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Aime Jacquet .Mentor ,bright example and winner

Aimé Étienne Jacquet (born November 27, 1941) is a French football coach and former player, and manager of the France national football team when they won the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Biography


Aimé Jacquet was born in Sail-sous-Couzan, Loire. He began his career as an amateur player for his local club, US Couzan, while working in a factory. Scouted by Saint-Étienne, he joined Les Verts in 1959 and signed his first professional contract in 1961. One of the most successful soccer clubs of the time, Saint-Étienne, won an impressive 5 league titles and 3 French Cups in his 11 years with the club. He also played for the national side, but his international career failed to take off because Les Bleus performed poorly during his years on the team. In 1973, he left Saint-Étienne for bitter regional rivals Olympique Lyonnais , where he ended his career as a player.

A “provisional” manager

Jacquet worked as a manager for clubs around France and gained an impressive list of accolades for Bordeaux during the 1980s, leading them to 3 league titles, 2 French Cups, 2 European semi-finals and 1 quarter-final. Dismissed by President Claude Bez, he left Bordeaux to hone his managerial skills with more modest teams like Montpellier and Nancy.
In 1991, he accepted a position with the National Technical Training Centre (Direction Technique Nationale).
In 1992, he was appointed the assistant to then national team manager Gérard Houllier.
After the French national team was knocked out of the running for the 1994 FIFA World Cup by Israel and Bulgaria, Aimé Jacquet was made the manager of the national team, but only provisionally. After a promising series of friendly matches (notably a victory over Italy in Naples in February 1994), his provisional status was upgraded to permanent.
Jacquet initially selected Eric Cantona as captain and made him the team’s playmaker. Cantona had successfully restarted his career in the FA Premier League and was playing some of the best football of his career, but he kicked a Crystal Palace fan in January 1995, which earned him a year-long suspension from all international matches.
As Cantona was the key playmaker, Jacquet was forced to make major changes to the team in the wake of his suspension. Jacquet revamped the squad with some new blood and built it around Zinedine Zidane and other younger players, while dropping Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin, and David Ginola. Jacquet’s choice of players for the tournament caused some fans to grit their teeth but he succeeded in helping France qualify for the Euro 96.
Making it all the way to the semi-finals, Les Bleus managed to show they could survive without veterans such as Jean-Pierre Papin, Eric Cantona, or David Ginola. Jacquet himself stated that the team had done well without Cantona, and that he wanted to keep faith with the players who had taken them so far.[1] The team’s good showing in Euro 96 meant that Jacquet stayed in the media’s good graces, for the time-being.

After being criticised, lampooned and even insulted before being acclaimed and eventually adored, AimeJacquet can truly say he traversed the full spectrum of managerial experiences during his four years in charge of the French national team. He took up the reins at a time when the position was regarded as something of a poison chalice, with Les Bleus having spectacularly botched their attempt to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA TM.

Once in charge, he soon set his sights on world supremacy and duly accomplished his mission. And then rather than use his success to tout his services to the highest bidder, he simply moved upstairs and took control of France’s national training system before a well-earned retirement came in 2006. Fitting for a quiet man who sent an entire nation into ecstasy in 1998 and whose dignified appearance conceals an intense and studious passion for the game he has made his life.

A natural ability

Long before that unforgettable summer when he guided his country to the top of the world, Jacquet had already enjoyed the sort of playing career that many only dream about. A resilient defensive midfielder, he was part of the great Saint Etienne team of the late 1960s and earned his place in French footballing lore by helping Les Verts win five league titles and three French Cups in his eleven years at the fabled club. In 1973, he finally left the Forez and signed for bitter regional rivals Lyon, with whom he ended his playing career.

Having been heavily influenced by the legendary coaches he worked under at Saint Etienne – men such as Jean Snella, Albert Batteux and Robert Herbin – it was only natural that Jacquet sought to turn his hand to management. His first chance to impose his vision of how football should be played came by the banks of the Garonne, where he took over at Bordeaux. He promptly guided the Bordelais to the most successful decade of their history, during which they were crowned champions three times, picked up the French Cup twice and reached two European semi-finals and one quarter-final. Unsurprisingly, Jacquet became a highly respected figure among both players and peers.

Right man for France

After his stint at Bordeaux, Jacquet opted to fine-tune his theories and training ideas with less illustrious clubs, starting with Montpellier before moving on to Nancy, where a certain Michel Platini first captured the attention of the football world. However, as someone who is by nature discreet, he then decided it was time to withdraw from the limelight and, in 1991, accepted a post with the National Technical Training Centre (Direction Technique Nationale), where he worked to develop French football more or less behind the scenes. On 15 July 1992, however, he was appointed assistant to then national team manager Geard Houllier.

