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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 1-2 December

by DoDo Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:35:52 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on these dates in history:

1992 - start of the First World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples in Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi Republic within the young Russian Federation

More here and here

1462 - Moravian mercenary John Jiskra arrests Vlad III, fugitive Prince of Wallachia (better known as Dracula) and hands him over to Matthias, King of Hungary, who imprisons him for 12 years

More here and here

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


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

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  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
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I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

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

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

Display:
 EUROPE 



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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:41:04 PM EST
Van Rompuy opposes direct election of the EU's top leaders | EurActiv

"I said it in New York: you give this man or this woman a huge legitimacy. But if you keep the same competence for the top job, you organise the disappointment in advance," Van Rompuy told the audience, where two of the ministers were sitting - Germany's Guido Westerwelle and Belgium's Didier Reynders.

Van Rompuy said the whole effort was doomed to fail, unless the Commission itself would be given more powers vis-à-vis the member states.

"If this is not going hand in hand with large powers for the Commission, then forget it," he said.

Van Rompuy added that he had also heard that "some mention" the direct election of the President of the European Council, his own job.

"This is even more absurd. Because then you create a figure which is a real rival of the President of the European Commission, also directly elected. He has to create compromises among the leaders. And you give him a legitimacy even higher than of the participants in the Council. So how can he find at the end of the day compromise or consensus?" Van Rompuy said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:41:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Herman Van Rompuy
Wind through empty corridors
Slight disappointment
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 02:34:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An empty car pulled up outside the European Council and Van Rompuy got out

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:29:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German parliament approves fresh bailout money for Greece | News | DW.DE | 30.11.2012

Before financial aid agreed by the European Union can be given to Greece, eurozone nations must vote on the measures. Germany has now given its parliamentary approval.

The bailout passed with broad support in parliement on Friday, with 473 votes for, 100 votes against, and 11 abstentions.

... Germany has participated in bailouts for Greece in the past, but this is the first time, as Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble announced earlier this week, that Germany's federal budget would directly be impacted to the tune of 730 million euros ($950 million) as a result. Previous participation in bailouts for Greece had consisted of credit guarantees.

... The Left party voted against the measure, saying the decision had come much too quickly after EU leaders had determined Greece had met the conditions of the next bailout installment. Lawmakers were given less than 48 hours to review the measure before Friday's vote.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek aid is patchwork, ex-foreign minister says | Europe | DW.DE | 30.11.2012
Fresh financial aid is nothing but a brief respite for Greece, says former Greek Foreign Minister Dimitrios Droutsas. In an interview with DW, the member of European Parliament urged debt relief for Greece.

However, nothing else he says deviates from Austerian 101.

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:41:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Füle pours cold water on Ukraine's EU hopes | EurActiv

Füle said the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement (DCFTA), could be signed no earlier than November 2013. This would take place at the Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership, under Lithuanian Presidency, he said at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum held in Stockholm on Thursday (29 November).

But Füle also said that to make it happen, Brussels wanted to see "determined actions of the Ukrainian government and the new Parliament to address our well-known and oft-repeated concerns."

Ukrainian diplomats have been calling for unfreezing the EU-Ukraine relations, which have been paralysed since the parliamentary elections held on 28 October.

The last EU-Ukraine summit, in December 2011, was marred by tensions over the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. This year will end without an EU-Ukraine summit, while the EU held a summit with Russia despite Russia's election calendar.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:41:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine signs $1bn gas deal with fake Spanish company executive | World news | The Guardian

It was the deal of the century, a $1bn contract for a brand new gas plant that would rescue Ukraine from its dependence on energy supplied by Vladimir Putin's Russia.

The prime minister, Mykola Azarov, oversaw the signing ceremony as a video feed appeared to show welders already at work on the liquid gas plant, and the representative of the Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa, Jordi Sardà Bonvehí, put his name to the agreement.

