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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 30 June

by ceebs Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:23:25 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1859 - Charles Blondin, Crossed Niagara Falls by Tightrope

More here and here

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 EUROPE 



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:33:37 PM EST
BBC News - Greece crisis: MPs approve drastic austerity measures

The Greek parliament has voted in favour of a drastic package of austerity measures intended to save the country from defaulting on its debts.

The proposed tax hikes and spending cuts have been deeply unpopular with the Greek public.

A nationwide 48-hour strike is under way and violent clashes are continuing in the streets of the capital, Athens.

Greece is heavily in debt and the package is needed to win the latest tranche of a 110bn-euro (£98bn) loan.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A scold writes;-

Independent - Iason Athanasiadis - The result of 20 years of corruption, tax evasion and ignoring reality

[....]Today, there is a parallel to that self-destructive behaviour in the blame-game unfolding on Constitution Square as Greeks curse their democratically elected politicians for "lulling" them into two decades of easy credit, soft corruption, tax evasion and overspending.

But they selectively ignore that they consented to an unwritten social pact whereby demonstrably corrupt politicians conjured up a higher level of living in return for no questions asked. But if people didn't know that Greece fiddled statistics to get into the European Union, then over-borrowed to fund the exaggerated lifestyles of corrupt politicians, many knew, perhaps only subconsciously, that foul play was afoot.

Now that the cat's out of the bag, many Greeks have opted for blaming the West for their travails instead of shouldering the blame. Global banks, the International Monetary Fund, Zionism and assorted scarecrows are infinitely preferable targets than facing up to our silent, corroding collusion.
[....]
 Today, although some blame must be apportioned to international institutions for encouraging Greece's addiction to debt, almost no voices ask why Greeks knowingly lived beyond their means.

this sounds like the sensible kid at the teenagers party who talks to the parents about how more mature he is compared with the rabble downstairs. But he isn't, he's still a juvenile who doesn't understand where things went wrong..

He describes a political system where democracy is a sham, where rich connected people take advantage of a system that is their creation and entirely theirs to control. The rest of the country have no real say and simply get to change who controls the small trickle of largesse which flows down to the rest of the country.

It sounds exactly like the US. Increasingly it sounds like the UK. A plutocracy is not a democracy; voting has to have the power to change things for a democratic mandate to be meaningful. Instead it is oligarchy, one step from feudalism.

I didn't break Britain, The City, aided and abetted by a self-selecting political class, did. The American people didn't break America, Wall St, aided and abetted by a plutocratic political class, did.

And the Grecian people did not break Greece. This is just victim blaming.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:43:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the Greeks have been moved out of the West now?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:45:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, The West was always a relative term, not a geo-political entity.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 08:57:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know. In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek isn't sure it applies to France, and is sure that Germany is outside the West.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And where is Ireland?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:02:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For Hayek? Don't remember it being important enough to mention.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:14:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, The West was always a relative term, not a geographical-political entity.
Geopolitics is relative.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a common attitude among Greeks who made it. often you hear Greek-Americans heaping scorn on the louts back in the old country. Tina Fey on SNL let loose and blasted Greeks (in Greek!) on live national television. "I've got mine--what's wrong with you?"
by Upstate NY on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:31:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Bail suspects 'could be released'

Police are urgently reviewing the cases of thousands of suspects after a court ruling restricted their powers to bail them for further questioning.

The ruling - in a case involving Greater Manchester Police - means that suspects can be released on police bail for no more than 96 hours (four days).

At present, suspects can be released on bail pending further inquiries for weeks, or even months, in some cases.

Home Secretary Theresa May said it was a matter of "great concern".

The fresh guidance to police custody officers in England and Wales followed a ruling in the Hookway case by Mr Justice McCombe in the High Court in May.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:04:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Strikes among public sector workers begin

Some civil servants have begun industrial action as part of a strike involving hundreds of thousands in protest at changes to their pensions.

Some UK Border Agency staff began strike action at 1800 BST.

About 600,000 teachers and civil servants are striking on Thursday over planned pension changes they say will mean working longer and paying more.

Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs it was unfair of the strikers to cause problems for everyone.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:05:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Public sector workers to start mass strike over pensions | Politics | The Guardian

The coalition government faces the first industrial uprising against its austerity measures today as up to 750,000 public servants strike over planned changes to their pensions.

A third of schools are expected to close and two-thirds of universities have cancelled lectures. Benefits will go unpaid, court cases will be postponed, police leave has been cancelled in London and airports are bracing themselves for backlogs at immigration.

Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services union, said it was the most important strike in his union's history. "Everything we have ever worked for is under attack," he added.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:10:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent Indy front-page compares different pension pots | Liberal Conspiracy

On the day of one of the biggest public-sector strikes for decades, the Indy has this awesome front page.

All credit to them for pointing this out.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:34:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All credit to the Independent for reading the Guardian the day before more like.

Yes, they front-paged it and fleshed it out, but it's essentially the same story. My annoyance was the Mary Bousted, teachers union leader, should have know these figures before she faced that pipsqueak Tory.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:54:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Six Moldovan 'uranium smugglers' arrested

Moldovan police have arrested six people suspected of trying to smuggle a type of uranium that can be used in nuclear arms to an African country.

The suspects were trying to sell more than 1kg (2.2lb) of uranium-235, with a value of at least $20m (14m euros; £12m), an official said.

Four of those detained are Moldovan, and at least one is from the breakaway Trans-Dniester region.

Police seized 1.8kg of uranium-238 in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, last year.

Uranium-238 is the most commonly found, naturally occurring form of the substance.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:07:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rendition row: Handing over prisoners 'appropriate and lawful' - government | Law | guardian.co.uk

British intelligence officers who question prisoners at risk of torture while in the hands of foreign governments are committing no offence, lawyers for the government have argued at the high court.

Only if they "know or believe" that torture will take place as a result of their actions could they face criminal liability, according to a legal defence of instructions under which MI5 and MI6 officers operate. In some circumstances, the high court has been told, the government believes it may be "both appropriate and lawful" for ministers to tell the intelligence agencies they can interrogate a prisoner, or hand over questions to be put to them, while there is a serious risk that that person is being tortured.

The claims were made as the government defends itself against allegations that the instructions it issues to British intelligence officers attempting to obtain information from prisoners held by countries with poor human rights records are unlawful. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission is challenging the instructions on the grounds that they expose prisoners held in some countries to the risk of torture, and that the British government and individual intelligence officers would be criminally liable.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloody pettifogging scumbags.

Did they call for a bowl of water before pronouncing ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:55:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Baroin to replace Lagarde as finance minister - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

AP - France has named Francois Baroin as new finance minister to replace Christine Lagarde, who takes the top job at the International Monetary Fund next week.

Baroin, who is currently budget minister, inherits the task of working with other European finance ministers to find a solution to the debt crisis afflicting the eurozone.

Baroin, 46, has long been considered a loyalist of former President Jacques Chirac. In the budget ministry for little over a year, he has not had time to make a major mark. He helped pilot a reform of France's wealth tax in a bid to appease his conservative UMP's party wealthier electorate.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Queen's award for Bahraini king a 'misunderstanding'

The royal family's decision to award the king of Bahrain with the second highest royal order this February will hopefully not be repeated after it was decided that the government must be consulted prior to future awards.

