Ida, Polish Candidate for Oscar

August 20, 2014
Challenging for an Oscar

Challenging for an Oscar

“Ida” directed by Paweł Pawlikowski has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category, according to the Polish Film Institute (PISF). The Oscar Committee under the leadership of Filip Bajon, took the decision unanimously. The committee, appointed by Minister of Culture Małgorzta Omilanowska, included: Katarzyna Adamik, Jacek Bławut, Michał Komar, Agnieszka Odorowicz, Anda Rottenberg, Janusz Zaorski and Marek Żydowicz. The film had its world première at the Telluride Film Festival in the United States in late August 2013. The PISF informed the pubcli that the international distribution of Pawlikowski’s film proved to be one of the greatest successes in the history of Polish cinema. So far, “Ida” has been seen by nearly 500,000 viewers in France, 450,000 in the United States, more than 100,000 in Italy, and several dozen thousand in Spain and in the Netherlands. “Ida” is set in 1960s Poland. Anna, a young novice nun, decides to meet her only living relative, her aunt Wanda before taking her vows. The girl learns from her that she is Jewish and that her real name is not Anna but Ida Lebenstein. She also finds out the truth about the tragic story of her parents who were murdered during the war.
wiadomosci.wp.pl

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Polish Apples in America

August 20, 2014
Polish Apple Pie

Polish Apple Pie

The Polish authorities are asking the USA for permission to export Polish apples to America, according to Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf who has been quoted as saying, “Open the door for Freedom Apples”. For years Americans have not allowed EU apples on their market (except for Italy). Officially, the US authorities give health reasons in an effort to protect their own market. Now Poland is attempting to get approval for export due to the Russian embargo on the import of agricultural products from the EU and the USA, including apples. The Polish Ambassador in Washington Ryszard Schnepf has already discussed the recently implemented sanctions by the Russian Federation with Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse. According to Schnepf, Americans are not precluding the use of fast track approval, but further meetings with the heads of agencies working with agricultural products to the United States are necessary. On 18 August there will be a meeting during which Poland will provide the Americans with a list of fruit and vegetables most affected by the Russian sanctions. So far Poland has exported broccoli and peppers to the USA. The Polish Embassy in Washington has posted a video of Schnepf touting “delicious Polish apples” on Facebook and Twitter. “Dear American friends, please join me in asking the US Government to open the door for our Freedom Apples,” the Polish Ambassador encourages.
wyborcza.pl

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Around Poland on Rollerblades

August 19, 2014
More Than Just a Sport

More Than Just a Sport

Two rollerbladers Roman Konera and Tadeusz Schreiner had a plan to rollerblade almost 2,800 km around Poland. However, only Roman Konera is still attempting the record as Tadeusz Schreiner had to quit the tour near Tomaszów Lubelski. The plan was to rollerblade a total of 2,727 km around Poland; the purpose of “Rollertour 2014″ was to popularise skating and rollerblading in Poland as well as to promote the small towns they planned to visit. Not a small task. The rollerbladers started their tour on 1 August from Międzyrzec Podlaski and on 3 August Roman was already in Oleszyce. In three days he managed to travel 300 km. “I will fight to the end and not give up,” declared Roman Konera before he began. He now plans to complete the tour on 30 August in Międzyrzec Podlaski. No Polish person has ever achieved such a mammoth challenge.
zlubaczowa.pl

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Another Medal for Poland

August 19, 2014
Yared Shegumo

Yared Shegumo

Yared Shegumo, born in Ethiopia, has won a silver medal for Poland in the marathon during the European Athletics Championships in Zurich. This brings Poland’s medal total to twelve medals. Shegumo ran the marathon in 2 hours and 12 minutes. Daniel Meucci (Italy) won the gold medal with a time of 2:11:08, while Alexei Reunkov (Russia) won bronze (2:12:15). Shegumo was granted Polish citizenship in September 2003. He came to Poland as a teenager in 1999 where he participated in the Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, but did not return with the rest of his team mates. Instead, he decided to stay away from Ethiopia due to the war with Eritrea. Shegumo used to be a 800-metre runner and only started running marathons in 2012. Even though he  had a three-year break, he still managed to win a medal. Henryk Szost (Poznań) did not finish the marathon, even though it was expected that he would win gold. Marcin Chabowski (Szczecinek) was the marathon leader after 30 kilometres with a lead of over one minute, but did not manage to finish the race and needed medical assistance. Błażej Brzeziński (Wrocław) came 43rd (2:25:17).
sport.pl

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American Market for Polish Specialists

August 18, 2014
American Dream?

