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Denebola » Peter Natov http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 Italian PM Berlusconi in another legal battle http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/italian-pm-berlusconi-in-another-legal-battle/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/italian-pm-berlusconi-in-another-legal-battle/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:50:27 +0000 Peter Natov http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5693 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has found himself in yet another legal battle. This time, Berlusconi faces an indictment for paying for sex with the underage Moroccan nightclub belly dancer Karima el Mahroug, also known as Ruby Rubacuori, or “Ruby the Heart-Stealer.”
Reports of a sexual liaison between Berlusconi and Mahroug arose after she was arrested in May 2010 for theft.
Berlusconi called the head of the Milan police department and pressed for her release, claiming that Mahroug was the granddaughter of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and that a diplomatic crisis would arise if she were not let go, which she was.
Both the 74-year-old Berlusconi and the now 18-year-old Mahroug deny having sex with each other, but Mahroug has admitted that she attended sex parties at Berlusconi’s mansion outside of Milan.
She claims that during one of the parties she met Berlusconi, who brought her upstairs to give her €7,000 and some jewelry.
Now Berlusconi is set to face a trial for paying for sex with an underage girl (Mahroug was 17 at the time) and for abusing his power as prime minister to win Mahroug’s release from custody.
Berlusconi’s lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, says that Berlusconi plans to attend all of the trials in the upcoming months. The prime minister and his lawyer deny all allegations and claim the trial is politically motivated.
The trial, however, not only concerns the allegation of sex with an underage girl, but also two other charges: one of bribery and one of corruption.
Silvio Berlusconi has been elected prime minister on three separate occasions, first serving in 1994, then from 2001 to 2006, and most recently since 2008.
Founding his own political party, Forza Italia, or “Go Italy,” in 1993, Berlusconi became the Italian Prime Minister a year later, serving for six months.
Leading a center-right party, Berlusconi attempted to forge a powerful right-wing alliance in order to dominate Italian politics, but was unsuccessful. His coalition collapsed after only seven months in office as he faced accusations of tax fraud in Milan.
Listed as the 74th richest man in the world by Forbes magazine, Berlusconi has a net worth of over $9 billion from his business successes.
Owner of A.C. Milan, one of the most prestigious soccer clubs in the world, Berlusconi has amassed his wealth by working in the television, newspaper, publishing, cinema, finance, banking, and insurance industries. His company Mediaset broadcasts three television channels, half of the Italian television market.
The trial that Berlusconi will face later this year will not be his first. Since he entered politics 17 years ago, he has received numerous accusations of corruption, bribery, embezzlement, tax fraud, false accounting, attempting to bribe a judge, and other crimes.
Berlusconi claims to be the victim of the Italian judicial authorities and estimates that he has made over 2,500 court appearances in 106 different trials. Through it all, he has denied the accusations and has never been convicted of anything serious.
Although Berlusconi has evaded accusations in the past, the trial he will face in the coming months may finally end his reign as prime minister.
Other blights on his reputation, including his alleged links to the Italian mafia, his support of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and his attempts at reconciliation with Libyan despot Muammar Qaddafi, may finally be catching up with him.
Politicians and regular Italians are increasingly suggesting that his crimes are both an embarrassment for and a danger to Italy.

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Crossing the field http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/crossing-the-field/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/crossing-the-field/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 07:04:31 +0000 Peter Natov http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4614 There is no doubt that there exist immense differences between level and competition of middle school sports compared with that of the high school level.
As incoming freshmen participate in their respective sports, they come to see that they must make necessary changes to compete at the new level. In middle school, many athletes find that participating on sports team is mostly about enjoyment and do not understand what a full commitment to a high school team is like.
Senior Alex Foner, a current member of the Boys’ Varsity Soccer team, was unsure about the transition from the middle school to the high school level in his early days at South. “I really didn’t do much to prepare, Foner said. “I was trying out for the Soccer team in the fall, so I did a little bit of training, but nothing major.
The transition from middle school to high school, however, does not only involve a dramatic change in the level of competitiveness, it also involves a change in attitude. When asked about how athletes have to adjust their attitudes in the transition, Athletic Director Scott Perrin believes that it is crucial for incoming freshmen to adjust quickly.
“When you come to high school, athletics take on a whole new meaning, Perrin said. “Middle school athletics and our youth programs don’t do the best job in preparing kids for what a Varsity for Junior Varsity experience is like.
Sophomore Aaron Weinstein, a member of the Boys’ Varsity Football team, found that the change in competitiveness from the middle school to high school level was profound.
“It’s just that the competitiveness is a whole different thing, he said. “Middle school is laid back, relaxed, and then when you get to the high school level, it’s all ‘Ëœyou want to win; you need to win,’ and it’s just a whole different competitive attitude and mentality.
A member of the Girls’ Varsity Softball team, Junior Andrea Epstein believes that one of the reasons that middle school is so different is because of the large range of skill levels, so the team is not able to focus on improving the top performers.
Due to the wide range of skill levels, the freshman team is vital to an athlete’s process of getting used to the higher level of physical play. “Kids are faster, stronger, bigger, [hit harder], and kids put in a lot more effort than in middle school, Freshman Football player Kevin Dober said.
Adjusting to the new level of competitiveness and commitment is not a change that an athlete tackles alone. Coaches aid their players in this adjustment via freshmen and Junior Varsity squads.
“The Freshman team is really helpful, Dober said. “I think freshman year it is definitely hardest to learn the program and how stuff works, because kids are coming from different [middle schools]. On these teams, incoming freshmen have the opportunity to adjust their attitudes and understand the commitment necessary for playing for South.
“Participating in a freshmen sport like football actually helps you transition a lot, especially in the preseason, so it kind of does a lot of the transitioning for you, Weinstein said. “Throughout the season, it gets progressively more difficult. The preseason really helped the adjustment process.
Foner found that the first few weeks in an athlete’s freshman career are integral in one’s ability to transition from the middle school to the high school level.
“The Freshmen and [Junior Varsity] teams are preparing kids for Varsity, and many coaches understand that this is many kids’ first experience at the high school level, so I was able to ease into the system, he said.
The adjustment process, however, comes much easier for some compared to others. “They work hard, but some of them just get it easier because they have [played the sport] for a longer time [than other kids], freshman, and Volleyball player, Nika Varpahovsky said.
In the first few weeks or months when freshmen come to understand what high school is like, both in the classroom and on the field, they encounter many difficulties to which they must adjust.
Although some incoming freshmen are content with playing at the freshmen level, and many are grateful to play at the Junior Varsity level, a few are prepared to assist a Varsity team with their abilities right away.
“We have had freshmen who come in and play Varsity, Perrin said. “There are kids who are capable of making the transition immediately. And that’s due to their mental make-up and their physical ability, but they’re few and far between.

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