The Grand Cross of Dannebrog was given to King Khalifa a month before a brutal crackdown on pro democracy demonstrators in the Gulf oil state, assisted by Saudi security forces.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:18:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Greece votes not to default this summer
Greek parliament votes 155 to 138 for austerity package, and is expected to approve implementation bill today;financial markets still expect Greece to default eventually, amid doubts that the government will implement the programme;the additional annual burden for an average Greek family will be in the order of one month's salary;violent protests erupted in the centre of Athens after the vote;Michael Martens argues that Greece is going to remain a limited democracy for some time to come;central banks extend dollar swap lines as an insurance policy in case of a Greek default;Jürgen Stark tells Die Zeit that any Brady-plan element in a rollover package would contravene the Art.125 TFEU;Germany may include longer-dating Greek debt instruments in the rollover package;Merkel and Ackermann clash over the pretence of a "voluntary" rollover;the Italian cabinet is due to pass a €47bn four-year austerity plan, with most of the savings earmarked for the time after the next elections;Nicolas Sarkozy appoints budget minister Francois Baroin as France's new finance minister;a French legal commission will decide on July 8 whether the Christine Lagarde will be prosecuted;Le Monde calls on Lagarde to emancipate herself from Sarkozy;Patrick Welter criticises the direction the IMF had taken under DSK;the European Commission, meanwhile, proposes a 1% sales tax and a financial transaction levy to boost its own resources.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Briefing Long Version

Commission proposes EU tax in its budget frame work

All European newspapers report on the Commission's proposal to introduce a 1% sales tax and a levy on financial transactions as part of plans to boost its seven-year budget to almost €1 trillion. The proposed new taxes are designed to reduce the amount EU governments must pay to Brussels, the Commission said, while increasing the block's budget by about 5% to more than €970bn between 2014 and 2020.

This is only slightly revolutionary. I never thought I'd live to see the day. Of course some bastard will shoot it down... but it's nice to see Serious people say sensible things from time to time.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:52:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Briefing Long Version

Commission proposes EU tax in its budget frame work

All European newspapers report on the Commission's proposal to introduce a 1% sales tax and a levy on financial transactions as part of plans to boost its seven-year budget to almost €1 trillion. The proposed new taxes are designed to reduce the amount EU governments must pay to Brussels, the Commission said, while increasing the block's budget by about 5% to more than €970bn between 2014 and 2020.

This is only slightly revolutionary. I never thought I'd live to see the day. Of course some bastard will shoot it down... but it's nice to see Serious people say sensible things from time to time.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:53:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:34:16 PM EST
BBC News - LSE and TMX abandon £2.3bn merger plan

The London and Toronto stock exchanges have scrapped plans for a C$3.6bn (£2.3bn) merger because it was unlikely to win enough shareholder votes.

TMX, which owns the Toronto exchange, said that based on votes already cast, the required two-thirds shareholder support was unlikely to be met.

The LSE said in a statement that its shareholders overwhelmingly backed a merger, based on votes already cast.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What will happen if US misses Debt payments? | zero hedge

Reuters reports; The United States would immediately have its top-notch credit rating slashed to "selective default" if it misses a debt payment on August 4, Standard & Poor's managing director John Chambers told Reuters.

Chambers, who is also the chairman of S&P's sovereign ratings committee, told Reuters on Tuesday that U.S. Treasury bills maturing on August 4 would be rated `D' if the government fails to honor them. Unaffected Treasuries would be downgraded as well, but not as sharply, he said.

"If the U.S. government misses a payment, it goes to D," Chambers said. "That would happen right after August 4, when the bills mature, because they don't have a grace period."

Fears of a technical default have been rising after budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans fell apart in Washington earlier this week. Even a brief default by the United States would immediately increase the country's borrowing costs, weighing on the fragile economic recovery and eroding the dollar's status as a reserve currency.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 07:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The dems will fold, the people will be screwed again, there will be no default. It's all bullshit. Even a financial idiot like myself can see through this one.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:44:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A99 #OpESR RICO Class Action Lawsuit Against the Federal ReserveAnonymous |  zero hedge

"Hello American People,

This is a message from Anonymous to you.

We cordially invite any and all, Anonymous and non-anons, to join OpESR in demanding Federal Reserve accountability.

We are crafting a class action lawsuit against the Fed.

....

This is a class action lawsuit against the private Federal Reserve Bank and it's shareholders.

It falls under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act of 1970 for criminal acts of Fraud, Usury, Conspiracy to commit Grand Larceny and Theft by Deception, and for systematically looting the Treasury of The United States of America for a total that has yet to be determined.

For nearly 100 years, The Federal Reserve Bank has debased and debauched our currency by illegally authorizing an ODIOUS DEBT to be encumbered by our citizens without their knowledge, or in any way for their collective benefit.

