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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 6 June

by Fran Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 03:59:41 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1926 – Birth of Torsten Andersson, a Swedish modernist painter, best known for his theme of the realistic depiction of abstract sculptures, and two-dimensional exploration of three-dimensional objects. (d. 2009)

More here and here

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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:08:12 AM EST
BBC News - French minister Hortefeux fined for racism

A French court has fined Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux for making racist comments about a young party activist of Algerian origin.

The court fined Mr Hortefeux 750 euros (£622) and ordered that he pay 2,000 euros to an anti-racism group.

Mr Hortefeux was recorded saying: "We always need one. It's when there are lots of them that there are problems."

He has said he was talking about the number of photos being taken, rather than people of Arab origin.

A lawyer for Mr Hortefeux said he would appeal against he ruling.

The comments were made in September and were broadcast in a video clip that circulated on the internet.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did Sarko or the government spokesperson comment this?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 05:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hortefeux condamné pour «injure raciale» et soutenu par Fillon - LibérationHortefeux found guilty of "racial insult" and backed by Fillon - Libération
Prenant le parti de son ministre, le chef du gouvernement, François Fillon, a «réaffirmé son soutien», «son amitié» et «sa confiance» à Brice Hortefeux. Le secrétaire général de l'UMP, Xavier Bertrand, a jugé «honteuses» et «déplacées» les demandes de démission.Taking his minister's side, the head of government, François Fillon, "stated again his support", "his friendship", and "his trust" for Brice Hortefeux. The general secretary of the UMP, Xavier Bertrand, considered that calls for resignation were "shameful" and "out of place".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 11:32:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What did I expect...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 06:21:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ECJ rules against online betting firms | Policies | Health & society | Society & culture | European Voice
State gambling monopolies welcome rulings by the European Court of Justice.

State gambling monopolies today claimed victory over online betting firms after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on two cases concerning the Dutch market.

State monopolies said that the ECJ rulings had confirmed a member state's right to ban commercial gambling operators from its territory. They also said that the court had upheld the right of governments to prevent their citizens from using gambling websites based in other EU countries.

Online betting firms, however, said that they were still hopeful that the Dutch gambling market could be opened up to competition. They said that the ECJ ruling (which clarifies points of law for the Dutch courts) restricted the extent to which member states can close their markets to competition.

The cases are the latest in a series of legal complaints that online betting firms have lodged against state gambling monopolies, which they accuse of being in violation of internal market rules. State monopolies, however, argue that market liberalisation would encourage problem gambling and addiction, and that member states have a duty to protect their citizens.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:18:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary Cools Default Talk, Commits to Budget Goal (Update2) - Bloomberg.com

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary's economic situation is stable and recent comments about a possible default were "unfortunate," the government said, pledging to stick to the budget deficit goal approved by the country's creditors.

"Any comparison with countries that have much higher credit default swap ratings than Hungary is unfortunate," State Secretary Mihaly Varga told reporters today in Budapest. "The comments that have been made about this issue are exaggerated and if they come from colleagues that's unfortunate."

Comments from Hungarian officials over the previous two days sparked concern that Europe's sovereign debt crisis may be spreading to eastern Europe. That helped weaken the euro, pushed Hungary's currency to a 12-month low and borrowing costs rose the most since October 2008, when the country needed an international bailout to avert a default.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary `Isn't Greece,' Moody's Says Following Tumble in Bonds - Bloomberg.com

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary has "a good track record" managing fiscal crises and will take the steps needed even after a government official said the country may be at risk of defaulting, according to Moody's Investors Service.

"Hungary isn't the next Greece," Kristin Lindow, a senior vice president with the ratings company, said in a telephone interview yesterday from London. "Hungary has a good track record of doing what it needs to do when in trouble."

Hungarian bonds tumbled yesterday, pushing up borrowing costs by the most since October 2008, and the forint and stocks plunged after Peter Szijjarto, spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said it's not "an exaggeration at all" to speculate that the nation may be unable to pay its debt.

The comments sparked concern that Europe's debt crisis is spreading after credit downgrades of Greece, Portugal and Spain. The European Union pledged almost $1 trillion to the bloc's weakest economies last month after Greece's widening budget deficit threatened to undermine confidence in the euro.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:26:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary is Greece: talk by politicians in campaign mode but unaware of market psychology is followed by market attack.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moody's: No, no, we're not supposed to put right-wing governments in trouble! Nothing to see here, look away!

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
State Secretary  Mihaly Varga

This may be too complicated for Bloomberg journalists, but "state secretary" (origin: German Staatssekretär) is not a single post, but a general term for de-facto deputy ministers (department heads in ministries). Mihály Varga is the boss of the office of the prime minister.

A good occasion to mention another populist idiocy of the new government. With great fanfare about streamlining government, they reduced the number of ministries to just eight. But the number of state secretaries ballooned to 42...

As for the ministries: interior, foreign, defense remain; there is a a strange combination named administration & justice; but the other four are pure newspeak:

  • countryside development ministry
  • national development ministry
  • national resource ministry
  • national economy ministry

One shouldn't miss the message that they are nationalist...

(I was a bit tricky above. the right-wing invented "countryside development" as byname for the agriculture ministry in the 1998-2002 period already, and the Socialists re-used both that and invented "national development" as byname for the economy ministry from 2006.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Medvedev, Merkel suggest to consider Russia-EU security committee creation | World | RIA Novosti

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested to consider a creation of Russia-EU committee on foreign policy and security at ministerial level.

