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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:22:58 PM EST
Italy's Berlusconi bribery trial ends with no verdict | Reuters

(Reuters) - Italian judges on Saturday ended former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's trial on charges of bribing British lawyer David Mills, saying the statute of limitations had run out and a verdict could not be reached.

The case surrounding Mills was one of the most prominent of the scandals involving Berlusconi, Italy's richest media entrepreneur as well as its dominant political figure of the past two decades.

Berlusconi, who denied paying Mills to provide untruthful court testimony, was not in the Milan court to hear Judge Francesca Vitale read a brief statement declaring that the trial, which began in 2007, was now closed.

Prosecutors had been seeking a five-year prison sentence but the decision effectively lifts the threat of any sanction against the 75-year-old media tycoon, who controls Italy's biggest private television broadcaster.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlu wins again. Now he can get back into power. What a system!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it is somewhat more subtle. Had he been judged innocent that would have been the verdict regardless the statute of limitations. Since that did not occur, the ruling implies that he would have been judged guilty were it not for the statute of limitations. The court established that the motivations for the decision will be deposited within 90 days. The motivations of a ruling are the heart of the Italian judiciary system, so we will look forward to that. The motivations for the Mills trial clearly indicated that Mills had committed the acts attributed to him and was fined accordingly. He did not serve the sentence because of the statute of limitations.

It is often overlooked that the statute of limitations was drastically curtailed by laws passed under Berlusconi governments precisely with the intention of beating the rap through that mechanism. Were it not for Berlusconi's laws on the matter, the statute of limitations for both of the trials of Mills and Berlusconi would have expired in 2015.

So long as Berlusconi and his kind continue to hold the state hostage with their personal concerns, there will be little progress in creating an efficient judiciary system. It is unlikely that Monti will do much considering the nature of his support in parliament.

Two very simple laws would help: abolition of the statue of limitations once a trial starts, and immediately serving the sentence once condemned in the first trial, rather than dragging controversies through all three grades of justice.

As for Berlusconi, like Cesare Borgia he is mortal and his parabola will come to close. A spit in the bucket on historical timelengths who left a poisoned legacy.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:45:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SPAIN: Demonstrators Protest Bank Bailouts and Spending Cuts - IPS ipsnews.net
MÁLAGA, Spain, Feb 24, 2012 (IPS) - Demonstrators in nearly two dozen cities in Spain raised their voices Friday to protest against the use of public funds to bail out banks while the budgets for basic services like education and health are being slashed.

In the southern city of Málaga, dozens of people chanting "We aren't paying for this crisis" and "The bank always wins, and I don't like that" marched through streets downtown in a festive mood and entered a bank to try to cash symbolic checks, saying they were facing "a shortage of funds after the government's cutbacks," which especially hurt middle and lower-income sectors.

The simultaneous nationwide protests against the bank bailout were organised over the on-line social networks by Democracia Real Ya (DRY) - Real Democracy Now - a platform that sparked the May 15 movement (15-M).

The demonstration "aims to highlight, by peaceful action in many banks around our country, the enormous responsibility of financial bodies for the difficult situation we are in," Fabio Gándara, a DRY spokesman in Madrid, told IPS.

"We criticise the use of public money to rescue mostly private banks," Santiago R., a DRY spokesman in Málaga who preferred not to give his last name, told IPS.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:03:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Orbán says commission's proposals are 'irrational and unfair': theparliament.com
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has described the commission's proposals to halt grants to Hungary as "irrational and unfair", reports the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier in the week, the commission suggested a suspension of €495m in development grants to Hungary in 2013, unless the country takes measures to keep its deficits in check.

According to the paper, Orbán criticised the commission for what he deemed to be double standards. He said, "Why is it us, the ones who are performing well, who should face the threat of being cut off from funding while they're just pouring money elsewhere with constantly fading hopes of success?"
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:18:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Serbia and Kosovo strike name deal | European Voice

Serbia and Kosovo have agreed how Kosovo can present itself in diplomatic meetings of the western Balkan states, paving the way for the European Union to grant Serbia the status of a candidate for membership next week.

The two sides also agreed how to manage their border, which Serbia views as purely administrative because it does not recognise Kosovo's independence.

The agreement was reached today (24 February) after two-and-a-half days of talks in Brussels mediated by Robert Cooper, chief diplomatic adviser to Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief.

The compromise foresees that Kosovo's nameplate in diplomatic gatherings will contain a footnote making reference to Resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council of 1999 (as demanded by Serbia) and to a ruling by the International Court of Justice from 2010 (a Kosovar demand).

The footnote to the name 'Kosovo' will read: "This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:22:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:01:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who is this?

I recently saw the documentary "The Weight of Chains" and they give the same version of events - that the break-up of the former Yugoslavia was driven by the USA and Germany and then the Germans bought up all of the countries' assets.

I just thought it was a Serbian white-washing of events.

so please tell me who this is.

by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the Serb narrative of the Yugoslav wars.

