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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 16 November

by afew Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:00:09 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1849 – A Russian court sentences Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for anti-government activities linked to a radical intellectual group; he later undergoes a mock execution before being sent to four years' hard labour in Siberia.

More here and here

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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 11:49:21 AM EST
Merkel urges quick decision on Greece, rejects haircut | Reuters

(Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged European finance ministers to come up with a quick solution for Greece's strained finances but rejected the idea that governments might accept losses on loans already given to Athens.

"I hope that the time is near when we can reach the solution that is needed," Merkel said when asked about Greece at a joint news conference with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

"Of course we did not talk about debt haircuts, you know our view and that has not changed, nor should it," she said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brussels urges EU countries to stop energy market `distortions' | EurActiv

EU countries must do away with the distorting influence of state intervention and step up efforts to implement internal energy market rules, which could save consumers an estimated €13 billion a year, says a report by the European Commission released Thursday (15 November).

The EU executive wants member countries to phase out regulated electricity and gas prices, which it says discourage companies from exploring cheaper, more efficient options and other companies from entering the market.

The resulting lack of competition prevents the consumer from getting the best deal, said the report. Subsidies on gas and electricity prices also generate debts, which then fall back on taxpayers, it said. The report found that a total of 18 EU countries currently regulated retail energy prices.

The Commission says that EU consumers could save billions if they switch to the cheapest tariff available, but only one third of customers actually compare tariffs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 02:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to burn more Russian and North African gas, urgently. And import more coal from the US.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see they are talking exclusively about retail markets. Ho hum.

I dunno, does anyone have a thoughtful analysis on this subject? Sort of seems like fiddling while Rome burns. Sure there are various cross-subsidies in different markets, but no amount of level-playing-fieldism is actually going to reduce the cost of energy.

I suspect that eliminating most of the retailers would result in a gain in efficiency, because of all the wasteful duplication in bureaucracy, billing systems etc. Other than that...

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

by eurogreen on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:55:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / New EU budget draft seeks cuts in farm aid, cohesion

BERLIN - New member states and France are set to lose most from a fresh EU budget proposal slashing €75 billion from proposed 2014-2020 spending, but Britain still wants more cuts or it will veto the deal at a summit next week.

Drafted by EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy, the new "negotiating box" seeks cuts in almost all areas, with farm subsidies - which France benefits from the most - slashed by €21.5 billion compared to the initial EU commission proposal of €1 trillion overall for the seven-year period.

Funds for infrastructure and enterprises to help eastern member states to catch up with the West - so-called cohesion policy - is also set to receive €17 billion less than planned.

Neither French nor Polish diplomats were happy about the draft.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 02:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Budget deal unlikely before spring 2013, expert says
BERLIN - Acrimonious EU budget talks are part of a "choreography" which makes it improbable that a deal can be reached before February or March next year, a German expert has said.

"I don't think we will have a deal at the [EU] summit next week [22 November]. It is part of the game for [British PM] Cameron to go back to London and say he fought like a lion. But there will be a deal in February or March," Peter Becker, an expert with the Berlin-based think tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik told this website.

Becker has studied previous negotiations for the seven-year EU budget and found that they all followed the same pattern where at least two summits are needed for leaders to agree on a budget.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 02:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Davey fight like a lion? I'll grant a terrier at most. Probably a pug.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 06:19:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pourquoi Ayrault a piqué une colère contre le projet de budget européen - francetv infoWhy Ayrault threw a fit against the draft EU budget - francetv info
Cette fois, c'est la guerre. Le projet de compromis sur le budget 2014-2020 dévoilé mercredi 14 novembre (et disponible sur le site Euractiv) a déclenché la colère de Jean-Marc Ayrault jeudi. Sur les 1 000 milliards d'euros de dotation sur sept ans, le texte prévoit d'amputer 75 milliards, en s'attaquant notamment aux aides agricoles. Le Premier ministre a réagi par un communiqué (pdf) dans lequel il juge que ce texte ne "constitue en aucun cas une base de négociation acceptable par la France".This time it's war. The proposed compromise on the 2014-2020 budget unveiled Wednesday, November 14 (and available on the Euractiv website) angered Jean-Marc Ayrault on Thursday. Of the 1 trillion euro endowment over seven years, the text provides to cut 75 billion, particularly by attacking agricultural subsidies. The Prime Minister responded by a statement(pdf) in which he considers that this text "is by no means an acceptable basis for negotiation with France" .
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:06:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Business group leader hits out over EU-wide austerity protests: theparliament.com
The leader of a pan-European business organisation has hit out at the series of stoppages taking place throughout Europe on Wednesday.

Workers across the EU are staging a series of protests and strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures.

Organisers of the strikes are urging national leaders to abandon austerity and address growing social concerns.

The strikes were called by the Brussels-based European trade union confederation (ETUC).

Judith Kirton-Darling, from ETUC, said that austerity was not working.

"It's increasing inequalities, it's increasing the social instability in society and it's not resolving the economic crisis," she said.

Some 40 groups from 23 countries are involved in Wednesday's demonstrations.

However, Philippe de Buck, director general of BusinessEurope, which represents businesses at the EU level, was partly critical of the strikes and demonstrations promoted by ETUC.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 02:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The leader of a pan-European business organisation ...

If this guy is bitchin' you know you're doing the right thing.  Keep it up!

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 Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / German economy feels chill of eurozone recession

BERLIN - Germany's economic growth has slowed to a meagre 0.2 percent, as most other eurozone countries are in recession and austerity measures are taking their toll on German exports to southern countries.

The eurozone's overall economy shrank by 0.1 percent compared to the previous three months, the bloc's statistical office (Eurostat) reported on Thursday (15 November). The 17-nation area had already slipped into recession over the summer, with Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and the Netherlands continuing the negative trend.