"In particular, the committee could be empowered to become a forum to exchange views on current issues of international politics and security, to develop guidelines for joint civil/military operations conducted by Russia and the EU on crisis management," a statement on results of talks between two leaders of countries said.

Merkel said that in the EU headquarters there is a committee which works on security issues in a framework of the Russian-EU cooperation adding that the committee might be extended by foreign ministers of the EU and Russia.

Medvedev and Merkel said that the committee might also work on developing recommendations on issues of cooperation, including different conflict and crisis situations.

It is expected that the committee will be headed by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:47:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New credits interest rates - back to 07-08 level, but clients are missing - Business - HotNews.ro
The Romanian Central Bank (BNR) show that banks cut the interest rates more seriously in April, in an attempt to revitalise loans. Nevertheless, the demand for consumption credit lacks completely.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:50:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Roses to tomatoes: Greeks are going back to the basics (SETimes.com)

Gregory Trafalis, a 38-year-old public-sector employee, has started replacing his rose garden with tomatoes.

"This is the beginning of the end of the middle class," Christina Kapianou, his wife, quipped, while glancing concernedly at their 7-year-old daughter.

The family of three lives in Penteli, an affluent suburb in northern Athens. They both have full-time jobs: Christina is a secretary in a private firm and Gregory is an account manager in a nearby municipality. Their combined monthly income of 2,200 euros is about to plummet by more than 25%.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:59:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"This is the beginning of the end of the middle class," ...

The BEGINNING??  Where has this idiot been?  It began in 1980 (for the US) with Ronnie.  I guess a problem isn't a problem until it's MY problem, and then boo hoo hoo.  Idiot!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:01:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's taken this long for your poisonous brand of economic ideology to completely corrupt the European political elite.

I don't know who's the idiot.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 10:17:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hell, you folks already had Thatcher.  Didn't that start it off for you folks?  When was that?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 05:28:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hint: Greece.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 05:58:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.  So here I am in CA, and I see crap happening in Alaska or the Gulf or wherever, and I'm naive enough to think that if it happens over there, I will always be immune?  Now hear this!  We are ALL tomorrow's Palestinians.  We are ALL tomorrow's Chinese slaves.  We're all stuck on this rock called Earth.  If one goes down, WE ALL GO DOWN!!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 03:02:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where to for the European left? | Presseurop - English

In power in the countries worst hit by the economic crisis - Spain, Greece and Portugal - left-wing parties have been forced to implement austerity packages that closely resemble those chosen by conservative counterparts in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, their grassroots supporters are none too pleased. Marc Lazar

Will the reformist left be one of the many victims of the austerity packages adopted in several European countries? On the one hand, the question should be asked because three of the seven left-wing governments in EU member states -- Greece, Spain and Portugal -- have been forced to deploy harsh measures which are only marginally different from those in place in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and France, where centre-right or right-wing parties hold sway. On the other, although it is critical of social aspects of the right-wing response to the crisis, and although it occasionally hints that it would make a better job of cleaning up the current financial mess, in countries where it occupies the opposition benches, the left often appears to be in agreement with the philosophy underlying government cutbacks.

Regardless of what we think of the alleged long-term benefits that austerity will bring, there is no denying its immediate and painful cost. The cutbacks have already resulted in a significant increase in social unrest, because the poorest and most vulnerable groups in the population -- temporary workers, young job seekers, pensioners, and lowly paid civil servants -- who traditionally vote for the Left, are in the front line of those affected. Trade unions in Greece, Spain and Portugal are now actively opposed to the policies adopted by their governments, and this will not only undermine support for left-wing parties, but could also contribute to a disaffection with politics in general, which will result in lower voter turnouts and an increasing mistrust of government in underprivileged sections of the population.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 11:04:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whenever I see that Presseurop headline, invariably, without fail, I first read it not as 'Press europ', but as 'Pressure op'.  I have to do a mental double take every time...

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The purpose of the TASC report is to argue for a kinder, more regulated capitalism but ignoring this it contains a wealth of details that reveal just how few people make the decisions that have destroyed the standard of livings of millions. Each of this same gang of 39 individuals was also, on average, on the board of at least 10 companies outside of the top 40. On average the pay for CEO's was 136 times that of the poverty income threshold at or under which almost 20% of households in Ireland live.

Read more...

The report is available on the TASC site here; it was discussed extensively on Tonight with Vincent Browne last night [5.13.10] (viewable here); Suzanne Lynch provides some detail on the findings for her Irish Times article and one of the authors of the report Nat O'Connor has a good post on it on TASC's Progressive Economy blog, tying in the comments from the Taoiseach Brian Cowen yesterday in his speech given to the North Dublin Chamber of Commerce: "The Taoiseach said that "Individuals were left in dominant positions within individual financial institutions for too long a period. There were stunning failures of corporate governance and not enough turn-around in management personnel in those institutions.""

Read more...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 11:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:08:48 AM EST
G20 scraps plans for universal bank tax | Reuters

South Korea (Reuters) - The world's top economies scrapped plans for a universal global bank tax on Saturday, giving countries plenty of wiggle room over how to make banks pay for their bailouts in future.

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries ended a two-day meeting to review progress on a string of initiatives agreed last year to make the financial system safer and protect taxpayers from having to pay for bank rescues again.