The Fed, allowed Banks to defraud the American public, so as to leave them living like refugees in their own land. This ruthless cabal now has the temerity to pass off this ODIOUS DEBT to the American people, thereby destroying not only our future, but Americas' ability to be a free, sovereign nation.

They cite a duty to oppose all enemies, foreign and domestic, but I believe that is part of the oath that members of the military and public elected officials take. I suppose that would be the basis for further suits against elected office holders for dereliction of duty.  :-)

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nihilists shouldn't attempt nuanced politics; they're really not very good at it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The seams are definitely showing, as is their general libertarian slant, but at least they are trying. If they can bring more awareness of the bought and paid for nature of our legislative, executive and judicial systems that will be a plus.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:34:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see the libertarian slant. At least not in this post.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:04:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The line about the Federal reserve looting the US for the last 100 years is a classical libertarian critique

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:43:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As is the citing of the sworn duty to protect the  constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. But who is to say that libertarians cannot have valid points. And they are the largest group that seriously opposes the current bankster oligopoly.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:34:39 PM EST
Nic Robertson (NicRobertsonCNN) on Twitter
Yemen's interim Pres, Vice Pres Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi, gives CNN hour long interview, his first w/a western TV network goo.gl/3RQ1H

(1) Nic Robertson (NicRobertsonCNN) on Twitter

Hadi says security deteriorating throughout Yemen & government has lost control over 5 provnces in the south


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Riyadh will build nuclear weapons if Iran gets them, Saudi prince warns | World news | The Guardian

A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device "would compel Saudi Arabia ... to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences".

He did not state explicitly what these policies would be, but a senior official in Riyadh who is close to the prince said yesterday his message was clear.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:09:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cairo street clashes leave more than 1,000 injured | World news | The Guardian

The fiercest street fighting seen in central Cairo since the fall of Hosni Mubarak has left more than 1,000 people injured, as popular dissatisfaction with the military-led transitional government boiled over into violence.

In what analysts have labelled a "critical turning point" in Egypt's ongoing revolution, several thousand people clashed with heavily armed riot police in and around Tahrir Square on Tuesday night, leading to dozens of arrests.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces blamed "sedition" for the unrest and vowed to hunt down those responsible. Throughout Tuesday night and yesterday morning protesters chanted demands for the resignation of Egypt's de facto leader, Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, as security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:11:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The military are our friends." Yeah, right.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:50:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French journalists freed in Afghanistan | World news | The Guardian

Two French television journalists held hostage in Afghanistan since December 2009 have been freed, the Elysée Palace has confirmed.

Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier of the state TV channel France 3 were kidnapped with three Afghan associates in the mountains of Kapisa, east of Kabul, while working on a documentary about the protection and reconstruction of a road near the Pakistan border.

Held for 18 months by the Taliban, their detention was the longest hostage saga involving French journalists since the 1980s Lebanon hostage crisis. Ghesquière, 47, and Taponier, 46, a cameraman, are experienced war journalists whose work had ranged from the Balkans conflict and Western Sahara to Afghanistan.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:13:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Senate passes resolution threatening to suspend aid to Palestinians - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

The United States Senate has passed a resolution threatening to suspend financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority if its leaders "persist in efforts to circumvent direct negotiations by turning to the United Nations or other international bodies," and called on U.S. President Barack Obama to veto a UN vote on unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

"Palestinian efforts to gain recognition of a state outside direct negotiations demonstrates absence of a good faith commitment to peace negotiations, and will have implications for continued United States aid," the resolution declares.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hahahaha, that's funny.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:59:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaza flotilla begins to form as first ship heads toward maritime meeting point - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

One ship participating in the flotilla to Gaza has already set sail toward the flotilla's scheduled meeting place in international waters.

