O avião atrasou? Conheçam os vossos direitos

Sim, a infografia está numa língua estranha, mas isso não interessa. O que importa é a informação – e essa compreende-se. As regras da aviação civil internacional dizem que os passageiros têm direito a uma compensação em caso de atraso, que varia em função da dimensão e da distância do voo. Esses direitos variam entre as simples informações e uma indemnização monetária. Só é preciso reclamar.

Leitura para o fim-de-semana: o espião que foi longe demais

Em 1984, Jacqui conheceu Bob Lambert num protesto pelos direitos dos animais. tinha 22 anos. Apaixonaram-se. Um ano depois tiveram um filho. Mas em 1987, Bob desapareceu. A mulher nunca mais ouviu falar nele. Até que, em 2012, viu uma fotografia nas páginas do Daily Mail que o identificava como um espião que, nos anos 1980 e 1990, esteve infiltrado nos grupos defensores dos direitos dos animais. E que, várias vezes, terá ido longe demais. Uma história para ler na The New Yorker.

Ilustração: Alex Williamson

Ilustração: Alex Williamson

The Spy Who Loved Me

An undercover surveillance operation that went too far.


I—JUNE 14, 2012
It was four o’clock on a Thursday afternoon, and Jacqui had just got home from work. She made a pot of coffee and took it out to the garden with the Daily Mail. It was the start of her weekend. The sun was out. She sat down at a patio table and poured the coffee, taking a minute to enjoy the scent of the wisteria that was blooming on her trellis.

She opened the paper: the Queen in Nottingham for her Golden Jubilee; bankers under scrutiny; wives and girlfriends of the England football team. Absent-mindedly, she continued to read. She barely glanced at an article titled “How Absence of a Loving Father Can Wreck a Child’s Life.” A few pages later, she came to a photograph of a smiling young man with bouffy brown curls that parted like curtains around his eyes. Even after twenty-five years, she knew the face’s every freckle and line.
She subsequently told a parliamentary committee:

I went into shock. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I started shaking. I did not even read the story which appeared with the picture. I went inside and phoned my parents. My dad got the paper from their nearest shop and my mum got out the photos of Bob and our son, at the birth and when he was a toddler. They confirmed to me, by comparing photos, it was definitely Bob.

Bob Robinson was Jacqui’s first love and the father of her eldest child. He had disappeared from their lives in 1987, when their son was two. (To protect her son’s privacy, Jacqui asked me not to use her last name.) Over the years, Jacqui had tried many times to track Bob down, but she had never been able to find him. Neither had any of the government agencies she had enlisted to help in the search. Bob had seemingly vaporized. Now there he was, staring back at her from the pages of a tabloid.

Jacqui tried to focus. “An undercover policeman planted a bomb in a department store to prove his commitment to animal rights extremists, an MP claimed yesterday,” the article that the picture accompanied began. “Bob Lambert is accused of leaving an incendiary device in a Debenhams in London—one of three set off in a coordinated attack in 1987.” (No one was hurt in the attacks, which caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage to the stores, targeted because they sold fur products.) It went on to explain that Caroline Lucas, an M.P. for the Green Party, had invoked parliamentary privilege to make the accusation. She was calling for “a far-reaching public inquiry into police infiltrators and informers.” Jacqui read on. The officer, the article said, had insinuated himself into animal-rights groups in the nineteen-eighties, creating an alter ego under which, for several years, he led a double life. Bob Robinson was Bob Lambert, and Bob Lambert was a spy.

O artigo completo está aqui.

Leitura para o fim-de-semana: como um fundo americano salvou Mugabe

Em 2008, enquanto os Estados Unidos tentavam sufocar financeiramente o Zimbabwe, um edge fund norte-americano financiou o regime de Robert Mugabe em 100 milhões de dólares. A revelação foi feita recentemente, numa investigação da revista Bloomberg Businessweek.