Attempts to introduce a global bank levy were finally ditched in the face of opposition from Japan, Canada and Brazil whose banks needed no public aid during the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

"There is no agreement to proceed with an ex ante bank tax," said Canadian Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:13:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Osborne claims victory on G20 deficit language | Reuters

South Korea (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne claimed a first success on the international financial stage on Saturday after a shift in G20 language that he said backed his budget plans and bolstered other European countries seeking to cut deficits.

Business  |  G20

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the G20 group of developed and emerging economies met in the South Korean port of Busan on Friday and Saturday to plan coordinated economic policies and proposals for tougher financial regulation before a summit of G20 leaders in Toronto later this month.

The meeting was Osborne's first appearance at a global financial forum since he became finance minister after Britain's May 6 election, in which his Conservative Party came first after campaigning on a platform of faster action to cut Britain's record deficit.

In the wake of Greece's financial crisis, the new government pushed to speed up budget deficit cuts, starting in the current financial year, even as the economy is only just emerging from recession. Osborne said the post-meeting statement was a note of G20 approval for Britain's plans.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:21:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Euro Tumbles on Debt-Crisis Concern, Touching Lowest Since 2006 - Bloomberg.com

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- The euro tumbled for a second week against the dollar, falling to its lowest level in more than four years as concern that Europe's debt crisis is spreading pushed investors to the safest currencies.

Europe's shared currency plunged below $1.20 for the first time since March 2006 and dropped for a sixth straight week versus the yen. The dollar and the yen climbed as a lower-than- forecast payrolls report yesterday fueled concern the U.S. economic recovery may be slowing, damping demand for growth- linked currencies. U.S. retail sales growth slowed to 0.2 percent in May, data next week may show.

"There's one driver of the market, and it's called Europe," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York. "Will budget cuts hurt European growth? Will Europe's crisis hurt U.S. companies? Will contagion spread through the global financial system?"

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:20:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB Advocates Tightening as U.S. Wants Demand Growth (Update1) - Bloomberg.com

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet said tightening fiscal policy is the best way for Europe to help the global economy as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner urged it to buttress weak demand.

The impact of narrower budget gaps "on growth could not be considered negative because it would improve confidence," Trichet told reporters today after meeting with Group of 20 finance chiefs in Busan, South Korea. The need for such action is clear in "old industrialized economies," he said.

The remarks underline determination within the 16-nation euro area to shrink budget deficits in the wake of a sovereign debt crisis that has led to a 750 billion-euro ($913 billion) rescue fund for the region's weakest members. The emphasis contrasts with the message delivered to the G-20 by the U.S., which wants countries with trade surpluses, including China and Germany, to stoke demand to help sustain the global recovery.

"Stronger domestic demand growth in Japan and in the European surplus countries" is needed, Geithner said at a separate press briefing in Busan. Spending in both areas is "relatively weak," he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stronger domestic demand growth in Japan and in the European surplus countries" is needed, Geithner said

more shopping?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 07:45:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More new household formation would be excellent. If kids could get jobs, get married and move into their own homes life could go on. Just now not much of that is happening. Funny that Trichet's "confidence" doesn't seem to include consumer confidence.

This situation is the direct consequence of refusing to deal with bad debt, especially the bad debt of banks. We need a large spate of bankruptcies, defaults and debt writedowns. Then life could resume. But that would involve admitting that the financial elites had really fucked up and accepting that they would have to take most of the hit. Since they control the political system, that will only happen when the political systems can no longer prevent it.

Collectively, we want this situation to end in the worst way possible. And that is likely what will happen.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 12:01:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
But that would involve admitting that the financial elites had really fucked up and accepting that they would have to take most of the hit

the 600 trillion overhang?

roflmao

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:19:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Moody's Business   New Economic Perspectives

If you did not have time to watch the FCIC hearings (PDF) last Wednesday, we strongly encourage you to read the following testimony. It describes in great details the changes in the business culture of Moody's and the means to achieve these changes. The testimony also clearly shows that when wrong-doing/fraud is present it is sometimes very hard to catch it given the complexity of the transactions so "Please keep that in mind when people suggest to you that the acts of explicit wrong-doing have been relatively rare."

Here is an excerpt:

   "In conclusion, I have tried to show that Moody's managers deliberately engineered a change to its culture intended to ensure that rating analysis never jeopardized market share and revenue. They accomplished this both by rewarding those who collaborated and punishing those who resisted. In addition to intimidating analysts who did not embrace the new values, they also emboldened bankers to resist Moody's analysts if doing so was good for Moody's business. Finally, I have tried to provide you with an example of the extent to which the new culture corrupted the rating process. The adjusted European CLO Rating Factor Table appears to have been adopted for the sole purpose of preserving Moody's European CLO market share despite the fact that it might have resulted in Moody's assigning ratings that were wrong by as much as one and a half to two notches. As I indicated to Moody's outside counsel in the summer of 2008, every single investor in a Moody's rated European CLO may have a claim against Moody's for damages associated with the fact that their CLO investments were not priced correctly."

Here is another, (from the PDF)

   Under the guise of making Moody's more business friendly, making it more responsive to clients -- e.g., making sure that analysts would return telephone calls etc., -- Moody's senior managers set in motion a radical change in Moody's analytical culture that not only changed the rating process but also profoundly affected Moody's ratings.

....

   When I joined Moody's in late 1997, an analyst's worst fear was that he would contribute to the assignment of a rating that was wrong, damage Moody's reputation for getting the answer right and lose his job as a result.