Les Bleus had just completed a disastrous venture to the European Championships in Sweden and one year later would embark on a nightmarish run that saw them blow qualification for USA 94 by capitulating at home to Israel (2-3) and Bulgaria (1-2). After that disaster, public confidence in the team fell to almost subterranean levels, and few believed France would achieve anything of note despite hosting the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals. A new manager was needed, someone who would build afresh and infuse a crestfallen squad with renewed confidence. A mighty task, one that not many could be expected to accomplish. The French Football Federation decided the best course of action would be to hire someone from within their own ranks: Aimé Jacquet stood head and shoulders above anyone else.

He took to this sizable challenge with relish, slowly but surely overhauling the wounded French squad. He showed he knew how to be tough, but also that he was capable of putting a comforting arm around players when required. Whatever approach he opted for, the goal was always the same — to build a better team. The fruit of the new boss’s labours were discernible as early as his first match in charge (versus Italy in Naples on 16 February 1994), when a side playing with new-found heart and verve triumphed 1-0 thanks to a Youri Djorkaeff strike.

Zidane becomes the one

The major foundation of this new French team’s success was, however, laid in late summer of 1994 when, in the 63rd minute of a friendly match that the French were losing 2-0 to the Czech Republic, Jacquet gave an international debut to a 22 year-old Bordeaux player by the name of Zinedine Zidane. Thirty minutes and two goals later, Zidane had untangled Les Bleus from a decidedly sticky situation, turning probable defeat into a creditable draw and introducing himself on the international scene in spectacular fashion.

At that time, the team’s play-making duties were still falling to Eric Cantona, a gifted maverick but one whose character tried the patience of more than one boss. On 18 January 1995, Jacquet took a bold decision and, in the face of much criticism, handed Zidane the place that had hitherto been the preserve of the man Manchester United fans called Le Roi.

At the Euros, building up to 1998

Having topped their qualifying group, France went in to EURO 96 as one of the favourites for overall glory. Though his side somewhat failed to live up to that billing – going out on penalties in the semi-final to the tournament’s surprise package, the Czech Republic – Jacquet learned enough from the English expedition to put out an even stronger side for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

He used the following two years of friendly matches to do just that. His focus was clear and his moves deliberate, yet a sceptical media poured scorn on his “tinkering”; some press commentators went even further and rather than concentrate on his decisions or technical merits preferred to assail the man for his quiet and introverted personality. Jacquet never sunk to this baiting, and instead continued to work towards his target, which was not just to perform well in “France’s” FIFA World Cup, but to win it.

All the right moves

When the big competition came round, the French had no trouble negotiating their way through the group stage, sweeping aside South Africa (3-0), Saudi Arabia (4-0) and Denmark (2-1). The records may show that they only squeezed past Paraguay in the second round thanks to a Laurent Blanc’s golden goal (sealing a 1-0 win), but the fact is that the hosts controlled the match from start to finish and would have won far more comfortably had their finishing been better. The French steamroller then carried on relentlessly, overcoming Italy (0-0, 4-3 on pens) and Croatia (2-1) to set up a final match showdown with Brazil.

Once there, Les Bleus could not have dreamed of a better outcome, and while it is true that the Seleçao may have been knocked out of their stride by the mysterious affliction that struck Ronaldo on the morning of the game, France’s emphatic 3-0 victory came courtesy of the most complete 90 minutes of football of the Jacquet era.

By guiding his homeland to the top of the world, Jacquet sent all of France into a month-long celebration and then, ever the quiet man, returned to his beloved DTN until retirement in 2006, satisfied with the knowledge that he had achieved what he had set out to do. Without ever shedding his dignity, he had served up the perfect answer to all those who had been so acerbic in their criticisms over the previous years. His finest achievement, however, was to have succeeded in unifying not just a team, but an entire country.