The Hedge Fund and the Despot

At 6 feet 2, James McGee announces his military background through his bearing. His hair is now platinum, his shoulders often thrust back. Raised during the 1950s and ’60s in the shadow of the steel mills of Gary, Ind., McGee served in Vietnam, often sitting in the back of a World War II-era cargo plane stuffed with electronics. As a member of a U.S. Air Force intelligence unit, he listened through headphones for enemy signals or friendly distress calls so he could triangulate their positions. Almost four decades later, as the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, he again found himself trying to make sense of signals in hostile territory.

In March 2008, McGee met secretly with a member of the political machine of Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe and Africa’s most notorious living despot. In 1979, Mugabe had led one of two guerrilla groups that liberated the former Rhodesia from a white-minority regime, a conflict that left an estimated 30,000 dead. Mugabe won democratic elections in 1980 but soon consolidated his power. He unleashed his North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade on a rival guerrilla force, killing an estimated 20,000, including thousands of civilians. The world was slow to react, but finally, in 2003, the U.S. levied sanctions against Mugabe and his cohorts, threatening any U.S. individuals or companies that backed them. By 2008, when McGee was ambassador, Mugabe and his ruling party had wrecked Zimbabwe’s economy and were on the brink of losing power.

McGee was deeply skeptical of his informant during their first meeting, but he found one of his tips plausible: The dictator was about to lose a first round of elections, and Mugabe knew it. The regime was cash-starved; its currency was virtually worthless outside the country, with Zimbabwe’s central bank printing money 24 hours a day. Inflation had hit an estimated 500,000 percent. The total value of all the currency in the economy was estimated at just $100 million. The election was five days away; defeat for Mugabe posed a viable threat to his rule for the first time.

The informant was right: Mugabe lost that first round to Morgan Tsvangirai. Two weeks after the loss, McGee spoke to the insider again. “He told us the regime was preparing for war,” he recalls. Mugabe’s men were setting up command centers for torture and killing in areas that voted for the opposition, the man told McGee, and regional party leaders like him were told to draw up lists of people to target. The ambassador learned that Mugabe’s government had landed critical funding, totaling $100 million, only days after the vote. The regime even provided hundreds of trucks and other vehicles to ferry militias to regions that favored Tsvangirai.

Reports of violence across the country soon poured into McGee’s embassy as Mugabe’s militias sought to punish opposition activists, drive their supporters from their homes, and intimidate the rest into backing Mugabe in the next round of elections. So he recruited the gardener at the ambassador’s residence in Harare as a body double and sent him out behind the tinted windows of the embassy limousine one dawn. Mugabe’s intelligence agents dutifully fell in line, on a parade to nowhere. About an hour later, McGee climbed into another limo and met diplomats from the U.K., European Union, and other allied missions waiting outside town.

They headed to an old sawmill turned torture center. There, in a local village and at two hospitals, McGee and his entourage, which included journalists, interviewed and photographed victims of the violence. Along the way, McGee barreled past Zimbabwean police trying to stop his tour. Finally, Mugabe’s security services blocked the ambassador’s convoy just outside Harare. When he and others refused to unlock their doors, citing diplomatic immunity, McGee says, some of the officers threatened to burn the diplomats alive in their parked vehicles.

McGee left his SUV and demanded the name of one threatening officer; the man retreated behind the locked door of his own vehicle. So McGee leaned on the dusty hood, pulled out his phone, and started taking pictures of the man through the windshield. “None of them turned out,” he says, “but he didn’t know that.” After about 90 minutes, the convoy was freed.

McGee had witnessed just a fraction of the violence aimed at swinging the second election, scheduled for June 27, 2008. In the weeks leading up to the runoff, there were thousands of casualties reported—and tens of thousands of refugees.

