The ancestors of the hobbit

The ancestors of the hobbit

The landscape at Mata Menge, the site under blue tarpaulin on the left of the picture. Photo: Gerrit van den Bergh, University of Wollongong, Australia

700.000 years ago, very small people already lived on the Indonesian island of Flores

The fossils of a very small human being, discovered a few years ago on the Indonesian island of Flores, attracted not only a lot of public attention, but also heated debates in the research community. Only about one meter mab the full-grown one "Man from Flores", which quickly earned the nickname Hobbit. Besides its tiny brain, some other archaic features puzzled the experts. Was this a new, unknown species of man, or just a sick individual of the species? Homo sapiens?


The war against afghanistan threatens to bury turkish civil society

An Interview with the Chairman of the Istanbul Human Rights Association Ercab Kanar

Lawyer and longtime chairman of the Istanbul Human Rights Association (IHD) Ercan Kanar warns of the domestic political consequences of his government’s involvement in the war on terror. His predictions about increasing repression in Turkey have already been confirmed in recent days. A few days ago, the Turkish military cracked down on death fasters in Istanbul’s Armutlu district who were drawing attention to the situation in Turkish prisons and killed four people.

Turkey participates in the so-called anti-terror coalition of the West and now even sends its own soldiers to the war against Afghanistan. How is this being received by the Turkish population??

Ercan Kanar: The vast majority of the population in Turkey rejects this war and sees with great disgust that the Turkish government even intervenes in this war with its own soldiers. There are surveys that put the number of opponents of the war at more than 85% in Turkish society. Interestingly, the rejection of the war in the Kurdish part is as rough as in the rest of Turkey. Among opponents of the war, there are rough disputes over how the U.S. should respond to the attacks of 11.September should respond. Is this discussion also held in Turkey??

Ercan Kanar:. We human rights activists condemn the attack of September 11.We condemn the September 11 attack unreservedly, just as we have always rejected terror. However, we believe that the real causes of the 11/11 attacks are the terrorists.September lie in the global inequality and exploitation. We plead to fight these causes of terror. Further wars with even more civilian deaths are certainly the wrong way to go. However, it is not possible to discuss such ies openly in Turkey. Because in spite of the great opposition to war in the population, the peace forces in our country have no possibility to articulate themselves. We do not have the opportunity to openly discuss or even demonstrate against war as we do in Germany and even in the USA. All manifestations of peace are prevented by police and military with violence. There were attempts to articulate the rejection of the war openly?

Ercan Kanar: There have been repeated attempts to demonstrate against the war in recent times. However, the actions were ended very quickly and brutally by the security forces. Many participants were arrested, but most of them were released after 2 days. However, they are now facing trials and heavy penalties. This is naturally distracting, so that a large part of the population does not participate in protests. .Does Turkey’s involvement in the war affect the democratization process in the country??

Ercan Kanar: This can be said unequivocally. The attacks of 11.The government uses the events of September 11 and its involvement in the war as a pretext for continuing human rights violations in the country. For example, the state of emergency was recently re-imposed in four Kurdish provinces, even though the cease-fire of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) did not reveal any guerrilla activity there. Any discussion about lifting the state of emergency after 11 September is out of the question.September silenced. Other state-terrorist practices are now being used again in Turkey. Torture has increased, villages in Kurdistan have been forcibly cleared, houses have been stormed and now opposition members are disappearing again. From 1994 to 1998, the disappearance of government critics was part of everyday life in Turkey. After that, prere from abroad has also reduced it. In summary, the war against Afghanistan threatens to bury the modest beginnings of a civil society in Turkey. The concerns of the Kurds and political prisoners, who have been on death fast for more than a year, are now being listened to even less. How does this domestic political climate affect the constitutional changes that were supposed to bring more democracy??

Ercan Kanar: The September constitutional changes have not led to more freedom overall, as they are portrayed according to Auben. There are some regulations that bring more legal certainty. But in essence nothing has changed. For example, the death penalty has not been abolished, especially for political trials. Also the power of the military and its security apparatus were not touched. Even the long-awaited language reform did not bring real progress. The Kurdish language must still not be taught in schools. The fundamental flaw in these reforms is the complete lack of public debate. Human rights groups had long insisted that the public be involved in the reform discussion. But after 11.September these laws were passed very quickly in a climate of war hysteria. Here, too, the negative consequences of the attacks can be clearly seen. (Peter Nowak)


The conflict in kosovo

American plans for the emergency in Hungary

A military strike against Yugoslavia seems imminent. In any case, the intention has gained momentum and the language has become sharper. The USA has pushed NATO into a corner. Therefore it mub be used force now. Failure to do so would have tremendous negative repercussions, not only for the military alliance, but also for Western diplomacy. Doubts have already arisen in Bosnia about the reliability of NATO-supported promises and security arrangements, increasing prere on the already weak position of the Dayton Peace Accords.