American Dream?v

Will America open its market for Polish specialists? Highly skilled specialists from Poland are much sought-after on the European labour markets and so perhaps they will also be wanted in the US. “Polish engineers are welcome in Germany, Norway and Italy,” says Tomasz Szpikowski, president of a company that provides engineering services in many countries. For example, in Germany there are about 8,000 engineers from Poland who mainly work in the automotive industry, mining, airline industry or in green energy. However, many labour market experts are concerned about the Polish market because if highly qualified Polish staff continue to supply EU labour markets, Poland will run out of professionals. The sixth round of negotiations of the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between the European Union and the United States took place recently during which a new area was included: the unification of regulations of certain professions. Therefore, there is a chance that professional diplomas may soon be respected on the both sides of the Atlantic which would be an important step forward. According to Agnieszka Cieślok of HRK, a firm that helps support companies in improving efficiency, such a prospect raises both hopes and concerns. For example, for young, talented employers for whom a journey to the USA is an opportunity to spread their wings. Agnieszka Cieślok believes that these young people will gain competence and perhaps an entrepreneurial way of thinking typical for the United States. However, there is still a long way to go to a unified transatlantic labour market and the waiving of visas. The list of occupations that would be covered by the reform has not been completed yet, although professions as architects, auditors, lawyers and accountants are being taken into consideration.
polskieradio.pl

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Sikorski Afraid of Neighbours

August 15, 2014
Radosław Sikorski

Radosław Sikorski

Foreign Affairs Minister Radosław Sikorski has recently boasted about his firearm license being renewed. According to police statistics, he is one of only 21,000 Poles who can legally carry firearms for self-defence. Polish law in this regard is one of the most restrictive in Europe. Not only do applicants need to prove they are in “constant, real, and extraordinary danger” but they also need to undergo psychological evaluations every five years. Minister Sikorski, implicated in the wiretapping scandal earlier this year, has found the evaluation rather amusing as the doctor wanted to know if Sikorski felt that someone was listening in on his conversations. Despite the fact that up to 70% of all applications for firearm license are denied, Sikorski is one of many gun owners amongst Polish politicians. MP Arkadiusz Czartoryski (PiS) and MP Tomasz Kaczmarek (PiS) have suggested that politicians receive preferential treatment. “Nobody will risk saying ‘no’ to parliamentarians who want to carry firearms. However, in many instances, former law enforcement officers are denied the permit even though, I daresay, they are in much graver danger than ‘cheerful Radek’ [Radosław Sikorski],” said Kaczmarek, commenting on the information that Minister Sikorski applied for his license on the grounds that he resides 3 km from a prison.
tvn24.pl

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Eat Apples to Annoy Putin

August 8, 2014
Eat Apples

Eat Apples

While the European Union is putting in place new sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine, Russia has banned the import of fruit and vegetables from Poland. This has led thousands of Polish internet users to encourage Poles to eat apples in order to laugh in the face of Russia’s embargo. Russian news agency ITAR-TASS first learnt that in a matter of days Russia was going to either limit or completely ban the import of fruit from Poland. Officially, the embargo is motivated by ‘issues with the quality of the fruit’, but it is widely believed to be retaliation for Poland’s support of European Union sanctions against Russia. In response, Puls Biznesu journalists started what quickly turned into a national campaign when they appealed to Poles to #eatapples (#jedzjabłka) to annoy Russian President Putin. The campaign is supposed to help local farmers who will feel the effects of the Russian embargo hardest. The internet is being flooded with selfies of people eating apples, edited images of Putin mocking the Russian leader, apple recipes, as well as more creative ideas of people finding new uses for apples, for example to produce fuel, to name but one. The campaign has been endorsed by Polish politicians, celebrities and journalists. Poland is Europe’s largest producer of apples; half of its produce is exported to Russia.
tvn24.pl

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