The French ship "Dignity" does not intend on anchoring before reaching the meeting point at sea, but it is still unclear how long it will be waiting for the rest of the ships, some of which were said to be sabotaged.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:14:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French military air-dropped arms to Libya rebels - FRANCE - LIBYA - FRANCE 24

The French military confirmed Wednesday that it had air dropped "light weapons" earlier this month to Libyan rebels fighting Moamer Kadhafi's forces in the highlands south of Tripoli.

Earlier, the Le Figaro newspaper and a well-placed non-government source had said that France had dropped several tonnes of arms including Milan anti-tank rockets and light armoured vehicles to the revolt.

But Colonel Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French general staff, told AFP that the shipments were essentially light arms such as assault rifles to help civilian communities protect themselves from regime troops.

Burkhard said France had become aware in early June that rebel-held Berber villages in the Djebel Nafusa highland region south of the capital had come under pressure from the Libyan strongman's loyalist forces.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya rebels seize Kadafi arms depot

Reporting from Ghaaa military base, Libya--  Nothing but a flimsy barbed wire fence surrounds a massive arsenal of ammunition and weapons stockpiled here in the desert by Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi.

No further fortifications were necessary. Until it was seized and pillaged by rebels Tuesday, local people were too terrified of Kadafi's wrath to come anywhere near it.

"There was no need even for the barbed wire," said Mostafa Mohammad, a scholar in Britain who returned to his hometown of Zintan, about 15 miles to the north, after the uprising against Kadafi's rule began in February.

He was among hundreds of rebel fighters and onlookers from all parts of the opposition-held Nafusa mountain range visiting the military base after a quick battle that killed at least two opposition fighters and sent dozens of government soldiers fleeing.

....

Though a lot of ammunition was stored at the site, there were few guns to fire it. Some said that was a result of Kadafi's mistrust of even his closest aides. "He's got missile parts everywhere, but no full missiles and rockets anywhere," said Dhaer Abdul Ali, a Ministry of Justice employee who has joined the rebels. "This makes it harder for us to use the weapons, but also harder for him to use them."



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 10:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Pan-American Post: Nearly three years after the controversial "Operation Jaque," in which the Colombian military posed as humanitarian workers in order to rescue French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three American hostages (potentially violating the Geneva conventions in the process), new reports have emerged that question the official narrative of events. In a new documentary which has sparked a firestorm in the country, journalist Gonzalo Guillen claims the Colombian government actually paid the FARC millions of dollars for the prisoners' release.

MercoPress: Argentina's organized labour, picket organizations and social groups that have played a crucial role in support of the two Kirchner presidencies (2003/2011) are discontent, and growingly vocal, about their disappointment with President Cristina Fernandez lists of candidates to legislative and provincial posts in the coming October general election.

Guatemala: During the debate, both Perez Molina and Torres agreed that they would be open to allowing US troops to operate in the country in order to reduce drug trafficking and organized crime. Torres went so far as to say locating US military bases in Guatemala. She also said that now would be a good opportunity because the US is in the process of removing its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Perez Molina, while open to additional US troops, reiterated that Guatemala shouldn't expect other countries to fight its battles.

Bolivia: According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Bolivia holds 5.4 million tons of lithium, more than half of the world's reserves.  It is these reserves, valued at USD 1.1 trillion that hold the potential to transform South America's poorest nation into the next Saudi Arabia.

Learning to Live Without Hugo: Venezuelans are trying to learn to survive without the presence of President Hugo Chavez. Everyone misses him; the Bolivarians [government supporters] and the opposition, equally. Because politics in Venezuela has revolved around him for the last thirteen years. While Chavez is still in Cuba after undergoing surgery for a pelvic abscess and without a publicly known precise diagnosis.

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) -- The first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season gained force as it headed for Mexico's central Gulf coast Wednesday, bringing a threat of floods and mudslides.

Weekly round-up by Americas Society.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 08:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: France defends arms airlift to Libyan rebels (June 30, 2011)
France said it did not break a U.N. arms embargo by airlifting weapons to Libya's rebels because the arms were needed to defend civilians under threat.

...

Citing unnamed sources, Le Figaro newspaper said France had parachuted rocket launchers, assault rifles, machineguns and anti-tank missiles into the Western Mountains in early June.

