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European Breakfast - Nov. 10

by Fran Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:09:30 AM EST

The only real security in life lies in relishing life's insecurity.

M. Scott Peck

BBC: Curfew for riot-hit French towns

Curfews have come into force in more than 30 towns and cities across France after two weeks of night-time rioting.

Youths clashed with police in southern city of Toulouse and there were reports of sporadic violence elsewhere.

But the drop in violence seen overnight on Tuesday shows signs of continuing, said police. The Paris area, where the riots began, is said to be calm.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:16:32 AM EST
Reuters: French youths turn to Web, cellphones to plan riots

PARIS (Reuters) - France's government is policing cyberspace as well as rundown suburbs in the battle to end two weeks of rioting.

Young rioters are using blog messages to incite violence and cellphones to organize attacks in guerrilla-like tactics they have copied from anti-globalisation protesters, security experts say.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has diverted resources to monitoring blogs -- short for Web logs -- in an effort to anticipate the movements of the protesters, who have set fire to thousands of cars since the unrest began on October 27.

Two youths were placed under official investigation, one step short of pressing charges under French law, early on Wednesday on suspicion of inciting violence over the Internet after urging people to riot in blogs, a judicial source said.

But tracking rioters' blogs is a big task for the security services, already stretched by the violence on the ground.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: France to deport foreign rioters

Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered the expulsion of all foreigners convicted of taking part in the riots that have swept France for 13 nights.

He told parliament 120 foreigners had been found guilty of involvement and would be deported without delay.

Police said overnight violence had fallen significantly - although trouble still flared in more than 100 towns.

The government has declared a state of emergency in Paris and more than 30 other areas to help quell the unrest.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:18:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a bet that the "law and order" crowd will vote for him rather than for the "original fascist", i.e. Le Pen. I am doubtful that it will work, but I have such a terrible track record at predictions that you should take that with a grain of salt...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:46:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the last few months I have shed my long-standing philosophical objections to deportation, but that's a matter for a full-blown diary/debate...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel Online: "Rubbish, Nonsense, Hogwash"

Once again, the fires and violence raged in the Paris suburbs last night. "Interior Minister Sarkozy has failed", says Green Party European politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, the former street fighter discusses what he calls useless "action plans," the need for school reform and the potential for violence in Germany.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Cohn-Bendit, the violence in the Paris suburbs has been going on for two weeks now and has spread to to other parts of the country. What is your view of French Interior Minister Sarkozy's assessment that the riots are "perfectly organized?"

Cohn-Bendit: Rubbish, nonsense, hogwash. That shows that he hasn't just failed as interior minister, but that he is now also attempting to cover up his failures by pursuing a conspiracy theory.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The riots were triggered by the deaths of two boys who were electrocuted in a power substation. Witnesses claim the police drove the boys to their deaths. But the police report tells a different story. What should police activity look like in these troubled neighborhoods?

Cohn-Bendit: These are areas that see police raids on a daily basis. In most cases, the police are there to keep tabs on young Northern Africans; the suspects are humiliated, kept in police stations for four hours and then released. The boys who were killed were also caught up in one of these checks. It was still Ramadan on that day, at about 4 p.m., and they'd been fasting all day. They just wanted to eat their first meal at nightfall and not spend four hours in police custody. That was why they fled.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:22:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What chance does Cohn-Bendit have to become Prime Minister?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:58:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
D'uh, he has German, not French citizenship :-p

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 04:01:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He had the French nationality to start with, but was stripped of it in 1968, IIRC (maybe someone can confirm or correct). He did run for on the French list of the Greens at one of the European Parliament elections, but that's open to foreigners anyway.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 04:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He was born in France but is of German nationality. His parents were German Jews who returned to Germany in the postwar years, and he went to school in Germany before coming to France for university studies. After his May '68 exploits, he was expelled from France and made persona non grata until the left got into power under Mitterand.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 11:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: France targets aid at areas hit by riots

· Job incentives for young as towns get new powers
· Foreign nationals guilty of rioting to be deported

Some 40 French towns and suburbs, ravaged by 13 nights of rioting, were yesterday given powers to impose emergency measures, including curfews, as further details emerged of a government aid package for depressed suburbs.
Officials said France's worst urban violence in 40 years seemed to be running out of steam, with half as many cars going up in flames in half as many towns as on previous nights. "We are seeing a sharp drop in hostile acts," said the national police chief, Michel Gaudin.