France rebounded to 0.2 percent growth compared to stagnation and recession in the previous quarters, and so did Finland and Estonia. The tiny Baltic state boasted a 1.7 percent growth rate, the highest in the eurozone.

Germany's economy meanwhile has slowed from 0.5 percent growth in the first quarter to 0.3 percent in the second and 0.2 in the third, with the country's central bank warning of stagnation and even recession in the months to come.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 02:52:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The german economy is slowing ??? I think that calls for a dose of..... austerity

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:39:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, with reform ice and and a twist of competitiveness peel.

the quicker you drink, the growthier your economy gets!

won't taste so bad if you hold your nose, curl into the fetal position and think good thoughts.

or fill out another job app... thw bootstraps came off you pulled so hard?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:38:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As predicted

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 12:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Metal, steel industries warn EU efficiency laws could force them out of Europe | EurActiv

Steelmakers and other metals industries fear that limits the EU is considering imposing on the amount of natural resources they use will push them out of Europe, where environmental regulations are less stringent.

The European Commission plans to decouple economic growth from natural resource use may sound like common sense.

Companies that use less energy, water or land generate less waste per unit of revenue and tend to produce higher investment returns than others, according to a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review.

The Commission's Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, adopted in September 2011, suggested introducing indicators and targets across the 27-nation bloc.

Although the targets are not obligatory for the private sector, like CO2 emissions targets, the Commission believes that measuring performance will be sufficient to drive the transition to a resource-efficient economy.

William Neale, in charge of resource efficiency at the European Commission, says that indicators give a "clear signal" to industries where they need to invest in order to make it easier to shift to an economy where growth is de-coupled from resource use.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 02:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fine, but we should have import tariffs equivalent to their environmental cost.

Oh, but that would be against Free Trade....{oh noes..}

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:40:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Controversial Russia treason law takes effect - Europe - Al Jazeera English

A new law expanding the definition of treason has taken effect in Russia, and critics say it could be used to call anyone who bucks the government a traitor.

On Wednesday, just two days after President Vladimir Putin told his human rights advisory council that he was ready to review it, the law went into effect.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies that the president would be willing to review the legislation if its implementation reveals "some problems or aspects restricting rights and freedoms".

But what Putin might consider a problem was unclear. His opponents say a series of measures enacted since Putin returned to the Kremlin in May for a third term show he is determined to intimidate and suppress dissidents.

One recent measure imposes a huge increase in potential fines for participants in unauthorised demonstrations. Another requires non-governmental organisations to register as foreign agents if they both receive money from abroad and engage in political activity.

Another gives sweeping power to authorities to ban websites under a procedure critics denounce as opaque.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:17:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A new law expanding the definition of treason has taken effect in Russia  the US Empire, and critics say it could be used to call anyone who bucks the government a traitor.

Republican wetdream if Willard had won.

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 Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:43:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you already got indefinite detention with torture for being accused of terrorism. So changing the definition of treason looks a bit redundant.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Non-US citizens being subhumans, they are not subject to human rights.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:00:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, imperial citizens can imprisoned and tortured without trial for as long as it takes for their habeas corpus writ to get close to winning in the Supreme Court. Which looking at the Padillo case is something like six years.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:47:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no, US citizens are valid targets too. Under Obama.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 06:27:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France and the euro: The time-bomb at the heart of Europe | The Economist

As our special report in this issue explains, France still has many strengths, but its weaknesses have been laid bare by the euro crisis. For years it has been losing competitiveness to Germany and the trend has accelerated as the Germans have cut costs and pushed through big reforms. Without the option of currency devaluation, France has resorted to public spending and debt. Even as other EU countries have curbed the reach of the state, it has grown in France to consume almost 57% of GDP, the highest share in the euro zone. Because of the failure to balance a single budget since 1981, public debt has risen from 22% of GDP then to over 90% now.

The business climate in France has also worsened. French firms are burdened by overly rigid labour- and product-market regulation, exceptionally high taxes and the euro zone's heaviest social charges on payrolls.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:26:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 10:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I trust France will give them a big raspberry

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:42:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Daniel Schneidermann mentions this in his morning piece on Arrêt sur images, after describing recent rightwing and borderline racist sensationalist covers on the "respected" news weeklies L'Express and Le Point as sordid attempts to sell paper, he goes on:

Arrêt sur images - La France, burqa de L'Economist Arrêt sur images - France, The Economist's burqa
... le même jour que L'Express mettait sa burqa à la Une, The Economist désignait la France comme "la bombe à retardement de l'Europe". Et il se trouve des journalistes, en France, pour interpeller les ministres sur cette couverture, comme s'il fallait la prendre au sérieux, comme si elle avait une véritable valeur informative, comme si elle disait autre chose que la volonté de vendre du papier. "The Economist, c'est le Charlie hebdo de la city", répondait Montebourg à Elkabbach. Bien vu.... the same day as L'Express put a burqa on its cover, The Economist named France as "the time bomb at the heart of Europe" . And there are journalists in France to challenge ministers about this cover, as if it should be taken seriously, as if it had real informative value, as if it expressed anything other than the aim of selling paper. "The Economist is the City's Charlie Hebdo," Montebourg responded to Elkabbach. Good one.

(Montebourg, minister, Elkabbach, rightwing journalist with morning radio show. Charlie Hebdo, satirical weekly recently known for its Mohammed cartoon covers).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:57:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence (see parallel thread):
France against the Economist

Indignation in France, as the Economist called France the ticking time bomb in the heart of Europe its latest issue. The Economist should update its thinking model, government speaker Najat Vallaud-Belkacem countered according to Les Echos. It is just another example of the sort of French bashing the magazine is known for, concludes Le Monde. Finance minister Pierre Moscovici gave an  interview to the FT saying "France is not the sick man of Europe. France remains the world's fifth largest economic power that has all its resources but which needs to recover its competitiveness."  On Thursday, official figures showed the economy to grow 0.2% in the third quarter, against expectations of flat or negative growth. Moscovici said the government's projection of 0.8% growth in 2013 - twice the EU and IMF forecasts - was "not beyond reach", especially if the eurozone stabilised.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
November 15 edition

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is Alessandro Proto?