Tactics

By France 98 Jacquet had honed his innovative 4-2-1-3 system into one of the most solid in the history of the French national team. In front of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez stood a fantastic four-man defence consisting of Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Laurent Blanc and Bixente Lizarazu. These ‘four musketeers’ deployed a zone-marking method, with Blanc operating as an old-fashioned sweeper. Sitting in front of this four-man blockade were Didier Deschamps and Emmanuel Petit, who mopped up incalculable amounts of possession before knocking the ball to the team’s one central playmaker, Zinedine Zidane. The three attackers consisted of one centre-forward (Stephane Guivarc’h or David Trezeguet) and two wide men (Thierry Henry and Youri Djorkaeff). Jacquet controlled Italy and Brazil in the finals by reverting to the same system he used at the European Championships in 1996 – three ball-winners (Christian Karembeu, Petit and Deschamps) across the midfield.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in My articles

 

Tribute to Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini is considered one of the top film directors of all time, especially in Italy. His films highlighted artistic fantasy and desire and the line between reality and magic vanished in the scenes that he depicted in his movies, thereby creating the surreal imagery that many Italians, and in fact many playgoers around the world, have come to relish.

Fellini was born in the coastal town of Rimini in the resort city Adriatic on January 20th, 1920. His town drew variety show performers and circuses in large numbers and he was enamored by this, evidence of which can be found in the dream-like characteristics of his movies. In his youth, he abandoned a lot of career streams ostensibly to pursue the ideal job. He enrolled in law and then dropped out, took up a job as a crime reporter only to quit later and in fact did not even join the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografias. He settled down nicely in his job as a nomadic caricaturist and in 1939, was hired by the popular comic bi-weekly, Marc ‘Aurelio. This bi weekly made many a script writer and a director in the postwar period and hence in a way, helped Fellini launch his career.

It was his good fortune that the Italian culture of those days was very conducive to pursue a career in the movies. His strong points of sketching caricatures and cartoons and acting as a stand up comedian stood him in good stead when he entered cinema. It was indeed a tribute to Fellini that writer Italo Calvino once referred to his cinematic language as a “forcing of the photographic image in a direction that carries it from an image of caricature towards that of the visionary.”

In the year 1943, Fellini married actress Giulietta Masina, with whom he had acted in many films and whom he referred to as a person who has had profound influence on his work.

His various works

The turning point in his film career took place in 1945, when he was asked to co –author the script of Roberto Rosellini’s ‘Open City.’ Three years later, Fellini acted in Rosselini’s ‘Ways of Love’ where he (Fellini) played a tramp. ‘Variety Lights,’ released in 1950, was the first film he directed (in co operation with the famous Alberto Lattuada). In the years to come, he directed critically acclaimed films like ‘The White Sheik’ (A comedy about a woman’s love affair with a comic strip character), and ‘I Vitteloni’ (a story about a group of aimless young wanderers). ‘La Strada’, in 1954, brought him to limelight in the international arena. One of the most memorable movies of all time, this movie is about an innocent young woman sold to a cruel man working in a circus. The movie became a masterpiece and not only Fellini, but Nino Rota’s haunting music and a brilliant performance by Masina, the innocent girl, were responsible for its success. The crowning glory came when the movie won the Oscar prize for the best ‘Foreign language film’ category.

The hallmark works of his career were ‘La Dolce Vita’ and ‘8 1/2’ which he made in 1960 and 1963 respectively. The former was a journalist’s view of the contemporary Italian society and a very controversial movie that thrilled and incensed audiences the world over for its free depiction of sexuality (The Catholic church did not take this kindly) and criticisms aimed at Italy (which did not, naturally, go well with the Italian government). Having given the world a taste of what he was capable of delivering, people eagerly awaited his next movie, ‘8 1/2.’ ‘8 1/2’ was a well-calculated risk which went well among the masses. Having made a successful movie in La Dolce Vita, Fellini was under pressure to deliver. Since he did not know what movie to make next, after much thought, he decided to make a movie about a director who did not know what movie to make next. Fellini brilliantly depicted the mental trials that a film maker in such a state would be undergoing using surreal imagery where there was no distinction between reality and fantasy – a theme he loved most.

Fellini’s first movie in colour was ‘Juliet of the spirits’, which was released in 1965. This movie once again starred Masina, whose career was waning and who had begun to have personal problems with Fellini. Juliet, in this film, explored the mind of a disturbed high class housewife and, for the first time, Fellini got more brickbats for a movie, than bouquets.

‘Satyricon’ is lauded by many as his perfect film. The most fantastical of all his movies, this work of his exposes the obscene escapades of bi sexual characters in a pre-Christian world. Fellini classifies the film as ‘science-fiction of the past’ and true to the tag, there are a lot of scenes in the movie that are left hanging, leaving the audiences guessing what they really depicted. With a variety of elements like Sex (including nudity), an erotic feast (and even an orgy), dwarves, violent action and creatures from the fables, this movie was a visual treat. The critics were divided in their opinion, some non-sparing in their remarks, some describing it to be a path breaking movie which will revolutionise the way films are made.

