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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 19 February

by DoDo Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 03:39:59 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history (Julian Calendar):

1861 - Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom in Russia with his Emancipation Manifesto, but without land reform, putting many into even worse poverty

More here

 The European Salon is a daily selection of news items to which you are invited to contribute. Post links to news stories that interest you, or just your comments. Come in and join us!


The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.
  • SPECIAL FOCUS - People want to overthrow the regime
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
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I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

There is just one favor I would like to ask you - please do NOT click on "Post a Comment", as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you - please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

Display:
†EUROPE†



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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:55:01 PM EST
France24 - Sarkozy sets sights on role of Islam in secular France
Sarkozy said Tuesday that he wants to launch a debate in April on the role and influence of the country's second-biggest religion.

The call for a discussion on Islam follows comments Sarkozy made last week that "multiculturalism is not working" and is seen as a bid to win back voters from the far-right National Front party.

"There is a growing gulf between the media portrayal of Islam and the preoccupations of the French people," Sarkozy told members of his conservative Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party at a dinner he hosted this week.

And while it remains unclear whether the president would look to encode the debate's findings in a new law, one unnamed UMP lawmaker told right-wing daily Le Figaro, "The role of Islam in France is going to be a central issue in the 2012 presidential campaign."

This guy is an arsonist.

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:55:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As Clegg and Cameron wade in, No2Av campaigners pledge to reveal backers - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

Campaigners against electoral reform today pledged to reveal details of their main financial backers before the country goes to the polls in May.

The No2Av campaign had come under pressure to reveal details of its funding sources - thought to be a mixture of union money and big Conservative donors - earlier this week.

The campaign today said the delay in doing so was due to the need to get permission from all donors to release the details which will eventually be published by the Electoral Commission - but not until after the election.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Key State Election in Hamburg: Trend-Setting Loss Would Spell Trouble for Merkel - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

With Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats slumping in the polls ahead of Sunday's state elections in Hamburg, a bad loss would reflect poorly on the German chancellor. A defeat could be the start of an unwelcome trend during a busy election year.

Christoph Ahlhaus is almost certain to go down in history as the shortest-serving mayor Hamburg has ever seen. Only one-fifth of voters in the city-state, which is home to Europe's second-largest port, want to see him remain in charge after Sunday's election. It also appears Ahlhaus will deliver a bitter defeat for Angela Merkel's conservatives in one of seven pivotal state votes that could further erode the chancellor's power at the national level.

Ahlhaus has overseen the late stages of an astonishing collapse in the polls for the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since he took over as mayor in July. The party took 42.6 percent of the vote in 2008, but a poll taken last weekend had the conservatives at a mere 23 percent.

The model Black-Green coalition ended in the best of disasters :-) Check Hamburg polls here ("GAL" are the local Greens).

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:55:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Defense minister relinquishes Ph.D. over plagiarism charges | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 18.02.2011

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said on Friday that he would temporarily renounce his doctorate amid allegations that he plagiarized significant sections of his dissertation.

A firm Guttenberg told reporters in Berlin: "I will temporarily, I repeat temporarily, give up my doctoral title," adding that he would wait until his former university completes its investigation into the plagiarism claims.

Just before Guttenberg issued his apologetic statement in Berlin, state prosecutors in Bayreuth - where Guttenberg submitted the 2006 thesis - confirmed that two criminal complaints had been filed against him, claiming infringement of copyrights and lying in the sworn statement that accompanied the thesis.

If I would still be in the mood for diaries, I'd title this one "Teflon Theodor". This guy stayed on top of popularity polls in spite of being a used car salesman, being caught lying over the handling of the Kunduz bombing in Afghanistan, mishandling several recent cases in the military, and -- severe collective cognitive dissonance here -- endorsing the Afghanistan mission while most people want to pull out. But he's young and good-looking and uses a new language, so just like with Schröder 13 years ago, the lambs follow...

Long story short, I wouldn't be surprised if he brazens this out, too. If so, he'll have a real chance at inheriting Merkel, so remember his name...

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two German soldiers killed in Afghanistan | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 18.02.2011
Two German soldiers have died in an attack by an apparent member of Afghan security forces. The shootout came shortly after Germany's defense minister finished a visit to the region.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:57:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Love his new nickname. :-)

Defense minister relinquishes Ph.D. over plagiarism charges | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 18.02.2011

Newsmagazine Spiegel said Guttenberg even passed off US Embassy material as his own text - translated directly into German - in a string of allegations that has prompted German media to turn the posh Franconian surname "zu Guttenberg" into a far less noble "zu Googleberg."
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 01:06:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I also like the one gk quoted (my emphasis):

Dr. Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg should now be referred to as simply Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg. According to the SZ, he will not use the Dr. title until the plagiarism accusations are cleared up.

(Wikipedia briefly renamed him "Karl Theodor Xerox Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg" but that didn't last....)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 04:47:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The latest is that he also copied stuff from the parliamentary service. His thesis included a 10-page report on the mention of "God" in the US Constitution which a bureaucrat with two doctor titles (prepared for Guttenberg personally) almost completely, without giving the source. (In addition, by law such material can be used for parliamentary work only.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 05:38:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My commentary: the main supplier of information for this scandal is SPIEGEL. SPIEGEL has excellent sources in Merkel's inner circle, so I think there is a possibility that someone in there used this connection with an intent to shoot down the shooting star. Then again, this latest escalation of revelations may have been motivated by Guttenberg's affront against the established media yesterday.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 05:45:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The FAZ hasn't been holding back either. They seem to be kind of pissed off because Googleberg copied verbatim from one of their articles for the intro to his dissertation.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 06:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On-line poll at alternative-left taz:

Minister of Defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is subject to fierce criticism over his possible use of unindicated citations in his doctoral thesis. Should he step down as Minister of Devence over this?

  • 41.2% Yes. A minister shouldn't get a doctor title with copy-and-paste.
  • 15.5 % No, this is a trifle and a discussion full of malice.
  • 39.5 % Guttenberg should step down because of his politics.
  • 3.8% What do I care about politics and politicians?

I voted for the third choice; and am pleased that it is at least on level with the first...