Reuters: Proto hits back at Italy market regulator over RCS (November 1, 2012)

An Italian financier, who claims to represent investors buying a stake in loss-making RCS Mediagroup , criticised Italy's financial market watchdog on Thursday over a request for information about his dealings with the publishing group.

On Wednesday the regulator Consob said Alessandro Proto, who heads consultancy firm Proto Organization, had not complied with its request for details on the shareholder group that the financier claims controls 3.4 percent of RCS.

...

The Financial Times on Thursday quoted Proto as saying the ultimate goal was to take over control of RCS and Corriere [della Sera].

Apparently he's also vying for control of El Pais, in Spain.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:31:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See also: If you can't stop the press, buy it by Nomad on October 22nd, 2009.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:31:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Q3 data a little better than expected, but recession confirmed (16.11.2012)
Eurostat confirms the eurozone's double dip recession, but a better performance by France restricts Q3 output contraction to 0.1%; France and Germany expand by 0.2%, but the outlook for Q4 is for a contraction in both countries; one of the worst performers has been the Netherlands, where GDP contracted by 1.1% during Q3, with extremely large falls in investment; the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Brussels blog says the Dutch government is making the situation worse through its austerity policies; Thomas Fricke says it is time for Germany to consider a targeted stimulus to insure against a deteriorating recession; there is not much evidence of a property bubble in Germany, with an annual rise of house prices of 2.9% and apartment prices of 4.1%; the French government expressed outrage against French bashing in the Anglo-Saxon media, as Pierre Moscovici affirms that France is not the sick man of Europe; A German consul has been attacked by protestors in Greece, after Germany's deputy labour minister made some incredibly stupid remarks about Greek labour productivity; academics and investors express doubts about the benefits of a bond buy-back scheme; the Wall Street Journal says the protests will ultimately have little effect on the austerity policies; Spanish government creates social rental housing from rescued banks' property portfolios; Mariano Rajoy pledges to reform the eviction laws to prevent further suicides; the troika says it wants a say in the reforms because it impacts the quality of the banks' property portfolios; Paolo Manasse, meanwhile, says Mario Draghi should tell the truth, about the ineffectiveness of monetary policy, and the insufficiency of the banking union.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish government creates social rental housing from rescued banks' property portfolios

Despite a heightened sense of urgency after last weekend's widely publicized eviction suicide, nearly a week of negotiations with the main opposition party PSOE ended without agreement, reports El Pais (English edition). Nevertheless, the government went ahead and approved a legislative decree (meaning it comes into effect immediately and must be validated by the Parliament within 30 days) at the weekly Council of Ministers, which had been moved forward from Friday to Thursday. Measures announced by Economy Minister Luis de Guindos and Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría include:

  • a pool of foreclosed homes currently on the books of the nationalized banking institutions will be used to provide low-rent housing for evictees.
  • evictions will be subject to a two-year moratorium, at least for the most "vulnerable" groups: families with monthly incomes below €1,600, large families, those with children under 3 and those with dependents, the unemployed with no right to unemployment benefits, and domestic violence victims.

(Being slightly cynical about this, the Government's intention is not to solve the foreclosure crisis, but to limit the potential for politically damaging evictions. On Wednesday, Mariano Rajoy had candidly stated that he'd "do everything possible" to avoid a wave of eviction suicides, as reported by El Confidencial. He said he'd change the mortgage law if necessary, but the proposed reforms indicate it hasn't been seen as necessary.)

'Troika' wants a say on Spain's foreclosure reforms

Expansion also reports that the European Commission has warned Spain that the Memorandum of Understanding signed in July specifies the Commission and ECB must be consulted on eviction reform. This is because any reform of the foreclosure process, or the repurposing of nationalized banks' property portfolios, "can have a material impact" on the implementation of the banking rescue.

(If the 'troika' rolls back some of the measures to ease evictions, that cannot fail to contribute to popular disaffection for the European institutions.)



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:28:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
families with monthly incomes below €1,600

So pretty much anyone getting a job today?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 06:53:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the sticking points preventing the PSOE from supporting the reform as proposed was whether the limit should be at €19k or €22k a year.

Median income in Spain is in that range.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 09:15:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch Economic Woes Deepen - Real Time Brussels - WSJ

Things are not looking good for the Dutch economy. The Dutch statistics agency on Thursday said the euro zone's fifth-largest economy contracted 1.1% in the third quarter. It was one of the European Union's worst third-quarter GDP outcomes and  much worse than the flat growth for the quarter that the European Commission forecast just last week.

Were there any bright spots? No. Consumption fell 1.8% compared to the quarter a year ago. Investment was down a whopping 6.4%. Export growth slowed substantially.

The Dutch government is one of the euro zone's stalwarts, with a strong credit rating, a relatively low deficit and small debt burden. But Dutch households are in trouble. They are shouldering some of the largest mortgage debts in Europe, and real-estate prices are falling. Research has found that the combination of falling house prices and highly-indebted households has a strong negative impact on consumption.

Is the government helping out? No. In fact, they are arguably making the situation worse.

(h/t Eurointelligence)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tPortal: Generals Gotovina and Markac acquitted (16.11.2012)
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Friday acquitted Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac and ordered their immediate release, Judge Theodor Meron said at the appeals judgement hearing in The Hague.