Despite some media criticism and fears that the emergency measures - never before used on mainland France - would prove a further provocation, a poll for Le Parisien newspaper showed that a large majority of French people back the government's stance: 73% said they supported the decision to give selected local officials the power to impose night-time curfews.

The government released details of a package of measures to improve conditions in the suburbs of major cities, aimed mainly at ensuring the education system served north African and black youths better and improved their chances of getting a job. All unemployed people under 25 and living in one of the 750 sensitive suburbs will be assessed by job centres and given guidance and work placements. Benefit claimants will get a one-off €1,000 payment to return to work as well as €150 a month for 12 months. Companies will be given tax breaks if they set up on or near the estates.

Some 5,000 extra teachers and educational assistants are to be recruited in schools serving the estates concerned, 10,000 scholarships will be awarded from next year to encourage academic achievers to stay at school and 10 boarding schools created for those who want to study away from their suburb. The school leaving age will be lowered to 14 for underachieving pupils eager to take up an apprenticeship.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:53:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Khaleej Times: Mideast blames French society, discrimination for riots

DUBAI -- France's riots have set off a round of troubled debate across the Arab world: Most here blame a failure to offer opportunity to immigrants, but others see a more ominous clash of culture.

Across the Middle East, the images of burning cars and stone-throwing young people have dominated newspapers and television. Analysts have hotly debated the riots' meaning, their cause -- and whether they might spread.

"The anger displayed, and the intensity with which it has spread, is alarming," said one Gulf political analyst, Abdul Khaleq Abdulla.

Most attribute the flareups to social injustice and high unemployment, rather than anti-Islamic discrimination or a wider culture clash. They have urged the French government -- and the Western world at large -- to take practical and concrete steps to rectify the problem.

"There are no puzzles here. The core problem is mass degradation and alienation manifesting themselves in ... belts of educated, usually unemployed, young men throughout Arab and Asian urban areas; and in parallel urban zones of mass disenfranchisement and marginalisation," said Rami Khouri, writing yesterday in the Lebanon Daily Star.

Added Al Arabiya director Abdel Rahman Al Rashed: "These are the voices of a community that has no voice on the political scene."

But Iran has taken a more provocative slant, blaming anti-Islamic sentiment that it contends is widespread across Europe

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:01:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Juan Cole: The Problem with Frenchness

should begin by saying how much these events sadden me and fill me with anguish. I grew up in part in France (7 years of my childhood in two different periods) and have long been in love with the place, and the people. We visited this past June for a magical week. And, of course, I've been to Morocco and Tunisia and Senegal, and so have a sense of the other side in all this; I rather like all those places, too. How sad, to see all this violence and rancor. I hope Paris and France more generally can get through these tough times and begin working on the underlying problems soon. At this time of a crisis in globalization in the wake of the Cold War, we need Paris to be a dynamic exemplar of problem-solving on this front.

The French have determinedly avoided multiculturalism or affirmative action. They have insisted that everyone is French together and on a "color-blind" set of policies. "Color-blind" policies based on "merit" always seem to benefit some groups more than others, despite a rhetoric of equality and achievement. In order to resolve the problems they face, the French will have to come to terms with the multi-cultural character of contemporary society. And they will have to find ways of actively sharing jobs with minority populations, who often suffer from an unemployment rate as high as 40 percent (i.e. Iraq).