    When I left Moody's, an analyst's worst fear was that he would do something that would allow him to be singled out for jeopardizing Moody's market share, for impairing Moody's revenue or for damaging Moody's relationships with its clients and lose his job as a result.

    In both cases, there was certainly the fear of job loss. But in the former case it was theoretical and rare -- you did not really know of anyone who had been fired for getting the answer wrong but it provoked a healthy anxiety that you had better be careful not to miss anything. Moody's decades-old reputation for accuracy and integrity was in your hands. In the latter case, the fear was real, not rare and not at all healthy. You began to hear of analysts, even whole groups of analysts, at Moody's who had lost their jobs because they were doing their jobs, identifying risks and describing them accurately.

    The best example of this was described in a Wall Street Journal article about Moody's Managing Director (MD), Brian Clarkson, published in April of 2008. As that article reports, Brian Clarkson quadrupled Moody's market share in the residential mortgage back securities (RMBS) group by simply firing (or transferring) nearly all the analysts in the group and replacing them with analysts willing to apply a new rating methodology. This process, or at least the threat of this process, became the model for Moody's new culture. As I am quoted saying about this new model in the Wall Street Journal article, "There was never an explicit directive to subordinate rating quality to market share. There was, rather, a palpable erosion of institutional support for any rating analysis that threatened market share."



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 12:50:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
moodyswings, huh?

fucking crooks, take the money and run.

too big to be honest. he who has the most institutional trust gets the highest value for betraying it.

has it always been that way? how many other planets have we trashed, before we found this one?

oh well, there's bound to be somewhere else to go exploit, with 200 billion stars in each of 200 billion galaxies.

branson's right on it...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 04:42:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just shows you what the incentives of greed and fear can do when "properly" applied. We need laws that would make the creation of such situations a felony.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 08:01:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In 1810, a Scottish minister helped to revolutionise people's banking - in 2010, can he do it again? - Herald Scotland | Business | Markets & Economy

Expect a big airing in Edinburgh next week for one of the early 21st ­century's most pressing questions: how do we ­provide the world's ­teeming millions with viable, non-exploitative sources of finance?

On Wednesday, the Church of Scotland and Edinburgh University host a conference - How a Scottish Minister Changed the Financial Landscape - in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the launch of what is commonly held to be the world's first savings bank. The Scottish minister was the Reverend Henry Duncan of Dumfriesshire, an historical pillar of Scotland's (now somewhat battered) claim to be a global centre of financial prudence and innovation.

The next day, delegates from as far afield as Japan, Germany and California will congregate for an even grander global event, organised by the Brussels-based European Savings Bank Group, entitled "200 Years Of Savings Banks - A Strong And Lasting Business Model For Responsible, Regional Retail Banking".

In the wake of the implosion of the myth of Scottish banking acumen during the current financial crisis, we can at least draw some consolation from the fact that prudent ideals developed by a Scotsman are still such a hot topic two centuries later.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 08:29:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This Week's Lord Blankfein Memorial Prize for Sactimony in Journalism: How Middle-Class Households Should Dispose Their Inexplicable 'Marginal Income'
Mr Moss is stumbling a bit over his duty to report the actual conference agenda or interview its organizers and his compulsion to editorialize the folly of savings and virtues of commercial lending, in general.

Pious attention to the finances of the poor notwithstanding, a fact often overlooked is that, from the outset, the savings banks and their accompanying moralising rhetoric was largely directed at the middle class - those with enough marginal income to save.

Considering this strata of society raises the much more complex issue of the optimum level of savings in a society, an issue which came to the fore in the UK after the introduction of the welfare state by the First World War Liberal government.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 10:09:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:09:29 AM EST
Gaza flotilla activists were shot in head at close range | World news | The Guardian

Israel was tonight under pressure to allow an independent inquiry into its assault on the Gaza aid flotilla after autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian, revealed they were peppered with 9mm bullets, many fired at close range.

Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.

The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:12:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama to name Pentagon insider as new intel head | Reuters

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama will name defense veteran James Clapper as his new director of national intelligence, an administration official said on Friday.

Politics

Clapper, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and a retired general, would replace Dennis Blair, who stepped down from the job last month in the first major shake-up of Obama's national security team.

The announcement will be made at the White House on Saturday, the administration official said. The post requires Senate confirmation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:12:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli troops board Gaza aid ship - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Israeli soldiers have boarded a Gaza-bound aid ship and forced it to head towards the Israeli port of Ashdod instead.

The Israeli military in a statement said troops boarded MV Rachel Corrie on Saturday after activists aboard the ship ignored warnings to divert to Ashdod.

"There was no violence or injuries amongst the soldiers or crew...and no shots were fired," the statement added, saying the ship was now on its way to Ashdod.

Activists on board the Malaysia-funded Irish ship were attempting to break the siege of Gaza imposed by Israel, five days after Israeli troops violently intercepted a flotilla of aid ships carrying humanitarian aid for the territory, killing nine activists.

Israeli naval vessels had been trailing the ship for several hours before storming it. Rachel Corrie's radar had also been jammed, cutting off all radio communication.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:54:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli forces board the Rachel Corrie | World news | guardian.co.uk

Israel risked a fresh wave of international condemnation today when its troops boarded a boat attempting to break the blockade of Gaza and forcibly diverted it to the port of Ashdod.