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

by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 06:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you elect wankers with a sense of entitlement, strange things happen.

Who Could Have Predicted?

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:23:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a GuttenPlag Wiki. They have a graphic to indicate the distribution and extent of copied material in the doctoral thesis. The x axis is page number; note that references start on page 408:



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

by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 06:00:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

(Found at taz)

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

by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 07:03:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Before we forget: zu Guttenberg was also the top German politician in Wikileaks documents who appeared most willing to supply the US with information, including internal party strategy information.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 04:49:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Commission reads sermon No. 8 to Romania, Bulgaria | EurActiv
For the eighth time since the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU on 1 January 2007, the European Commission today (18 February) unveiled its regular six-month assessment of the two countries' progress on judicial reform, the fight against corruption and organised crime. The overarching demand remains that Sofia and Bucharest must do more.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:57:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU aid chief: merger with foreign policy 'over my dead body'
"Over my dead body," Bulgarian commissioner Kristalina Georgieva told an audience of alumni from the London School of Economic in Brussels on Thursday evening (17 February). "It would be a very grave mistake for Europe to do."

Reports in recent weeks suggest some within the union are increasingly pushing for the merger, as part of the ongoing debate over the EU's next multi-annual financial framework (post 2013). Aid agencies and a number of MEPs have warned against the idea however, saying the independence of Europe's aid is one of its greatest assets.

"We are developing the external action service, and there have been some voices saying 'lets pile up our instruments designed to reach out to others: development cooperation, humanitarian aid, trade, security funding, and then put it under the one big umbrella'," explained Ms Georgieva.

Our Atlanto-interventionist elites want to import another insanity from over the pond.

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Silvio Berlusconi 'scared' Ruby the Heart Stealer would talk about 'bunga bunga' - Telegraph

Silvio Berlusconi intervened in the arrest of Karima El Mahroug, the teenager he is alleged to have paid cash for sex, because he was "scared" she would talk about about his "bunga bunga" parties.

...

Gianfranco Fini, the speaker of the lower house of parliament and a former admirer of Mussolini, broke from the billionaire tycoon's People of Freedom party after the pair had a bitter falling out last summer and launched his own group, Future and Liberty.

But three of his MPs jumped ship this week to rejoin the government and Mr Fini said it was "likely" that Mr Berlusconi, 74, would use his "many seductive weapons" to further increase his slim majority in parliament.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 12:41:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ruby, Phone Calls and Bank Transfers in Ruling for Immediate Trial - Corriere della Sera
Conclusions of investigating magistrate Cristina Di Censo who ordered Berlusconi's trial

MILAN - Silvio Berlusconi's "evident purpose" was to conceal the offence of having paid sexual relations with a minor. He wanted "to ensure his impunity", which "the young, unbiddable Karima El Mahroug could easily have jeopardised", when he put pressure on Milan police headquarters to have the 17-year-old Moroccan girl handed over to regional councillor Nicole Minetti in a "grossly irregular procedure". In the 27-page ruling notified yesterday to Silvio Berlusconi and the aggrieved parties, magistrate Cristina Di Censo explains why in committing the prime minister for trial over Rubygate she thinks that public prosecutors Ilda Boccassini, Piero Forno and Antonio Sangermano have the "manifest evidence" (which is distinct from guilt) required by the criminal code to skip a preliminary hearing and bring the charge in court. The trial will commence on 6 April before the judges of the court's fourth criminal section.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 12:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a life without a government -De Standaard / Presseurop - English
The Belgians have proven that a country can survive without a government. Even more: a government that only takes care of day-to-day business has its silver lining. Whether the sunshine makes up for the rain is another question.

After 249 days of fruitless negotiations, it's clear that every cloudburst heralds some fresh spring air. At long last we Belgians can also call ourselves world champions in one discipline. Those to whom the most profound thanks are owed are the outgoing Prime Minister Yves Leterme (CD&V) and the caretaker government, for Belgium has even been able, in some cases, to cash in on the political crisis.

In the truest sense of the word. The biggest advantage of a government with limited powers in times of cramped budgets is found in the provision on "interim twelfths". This regulation provides that the Minister receives, every month, one twelfth of the previous year's budget allocation, so long as no new budget has been adopted. This can, in practice, lead to savings, as ministers may no longer sail forth on "new initiatives". And mothballing those is better than abolishing outdated regulations. Doing nothing when coffers are empty is the best thing that can happen to this country.

The civil servants have also benefited from the situation. For example, it helped them brush up their image: just who has been keeping the country running? Who has stuck to his post and made sure the system ticks over smoothly? Exactly: the bureaucrats! Dull, boring functionaries? Quite the contrary! On guard for country and prosperity, yes sir!

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 12:55:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This can, in practice, lead to savings, as ministers may no longer sail forth on "new initiatives". And mothballing those is better than abolishing outdated regulations. Doing nothing when coffers are empty is the best thing that can happen to this country.

Let's celebrate government inaction... sigh.

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

by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 04:53:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The civil servants have also benefited from the situation. For example, it helped them brush up their image: just who has been keeping the country running? Who has stuck to his post and made sure the system ticks on

Another argument for sortition?

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assets of Mubarak and Aides Are Frozen by Swiss - NYTimes.com
Investigators have discovered tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts belonging to the ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, his family or five prominent associates, officials in Switzerland announced Friday. The officials said the accounts had been frozen, but declined to break down who controlled the vast sums.

Btw has any other country frozen Mubarak assets yet?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 01:00:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 04:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and under international banking laws and treaties, why had they not been frozen before?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 07:20:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†SPECIAL FOCUS†
†People want to overthrow the regime†


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:58:32 PM EST
France24 - Bahrain mourns protesters amid fears of new unrest
AFP - Angry Bahraini Shiites on Friday buried four killed in a violent police raid on anti-regime protesters as the army enforced a tight clamp across the capital of the Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchy.

Thousands of mourners in the village of Sitra, east of Manama, chanted slogans calling for the ouster of the regime of the al-Khalifa dynasty, as well as songs urging unity between the Shiite majority and Sunni compatriots.