On 15 April 2011, the ICTY's trial chamber sentenced General Gotovina to 24 years and General Markac to 18 years in prison.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 05:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China sovereign wealth fund official warns on eurozone austerity | Business | guardian.co.uk

A top official with China's sovereign wealth fund has issued a blunt warning that the latest unrest across the eurozone shows austerity has stretched the public's tolerance "to breaking point".

Jin Liqun, chair of the supervisory board of the $480bn (£300bn) China Investment Corporation (CIC), warned that undue harshness risked a backlash which could end with necessary economic reforms being abandoned.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 11:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 11:49:45 AM EST
Confessions of a deficit denier | Anatole Kaletsky

Here is a confession: I am a deficit denier.

To say this in respectable society is to be reviled as a self-serving rogue, worse than someone who denies climate change. Yet whenever I see a budget crisis -- the U.S. falling off a fiscal cliff; austerity protests paralyzing Europe; Britain's governing coalition tearing itself apart over missed budget targets -- I cannot resist the same conclusion: These countries' leaders should take a deep breath, relax and stop worrying about deficits.

For there is actually no fiscal crisis in the United States, Britain or most European countries -- including even Italy and Spain. Greece is another matter. But the very specific Greek disaster hardly justifies a generalized global panic about all government debts.

...

Why are sophisticated investors unmoved by the deficit panic? Because they know that governments, at least outside the euro zone, are nowhere near bankruptcy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but it fools the rubes into allowing a whole raft of policies that destroy the social contract on behalf of the predator class, so what's not to like ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:44:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mmm, that's good analysis.
(I need to find a clip of Carson so I can do the voice.)

(... Aand On cue in the comments section: "Weimar". Stimulus - Response. That comment gets a nice smackdown.)

I'm going to print this out and read it as a daily affirmation.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:36:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tax-Exempt Firm Gets $600 Million Profit Flying First Class - Bloomberg
Since 1862, an obscure company called American Bureau of Shipping has been approving oceangoing vessels as seaworthy. The Houston-based firm reported $3.17 billion in revenue and just less than $600 million in profits from ship inspections from 2004 to 2010 and paid no U.S. income taxes on those earnings.

The Internal Revenue Service hasn't had any complaints. That's because the company has been registered as a nonprofit for 150 years, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its December issue.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:20:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Bureau of Shipping"? Sounds like "Universal Exports".


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 06:57:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or "Air America", or "School of the Americas"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:22:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Morgan Stanley Summarizes The World - Business Insider
In his weekly 'Sunday Start' note, Morgan Stanley's Joachim Fels has a fantastic summary of the state of the world right now.

It's basically an elaboration on this idea that China is turning the corner, Europe has taken the tail-risk blowup scenario off the table, and now it's the US' turn to not fall into the abyss.

The top-down official view in Beijing that the economy has stabilised received some bottom-up support from the 270 companies and 1,800 investors we assembled in Singapore at Morgan Stanley's 11th Annual Asia Pacific Summit later in the week. The cautious optimism from companies operating in and investors focusing on China contrasted sharply with the negativity I encountered at a similar event we hosted in Hong Kong only six months ago. With China stabilised and thus less of a worry now, and Europe (rightly or wrongly) no longer seen as a systemic risk thanks to the ECB backstop, many investors have now turned to the US fiscal cliff as the next big thing that could get in the way. And rightly so, in our view. As our US chief economist Vincent Reinhart points out, the most likely timeline on the fiscal cliff after the election remains a patch with a promise followed by a plan (see here). However, the economy may have to go over the cliff first before the patch is put in place. And this is exactly the risk equity markets have started to focus on in the last few days. After tomorrow's Veterans Day, congressional leaders and President Obama will try to hammer out a compromise (see also Quote of the Week below). Based on past experience, I won't hold my breath, though.

This is an increasinly popular lense through which to view the world.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerity is here to stay, and we'd better get used to it | Martin Kettle | Comment is free | The Guardian

As workers across the European Union went on protest strike today, it was hard to disagree with the trade union leader who told the BBC that austerity economics isn't working. "It's increasing inequalities. It's increasing the social instability in society. And it's not resolving the economic crisis," she said.

All of that is true and serious. Addressing those things is fundamental. But we are going to have to get used to austerity. Because relative scarcity, and the need to do more with less, are not going to go away in a hurry. Austerity is remaking our world. The point is to make the best of it. Welcome to 21st-century Europe.

Today's quarterly inflation review by the Bank of England is merely the latest in a series of indicators that remind governments and peoples across Europe and beyond that the old days are simply over, done, finished. Recovery would be sustained but slow, said the Bank. The economy was sluggish. The environment unfavourable. Things might be weaker for longer.

The message is hard to miss. Times have changed. The only thing that is certain is further uncertainty.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yeah, did I forget. The wealthy will continue to have a great time while the rest of you starve.

Have a nice day.

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 Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly !!!

While Kettle might have a point about resources, his entire essay is undermined by that critical point

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:46:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Granuniad has become another Establishment propaganda rag.

They keep Polly Toynbee around to pretend they're still raging progressives, but too much of the content has become a predictable Atlanticist sludge of half-truths and neocon propaganda.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:55:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they've got a very popular website and need to protect the footfall by not upsetting the readers from the other side of the pond who come for the frisson of reading something slightly less conservative than Obama.

Personally I recommend Bernie Sanders

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 11:18:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
C-Span: STEPHANIE KELTON PRESENTING ON FISCAL CLIFF (2013 Budget and the Fiscal Cliff, November 13, 2012)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Most Important Tax Break Is the One That Nobody Talks About | James Kwak | The Atlantic

Suddenly, Republicans are all about increasing tax revenues from rich people [...] What do all of these proposals have in common? They pass silently over the most important loophole for the rich: artificially low tax rates on investment income, whether capital gains (profits from sales of assets) or dividends (cash distributions from corporations to shareholders).
[...]
The loophole for investment income is one of the biggest ones that exist, worth about $440 billion over the next five years (2013-2017).
[...]
My cynical instincts say that Democrats don't want to upset the hedge fund establishment any more than they already have. But Barack Obama, you will never run for re-election again. Now is your moment. Don't waste it.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 09:11:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 11:50:02 AM EST
Jordan violence escalates during second night - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

The violence over fuel price hikes in Jordan has escalated, as growing anger threatens to plunge the kingdom into a wave of unrest.