Mark Steyn of the Chicago Sun-Times commits most of the gross errors, factual and ethical, that characterize the discourse of the Right in the US on such matters.

For instance, Steyn complains that the rioters have been referred to as "French youths."

''French youths,'' huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the "youths" are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn't take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as ''French'': They're young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you're likely to find in the Middle East. After four somnolent years, it turns out finally that there really is an explosive ''Arab street,'' but it's in Clichy-sous-Bois.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:56:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC:Europe names Galileo trailblazer

The in-orbit testing phase of Galileo, Europe's satellite-navigation system, will begin in December.

The first demonstrator spacecraft will fly from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on a Soyuz rocket on the 28th of the month.

The satellite, known as Giove-A, has the critical task of claiming the frequencies allocated to Galileo under international agreements.

To do this, the UK-built spacecraft must generate and transmit a timing and navigation signal by June 2006.

Galileo is Europe's biggest and most expensive space project. It will be independent of the American Global Positioning System (GPS) but interoperable with it.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:19:36 AM EST
Second piece of exciting news from ESA this week. First the Venus explorer, now this. When I was reading about the Venus Express, I had been wondering what the state of things would be for Galileo, so this is perfectly timed. Thanks, Fran.
by Nomad on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 07:33:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC:Defeat sparks leadership questions

This was worse than Tony Blair must have feared.

In a vote on a key piece of legislation he not only lost his large majority but he was roundly and convincingly defeated - for the first time in eight years.

And, while he continues to claim this was not an issue of his leadership or authority, it has dealt him a serious personal blow and already led to a demand for his resignation from Tory leader Michael Howard.

Not even the support of Chancellor Gordon Brown succeeded in persuading his backbench rebels to fall into line behind the hugely-controversial proposal to detain terror suspects for 90 days without charge.

And not even another of his powerful and passionate performances during question time before the vote managed to save the prime minister.

In that speech he claimed he would rather lose and be right than win and be wrong.

It was a matter of doing the right thing, of giving the police and security services the power they wanted to stop another terrorist atrocity in Britain.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:21:20 AM EST
House of Commons, 4:56PM: The moment Tony Blair lost his authority

Tony Blair's personal authority was badly dented last night when he suffered a humiliating defeat over his plan to allow the police to detain suspected terrorists for up to 90 days without charge.

Mr Blair's first Commons defeat since coming to power in 1997 was heavier than expected and provoked speculation at Westminster about how long he could remain Prime Minister. Some allies admitted privately his tenure could be shortened if Labour backbenchers inflict further defeats in the next few months over his planned reforms on education, health and incapacity benefit.

After staking his authority on the police's request for greater detention powers - which came after the London bombings in July - Mr Blair sat grim-faced and shaking his head in the Commons as it was announced that the 90-day detention plan had been rejected by 322 votes to 291. A total of 49 Labour backbenchers joined the Tories and Liberal Democrats to reject the proposal.

The MPs then added to Mr Blair's embarrassment by voting in favour of a 28-day detention limit - up from the present 14 days but well short of the 60-day fallback position favoured by the Government.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:33:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After eight years in power Tony Blair hears a new word: Defeat

Labour rebels leave terror plan in shreds and question PM's future

Tony Blair was facing backbench calls to stand aside after nearly 63 Labour MPs inflicted a first, and overwhelming, Commons defeat on his eight-year-old government, spurning his personal plea to respect the police by giving them powers to detain terrorist suspects for up to 90 days.

In the biggest reverse for a government on a whipped vote since James Callaghan's administration, Mr Blair was defeated comprehensively by 322 to 291, with 49 Labour backbenchers, including 11 former ministers, defying a three-line whip. Thirteen others abstained.

As the impact on the prime minister's authority sunk in, MPs then voted by 323 to 290 to support detention without charge for only 28 days, the position advocated by the Liberal Democrats and the Tories. The scale of the defeat rocked Labour whips, raising questions about Mr Blair's political judgment of late and suggesting that he now has a permanent cadre of irreconcilable backbenchers who neither listen to nor respect his views, leaving him in charge of an effective minority administration on controversial issues.