They chanted "people want to overthrow the regime" -- the slogan used by anti-regime protesters across the Arab world inspired by the uprisings of Tunisia and Egypt which brought down the former two strongmen of the Western-backed countries.

I just hope that the Gulf states version of the 2011 Arab revolutions won't lead to the same escalation in sectarianism which developed in Iraq 'thanks' to the US intervention.

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:58:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain under fire for selling arms to Bahrain - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

The British Government has been heavily criticised for allowing arms sales to a number of Arab governments that have cracked down on pro-democracy protests in recent weeks, killing scores of people and injuring thousands more in demonstrations across the region.

Since it came into office the Government has granted permission for weapons sales to countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including a licence for weapon-makers to sell tear gas to the Bahrain administration. The Government also sanctioned sales of crowd control ammunition to Libya, combat helicopters to Algeria and armoured personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia.

A Department for Business report on weapons exports, published in the third quarter of last year, gave the green light to British arms manufacturers to sell a number of crowd control products to the Bahrain government, including "CS hand grenades, demolition charges, smoke canisters and thunderflashes".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:58:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How Britain taught Arab police forces all they know - World Politics, World - The Independent

There was growing anger last night over the enmeshed relationship between authoritarian Gulf governments and the British military and police after weeks of democracy protests across the Arab world that met with violent state repression.

As demonstrators in Bahrain and Libya attended funerals and faced armed soldiers yesterday, campaign groups called on the Government to re-evaluate whether Britain should be so heavily involved in the training of Arab police and the military.

In the past two years, British police have helped train their counterparts in Bahrain, Libya, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia through schemes run by the National Policing Improvement Agency, which organises overseas training. At present, there are three fulltime advisers working with the Bahraini police which was heavily implicated in the violent crackdown on protests in Manama this week.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 07:52:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Formula One boss wants Bahrain protests to 'blow away'
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is hoping deadly anti-government protests will cease so the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix can go ahead as scheduled on 13 March.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:59:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Death toll in Yemen mounts as police and protestors clash
A hand-grenade attack killed two anti-regime protestors and left 27 injured in the Yemeni city of Taez on Friday, while violent clashes broke out in Sanaa, witnesses said.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:59:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From someone living in Sanaa I hear and read that the protests were slowly growing in scale and character the past few days. The mood changed since Mubarak stepped down.

The first protests, which had a more harmless character, always stopped before one o'clock in the afternoon - then people dispersed to chew qat. Since Mubarak's removal, the mood changed. The qat break no longer drew people away. Even before the violent outburst today, people were showing up on the streets carrying weapons - and there seem to be a lot of them in Yemen.

A notable divide runs between youth with a middle-class upbringing and the poor. The first debate the role of Facebook in tea-houses, the latter were collecting rocks.

It seems the rock-throwers are growing in popularity.

by Nomad on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this, brought to my attention by Crazy Horse, should be recommended reading to understand how the protest movement got the better of Mubarak's police state. It's not the simplistic media narrative about Facebook. The Facebook guys fooled police by organising 20 protests in the 'modern' way (all of which were contained) as a diversion, and one more with leaflets and conspiracy.

On Jan. 25, the first day of protests, the organizers from the youth wings of Egypt's opposition movements created what appeared to be a spontaneous massing of residents of the slum of Bulaq al-Dakrour, on Cairo's western edge. These demonstrators weren't, as the popular narrative has held, educated youth who learned about protests on the Internet. They were instead poor residents who filled a maze of muddy, narrow alleyways, massed in front of a neighborhood candy store and caught security forces flatfooted.

...They sent small teams to do reconnaissance on the secret 21st site. It was the Bulaq al-Dakrour neighborhood's Hayiss Sweet Shop, whose storefront and tiled sidewalk plaza--meant to accommodate outdoor tables in warmer months--would make an easy-to-find rallying point in an otherwise tangled neighborhood no different from countless others around the city.

The plotters say they knew that the demonstrations' success would depend on the participation of ordinary Egyptians in working-class districts like this one, where the Internet and Facebook aren't as widely used. They distributed fliers around the city in the days leading up to the demonstration, concentrating efforts on Bulaq al-Dakrour.

On Jan. 25, security forces predictably deployed by the thousands at each of the announced demonstration sites. Meanwhile, four field commanders chosen from the organizers' committee began dispatching activists in cells of 10. To boost secrecy, only one person per cell knew their destination.

In these small groups, the protesters advanced toward the Hayiss Sweet Shop, massing into a crowd of 300 demonstrators free from police control. The lack of security prompted neighborhood residents to stream by the hundreds out of the neighborhood's cramped alleyways, swelling the crowd into the thousands, say sweet-shop employees who watched the scene unfold.

At 1:15 p.m., they began marching toward downtown Cairo. By the time police redeployed a small contingent to block their path, the protesters' ranks had grown enough to easily overpower them.

Unfortunately, even that doesn't work if the regime is determined to shoot at the masses.

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

by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 05:05:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Military on alert after thousands rally against protester fatalities

REUTERS - Soldiers were deployed on the streets of Libya's second city of Benghazi on Friday, a witness said, after thousands of people took to the streets overnight to protest about security forces killing more than 20 protesters.  New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch said that according to its sources inside the country, Libyan security forces had killed at least 24 people in crackdowns on protests on Wednesday and Thursday.

The killings happened after opponents of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's leader for more than 40 years, designated Thursday a day of protest to try to emulate uprisings in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia which ousted entrenched leaders.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:59:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Italian reports this evening, the city of al Beyda may be in the hands of the revolt, as well as the airport of Benghasi. The reports are not confirmed by independant sources.

The repression in al Beyda was reportedly particularly cruel, led by one of Gadaffi's sons, Hamis, with the help of Sub-Sahara mercenaries. This reportedly prompted a reaction by local police forces that has led to a retreat of the Hamis forces from the city. Three mercenaries were caught and lynched.

