International Criminal Court

Following World War II, a war crimes tribunal was held in Tokyo to try Japanese political and military leaders. There is no doubt that the defendants were responsible for appalling atrocities, but, as the Indian judge on the tribunal wrote in his dissenting opinion, the victorious allies had themselves committed grave crimes, and the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the most horrific war crimes of the Pacific War. But only the atrocities committed by the Japanese were punished. In short, the war crimes trial represented “victors” justice. Website Address of Court

International Criminal Court: Introduction

There has been considerable (and a mostly successful) effort to set up an International Criminal Court (ICC). The purpose is to have a body that can prosecute serious crimes against humanity no matter who committed them and to try people for gross violations of human rights, such as those committed during military conflicts. Why have some nations, such as the United States, feared a loss of sovereignty even when that would not happen, and thus sought to undermine the ICC?

United States And The International Criminal Court

The U.S. opposed the ICC from the beginning, surprising and disappointing many people. Human rights organizations and social justice groups around the world, and from within the US, were very critical of the U.S. stance given its dominance in world affairs.
The U.S. did eventually signed up to the ICC just before the December 2000 deadline to ensure that it would be a State Party that could participate in decision-making about how the Court works. However,
  • By May 2002, the Bush Administration unsigned the Rome Statute.
  • The U.S. threatened to use military force if U.S. nationals were held at the Hague
  • The U.S. continues to pressure many countries to sign agreements not to surrender U.S. citizens to the ICC.
But why would a country, often vocal in the area of human rights, and often amongst the first to promote human rights as a global issue in the past refuse to sign up to an international law and institution designed to protect human rights?

Signing Up To The International Criminal Court By December 

Signing up by December 2002 to the ICC was important for countries if they wanted a say in future discussions of the ICC. After that time, they could ratify the ICC Rome Statute but not have a say. Some countries that initially opposed the ICC, such as the U.S., did however, sign up at the last minute to retain influence some.

Establishing The International Criminal Court In 1998

60 ratifications were needed to get the ICC off the ground, achieved by April 11, 2002. From July 1, 2002 onwards, any acts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity committed after this date can be tried by the Court.
While only the beginning, the road to the 60 ratifications (now around 90) has been full of controversy. In Rome, July 1998, the ICC was given the go-ahead with a vote of 120 to 7. The seven who voted against were USA, China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar and Yemen. Yet it was the actions of the U.S. that surprised most people.

International Criminal Court: The Pinochet Case

The case against Augusto Pinochet, a dictator in Chile for 17 years, would be one example (amongst many others that will be added here over time), where the ICC could have been useful to bring a brutal dictator to justice. In the late 1990s, there were various attempts by European countries to bring him to justice, though nothing eventually happened. However, it gained some mainstream media attention. Also highlighted was how Pinochet was accused of ordering killings, abductions and torture of over 1000 Chileans and others during his 17 years of rule.

Eiffel Tower

Most Beautiful And Romantic Place Of Paris
The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated the 31 of March in 1889 as the entrance arch of the Exposition Universelle. It was a marking to the centennial celebration of the French revolution. Since the inauguration of the Eiffel Tower it has been more than 220 millions visitors. Read more about the history of the eiffel tower. 

The Height Of Tower
The Tower is 324 meters high and have 1665 stairs. The Elevator is normally open all day from 9:30 AM - 23:45 PM. The stairs are open between 9:30 AM - 18:30 PM even if the opening hours is longer on the summer.

To get to the top costs about €11 as adult and half the price as children. The stairs will bring you half-way for about €4. You will have to be prepared to stand in queue, especially in the summer months or at the bigger weekends. 

Look for cheap holidays from Travelmatch and visit Paris - the world's most romantic city. This place is undoubtedly one of the most prominent vacation spots for tourists. A visit to this place isn't complete if you don't get to see its famous landmarks and establishments. If you are planning a trip to Paris it would be interesting to know some information about the Eiffel Tower. If you visit Paris, you simply must see the Eiffel Tower. Of course, a trip to Paris hardly isn´t complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower.
Few things symbolize Paris and France like this monument, it´s therefore used as a symbol of France. In fact, the Eiffel Tower is the best-known monument in all of Europe. This attraction drew 6.2 million visitors in 2002, according to the Paris Office of Tourism statistics

You don’t have to visit the Eiffel Tower to see it. You can get a sight at this architectural master piece anywhere in the centre of Paris. 
If you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, be sure you take the lift to the top for a spectacular view of the city. A good advice to avoid all the crowd is by going in the mornings, especially on the weekends. 

The first floor displays Eiffel Tower information about the history. There is also possible to dine at the Altitude 95 restaurant. It is always well visited, best is to order table. The visitors often comes more for the view than the food, which is not especially peculiar.
The second floor is mainly consisted of the Restaurant Jules Verne, which is one of the most recognized and eminent restaurants in Paris. To reach this restaurant you have to take a special elevator. Even here it is best to order table in advance to enjoy the magnificent cuisine. The prices is among the highest in all of Paris, about €80. It should also be noted that both levels have souvenir shops and Internet kiosks. 
At the top, you could get a nice view of the city. Because is so high-up it can be difficult to make things out. The picture displays the view to the northwest from the Eiffel Tower, across the River Seine and also showing the Trocadero gardens.