The former cabinet minister Clare Short said the defeat presaged further revolts. "It would be good for him, and certainly the Labour administration, if he moved on quickly," she said. Another former minister, Frank Dobson, predicted bigger revolts on Mr Blair's plans for schools.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:49:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't count on it. But it is hopeful to see that parliament is ready to start looking critically at issues and stop being a rubberstamp.

Now if we can just have a few more legislators do this in some other places.

by gradinski chai on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 02:54:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taipei Times: US warns EU again over arms embargo

MILITARY TIES: A senior State Department official said that the EU could face trade sanctions if it lifts its ban. The US, however, aims to boost military links with China

The US has issued a stern warning to the EU not to lift its embargo on arms sales to Beijing, as Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) arrived in London at the beginning of a three-nation tour in which he plans to make lifting the embargo a "top priority," according to China's state-run media.

The warning was delivered by Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs John Hillen in a speech before the 18th Global Trade Controls Conference in London last week. The State Department has just released the text of his remarks.

Hillen, the department's top official for international security and defense trade, said that the EU could find itself faced with tough military trade sanctions from the US if it lifts the embargo.


"I want to leave our European friends in no doubt that if the EU lifts its embargo on China, this will raise a major obstacle to future US defense cooperation with Europe," he said, arguing that if the embargo is lifted, Congress would impose such sanctions.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:25:35 AM EST
Guardian: US uneasy as Beijing develops a strategic string of pearls

A high-stakes geopolitical game is sweeping Asia. Triggered by a roaring economy, propelled by swelling confidence and funded by chequebook diplomacy, Beijing is projecting its new might across the continent - and setting off alarm bells from Washington to Tokyo.

"There is a cauldron of anxiety about China," the US deputy secretary of state, Robert Zoellick, said in September.

In May China signed a $600m deal with the president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, 12 days after his troops killed hundreds of protesters. Relations are warming with former enemies seeking a bulwark against US might. In August almost 10,000 Chinese and Russian forces took part in a joint exercise.

In Pakistan an old friendship is being rekindled. China helped to build Pakistan's weapons plants and, according to western intelligence, had a hand in its nuclear bomb. The two countries' friendship is "higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the ocean", according to popular cliche.

Now it is driven by a fresh impetus - increased cooperation between Islamabad's enemy, India, and China's rival, America. "It's a classic case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend," said Dr Rifaat Hussain, director of the army-run Institute for Strategic Studies and Research Analysis in Islamabad.

This year the two countries signed 22 trade agreements, including the joint production of a jet fighter, and the sale of four Chinese navy frigates to Pakistan. But in Gwadar, China insists, its interest is purely commercial.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Financial Times: Eurozone ministers step up drive for fiscal discipline

Eurozone policymakers on Wednesday launched a new attempt to restore budgetary discipline across the 12-country bloc, amid growing concern at the region's public finances.

The European Central Bank played its part by publicising its policy that it will not accept sovereign debt from the eurozone's fiscal laggards if their credit ratings slip.

Finance ministers plan to follow that message by enforcing the EU stability and growth pact in the coming months in the case of Germany, the bloc's biggest economy. They are also warning Hungary, an aspiring member of the eurozone, that it risks losing EU regional aid unless it honours its promise to cut its soaring deficit.

The moves reflect what one EU finance ministry official called "very serious concern" about the degeneration of fiscal discipline in Europe in recent months.

The ECB shares the concerns and was strongly critical of the decision by EU leaders last March to relax the rules of the stability pact.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:26:45 AM EST
Financial Times: German coalition promises labour costs cut

Germany's grand coalition partners, rushing to finalise their left-right political alliance by tomorrow, yesterday said companies' non-wage labour costs would be cut to spur job creation. The move is aimed at deflecting growing public criticism of planned tax rises.