The unconfirmed take-over of the airport of Benghasi would prevent the arrival of reinforcements to assault al Beyda.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:34:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amnesty International has just confirmed that there are atleast 46 dead in the past three days.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 05:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amnesty put the Libyan deathtoll at 84 this morning.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 05:28:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Nationwide 'victory march' marks one week since Mubarak's downfall
A quarter-million Egyptians have swarmed into Tahrir Square to celebrate the fall of deposed President Hosni Mubarak one week ago. The rally is also a reminder to the country's new rulers of the power of the people.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:59:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Interim cabinet to convene amid rumours of Ben Ali illness
A family friend of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali told AFP Thursday that the ousted Tunisian president is seriously ill and in a Saudi hospital. The interim government said it would discuss his condition during a cabinet meeting Friday.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 01:59:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tunisian minister ridicules EU aid effort | EurActiv

"The figures put forward by the European Union are ridiculous and show that it has not understood the scale of the historical events in the southern Mediterranean," Industry Minister Mohamed Afif Chelbi told a conference in Rome.

The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said on a visit to Tunisia this week that the EU would disburse 258 million euros ($350 million) in aid to the country by 2013 and immediately unblock 17 million euros.

'Millions or billions?'

"When Ashton said 17 million, our minister thought he had misunderstood and asked: 'Millions or billions?' Once again, the European Union has not been up to the task of dealing with the region."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:00:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Andy Carvin (acarvin) on Twitter
LilyKhalil @acarvin We're finding it hard to swallow that Ben Ali & Mubarak r both in coma & Ben Ali died. No confirmations from journos in KSA.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt: prison guards killed scores in run-up to fall of Hosni Mubarak - Telegraph

The full extent of the carnage at Al-Qata Prison outside Cairo as guards fought back is only now becoming clear.

One prisoner, speaking from inside his cell, told The Daily Telegraph that inmates had drawn up a list of 153 men killed during a siege lasting a full two weeks. He described how as the men celebrated the fall of Mr Mubarak, a man standing next to him was hit by gunfire, an explosive bullet ripping into his head through the cell window.

"We started to cheer and shout," said the prisoner, whose name The Telegraph is witholding for his protection. "This man was standing here and was just shot through the eye. He died immediately.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:34:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fisk: 'They didn't run away. They faced the bullets head-on' - Middle East, World - The Independent
After Egypt's revolution, the people have lost their fear

"Massacre - it's a massacre," the doctors were shouting. Three dead. Four dead. One man was carried past me on a stretcher in the emergency room, blood spurting on to the floor from a massive bullet wound in his thigh.

A few feet away, six nurses were fighting for the life of a pale-faced, bearded man with blood oozing out of his chest. "I have to take him to theatre now," a doctor screamed. "There is no time - he's dying!"

Others were closer to death. One poor youth - 18, 19 years old, perhaps - had a terrible head wound, a bullet hole in the leg and a bloody mess on his chest. The doctor beside him turned to me weeping, tears splashing on to his blood-stained gown. "He has a fragmented bullet in his brain and I can't get the bits out, and the bones on the left side of his head are completely smashed. His arteries are all broken. I just can't help him." Blood was cascading on to the floor. It was pitiful, outrageous, shameful. These were not armed men but mourners returning from a funeral, Shia Muslims of course, shot down by their own Bahraini army yesterday afternoon.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 12:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I reported from Jadaliyya. they are not really "their own Bahraini army" but are a group of mostly foreign mercenaries. I tend to trust Toby Jones in the article I cited, since he predicted a day in advance exactly how the security forces would respond.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 02:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Things are turning ugly in Libya.  

Gaddaffi is hiring mercenaries, reportedly at $30,000 (US,) a huge sum considering the average Libyan lives on $2 (US) per day. The regime is distributing weapons to supporters in Sirt.  Some army units firing on demonstrators, including reports of rocket attacks at the city of Benghazi, a stronghold of anti-Gaddaffi support.

Constant reports (tweets and Al Jazeera) of police and army units switching sides and supporting/protecting demonstrators.  Videos of Libyan armed protesters, some with heavy weapons.

Reports generals of the Army and Air Force as well as Colonels in the Army have resigned/been arrested for refusing to order their units to fire on protesters.

Reports protesters have seized radio station in Benghazi and are transmitting over the internet:

here

do not speak Arabic so I cannot confirm.

Reports protests are starting in Tripoli and other cities of eastern Libya, usually considered centers of support for the regime.  

Reports hospitals are running out of space and supplies as "bodies are pouring in."

(and on and on and on ....)

Civil War in Libya starting?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 12:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now a diary by AT. Comment there.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 01:58:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
†ECONOMY & FINANCE†


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:00:28 PM EST
Portugal one step closer to requesting EU bailout | EurActiv

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble signaled readiness to support Portugal if it faces difficulty in funding itself in financial markets, although he said it is not in a state of emergency, Japan's Nikkei business daily reported.

Germany's AAA credit rating has shouldered the greatest burden of EU bailouts and its government has recently tried to lay down stricter conditions attached to loans provided by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), such as lower corporation tax and higher pension ages.

Expectations for a Portuguese bailout peaked today as bond yields rose to and stayed at 7% for 10 straight days, mimicking the same high yields that led to a Greek and Irish bailout in 2010.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:00:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no.

Frankfurt's Brussels-consensus hitmen ready to beat Portugal into submission would be a better headline.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:35:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - G20 finance ministers expected to spar over economic imbalances
In Paris on Friday night, Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors kick off two-day talks in which they will try to clinch a deal on ways to stabilise the global economy and reform the world monetary system.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:00:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU pushes pipeline merger in Southern gas corridor | EurActiv
EU officials are pushing for a merger of two strategic pipeline projects - Nabucco and its smaller Italian rival ITGI - to help secure gas supplies from Azerbaijan to Europe, according to news wire reports yesterday (17 February). The European Commission later confirmed it was encouraging projects in the 'Southern Gas Corridor' to cooperate.

Officials at the European Commission are urging ITGI and Nabucco to enter into talks about merging their operations, EU industry and political sources said.

One option is to start off with the low-cost ITGI pipeline plan, estimated to cost €2.5 billion compared to Nabucco's €7.9 billion price tag, and then expand at a later date, one industry source told the Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity.

When will someone come around and declare the stillborn idea a stillborn idea?...