The gradual decline

Since the time he made this movie, he has been less consistent in gaining praise and acceptance from the people. Later movies like ‘The Clowns(1971)’, ‘Roma(1972)’, and the little-known ‘Orchestral rehearsal(1979)’ did include his central theme of fantasy and dreamlike characteristics, but it was beginning to get evident that his best was past him. ‘Amarcord,’ which he made in 1974, was his best movie after ‘Satyricon’ and it won him his fourth Oscar for ‘Best Foreign Film.’

As the 80’s progressed, he found it increasingly difficult to convince people to fund his films. His final movie was made in 1990 and was titled ‘Voice of the Moon.’

Post retirement

Since the ‘Voice of the Moon’ Fellini slipped into partial retirement and was pursuing other projects. He won an Oscar for ‘Lifetime Achievement in Film making’ in 1994, which he graciously dedicated to Masina. A stroke attacked him in the August of 1994 and he slipped into a coma later that year. At the age of 73, Fellini died. And the fact that his death came a day after his 50th wedding anniversary saddened the event even more for Masina. (Masina died five months later due to cancer). Thousands of people attended the funeral ceremony in his small hometown of Rimini. The casket was taken to the cinema theatres where Fellini had watched his initial films as a small boy.

Such was his fame that the International airport in Rimini has been named after him. There are people who adore him, there are those who say his themes and movie making styles are repetitive, but none would dare challenge the fact that he has been one of the most influential Italian movie directors of all time and his movies have given all lots to think about. And for a man who looks up upon the great film directors like Kurosawa and Bergman, he hasn’t done badly himself either, with four Oscars for best movie under his belt.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in My articles

 

The Abu Dhabi art fair

Faith in art
A glimpse of the emirate’s impressive cultural ambitions
Nov 10th 2010

AT THE Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, the sand on the private beach is imported from Algeria, the hostesses at reception are Filipino and the butlers are usually Indian. Representing 50 galleries from 18 countries, the art dealers who participated in the second edition of Abu Dhabi Art, from November 3rd to the 7th, were also an international mixed bag.

The event was less a fair than “a formal introduction to the cultural ambitions of Abu Dhabi,” explained Marc Glimcher from New York’s Pace Gallery. “They’re so big that they transcend a cynical response.” This sentiment was echoed by Hyung-Teh Do of Seoul’s Hyundai Gallery, whose sophisticated stand included works by Ai Weiwei and Lee Ufan. “We are enjoying the unusual circumstances,” he said.

Many dealers brought art that they hoped might end up in the Louvre or Guggenheim being built nearby on Saadiyat Island. What is now nearly 2.5m square metres of sandy construction pits will be, by 2013 or soon thereafter, a world-class cultural destination featuring these two museums, among others. A few American dealers described feeling like they were making a pilgrimage to present their wares to the king. Though it was not entirely clear whom they were meant to impress when it came to acquisitions.

The patron of the art fair was his highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. Art and arms might seem like an unusual pair of responsibilities until one considers the ambassadorial potential of modern art, which can be used as a bridge to the west and a hedge against religious fundamentalism.

The ceremonial duties of the fair were left to the crown prince’s wife, Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, and sister-in-law, Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan. The two women glided through the fair with their abeya-clad entourages and presided over sumptuous late-night feasts. They were also active buyers. Sheikha Salama, for example, bought a gold cabinet filled with “diamonds” by Damien Hirst from White Cube, a concave mirror sculpture by Anish Kapoor from Kamel Mennour, and a series of 17 text works called “The Prestige of Terror” by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin from Paradise Row, a London gallery that specialises in emerging artists.

Beneath the crown prince are a range of “excellencies” in ministerial positions and jobs at the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), a corporation owned by the government (ie, the royal family). Who does what is difficult to discern, but one person who emerges from the complex layer-cake of committees involved in Abu Dhabi’s art initiatives is Rita Aoun Abdo, the Lebanese-born director of the TDIC’s cultural department. Intelligent and charismatic, Ms Aoun Abdo has a flair for diplomacy and a gift for making policy-speak sound like poetry. Yet she is not the one responsible for weeding through the world’s available Warhols to see which ones the emirate’s museums should acquire.