Unemployment insurance contributions will be cut by up to two percentage points from the present 6.5 per cent of gross wages, according to Ronald Pofalla, a key ally of Angela Merkel, the Christian Democratic Union's chancellor-in-waiting.

The pro-business move represents one of the final elements of the coalition pact that Ms Merkel hopes to settle with leaders of the Social Democratic party tomorrow, almost two months after the September 18 election. The coalition parties are expected to endorse the pact at conferences next week, before the planned election in parliament of Ms Merkel as chancellor on November 22.

Before the election, the CDU had pledged to cut payroll taxes such as unemployment insurance. But in recent weeks the coalition negotiations have given priority to savings and tax increases designed to cover a €35bn ($41bn, £24bn) budget gap by 2007-

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:27:54 AM EST
The Star: Bombs at three Jordan hotels kill at least 57

AMMAN (Reuters) - Three suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up at three international hotels in Jordan's capital on Wednesday, killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, government officials and police said.

Reuters witnesses said explosions ripped through the Radisson SAS hotel, where a wedding party was taking place, and the Grand Hyatt hotel in Amman. A third blast hit the Days Inn hotel in the city.

Police said the blasts were caused by suspected suicide bombers. Police sources earlier told Reuters the Radisson blast had been caused by a bomb placed in a false ceiling.

"At nine this evening, there were three terrorist explosions in three hotels in Amman. There are a number of dead and wounded. They are believed to have been carried out by suicide bombers," Jordanian police spokesman Captain Bashir al-Da'jeh told Al Jazeera television.

Jordan's King Abdullah blamed a "deviant and misled group" for the attacks. "The attacks targeted and killed innocent Jordanian civilians," he said in a statement carried by Jordan's official news agency, Petra.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:30:47 AM EST
Revealed: US plans for Bosnian constitution

· Crunch date looms over democracy ambitions
· Lure of EU entry is driving reconciliation process

The Americans have written a new constitution transforming Bosnia into a centrally governed parliamentary democracy for the first time, and are pushing strongly - with European backing - to have the blueprint agreed by Bosnia's rival nationalist leaders within the next fortnight.

The blueprint, obtained by the Guardian, has been developed during seven months of secret negotiations between US experts and officials and Bosnian politicians. The bold new draft is said to enjoy the full backing of the US state department. The crunch session of negotiations comes this weekend.

Leaders of the main eight governing and opposition parties in Bosnia are to travel to Brussels tomorrow for a weekend of negotiations on the draft which, for the first time since the war ended 10 years ago, would give Bosnia the "normal" trappings of an integrated, non-ethnic parliamentary democracy: a national parliament with full legislative powers, central government and cabinet enjoying full executive power, and a titular head of state.

The deal, if agreed, would it is hoped help to undo the bitter legacy of the war and the ethnic pogroms that were its main feature and steer the country towards multi-ethnic integration. If successful, it would be a rare triumph for western "nation-building" efforts in "failed states" and war-ravaged countries.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:36:40 AM EST
Can someone enlighten me why the US is writing the blueprint for the Constitution of Bosnia? Is Bosnia applying to become a member-state of the US?
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
recently has experience writing constitutions.


by gradinski chai on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 02:56:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And look how well that turned out. The US ambassador in Baghdad is still tweaking the text for all we know.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 04:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is why isn't the UN or EU doing it, since the problem is in Europe, not America?
by asdf on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 10:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, maybe because it is a convenient base for the "War on Terra" and one side in that war wants to keep its grip on that country?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 10:10:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My question is, what business does the EU, UN or US writing the Bosnian Constitution any more? The country has already been an EU protectorate for 10 years.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 10:30:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Bush is humiliated as Republicans suffer losses in local elections

President George Bush, already suffering his lowest approval ratings, was dealt another stinging blow when voters in a crucial state ignored his last-minute campaigning on behalf of the Republican candidate.