While it is true that Germany jumped at the chance to recognize Croatia as an independent country (there are still lots of streets and guesthouses called Genscher in Croatian backwaters), it completely glosses over the role of Milosevic as Serb president, both in reforming Serbia to make it more centralised, and in attempting to reform Yugoslavia itself also to make it more centralised, as well as the 1980s hyperinflation and the political movements around the end of the 1980s.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:45:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With no intention to excuse Milosevic in any way (you all know how I hated him even me being a Serb) but we all always knew that this was planned well in advance. Milosevic just played their cards well and that and the fact that he has spent a lot of time in USA during his previous career even was a reason for some people in Serbia to believe that he was "American man". Yeah...conspiracy theory that, would you believe it,  I never believed in (and I love those as you know).
This is French general and he is not the only one who is talking...they probably do not want to go to grave with this crime on their souls...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:37:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, Milosevic was the Americans' man in Serbia just like Tito was not a Croat but a Russian spy gone rogue on Stalin.

Because the Balkan people themselves have nothing to blame themselves about in the last 70 years of history.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahh it's so easy to manipulate people and that's what "people" are guilty of. Individuals may and are guilty for specific crimes but to blame "people"...I do not buy it. It has been used to demonize whole nations and in my book it's pure propaganda. As I said I did not buy this theory about Milosevic. As for Tito I really am not sure who that man really was. He never was able to speak the language properly in any of dialects known in ex YU. As a matter of fact I remember (and I was a small child at the time) a very old neighbour of mine used to tell us kids that Tito actually was British agent. Well no one can tell actually why Brits and others dropped Serbian monarch and his paramilitary (that also did fight Germans) and proceeded with Tito. Churchill-Roosevelt-Stalin deal about Yugoslavia is still puzzle. As kids we were obviously told about Tito's partisans as heroes saving the nation from Germans but there are other stories how they made more damage to the people trough their guerrilla actions because thousands were killed in retaliation after it. I do not want to go there right now. Story too big to tell. But something was not right after WWII with events in Yugoslavia.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 05:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the youtube blurb with added link to wiki:
Truth about NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia 1999 (in French with Serbian subtitles), by French General Pierre Marie Gallois (29 June 1911 -- 24 August 2010), a French Air Force Brigadier General and geopolitician.


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:49:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most notably, he's the "father of the French nuclear deterrent" and co-founder of the Forum pour la France (opposing the European "Constitution" from a right-wing nationalist stance.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:51:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks Migeru.

I think there is some truth to his allegations, but I am careful of trying to whitewash any of the guilty parties as there were some horrific crimes committed on all sides.

and, the head of state of Kosovo was implicated in international organ trafficking which kind of gives credence to the documentary I saw.

by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have to keep in mind that he was a well-connected octogenarian in the 1990s. Well-connected, but years into retirement as a military man nonetheless...

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:10:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
still, it is hard to believe his claims that the Germans were seeking revenge against the Serbs for their activities in WWII...  I mean, I think Hans Josef Strauss was conservative, but not a Nazi, at least not after WWII
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:20:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, that should be Franz not Hans
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:23:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
have you noticed how many people who were detained in Egypt in the NGO affair have Serbian names and nationality?  there really is something going on there and I don't think it's as innocent as Gene Sharp would have us believe.
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I already posted how Serbian "Otpor" were involved in events in Egypt and how they were created and funded by USA.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:59:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh, ok.  I will have to try to find it.  I hope this is not just praise of Gene Sharp as I think that he is a fantastic self-promoter.  period.
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot find it with the search function.  Do you have a link?
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:11:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry I can't find it too.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 10:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can find this from 2008, and this from 2011.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 10:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He also retired from the army in 1957, forty years before these events.

His status in making these comments is not that of a general with particular knowledge of that conflict, but of a pundit.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:27:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on european security subjects.

I think this is taken from his show on Radio Courtoisie.

by redstar on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 01:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:02:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw this movie and it was quite good but I did not like the whitewashing of Milosevic.  

He also talks to a lot of Serb Canadians and Serb Americans and kind of pretends that they are neutral.

Chossodovsky in particular is often interviewed by Russia Today.

Other than that, the movie was quite an eye opener.

by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:10:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:20:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kosovo's nameplate in diplomatic gatherings will contain a footnote

LOLWUT?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:36:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is the Kosovo head of state still the guy who was implicated in the traffic of human body organs?  
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:42:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
YES!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kosovo is also home to a very large American military base.  You would think that with all their stopping tyrants, they could have arrested this guy.
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gangsta State: Kosovo's Drugs, Slaves, and Organ Farms

The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, "is the head of a 'mafia-like' Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe," The Guardian disclosed.

According to a draft resolution unanimously approved December 16 in Paris, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights found compelling evidence of forced disappearances, organ trafficking, corruption and collusion between criminal gangs and "political circles" in Kosovo who just happen to be close regional allies of the United States.

The investigation was launched by Dick Marty, the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe (PACE) special rapporteur for human rights who had conducted an exhaustive 2007 probe into CIA "black fights" in Europe. The PACE investigation gathered steam after allegations were published by former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Carla Del Ponte in her 2008 memoir.