The US government has meticulously prepared the military action. The fear in the U.S. that American casualties could occur and the possibility of a protracted armed conflict with Yugoslavia always bring up the nightmares of Somalia and even Vietnam. Therefore, U.S. planners are leaving nothing to chance.


Evolution of terror

In Iraq, the initial achievements of (Islamist) terrorism can be traced; there is probably no prospect of an end to the Muslim culture of terror for the time being

Since the first gross terrorist attacks by internationally operating Islamist terrorists, there have been significant strategic shifts following the war in Afghanistan and eventually Iraq. Obviously, the terrorist groups, strengthened by the wars and the occupation, feel more and more obliged to take into account sympathizers with their attacks and to justify their actions. The choice of victims is also more precisely adjusted in terms of political impact.

In the first crude attacks on the two U.S. embassies in Africa, or even on 11.9. 2001 on the WTC and the Pentagon spoke alone the act for itself, which spread over the media. The perpetrators and masterminds did not take responsibility and therefore only love to speculate and speculate about themselves and their motives to. However, since Osama bin Ladin had called in an interview for jihad against the U.S. and the Arab regimes close to it, and since thousands of people continued to be trained for terror in Taliban Afghanistan, the suspicion that bin Ladin and his al-Qaida network were behind the spectacular attacks was obvious. This also made him an adversary of George Bush and a prominent figure, both hated and admired.


Learning by viewing

The Federal Ministry for Culture and the Media is concerned about the media socialization of the younger generation and is creating an "Film Literacy Agency" to save the cinema

Alarm was sounded within the film industry when a study by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) found a dramatic drop in attendance and revenue in 2003. The plunging bar graphs showed that an entire generation was being lost. For example, there was a twenty percent drop in the number of visitors in the 10 to 15 age group. This trend had already become apparent in the previous year and could no longer be explained by consumer restraint alone, but had deeper causes. A change in media, a move away from cinema and towards DVD and computer games were identified as. A whole generation is growing up here, so the fear goes, alienated from the cinema and then hastily placed under the general suspicion of piracy.

Danger was imminent and immediate countermeasures were initiated. In addition to an incriminating advertising campaign against pirate copiers, the film industry has been busy lobbying politically. Apparently with success: In February, a working group with the working title of "Film literacy agency" which is to be supported by the Federal Ministry of Culture with one million euros annually and is to be based in Potsdam-Babelsberg. "As a permanent network between schools, film theaters and the offer of film distributors", According to Minister of Culture Christina Weiss at the Berlin congress Kino macht Schule in 2003, the agency is to provide assistance in teaching film literacy among schoolchildren and young people.


Ukraine in syria’s shadow: tactics with local elections

The separatists offered a postponement, but are themselves at odds, but now it is already impossible to agree on a further withdrawal of heavy weapons

Ukraine is heading toward local elections, which, along with decentralization and the question of the status of the two "People’s Republics", Explosives contained. Local elections are a part of the Minsk Agreement, now there is a dispute about the conditions under which they could be held in Donetsk and Lugansk as well. However, the representatives of the "People’s Republics" decided to hold their own elections independently of Kiev, which Kiev considers a breach of the Minsk Agreement. In Donetsk they are to be held on 18. October, in Lugansk on 1 October. November, in between, on 25. October, in Ukraine.

If the local elections were held independently of each other, it would mean the failure of the Minsk Agreement. At their meeting in Berlin, the earmarking ministers of the "Normandy format" First of all, they struggled to keep the agreement, which is also undermined by Kiev, because the conditions set for the election contradict the agreement and have been violated by the representatives of the "People’s Republics" will be rejected as long as there is no agreement on an amnesty regime, a special status before the elections and arrangements on which parties and politicians will be admitted to the elections.


Gas discoveries in the eastern mediterranean – the “third corridor”?

Gas discoveries off Cyprus and in the Aegean Sea and the strained Turkish-Greek relations

Maritime borders are a complicated matter. Especially for the riparians of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. For a long time, Greece refrained from establishing an exclusive economic zone (200-mile zone) and thus from extending its maritime borders over the entire Aegean Sea. The EU state of Cyprus also refrained from such a step for a long time. For both states it was clear that shifting their own borders close to the Turkic coast could only provoke their neighbors.

However, gas discoveries off Cyprus and suspected gas deposits in the Aegean Sea, combined with the strained financial situation of the two states, are now giving new fuel to a long unsolved border dispute. Because, as it seems, in this part of the Mediterranean Sea could be stored considerable deposits of raw materials.