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:01:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Has Coca Cola's secret recipe been discovered?

REUTERS - Coca-Cola Co said on Tuesday that its flagship cola recipe is still secret after nearly 125 years, denying a story by a public radio show that it has uncovered the formula.

"This American Life," a weekly radio program, said it found the closely guarded formula in an article in Coke's hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, from February 1979.

A photo that appeared with the article shows pages from a notebook with a handwritten list of ingredients such as sugar, lime juice, vanilla and caramel. It also lists oils of cinnamon, neroli, coriander, nutmeg, lemon and orange.

The show, produced by WBEZ Chicago and distributed by Public Radio International, claims the notebook originally belonged to a friend of John Pemberton, the pharmacist who created Coca-Cola in 1886.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:01:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Railway Gazette: Madrid tunnel complete
SPAIN: A ceremony on February 11 marked the completion of tunnelling work on the 7·3 km route that will connect high speed lines entering the Madrid from the north and south.

This tunnel is the third between Mardid's two main rail terminuses, the existing two are for suburban trains (see photo). Remember: Spain's high-speed lines are normal gauge, while the traditional network is broad gauge.

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Railway Gazette: EP20 launches a new locomotive family

RUSSIA: This year is due to see the rollout of the prototype EP20 electric locomotive for RZD, being developed by Transmashholding and Alstom in association with the Velnii design institute.

The single-section dual-system loco is intended to form the basis for a family of asynchronous-motored passenger and freight locos for deployment across the Russian rail network (Table I).

Russia is repeating China's recipe of transferring locomotive high-tech from all the main European manufacturers simultaneously, an industrial policy worth its name.

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder why they choose to use three two-axle bogies when American companies use two three-axle trucks (bogies)...
by asdf on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 10:29:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's better for the tracks and for higher speeds, and you don't have to bother with different wheel profiles and/or compensation mechanics for the middle axles. One of the (IMO) best loco designs of the last century, the Re 6/6 of Swiss Federal Railways, used it, and so did newer electric locos in Russia. Interestingly, partner Alstom produced both Bo'Bo'Bo' locos (with three two-axle bogies) and Co'Co' locos (with two three-axle bogies) in the past.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 05:22:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Railway Gazette: Governor halts Orlando - Tampa high speed rail project

USA: Florida's recently-elected Republican Governor Rick Scott announced on February 16 that he had decided to reject any federal funding for the proposed 135 km high speed line between Tampa and Orlando, as the start of a state-wide high speed network.

This effectively stops the project, which had been widely seen as a flagship for introducing high speed rail in the USA. Scott said it could be `far too costly to taxpayers', and `the risk far outweighs the benefits'.

His decision was based on `three main economic realities', he explained. Although the federal government had promised almost US$2·4bn to meet the bulk of the construction cost for the line along the Interstate-4 corridor, Scott said any cost over-runs `could put Florida taxpayers on the hook for an additional $3bn'.

He also cast doubts on the ridership and revenue projections, which he said had been 'overly-optimistic' in two-thirds of high speed rail projects. An estimated 3·1 million passengers a year were projected to use the Orlando - Tampa line, but he said only 3·2 million currently used Amtrak's Acela Express services in the Northeast Corridor, where the market was 'eight times the size.' Critics pointed out that this excluded the 7·6 million carried on other Amtrak trains, let alone the commuter rail services.

George Bush killed the Texas Triangle project, Jeb Bush killed the previous Florida project, and now this.

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:01:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, the oil sheiks are moving away frm gas-guzzlers and jets:

Railway Gazette: Haramain High Speed Rail station construction contracts signed

SAUDI ARABIA: Contracts have been signed for construction of four of the five stations for the Haramain High Speed Rail project, Saudi Railways Organization announced on February 16.

The contracts form Package 2 of Phase 1 of the HHR project. Saudi Bin Laden Group is to build the stations at Makkah (3·18bn riyal) and Madinah (21·56bn riyal), while Saudi Oger will be responsible for Jeddah (2·90bn riyal) and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh (1·75bn riyal).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:02:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JPMorgan says Lehman called assets goat poo | Reuters

(Reuters) - Lehman Brothers and Barclays deceived JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) with bad assets that the failed investment bank's own employees dubbed "goat poo," according to new court papers that escalate a legal battle between the financial firms.

JPMorgan filed new court claims in the case, contending that Lehman left it with $25 billion (£15.4 billion) in unpaid loans secured by undesirable assets like those left out of the sale to Barclays.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEHMQ.PK) filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008 and then quickly sold its prize investment banking assets to Barclays Bank (BARC.L). JPMorgan had been Lehman's banker.

The court papers, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Thursday, said that Barclays and Lehman called certain Lehman assets "toxic waste" and "goat poo" and knowingly excluded them from their sale agreement.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:02:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barclays bank forced to admit it paid just £113m in corporation tax in 2009 | Business | The Guardian

Barclays Bank has been forced to admit it paid just £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 - a year when it rang up a record £11.6bn of profits.

The admission stunned politicians and tax campaigners. It was revealed on the eve of a day of protests planned against the high street banks by activists from UK Uncut, a group set up five months ago to oppose government cuts and corporate tax avoidance.

The Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who lobbied Barclays' chief executive, Bob Diamond, to reveal the tax paid by the bank, described the figure - just 1% of its 2009 profits - as "shocking".

The current rate of corporation tax in the UK is 28%, although global banks such as Barclays - which has hundreds of overseas subsidiaries, including many in tax havens - do not generate all of their profits in their domestic market.

Max Lawson, of the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, said: "This is proof that banks live in a parallel universe to the rest of us, paying billions in bonuses and unhampered by the inconvenience of paying tax.

I sent in this LTE in high dudgeon.....

Dear Sir

I noted with interest that Barclays Bank paid just £113m in tax on £11.6bn in profits in 2009

My suggestion to simplify and create a more equitable tax regime for any banks and other financial services firms doing business in or from the UK is to apply a Limited Liability Levy upon their gross revenues, and to dispense with Corporation Tax altogether.