As well as sending a warning sign to Republicans across the country, the outcome of the governor's race in Virginia has focused fresh attention on the Democrat Tim Kaine, already being tipped as a candidate for the presidency in 2008.

In the battle for the White House this time last year, President Bush secured Virginia by a 10-point margin. Twelve months later, Mr Bush made an 11th-hour intervention on behalf of the Republican candidate, Jerry Kilgore, only to see Mr Kaine win by 52 points to 46. Two per cent of the electors voted for an independent candidate.

"This has been a long and difficult campaign. We've done it. We've done it," Mr Kaine told his ebullient supporters in the state capital, Richmond, on Tuesday evening.

"Tonight, the people of Virginia have sent a message - that they like the path that we chose and they want to keep the state moving forward."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 12:57:00 AM EST
Guardian: Rhine exposes cocaine habit

It is one of Europe's busiest waterways, a formidable conduit that handles millions of tonnes of traffic a year. But yesterday it emerged that the Rhine contained a lot of something else - cocaine.
According to researchers at the institute of biomedicine and pharmaceutical research in Nuremburg, almost 11 tonnes of the drug, worth some €1.64bn, was flushed into the river last year, the equivalent of 30kg (66lbs) of cocaine a day.

Some 400,000 Germans take the drug at least once a year, they believe, higher than previous government estimates.

A year ago it was the Po, a few days ago the Themse and now the Rhine. Wonder what else is in those waters?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:06:21 AM EST
Lots of stuff.

A while back I talked to a doctor in ER in Paris who mentioned the guys they get after falling (or jumping) in the Seine. Thier biggest worry is not drowning orhypothermia, it is the diseases that these people get from the apparently vicious bacteria and/or pollution in the water.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Thousands join protest in Azerbaijan but flame of revolution fails to ignite

Azerbaijan's pro-democracy movement brought some 15,000 noisy, orange-clad supporters on to the streets yesterday in an attempt to kick-start a velvet revolution, but the event did not generate the momentum activists had hoped for.

The rally was seen as a litmus test of the opposition's support base and followed flawed parliamentary elections last Sunday that were heavily criticised by the US State Department and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The opposition - a coalition of three pro-democracy parties calling itself the Azadliq (Freedom) Bloc - won less than 10 of the 125 seats amid well documented allegations that the country's authoritarian government rigged the vote.

The government has annulled the results in several districts, ordered a recount in one other and sacked two regional governors who interfered with the vote. But its response has failed to satisfy the opposition, which wants the entire election re-run.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:08:56 AM EST
Irish official takes top post in Brussels

Catherine Day, an Irish official with strong free-market credentials, was named as top civil servant at the European Commission yesterday, in a wide-ranging shake-up.

Ms Day made her reputation in the Brussels machine in the early 1990s, fighting a series of battles to try to outlaw state aid to companies including Renault, the French carmaker.

Her appointment as secretary-general confirms that José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, wants liberal allies working at the heart of his administration.

The elevation of the hardworking Irishwoman - colleagues say she often works from early in the morning until late at night - came as a surprise in Brussels and national capitals.

Ms Day was expected to become the new director-general of trade, a post for which she was picked by Peter Mandelson, the British EU trade commissioner. That move was confirmed by Mr Barroso's office to the Financial Times and to other European newspapers on Tuesday evening.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:17:02 AM EST
See Reform in Europe = more liberalism and less integration on this topic.

Le monde adds that the guy she replaces, Peter Carl, a Danish guy close to the French and an experienced trade negotiator, had been clashing repeatedly with Mandelson on the strategy for the negotiations (Carl was more inclined to take a confrontational approach, using all the powers of the Commission in the area of trade, whereas Mandelson is more of a "diplomacy" guy - which I understand to mean "bilateral, national-interest based")

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:41:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
swissinfo: Peres loses Israeli Labour Party leadership

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Elder statesman Shimon Peres lost the leadership of Israel's Labour Party on Thursday in an upset election victory for a trade union chief who vowed to end an alliance keeping Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in power.