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:48:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Failed states are very useful.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 09:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found tis but have no link:

Kosovo's PM Behind Human Kidney Trade
Report: U.S.-Backed Prime Minister Hashim Thaci Was Boss of Criminal Underworld

    Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and outgoing Prime Minister Hashim Thaci gives the thumb up as he arrives at a polling station to cast his vote on December 12, 2010 in Pristina.

    Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and outgoing Prime Minister Hashim Thaci gives the thumb up as he arrives at a polling station to cast his vote on December 12, 2010 in Pristina.  (ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

    Stories
    Kosovo: E.U. Prosecutor Probes Organ Trafficking
    S. Africa Hospital Guilty of Organ Trafficking

(CBS/AP)  A European investigator has issued a report claiming civilian detainees of the Kosovo Liberation Army were shot to death in Albania so their kidneys could sold on the black market.

The report by Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty, two years in the making, suggests Kosovo's U.S.-backed prime minister was once the "boss" of a criminal underworld behind the grisly trade.

The report, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, has been obtained by the British newspaper the Guardian. It names Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci as having over the last decade exerted "violent control" over the heroin trade.

According to the Guardian, members of Thaci's inner circle are accused of secretly taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a few Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.

The alleged crimes occurred after the Kosovo war ended in 1999.

Marty's investigation of the KLA's alleged trade in organs stemmed from a book by U.N. War Crimes tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, based on information she said she received from Western journalists.

Kosovo's government Tuesday branded the report an attempt "to tarnish the image of the Kosovo Liberation Army."

Marty, the human rights investigator behind the inquiry, will present his report to European diplomats from all 47 member states at a meeting in Paris on Thursday, the Guardian reports.

Also on Tuesday, a prosecutor charged seven Kosovans on trial in Pristina were part of the network that traded organs.

European Union Prosecutor Jonathan Ratel told the crowded Pristina District Court that the men, including a former senior Health Ministry official, promised poor people from Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey up to $20,000 for their organs.

Those who received the organs - including patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel - paid between $110,000-$137,000 for them, Ratel said. The victims, however, were never paid, he added.

The prosecutor, who serves in Kosovo as part of the EU's rule of law mission, alleged that what he called an organ-harvesting ring recruited about 20 foreign nationals with false promises of payments in 2008.

The seven men have pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from trafficking in persons to unlawful practices of medicine and abuse of power. None of them is in custody. Two other suspects, a Turkish and an Israeli national, remain at large.

Tuesday's session was adjourned until Jan. 6 to give the prosecution more time to provide additional documents.



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 10:03:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Burger King quits work experience scheme for jobless | Business | guardian.co.uk

Burger King has announced it has pulled out of the government's controversial work experience scheme.

The fast food giant said it had decided to cease its involvement in the Get Britain Working programme because of recent concerns expressed by the public.

The scheme has attracted growing criticism in recent weeks with opponents describing it as a form of slave labour because young people worked for nothing, while keeping their benefits.

Burger King said it had registered for the programme six weeks ago intending to take on young people for work experience at its Slough headquarters, but had not recruited anyone.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:43:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany offers to send tax men to Greece - The Local

The German government is prepared to send 160 financial experts to Greece to help the country overhaul its tax collection, the business weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported Saturday.

Hans Bernhard Beus, deputy finance minister, told the magazine that the tax officials are ready to jump in to help the ailing country. They would need to at least speak English, but about a dozen of the volunteers speak Greek, he said.

... Walter-Borjans warned that the Greeks would likely have even more reservations about the Germans offering advice than the East Germans did about their western counterparts coming in after reunification. That could also be he said, because of "inappropriate signals" coming from Germany regarding the implementation of Greek austerity measures.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:49:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:23:22 PM EST
Euro-zone deal on firewall awaits Germany | Reuters

(Reuters) - Germany may not be ready to back an increase in Europe's bailout fund at a summit next week, delaying efforts to meet international demands for Europe to strengthen its defences against the region's sovereign debt crisis.

Many finance leaders of G20 countries, meeting in Mexico City this weekend, have demanded that Europe strengthen its firewall as a condition for providing more resources to the International Monetary Fund.

The two actions would provide greater assurance to markets that the euro zone debt crisis will not spread.

The G20 joined forces in 2008 to fight back against financial crisis which blew up in the United States and caused the worst recession since the 1930s. In the last two years, the chaos has spread to Europe where highly indebted countries have been locked out of debt markets and forced to seek bailouts.

Euro zone officials said they do not expect a decision at a European leaders summit on March 1-2 on combining the resources of two European rescue funds.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:58:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Privatisation Derailed Argentina's Rail System - IPS ipsnews.net
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 24, 2012 (IPS) - Increasingly frequent and tragic railway accidents in Argentina, like this week's crash, show that the rail system, run by private companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from the state, constantly ignores warnings from inspectors and fines, observers say.

"Another catastrophe could happen at any time," former socialist lawmaker Héctor Polino, founder of Consumidores Libres (Free Consumers), a citizens group that has filed numerous complaints against the companies running the railways, told IPS.