The free limitation of liability enjoyed by investors in banks and financial services firms doing business in or from the UK is a privilege which gives rise to unearned income or gains in the hands of the recipient shareholders and in my view it is always fairer to apply taxes to unearned income than to earned income or profits. To do so would simplify the tax system dramatically; create a pretty much unavoidable levy, and slash the costs of the unproductive - and essentially parasitic - accountants; lawyers; financial engineers and tax specialists who architect the corporate DNA molecules now known as Banks.

Yours sincerely



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 05:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Snap :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 06:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barclays bank forced to admit it paid just £113m in corporation tax in 2009 | Business | The Guardian

Barclays Bank has been forced to admit it paid just £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 - a year when it rang up a record £11.6bn of profits.

The admission stunned politicians and tax campaigners. It was revealed on the eve of a day of protests planned against the high street banks by activists from UK Uncut, a group set up five months ago to oppose government cuts and corporate tax avoidance.

The Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who lobbied Barclays' chief executive, Bob Diamond, to reveal the tax paid by the bank, described the figure - just 1% of its 2009 profits - as "shocking".

The current rate of corporation tax in the UK is 28%, although global banks such as Barclays - which has hundreds of overseas subsidiaries, including many in tax havens - do not generate all of their profits in their domestic market.

Max Lawson, of the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, said: "This is proof that banks live in a parallel universe to the rest of us, paying billions in bonuses and unhampered by the inconvenience of paying tax.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 06:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paul Lewis (paullewismoney) on Twitter
  1. I am sure it is complex - especially if you have 249 subsidiaires in offshore tax havens as Barclays also admitted to MP Chuka Umunna. 1 minute ago via web
    • That's about 1% of its profits compared to Corp Tax rate of 28%. Bank says it's complex with a major international company. 4 minutes ago via web
      • Barclays bank admits to MP it paid just £113m in corporation tax in 2009 on £11,600m of profits http://bit.ly/hLGTaZ.


      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 06:03:37 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Be fair - I'm sure there was at least another £10m paid to lobbyists and politicians.
      by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 07:46:47 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      †WORLD†


      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:02:24 PM EST
      France24 - Gbagbo threatens to nationalise banks as power struggle drags on

      REUTERS - Ivory Coast's incumbent Laurent Gbagbo decreed on Thursday that major banks suspending business in Ivory Coast are to be nationalised, the latest turn in a bitter struggle for political control of the West African state.

      The banking system of the world's top cocoa grower has been heading towards total collapse this week, with virtually all commercial banks shut and others swamped by customers trying to withdraw savings.

      The closures are the consequence of an international sanctions effort to squeeze Gbagbo of funds and force him to stand down after UN-certified results of a Nov. 28 election showed his rival Alassane Ouattara the winner.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:02:35 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Not many banks left there... The strategy of Alassane Ouattara to squeeze Gbago financially is beginning to sink in. Gbago needs to cough up about 100 million dollars per month to keep afloat the army, his gangs of vigilante and his public servants.
      by Nomad on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:27:07 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      BBC Global News (BBCWorld) on Twitter
      Palestinian UN envoy says hopes US won't obstruct Security Council vote due shortly on resolution condemning Jewish settlements


      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:30:08 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      abuaardvark (abuaardvark) on Twitter
      US veto in Security Council is going to hurt it with newly empowered Arab publics, anyone who thinks otherwise deluding selves.


      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 04:59:30 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      MJ Rosenberg (MJayRosenberg) on Twitter
      US alone in veto of resolution on settlements. Conservative govts in France, UK, Germany all voted for resolution. We look like tools.


      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 05:34:24 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Amjad Atallah (AmjadAtallah) on Twitter
      I hear that decision to go ahead was unanimous among PLO and Fateh leadership - despite 50 minute phone call from Obama to Abbas.


      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 05:44:29 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      †LIVING OFF THE PLANET†
      †Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food†


      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:02:50 PM EST
      Flood studies bring climate change lawsuits a step closer | EurActiv

      Two studies were published in the journal Nature on 16 February, using complex computer simulation models to assess the contribution of planet-warming gases to intense precipitation events.

      One paper found that greenhouse gas emissions substantially increased the risks of the autumn 2000 floods in the UK.

      In nine out of ten cases, their model saw the flood risk increased by more than 20%, and in two thirds of cases, the increase was over 90%.  

      Professor Carlo Jaeger of the Potsdam University for Climate Impact Research, who compiled a study linking carbon emissions to the 2003 heatwave in Europe, told EurActiv that the methodology used in the study had "dramatic consequences," even if it was still evolving.

      "It is extremely important that we have a method which enables us to assess fractions of probability, to assess how strongly the dice was loaded because in court, that's actually how liability issues are settled," he said.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:03:00 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Greens target climate change denier Johnny Ball | People in the News | People | The First Post
      The TV presenter Johnny Ball, credited with popularising maths and science among a generation of children in the 1970s to 1990s with TV programmes such as Johnny Ball Reveals All, claims environmentalists have wrecked his career since he began rubbishing the science behind climate change.

      Ball has been stirring controversy on the subject in school talks and college lectures since at least 2007, when an Edinburgh University scientist told the Times Educational Supplement that a lecture he had just given was "a rant in denial of climate change" and said Ball "should not be allowed to explain to children what science is about again".

      Since then, he has become more vocal about his belief that climate change is "bad science", making colourful observations like his one in 2009 that spiders' farts are more harmful greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. That comment, at a lecture in London, led to him being booed off the stage.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:03:15 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Wind and gas lobbyists scuffle over green claims | EurActiv
      The head of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has blown cold air on gas lobby claims that Europe could save €900 billion and still hit its 2050 greenhouse gas reduction targets if it built more gas plants fitted with controversial carbon capture and storage technology.

      "Anybody who claims that Europe could save billions by investing in energy technologies based on gas that nobody knows the future price of is either a clairvoyant or will inevitably be proven wrong by history," Christian Kjaer, the CEO of EWEA, told EurActiv.

