‘The Revolution of Human Dignity’

first_imgIn light of the recent violence and turmoil in Ukraine, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies hosted a discussion Monday evening in the LaFortune Student Center.The panel, titled “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine?,” was led by Yury Avvakumov, Nanovic faculty fellow and assistant professor of theology.The slideshow prepared by Avvakumov began with a slide that changed the title of the discussion to say “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine!,” which he said reflected the emerging conviction that the situation in Ukraine is indeed one of revolution.“I thought that I would start with this title because when we discussed this event and its title, three days ago, a question mark after the title was still appropriate. Now you have to replace the questions mark with an exclamation mark,” Avvakumov said. “The revolution in Ukraine has happened. This is absolutely clear.”Avvakumov said the term “Euromaidan” originated from a hash tag used on Twitter in reference to the protests. The “Euro” refers to the Ukrainian people’s demands for an alliance with the European Union and “maidan” refers to the name of the Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, where the protests have taken place.Since November of last year, Ukrainians have been protesting the corruption of their government, Avvakumov said. Mass protests began after former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who recently fled Ukraine, abruptly rejected a landmark association agreement with the European Union in November 2013, just one week before the anticipated signing of the agreement.GRANT TOBIN | The Observer Avvakumov said the rejection came as a direct result of Russian pressure exerted on Ukraine in order to prevent the nation from starting the process of integration into the European Union.Although this issue has greatly angered the Ukrainian people, Avvakumov said, they are demonstrating against the corruption of their current government as much as they are protesting their former president’s reluctance to sign an agreement with the European Union.Avvakumov said such corruption includes everything from nepotism and bribery to disrespect of human dignity and the authoritarian style of the former president and the ruling party.“In the eyes of millions of Ukrainians, Russia, in its present condition, embodies these vices of the political system. By contrast, potential membership in the European Union can help fight the new authoritarianism and promote transparency, the rule of law, independent media and respect of human dignity,” he said.Avvakumov said the protest began with young Ukrainians, though it includes a broad spectrum of middle-class citizens who are students, intellectuals, artists and representatives of small and mid-sized businesses.“These are people who perceive that the political system forcibly takes away their freedom and their professional and personal future. These are people for whom Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are indispensible everyday tools,” he said. “These are intelligent people with a clear sense of human dignity and civil courage. They call the revolution ‘The Revolution of Human Dignity.’”The Euromaidan protest has swelled in number from 700,000 people in November to one million people more recently, Avvakumov said. The demonstrations began peacefully, but have since turned violent.On Feb. 17 the Ukrainian government called for the use of military weapons, in an attempt to put an end to the rioting. Avvakumov said over 70 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured, but the protests have nevertheless continued.“Euromaidan will not go away until they are convinced that the whole thing really functions and really works, and they get real transparency with their government,” Avvakumov said.Michael Gekhtman, chair of the mathematics department and a Ukrainian citizen, also spoke briefly about the crisis in Kiev. Gekhtman said he is worried the protests will have the same result as similar protests in 2004, which occurred in response to perceived corruption in a presidential election, and is concerned for the safety of his parents.“What I am worried about is that it’s going to revert to what happened shortly after the Orange Revolution because the main players are the same — same politicians,” he said. “These are very dangerous times. My parents still live in Kiev. I was there in October — no one expected this to turn out this violent this fast.”Tags: Euromaidan, Nanovic Institute, Ukrainelast_img read more

Lea Michele in Funny Girl on Broadway! No, Really!

View Comments The TV starlet told Broadway BFF Jonathan Groff in the new issue of Teen Vogue that Glee creator Ryan Murphy has now officially obtained the rights to the show and that “we’re hoping to do that at some point.” Hey, did you know that Lea Michele wants to play Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway? Yeah, we thought so. The Glee star has definitely been vocal about her love of Barbra Streisand and the role that made her a star. She’s sang the show’s songs on the Tony Awards, on her hit Fox show and, well, anywhere she can. And her Glee character, Rachel Berry, is now actually STARRING as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on TV. So what is all of this building up to? You guessed it: Lea Michele is Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on BROADWAY! OK, so it’s not exactly happening tomorrow. But it looks like it’s happening! Congrats, Lea! Dreams do come true. Is this the most perfect thing ever? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below! read more

Child advocate wants proper correctional facility for juveniles

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! Tweet 18 Views   no discussionscenter_img LocalNews Child advocate wants proper correctional facility for juveniles by: – April 7, 2012 Share Fr. Franklyn Cuffy.An advocate for children’s rights want has called for authorities to swiftly address the issue of a proper correctional facility for young offenders in Dominica.Fr. Franklyn Cuffy believes that the lack of such facility could be a major contributing factor for the increase in criminal activities among juveniles. “I think our constitution says when a young person commits an act they should be sent to a training center but we send them to the state prison. To my mind this is a violation of the constitution, a violation of the rights of the young person,” he said.Cuffy said justice is not being done hence the reason for the increase in violence.“People do not want to feel insecure. People do not want to feel humiliated, people do not want to feel rejected so they are taking it into their own hands and this is one of the reasons why this ugly picture of violence is showing its face in Dominica”.He noted his elation however at the number of youths who participated in a National Youth Rally last weekend in Mahaut.“Over 100 young people showed up on the grounds of the Mahaut School on Palm Sunday. They displayed their talents, they prayed, they had clean fun,” he said.Cuffy believes that the nation needs to continue to put their trust in the youth to help motivate and encourage them to engage in positive and socially acceptable behavior.“We need to encourage them to display and share the gifts and talents that they have, if we can do that there will be less violence among our young people,” he explained.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Three Russian runners handed four-year bans after Beijing retests

first_img(REUTERS) – Three Russian runners whose samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics tested positive for a banned steroid have been handed four-year suspensions after retests, Russia’s athletics federation said yesterday.Long-distance runner Inga Abitova and 400-metre specialists Anastasia Kapachinskaya and Denis Alekseyev had already been disqualified by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year after their samples from Beijing were found to contain banned substances, including the steroid turinabol.Alekseyev won bronze in Beijing as part of the Russian men’s 4×400-metre relay team, but the IOC ordered that he and his teammates be stripped of their medals.His results between August 2008 and June 2013 are annulled, the Russian athletics federation said in a statement.Kapachinskaya and her 4×400-metre relay teammates were also stripped of their silver medals from Beijing. Her results starting from August 2008 are annulled, the federation said.The suspensions handed to Abitova and Alekseyev will end next year because they include two-year bans they had previously served for doping offences, the federation said.The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) provisionally suspended Russian track and field athletes from international competition in 2015 over a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) alleging rampant state-sponsored doping in the sport.Russia’s track and field team, with the exception of one athlete based in the United States, was banned from the Rio Olympics last summer. The majority of Russian athletes are also set to miss the world championships in London in August.In recent months the IAAF has cleared a total of 15 Russian athletes, including 2015 world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, for having demonstrated that they are training in an environment that meets its anti-doping requirements.last_img read more