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By On April 26, 2018

VSU explores Poland

VSU explores Poland

Submitted PhotoValdosta State University History will host a study-abroad program to Gdansk, Poland.

Submitted PhotoThe monument of pianist and composer Frederic Chopin in Warsaw Lazienkowski Park in Poland.

VALDOSTA â€" Valdosta State University Department of History is launching its first study-abroad program with a trip to Poland July 8-28.

The tour will be centered in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, and a major Baltic port, Gdansk (once called Danzig), according to university officia ls.

Produced in partnership with the University of Gdansk, the study-abroad program will allow VSU students to visit and explore many of Poland’s historical buildings, museums, cultural centers, battlefields and monuments.

Five students are participating in the program, which is open to history and non-history majors. Upwards of six hours in 3000-level academic credits are available through the trip, allowing students to gain knowledge of Polish history from 900 A.D. to the present, according to university officials.

“Poland is a very interesting country with strong ties to the United States,” said Dr. John Dunn, VSU professor of history.

He is leading the trip to Poland alongside Dr. Sebastian Bartos, VSU associate professor of history and native of Poland. Both are experts in Polish history, according to university officials.

“Those ties date back to our foundation, and even connect with the state of Georgia in the form of Casimir Pul aski, who fought with the patriots against King George III in the American Revolution and died trying to free Savannah from his soldiers,” Dunn said.

Dunn said study-abroad trips offer many benefits to students.

“You could read a thousand books, but when concluded, they can't replicate the knowledge you gain from walking the streets of London, Tokyo or Warsaw,” he said. “Study-abroad lets you learn by seeing, hearing and even tasting another culture. It burns vivid memories into your brain.

“I can recall the taste of my ice cream, the face of a French girl, and our pleasant conversation, all near a spectacular fountain by Bernini at the Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy, July 1975. No amount of YouTube videos could replicate that memory.”

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Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland

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By On April 26, 2018

Congress members urge US stand against Holocaust denial in Ukraine, Poland

Warsaw residents with anti-racism banners protests the rise of hostility and anti-Semitism in Poland, Saturday, March 17, 2018. Similar protests were held in some other cities across Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)Warsaw residents with anti-racism banners protests the rise of hostility and anti-Semitism in Poland, Saturday, March 17, 2018. Similar protests were held in some other cities across Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

More than 50 US congressmen signed a bipartisan letter calling on the State Department to take a stand against state-sponsored Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Poland.

The letter, dated Monday and addressed to John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, was made public on Wednesday. Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island sponsored the letter.

“We urge you to join us and human rights organizations in standing against anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and all forms of intolerance by calling for the Polish and Ukrainian governments to unequivocally reject Holocaust distortion and the honoring of Nazi collaborators and fully prosecute anti-Semitic crimes,” reads the letter, which also asks the State Department to “detail what steps are being taken by the United States government to monitor instances of Holocaust distortion and ensure that the US is not supporting or funding groups and individuals that promote or justify anti-Semitism.”

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“As members of the US Congress, we have steadfastly supported Poland’s and Ukraine’s quest to build democratic nations. However, we are deeply concerned that the rise of anti-Semitism and denial of the past will stymie these countries’ democratic development and prevent Poland and Ukraine from becoming free and open societies for all their citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish alike,” the letter also says.

The congressmen note that the developments in Poland and Ukraine come on the heels of “a rise in glorification of Holocaust-era officials throughout Europe, including Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Baltic States. This is a troubling trend that must elicit a strong response from our government.”

The letter singles out Poland’s new Holocaust law passed in February that criminalizes blaming Poland for Nazi crimes, now undergoing a constitutional revi ew, as well as Ukraine’s 2015 memory laws that glorify Nazi collaborators and make it a criminal offense to deny their so-called heroism. According to the letter, the people and groups it singles out collaborated with the Nazis and bear responsibility for the murder of thousands of Jews, 70,000-100,000 Poles, and other ethnic minorities between 1941 and 1945.

The Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism in Poland and Ukraine has been condemned by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, the World Jewish Congress, Yad Vashem and the Israeli government, according to the letter.