      Gas companies have often championed what they say are the environmental benefits of gas. The latest assertions were made in an unpublished study by US management consultancy McKinsey, obtained by the Guardian newspaper.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:03:29 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Oil Giant Gets a Shelling: David Versus Goliath Off the Irish Coast - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

      Amid the choppy waves off Ireland's west coast, Pat "the Chief" O'Donnell steers his small fishing boat into the path of the Solitaire, the largest pipe-laying vessel in the world. Surrounded by Irish Navy ships and police boats, O'Donnell repeatedly refuses to move out of the way -- until the police eventually board his fishing boat and arrest him.

      This David and Goliath scene is part of the dramatic footage in the documentary "The Pipe," which screened earlier this week as part of the 2011 Berlinale film festival. The movie depicts the ongoing opposition to the construction of the Corrib natural gas pipeline off the coast of County Mayo in western Ireland.

      The struggle of the small coastal community of Erris to have the pipeline rerouted away from their homes since the gas reserves were acquired by Royal Dutch Shell in 2002 has attracted little press attention outside of Ireland -- something the documentary aims to change.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:03:39 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Vestas | Wind. It means the world to us. | Vestas signs agreement

      Vestas, the global leader in wind technology, has signed an agreement with WindPlus for the deployment of the first offshore project worldwide integrating a wind turbine with a full-scale semi-submersible floating structure. This is the first time this floating platform technology is being used.

      ...The contract with WindPlus includes delivery, installation and commissioning of a Vestas V80-2.0MW wind turbine for the project, which will be located off the Portuguese coast. Turbine delivery will take place in 2011. Moreover, Vestas will be the technology reference for the project, supporting the integration of the wind turbine and the WindFloat platform.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:03:47 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Germany's Chicken Wars: The Controversial Practices of Poultry Mega-Factories - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

      ndustrialized chicken farming has become a booming business in Germany, delivering hundreds of millions of birds a year to customers around the world. But the methods they use are controversial -- and opposition is growing.

      A turkey chick is fighting its way into life, hatching somewhat more slowly from its shell than the others. Its egg, perhaps, was a little too far from the top.

      ...if they still can't stand up properly, the chicks are placed back into the box. Between the remains of shells, stillborns and ailing chicks, there is another conveyor belt that moves upwards to a ramp. Behind a sheet of Plexiglas, the struggling turkey chick has finally pulled itself completely out of its egg and is peeping as it looks around.

      But it is late. Too late.

      The box is tipped and the chick, together with a pile of eggshells, slides into a grinder. Its life is snuffed out just as it was about to begin.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:04:02 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      †LIVING ON THE PLANET†
      †Society, Culture, History, Information†


      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:04:18 PM EST
      Brussels calls for 'universal' child care | EurActiv

      "Investing in early education and care is one of the best investments we can make for our children - and for Europe's future," said Androulla Vassiliou, EU commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth.

      Vassiliou was speaking yesterday (17 February) to announce the publication of a series of proposals that relate to the education and care of young children.

      The Commission is calling on member states to ensure universal access to pre-school education. It also wants action taken to improve the quality of pre-school provision - for example by ensuring that staff are properly trained.

      IMHO this was one thing the 'communist' countries got right.

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

      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:04:30 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      France24 - Rocket carrying space's heaviest cargo blasts off

      The modified Ariane launcher blasted off at 6.51 pm (2151 GMT) from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on the northeast coast of South America carrying a 20 tonne cargo vessel.

      Over an hour after launch the vessel separated from the rocket, which was followed by a successful deployment of the vessel's solar panels.

      It was the heaviest payload ever launched aboard an Ariane rocket. A first attempt to launch the rocket was scrubbed on Tuesday because of a technical problem

      A note: the Ariane 5 rockets are normally used to lift satellites into high orbits, primarily geostationary orbits for broadcast satellites (36 thousand kilometres up). The ISS is only 350 km above us -- much less energy needed. Thus it is only natural that maximum capacity was higher.

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

      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:04:40 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Three guilty of UK revenge attack on war criminal - Crime, UK - The Independent

      Three murderers were today found guilty of carrying out a revenge attack on a Bosnian-Serb war criminal in a British prison.

      Indrit Krasniqi, 23, Iliyas Khalid, 24, and Quam Ogumbiyi, 29, entered former general Radislav Krstic's cell at top security Wakefield Prison and slashed him with knives or blades in revenge for his role in the killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.

      The Muslim defendants, who are serving life sentences for murder, were cleared of attempted murder by a jury at Leeds Crown Court but convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:04:52 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Johann Hari: Get bishops out of our law-making - Johann Hari, Commentators - The Independent

      Here's a Trivial Pursuit question with an answer that isn't at all trivial. Which two nations still reserve places in their parliaments for unelected religious clerics, who then get an automatic say in writing the laws the country's citizens must obey? The answer is Iran... and Britain.

      In 2011, the laws that bind us all are voted on by 26 Protestant bishops in the House of Lords who say they are there to represent the Will of God. They certainly aren't there to represent the will of the people: 74 per cent of us told a recent ICM poll the bishops should have to stand for election like everybody else if they want to be in parliament. These men use their power to relentlessly fight against equality for women and gay people, and to deny you the right to choose a peaceful and dignified death when the time comes.

      And here's the strangest kicker in this strange story: it looks like the plans being drawn up by Nick Clegg to "modernise" the House of Lords will not listen to the overwhelming majority of us and end these religious privileges. No - they are poised to do the opposite. Sources close to the reform team say they are going to add even more unelected religious figures to parliament. These plans are being drawn up as you read this and will be published soon. The time to fight is today, while we can still sway the agenda.

      Clegg, a liberal?...

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

      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:05:04 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Uefa attacked over £176 ticket for European final - News & Comment, Football - The Independent

      Uefa was last night asked to justify making this season's Champions League final at Wembley the most expensive ever, with cheapest prices of £150 plus a £26 administration fee making a mockery of president Michel Platini's claims that the event is being made more accessible to children.

      The cost of the cheapest general release tickets for the event has almost doubled since the Rome final of 2009, when they cost £80, and is more than three times the £50 minimum for a seat at the 100m finals night at London 2012's new Olympic Stadium - an event lasting over three hours, which also includes long jump and 10,000m finals and 100m semi-finals.