The debate on the state of Argentina's privatised and heavily subsidised rail network has flared up again in the wake of the Wednesday Feb. 22 crash, when a packed commuter train slammed into a retaining wall at a railway terminus in Buenos Aires.

The train entered the station at a speed of more than 20 km per hour and did not stop, for reasons that have yet to be determined, killing 50 people and injuring more than 700 others.

Some passengers said there were signs of problems with the train just before the accident.

The crash was the second in the Argentine capital in less than six months.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Winston Churchill on Greece's Bailout Mark 2 (almost)    Yanis Varoufakis

In my previous post I described Europe's latest Agreement on how to deal with the Greek debt problem, and the looming Euro Crisis, as a form of Crisis Appeasement. A New Munich that will haunt us Europeans for a long while. Today I cannot resist the temptation to couch my views on Greece's Bailout Mk2 using the very words with which Winston Churchill `welcomed' the Munich deal in the House of Commons:

I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week - I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard default [ordeal] would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defences; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies:

"Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting."

And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and intellectual [martial] vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.




As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 08:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Churchill talked a great game, but what he actually did was brutal and reactionary, particularly with regard to Greece once "a supreme recovery of moral health and intellectual [martial] vigour" had taken place.

If I were Greek I wouldn't want to give him screen space.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 03:32:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus, Varoufakis is, of course, selectively quoting Churchill. Keynes said about him, in a different context
Why did he do such a silly thing ? Partly, perhaps, because he has no instinctive judgment to prevent him from making mistakes; partly because, lacking this instinctive judgment, he was deafened by the clamorous voices of conventional finance; and, most of all, because he was gravely misled by his experts.
by gk (gk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that about the overvaluation of Sterling in the gold standard in the mid-1920s?

In any case, what business did Churchill have being Chancellor of the Exchequer?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. The economic consequences of Mr. Churchill (1925) (p.212 in the Palgrave edition of Essays in Persuasion).

Your second question could probably apply to lots of others...

by gk (gk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:38:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Keynes perhaps underestimated the effect a quarter century of immersion in economics can have on one's judgement - or not. Churchill certainly had the independence of mind to stand alone, but not the judgement to know when to do so.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 10:32:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the contrary, I think Churchill must have been the inspiration for Keynes' quip about "practical men" and their relationship with "defunct economists."

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 11:02:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:23:44 PM EST
NATO recalls advisers after Kabul shooting - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

NATO has announced that all foreign adivsers will be pulled out of their posts in Kabul.

The announcement came hours after the shooting on Saturday of two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) military advisers in the Ministry of Interior in Kabul city.

Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting live from the Afghan capital, said the withdrawal of hundreds of military and civilian advisers is a sign that NATO feels "no place is secure for any of their advisers" in Afghanistan.

In a statement, General John R Allen, ISAF commander, said that "for obvious force protection reasons, I have also taken immediate measures to recall all other ISAF personnel working in ministries in and around Kabul".

Speaking to Al Jazeera TV,  ISAF spokesperson, Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson said the adviser pull out was a logical and necessary step to "account for all our personnel ... and bring them into their safe housing areas" in and around the Afghan capital.

Afghan access

The two American service members were inside a room in the ministry's command and control complex used only by foreign advisers. The only Afghans with access to that area are translators, Afghan officials said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:54:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about pulling out all the troops as well ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Red Cross pushes to rescue wounded in Homs - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

The Syrian military has extended its bombardment of the opposition-held Bab Amr district of Homs into a fourth week as the Red Cross tried to evacuate more distressed civilians from the city. 

Dozens of people were killed in Homs and elsewhere in Syria on Saturday, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees activist network.

Deploring the outcome of an international "Friends of Syria" conference held on Friday in Tunisia, opposition activists said the world had abandoned them to be killed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

"They [world leaders] are still giving opportunities to this man who is killing us and has already killed thousands of people," Nadir Husseini, an activist in Bab Amr, said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had resumed negotiations with the Syrian authorities and the opposition to enable more civilians to be brought to safety.

Husseini said people in Bab Amr were suspicious of the ICRC's local partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and did not want to work with a group "under the control of the regime".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:54:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three questions for Marwan Bishara: Determining Syria's future in Tunisia - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

What do you make of the 'Friends of Syria' meeting in Tunisia?

Despite the attendance of so many countries and international organisations, the "Friends of Syria" meeting rang hollow, in light of the disagreement among the "friends" and the absence of the doubters - notably Russia and China.

Since Moscow and Beijing vetoed the UN Security Council draft resolution regarding leadership transition in Syria, several Western and Arab countries have been scrambling to find ways to end the violence and bring about change in Syria, to no avail.

Divisions among Syria's neighbours - Turkey, for example, was an enthusiastic summit attendee, while Iran vehemently opposed the meeting - and between Arab League members - Saudi Arabia left the meeting abruptly over the "lack of resolve", while Lebanon didn't even attend - as well as disagreement among the world superpowers over the means to end the violence and over the political endgame in Syria, have all made it ever more difficult to reach an international roadmap for change in Syria.

