable and reliable energy in a time of energy crises.

After the cooling water began to drain out of the broken pressure valve on the morning of March 28, 1979, emergency cooling pumps automatically went into operation. Left alone, these safety devices would have prevented the development of a larger crisis. However, human operators in the control room misread confusing and contradictory readings and shut off the emergency water system. The reactor was also shut down, but residual heat from the fission process was still being released. By early morning, the core had heated to over 4,000 degrees, just 1,000 degrees short of meltdown. In the meltdown scenario, the core melts, and deadly radiation drifts across the countryside, fatally sickening a potentially great number of people.

As the plant operators struggled to understand what had happened, the contaminated water was releasing radioactive gases throughout the plant. The radiation levels, though not immediately life-threatening, were dangerous, and the core cooked further as the contaminated water was contained and precautions were taken to protect the operators. Shortly after 8 a.m., word of the accident leaked to the outside world. The plant’s parent company, Metropolitan Edison, downplayed the crisis and claimed that no radiation had been detected off plant grounds, but the same day inspectors detected slightly increased levels of radiation nearby as a result of the contaminated water leak. Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh considered calling an evacuation.

Finally, at about 8 p.m., plant operators realized they needed to get water moving through the core again and restarted the pumps. The temperature began to drop, and pressure in the reactor was reduced. The reactor had come within less than an hour of a complete meltdown. More than half the core was destroyed or molten, but it had not broken its protective shell, and no radiation was escaping. The crisis was apparently over.

Two days later, however, on March 30, a bubble of highly flammable hydrogen gas was discovered within the reactor building. The bubble of gas was created two days before when exposed core materials reacted with super-heated steam. On March 28, some of this gas had exploded, releasing a small amount of radiation into the atmosphere. At that time, plant operators had not registered the explosion, which sounded like a ventilation door closing. After the radiation leak was discovered on March 30, residents were advised to stay indoors. Experts were uncertain if the hydrogen bubble would create further meltdown or possibly a giant explosion, and as a precaution Governor Thornburgh advised “pregnant women and pre-school age children to leave the area within a five-mile radius of the Three Mile Island facility until further notice.” This led to the panic the governor had hoped to avoid; within days, more than 100,000 people had fled surrounding towns.

On April 1, President Jimmy Carter arrived at Three Mile Island to inspect the plant. Carter, a trained nuclear engineer, had helped dismantle a damaged Canadian nuclear reactor while serving in the U.S. Navy. His visit achieved its aim of calming local residents and the nation. That afternoon, experts agreed that the hydrogen bubble was not in danger of exploding. Slowly, the hydrogen was bled from the system as the reactor cooled.

At the height of the crisis, plant workers were exposed to unhealthy levels of radiation, but no one outside Three Mile Island had their health adversely affected by the accident. Nonetheless, the incident greatly eroded the public’s faith in nuclear power. The unharmed Unit-1 reactor at Three Mile Island, which was shut down during the crisis, did not resume operation until 1985. Cleanup continued on Unit-2 until 1990, but it was too damaged to be rendered usable again. In the more than two decades since the accident at Three Mile Island, not a single new nuclear power plant has been ordered in the United States.

segunda-feira, 26 de março de 2018

"And the oscar goes to"... "Dear Basketball" - Curta animada

Realização de Glenn Kane e Kobe Bryant

"The rise of Bolivia’s indigenous 'cholitas' – in pictures" - Eduardo Leal

As recently as 10 years ago, Bolivia’s indigenous Aymara and Quechua women were socially ostracised and systematically marginalised. Known as ‘cholitas’, these women, recognisable by their wide skirts, braided hair and bowler hats, were banned from using public transport and entering certain public spaces. Their career opportunities were severely limited. While these women have been organising and advocating their civil rights since at least the 1960s, their movement was invigorated by Evo Morales’ election as Bolivia’s first indigenous president in 2006.

In Cholita’s Rise, the photographer Eduardo Leal has created an exhibition of work that portrays their accomplishments and celebrates their success while also looking to inspire others.

quarta-feira, 21 de março de 2018

Dia Mundial da Poesia: "A Invenção do Amor" - Daniel Filipe

Daniel Filipe

Dia mundial da Árvore e da Floresta

O objetivo da comemoração do Dia Mundial da Árvore é sensibilizar a população para a importância da preservação das árvores, quer ao nível do equilíbrio ambiental e ecológico, como da própria qualidade de vida dos cidadãos. Estima-se que 1000 árvores adultas absorvem cerca de 6000 kg de CO2 (dióxido de carbono).

A celebração do Dia Mundial da Árvore ou da Floresta começou a 10 de abril de 1872, no estado norte-americano do Nebraska (EUA). O seu mentor foi o jornalista e político Julius Sterling Morton, que incentivou a plantação ordenada de árvores no Nebraska, promovendo o "Arbor Day".

Em Portugal, a 1.ª Festa da Árvore comemorou-se a 9 de março de 1913 e o 1.º Dia Mundial da Floresta a 21 de março de 1972.

Infelizmente, em Portugal, mais de 100 mortos e 500 mil hectares de área ardida marcaram 2017 como o pior ano em Portugal quanto a incêndios florestais, com os dias 17 de junho e 15 de outubro a ficarem na memória de todos. Incúria, mãos criminosas e incompetência fizeram de 2017 um ano de luto.

"International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination"

In the black township of Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Afrikaner police open fire on a group of unarmed black South African demonstrators, killing 69 people and wounding 180 in a hail of submachine-gun fire. The demonstrators were protesting against the South African government’s restriction of nonwhite travel. In the aftermath of the Sharpeville massacre, protests broke out in Cape Town, and more than 10,000 people were arrested before government troops restored order.