Five days after the botched assault on a six-boat flotilla ended in the deaths of nine activists and international isolation for Israel, an unknown number of naval commandos stormed the MV Rachel Corrie in international waters, about 20 miles from the coast of Gaza.

Today's operation was mounted despite growing calls for Israel to ease its siege of Gaza significantly. The US, Israel's staunchest ally, said the blockade was "unsustainable and must be changed".

Israel said it had met no resistance in stopping the 1,200-ton Rachel Corrie. "They complied with us completely," an Israeli military spokeswoman told the Observer.

Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement, the main organisation behind the flotilla, said the passengers and crew had four times refused to accede to Israeli demands to divert to Ashdod voluntarily.

"There's no way that 20 people are going to resist a fully armed force," she said. "The fact that Israel boarded a civilian boat in international waters is a violent act."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:56:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No more live TV of the takeover. Israel probably just turned on the ECM generators, probably on loitering aircraft.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 12:07:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About that "high-risk" health insurance coverage .... Policy Options for Design of the Temporary High-Risk Pool: "Among the first tasks required by the recently enacted health reform law is creation of a temporary national high-risk pool program to provide subsidized health coverage to people who are uninsured because of pre-existing medical conditions. While as many as 5.6-million to 7-million Americans may qualify for the program, the $5 billion allocated over four years will allow coverage of only a small fraction of those in need, potentially as few as 200,000 people a year... "

ht beowulf and Mr Freeze


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:10:11 AM EST
ASIA: Green Revolution Has Little to Offer New Hungry Mouths - IPS ipsnews.net
BANGKOK, June 5, 2010 (IPS) - As it took root in the rice fields across Asia, it was hailed as the solution to the hunger afflicting millions of people in the region. But four decades on, the much vaunted Green Revolution appears to have reached its limits, unable to meet new demands, to feed new mouths.

United Nations food experts are increasingly touting the region's chronic hunger figures for 2009 to confirm this reality. Last year saw the proportion of people in the grip of chronic hunger hit 17 to 18 percent in the Asia- Pacific region, up from 16 percent in 2006.

It was the first time that the number of the hungry had risen since the Green Revolution spurred a downward trend. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned this week of a change in grain production since the late 1960s, which saw the output of rice, a regional staple, triple.

The Green Revolution was a series of initiatives, including the introduction of high-yielding rice varieties, launched in the late 1960s to boost agricultural production and feed a growing world population.

According to Hiroyuki Konuma, the FAO's regional head, the high yield of rice resulting from the introduction of the Green Revolution accounted for a 300 percent increase in the past 40 years, consequently seeing a "deduction of food prices by 40 percent in real terms" and helping to "reduce the proportion of hunger from 34 percent in 1970 to 16 percent in 2006."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait until chemical fertilizer increases in cost sufficiently to increase the price of rice beyond the ability of the poor to purchase. The "un-green" revolution--coming soon.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 12:11:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i hope you're wrong, as trillions of gallons of human fertiliser are there for the processing, laying around the world's slums.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 04:36:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
huh?
by njh on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:57:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you don't think third world (most of the world) sewage 'systems' could be updated to provide more fertiliser for the fields?

i somehow doubt all of mumbai's effluent is greenly disposed of...

very open to correction, no particular expertise claimed.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 08:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just didn't understand your post and was hoping for clarification.

One problem with using sewage is that it often contains lots of heavy metal such as cadmium.  This is even more of a problem in Mumbai than say the USA (due to weaker environment laws and agencies).  Of course we should be using humanure as much as possible, but reengineering the system is expensive and as yet there hasn't been enough demand to make it work.  As the world supply of P dries up I'm sure this will happen.

by njh on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:09:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for some it has been obvious from the 70's that the GR was a con to enrich fertiliser and seed companies at the expense of little externalities like the water table, polluted aquifers, and oil-gunked bays full of algae bloom from toxic runoff.

jevons got it right.

if you focus on making food illusionarily cheaper at the expense of future generations' healthy habitat, all that happens is more poor people reproduce more hungry children.

who grow up in a more deprived habitat.

the bitter nettle to grasp is that human sexual needs are so irrationally powerful that no healthy animal will shut down its own libido out of 'common sense'.

the very act is so divinely delicious, to deny it to a starving man just because he's disfavoured by the current system he's born embroiled in would be awful further punishment.

to be a sexual being is literally his last hope for his genes to continue vying, and if you ain't vying, then you're dying, it's how we're made.

in the west we try and distract ourselves from this with shiny toys (especially the ones that go bang), in the east they have spent millennia trying to transcend the problem through self-discipline, whether the materially detached ways of spiritual austerity, or the discipline to rise long before dawn to work a 16 hour day in a sweatshop, so the west can have more shiny toys... and look cool in the latest fashions, destined for the compactor barely ere they're in the public's sweaty, ad-fevered hands.

what have we done to life? our fear and ignorance are drowning us in oily greed. we've inverted the meanings of quality and quantity, big ag has trumpeted noble aims to feed the poor, but this is wolves in sheep's clothing.

the poor are just yet unensnared consumers taught to obey insane, unnatural diktats like having to buy seed from the dealer every year, feed their chemical farming habit until drinking them to end it all, or to see their land their forefathers sweated and died on, reduced to GM giant labs to enrich shareholders far away.

/rant

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 05:08:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly true.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 08:04:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Russia loses ground in Central Asian energy battle

A year ago, the Kremlin issued a stark warning: that growing competition for control of global energy resources could spark wars on Russia's borders, including those in Central Asia.