When it comes to modern and contemporary art, this task would appear to be the burden of a key advisor, Richard Armstrong, the director of the Guggenheim, and his team of top-notch curators (including Nancy Spector, Suzanne Cotter, Valerie Hillings and Reem Fadder, their expert on art from the Middle East). Although the Louvre Abu Dhabi has acknowledged buying 19 works—including depictions of Buddha and Christ as well as an abstract Piet Mondrian from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent—the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi hasn’t gone on the record about acquiring anything at all. An insider admits that the museum will likely have “nudes but no Mapplethorpes,” referring to the controversial American photographer.

Although bureaucratic, Abu Dhabi’s art-acquisition model is smart. The contemporary art market is rife with confidence men and inside traders. Here the museum folk act as a protective buffer from consultants and dealers who, despite their lofty rhetoric, are driven by their own financial interests. Moreover, when embracing edgy art in a historically conservative place, one wants to avoid being swayed by aesthetic fads. Museum curators generally have longer memories than art marketers.

The situation calls for patience on the part of dealers. Saleh Barakat, whose 20-year old Agial Art Gallery specialises in Lebanese and Arab art, was serene. He was at the fair to defend an Arab point of view. “Picasso and Damien Hirst belong in the museum,” he said, “but so do the artists that express the heritage and cultural expectations of the region.”

Galleries exhibiting Arab and Persian art could rely on collectors visiting from Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait, Tehran and Jedda. Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, whose Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah is committed to promoting Arab art, added five pieces to his collection of 500 works—two by Saudi artists, two by Emiratis and one by a Syrian. Aside from a handful of collectors, including Sheikha Salama, a thirst for art that is neither Arab nor Persian has yet to hit the UAE. However, where princesses lead, others follow.

The fair included a few ghastly dealerships, such as London’s Opera Gallery (whose thoughtless kitsch looks like art to the untrained eye, but is really an assortment of gimmicky design objects). But overall the quality of the stands was ambitious. David Zwirner presented a rigorous exhibition of Minimalist work. Johnson Chang’s Hanart gallery introduced an interesting selection of contemporary Chinese artists. And Patrick Seguin offered an instructive narrative about Jean Prouvé as an architect.

Paul Schimmel, the chief curator of MOCA Los Angeles who was in town to interview Jeff Koons, summed up the fair for both its organisers and dealers: Abu Dhabi Art was “an act of faith in the future of the region.”

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in My articles

 

China ,the time is coming .

The clock ticks

American pressure for China to revalue the yuan is reviving. Others are less fussed

Jun 17th 2010 | Hong kong and washington, dc

LIKE his leggier boss in the White House, Tim Geithner, America’s treasury secretary, is fond of basketball. In April he called a timeout in America’s long campaign for a stronger Chinese exchange rate, postponing a report that might have accused China of currency manipulation. His objective, he said, was to use his talks with China in May and the G20 gatherings in June to make “material progress” on rebalancing the world economy. The last of those meetings, the G20 summit in Toronto, will take place on June 26th and 27th.

In basketball timeouts provide an opportunity to regroup and substitute players. In politics they give new problems a chance to come into play. The Greek sovereign-debt crisis deflected the world’s attention from China’s currency and sank the euro, which meant the yuan has strengthened overall even as it has remained fixed to the dollar. It also unnerved China’s policymakers, who began to fret again about financial instability and a slowdown in the euro area, their second-biggest export market. This was not the time, they concluded, to fiddle with the yuan.

That sits awkwardly with Mr Geithner’s hopes for global rebalancing. In this vision of the future, American saving would rise as overstretched borrowers repaid their debts. American households have indeed pulled back dramatically if you count their reduced outlays on houses and home improvements, argues Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs. The combined spending of American households and businesses now falls short of their income by about 6.8% of GDP. In 2006 spending exceeded income by 3.7% of GDP.

This retrenchment was offset, and made possible, by a dramatic fiscal swing in the opposite direction. But America cannot long maintain a budget deficit of almost 9% of GDP. A sustainable recovery would require America to sell more to foreigners, aided by a cheaper dollar. And surplus countries, living well within their means, would have to buy more.

Things went according to script until the end of last year, but have since reversed. America’s trade deficit has widened notably this year, to a 16-month high of $40 billion in April. Europe’s travails suggest the outlook isn’t much better: it will probably be importing less and exporting more, because of fiscal retrenchment and a lower euro, taking market share from American exporters.

