Today Donald Trump will deliver a speech at the Holocaust Memorial Museum for the National Day of Remembrance. Safe to say, there will be prepared remarks, which neither Trump nor his top spokesman will write. This is no occasion for Trump's verbal freestyling. Meanwhile, it was Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who two weeks ago tried to stir outrage against Bashar al-Assad by somehow claiming that Hitler — whose gas chambers were a key instrument in his slaughter of six million Jews — did not use chemical weapons.
Among the Holocaust experts who quickly condemned Spicer's remarks was the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. Over the past few months, the New York-based center has become one of the most vocal watchdog groups calling out the Trump administration for what they see as a pattern of anti-Semitism — or at least "astounding insensitivity" to the Jewish community, as its executive director Steven Goldstein described it. But a recent piece in The Atlantic digs into the origins and links of this Anne Frank Center, officially established in 1977. The group is not related to the Anne Frank House that memorializes the Frank family home in Amsterdam, nor to the Anne Frank Fonds, a Swiss-organization that owns the rights to the young girl's famous diary.
Moreover, The Atlantic reports serious doubts about the organization's claim that it has ties to Otto Frank, Anne's father, who survived the War, and notes that debate has risen lately about if and how it should use the "Anne Frank" name.
Both past and present, this returns to that Shakespearean question: "What's in a name?"
Looking back here across the Atlantic, we are asking Marine Le Pen, whose success in the first round of the French presidential election has been contingent on (or contained by) her family name. "Le Pen" became synonymous with extreme right-wing politics back in the 1980s after Marine's father Jean-Marie founded the Front National Party and espoused anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
There is indeed still a lot in a name — even if we're not always sure just what.
The now 48-year-old daughter has spent her political career gradually distancing herself from the name, strategically running a campaign with just her first name, and finally kicking her father out of the party last year after he repeated his assertion that the Holocaust was a "detail" of history.
But would "a rose by any other name smell as sweet?" (Le Pen's campaign logo just so happens to be a blue rose.) She might have spent a great deal of her campaign saying she does not share her father's clearly anti-Semitic beliefs, but only earlier this month, she denied the French government's involvement in deportation of Jews during the War — a veiled version of her father's anti-Semitism, some claim.
How much weight the Le Pen name carries will be seen in the next two weeks, when the French cast their ballots in the second round of the election. But one thing is clear: Even in the middle of the current wave of populist anti-establishment fervor, there is indeed still a lot in a name — even if we're not always sure just what. The United States, after all, just elected to its highest office a man whose signature achievement in life was slapping his own name on buildings, casinos, steaks, a fake university and a failed airline.
With loans and solar panels from China, the massive solar park has been opened a year and is already powering the surrounding areas. Now the Chinese supplier is pushing for an expansion.
CAUCHARI — Driving across the border with Chile into the northwest Argentine department of Susques, you may spot what looks like a black mass in the distance. Arriving at a 4,000-meter altitude in the municipality of Cauchari, what comes into view instead is an assembly of 960,000 solar panels. It is the world's highest photovoltaic (PV) park, which is also the second biggest solar energy facility in Latin America, after Mexico's Aguascalientes plant.
Spread over 800 hectares in an arid landscape, the Cauchari park has been operating for a year, and has so far turned sunshine into 315 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the local provincial capital of Jujuy through the national grid.
It has also generated some $50 million for the province, which Governor Gerardo Morales has allocated to building 239 schools.
Abundant sunshine, low temperatures
The physicist Martín Albornoz says Cauchari, which means "link to the sun," is exposed to the best solar radiation anywhere. The area has 260 days of sunshine, with no smog and relatively low temperatures, which helps keep the panels in optimal conditions.
Its construction began with a loan of more than $331 million from China's Eximbank, which allowed the purchase of panels made in Shanghai. They arrived in Buenos Aires in 2,500 containers and were later trucked a considerable distance to the site in Cauchari . This was a titanic project that required 1,200 builders and 10-ton cranes, but will save some 780,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year.
It is now run by 60 technicians. Its panels, with a 25-year guarantee, follow the sun's path and are cleaned twice a year. The plant is expected to have a service life of 40 years. Its choice of location was based on power lines traced in the 1990s to export power to Chile, now fed by the park.
Chinese engineers working in an office at the Cauchari park
Chinese want to expand
The plant belongs to the public-sector firm Jemse (Jujuy Energía y Minería), created in 2011 by the province's then governor Eduardo Fellner. Jemse's president, Felipe Albornoz, says that once Chinese credits are repaid in 20 years, Cauchari will earn the province $600 million.
The Argentine Energy ministry must now decide on the park's proposed expansion. The Chinese would pay in $200 million, which will help install 400,000 additional panels and generate enough power for the entire province of Jujuy.
The park's CEO, Guillermo Hoerth, observes that state policies are key to turning Jujuy into a green province. "We must change the production model. The world is rapidly cutting fossil fuel emissions. This is a great opportunity," Hoerth says.
The province's energy chief, Mario Pizarro, says in turn that Susques and three other provincial districts are already self-sufficient with clean energy, and three other districts would soon follow.
- Green Is Ugly: Style Problems Plague Clean Energy Push ... ›
- Solar Power: Researchers Map Out Colombia's Sunshine Hotspots ... ›
- EVs Start Moving Latin American Cities To Sustainability ... ›