Paris (CNN)Emmanuel Macron has earned the reputation of a man who dreams impossible dreams and then turns them into reality.
Paris (CNN)Emmanuel Macron has earned the reputation of a man who dreams impossible dreams and then turns them into reality.
Machine tasked with digitally reassembling torn-up East German secret police documents runs into trouble
The worlds biggest jigsaw puzzle may have to be solved by hand, as technology struggles to piece together millions of Stasi files ripped to shreds in the dying days of the East German regime.
The government-funded Stasi records agency confirmed this week that it had had to halt an 8m (7m) project to digitally reassemble the contents of 23 bags stuffed with torn-up documents detailing the activity of the secret police, because the scanning hardware it was using was not advanced enough.
Over the 40-year existence of communist East Germany, the state security ministry built one of the most tightly knit surveillance states in recent history. The Stasi, short for the Ministry for State Security, created a vast web of full-time agents and part-time snoops, with some historians calculating that there was one informant per 6.5 citizens.
After German reunification in 1990 an archive was set up to allow the systems victims to access their records, but not before stacks of paperwork were shredded or ripped up by hand to cover up the regimes activity.
While there are no official figures on the volume of destroyed records, researchers estimate that 10-40% of the archives contents may be lost to history.
Since the early 1990s workers employed by the agency have managed to piece together more than 1.5m pages of destroyed files by hand, shedding light on East Germanys use of doping in sports, links between the Stasi and West Germanys Red Army Faction terrorist group, and the persecution of writers critical of the regime.
The reassembled files brought to light the story of a young Austrian theology student who shopped several fellow students to the Stasi after they had confided in him their plan to escape across to the west. As a reward, the informant was handed a professorship at the University of Jena.
Until 2015, the Stasi records agency outsourced some of the manual puzzling work to the federal refugee agency in Bavaria.
But workers have struggled with files that were torn up more than four times. Once you have nine snippets per A4 sheet of paper, the human brain really cant keep up, said Dagmar Hovestdt, the spokesperson for the Stasi records agency.
A so-called ePuzzler, working with an algorithm developed by the Fraunhofer Institute and costing about 8m of federal funds, has managed to digitally reassemble about 91,000 pages since 2013. However, it has recently run into trouble.
(CNN)Upper Street, Islington, is the heart of chic and cosmopolitan North London — a mile-long stretch of award-winning restaurants, boutiques and public gardens.
French publisher Gallimard says it will publish 1930s pamphlets by Louis-Ferdinand Cline, who called for extermination of Jews
French publishing house Gallimard has insisted it will go ahead with the publication of the 1,000-page collection of 1930s pamphlets by Cline, who called for the extermination of Jews. The publication date is not set but Gallimard has insisted its intention is to frame the texts and put them back in their context as writings of a great violence, marked by the antisemitic hatred of the author.
But Serge Klarsfeld, the celebrated French lawyer and Nazi-hunter who was hidden from Nazis in Nice as a child during the occupation, has demanded the publication be stopped, threatening legal action if Gallimard continues.
Cline continues to be hailed as one of Frances most brilliant writers for his 1932 novel Journey to the End of the Night, regarded as one of the greatest French works of the 20th century. But his reputation has been tarnished by his rabid, antisemitic, pro-Hitler wartime pamphlets.
Aided by the French collaborationist Vichy government, German authorities deported about 78,000 French Jews to death camps during the occupation from 1940 to 1944. Cline fled France at the time of the Normandy landings in 1944 and was later sentenced for collaboration in his absence, was spared prison and was able to return France.
When Gallimard was reported to be about to publish the collection of Clines anti-semitic writings this spring, the government stepped in. The prime ministers delegation in charge of fighting racism, anti-semitism and anti-LGBT hatred last month made the rare move of summoning the publisher. It urged it to include, in any new edition of three anti-semitic texts written between 1937 and 1941, notes giving the full context drawn up by specialists, including historians. The editor is understood to have rejected this, claiming that notes by a literary expert on Cline would suffice.
Then Klarsfeld, who founded the group Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France, stepped in to demand publication be stopped.
Klarsfeld who previously called Cline the most antisemitic Frenchman of his day, said his pamphlets had influenced a whole generation of collaborationists that sent French Jews to their deaths. Although the lawyer supported historians studying the texts, he said that presenting a shiny new edition of Clines abject writing in bookshops would be intolerable and no amount of footnotes could temper that.
The pamphlets have been out of print since 1945 and Cline, who died in 1961, had said he didnt want them re-issued. But his widow, now aged 105, recently U-turned and signed over the rights.
A furious row has raged in literary circles between those for and against publication. The literature professor Henri Godard argued that brushing the pamphlets under the carpet would create an unhealthy situation and it was better for readers to be aware of and critically assess them as full published texts. Some argued that pirate editions were available for sale or online and that Gallimard was seeking to publish in France a collected volume already produced in Quebec, Canada in 2012 although Le Monde warned that the Canadian editions notes were insufficient.
The historian Pascal Ory argued: We have to confront these texts directly armed with scientific criticism, otherwise they would be online with no context.
But others shot back, saying the repackaging of Clines violent anti-semitic texts by a major publisher like Gallimard would give them a veneer of respectability and could white-wash Clines role in the war.
Although Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf is being reprinted in France in March, some historians have said there is a vast gulf between a historic document like that and Clines rambling hatred.
