CIA Black Site in Poland

July 31, 2014
CIA Crime

CIA Crime

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Poland violated the European Convention on Human Rights by allowing the CIA to detain and torture terrorism suspects on Polish territory. The verdict was unanimous. Two applicants claim that between 2002 and 2003, they were imprisoned at a so-called “black site” in Stare Kiejkuty, northeastern Poland. Both men are currently indefinitely detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The Court has ordered Poland to pay €100,000 in compensation to Al-Nashiri, allegedly responsible for orchestrating the bombing of the American military vessel USS Cole in 2000, and another €130,000 to Abu Zubaydah, supposedly one of the top members of Al-Qaeda. While the Court stressed the fact that the CIA was solely responsible for interrogations and tortures conducted in Stare Kiejkuty, it faulted Poland for cooperating  with the American agency and allowing it to use a Polish intelligence training facility. According to the Court, Polish authorities, bound by the European Convention on Human Rights to prevent torture and inhumane treatment, had in fact permitted it. What is more, Poland failed to effectively investigate the matter and subsequently refused to submit the requested evidence to the Court.
tvn24.pl

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Picasso, Goya and Dali in Wrocław

July 29, 2014
Picasso in Wrocław

Picasso in Wrocław

Three Spanish artists, three great individualities, three intriguing personalities and corrida, for centuries associated with the social mores of the Iberian Peninsula. The exhibition of the work of three of the world’s most recognisable artists: Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya and Salvador Dali takes place in the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław from 24 July until 16 November. The theme of the exhibition “Tauromachia – bullfighting. Between good and evil” is a bull, an animal that symbolises strength and courage. A total of approximately 200 works of the three famous Spanish artists will be on display, all dedicated to corrida. Francisco Goya’s graphics entitled “Tauromachia” illustrate various techniques of bullfighting, a tradition reaching back to the roots of European culture. As for Picasso, who was familiar with the achievements of Goya, his works express not only the youthful fascinations of but also his protest against the events that took place in Spain during General Franco’s rule. By contrast, the famous surrealist Salvador Dali saw bullfighting more in terms of magical ritual and the human confrontation with animal in its aesthetic dimension.
wroclaw.gazeta.pl

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First Job, Then Marriage

July 29, 2014
But Most Prefer a Job

But Most Prefer a Job

People without their own source of income are postponing plans to start a family. Therefore, the number of marriages has fallen over the past five years, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, based on data of the Central Statistical Office (GUS). The data show that during the past year, 29,000 newlyweds did not have their own source of income and were living on solely one partner’s or relatives’ saved money. This is, however, considerably less than it was during 2002-2003, which were the worst years in this respect. According to Janusz Czapiński, a social psychologist at the University of Warsaw, the cause of these positive changes is the improvement of the situation on the labour market, although it is still extremely difficult. There are also many more adult Poles aged 25-34, who still live with their parents. In the years 2005-2013 alone this number increased by 700,000 to 2.8 million people.
fakty.interia.pl

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Kraków Speaks English

July 28, 2014
Kraków or Cracow?

Kraków or Cracow?

Nine million tourists visit Kraków every year. Over two and a half million are foreigners. Most either do not speak Polish at all or know just the basics and therefore cannot fully enjoy everything Kraków has to offer. The new campaign of Kraków Municipal Council aims to change all that. The authorities are encouraging cafés, restaurants, shops, as well as taxi companies, hairdressers and dentists who employ English-speaking personnel to take part in its new campaign. All companies and private businesses which can serve their customers in English will receive a “Please come in, we do speak English here!” sticker, which means that the establishment is recommended by the Municipal Council. Another benefit for businesses taking part in the campaign is a permanent and free of charge advertisement on the city’s official website “Magiczny Kraków” (Magical Kraków).
wp.pl

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LOT Passengers Afraid of Ukraine

July 26, 2014
No Ukraine Fly

No Ukraine Fly

The last days saw the unspeakable horror of the Malaysian aircraft disaster in which 295 people lost their lives. The plane was shot down during a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. While the culprit of the disaster still remains unknown, Polish citizens who often visit Ukraine are becoming increasingly scared of crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border. Many customers of LOT Polish Airlines have already bought tickets to Ukraine, but are now wondering whether they should stay in Poland. In order to calm their fears, a LOT spokesperson claims that there are no flights near the danger zone in Ukraine. Those passengers, however, who are travelling to Odessa, Lviv or Kiev within the next few days can change the date of their flight without any additional fees. This procedure is applicable only for tickets for flights scheduled between 17 July and 15 August. Passengers who have such tickets can choose another date within a 12-month period. This will enable LOT customers to avoid unnecessary stress during their journey. Nevertheless, to pacify those who have to fly to Poland’s eastern neighbour and are still afraid, LOT stresses that the area that is now rife with separatists is not included on its flight paths. Even flights to Far Eastern countries do not fly over the danger zone in Eastern Ukraine. Those who are flying to Moscow or Tbilisi should not be anxious: the flight paths are also safe. Passengers who want to change the date of their flight should visit the LOT official website. What is more, special telephone lines have been activated for those who do not have access to the internet.
gazeta.pl

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Mysterious Death

July 25, 2014
Shrouded in Mystery

Shrouded in Mystery

In Zawiercie, Silesia, a 21-year-old man died shortly after being examined by doctors in a local hospital. He arrived at the hospital with seemingly superficial injuries, which he attributed to an accidental fall. After being discharged, the young man left with a female friend, who had accompanied him to the hospital, to her place. The woman popped out for a while and when she returned she found her friend lying unconscious on the floor. She called for help, but EMTs were unable to resuscitate the man. The cause of death has not been determined, pending autopsy and toxicology results; however, the police have been able to ascertain that the man consumed large quantities of alcohol just prior to his sudden death. Meanwhile, friends of the 21-year-old have informed the media that the young man was assaulted by the police, which was why he supposedly had to go to hospital in the first place. The police say that there is no truth to these revelations. Nevertheless, on Saturday evening, a group of about twenty people who believe there is much more to the story, protested in front of the local police station.
tvn24.pl

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Tragic Summer in Warsaw

July 23, 2014
Watery Death

Watery Death

Since the holiday season started, 22 people have already drowned in the province of Masovia (up to the start of July); 18 of them in Warsaw or the surrounding area. Warsaw Metropolitan Police informs us that there are several particularly dangerous places on the water map of Masovia, where the number of accidents is highest. These so-called “black spots” have even been signposted for safety reasons. This year, there will be 13 new spots added to the already existing 90. The greatest number of tragic accidents has taken place on so-called wild beaches. A large number of drownings were registered last year: up to 62 in Masovia, including 37 in Warsaw and its surroundings, which was more than during the past 2 years put together. This year is also not promising to be a good year by looking at the already high number of people who have lost their lives. “Alcohol and recklessness are, unfortunately, the main reasons why people drown. Other tragic accidents are the result of ignorance, especially amongst the youngest, most inexperienced swimmers, who do not realise that calm-looking water may be rough or have a swift current under the surface,” according to Adam Struzik of the Warsaw Metropolitan Police. “Many people from Warsaw enjoy sun and nice weather beside the water. Unfortunately, every year fatal are accidents caused by a lack of concern for safety,” he added.
wp.pl

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