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Eusebio Leal Spengler, Cuban historian and restorer of Outdated Havana, dies aged 77 | Cuba



Eusebio Leal Spengler, the Cuban historian who oversaw the transformation of Outdated Havana from a crumbling quarter into an immaculately restored colonial vacationer attraction, has died on the age 77. He had been affected by most cancers.

Leal and his restoration efforts grew to become so well-known that he grew to become the de-facto mayor of the historic metropolis centre and one of many nation’s most outstanding public intellectuals.

“To name it reconstruction of one thing that appeared lifeless and buried could draw soiled appears to be like and dismissals that ours is a romantic campaign,” Leal wrote in a metropolis bulletin in 2010. “But when that had been the case, we wouldn’t really feel embarrassed to be seen as romantics in occasions which are so apocalyptic.”

Born in Havana on 11 September 1942, Leal grew to become metropolis historian in 1967 and recognised that the resurrection of its historic district might be a moneymaker. That grew to become particularly necessary when communist Cuba embraced overseas tourism en masse after the disbanding of the Soviet Union. The lack of its billions of {dollars} in annual subsidies to the island introduced the financial system to the brink of complete collapse.

After a collection of nationwide financial reforms and the December 2014 declaration of detente with the US, Leal’s government-driven restoration of Outdated Havana gained momentum with the opening of lots of of personal companies, from elegant eating places to artwork galleries, that stuffed with vacationers as visits to the nation soared.

The increase raised worries about gentrification as expatriate Cubans or these with ties to overseas capital purchased out longtime residents and turned their houses into companies.

Leal is credited with restoring Old Havana’s historic heart.
Leal is credited with restoring Outdated Havana’s historic coronary heart. {Photograph}: Alamy Inventory Picture

Leal’s workplace refurbished greater than 300 buildings in Outdated Havana, the center of a metropolis based in 1519 by the Spanish. He bought all of Outdated Havana designated as a Unesco world heritage web site in 1982.

That distinction introduced worldwide funding to revitalise the world, however Leal was additionally granted unprecedented autonomy by authorities superiors, permitting him to levy taxes within the neighbourhood and maintain the income his initiatives generated to reinvest in new rebuilding efforts.

Leal was a member of Cuba’s parliament, however loved extra energy serving on the central committee of the Communist get together. It was not unusual for him to journey to the airport to greet arriving overseas heads of state, in addition to oversee public political and cultural occasions.

By February 2008, Leal’s title was talked about as a candidate for main promotion when Raúl Castro succeeded his brother Fidel as Cuba’s president – particularly given town historian’s usually reasonable political opinions. As a substitute, Leal stayed on the helm of Outdated Havana.

El Morro fortress, which guards Havana, was restored by Leal.
El Morro fortress, which guards Havana, was restored by Leal. {Photograph}: Stephen Taylor/Alamy Inventory Picture

Leal rebuilt tourist-friendly websites similar to El Floridita, the place Ernest Hemingway is claimed to have helped pioneer the daiquiri, and one other well-known watering gap, La Bodeguita del Medio. He oversaw restoration of among the light facade of the Malecón, town’s well-known seawall, and El Morro, the Spanish fort that guards the doorway to the Havana harbour.

One in all his largest initiatives was the restoration of the domed Capitol constructing to turn into the seat of the Cuban parliament because it was earlier than Cuba’s 1959 revolution.

Havana’s Capitol building.
Havana’s Capitol constructing. {Photograph}: Ernesto Mastrascusa/EPA

However the on-the-surface appeal of Leal’s efforts belied the issues of Cubans who stay in grinding poverty mere blocks from vacationer areas.

When the New York Instances wrote a largely beneficial 2007 article saying that Leal’s work had much more aesthetic advantages than actual worth for Outdated Havana residents, the visibly offended metropolis historian organised a press convention to denounce the article, the reporter who wrote it and the newspaper.

“The query is, ‘Isn’t tradition a constructive? Isn’t the state of [Cuban] tradition a constructive?’,” Leal demanded to know.

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UK coronavirus dwell: France may quarantine British travellers in retaliation over new guidelines | World information



Massive swathes of northern England and Leicester will stay beneath tighter lockdown for a 3rd week as coronavirus an infection charges proceed to climb sharply in some districts, the Division of Well being and Social Care (DHSC) has introduced.

The choice was taken by Matt Hancock, the well being secretary, in collaboration with native leaders after circumstances did not drop sufficiently.

The measures – initially introduced in with just a few hours’ discover on 31 July – will “assist defend native residents, and permit extra time for the adjustments to have an impact, chopping transmission amongst households”, the DHSC stated.