McGee wouldn’t find out for years, but as the attacks were unfolding, and as he worked with Washington to financially isolate Mugabe, a Wall Street consortium provided the $100 million for the dictator’s government. These millions secured the rights to mine platinum, among the most valuable of minerals, from central Zimbabwe. Several firms were involved in the investment, including BlackRock(BLK), GLG Partners, and Credit Suisse (CS). The most vital player was Och-Ziff Capital Management (OZM), the largest publicly traded hedge fund on Wall Street. An Och-Ziff spokesman declined to comment for this article. Now some of its African investments are at the center of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

O artigo completo está aqui.

A entrevista (nesta altura só há uma de que toda a gente fala)

Não sou um grande fã de Judite de Sousa. Não o escondo. Mas reconheço os seus méritos. E o facto de ser a única – talvez com José Rodrigues dos Santos – jornalista-estrela do panorama jornalístico português. Ontem, ela voltou aos ecrãs após dois meses de ausência pelos motivos que todos conhecemos. Fez mal.

Primeiro que tudo: é preciso reconhecer a coragem de Judite de Sousa. Não imagino, nem quero imaginar, aquilo por que ela está a passar. Perder um filho é algo inimaginável. Arrasador. Voltar seria difícil para qualquer um. Fazê-lo com uma entrevista a Cristiano Ronaldo é ainda mais complicado. Não pela dificuldade da entrevista em si. Mas pela pressão. Pela expectativa criada pela própria TVI no “regresso em grande” da jornalista-bandeira da estação.

No entanto, o que vimos (e muitos o fizeram), especialmente na sexta-feira, foi uma mulher arrasada a obrigar-se a falar com voz firme (sem o conseguir) para a câmara. Tremia. Tinha dificuldades em articular as perguntas. Emocionou-se. Quase chorou. Teve certamente a simpatia dos telespectadores. Mas também os distraiu. Eu, por exemplo, a certa altura dei por mim a não ouvir as respostas do capitão da selecção nacional, mas a observar o estado de fragilidade da entrevistadora.

A realização também não a ajudou. Exagerou nos planos aproximados que realçaram as suas dificuldades em afastar o nervosismo. Ainda assim, aos poucos, Judite de Sousa melhorou. Ganhou mais à-vontade. A confiança começou a surgir. Houve mesmo um sorriso aqui e ali. Até o tratamento por “tu” que no início pareceu estranho (Ronaldo usou sempre o “você”) se tornou natural e familiar.

Não tenhamos ilusões: Judite de Sousa é uma privilegiada. Estar dois meses sem trabalhar após uma tragédia não está ao alcance de qualquer um. Ainda bem para ela. Teve mais tempo para fazer o seu luto. O que alguém lhe devia ter dito, porque é preciso que alguém o faça, é que só deveria regressar aos ecrãs quando estivesse realmente preparada para o fazer. Ninguém lhe ia levar a mal por isso. Pelo contrário. Podia perfeitamente regressar à redacção, assumir funções fora da antena e, com tranquilidade, voltar à emissão. Ela escolheu outro caminho. Provavelmente terá as suas razões. Há uma coisa que ninguém lhe pode tirar: teve uma coragem do tamanho do mundo. E agora só é possível melhorar.  Bem-vinda de volta.


Vendas de jornais e revistas: papel a descer, (algum) digital a subir

Em comparação com os primeiros seis meses de 2013, os jornais diários venderam menos 24.742 exemplares. Os semanários venderam menos 13.540. As newsmagazines venderam menos 23.856. Os económicos venderam menos 2.109. A descida parece imparável. A excepção são algumas vendas digitais. Neste campo há que assinalar a subida do Expresso, que está a aproximar-se das 10.000 assinaturas digitais. Para verem os dados detalhados das vendas em banca, em bloco, ofertas e assinaturas basta clicarem na imagem.

Vendas de jornais e revistas Many EyesAs vendas digitais estão neste gráfico.

Circulação Digital Paga Many Eyes

Os resultados do último ano e meio estão aqui.