One armed civilian was killed and several policemen injured, some critically, when gunmen stormed a police station in Irbid, in the country's far north, and fired on officers there on Wednesday night.

Another police station came under attack in the northern Amman suburb of Shafa Badran, where automatic weapons were used. One police officer was reportedly critically injured. A police official said the attackers took advantage of the protests to pursue a violent agenda.

In Salt, northwest of capital Amman, protesters set fire to a civil affairs office.

The scene was less deadly in Amman itself on Wednesday night, although up to 1,000 people had spilled onto the streets.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conflict intensifies as rockets hit Tel Aviv - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Tension is rising across the Middle East as Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group which controls the Gaza Strip, continue to exchange fire amid the worst outbreak of violence since the Israeli assault on the territory nearly four years ago.

Three Israelis died in the northern town of Kiryat Malachi on Thursday after a rocket fired from Gaza hit an apartment building.

Israeli sources said two rockets hit Tel Aviv - one landed in the sea while another missile landed in an uninhabited area of Israel's commercial centre.

Air raid sirens sent residents running for shelter in Tel Aviv, a Mediterranean city that has not been hit by a rocket since the 1991 Gulf War.

Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based Palestinian group, said that it had fired one of the rockets that hit Tel Aviv.

While southern Israeli areas near Gaza have long coped with rocket fire, the attacks on the Tel Aviv area illustrated the significant capabilities that Hamas has developed.

Palestinian fighters had previously hit Rishon Lezion before but never reached Tel Aviv, roughly 70km north of the Gaza Sttrip.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVE BLOG: Rockets strike Tel Aviv area; three Israelis killed in attack on south - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

9:50 P.M. IDF has attacked 70 targets during the most recent comprehensive aerial attack. Palestinians report some 20 wounded. (Gili Cohen, Jack Khoury)

9:21 P.M. The group of hackers "Anonymous" attacked numerous Israeli websites on Thursday, including IDF and bank sites, as a response to the attack on Gaza, according to a New York Times report.

9:11 P.M. Israel's Broadcasting Authority preparing emergency broadcasts ahead of Sabbath. Educational channels to broadcast only calming programs for children.

8:53 P.M. IDF resumes widespread aerial strikes on Gaza (Gili Cohen)

8:39 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold talks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman; IDF ordered to renew assault on Gaza.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:42:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know it's a bit tin-foil hat, but it's not the first time IDf have been accused of this

Orange Satan - David Harris Gershon - Why I'm Rejecting Rabbi Yoffie's Call for Progressive Jews to Support Israel's Bombing of Gaza

The truth is this: Israel has engaged in its current, escalating military campaign not to protect Israelis from a militant Hamas, but in order to ensure that Hamas in Gaza remains militant. See, while Jaabari was a known terrorist who had his hand in the Gilad Shalit kidnapping, he was also the Hamas leader both willing and capable of enforcing ceasefire agreements. In fact, as Gershon Baskin writes in "Assassinating the Chance for Calm," Jaabari was considering a ceasefire proposal the moment he was assassinated. And Baskin should know, for he was working closely with Hamas officials on the proposal itself.

So why would Israel assassinate a Hamas official, a move guaranteed to provoke extreme outrage and revenge, at a time when Hamas leaders were working on a ceasefire? The answer is simple and twofold: a) Netanyahu's government wants a militant Hamas in Gaza; it wants a situation in which Gaza becomes isolated from the West Bank, hoping eventually Greater Israel will be obtained with Gaza becoming a separate entity, and b) with Israeli elections set for January, electoral motivations are undeniably in play with regard to this sudden military barrage.

This has happened before, this tactic to destroy a cease fire and stoke militant extremism. And it's a tactic I know intimately. See, in 2002, my wife was injured in the bombing of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The bombing, carried out by Hamas, was a revenge attack for Israel's targeted assassination of a top Hamas terrorist, Sheikh Salah Shehada. The rub? This assassination came 90 minutes after Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority's Tanzim had agreed on a long-term ceasefire agreement that included a historic call from all organizations to end all terror attacks on civilians.

original is link heavy

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:59:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't find the basic idea tinfoil-hat. Israel (as expressed by the likes of Netanyahu) has no interest in peaceful coexistence.

Once Gilad Shalit was exchanged, Jaabari knew his days were numbered. Why was this particular moment chosen to blow him away?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:17:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hamas, Emboldened, Tests Its Arab Alliances - NYTimes.com

This time, Israeli forces are fighting a newly emboldened Hamas, supported by the regional powerhouses of Qatar, Turkey and Egypt, and demonstrating its strength compared with a weak and crisis-laden Palestinian Authority.

After months of mostly holding its fire as it struggled to stop other militant factions from shooting rockets across the border, Hamas has responded forcefully to Israel's killing on Wednesday of its top military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari. It sent more than 300 rockets into Israel over 24 hours, with several penetrating the heart of Israel's population center around Tel Aviv; three civilians were killed in an apartment building about 15 miles north of Gaza, and three soldiers were wounded in a separate strike.

For Hamas, the goal is not necessarily a military victory, but a diplomatic one, as it tests its growing alliance with the new Islamist leadership of Egypt and other relationships in the Arab world and beyond.