The restrictions proceed to have an effect on residents in Higher Manchester; Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford in West Yorkshire; Leicester; and the next areas of east Lancashire: Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Preston and Rossendale.

Casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, convention centres and indoor play areas is not going to be permitted to open in these areas. Elsewhere in England they’ll open from Saturday.

Individuals within the affected areas is not going to be permitted to combine with different households (other than these of their assist bubble) inside non-public properties or gardens. They’ll nonetheless capable of meet others in teams of as much as six people, or two households, in out of doors public locations.

Swimming pools, indoor gyms and different leisure amenities in addition to nail bars, spas and wonder salons will proceed to stay closed in Bradford, Blackburn with Darwen, and Leicester.

Shielding can even proceed for people in Blackburn with Darwen, and Leicester.

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Palestinians warn Israel-UAE deal imperils Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque



* Palestinians see Al-Aqsa as pinnacle of future state

* Worshippers slam UAE leaders over take care of Israel

* Fear deal might threaten their entry to sacred website

* Burn effigies of Trump, Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi crown prince

By Rami Ayyub

JERUSALEM, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Indignant Palestinians in Jerusalem accused the United Arab Emirates of collaborating with Israel and endangering Al-Aqsa mosque – Islam’s third-holiest website – as they gathered for Friday prayers the day after the Gulf state’s take care of Israel.

Below an settlement brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump, Israel and the UAE introduced on Thursday that they are going to normalise diplomatic ties, introduced collectively by a confluence of pursuits in opposition to Iran.

The deal additionally envisions giving Muslims better entry to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque by permitting them to straight fly from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

This was greeted with dismay by Palestinian worshippers submitting into the tree-lined hilltop compound in Jerusalem’s walled Previous Metropolis recognized to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews because the Temple Mount.

“Our brothers within the Emirates put our blessed mosque within the grip of dying,” stated Kamal Attoun, 60, an East Jerusalem Palestinian and Previous Metropolis service provider.

Requested if he would welcome Muslims from the Emirates or the Gulf below such circumstances, Attoun stated: “You have seen how collaborators from Saudi Arabia have been acquired up to now. The identical destiny awaits the Emiratis.”

He was referring to a pro-Israel Saudi web influencer who was reportedly taunted as he walked by means of the Previous Metropolis compound final yr.

Palestinians have lengthy sought East Jerusalem, the place the Previous Metropolis is situated, as capital of a future state and have appeared to Arab nations to defend that stance. In the event that they normalise ties with Israel, Palestinians concern shedding any probability of future sovereignty within the metropolis and assured entry to Al Aqsa mosque.

Mohammad al-Sharif, 45, a member of Israel’s Arab minority, stated he wouldn’t maintain it in opposition to peculiar Muslims from the Gulf “as a result of their rulers made a mistake”.

However he was scathing about their leaders.

“Collaboration with the UAE is worse, 100 instances worse than collaborating with Israel. That Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and his soiled canines look out for themselves and their pursuits and the remainder of us can go to hell,” he stated, referring to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince.

The highest Islamic official in Jerusalem, Sheikh Abdul-Azim Salhab of the Islamic Waqf, advised Reuters he does “not settle for the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque to be the topic of political bickering. It’s larger than this tug-of-war.”

Condemnation additionally got here from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose spokesman on Thursday learn out a press release from the management on Palestinian tv calling the deal a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian trigger”.

Palestinians throughout Gaza and the occupied West Financial institution rallied on Friday in opposition to the deal. Protesters within the metropolis of Nablus burned effigies of Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.


In the meantime, Israel embraced the deal, with the nation’s biggest-selling day by day, Yedioth Ahronoth, calling it a “daring breakthrough”.

Some analysts stated Netanyahu risked angering his supporters by strolling again pledges to annex land within the West Financial institution – territory sought by Palestinians for a state – in order to do a take care of an Arab Gulf nation.

“He gained a couple of factors with the centre-left, which loves agreements with Arabs, however he misplaced many extra factors together with his base of right-wing voters,” wrote Ben Caspit in Maariv.

Netanyahu, dogged by an ongoing corruption trial and criticised for his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, has hailed the settlement as a private success in integrating Israel within the Center East.

On his Arabic-language Twitter account he credited Israel’s overseas intelligence service Mossad with serving to to clinch the deal.

Below spy chief Yossi Cohen, Netanyahu stated, the Mossad helped develop Israel’s relations with the Gulf and “ripen the peace settlement with the Emirates”. (Extra reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Writing by Stephen Farrell and Rami Ayyub; Modifying by Mark Heinrich)

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US politics stay: state troopers pulled from Portland after 78th evening of BLM protests – information updates | US information



College of Oregon to cowl up racist murals

Oregon State Police leaving Portland after two-week project

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