America can take some comfort from a narrowing of China’s current-account surplus, from 11% of GDP at its peak in 2007 to 6.1% last year. China’s imports have ballooned this year, thanks to its prodigious stimulus spending and a rise in commodity prices. It even recorded a trade deficit in March. But in the year to May exports increased by almost half, resulting in a trade surplus of about $20 billion for the month, the biggest since October. The fear is that China’s strong imports of machinery, oil and ores in the early months of this year may simply have gone into one end of a production pipeline, out of which are now emerging excessive volumes of steel and heavy-industrial products that it cannot sell at home. As Janet Zhang of GaveKal Dragonomics points out, China’s steel exports in May were 89% higher than their average over the previous four months.

Criticism of China’s currency has resurged almost as quickly as its exports. In international basketball, only the coach can call a timeout. But in America, any of the players can interrupt the game. American policymaking is equally chaotic. Unlike Mr Geithner, many congressmen believe China has already run out of time. Charles Schumer, a Democratic senator, has introduced a bill that would authorise America to slap duties on imports deemed to benefit from an artificially low currency. He plans to seek a vote within a few weeks.

With no parallel bill in the House of Representatives, Mr Schumer’s proposal is a long way from becoming law. But Senate passage could press the administration into taking a firmer line. The government could formally label China a currency manipulator in the delayed report, due in early July; or it could rule in favour of several companies—including three papermakers—that have requested duties on Chinese imports because of the cheap yuan.

Would a stronger yuan really save America’s papermakers and other struggling firms? Between mid-2005 and mid-2009, China’s real trade-weighted exchange rate appreciated by about 5.5% a year. If instead it had risen by 10% a year, as many in America would have liked, China’s exports would have been about 30% lower by mid-2009, according to a study by Shaghil Ahmed of the Federal Reserve.

But in China a drop in exports does not translate straightforwardly into a drop in the trade surplus. China re-exports a lot of what it imports, turning hard drives into iPods and iron ore into steel. So when its foreign sales fall, its overseas purchases drop as well. Alicia García-Herrero of BBVA, a Spanish bank, and Tuuli Koivu of the Bank of Finland find that a 10% appreciation of the trade-weighted yuan reduces imports of components by about 6%.

America hoped that other G20 members, particularly in the developing world, would rally to the cause of revaluing the yuan. In April the president of Brazil’s Central Bank described China’s currency as a “distortion”. His counterpart in India made some milder remarks, but India’s government has remained silent. It is the co-chair of the G20’s working group on rebalancing. As a rare example of a big Asian economy with a current-account deficit, it cherishes its role as honest broker.

America’s huge trade deficit with China (see chart) sets it apart from many other G20 members. Japan has a surplus of $45.5 billion with China and South Korea $59.1 billion. Even Brazil can boast more than $14 billion. In the past 12 months China has run a trade deficit with the G20 excluding America (even counting the entire European Union as a member).

Getting global imbalances onto the G20’s agenda took some work. China first resisted the idea, fearing the group would put it under too much pressure. But for champions of yuan reform the hope is less that the G20 sides with America against China, more that China feels comfortable enough to use the forum to unveil a policy shift that is in its own long-run interest.

Finance and Economics

Source http://www.economist.com/node/16379927?story_id=16379927&source=hptextfeature

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2010 in My articles

 

Internet.Is it safe enough ?

The clash of data civilisations

Sharply differing attitudes towards privacy in Europe and America are a headache for the world’s internet giants

WATCHDOGS are growling at the web giants, and sometimes biting them. In May European data-protection agencies wrote to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! demanding independent proof that they were making promised changes to protect the privacy of users’ search history. They also urged Google to store sensitive search data for only six months instead of nine.

In April ten privacy and data-protection commissioners from countries including Canada, Germany and Britain wrote a public letter to Eric Schmidt, Google’s boss, demanding changes in Google Buzz, the firm’s social-networking service, which had been criticised for dipping into users’ Gmail accounts to find “followers” for them without clearly explaining what it was doing. Google promptly complied.

Such run-ins with regulators are likely to multiply—and limit the freedom of global internet firms. It is not just that online privacy has become a controversial issue. More importantly, privacy rules are national, but data flows lightly and instantly across borders, often thanks to companies like Google and Facebook, which manage vast databases.

A recent scandal dubbed “Wi-Figate” exemplifies the problem. Google (accidentally, it insists) gathered data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in people’s homes as part of a project to capture images of streets around the world. A number of regulators launched investigations. Yet their reaction varied widely, even within the European Union, where member states have supposedly aligned their stance on online privacy. Some European watchdogs ordered Google to preserve the data it had collected in their bailiwicks; others demanded that information related to their countries be destroyed (see table).