"Problems that involve the use of military force cannot be excluded, that would destroy the balance of forces close to the borders of the Russian Federation and her allies," said a key Kremlin strategy document assessing the main security threats of the coming decade.

Just 20 years ago, Russia and the energy-rich countries of Central Asia, such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus, were all united, as parts of the Soviet Union.

Moscow would have had unfettered access to their oil and gas reserves.

But the Central Asian states realise one of their greatest strategic strengths as independent countries is playing off the big global powers now scrambling to buy their precious energy supplies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:56:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TRADE: Resistance Persists Against Early Harvest in Doha Round - IPS ipsnews.net
GENEVA, Jun 4, 2010 (IPS) - Although the issue of an early harvest for least developed countries (LDCs) has been raised time and again, there remains "a certain reluctance" to prioritise it in the World Trade Organisation's Doha Round of trade talks, according to South African trade minister Dr Rob Davies.

The LDCs' proposed early harvest includes an immediate resolution to the problem of the U.S.'s trade-distorting cotton subsidies; duty-free and quota-free market access for LDC exports; a waiver to accelerate services exports from poor countries; and the easing of the accession requirements for LDCs wishing to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

"Many observers feel that a sine qua non for completing a `successful' round is that LDCs need to be convinced of getting some or greater preferential market access to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries," Celine Carrere and Jaime de Melo wrote in a research article in 2009.

Apart from LDCs, South Africa, China, India, and Brazil again raised their long-pending demand for an early harvest at the informal trade ministerial summit in Paris on May 27 but failed to secure an immediate response, several trade ministers told IPS.

Davies explained the reason as follows: "The point about this is that some countries fear that if you allow an early harvest you agree that the Doha Round is dead. The counter-argument is that LDCs are not supposed to pay; they are supposed to receive concessions to be integrated into the global trading system.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:30:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Global halt to oil drilling in eco areas urged
Geneva (AFP) June 4, 2010
A leading international environmental alliance on Friday called for a global suspension to oil and gas extraction in ecologically sensitive areas, following the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said the moratorium should include deepwater ocean sites the industry is increasingly exploring to cope with growing energy demand, despite higher financial and environmental risks.

"The technology to minimise the risks and impacts of catastrophes such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is obviously lacking at present," said IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre.

"Because our understanding of the impacts of this catastrophe is inadequate we must stop oil and gas exploitation -- not just in deepwater ocean sites but all ecologically sensitive areas, including polar areas," she added.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About 400 people are working to clean up tar balls that have come ashore, triple the number from yesterday, and an additional 100 are being trained, BP spokeswoman Lucia Bustamante said today at a press briefing in Escambia County in northwest Florida. A large sheen of oil with thick patches of "tar mats" was about 1 mile to 7 miles off the shore from Pensacola Beach, county officials said.

Florida officials and tourism industry executives are juggling two missions, working to protect the shore from oil spreading from the April 20 spill in the Gulf of Mexico while assuring tourists that the state's 825 miles (1,327 kilometers) of beaches remained safe so far. Hotels relaxed cancellation policies for wary guests while updating photos on websites to show beaches that remained pristine....

"Then you might see a few, then none again for a long time," [Pensacola Mayor Mike] Wiggins said at the press briefing. The biggest tar balls he saw were about the size of a hamburger, he said.

U.S. Representative Jeff Miller, a Republican who represents the Pensacola area, said he flew over the Gulf with the Coast Guard today and saw tar balls mostly at Florida's border with Alabama. A large sheen of oil was six miles off of Pensacola Beach, and a smaller sheen was close to the shoreline, he said.

Read more...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 11:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World's ecosystems provide 'services' equal to global income
Nairobi (AFP) June 3, 2010
The world's biodiversity and ecosystems deliver services to humanity estimated to be worth as much as the world gross national income, the UN environment programme (UNEP) said Thursday.

In a study released two days before World Environment Day is held in Rwanda, the UN agency warned that two thirds of these ecoystems have already been damaged by humans.

"Biodiversity and ecosystems deliver crucial services to humankind -- from food security to keeping our waters clean, buffering against extreme weather, providing medicines to recreation and adding to the foundation of human culture," the report said.

"Together these services have been estimated to be worth over 21 to 72 trillion US dollars every year -- comparable to the World Gross National Income of 58 trillion USD in 2008," it said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:36:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the "services" the world ecosystem provides are at present "externalities" to the economy. The problem is that without those "externalities" the economy will cease to exist.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 12:19:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that without those "externalities" the economy will cease to exist.

Ye of little faith! The market will provide!

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 05:25:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what it provides does not always nourish, let alone satisfy, and "always" is rapidly turning to "ever". Can enough mis-wired brains respond appropriately in a useful time frame? Seems increasingly unlikely.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 08:09:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what it provides does not always nourish, let alone satisfy, and "always" is rapidly turning to "ever"

That must be because nourishment and satisfaction are not preferred over the other things the market does provide...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 10:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's monetize it!

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 05:26:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Un-sexy tech can save both lives and fuel | Grist

I recently took the Chevrolet Volt for a spin near San Francisco's ballpark, checking another item off my electric-car life list. (Getting to drive pre-production EVs is one fringe benefit of covering green tech.)