A French military spokesman confirmed delivery of arms, prompting some U.N. diplomats to argue that such transfers without the consent of the Security Council's Libya sanctions committee could violate the embargo.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 05:59:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From The Economist
GOOD news from Iran is rare, and the IMF is seldom a font of happy tidings about anything. So when a mission from the Fund cheered the Islamic Republic's economy earlier this month, heaping praise on the policies of its ruthless government, eyebrows spiked upwards as in a comic scene in a Persian miniature. The shock was even sharper given that the IMF, whose biggest shareholder happens to be the Great Satan, America, is a pillar of global capitalism, a system that Iran's maverick president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gleefully lambasts as evil.

Yet the IMF's upbeat pronouncement, in a brief press release (a fuller report is forthcoming) following annual consultations in Tehran, has some justification. This is not because Iran's economy is performing brilliantly. Whereas other big oil exporters have boomed on the back of high prices, Iran has grown sluggishly, nudging upwards only last year to 3.5%. That is not enough to dent a rising unemployment rate, which is now close to 15%.

The reason for the praise is Iran's exemplary execution of a task dear to the IMF's heart: structural reform. The Islamic Republic describes things differently. Speaking on the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian new year in March, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared this to be the "year of economic jihad". Whatever its name, the sweeping reform of a ruinous, three-decade-old system of state subsidies that Iran began last December seems to be radically reshaping the country's economy for the better.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 08:32:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TPM
The Federal Election Commission gets it -- Stephen Colbert is punking them. But the FEC treated the Comedy Central host's request for an advisory opinion like anyone else, and on Thursday granted him the ability to form a "super PAC."

Their ruling allows his parent company Viacom to pay for most of their "coverage" of Colbert Super PAC's activities under a press exemption without having to disclose such expenditures as in-kind donations.

[...]

Campaign finance reform groups opposed Colbert's motion because they said it would allow other media companies and politicians who have their own programs to promote their political action committees under the guise of a media exemption.

As though Fox News would never have thought of this otherwise.
Colbert said he didn't know what he'd be doing with his unrestricted "super PAC" money, but said people should give him cash so they could find out.

"I don't know about you, but I do not accept limits on my free speech," Colbert said. "I don't know about you, but I do not accept the status quo. But I do accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. $50 or less please, because then I don't have to keep a record of who gave it to me."

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:10:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brilliant.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A followup
Turns out that Stephen Colbert's "Super PAC" won't be called "Colbert Super PAC" after all.

Instead, according to paperwork Colbert filed in person with the Federal Election Commission in person yesterday, the "Super PAC" will go by "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow."

[...]

Once supporters give their email to "Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," they get a follow-up email from Colbert addressing them as "{VALUE=FIRSTNAME} {VALUE=LASTNAME}" in which he writes he "wanted to take a moment to personally express my {VALUE=ADJECTIVE} thanks for signing up for Colbert Super PAC."

[...]

The paperwork indicates that the treasurer of the group is Sal Purpura, who according to an online bio serves as treasurer of Sen. John McCain's Country First PAC and previously served on McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 05:54:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:35:15 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
Nearly 80 percent of Japanese municipalities with nuclear power plants have expressed caution about resuming operations of suspended reactors.

NHK asked 29 such municipalities except those in Fukushima Prefecture whether they would allow such resumptions. 28 responded.

5 municipalities said they would not do so for the time being, while 17 others said they cannot decide now.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:58:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has replaced its spokesperson over a scandal that was reported in the press.

Hidehiko Nishiyama had held daily media briefings since the troubles began at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March.

Nishiyama was reprimanded by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda last Thursday, the day the scandal surfaced in a weekly magazine.
Kaieda told Nishiyama the report gives the impression that he hasn't been concentrating on his job.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:59:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Shareholders of the Tohoku Electric Power Company in northeastern Japan have voted down a proposal to abandon nuclear power generation.

The vote was held at a meeting of about 1,300 of the utility's shareholders in Sendai City of Miyagi Prefecture on Wednesday.