A Labour official declared Amir Peretz, largely unknown on the international stage, winner of the rank-and-file ballot by a 42 percent to 40 percent margin over the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The official, Labour Secretary-General Eitan Cabel, said a party commission rejected accusations by Peres, 82, of fraud at several polling stations where Peretz, 53, was leading.

"I expected a better evening," a glum Peres told a news conference earlier, clearly stunned by what commentators were calling "an upheaval" in Israeli politics. Peres had been expected to coast to victory.

Peres, Israel's vice prime minister, gave no immediate indication of his next political steps.

Amid chants of "the next prime minister" from supporters after being declared party leader, Peretz said: "This can truly be Israel's most important hour."

Peretz vowed to pull Labour out of Sharon's coalition government over free-market policies he said has worsened the plight of Israel's poor. The prime minister has relied on Labour's support to survive parliamentary no-confidence votes.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:37:17 AM EST
Independent: Iran starts to lose faith in its hardline President

Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is facing a crisis of public confidence after his nominee for oil minister was forced to withdraw in the face of accusations of corruption.

The storm over the appointment, the most important and lucrative in Iran's cabinet, is the latest in a series of controversies to engulf the President. His political inexperience, unorthodox beliefs and trust in untested religious conservatives is causing widespread concern in Iran.

Sadeq Mahsouli was the third name the President has put forward for the oil ministry job since taking power in August. Like the others, he was forced to back down by the parliament, which now routinely challenges the President ­ despite hailing from his own political camp.

Several MPs told the Iranian media that lack of experience was the least of Mr Mahsouli's worries. One lawmaker, Ali Asgari, told the official Irna news agency that parliament wanted to question the nominee on how he had amassed a fortune to become a "billionaire general".

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:39:10 AM EST
I hope I'm not imposing here.

I've been thinking about going back to grad school to get a PhD in political science, and one of the options I've considered is looking at European schools. The languge of instruction would have to be either English or Spanish (I speak both.)

I have no idea where to even start, and I thought I'd ask here to see if any of you know of schools that are open to American students that offer doctorate level degrees in political science.

Again I hope I'm not imposing, but ET seemed like a good place to ask.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 01:46:20 AM EST
The Dutch are poor in University education for Political Science.

The one outstanding University is the Sorbonne in Paris, plus a great cultural capital of the world. Looking at the site, perhaps for French speaking only? I would be surprised for PhD study, Jerôme would know..

A lot depends on your personal flavor for a country you would prefer to live during the years of PhD study. I am sure in Spain there would be a great University in Madrid or Barcelona.

Participants Jean Monnet Program - Curriculum Vitae for some references

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

▼ ▼ ▼ MY DIARY

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:01:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you are considering a career in academia, then there are several strong programs. Depending on the program, they teach in local language and English or just English.

Some suggestions (other than the obvious and near impossible to get into UK top three...LSE, Oxford, & Cambridge)...in no particular order...

For European integration...University of Limerick,
Sussex, College of Europe (masters program at either the Belgian or Polish campus)

For general political science...in addition to the three UK programs...Stockholm, Uppsala, and Lund have strong faculties...they usually don't require English for master's programs, but they may for PhD...I don't know.

This is a quick reply...

by gradinski chai on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 03:16:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Send him an email for advice and preference in Europe :

Abraham de Swaan - UvA

Success with journey!

UvA - Research

by JUDGE on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 05:57:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll frankly admit I've no idea where to go with political science in the Nehterlands, or elsewhere for that matter. For the Netherlands, there are currently four departments which could offer Phd positions in politics:

the University of Amsterdam (the largest department, and already mentioned above)

the University of Leiden: http://www.politicalscience.leidenuniv.nl/

the Free University of Amsterdam:
http://www.fsw.vu.nl/English/index.cfm/home_subsection.cfm/subsectionid/433024E8-D925-4B3D-AC43F6FF3 B48A096

the University of Nijmegen (couldn't find website).

