With the Copenhagen conference on climate change only two weeks away, it remains doubtful whether a legally binding agreement on climate change will emerge. Here a run-down of the (mostly vague) pledges made by key greenhouse gas emitters in the wake of the conference:
In what should be a record for the quickest turnaround from real life to “reel” life, the events of the 2008 South Ossetia War may be on their way to a screen near you.
According to Reuters, Finnish director Renny Harlin is currently shooting the as-of-yet untitled project in Georgia. Andy Garcia will play Tie-Taster-in-Chief Mikhail Saakashvili.
Who’s backing the project? The article says Papuna Davitaia, “a parliament deputy from Saakashvili’s ruling United National Movement” is a producer (meaning, he’s one of the money men). IMDB says “Mizra Davitaia.” I’m going to assume Papuna and Mizra are one in the same.
Now remember, the EU found that both sides bore equal responsibility (or at least shifting), for the conflict. But with Georgia money shoring up the production, should we guess who’ll wear the white hat?
But there are more important questions to ask, like who will play Putin.
I vote for Bruce Willis.
Tom Cruise. They’re about the same height.
Want to know more about South Ossetia without the lights, cameras and action? Here you go.
For the first time since Tsar Alexander I in 1819, a Russian head of state is visiting Switzerland. Today, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is coming for an official visit to the small Alpine country.
The main purpose of Medvedev’s visit is to celebrate the 210th anniversary of Russian General Aleksandr Vasiliyevich Suvorov’s victorious military expedition across the Alps, which resulted in the defeat of Napoleon’s occupying forces in Switzerland. Following Switzerland’s liberation from the French, the modern Swiss Confederation (more or less within today’s political borders) came into being.
Many Swiss living in the mountainous areas through which Suvorov’s triumphant troops passed remain deeply grateful to the Russian general, who is said to have never lost a battle and is seen as one of the greatest military geniuses ever to lead an army. He also coined phrases such as “To surprise is to vanquish”, ” Train hard, fight easy” or “Speed is essential, but haste harmful”. Both the Swiss and the Russian consider the Russian general a military hero. No questions asked. » More
Truth commissions are usually formed to examine a country’s history, bringing to light the good, the bad and the ugly.
But, history belongs to the victors. Truth commissions can also be used to forward a particular political stance. In our weekly theme, “The Truth About ‘Truth’ Commissions, Ariel Cohen examines the new Russian ‘Truth’ Commission with a critical eye, stating that it has been intentionally designed to stop the pieces of history that would damage the carefully crafted image of today’s Russia from coming to the surface.
The ISN’s Linda Popova gives background information on truth commissions and offers evidence that bureaucracy can hinder even the most earnest attempts at finding the ‘truth.’
- In our Digital Library, the latest Caucasus Analytical Digest, Writing National Histories: Coming to Terms with the Past looks at how states in the Caucasus approach their history
- The Politicisation of History in the Russian Federation examines the Putin-Medvedev government’s role in the politicization of history in Russia.
- In our Links Library we’re highlighting Amnesty International’s Checklist for the Establishment of an Effective Truth Commission
And as always, check our site throughout the week for more on the topic.
In one of the most bizarre stories of the month, a Finnish-owned ship with a timber load belonging to Stora Enso (a Finnish company and the second largest paper producer in the world) worth an estimated 1.3 million euros, vanished (yes, vanished!) as it was passing through the English Channel nearly three weeks ago on its way to Algeria. The ship and its all-Russian crew have not been heard from since. Reports state that the ship was hijacked off the Swedish coast in July and subsequently released by suspected pirates who had reportedly boarded the vessel dressed up as Swedish anti-narcotics police. The ship, upon failing to bring its load to Algeria on 4 August was reported missing.
While the Finns seem oddly indifferent and blasé about the whole thing, Putin is already flexing his well-toned muscles and threatening to launch a Rambo-mission to find the poor hijackees (with the help of his sidekick, Medvedev, of course). We needn’t worry though- apparently timber can’t sink, so the ship will be found, intact or as a sea of floating Finnish timber in the Atlantic.