Not until several days after the event on Monday did it emerge that no one at Gas Natural had heard of Bonvehí. "This person does not represent the company," a spokesman for the firm said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
President Putin Stages Highly Visible Battle against Corruption - SPIEGEL ONLINE
First the defense minister had to go, and now Vladimir Putin's agriculture minister is being pushed out on suspicion of corruption. State-run television has begun an aggressive hunt for "thieves, traitors and enemies of the people." The main target, however, seems to be that of improving the Russian president's approval ratings.

The latest stage of the fight against corruption is illustrated by Russian state television with footage from the Côte d'Azur, images of wild parties with black caviar and diamond-encrusted Kalashnikovs. Then the correspondent approaches Hollywood star George Clooney's villa in a helicopter before more villas come into view. Here is where "Moscow's government officials go to be pampered," the show intones.

The station devoted 70 minutes to portraying the country's chronically corrupt and notorious civil servants. They are a "force in gray jackets who can sabotage reforms and are boycotting laws," moderator Arkady Mamontov says.

Usually Mamontov devotes himself to adversaries of the Russian state. He's made a film about Russian human rights activists who supposedly worked with British spies, and has already done three shows about the punk band Pussy Riot, in which he suggested the activists were the paid handmaids of the United States.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:42:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
State-run television has begun an aggressive hunt for "thieves, traitors and enemies of the people."

If you run out of targets, come to the US. They're called Republicans.

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 Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 08:32:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
@MigeruBlogger
Migeru Shimbun is out! http://paper.li/MigeruBlogger/1351816577 ... ▸ Top stories today via @Presseurop @elconfidencial @JuanLabordah


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 30th, 2012 at 04:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands protest in Slovenia fueling tensions ahead of runoff presidential election (November 30)
Clashes broke out Friday night in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana as angry demonstrators tried to push through a police cordon to storm parliament and police used water cannon and tear gas to repel them.

At least 15 people were injured and 30 were arrested in what turned into a street battle between the police and groups of hooded young extremists throwing rocks, bottles and firecrackers at them.

This was the second time this week that anti-government protests in Slovenia turned violent -- an extremely rare development in the otherwise calm Alpine nation.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 03:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As its leaders fight, France's conservative party suffers - Yahoo! News

Mr. Copé and Mr. Fillon are fighting to succeed former French President Nicolas Sarkozy as leader of the right wing. The UMP, France's main right-wing party, held an internal election on Nov. 18 that both men claim they won. But no resolution appears to be in sight, despite efforts by Mr. Sarkozy, former Prime Minister Alain Juppé, and various UMP lawmakers to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Copé, who was declared the winner of the election by two commissions of the UMP, on Wednesday ruled out a plan for holding a referendum asking the party base whether it wants to vote anew for a party president after a disputed election. Copé had floated the proposal on Tuesday on the condition that Fillon give up on his project of creating a separate right-wing opposition group in the lower chamber of parliament. But after Fillon went ahead with his parliamentary group, Copé withdrew his support for a referendum.


Sarkozy has issued an ultimatum to both contenders:
Sarkozy has threatened Fillon and Copé to publicly say that both are unfit for running a major political party if they fail to end the gridlock by Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported Friday, citing anonymous sources within the UMP.

Fillon's lawyer declared this morning that a lawsuit "is ready" and can be filed in court "any moment". Copé reportedly replied: "Whoaaa, look at me, I'm shaking in my boots" (I made that one up). Former minister Luc Chatel, a Copé supporter and UMP vice-president, came out in favor of setting up a workgroup for "new statutes" for the party and organizing "a new vote".

Better prepare another batch of popcorn...

by Bernard on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 05:52:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This should be drawn out as long as possible :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 06:15:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is that Copé himself is toast. I had worried that he might be a key figure in moving the Overton window rightwards. But it turns out that his political instincts are rubbish. His "lieutenants" are, for the most part, nervously backing away from him. He is going to find that he has won control of an empty shell.

The "risk" is that the hard-right, or hardened racists, of the UMP will go to the FN. But when you look at who's supporting Fillon, it's apparent that there's still room for them in the "moderate" wing.