The incident convinced anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela to abandon his nonviolent stance and organize paramilitary groups to fight South Africa’s system of institutionalized racial discrimination. In 1964, after some minor military action, Mandela was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison. He was released after 27 years and in 1994 was elected the first black president of South Africa.


The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the Sharpeville massacre -- the horrific killing of 69 people peacefully demonstrating against apartheid in South Africa.

The apartheid regime was based on institutionalized racial discrimination.

It was ultimately – and thankfully – consigned to history on the release from prison and accession to the presidency of Nelson Mandela, whose centennial we mark this year.

The memory of Sharpeville lives on in this annual UN observance, when we reaffirm our unequivocal rejection of all forms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance.

Sadly, these attitudes persist in countries and among communities around the world.

A stark and tragic example lies in the egregious treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of that landmark document.

We have made considerable progress since it was adopted.

People around the world have gained greater freedoms and equality.

Conditions of profound economic misery and exploitation have been improved.

Women’s rights have advanced, along with the rights of children, victims of racial and religious discrimination, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.

And perpetrators of horrific human rights violations have been prosecuted by international criminal tribunals.

But it is also plain that the words of the Universal Declaration are not yet matched by facts on the ground.

In practice, people all over the world still endure constraints on -- or even total denial -- of their human rights.

Gender inequality remains a pressing issue – with untold women and girls facing daily insecurity, violence and violation of their rights.

We are also seeing an alarming rise in xenophobia, racism and intolerance, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred.

Far-right political parties and neo-Nazi viewpoints are seeing a resurgence.

Refugees and migrants are systematically denied their rights and unjustly and falsely vilified as threats to the societies they seek to join, despite the proven benefits they bring.

We still have a long way to go before we end the discriminatory attitudes, actions and practices that blight our world.

So, on this international Day, let us all consider how we can better promote tolerance, inclusion and respect for diversity in all nations and among all communities.

Let us work to eliminate messages of hatred – the concept of “us” and “them”; the false attitude that we can accept some and reject and exclude others simply for how they look, where they worship or who they love.

And let us keep in mind the grave consequences of racist thinking – discrimination, slavery and genocide.

We must always stand up to leaders who spread their toxic vison of racial superiority – especially when they couch it in sanitized language to denigrate migrants and foreigners.

We have to protect our youth from these forces of intolerance and division.

We cannot allow extremist ideologies to become normalized and legitimized in our societies.

The answer is to preach and practice tolerance, inclusion and respect for diversity.

This is achieved through greater debate and openness, and the exchange of different views, experiences and perspectives.

And it is achieved through leadership – the kind of leadership admirably shown by Nelson Mandela.

Leadership that is courageous enough and principled enough to counter intolerance, racism and discrimination in all its forms.

And that is what this Organization stands for.

Thank you.

António Guterres - Secretary-General of the UN

segunda-feira, 19 de março de 2018

"Child Victims of Boko Haram"

Since 2009, ISIL-affiliate Boko Haram’s violent campaigns in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon have resulted in approximately 20,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people. Among the survivors are thousands of children who now suffer from psychological trauma resulting from their experiences; they witnessed massacres, were abducted, starved, raped, and beaten. Though some of these victims are able to receive therapy at refugee camps, the majority have re-entered communities unequipped to provide sufficient care.On assignment for TIME, Paolo Pellegrin traveled to Nigeria and photographed some of these tormented youths.

domingo, 18 de março de 2018

"And the oscar goes to"... "The Silent Child" - Curta metragem

Realização de Chris Overton

"Nicolás Maduro suma al menos 726 muertos en su balance como dictador" - Antonio José Chinchetru

El dictador venezolano se ha ganado a pulso un lugar entre los autócratas más sanguinarios de América Latina. La represión de Nicolás Maduro se ha cobrado al menos la vida de 726 personas en apenas cinco años. Los siete fallecidos en la masacre de El Junquito, incluyendo el expolicía Óscar Pérez, son las últimas víctimas de un régimen que demuestra a diario que su lema de ‘Socialismo o muerte’ es en realidad ‘Socialismo y muerte’.

"Surviving imprisonment: does Ukraine need a law for former prisoners from the Donbas conflict?" - Kateryna Iakvlenko

Ukrainian society has had to face many challenges since 2014. One of them is reintegrating people who have experienced imprisonment and violence.

sexta-feira, 16 de março de 2018

"My Lai massacre takes place in Vietnam"

On this day in 1968, a platoon of American soldiers brutally slaughter more than 500 unarmed civilians at My Lai, one of a cluster of small villages located near the northern coast of South Vietnam.

In March 1968, a platoon of soldiers called Charlie Company received word that Viet Cong guerrillas had taken cover in the Quang Ngai village of Son My. The platoon entered one of the village’s four hamlets, My Lai 4, on a search-and-destroy mission on the morning of March 16. Instead of guerrilla fighters, they found unarmed villagers, most of them women, children and old men.

The soldiers had been advised before the attack by army command that all who were found in My Lai could be considered VC or active VC sympathizers, and were told to destroy the village. They acted with extraordinary brutality, raping and torturing villagers before killing them and dragging dozens of people, including young children and babies, into a ditch and executing them with automatic weapons. The massacre reportedly ended when an Army helicopter pilot, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, landed his aircraft between the soldiers and the retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attacks.

The events at My Lai were covered up by high-ranking army officers until investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story. Soon, My Lai was front-page news and an international scandal.