That's why the more effective and actionable results of the Tunisia gathering are more likely to come out of the hallway discussions and backroom deals than the official meeting and its final statement.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda kill 26 as new Yemeni leader is sworn in | Reuters

(Reuters) - A suicide bombing claimed by al Qaeda killed at least 26 people outside a presidential palace in southern Yemen on Saturday, hours after the newly-elected president was sworn in and said the battle against the Islamists was a "national duty."

A car was driven at the gates of the building in the port city of Mukalla, Yemen's fourth-largest city, far from the capital Sanaa where Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was sworn in.

Dozens were injured. The governor of Hadramout province Khalid Saeed al-Dayni said 20 of the dead were soldiers and an investigation was under way to identify the suicide bomber.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility and said the attack had been carried out by a "Yemeni jihadi," according to text messages sent to Reuters and other media outlets.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:55:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iran Holds Up Access to Parchin for Better IAEA Deal - IPS ipsnews.net
WASHINGTON, Feb 23, 2012 (IPS) - The failure of a mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to get Iranian permission to visit a military testing site mentioned in its latest report has been interpreted in media coverage as a stall to avoid the discovery of confirming evidence of past work on nuclear weapons.

But the history of Iranian cooperation with the IAEA on carrying out inspections at the Parchin military testing centre, as well as a previous IAEA-Iran work programme agreement, suggests that Iran is keeping permission for such a visit as bargaining leverage to negotiate a better deal with the agency.

The IAEA statement Wednesday emphasised the fact that the mission to Tehran had been denied permission to visit the site at Parchin. That prompted Associated Press correspondent in Vienna George Jahn to call Iran's refusal to agree to an IAEA visit to Parchin "stonewalling" and evidence of "hard line resistance" to international pressure on its nuclear programme.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:08:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Osama Bin Laden compound being demolished in Pakistan

Pakistan has begun to demolish the compound where US forces killed Osama Bin Laden, in the city of Abbottabad, residents and police say.

The al-Qaeda leader was shot dead at the compound in the north-western city near the capital Islamabad in May 2011.

Security forces brought in bulldozers and began destroying the tall outer walls of the compound after sunset, reports say.

They set up floodlights to carry out the work.

Residents have told the BBC that an unannounced curfew has been placed on people in the area, and they have been asked not to leave their homes, reports the BBC's Ilyas Khan in Islamabad.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:11:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Pan-American Post: A Florida immigration judge has ruled that there are sufficient grounds to begin deportation proceedings against General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, a former defense of El Salvador during the country's bloody civil war. Although the ruling was not published, lawyers familiar with the case told the New York Times that Vides took part in the abduction, rape and murder of four American churchwomen when he was leader of the National Guard in 1980.
More from Tim.

(Reuters) - Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille resigned on Friday after just four months in office, plunging the country into political paralysis in the midst of rebuilding efforts two years after a devastating earthquake. (...) Conille's decision to step down came amid political infighting between the two leaders over earthquake reconstruction contracts, as well as a parliamentary investigation into dual citizenship of government ministers, which is illegal under Haitian law.

The Cuban Triangle: Ernesto Hernandez Busto at Penultimos Dias takes a long look at one of the most interesting nuggets in the Associated Press story about USAID contractor Alan Gross' modus operandi in Cuba: the fact that he reportedly used a special SIM card available only to government agencies to make his satellite Internet installations less susceptible to detection by Cuban authorities.
More Cuban Odds and Ends.

Colombia Reports: Illegal armed groups that emerged from the paramilitary AUC and the now-defunct Norte del Valle cartel have increased their presence in Colombian municipalities by 12%, according to a report by a research group.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- President Hugo Chavez bid an emotional farewell laced with references to Jesus Christ and independence hero Simon Bolivar as he departed Venezuela on Friday for Cuba for urgent surgery to remove a tumor he says is probably malignant.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's deadliest train accident in decades was foreseeable and preventable, the nation's auditor general complained Thursday, saying years of failed safety tests and other problems had given the government more than enough reason to cancel the train operator's concession.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 08:05:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't look good for Chavez.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 03:38:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:24:10 PM EST
Insight: Japan's nuclear crisis goes much further than Fukushima | Reuters

(Reuters) - On a hillside in northern Japan, wind turbines slice through the cold air, mocking efforts at a nearby industrial complex to shore up the future of the demoralized nuclear power industry.

The wind-power farm at Rokkasho has sprung up close to Japan's first nuclear reprocessing plant, a Lego-like complex of windowless buildings and steel towers, which was supposed to have started up 15 years ago but is only now nearing completion.

Dogged by persistent technical problems, it is designed to recycle spent nuclear fuel and partly address a glaring weakness in Japan's bid to restore confidence in the industry, shredded last year when a quake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi power station to the south, triggering radioactive leaks and mass evacuations.

But the Rokkasho project is too little, too late, according to critics who say Japan is running so short of nuclear-waste storage that the entire industry risks shutdown within the next two decades unless a solution is found.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:00:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent article. Long ago, my opposition to nuclear energy was determined when I realized that the entire industry was built on the fundamental lie that its pernicious waste could be, would be, dealt with; that there was a beginning and an end to the process.
But there is no end, at least not that human time scales can encompass.
by Andhakari on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 03:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and notice how the article frames the discussion with wind energy bookends (the turbines on the hill overlooking Rokkasho.) But then the authors buy into a false meme:


As the wind turbines spin nearby, offering a glimpse of a clean-energy future that is still decades away, Japan's nuclear industry is praying for Rokkasho to buy it more time.

