Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to the fifth Weekly Bilingual News of May 2011 with comments and a brief analysis about how the world was running during the last few days.

On May 26, press sources informed the arrest of Serbian general Ratko Mladic accused for the Srebenica massacre during the Bosnian war. Three days later, while the leaders of the European Community were celebrating the news, a group of his sympathizers clashed against the police in Belgrado - the capital of the former Yugoslavia - asking for the liberation of the commander of the Serbian troops during the racial cleansing of the Balkans in 1995.

In the blog of the story "Clashes Erupt to Protest Mladic Arrest" (Wall Street Journal, 2011/05/29) we wrote the following comment: "When we read the news about the arrest of Ratko Mladic and the reactions from people who are defending the Serbian general, a question come to our mind. Can we acclaim their "hero" to be responsible for the massive slaughter of more than 8000 disarmed men and boys and the rape of their women and children? Always in wars, the fighters commit atrocities for hate, revenge, fear or hunger. But after the fighting, we cannot forgive the crimes of the architect of a massive killing. Evidently, the people who are protecting Mladic are sick persons, murderers, or androids of the war."

Also during the weekend, more than 160,000 Germans went to the street in a national pacific demonstration. For the first time in the history of Germany, on Saturday May 28, an anti-nuclear movement marched under the slogan "Nuclear power: the end!" simultaneously in more than 20 cities. In Berlin, the demonstrators went to the offices of the Chancellor Angela Merkel, demanding the end of nuclear energy in the country. The largest demonstrations were in: Berlin; 25000, Munich: 25000, Hamburg 20000, Hanover: 12000, Freiburg: 10000 Frankfurt am Main: about 8000, Fürth: 8000, Landshut: 8500, Bonn: 7500, Essen: 6000, Bremen: 5000, Mannheim 4100, Mainz: 4000, and Dresden 3200.

In the blog of the story titled: "Germany to Go Nuclear-Free by 2022" (Wall Street Journal, 2011/05/30) we posted this comment: "It is good that Germany is working to develop new alternative electric resources. It is also good that the authorities request more controls for the providers of nuclear power. But it is crazy to destroy the investment in nuclear reactors. If the green extremists don't balance their impetuosity, they will damage the German economy."


GOVERNMENT AND DISASTERS: In the blog of the WSJ story about the Missouri's tornadoes titled: "Obama to Visit Tornado-Struck Missouri" we wrote: "In the moments of disasters, the President has to see the people with problems independently of their political party. The President and the other authorities govern for the Americans, no for the members of their party. "(2011/05/29). According to the author of the article, President Obama didn't win in Missouri during the 2008 presidential election.

PAKISTANI FRIENDSHIP: In the blog of the Wall Street Journal story about the first American official visit to Pakistan after the death of Osama bin Laden titled: "Clinton Gets Cold Reception" we wrote: " It is normal that the Secretary of State has to work with people who are not friendly. This is part of her job. Probably, now the Pakistani government and its secret service don't want to show their faces because they feel embarrassed. They received billions of dollars, but they didn't find Osama bin Laden who was living near a military academy for many years."(2011/05/29)

LIBYAN REVOLUTION: In the blog of a new WSJ story about Libya titled: "Libyan Rebels Offer Amnesty to Pro-Gadhafi Soldiers" we posted the following comment: "The initiative of the political leader of Libyan rebels is very risky. Who will teach the principles of democracy to the Pro-Gadhafi soldiers? The wolves of today will not be lambs of tomorrow, but "wolves" know how to disguise themselves into lambs, to wait for new opportunities of assaults, kidnappings, and other dark businesses." (2011/05/28)

IRAN UNPLUGS INTERNET: In the blog of the WSJ story titled "Iran Vows to Unplug Internet" we wrote: "Today everybody knows Internet is the first enemy of the dictatorships. The technology makes easy the transmission of dialogues, pictures and videos from everywhere in the world. Any observer has the tools to show how the dictators and their gangs of bandits mistreat defenseless people, killing and abusing protesters. Only censorship can silence the voice of the freedom. Iran and the other countries that unplug Internet are devils who are afraid of the power of democracy." (2011/05/28)