The letter also called on the State Department to appoint a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, a position that has remained vacant for more than a year though it was mandated by law.

“The longer this position, which has worldwide reach, sits unfilled, the more it sends the message that the US will tolerate anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial,” the letter says. “In addition, the State Department’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism has been unstaffed since July 1.”

A State Department spokeswoman earlier this month told JTA that combating anti-Semitism remains a “priority” for the Trump administration.

read more:
  • Jewish Times
  • US Congress
  • Polish Holocaust bill
  • Ukraine
  • anti-Semitism in Poland
  • David Cicilline
  • anti-Semitism
Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland

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By On April 25, 2018

Invenergy files Poland suit in UN court

The move comes six months after Invenergy formally notified the Polish government of its intention to seek international arbitration if the dispute was not resolved in an amicable way.

Since then, Invenergy said it had received continued denials from the Polish government. "The Polish government's lack of willingness to cooperate and denials of established facts are a major threat to the bedrocks of foreign investment and international law," Invenergy chief legal officer Michael Blazer said.

Invenergy has now issued a notice of arbitration to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law under the US-Poland bilateral investment treaty.

The US firm cited "violations of Invenergy's rights as a foreign investor and clear breaches of Poland's obligations" under the treaty.

"We of course first turned to the Polish courts for relief from these actions. But in those cases, multiple Polish state-controlled entities have openly disregarded final and binding decisions by the Polish courts, including the supreme court, leaving Invenergy helpless to enforce its rights within the Polish system," said Blazer.

"Given the disregard of fair and equitable treatment of a foreign investor in Poland, Invenergy has no choice but to seek relief through international arbitration under the bilateral investment treaty."

Invenergy claims a subsidiary of majority-state-owned utility Tauron Polska Energie "destroyed the financial viability" of Invenergy’s investments in four wind projects, with damages amounting to around $700 million (€592.17 million).

Tauron began proceedings to liquidate the subsidiary, thereby annulling any power deals, in July 2014, but this liquidation was never formally completed.

The Polish utility insisted the liquidation process was "in line with Polish law, foreign investment protection, contract loyalty principles and good trading habits".

However, Invenergy said the state firm "initiated a series of coordinated actions intended to terminate or avoid obliagations under the Invenergy contracts".

Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland

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By On April 25, 2018

An Enormous Statue of Jesus in Poland Just Got Internet Antennas and No One's Sure Why

Screenshot: Fakt24

Rising 108 feet in the air, Christ the King is said to be the tallest statue of Jesus in the world. Since 2010, it’s loomed over the residents of Świebodzin, Poland, and it’s apparently already getting some upgrades. Signal broadcasting equipment was recently spotted embedded in the statue’s crown, but no one’s quite sure what’s going on with Jesus 2.0.

The brainchild of a now-deceased local priest named Sylwester Zawadzki, Christ the King was crowdfunded with $1.45 million in donations from residents of the town and elsewhere. According to Polish outlet Fakt 24, numerous local controversies have erupted since it was built and the latest could be walking a line between the sacred and the profane.

Fakt 24 noticed that antennas had been installed on top of Jesus’s head and obtained drone footage to get a good look at the equipment.

Fakt 24 confirmed with an expert that the equipment does indeed appear to be intended for broadcasting an internet signal and the location would be a prime spot to maximize the signal’s range.

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The reporters proceeded to contact the Divine Mercy Parish that oversees the statue to ask if the space on top of Jesus’s head is available for rent. A spokesperson said that wasn’t an option, prompting the reporters to ask what is going on with the antennas. The spokesperson said they knew nothing about it.

Things get even more confusing after that. According to the report, a source at an unnamed internet provider informed them that the antennas were a request from the parish. Sputnik translates the original Polish report:

He refused to disclose the details of the contract, but said that the local church needed the network for a video surveillance system, adding that t he agreement is completely legal.

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The source also said that the signal is relayed to other clients. The article seems to imply that the parish might be involved in some sort of effort to monetize the space within the crown of Jesus, but it’s all uncertain. And honestly, isn’t it better that this appearance of divine wireless internet remains a mystery? Maybe it’s a miracle.

[Sputnik, Fakt 24]

Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland