Poland in New York

August 25, 2014
Photopoland

Photopoland

Three Polish photographers will present their work at Photoville, the largest photo festival in North America, which will take place in Brooklyn Bridge Park, from 18 to 28 September. Adam Pańczuk will show his already renowned series of photographs entitled “Karczeby”, which won the Best Photography Book award at the 71st Pictures of the Year International photography competition. The word karczeby means “trees that are difficult to uproot”. The artist uses this word metaphorically in relation to some inhabitants of the Podlasie and Polesie regions, which lie in the north-east of Poland. In this series, Pańczuk presents imaginative and often surprising portraits of the people living in the regions. As a whole, his photo collection creates a story about people and their ties with their homeland. Kacper Kowalski will present his conceptual photographs from the “Waving” series, including his aerial photos of Polish beaches, which have already received recognition at the World Press Photo competition. Rafał Milach will show his photo diary from his trip around Iceland, while travelling along Iceland’s route A1. Reportedly, it is a trip that every Icelander undertakes at least once in his lifetime. The organisers of the Photoville festival are expecting about 80,000 visitors this year. The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has sponsored the participation of the three photographers in this event.
Rzeczpospolita.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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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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Poland Helped CIA

August 2, 2014
CIA Prison in Poland

CIA Prison in Poland

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has reported that Poland helped the CIA and now has to answer for it. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Poland broke the European Human Rights Convention in helping the Central Intelligence Agency render two terror suspects. This judgement violates the democratic and libertarian tradition of the Polish nation. The Warsaw correspondent of SZ Klaus Brill points out that the name of U.S. President George W. Bush is associated with “two terrible wars and a number of further cases which his successor Barack Obama is still trying to deal with.” This includes Guantanamo, “a synonym for the violation of the fundamental principles of the rule of law.” As we read in SZ, secret CIA operations involved the deportation of people who were under suspicion of terrorism to other countries, followed by interviewing and torturing them in these countries. According to the German journalist, 54 governments were involved in such operations, including Syria, but also three EU states: Poland, Lithuania and Romania. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled on 24 July that seven violations on the European Convention on Human Rights had been committed by Poland.
fakty.interia.pl

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Skye McCole Bartusiak Dies at 21

July 23, 2014
RIP Skye McCole Bartusiak

RIP Skye McCole Bartusiak

Skye McCole Bartusiak, an American actress of Polish descent, was found dead in her apartment in Texas. The cause of death is unknown, but according to various media reports, the 21-year-old actress died in her sleep. Skye made her film debut at the age of seven in “The Prophet’s Game”, but was best known for playing Mel Gibson’s daughter in “The Patriot”. Her credits include guess appearances in numerous popular television series, such as “Lost”, “24”, “CSI”, “House”, “Law and Order: SVU”. She received three nominations to the Young Artist Awards, one of them for her role in “The Patriot”, which Skye said was her personal favourite. She starred in various movies, including “Don’t Say a Word” alongside Michael Douglas and, most recently, in “Sick Boy”. Her death has been confirmed by her long-time friend and fellow actress Abigail Breslin, who wrote on Twitter: “One of my very good friends and someone who was like a sister to me, Skye McCole Bartusiak passed away today. So devastated”.
tvn24.pl

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Kościuszko Monument in Warsaw

June 28, 2014
Washington DC

Washington DC

The Polish monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko is located in Warsaw in Żelazna Brama Square. It is a copy of the Tadeusz Kościuszko monument in Washington, D.C. by Hanna and Wojciech Siek from Kraków. The very first monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko was made by Antoni Popiel and funded by the Polish diaspora in the United States in 1910. One hundred years later, on 16 November 2010, a copy was funded by Citibank Handlowy and the City Council of Warsaw. Tadeusz Kościuszko is shown in the uniform of an American general, whilst holding the the plans of the fortifications of West Point in his hand. The monument is surrounded by figures that illustrate the battles of Saratoga and Racławice. Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko (4 or 12 February 1746 – 15 October 1817) was a military engineer and military leader in Poland, the leader of the Kościuszko Uprising against Russia and Prussia in 1794, and a key player in the American War of Independence. He is considered a national hero in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and the United States.
belhouse.org

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Worthless Polish-US Alliance

June 23, 2014
Alliance in Doubt?

Alliance in Doubt?

“Minister Sikorski’s international career is about to be dramatically cut short by his own pathetic comments. He has lost the chance to hold any office in the EU or NATO. It is a pity,” said MP Tadeusz Iwiński of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD). His comments are a reaction to the recently revealed contents of yet another batch of wiretap recordings. Increadingly more politicians of the ruling Civic Platform (PO) are finding themselves in a difficult position as Wprost magazine continues to publish transcripts and recordings of their private conversations. One of the newly released transcripts features Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski expressing his opinions on Polish-US relations. Using crude language, Sikorski describes the alliance between the two countries as worthless and even harmful to Poland as it “creates a false sense of security” unnecessarily antagonising Germany and Russia. The minister has also something to say about Poles, whom he considers to be “suckers” with “shallow pride and low self-esteem”. Before the scandal, Sikorski was seen as a rising star in the world of international politics. Last month, he became Poland’s official candidate to be the next head of EU foreign policy.
wp.pl

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