A group of shareholders proposed having the firm's rules stipulate its withdrawal from nuclear power generation. The proposal was voted down by a majority.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:59:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Los Alamos nuclear laboratory threatened by wildfire | World news | guardian.co.uk

A wildfire has advanced on the Los Alamos laboratory and thousands of outdoor drums of plutonium-contaminated waste as authorities step up efforts to protect the site and monitor the air for radiation.

Officials at the premier US nuclear-weapons lab - the desert birthplace of the atomic bomb - gave assurances that dangerous materials were safely stored and capable of withstanding flames from the 95 sq mile fire, which at one point was as close as 50 feet (15 metres) to the grounds.

A small patch of land at the laboratory caught fire on Monday before firefighters quickly put it out. Teams were on alert to pounce on any new blazes and spent the day removing brush and low-hanging tree limbs from the lab's perimeter.

"We are throwing absolutely everything at this that we got," New Mexico Democratic senator Tom Udall said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:11:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... thousands of outdoor drums of plutonium-contaminated waste ...

What could possibly go wrong? They should promote the guy who came up with this one ... upper management material if I ever saw it.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:54:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Climate change arguments incite 'weird religiosity', says Greg Barker | Environment | The Guardian

Hardliners on opposing sides in the battle over climate change are guilty of a weird "religiosity" which hinders a sensible debate, energy minister Greg Barker has said.

In a Guardian interview, Barker said sceptics were failing to accept the "broad base" of scientific opinion, while climate change campaigners could be guilty of behaving in an arrogant manner.

Amid frustration in Whitehall at the tone of the debate, Barker said: "If you look at the extremes of the climate debate, whether it is the extreme climate sceptics or the extreme climate zealots, there is a slight religiosity there which is weird."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Behaving in an arrogant manner" worse than "ignoring scientific evidence of collapse of civilization."
by asdf on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
¨Zealots¨ worse than ¨sceptics.¨
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 04:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Slight? Hah.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Weird?

These people don't understand how narratives operate?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A bad case of Fox "both sides are just as bad as each other" false equivalence

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 08:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who watches FOX other than the bloated wealthy and complete idiots?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show | Environment | guardian.co.uk

One of the world's most prominent scientific figures to be sceptical about climate change has admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies.

Dr Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, is known for his view that global warming and the melting of the arctic sea ice is caused by solar variation rather than human-caused CO2 emissions, and that polar bears are not primarily threatened by climate change.

But according to a Greenpeace US investigation, he has been heavily funded by coal and oil industry interests since 2001, receiving money from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Insitute and Koch Industries along with Southern, one of the world's largest coal-burning utility companies. Since 2002, it is alleged, every new grant he has received has been from either oil or coal interests.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:36:01 PM EST
Oxford Comma Dropped by a University of Oxford Style Guide - GalleyCat

A University of Oxford Writing and Style Guide has decided that writers should, "as a general rule," avoid using the Oxford comma. Will you miss the good old fashioned serial comma?

Here's an explanation from the style guide: "As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma: so write `a, b and c' not `a, b, and c'. But when a comma would assist in the meaning of the sentence or helps to resolve ambiguity, it can be used - especially where one of the items in the list is already joined by `and' [for example]:  They had a choice between croissants, bacon and eggs, and muesli."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of the end of civilization, this ridiculous change to the comma rules is probably going to lead to the acceptance of split infinitives and of end-of-sentence prepositions. But it doesn't matter, I suppose, because Johnny can't write longhand any more anyway.

Seriously, I give up.

by asdf on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:21:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Noooooooooooo,!
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 04:57:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 05:38:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - R.I.P. Cheque guarantee cards

Cheque guarantee cards, those symbols of a simpler time when the written word was mightier than the Pin number, have checked out. They have been bounced into the after-life because not enough people used them in this life.

The cheque guarantee card had been unwell for some time and the writing was, not on the back of a cheque, but on the wall.