Then the other week, I took a drive in another car that promised to help cut greenhouse gas emissions. The car itself was unremarkable -- a Lexus RX hybrid that anyone with a spare $42,000 can buy. What was potentially revolutionary was the little black box sitting on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel.

The box had three lights and when the car's driver makes a fuel-wasting or dangerous move, such as slamming on the brakes, making fast, sharp turns or weaving through traffic -- the LEDs go from green to yellow to red.

See, the problem, dear reader, isn't just your carbon-spewing car, it's you.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To Double Spud Production, Just Add A Little Spit
Ithaca NY (SPX) Jun 03, 2010
When it comes to potentially doubling the output of the world's fourth largest food crop, the secret may be in the spit. Researchers at Cornell University, as well as the University of Goettingen and National University of Colombia, have discovered that when a major South American pest infests potato tubers, the plant produces bigger spuds.

The secret to this increased yield, they write in the peer-reviewed journal Ecological Applications (April 28, 2010), is found that the saliva of the Guatemalan potato moth larvae (Tecia solanivora).

The major pest, which forces many farmers to spray plants with pesticides every two weeks, contains compounds in its foregut that elicits a system-wide response in the Colombian Andes commercial potato plant (Solanum tuberosum) to produce larger tubers.

The researchers found that when the spit of the tuber moth caterpillar gets into a tuber, all the other tubers of the plant grow bigger, said co-author Andre Kessler, Cornell assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.

Researchers believe that compounds from the insect's saliva somehow increases the rate of the plant's photosynthesis to compensate for the tubers lost to the caterpillar damage. As a result of more photosynthesis, more carbon is drawn into the plant and used to create starch, which makes for bigger tubers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:45:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
The researchers found that when the spit of the tuber moth caterpillar gets into a tuber, all the other tubers of the plant grow bigger

man and his perennial search for a bigger tuber...

what could possibly go wrong?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 05:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:11:04 AM EST
CHINA: Paying the Price of Missing Girls - IPS ipsnews.net
Q: Has this family planning experiment worked nationwide?

A: The opposition to it has never died. Although the policy was adopted by the Communist Party in 1979, it was made into law only in 2001. You can see that for years the `one-child' restrictions have been enforced without the backing of the parliament. Implementation has been uneven too. In recent years there has been a lot of corruption and those who have the means have managed to circumvent the rules.

Q: We all talk about China's gender imbalance and the thousands of "bare branches", or bachelors who are unable to find brides as an unwitting consequence of the `one-child policy'. But what about the national psyche? Has it suffered too?

A: The quality of family has deteriorated. Young people born as single children are too pampered and sheltered. They have no sense of responsibility or maturity and their lives are moulded from a very early age. As single children they must fulfill all family ambitions and they are made to excel at studies and learn to be very competitive. But they have no freedom to reflect on many things or disobey. They are also poor at making decisions and handling difficulties. I worry about the young people of China.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:32:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Bletchley Park WWII archive to go online

Millions of documents stored at the World War II code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, are set to be digitised and made available online.

Electronics company Hewlett-Packard has donated a number of scanners to the centre in Milton Keynes so volunteers can begin the ground-breaking task.

Many of the records at the once-secret centre have not been touched for years.

During the war, it was home to more than 10,000 men and women who decoded encrypted German messages.

The centre hopes that once the work starts, previously untold stories about the role Bletchley Park played in the war, will be revealed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Out Of The Woods For Ardi
Salt Lake City UT (SPX) Jun 03, 2010
Ardipithecus ramidus - a purported human ancestor that was dubbed Science magazine's 2009 "Breakthrough of the Year" - is coming under fire from scientists who say there is scant evidence for her discoverers' claims that there were dense woodlands at the African site where the creature lived 4.4 million years ago.

Instead, "there is abundant evidence for open savanna habitats," says University of Utah geochemist Thure Cerling, lead author of a critique published as a "technical comment" in the Friday, May 28 issue of Science.

The criticism - by eight geologists and anthropologists from seven universities - is important because the claim that the 4.4-million-year-old fossil nicknamed Ardi lived in woodlands and forest patches was used as an argument against a longstanding theory of human evolution known as the savanna hypothesis.

That hypothesis holds that an expansion of savannas - grassy plains dotted with trees and shrubs - prompted ape-like ancestors of humans to descend from the trees and start walking upright to find food more efficiently or to reach other trees for shelter or resources.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:38:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Free heroin gives good results - Politiken.dk

A test-run of issuing free heroin to addicts in Copenhagen appears to be successful, with initial results showing reduced crime and prostitution and improved health and life quality for those taking part in the project.

Since March this year, some 20 addicts have been part of a programme under which two clinics provide them with heroin each morning and afternoon.

The head of the Valmue Clinic in Copenhagen says that his centre has registered both a physical and psychological improvement among the addicts.

"They don't have to wake up in the morning with how to get money as the first thing they think about. That gives them a surplus that means that we can talk to them about their housing situation, how we can help them apply for a disability pension if they need that, or perhaps about the child they have lost contact with," says Valmue Clinic Head Torben Ballegaard.

Fewer crimes
At the same time, Ballegaard says that addicts say that they commit fewer crimes, have stopped prostitution and have improved health. Several have put on weight because apart from heroin, they are provided breakfast and a hot meal during the day.

Daily contact with a nurse also means that infections, boils and illnesses are discovered earlier, according to Senior Nurse Vivian Kjær at the KABS institution.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 11:00:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ballegaard says that addicts say that they commit fewer crimes, have stopped prostitution and have improved health.