A clean energy future is not decades away, it is simply an ongoing process (with higher incursion levels growing over time) that began yesterday. And hands up for all those who believe that praying will help Rokkasho's cost and technology?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 04:34:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Faith-based technology...

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 04:51:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BRAZIL: A Curse on Hydropower Projects in the Amazon? - IPS ipsnews.net
PORTO VELHO, Brazil, Feb 24, 2012 (IPS) - "Perhaps it's the curse of Rondônia," joked Ari Ott, referring to teething troubles with the first turbine of the Santo Antônio hydroelectric plant which was intended to kick off a new cycle of huge power projects in Brazil's Amazon jungle region.

The enormous turbine, designed to generate 71.6 megawatts of electricity, overheated during initial tests in December and the necessary repairs delayed its coming onstream, now announced for late March, by at least three months.

Professor Ott, of the Federal University of Rondônia, said the problems "do not bode well" for the 44 turbines to be installed over a period of four years at the complex located on the Madeira river and run by the Santo Antônio Energia consortium, which is made up of Brazilian companies Odebrecht and Andrade Gutiérrez and other investors.

The use of high power "bulb" turbines is an innovation in Amazon jungle rivers that is suited to the low gradient and high flow rate of the Madeira river. Placed horizontally, unlike traditional vertical turbines, they require much less of a fall of water: in Santo Antônio, the drop will be only 13.9 metres.

Ott is not sure whether the turbines will be able to cope with the large amount of sediment carried by the river, which is still "a 'young' river, changing its shape and bed" with the seasons and carrying large numbers of trees along with its waters.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:05:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this has also been a problem with hydro-electric dams built by Western firms in China.  the rivers in North America don't have the same level of sedimentation apparently, so that they had no experience with the problem.
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 05:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't Aswan also have problems with excessive sedimentation?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 05:40:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
before my time
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 05:49:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the Danube dammed for hydropower anywhere?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 05:49:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, just upriver from Drobeta on the Romanian - Serbian border. The E771 road uses it as a crossing

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:36:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The territory of the Đerdap national park is filled with a series of other important features: abundant and diversified animal and especially plant life, attractive surroundings and landscapes, cultural and historical monuments and other anthropogenic tourist attractions, including a lake formed by the erection of a hydroelectric power plant "Đerdap". The plant was finished in 1972, being fourth-largest in the world at the time (according to the staff at the power plant). It was a big collaboration project between Yugoslavia and Romania. The power plant employs a large number of the residents of the nearby town of Kladovo. The "Đerdap" power plant record power production was in 1980 of over 7 terawatt-hours (TW·h) electric power. With the building of the second power plant "Đerdap II", the original power plant became better known as "Đerdap I". The plans to build "Đerdap III" have not been fulfilled at this time.
Any known downriver effects of damming, or troubles with sediments at the dam?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dams on the Danube's Iron Gate
The construction of the joint Romanian-Yugoslavian mega project that would finally tame the river commenced in 1964. In 1972 the Iron Gate I Dam was opened, followed by Iron Gate II Dam, in 1984, along with two hydroelectric power stations and two sluices.

The construction of these dams gave the valley of the Danube below Belgrade the nature of a reservoir, and additionally caused a 35 m rise in the water level of the river near the dam. The old Orşova, the Danube island Ada Kaleh (below) and at least five other villages, totaling a population of 17,000, had to make way. People were relocated and the settlements have been lost forever to the Danube.

The dam's construction had a major impact on the environment as well--for example, the spawning routes of several species of sturgeon were permanently interrupted.



tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:01:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wanted: Climate-Smart Agriculture - IPS ipsnews.net
ROME, Feb 24, 2012 (IPS) - As the links between food security and climate change become increasingly inextricable, the necessity for sustainable agriculture is now a universal concern.

Smallholder farmers in the global South - who suffer most from changes in climate patterns and the degradation of natural resources, since they live and work in the most vulnerable landscapes - are in urgent need of sustainable agricultural technologies, a reality that was recognised at the annual meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which drew to a close in Rome on Thursday.

Despite ongoing economic and financial crises, developed and developing countries alike - represented by hundreds of development leaders and heads of state gathered in Rome for the 35th session of the Governing Council - committed 1.5 billion dollars to finance agriculture and rural development projects throughout the developing world.

During the two-day event, representatives from IFAD's 167 member states addressed the connection between overcoming poverty and food insecurity, and discussed how to ensure food security to a growing population while simultaneously protecting the environment.

In December 2011, member states gave a boost to sustainable agriculture with 1.5 billion dollars in new contributions to IFAD.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hermetic bags save African crop

The hermetic grain storage bags that cut off oxygen to weevils and have saved West and Central African farmers hundreds of millions of dollars by putting the brakes on the insects' rapid multiplication don't merely suffocate them as once thought, a Purdue University study shows.