Visitor Hours
From January 1 to June 18: 9:30 am - 8:30 pm (11:00 pm via lift)
From June 19 to August 29: 9:00 am - midnight
From August 30 to December 31: 9:30 am - 8:30 pm (11:00 pm via lift)
Last entrance: 1 hour before closing.

Eiffel Tower Entrance Fees

Stairs: 4,50€ (reduced rate of 3,50€ for those under 24)
Lift prices:
Lift to 1st and 2nd platform: 8,10€
Lift to 3rd platform/top floor: 13,10€
Children (ages 12-24/4-11)
Lift to 1st and 2nd platform: 6,40€/4,00€
Lift to 3rd platform/top floor: 11,50€/9,00€

Mount Everest

The Highest Mountain Of World 

The official altitude of the world's highest peak is 29,029 feet (8,848m). However, the National Geographic Society has determined the height to be 6 feet taller, 29,035 feet, but the Nepali government has not yet been made this new altitude official.
Shifting tectonic plates continue to push Everest upward, along with the whole Himalaya mountain range, at 1.6 to 3.9 inches (4 to 10 centimeters) per year.

Where is Mt. Everest?
Everest is part of the Himalaya mountain range along the border of Nepal and Tibet. It is located 27° 59' North latitude, 86° 55' East longitude.
Why is it called Everest?
In 1841, Sir George Everest, Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843, first recorded the location of Everest. It was subsequently named "Peak XV". In 1865, it was renamed Mt. Everest to honor Sir George.
Everest is also called Chomolungma in Tibet and Sagarmatha in Nepal.

Is it windy at the top of Everest?
Yes. Blowing with the strength of a hurricane at 118+ miles/hour, the Jet Stream blasts the rocky, icy summit of Everest nearly all year long. The Jet Stream is a constant wind force at 4 - 6 miles above the earth. Observers can tell when the Jet Stream is blowing on the summit of Everest from the long while stream of ice crystals extending out from the tip of the mountain. Those wishing to actually stand on the summit have to choose their moment carefully: the mountain is most inviting in early May, when the Jet Stream is pushed northward over Tibet by the arrival of the monsoon. There is also a window of opportunity in the Fall when the Jet Stream is again pushed northward.
Is the air very thin on Everest?
As the altitude increases, the oxygen content of the air decreases dramatically. At 9,800 feet, for example, there's about 2/3 of the oxygen in the air than at sea level. At 20,000 ft, there is roughly half the oxygen content in the air. At 29,035ft, the summit of Everest, there is only a third of the oxygen in the air.

How does your body get used to the altitude?
Mountaineers climbing Everest establish a camp at the base of the mountain, and four higher camps before reaching the summit. For the next 30 days or so, they will move up, then down again, allowing their bodies to get used to the reduced oxygen content of the air. This process is called acclimatization.
Acclimatizing properly is essential to safely ascend to high altitudes. Climbers acclimatize by ascending slowly, resting one day for every 1,000 feet they climb in one day. They drink plenty of liquids and eat healthy food. They also practice a rule of thumb: climb high, sleep low. Climbing high, then descending to lower altitudes allows the body to build up and gain strength with fresh oxygen, digest food better, get sounder sleep and any wounds can heal and they'll feel much stronger by descending. It was also allow them to build up their bodies, worn from the low O2 content, with fresh oxygen.
Some climbers don't like to go down, but the significant benefits on the body from staying at lower altitudes make it worth it. It's important that the climbers don't stay down too long because it's possible to lose some acclimatization in the process.

How high are the camps?
The approximate elevations of each of the camps are:
Base Camp - 17,500ft (5,400m)
Camp 1 - 20,000ft (6,100m)
Camp 2 - 21,300ft (6,500m)
Camp 3 - 24,000ft (7,400m)
Camp 4 - 26,000ft (8,000m)
Summit - 29,035ft (8,850)
What is the temperature high on Everest?
At the summit, the temperature can be 100°F below zero. But on a good summit day, a climber can expect around -15°F

What is the hardest part about climbing Everest?
Each climber has a different opinion about what is the most difficult part of climbing Everest. Most would agree, though, that the altitude is tough to deal with. And most will also have stories about crossing the infamous Khumbu Icefall going from Base Camp to Camp One. Mountaineers climb through this moving sea of ice using ordinary aluminum garden ladders.
When was Everest first climbed?
On May 29, 1953, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal & Edmund Percival Hillary of New Zealand climbed to the summit of Everest via the Southeast Ridge Route.