"The conflict shows how much the region has changed since the Arab uprisings began," said Nathan Thrall, who researches Israel and the Palestinian territories for the International Crisis Group, which works to prevent conflict. "Now when Gaza is under fire, the loudest voices come not from the so-called Axis of Resistance -- Iran, Syria and Hezbollah -- but from U.S. allies like Egypt and Qatar."



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 05:14:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. The Arab countries were always long on rhetoric and short on action in support of Palestine and against the "Zionist entity."

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Sat Nov 17th, 2012 at 11:21:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China's new leadership led by Xi Jinping - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

State media says Xi Jinping is to take the reins of China's all-powerful Communist Party in a leadership transition that will put him in charge of the world's number-two economy for the next decade.

Xi, the current vice president and successor to President Hu Jintao, assumes power at an uncertain time with the party facing urgent calls to clean its ranks of corruption and overhaul its economic model as growth stutters.

His long-expected ascension as head of the ruling party took place at 0400 GMT along with the unveiling of a new Politburo Standing Committee, the nation's top decision-making body.

According to tradition, the members marched out before the media in a pecking order agreed after years of factional bargaining, a process which intensified in the months leading up to the five-yearly reshuffle.

In a twenty minute speech broadcast live on Chinese state TV and worldwide, Xi admitted there are problems within the CPC that must be resolved.

"The problems among the party members and cadres of corruption, taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, undue emphasis on formalities and bureaucracy must be addressed with great efforts. The whole party must be vigilant against them," he said.

Xi will consolidate his position at the apex of national politics by being named China's president by the rubber-stamp legislature next March, for a tenure expected to last through two five-year terms.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:16:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China names conservative, older leadership | Reuters

(Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party unveiled an older, conservative leadership line-up on Thursday that appears unlikely to take the drastic action needed to tackle pressing issues like social unrest, environmental degradation and corruption.

New party chief Xi Jinping, premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang and vice-premier in charge of economic affairs Wang Qishan, all named as expected to the elite decision-making Politburo Standing Committee, are considered cautious reformers. The other four members have the reputation of being conservative.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:36:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. intelligence committees open Benghazi attack probe | Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S. intelligence and State Department officials testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill on Thursday about the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that has turned into a contentious issue between Republicans and the administration of President Barack Obama.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus, before his resignation last week over an extramarital affair, had initially been scheduled to testify at Thursday's closed Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committee hearings, but will now be a solo witness before those panels on Friday morning.

Republicans have accused the Obama administration of misinformation in the early days following the September 11, 2012, attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:36:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analyst sees potential for budget surpluses in California's future | Sac Bee

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/15/4987295/analyst-sees-potential-for-budget.html#storylink=cpy

The state's fiscal analyst said Wednesday that California's long-tattered budget is on the verge of producing surpluses, but he cautioned that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers must first avoid a spending spree.

The improved outlook comes after voters approved two tax initiatives last week, and the California economy and housing market showed signs of perking up. State leaders have also cut programs in recent years.

Just what Repubs don't want to hear ... the bluest of the blue coming back to economic health.

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 Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East

From the Abstract:

Despite the many possible contributing factors, the timing of violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 as well as earlier riots in 2008 coincides with large peaks in global food
prices. We identify a specic food price threshold above which protests become likely. These obser-
vations suggest that protests may reflect not only long-standing political failings of governments,
but also the sudden desperate straits of vulnerable populations. If food prices remain high, there is
likely to be persistent and increasing global social disruption. Underlying the food price peaks we also findnd an ongoing trend of increasing prices. We extrapolate these trends and identify a crossing
point to the domain of high impacts, even without price peaks, in 2012-2013.

The authors go on to state in the body of the paper (Page 4):

These observations are consistent with a hypothesis that high global food prices are a
precipitating condition for social unrest.food riots occur above a threshold of the FAO price index of 210.

The FAO reports the Food Price index for October 2012 was at 213 points.

(There is more I should say.  Alas, I have been informed by another member of the household my anterior dorsal cranium will be modified via application of a cast iron frying pan if I don't:

Get off the damn computer.
)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 11:32:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am filing AMOTH (another member of the household) as an AFFU (acronym for future use).

OTOH, I shall not communicate the acronym GOTDC to AMOTH for fear of chronic abuse.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:00:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
;-)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 12:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 11:56:28 AM EST
BP agrees to pay $4.5 billion in penalties for U.S. oil spill | Reuters

(Reuters) - BP Plc will pay $4.5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to felony misconduct in the Deepwater Horizon disaster that caused the worst offshore oil spill in the country's history, the company said on Thursday.

The settlement includes a $1.256 billion criminal fine, the largest such levy in U.S. history, the company said. A settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also part of the deal, as are payments to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:28:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm waiting for the backstory to this. Oil companies don't normally buckle this easily.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:01:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They got off easy.

Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion

BP yesterday agreed to pay a fine of some $4.5 billion dollars from the US Department of Justice for malfeasance in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest fine paid in US history. There are also manslaughter and obstruction of justice charges against individual executives.

BP also was forced by President Obama to pay out $20 billion for damage claims, though it has dragged its feet in actually making the payments. It faces further lawsuits and private payouts.

Given the high price of petroleum, however, BP can pay the fine with no difficulty (it is allowed to pay it over five years, or less than $1 billion a year. The company's profits in 2011 were were $40 billion. The fine was so slight that BP stock rose slightly on the news.

Meanwhile the actual damage that the oil spill did to the environment was almost certainly man tens of billions more than any payouts BP has been forced to engage in. Not only is the monetary damage, in harm to fishing and tourism, substantial, but the damage to quality of life and to marine life and fisheries is unacceptably high.



A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 05:01:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they pay more in dividends.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:30:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Inspiration from Mother Nature leads to improved wood

Ingo Burgert and colleagues explain that wood's position as a mainstay building material over the centuries results from a combination of desirable factors, including surprising strength for a material so light in weight.