Despite such differences within Europe, the gap is much greater between Europe and America, home to many of the world’s largest online social networks and search engines. European regulations are inspired by the conviction that data privacy is a fundamental human right and that individuals should be in control of how their data are used. America, on the other hand, takes a more relaxed view, allowing people to use a patchwork-quilt of consumer-protection laws to seek redress if they feel their privacy has been violated. Companies that handle users’ data are largely expected to police themselves.

Some experts say this dichotomy explains why Silicon Valley firms that strike out abroad have sometimes been the targets of European Union data watchdogs. Jules Polonetsky of the Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank, says that many American firms have yet to learn that showing up in Europe and extolling the virtues of self-regulation is likely to be as ineffective as rightwing politicians denouncing anti-discrimination laws back home.


Guarding the guardians

Transatlantic friction between companies and regulators has grown as Europe’s data guardians have become more assertive. Francesca Bignami, a professor at George Washington University’s law school, says that the explosion of digital technologies has made it impossible for watchdogs to keep a close eye on every web company operating in their backyard. So instead they are relying more on scapegoating prominent wrongdoers in the hope that this will deter others.

But regulators such as Peter Schaar, who heads Germany’s federal data-protection agency, say the gulf is exaggerated. Some European countries, he points out, now have rules that make companies who suffer big losses of customer data to report these to the authorities. The inspiration for these measures comes from America.

Yet even Mr Schaar admits that the internet’s global scale means that there will need to be changes on both sides of the Atlantic. He hints that Europe might adopt a more flexible regulatory stance if America were to create what amounts to an independent data-protection body along European lines. In Europe, where the flagship Data Protection Directive came into effect in 1995, before firms such as Google and Facebook were even founded, the European Commission is conducting a review of its privacy policies. In America Congress has begun debating a new privacy bill and the Federal Trade Commission is considering an overhaul of its rules. David Vladeck, the head of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, has acknowledged that “existing privacy frameworks have limitations”.

Even if America and Europe do narrow their differences, internet firms will still have to grapple with other data watchdogs. In Asia countries that belong to APEC are trying to develop a set of regional guidelines for privacy rules under an initiative known as the Data Privacy Pathfinder. Some countries such as Australia and New Zealand have longstanding privacy laws, but many emerging nations have yet to roll out fully fledged versions of their own. Mr Polonetsky sees Asia as “a new privacy battleground”, with America and Europe both keen to tempt countries towards their own regulatory model.

Privacy laws are somewhat more common in Latin America, where countries such as Argentina and Chile boast relatively strict European-style regimes. Mexico, which last year made data privacy a constitutional right, is also pushing through a new federal data-privacy law. The likely outcome is a mix of European and American privacy frameworks, predicts Katitza Rodriguez of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group.

Canada already has something of a hybrid privacy regime, which may explain why its data-protection commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, has been so influential on the international stage. She marshalled the signatories of the Google Buzz letter and took Facebook to task last year for breaching Canada’s data privacy laws, which led the company to change its policies.

Ms Stoddart argues that American companies often trip up on data-privacy issues because of “their brimming optimism that the whole world wants what they have rolled out in America.” Yet the same optimism has helped to create global companies that have brought huge benefits to consumers, while also presenting privacy regulators with tough choices. Shoehorning such firms into antiquated privacy frameworks will not benefit either them or their users.

Original post   http://www.economist.com/node/16377097?story_id=16377097&source=hptextfeature

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2010 in My articles

 

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Posted by on February 19, 2010 in My articles

 

Constantinople – The lost city of Greece

This city is calling now Instabul,that means “in the City” ,the city had till then the name Constantinopolis ,that means in greek ,the city of Constantinos.Constantinos the great was the greatest King of the Eastern Empire ,”Byzantium” .I was in this magnificent city twice and I have to admit that my heart was breaking in pieces when I realised that this jewlerry of Bospurus is ruined by many millions of Barbarians who live there.The hidden dream of every Greek ,is to see this city again greek.Its the dream of everyone who feels Greek ,to see the greek flag in the roof of Hagia Sofia in Constantinopolis.Here you can see the history of this amazing city

Constantinopolis is the largest city in Turkey and is among the 25 largest urban areas in the world. It is located on the Bosporus Strait and covers the entire area of the Golden Horn – a natural harbor. Because of its size, Constantinopolis extends into both Europe and Asia. The city is the world’s only metropolis to extend into more than one continent.