Myself, I'm from Utrecht University which is more beta-oriented (and hence trumps all the above universities ;p).

by Nomad on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 07:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a few more decent programs in the UK if an academic career is your aim.

It's a while since I looked at PoliSci so I couldn't tell you which to pick off-hand. PhD is all about finding the good people in your subject speciality though.

(I'll reply in more detail if you feel happy to outline your proposed specialisation and future goals.)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 04:19:14 AM EST
PhD is all about finding the good people in your subject speciality though.
Certainly, it doesn't matter where you study but with whom. So you really need to read up and figure out who you want to work with. The rest follows from there.

Unless your motivation is to emigrate to Europe, of course. But then I'd warn you that financial aid for graduate students is sparse here.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 04:21:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been thinking about the Complutense in Madrid. I't all depends on how much money we're talking about.  Spain I know and I love.  I know how to live frugally in a Spanish city (it's not hard), plus I've thought about trying to get an English as a second lanugage certification so I could work at an english school in Madrid or elsewhere.  God know there are enough English schools in Spain. I've thought about emigration, if I didn't have family, i'd give it serious thought.  I'd really like to specialize in Spanish politics.  There aren't very many programs in the United States that deal with Spain.  I'd like to be able to teach Spanish politics here in the US, and maybe try to work as faculty for one of the study abroad programs.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2005 at 10:46:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, this might sound like I am teaching you to suck eggs, but the next step would be to research which US institutions have a program in Spanish politics and then chat with some of the professors and see if they have views on where to go?

Or you could be like me...

"Hey, I like $city, let's go there for a few years!"

I suspect the research approach can work better in the long term tho... ;)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 02:33:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
probably right.

I'm looking at a couple of good schools here in the states, and seeing if I can find one where I could careve my own niche with research.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 01:16:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You should talk to my sister, she has a BA in Political Science from Complutense, an MA in international relations and is getting ready for a Ph.D. at UNED.

Did you know the University of Nevada at Reno has a huge Basque Studies department? Right up your alley, I'd say. But don't tell them you want to study Spanish politics or they'll run you out of town.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 01:25:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tuition in Spain should be pretty cheap even if you have to pay it out of your own pocket. I'll have to ask my sister about her fees.

You could teach English at International House, Berlitz, or Wall Street Institute (among others).

If you have a European-born grandparent you might have a shot at EU citizenship (it depends on the country).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 01:29:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought tuition was pretty cheap, my only first hand knowledge is from Navarra.  By the way I've heard of Reno, but I want to do something more than just Basque poltitcs.  

I'm still trying to piece together how I could pay for school if I had to out of pocket.  I'm not sure if 'm up for putting my entire career on the line by going to a program exlcusively in Spanish.

It's difficult enough without the language barrier.  In Navarra I did well enough with the classes I applied myself in.  Being evicted, threatened with deportation (long story, not my fault, it involved a fire extinguisher and my friend teaching English, who was english.  The firefighting experience later proved useful when he had a drunken "chip fire"), having a roomates who alternately ignored me, and then threatened me (other Americans, another long story.  Never be the odd man out when your roomates are all sleeping together, on second tough I am glad I was the odd man out.)  Plus the whole having assholes back home threaten my disabled mother because of letter to the editor I wrote, then having to deal with retribution from professors because I was the American (this was 2003).

My situation sucked, Spain though was beautiful, through its problems, there's something special there.  A more human approach to life. It seemed at the least to be a more egalitarian place, not so much materialism.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 10:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really, if you want I can give your e-mail to my sister so you can talk about Political Science graduate programs in Spain. Mine is miguel at math dot ucr dot edu.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 12th, 2005 at 09:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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