Four historians wrote a furious opinion piece in the Nouvel Obs magazine arguing that any footnotes were unlikely to be consulted much and that the exercise risked at best voyeurism, at worst nostalgia, or the sanctification of appeals to murder wrapped up in a chocolate box of prestige.
Some politicians on the left joined Klarsfeld in saying that because courts have acted against far-right writers as well as French comedian Dieudonn Mbala Mbala for antisemitic comments, it was untenable to then allow a major literary publisher to re-issue antisemitic texts.
Death of a baby crushed by a man jumping from apartment block exposes religious divide in the Orthodox Christian country
The death of a baby crushed by a drunk man who committed suicide by jumping out of an eighth-floor apartment in Ukraine has exposed the religious divide in the Orthodox Christian country.
A Moscow-led church in the central city of Zaporizhia refused to bury the one-year-old boy killed on New Years Eve because he was christened by a rival church overseen by Kiev.
Local media reported that the boys bereaved father punched the priest in anger in an incident that has prompted renewed acrimony between the two branches of Ukraines main faith.
The Ukrainian church splintered into rival Moscow- and Kiev-led branches when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The bad blood between the two has been heightened by the war in eastern Ukraine between Russian- and Kiev-backed sides that has killed more than 10,000 people in nearly four years.
The Moscow-led denomination is much larger and is dominant in Zaporizhia a city of more than 700,000 people that was founded more than 1,000 years ago and is now an industrial hub.
The family of the boy, who was killed as he was being led out of the apartment building by his father, belong to the Kiev Patriarchate.
His father, Roman Polishchuk, said the priest of the Moscow-led church they turned to told the family he could not perform the burial ceremony.
The priest said our baby was unchristened and our church was a sham, Polishchuk told the local news site Forpost. My wife cried and threw herself before him on her knees, but this did not help.
The priest, Yevgen Molchanov, said the father punched him and a small brawl broke out inside the church before the family was forced to leave. The parents eventually took the babys body to the church where he was christened to perform the burial rights.
Molchanov said he had no choice because those were the rules of his faith.
I am very sorry. I feel for those people, he told Forpost. But there are certain lines I cannot cross. A child christened by the Kiev Patriarchate remains unchristened … And the Kiev Church itself is a hoax.
A spokesman for the Kiev Patriarchate said such incidents had happened before and only fed frustrations among the faithful in Ukraine.
There is no official document from the Moscow Patriarchate saying this must be the case, Yevstratiy Zorya wrote on Facebook. This is all completely arbitrary and based on some verbal orders that are issued under the guise of secret canons.
Turkey is getting a giant helper to avoid last December’s gas shortages.
The world’s biggest specialized vessel to import liquefied natural gas, a cheaper and quicker solution than a land-based facility, is on its way to help with imports of the fuel mainly used for heating and power generation. The MOL FSRU Challenger, as long as the Eiffel Tower, is expected to arrive from South Korea this month and start by year-end.
Last winter, a cold snap gripped the whole region, including Iran, where Turkey gets some of its gas from. That meant the nation couldn’t get hold of enough fuel to meet its booming gas demand and the grid asked private power plants to reduce fuel demand by as much as 90 percent.
A first floating storage and regasification unit, the Neptune, arrived in December to complement two onshore terminals at Aliaga and Marmara Ereglisi.
“We expect Turkey to import more than last winter, and last winter they increased demand,” said Gyorgy Vargha, chief executive officer of MET International AG, a Zug, Switzerland-based energy trader that trades LNG mainly in southern Europe. “It is a growing market.”
Turkey was the fastest-growing market for LNG imports after China, South Korea and Japan in the first half of the year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which forecasts uneven demand in the nation through 2030.
The 345-meter (1,132 feet) tanker can store 263,000 cubic meters of LNG, enough to cover more than a day’s gas demand in Turkey. It was sailing westward, just south of India as of Tuesday.
The ship can also export the fuel for use in neighboring regions, according to Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., the owner and operator of the vessel.
State gas grid operator Botas Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS signed the lease agreement for the vessel, which will be located at Dortyol near the Syrian border.
Official says two people injured by marksman when he tripped and discharged weapon during presidential address at opening of high-speed railway line
At least two people have been injured after a gun was accidentally fired during a speech by President Franois Hollande, French media have reported.
Hollande was speaking in the town of Villognon in central France to mark the opening of a high-speed railway line between Paris and Bordeaux when a police marksman accidentally opened fire, the Sud-Ouest newspaper reported.
The paper quoted local officials as saying the member of the elite gendarmerie protection squad charged with protecting the president was positioned on a rooftop about 100 metres from the marquee where the ceremony was taking place.
The safety catch on the officers rifle was reportedly off and the shot was fired when he tripped while adjusting his position. The bullet pierced the marquee roof, hitting a waiter in the leg and a railway employee in the foot, according to Pierre NGahane, state prefect of the Charente region.
There were unconfirmed local media reports that the sniper had shot himself in the foot and could be seen hopping up and down.
Hollande, who is not standing for a second term in the presidential elections next month, had just started speaking to the guests at a cocktail party to celebrate the opening of the line when the shot went off, the paper reported.
A loud noise like a gunshot is heard on video footage of the presidents speech. I hope there is nothing serious, Hollande said, then looked to his left and said, I dont think so. He then continued his speech.
An inquiry had been opened into the incident, officials said. The injuries were not said to be serious and Hollande was among the guests who rushed to their aid, according to Le Parisien.