The city of Constantinopolis is important to geography because it has a long history that spans the rise and fall of the world’s most famous empires. Due to its participation in these empires, Constantinopolis has also undergone various name changes throughout its lengthy history.

History of Constantinopolis

Byzantium

Though Constantinopolis may have been inhabited as early as 3000 BCE, it was not a city until Greek colonists arrived in the area in the 7th Century BCE. These colonists were led by King Byzas and settled there because of the strategic location along the Bosporus Strait. King Byzas named the city Byzantium after himself.

The Roman Empire (330-395 CE)

Following its development by the Greeks, Byzantium became a part of the Roman Empire in the 300s. During this time, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great undertook a construction project to rebuild the entire city. His goal was to make it stand out and give the city monuments similar to those found in Rome. In 330, Constantine declared the city as the capital of the entire Roman Empire and renamed it Constantinople.

The Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire (395-1204 and 1261-1453 CE)

After Constantinople was named the capital of the Roman Empire the city grew and prospered. After the death of the emperor Theodosius I in 395, however, enormous upheaval took place in the empire as his sons permanently divided the empire. Following the division, Constantinople became the capital of the Byzantine Empire in the 400s.

As part of the Byzantine Empire, the city became distinctly Greek as opposed to its former identity in the Roman Empire. Because Constantinople was at the center of two continents, it became a center of commerce, culture, diplomacy, and grew considerably. In 532, though, the anti-government Nika Revolt broke out among the city’s population and destroyed it. After the revolt however, the Constantinople was rebuilt and many of its most outstanding monuments were constructed- one of which was the Haghia Sophia as Constantinople became the center of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The Latin Empire (1204-1261)

Although Constantinople significantly prospered during decades following its becoming a part of the Byzantine Empire, the factors leading to its success also made it a target for conquering. For hundreds of years, troops from all over the Middle-East attacked the city. For a time it was even controlled by members of the Fourth Crusade after it was desecrated in 1204. Subsequently, Constantinople became the center of the Catholic Latin Empire.

As competition persisted between the Catholic Latin Empire and the Greek Orthodox Byzantine Empire, Constantinople was caught in the middle and began to significantly decay. It went financially bankrupt, the population declined, and it became vulnerable to further attacks as defense posts around the city crumbled. In 1261, in the midst of this turmoil, the Empire of Nicaea recaptured Constantinople and it was returned to the Byzantine Empire. Around the same time, the Ottoman Turks began conquering the cities surrounding Constantinople, effectively cutting it off from many of its neighboring cities.

The Ottoman Empire (1453-1922)

After being considerably weakened by constant invasions and being cut off from its neighbors by the Ottoman Turks, Constantinople was officially conquered by the Ottomans, led by Sultan Mehmed II on May 29, 1453 after a 53-day siege. During the siege, the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, died while defending his city. Almost immediately, Constantinople was named as the capital of the Ottoman Empire and its name was changed to Constantinopolis.

Upon taking control of the city, Sultan Mehmed sought to rejuvenate Constantinopolis. He created the Grand Bazaar (one of the largest covered marketplaces in the world), brought back fleeing Catholic and Greek Orthodox residents. In addition to these residents, he brought in Muslim, Christian, and Jewish families to establish a mixed populace. Sultan Mehmed also began the building of architectural monuments, schools, hospitals, public baths, and grand imperial mosques.

From 1520 to 1566, Suleiman the Magnificent controlled the Ottoman Empire and there were many artistic and architectural achievements that made it a major cultural, political, and commercial center. By the mid-1500s, the city’s population also grew to almost 1 million inhabitants. The Ottoman Empire ruled Constantinopolis until it was defeated and occupied by the allies in World War I.

The Republic of Turkey (1923-today)

Following its occupation by the allies in World War I, the Turkish War of Independence took place and Constantinopolis became a part of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Constantinopolis was not the capital city of the new republic and during the early years of its formation Constantinopolis was overlooked and investment went into the new centrally located capital Ankara. In the 1940s and 1950s though, Constantinopolis re-emerged new public squares, boulevards, and avenues were constructed. Because of the construction though, many of the city’s historic buildings were demolished.

In the 1970s, Constantinopolis’s population rapidly increased, causing the city to expand into the nearby villages and forests, eventually creating a major world metropolis.

Constantinopolis Today

Constantinopolis’s many historical areas were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1985. In addition, because of its status as a world rising power, its history, importance to culture in both Europe and the world, Constantinopolis has been designated the European Capital of Culture for 2010 by the European Union.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2008 in My articles

 
 
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