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:05:20 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Daily Kos: UPDATED: The HB Gary Email That Should Concern Us All

      As I  wrote yesterday , there is a leaked email that has gotten surprisingly little attention around here. It's the one where Aaron Barr discusses his intention to post at Daily Kos - presumably something negative about Anonymous, the hacking group. But that's not the email I'm talking about here.

      As I also mentioned yesterday, in some of the emails, HB Gary people are talking about creating "personas", what we would call sockpuppets. This is not new. PR firms have been using fake "people" to promote products and other things for a while now, both online and even in bars and coffee houses.

      But for a defense contractor with ties to the federal government, Hunton & Williams, DOD, NSA, and the CIA -  whose enemies are labor unions, progressive organizations,  journalists, and progressive bloggers,  a persona apparently goes far beyond creating a mere sockpuppet.



      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 09:31:59 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Ah. There are a couple of trolls I can think of...

      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 05:53:39 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Snap

      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 06:08:13 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      †PEOPLE AND KLATSCH†


      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:05:43 PM EST
      Santi Santamaria: Michelin-starred chef who provoked outrage when he attacked the school of 'molecular gastronomy' - Obituaries, News - The Independent

      The Catalan chef, Santi Santamaría, who died of a suspected heart attack in Singapore, was only 53. He was the first Catalan chef to win three Michelin stars for his Barcelona restaurant, Can Fabes, but his fame was eclipsed by the headline-grabbing capacity of his compatriot, Ferran Adrià. The latter is currently the most celebrated chef on the planet; at his El Bulli he has revolutionised cooking, being the foremost exponent of what (for lack of a better expression) is called "molecular gastronomy."

      Santamaría, who seemed to relish controversy, first attacked Adrià in January 2007, at the annual tourist board-sponsored summit meeting called "Madrid Fusion," where he called the molecular cooks "a gang of impostors whose work is to distract snobs." Though he seemed a bit stung by Adrià's growing celebrity (three stars, the cod-title of "best restaurant in the world," a visiting lectureship at Harvard), he kept his keen sense of humour. In his 2007 onslaught, this careful, proud craftsman reminded his audience that even the best meals "end with a good shit."



      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:05:54 PM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Profile: Saint Isidore - the Patron Saint of the Internet - Telegraph
      The patron saint of the internet is widely considered to be Saint Isidore of Seville, a Bishop and scholar, who was nominated for the role by the late Pope John Paul II, although the Vatican has yet to make it official.

      Saint Isidore wrote a 20 book opus Etymologies, also known as the Origins, in which he tried to record everything that was known. Published after his death in 636, it was for a thousand years considered the encyclopedia of all human knowledge.

      Written in simple Latin, it was all a man needed in order to have access to everything he wanted to know about the world but never dared to ask, from the 28 types of common noun to the names of women's outer garments.

      by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 12:36:48 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Well, he sure did not help her much?

      Spanish nun expelled from order over Facebook usage - Telegraph

      A Spanish nun has been kicked out of the religious order where she lived the last 35 years in seclusion after spending too much time on the social networking site Facebook.

      María Jesús Galán, dubbed "Sister Internet" by her fellow nuns, announced on her Facebook page that she had been asked to leave the convent after disagreements over her online activities.

      The 54-year old, who lists her hobbies as "reading, music, art, and making friends" had almost 600 Facebook "friends"at the time of her eviction and now has fan pages with thousands of supporters from around the globe calling for her to be allowed back into the order.

      A computer was first brought onto the premises of the 14th century Santo Domingo el Real convent in Toledo, central Spain 10 years ago after the Mother Superior was persuaded it would lessen the need for nuns to enter the outside world.

      by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 12:38:21 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Now that you know that the patron saint of the internet is St. Isidore (and not St. Bill or St. Al) see how many other questions you can answer in the Guardian's classic "Do you know your patron saints" quiz.
      by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 02:39:47 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      I managed 6 out of 13... if this had been a serious test, I'm sure my score would have been 0.

      *Lunatic*, n.
      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
      by DoDo on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 05:32:42 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Real-World Economics Review blog: What has Krugman been smoking? (Steve Keen, 17 February 2011)
      The conference is being held in Brisbane this year-which, one has to admit, is pretty far west when the continental US is  your frame of reference-but it's apparently not far enough out for Paul Krugman, who has just published a paper in the WEA's journal Economic Inquiry on (drum roll please...):

      THE THEORY OF INTERSTELLAR TRADE

      Krugman is one of the best neoclassicals in general-mainly because his core humanity overrides his unfortunate training in economics-but this one is full bore neoclassical. I hope he's pulling neoclassical legs here-pointing out the nonsense that one can get published in a mainstream journal if one makes neoclassical assumptions-and this is implied by the final line I quote below:

      This article, then, is a serious analysis of a ridiculous subject, which is of course the opposite of what is usual in economics.
      I wonder how many neoclassical economists are going to bite before Paul reveals that they've been had?

      So Paul, please tell me you were sending up neoclassicals when you put this one together and then submitted it to a journal-that it's your version of a Alan Sokal hoax on  neoclassical economics. ...



      Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:16:08 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Krugman:
      The remainder of this article is, will be, or has been, depending on the reader's inertial frame, divided into three sections. Section II develops the basic Einsteinian framework of the analysis. In Section III, this framework is used to analyze interstellar trade in goods.Section IV then considers the role of interstellar capital movements.
      ROFL!

      Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:18:54 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      These complications make the theory of interstellar trade appear at first quite alien to our usual trade models; presumably, it seems equally human to alien trade theorists.
      ROFL2

      Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:24:25 AM EST
      [ Parent ]
      Krugman: Economics: the final frontier (March 11, 2008)
      Thirty years ago I was an oppressed assistant professor, caught up in the academic rat race. To cheer myself up I wrote -- well, see for yourself. Joshua Gans of the University of Melbourne scanned a copy of the thing I wrote -- back then academics did their work with typewriters, abacuses, and stone axes -- and was good enough to send me a copy. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Theory of Interstellar Trade.


      Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:32:06 AM EST
      [ Parent ]


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