Quel surprise. Meanwhile in Britain:

The addiction that drives women on to the mean streets of Bradford - Crime, UK - The Independent

There is only one reason why women take to the derelict streets just yards from Bradford's city centre to sell sex for £20 a go - to buy the drugs on which most have been dependent since they were teenagers.

The urgent need for heroin - either smoked or injected - and crack, normally topped up with a prescription of methadone and further fuelled with strong cheap alcohol, is what drives them out to take risks by climbing into a stranger's car.

And at least three paid the ultimate price. Suzanne Blamires, 36, Shelley Armitage, 31, and Susan Rushworth, a 43-year-old grandmother were murdered in the last year. Today Stephen Griffiths, 40, a PhD student in criminology, will appear before magistrates in the city, charged with the murders.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 05:07:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Child diabetes rockets - Politiken.dk

The number of Danish children suffering from Type 1 diabetes has inexplicably soared, with an increase in prevalence of 57 percent over the past decade and of these a 100 percent increase in the under-5 age group, according to Denmark's Diabetes Association.

There is no current explanation as to the increased prevalence of Type-1 diabetes and Diabetes Association Chairman Prof. Allan Flyvbjerg says that in real terms, the illness is out of control.

"We know how to treat it, but we unfortunately don't know what to do to prevent it," says Prof. Flyvbjerg.

Ten years ago some 2,000 Danish children up to the age of 19 suffered from Type-1 diabetes. That figure has now risen to 3,200.

Diabetes is generally divided into two types - Type-1 and Type-2. Both types of diabetes involve problems with the inability of the body to break down blood sugar. In general terms Type-1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce the hormone insulin, while Type-2 diabetes generally involves the body's failure to make use of insulin properly.

Type-2 diabetes is generally seen as a lifestyle disease, while Type-1 is not, and it remains unclear what prompts the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas not to produce insulin.

"Our best bet is that it is something in our environment - for example pollution, vira, infections, a lack of D vitamin or too sterile living that can prompt Type-1 diabetes," says Flyvbjerg.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 11:01:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hellllloooo....

Felix "It's a liquidity crisis not a solvency crisis" Salmon reporting for A&T.
AT&T tries to defend its data pricing

ahahahahaha


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 10:22:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 09:11:31 AM EST
Even in those times where everyone is sun worshipping, ET keeps on ticking.  Danke afew.

(One must realize, that in No. Yurp, when the sun comes, it must be worshipped, weil, happens so rarely.) (Ok perhaps not worshipped, but at last taken the pleasure of)  We feel sweet breezes, see shining faces, haring good music... and the turbines just keep on turbinning, because unlike corporations, they're not human, and work as planned.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sun was really hot here today. Mad dogs and Englishmen hot.

So the outdoor stuff in the evening. Gardening.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I meant, Salon prepared in the afternoon... Indoors out of the blaze.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:40:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems relatively current, trotzdem.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 05:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 05:14:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rock history for sale: UK's first 'country studio'

The Manor, high altar of 1970s rock and birthplace of the legendary album Tubular Bells, has been put up for sale. The eventual buyer will snap up not only a grand 16th-century, Grade II-listed house in Oxfordshire, but also a large slice of music history.

Converted by a 21-year-old Richard Branson, the Manor was Britain's first residential recording studio. Opened for business in 1971, the Manor, at Shipton-on-Cherwell, lifted album-making out of cramped city studios and placed it in the countryside.

Aaah, many happy hours spent there. The place where I inadvertently introduced Richard to his future wife....

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 05:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I always wondered how Branson found the money to buy it. As I understood it, Virgin weren't exactly awash with cash until that Mr Oldfield had his unlikely mega-hit.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 05:57:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He didn't buy it. His aunt, who was the previous owner, gave it to him.

Branson is hardly a self-made millionaire, his family are rolling in the stuff. He fully concedes that Virgin benefited from preferential bank interest rates on loans negotiated by his Dad, a member of that Bank's upper management.  

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:46:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure about rolling in the stuff - his mum had to remortgage the family home to pay off one of Richard's dalliances in the early Seventies. But yes, he had a very healthy head start.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:55:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he bought it with the people that proposed it, rather than the label. His MO was always to take a stake in ventures that others proposed. His stake had to yield 12% pa - the other owners were highly motivated to profit from the rest. Everything was based on detailed (and yearly adjustable) business plans, and as long as he got his ROI, he would continue to back projects.

Now of course, 12% looks highly profitable (and it was), but at the time it was a rather original way of financing compared to the standard majority ownership by the capital providers, with the actual operators demotivated by small shares. In this way he was able to invest in a lot of start-ups that didn't require much hands-on management. He expected many to fail - but as long as a few came up trumps, he was happy.

His father was a judge. Litigation was also part of his MO, although almost always directed upwards at bigger companies. I worked with Richard pre-Oldfield, and also got to know Simon Draper and Al Clark very well afterwards. For me, Branson/Virgin were always laid back and praiseworthy - until he got the airline bug. I haven't met him since.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:48:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought Branson was from banking. I know he got preferential rate loans courtesy of a member of his family tree somewhere.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:54:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Branson senior was a barrister, and his grandfather a high court judge. I've not heard about the bank board before, but it's entirely possible.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 07:56:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's up for £5.75m listed by Knight-Frank, if anyone wants to take it on.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 09:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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