What are some other important "firsts"?The first woman to climb Everest was Junko Tabei of Japan. She climbed via the Southeast Ridge on 16 May, 1975.
Appa Sherpa has made the most successful ascents of Everest. He has reached the top 11 times.
On May 8, 1978, Peter Habeler of Austria and Reinhold Messner of Italy climbed made the first ascent without bottled oxygen via the Southeast Ridge.
Ang Rita Sherpa has reached the summit 10 times, all without oxygen.
Reinhold Messner climbed for 3 days completely alone from his base camp at 6,500m without the use of artificial O2. Messner climbed via the North Col to the North Face and the Great Couloir.
Babu Chiri Sherpa set the speed record from the Nepal side.
Davo Karnicar made the first true ski descent.
At age 16 Temba Tsheri Sherpa become the youngest person to Summit Everest in 2001.
American Sherman Bull, at age 64, is the oldest person to summit Mount Everest, also in 2001.
Anna Czerwinska was born on 7/10/49 and climbed Everest from Nepal side, making her the oldest woman to reach the summit.
On 24 May, 1996, Hans Kammerlander of Italy Hans made the fastest ascent of Everest via the standard North Col-North Ridge-North Face. He left base camp at 6,400m on 23 May at 5pm and was on the summit 16 hours, 45 minutes later at 9:45 am the next day. He descended most of the route on skis.
Andrej & Marija Stremfelj of Slovenia were the first married couple to summit together on 7 October, 1990.
Peter Hillary of New Zealand was the first son of a summiteer to reach the summit on 10 May, 1990.
First Ascent by an American was made by James Whittaker via the Southeast Ridge Route on May 1, 1963. Whittaker summitted with Sherpa Nawang Gombu.
Stacey Allison made the first Ascent by an American Woman via the Southeast Ridge Route on 29 September, 1988.
Mexican climber Ricardo Torres was the first Latin American.
In May, 2001, American Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first blind person to summit Everest.

The River Amazon

Second Longest River Of World 

The Amazon is the greatest river in the world by so many measures; the volume of water it carries to the sea (approximately 20% of all the freshwater discharge into the oceans), the area of land that drains into it, and its length and width. It is one of the longest rivers in the world and, depending upon who you talk to, is anywhere between 6,259km/3,903mi and 6,712km/4,195mi long.
For the last century the length of the Amazon and the Nile Rivers have been in a tight battle for title of world's longest river. The exact length of the two rivers varies over time and reputable sources disagree as to their actual length. The Nile River in Africa is reported to be anywhere from at 5,499km/3,437mi to 6,690km/4,180mi long. But there is no question as to which of the two great rivers carries the greater volume of water - the Amazon River.

At its widest point the Amazon River can be 11km/6.8 mi wide during the dry season. The area covered by the Amazon River and ts tributaries more than triples over the course of a year. In an average dry season 110,000 square km of land are water-covered, while in the wet season the flooded area of the Amazon Basin rises to 350,000 square km. When the flood plains and the Amazon River Basin flood during the rainy season the Amazon River can be up to 40km/24.8 mi wide. Where the Amazon opens at its estuary the river is over 325km/202 mi wide!

Because the Amazon drains the entire Northern half of the South American continent (approx. 40% landmass), including all the torrential tropical rains that deluge the rainforests, it carries an enormous amount of water. The mouth of the Amazon River, where it meets the sea, is so wide and deep that ocean-going ships have navigated its waters and traveled as far inland as two-thirds the way up the entire length of the river.

The Amazon - Home of Extremes

The Amazon River is not only the greatest in the world, it is home to many other extremes
of the natural world. Have you ever seen a catfish? They're usually found in warm, slow moving waters of lakes and streams, and some people keep them as pets in aquariums. Catfish are pretty creepy looking fish with big flat heads and "whiskers" on either side of their heads (hence the name, catfish). Most catfish that we're familiar with here in the U.S. are anywhere from eight inches long to about five feet, weighing in at up to 60 pounds. But the catfish that live in the world's greatest river have all the room in the world to grow as big as nature will allow - they have been captured weighing over 200 pounds! One of the largest freshwater fish in the world is found living in the waters of the Amazon River. Arapaima, also known locally as Pirarucu, Arapaima gigas are the largest, exclusively fresh water fish in the world. They have been found to reach a length of 15 ft/4m and can weigh up to 440lbs/200kg. (Read about the biggest freshwater fish in the world.)
The Amazon is also home to some other extreme creatures, featured here in "Extreme Science"; the Anaconda (biggest snake), and Piranha (most ferocious).

Amazon River Facts
So, how did the Amazon get to be so big? The first reason has to do with its location - right at the equator. Around the "belt line" of the earth lies a warm, tropical zone where over 400 in/1016cm of rain fall every year. That averages out to more than an inch (3cm) of rain, everyday! A lot of water falls onto the land surrounding the river, what is called the "Amazon River drainage basin". A good way to understand what a drainage basin is to think of the whole northern half of the continent of South America as a shallow dish, or saucer. Whenever rain falls and lands anywhere in the river basin it all runs into the lowest place in the pan, which happens to be the Amazon River. The sheer volume of rain in the Amazon jungle, as well as the slope of the surrounding land, combine to create the enormous river known as the Amazon.