ARAB SPRING SUPPORTERS: In the blog of the Wall Street Journal about the G-8 conference: "G-8 Launches $40 Billion 'Arab Spring' Partnership" we posted: "The initiative of the G-8 for helping the countries of the 'Arab Spring' seems positive. However, through the declarations of some of the members of the group, we don't see an organic assistance program of immediate action. Frequently, in the international meetings, the politicians draw projects that nobody will implement in a good sense. For example, what kind of aid G8 will give to Egypt before its citizens decide the country they want. President Mubarak resigned months ago, but now the religious violence is bringing new difficulties to convert the Arab nation in an authentic democracy. It is possible for someone to give money to groups of people that do not know what they want?" (2011/05/27)

MICROSOFT AGAINST CHINA: In the blog of a WSJ story about the visit of Microsoft CEO to China titled: "Ballmer Decries Huge China Sales Hole" we published the following comment: "The complaint of Steve Ballmer doesn't show something new. China always was the Achilles' heel of the software industry. Frequently, the pirates find support from members of the Communist Party." (2011/05/26) (Steve Ballmer remarked the sales of Microsoft's software don't grow in China in the same way the PCs are growing due to the piracy.)


The main indexes of Wall Street closed the week in the negative territory. Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 70.46 points or 0.56% to 12441.58, while Nasdaq Composite declined 6.46 points or 0.23% to end at 2796.86. This was the fourth consecutive week that Dow Jones went down.

During the last week different subjects were headlines of the newspapers and TV:
- G8 conference in France
- Tornadoes in Missouri and other states
- President Obama's trip to Europe
- Arrest of the Serbian Ratko Mladic
- First American delegation to Pakistan after the death of Osama bin Laden.

The repression in the streets of Syria and the Yemeni uprising generated new concerns in the western capitals. International banks blocked funds of Syrian authorities. In Yemen, tribal groups demanded the resignation of the central government. In Libya, the rebels offered amnesty to Pro-Gadhafi soldiers who quit the regime.

In the technology arena, the press commented about new initiatives of Hewlett-Packard to change direction after the poor financial results of its last fiscal quarter. The HP CEO Leo Apotheker looks for leadership in cloud computing. Meanwhile some top managers of HP are leaving the company.

In other news, the political campaign for the U.S. 2012 presidential elections brought other names to the list of potential Republican candidates. Sarah Palin began a tour across the country. Some observers think she will run for the GOP presidential nomination.

Best regards,


Domingo A. Trassens
Spanish-English Club
Electronic mail:

Questions - Preguntas:

1) From your point of view, what was the worst news for the week?
1) Desde vuestro punto de vista, ¿cuál fue la peor noticia de la semana?

2) And what was the best news from the week?
2) ¿Y cuál fue la mejor noticia de la semana?

Vocabulary - Vocabulario:

- acclaim = aclamar, aplaudir
- amnesty = amnistía
- arrest = arresto
- atrocity, atrocities = atrocidad, atrocidades
- Balkans = Balcanes
- clash, clashes = choque, choques
- cleansing = limpieza, purificación
- decry, decries = condenar, condena
- defection = deserción
- demonstration = manifestación
- demonstrator, demostrators = manifestante, manifestantes
- disaster = desastre
- fear = miedo, temor
- forgive = perdonar
- France = Francia
- friendship = amistad
- funds = fondos
- German = alemán, alemana
- hate = odio
- hero = héroe
- hunger = hambre
- intention = intención, propósito
- massacre = masacre
- movement = movimiento
- nomination = nombramiento
- pacific = pacífico, pacífica
- racial = racial
- revenge = revancha
- savage = feroz, furioso
- Serbian = serbio, serbia
- simultaneously = simultáneamente, al mismo tiempo
- slaughter = carnicería
- sympathizers = simpatizantes
- tornado, tornadoes = tornado, tornados
- tour = viaje, recorrido
- tribal = tribal
- unplug = desenchufar
- Yugoslavia = Yugoslavia


G8: The Group of Eight (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and United States) = El Grupo de los Ocho (Canadá, Estados Unidos, Francia, Alemania, Italia, Japón, Reino Unido, y Rusia)


Thanks to Betty, Bob, Gaby, Erika, Mary, Pierre, Stephanie and Suzanne your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

New German Revolution: Atomkraft: Schluss!: Nuclear power: the end!
Nueva revolución alemana: El final de la energía nuclear.

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