Wood is renewable and sustainable, making it even more attractive in the 21st century.

Wood, however, has a major drawback that limits its use: It collects moisture easily - warping, bending, twisting and rotting in ways that can undermine wooden structures. Some trees, like the black locust, deposit substances termed flavonoids into their less durable "sapwood."

It changes sapwood into darker "heartwood" that reduces water collection and resists rot. The scientists used this process as an inspiration for trying an improved softwood that is more stable than natural wood.

They describe a process that incorporates flavonoids into the walls of the cells of spruce wood, a common building material for making houses and other products.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Mexico City, a green revolution, one lettuce at a time

A green revolution is sweeping across the car and concrete jungle of Mexico City, an infamously smoggy capital that was once dubbed "Makesicko City" by novelist Carlos Fuentes.

Residents are growing vegetables on rooftops, planting trees where buildings once stood, hopping on bicycles and riding in electric taxis, defying the urban landscape in this metropolis of 20 million people and four million cars.

"This is our vote for the environment," said Elias Cattan, a 33-year-old bespectacled architect pointing to the lettuce, onions and chilies growing in a planting table and inside used tires on the balcony of his rooftop office.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenpeace catches 'black market' fish

Fishing vessels registered in the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia have been filmed "laundering" illegally caught tuna, environment activist group Greenpeace International said Thursday.

Greenpeace said it recorded the transferring of skipjack and yellowfin involving four ships just outside Indonesia's exclusive economic zone in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, with the tuna likely meant for the canned market.

Two Indonesian vessels and one Philippine ship were transferring their hauls on to the Cambodian boat so that the location of their catches would remain secret, according to Greenpeace oceans campaigner Farah Obaidullah.

"This is a huge trans-shipment, the hold (of the Cambodian vessel) was the size of a basketball court and it was knee-deep in tuna," Obaidullah told AFP.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:50:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Americans want Congress to make renewables a top priority - The Ecologist
The Yale Project on Climate Change has just published a new report examining what the American public would like the second-term Obama administration and Congress to do about global warming. Here are some highlights from Public Support for Climate and Energy Policies September 2012.

  • A large majority of Americans (77%) say global warming should be a "very high" (18%), "high" (25%), or "medium" priority (34%) for the president and Congress. One in four (23%) say it should be a low priority.
  • Nearly all Americans (92%) say the president and the Congress should make developing sources of clean energy a "very high" (31%), "high" (38%), or "medium" priority (23%). Very few say it should be a low priority (8%).
  • A large majority of Americans (88%) say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:39:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Times: Lessons for U.S. From a Flood-Prone Land (November 14, 2012)
In recent days, the Netherlands' peerless expertise and centuries of experience in battling water have been widely hailed in the United States as offering lessons for how New York and other cities might better protect people and property from flooding. Dutch engineering companies are already pitching projects to fortify Manhattan against storms, stressing that the Netherlands has experience with a coastline and cluster of river estuaries that resemble New York's, and pose similar flooding risks.

But Dutch officials and hydrology experts who have examined the contrasting systems of the two countries say that replicating Dutch successes in the United States would require a radical reshaping of the American approach to vulnerable coastal areas and disaster prevention.

The Dutch "way of thinking is completely different from the U.S.," where disaster relief generally takes precedence over disaster avoidance, said Wim Kuijken, the Dutch government's senior official for overall water control policy. "The U.S. is excellent at disaster management," but "working to avoid disaster is completely different from working after a disaster."



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:39:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the approach similar to the type of (historical) risk?
Netherlands - constantly rising sea with seasonal storms.
NY - Once a century OMG! flooding.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:48:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as the once-a-century flooding only happens once a decade, the mentality may not shift.

But once it happens once a year...

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

by eurogreen on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 11:56:48 AM EST
Significant relationship between mortality and telomere length discovered

A team of researchers at Kaiser Permanente and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has identified a significant relationship between mortality and the length of telomeres, the stretches of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes, according to a presentation at the American Society of Human Genetics 2012 meeting in San Francisco.

While a reduction in telomere length is regarded as a biomarker of aging, scientists have not yet determined whether it plays a direct causal role in aging-related health changes and mortality or is just a sign of aging.

In their prospective study of 100,000 multi-ethnic individuals whose average age was 63 years, the researchers determined that an association between telomere length and mortality existed and persisted even after the data were adjusted for such demographic and behavioral factors as education, smoking and alcohol consumption, said Catherine Schaefer, Ph.D., director of the Kaiser Permanente (KP) Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health (RPGEH).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Some U.S. Farmworkers Face "Inhuman Conditions" | Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 2012 (IPS) - A widely respected advocate for U.S. farmworker rights received a prestigious award on Capitol Hill here Wednesday, using the occasion to highlight pending state legislation that could significantly improve lives and working conditions that some have likened to modern-day slavery.

Librada Paz originally came to the United States from Oaxaca, Mexico, when she was 15 years old, planning on studying for an engineering degree. Instead, for the next decade she ended up working on fruit and vegetable farms in New York State, where she learned of the "enormous discrimination" and "inhuman conditions" that continue to mark the lives of the state's farmworkers.

"In the fields, you do not matter - neither your security, nor your thoughts, nor your dignity," she told those gathered at a U.S. Senate office building, where she received this year's Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

"While all workers suffer enormous discrimination, this is multiplied particularly for women. This is what it means when the legal system allows abuse - when justice has no meaning."

In the United States, nearly 75 percent of farm labourers are Hispanic, more than half of whom are thought to be undocumented. While working conditions for farmworkers throughout the country remain difficult, those in New York State have long been particularly, and often cruelly, marginalised.

