Saturday, May 30, 2009

Barack Obama sought to quell Sotomayor dust-up

President Obama sought yesterday to douse the political firestorm over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's much-dissected 2001 remark that a "wise Latina woman" could often reach "better" judgments than a white judge. […] "She was simply saying that her life experiences will give her information about the struggles and hardships that people are going through [and] that will make her a good judge," the president said in an interview with NBC News.

"Part of the job of a justice on the Supreme Court, or any judge, is to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes, to be able to, you know, understand the nature of the case, and how it has an impact on people's ordinary day-to-day lives," he added.

The remark at issue was made during a speech at the University of California at Berkeley in which Sotomayor said "our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging." "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she said… The Boston Globe

Friday, May 22, 2009

Barack Obama and Dick Cheney clashed on fight against terror

In back-to-back speeches, President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney faced off yesterday, both forcefully presenting their sharply different views on how to keep America safe from terrorism, the effectiveness of harsh interrogations, and whether the 240 Guantanamo Bay detainees pose an imminent danger if brought to American soil.

Obama said he is trying to clean up the "mess" he inherited from the Bush-Cheney administration and stressed the need to uphold American values, repeatedly noting the setting for his speech - the august National Archives, which houses the original Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. … More at The Boston Globe

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to end the disastrous US "Drug War"? [Huffington Post]

When it comes to addressing America's disastrous war on drugs, the Obama administration appears to be moving in the right direction -- albeit very, very cautiously.

On the rhetorical front, all the president's men are saying the right things.

In his first interview since being confirmed, Obama's new drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said that we need to stop looking at our drug problem as a war. "Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on product'," he
told the Wall Street Journal, "people see war as a war on them. We're not at war with people in this country." … More >> Arianna Huffington, Huffpost

Friday, May 8, 2009

EU launched Eastern Partnership plan in Prague

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the only Western European leader, attended the talks

The European Union has just launched a new Eastern Partnership plan with six former Soviet states. However, Russia has already voiced its concern over the plan, which it sees as the EU encroaching on its territory.

The plan was launched in the Czech capital Prague on May 7 after being signed by representatives of the EU, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The main goal of the partnership was to "accelerate political association and further economic integration" between the EU and the former Soviet nations, the participants said in an agreed summit statement... Deutsche Welle


Friday, May 1, 2009

La cuisine de rue (street food) - une anomalie?

Manger dans la rue, c'est justement regarder ce qui s'y passe dans cette rue, c'est l'habiter avec les autres. Souvent, attendre en file pour un falafel ou des marrons chauds est en soi une expérience.

Et c'est vrai que l'on soit à New York devant un marchand de hot-dogs ou un bar à gruau, à Paris où les marchands de crêpes au Nutella embaument la rue ou à Salvador au Brésil, où des dames tout habillées de blanc apportent carrément leur réchaud et leur marmite sur le trottoir pour faire frire leurs acaraje, ces boulettes de pâte de haricot frites que l'on sert garnies de crevettes séchées, condiments aux noix d'acajou et autres garnitures au choix.

Otak-otak singapourien (poisson cuit dans une feuille de bananier), tamales péruviens, fish and chips britanniques... Jadis, même les pâtes, les maccheroni, étaient mangées dans la rue à Naples.

La cuisine de rue, la «street food», ce n'est pas une anomalie, un danger pour la santé publique, c'est tout un pan de la gastronomie du monde entier... sauf à Montréal. Extrait, Marie-Claude Lortie, À vos casseroles, citoyens