The date of its departure, Thursday 30 June, will be particularly felt by students who once relied on the old faithful to buy pizzas from less-than-impressed delivery drivers or portions of fries from nonplussed guardians of McDonald's.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - MySpace sold to Specific Media by Murdoch's News Corp

News Corporation has sold its ailing social networking site MySpace to online advertising firm Specific Media.

News Corp paid $580m (£361m) for MySpace in 2005, but users and advertisers left the site for rival social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The sale terms were not disclosed, but there were unconfirmed reports that price paid was as low as $35m.

Specific Media said: "We look forward to combining our platforms to drive the next generation of digital innovation."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:07:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The start of the collapse of News Corp. One hopes.
by asdf on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:23:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German teachers campaign to simplify handwriting in schools | World news | The Guardian

It has long been a painful rite of passage for German schoolchildren - learning "die Schreibschrift", a fiddly form of joined-up handwriting all pupils are expected to have mastered by the time they leave primary school.

But now, many German teachers have had enough, insisting it is a waste of time to force children to learn a cursive script when they have already learned to print letters at kindergarten. Furthermore, they say, the joined-up handwriting is often illegible.

The national primary schoolteachers' union has started a campaign to abolish compulsory teaching of Schreibschrift. "It's completely unnecessary, a deadweight tradition," according to the union's deputy chairman, Ulrich Hecker.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"...many German teachers have had enough, insisting it is a waste of time to force children to learn a cursive script when they have already learned to print letters at kindergarten. Furthermore, they say, the joined-up handwriting is often illegible."

Seems like an admission of incompetence on the part of the teachers, no? Since they are unable to teach the kids how to write longhand, they now say that longhand is not required.

by asdf on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they're concerned about a  particular traditional variation of longhand.

On the other hand, I don't write anything any more. I scribbled down two numbers yesterday, but even that is unusual.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:42:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I predict upper class children will still learn it and a handwritten letter will become a requirement for employment applications.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:48:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Teachers cannot teach cursive.  They can give a class the needed techniques and that's it. Cursive is 'self-taught' through hundreds to thousands of hours of practice, practice, practice.  Before typewriters (showing my age) and word processing programs they got the practice because they had to.  Now they don't.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno. I learned to write in the steam powered days before this new-fangled electrickery, and all I can say is Dog, in all her infinite mercy, couldn't lift my hand-writing from the uttermost depths of illegibility.

Cursive or otherwise

Even I struggle to read it, let alone anyone else.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 01:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three possible explanations:

  1.  You need to slow down and accept the fact cursive takes the time it takes

  2.  You haven't spent enough time practicing

  3.  Karmic influences from a former life are impelling you to try to write in Japanese


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 01:42:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:36:28 PM EST
Mild tsunami strikes Cornish coast, shifting water levels 'in a flash' | Environment | guardian.co.uk

An underwater landslide is thought to have caused a small tsunami that sent holidaymakers and anglers scattering in Cornwall. Witnesses reported the sea being sucked out, or receding, before a wave struck the coast on Monday morning.

No damage was caused by the wave, thought to have been about 40cm (16in) high and causing a surge up to 90cm (3ft) by the time the seawater pushed into the Yealm estuary, 70 miles up the coast near Plymouth, Devon, but many people, along the south coast, up to Hampshire, were left baffled by the phenomenon.

There were reports that static electricity in the air at the time made people's hair stand on end.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amanda Knox DNA evidence contaminated, appeal court hears | World news | The Guardian

The appeal by Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito against their conviction for the killing of the British student Meredith Kercher took a significant turn yesterday when independent, court-appointed experts dismissed as unreliable forensic evidence crucial to the prosecution case.

Two Rome University professors said there was no certainty that traces of DNA, found on a knife allegedly used in the murder, belonged to Kercher.
They added that a trace of Sollecito's DNA on Kercher's bra clip, the vital piece of evidence linking him to the murder scene, could have got there by contamination, as the defence team said at the trial.

The DNA traces on the knife, which were discovered by police in Sollecito's kitchen, appeared "unreliable in as much as [they were] not supported by scientifically validated analytic procedures", the experts' report said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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