That's because of state legislation, passed in 1932, that codified into law systematic discrimination against farmworkers in New York, even as other states eventually moved to extend protections to farm labour.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:11:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - How African Men are Changing Traditional Beliefs | Inter Press Service

KAMPALA, Nov 15 2012 (IPS) - Charles Kayongo of Uganda is a father of two girls aged five and three. And even though age-old traditions among his ethnic group, the Baganda, say a man should have an unlimited number of children and a son as an heir, Kayongo refuses to have more children.

Like a growing number of cash-strapped young parents in this landlocked East African nation who yearn for a modern lifestyle, he says that he and his wife, Eunice Kayongo, want a small family.

"Enough is enough. I do not want any more children. I discussed this with my wife, and we have been using pills and condoms for the past two years. The cost of food, of sending them to school and buying medication is already too high for me," the 33-year-old tells IPS from his home in Mukono town on the outskirts of Uganda's capital, Kampala.

Kayongo, who owns a bar, says he spends 10 dollars a day on his family and earns a total of 440 dollars a month.

"I am interested in family planning because it helps us live a better life. I make sure I go with my wife to the clinic. I have to plan financially for my family."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amy Goodman: The Growing Global Movement Against Austerity (November 15, 2012)
... As resistance to so-called austerity in Europe becomes increasingly transnational and coordinated, President Barack Obama and the House Republicans begin their debate to avert the "fiscal cliff." The fight is over fair tax rates, budget priorities and whether we as a society will sustain the social safety net built during the past 80 years.

The general strike that swept across Europe Nov. 14 had its genesis in the deepening crisis in Spain, Portugal and Greece. As a result of the global economic collapse in 2008, Spain is in a deep financial crisis. Unemployment has surpassed 25 percent, and among young people is estimated at 50 percent. Large banks have enjoyed bailouts while they enforce mortgages that an increasing number of Spaniards are unable to meet, provoking increasing numbers of foreclosures and attempted evictions. "Attempted" because, in response to the epidemic of evictions in Spain, a direct-action movement has grown to prevent them. In city after city, individuals and groups have networked, creating rapid-response teams that flood the street outside a threatened apartment. When officials arrive to deliver the eviction notice, they can't reach the building's main door, let alone the apartment in question.

The general strike across Europe ranged from mass rallies in Madrid, with participation from members of Parliament, to protests in London, to outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, to high atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, where protesters flew anti-austerity flags and banners. In calling for the first pan-national general strike in Europe in generations, the European Trade Union Confederation hoped to express "strong opposition to the austerity measures that are dragging Europe into economic stagnation, indeed recession, as well as the continuing dismantling of the European social model. These measures, far from re-establishing confidence, only serve to worsen imbalances and foster injustice."



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:47:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is too good not to pass on:

The F-35 Fighter, an example of failure:

The development cost of the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint task force fighter is (as of now) $396 Billion.  And guess what we are getting for our money.  The Microsoft of warplanes, i.e., a product that is so plagued by cyber security issues, its value, cost and reliability are no longer worth the hassle to own.  

You think I'm kidding? Hackers employed by the Navy broke into the computerized logistics systems that the F-35 relies upon earlier this year.

And it goes on.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 12:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 11:57:09 AM EST
Dave Lee Travis arrested by Met in sex abuse investigation | UK news | The Guardian

Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has been arrested by Metropolitan police detectives investigating allegations of historical sexual offences.

Travis was held at his home in Bedfordshire on Thursday morning by detectives from Operation Yewtree, the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and others.

He is the fourth person to be arrested by the inquiry, after the former pop star Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, the comedian Freddie Starr, and the former BBC producer Wilfred De'Ath.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 03:31:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He should have been arrested for inflicting his awful taste in musack on the nation decades ago

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:05:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Grenade of Understanding: Winners of the Write-Like-Friedman Challenge (Matt Taibbi)
Which brings me to Friedman. There were so many excellent entries in yesterday's challenge, which asked readers to boil down Friedman's metaphor-jammed column on Syria (which described our Iraq invasion as the U.S diving on a grenade we ourselves exploded, by pulling out the pin of Saddam Hussein) to a single paragraph, that I couldn't narrow it down to just one winner. So in the end, there will be four winners, each receiving a hand-grenade paperweight trophy.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:19:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooh, are they in already?
Excellent.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am getting some good e mails lately and here is the one:
KGB Lessons

by vbo on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 01:07:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, don't pay poker with Vlad. (If you win, it's an all-expenses one-way ticket to siberia)

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Behind the images of Greece's riots, there's an economy slowly dying | QZ.com

(This is titled a "postcard" and the money shot is at the end.)

Outside of Athens, demonstrations are a much tamer affair. [...] While the foreign media focuses on the drama that the crisis has wrought, it's actually surprisingly easy to forget that the country is in crisis.
[...]
Greeks are tired of talking to visitors about the crisis but they will happily share their anger toward the political class and the various new taxes. Some think the efforts of the Troika--the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund--are a big conspiracy with the goal of destroying the country and its economy and blaming it on "all of the bankers making money on the back of it."
[...]
Despite the economic hardship, Greece is still a surprisingly expensive place to visit. [...] Ironically, Athens seems more expensive than Berlin. [...] For a country whose main export is tourism, Greece should be worrying when visitors conclude that other crisis-hit countries like Portugal, Spain, or Italy offer better value.

Do people like Anke Richter realise how they sound?


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 06:51:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What an asshole.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Behind the images of Greece's riots, there's an economy slowly dying - Quartz
Anke Richter previously worked as a credit analyst and credit strategist at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Mizuho and Calyon, where she was global head of capital markets research. She is now a London-based writer and lecturer.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She is now a London-based writer and lecturer.

Writing (and lecturing) for the Economist?

by Bernard on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:42:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking for work - sorry, opportunities - on LinkedIn.

There are also a couple of hateful interviews on CNBC where smug Anke reassures the Greeks that 'hard work' is needed on 'pension reform' and - of course - 'public sector spending.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:05:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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