More than 25 years after introducing the Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) bags to farmers in Africa, Larry Murdock, a professor of insect physiology, discovered that weevils produce much of their water themselves through metabolic processes. When oxygen in the bags decreases, the weevils cannot use it to create water, and instead of suffocating, they eventually die of thirst.

"When you and I want water, we go to a water fountain or grab a bottle of water," Murdock said. "Insects cannot do that, especially those living in dry grain. They have to get it someplace else."

Murdock's findings were reported in the early online version of the April issue of the Journal of Stored Products Research.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:24:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU fails to reach agreement on controversial tar sands issue: theparliament.com
An EU committee of technical experts has failed to agree on a proposal that some say would label fuel from tar sands as more polluting than from other sources.

Abstentions and rejections from a number of European governments means the final decision will be taken by the environment council in June.

The commission and environmentalists said the "dirty" label is necessary to help fuel buyers choose the least carbon-intensive energy forms and help curb global warming.

But Thursday's vote at a closed-door meeting of technical experts in Brussels failed to reach a qualified majority on the issue.

Canada, home to massive crude reserves most of which are in the form of very heavy crude known as tar sands or oil sands, has challenged the draft EU law, saying it is discriminatory and could damage trade ties.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:17:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NASA Satellite Finds Earth's Clouds are Getting Lower

Earth's clouds got a little lower - about one percent on average - during the first decade of this century, finds a new NASA-funded university study based on NASA satellite data. The results have potential implications for future global climate.

Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analyzed the first 10 years of global cloud-top height measurements (from March 2000 to February 2010) from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft.

The study, published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, revealed an overall trend of decreasing cloud height. Global average cloud height declined by around one percent over the decade, or by around 100 to 130 feet (30 to 40 meters).

Most of the reduction was due to fewer clouds occurring at very high altitudes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries

Organic farms produce strawberries with fewer malformations and a higher proportion of fully pollinated berries relative to conventional forms, according to a report in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The study, led by Georg Andersson of Lund University in Sweden, investigated the effect of organic farming compared to conventional.

They found that the pollination success increased greatly with organic farming, and speculate that this effect may be due to an increase in insect pollinator abundance and/or diversity.

They also determined that this effect was apparent within two to four years of the conversion, suggesting that there is not a significant lag time before pollination benefits are seen after adopting organic farming practices.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:24:31 PM EST
BBC News - Harvey Weinstein threatens MPAA boycott over R rating

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has threatened to pull out of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) over a film rating given to the documentary Bully.

The R rating means children under the age of 17 will not be able to watch the film, about bullying in US schools, without a parent present.

In a statement, Weinstein called the rating decision "a bridge too far"

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:12:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's 'occupy' toilet protests spread

A Chinese student is hoping to become a heroine for women around the world by launching an occupy movement of her own -- in the men's toilets.

Fed up with long queues for ladies', Li Tingting made headlines when she and 20 women marched into a men's public toilet in the southern city of Guangzhou carrying colourful placards calling for equal waiting times for both sexes.

Now, she plans to take her protest to the capital Beijing, where China's leaders will gather next month for the annual meeting of the country's rubber-stamp parliament.

"We want senior officials to pay attention to this issue," she told AFP. "It is a big issue for many women. During the protest in Guangzhou, we conducted random surveys and found that the majority of people supported us."

Local media reported after the protest that provincial officials in Guangzhou had responded by agreeing to increase the number of women's toilets by 50 percent -- a pledge Li says should be taken nationwide.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:29:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apparently you need a 3:1 female/male ratio before waiting times equalise.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:45:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the right answer is to increase the number of female toilets by 200%?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:46:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It depends on what the current ratio is. Sadly, in many places the provision of female facilities lags behind male provision.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, at least 200%?

Just from the fact that standing urinals take less space than sitting toilets, when considering floor space it's going to end up being a lot more than 200%, then.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:53:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Origin of Photosynthesis Revealed

Atmospheric oxygen really took off on our planet about 2.4 billion years ago during the Great Oxygenation Event. At this key juncture of our planet's evolution, species had either to learn to cope with this poison that was produced by photosynthesizing cyanobacteria or they went extinct. It now seems strange to think that the gas that sustains much of modern life had such a distasteful beginning.

So how and when did the ability to produce oxygen by harnessing sunlight enter the eukaryotic domain, that includes humans, plants, and most recognizable, multicellular life forms? One of the fundamental steps in the evolution of our planet was the development of photosynthesis in eukaryotes through the process of endosymbiosis.

This crucial step forward occurred about 1.6 billion years ago when a single-celled protist captured and retained a formerly free-living cyanobacterium. This process, termed primary endosymbiosis, gave rise to the plastid, which is the specialized compartment where photosynthesis takes place in cells.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:36:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was at this point that all of the iron oxidised and created the deep single layer that we're still mining today

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:46:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday sets on his empire | Michael Wolff | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Murdoch has crossed a certain Rubicon with the frantic launch of the Sunday Sun. He's had enough and is taking control of his British mess. It is rather like his New Year's Eve conversion to Twitter. It's a personal statement: he is still here.

Shortly after the closing of the News of the World - a bitter pill that he swallowed at the urging of his children - he proposed this new Sunday edition of the Sun, only to be met by practical resistance from his New York executives. It was the wrong signal to send, at once underhanded (closing one just to open another) and antagonistic, an aggressive rather than a humble move. What's more, the Sun itself was surely going to face closer scrutiny by investigators pursuing the hacking and police bribery allegations.

"Let's just say, he's being more emotional than realistic at this point," one of his executives told me, over the summer. The internal message: let's not bet on the Sun's future.

Curiously, he used this exact outcome - the arrests of senior Sun staffers on suspicion of bribing the British police - as the crisis that justified the new Sun.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:42:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kelvin McKenzie, the most famous ex-Editor of the Sun was on TV this morning extolling Murdoch to the skies. Distance alone prevented me from kicking the telly

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:48:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Odyssey treasure heads back to Spain | In english | EL PAÍS

"Today marks the end of a journey that began 200 years ago. Today, La Mercedes' mission has been completed. If [the crew] were unable to reach their destination, at least the cargo will." So said Jorge Dezcallar, Spanish ambassador to the United States, in an emotional speech just minutes before two Spanish army planes headed home from Tampa, Florida with 17 tons of coins retrieved from the historical shipwreck. 

... The frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, part of the Spanish Armada, sank off the coast of Cádiz on October 5, 1804 after sailing from Montevideo in August. The ship was loaded with gold and silver, which ended up at the bottom of the sea, along with 249 seamen. Only around 50 survived. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
shouldn't the cargo be returned to its rightful owners in South America instead of the plundering Spanish?
by stevesim on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 05:40:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CNN: Manage (and make cash with?) your data online

It's a truth of the modern digital age: If you're using a Web service for free, you're not the customer. You're probably the product.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 03:18:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For anyone who might be interested: Digital Music Report by IFPI (hefty pdf download)

The music industry has grasped the opportunities of the digital world in a way few, if any, other businesses can  claim to have done.

</titter>

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 03:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But does anything prevent online services you pay for from treating you in the same way?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 03:36:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course not. And they do. So why pay?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 03:42:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was my thinking...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 04:00:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Business Insider: Hundreds Of Suicides In India Linked To Microfinance Organizations (Feb. 24, 2012)
One woman drank pesticide and died a day after an SKS loan agent told her to prostitute her daughters to pay off her debt. She had been given 150,000 rupees ($3,000) in loans but only made 600 rupees ($12) a week.

Another SKS debt collector told a delinquent borrower to drown herself in a pond if she wanted her loan waived. The next day, she did. She left behind four children.

One agent blocked a woman from bringing her young son, weak with diarrhea, to the hospital, demanding payment first. Other borrowers, who could not get any new loans until she paid, told her that if she wanted to die, they would bring her pesticide. An SKS staff member was there when she drank the poison. She survived.



tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 08:20:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 02:24:53 PM EST
BBC News - Nelson Mandela in hospital but 'not in danger'

Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela has undergone a "diagnostic procedure" in hospital, but his life is not in danger, officials say.

Mr Mandela was treated for a long-standing abdominal complaint and is expected to be released from hospital by Monday, a government statement said.

The anti-apartheid icon, 93, is comfortable and "fully conscious", the statement said.

His health has declined in recent years and he rarely appears in public.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 at 03:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mail on Sunday: The picture that shames Britain: As a man's body floats in three feet of water, 25 emergency workers stand and watch because they aren't 'trained' to go in water
This was Walpole Park in Gosport, Hampshire, on an overcast lunchtime last March when no fewer than 25 members of the emergency services, including a press officer, descended on a 3½ft-deep model boating lake minutes after Simon Burgess, 41, fell into the water when he suffered a seizure. But as an inquest heard last week, he lay floating face-down for more than half an hour while firemen, police and paramedics watched and did nothing.

The reason? Even though they could all swim, the first fire crew to arrive hadn't been `trained' to enter water higher than ankle-deep. Instead they waited for `specialists' to arrive to retrieve his body. They had decided Mr Burgess must surely be dead because he had been in the water for ten minutes. When a policeman decided to go in anyway, he was ordered not to. A paramedic was also told not to enter the water because he didn't have the right `protective' clothing and might be in breach of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

The tragic incident made headlines around the world, held up as a shocking example of ludicrously risk-averse Britain. And it prompted a coroner to demand that fire, police and ambulance services improve training to prevent a repeat.



tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 10:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Simon Burgess' body floats in Walpole Park pond as emergency workers stand and watch | Mail Online
The incident happened despite  a previous reassurance from the Health and Safety Executive that firefighters would not face prosecution if they performed acts of heroism that break rules.

Generous.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 10:40:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but they would probably face censure from management, loss of privilege etc etc

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 11:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention the heapload of trouble with compensation and insurances you can get if you get injured while breaking the rules.

I was a bit sarcastic in calling it generous not to prosecute for heroism.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 27th, 2012 at 07:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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