The fact that the French right is reverting to its normal state (gang war) is probably a positive overall, in that it weakens the two-party model painstakingly constructed by the UMP in collusion with the PS. But as long as the Constitution and the electoral system militates for it, I guess we're stuck with that.

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

by eurogreen on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Editorial - Bulgaria: rotten politics, rotten tomatoes

On 14 November, Nikolay Kolev, a Bulgarian poet with a Tolstoyan beard, wrote to his country's six leading institutions with his plans to throw a tomato at each. "All of you manage institutions that are directly responsible for the condition of our country in recent years," he said, accusing them of corruption. "I can no longer remain a hostage to hope and good manners." As Mr Kolev's first tomato hit the parliament, 40 policemen pounced, and arrested him. But demonstrations against corruption, which social networking sites called the tomato revolution, followed last weekend.

There seems little prospect of a tomato revolution. But Mr Kolev has a point. According to Transparency International, Bulgaria has overtaken Greece to be the EU's most corrupt member state and Sofia's Centre for the Study of Democracy estimates Bulgarians pay 150,000 bribes each month. WikiLeaks cables detail how organised crime has moved beyond bribery to direct participation in elective politics.

As usual, you've been reading about the corruption of Bulgaria on ET for a very long time

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 06:17:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:42:23 PM EST
Eurozone jobless rate hits new record of 11.7 percent - EUROZONE - FRANCE 24

Unemployment in the eurozone hit a record high in October with more than 170,000 more jobs lost as the debt crisis continued to undermine an economy slumping into recession, official data showed Friday.

The eurozone had a jobless rate of 11.7 percent in October, up from 11.6 percent in September, with the numbers out of work rising to 18.7 million from 18.49 million, the Eurostat data agency said.

The picture was particularly bleak for under 25-year-olds, with year-on-year figures showing almost one in four out of work both in the 17-nation eurozone and 27-nation European Union.

The highest unemployment rate was recorded again in Spain, where 26.2 percent of adults are out of work, with Austria again posting the lowest rate of 4.3 percent and benchmark Germany and the Netherlands at 5.4 and 5.5 percent respectively.

In this report there are low balls for everyone...

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:42:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain pension hike to be eaten up by inflation | Business | DW.DE | 30.11.2012

The government of Spain announced on Friday it would not raise pensions to fully compensate for inflation next year. The move came despite Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's earlier promise not to play with pensions to help slash the country's budget deficit.

Madrid said pensions would increase by 1 percent for those receiving more than 1,000 euros ($1,300 dollar) per month, and by 2 percent for those receiving less.

But Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria acknowledged that this increase would not equate to unchanged purchasing power for pensioner, with inflation standing at 2.9 percent at present. In effect, therefore, retirees' increased 2013 incomes will not go as far as their 2012 pensions did.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:42:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Five hours to go: The multi-million pound countdown to the nationalising of a steel works as the French government clashes with Britain's richest man - Europe - World - The Independent

Britain's richest man, Indian-born billionaire, Lakshmi Mittal, is facing a nail-biting countdown to midnight, after the French government threatened to nationalise a €400m (£323m) steel plant in eastern France.

Mittal, who is worth an estimated $16bn, has until midnight to sell a steel plant at Florange in Lorraine, at which point Paris has threatened to nationalise it.

ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel-maker, is embroiled in a dispute over their plans to close two blast furnaces at the site.

The company wants to retain profitable activities at the site, but the French government is insisting that the whole complex must remain open under a single owner.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:42:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France, Italy win safeguard clause in EU-Japan trade pact | EurActiv
EU trade ministers overcame resistance from the car industry on Thursday (29 November) and agreed to start negotiations to create a free-trade pact with Japan, Europe's most ambitious step so far in a strategy to tie up deals with the world's biggest economies.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:43:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Economic history: Germany, Greece and the Marshall Plan | The Economist

Currency reform in 1948--the U.S. Army put an occupation currency into circulation, and gave it the neutral name of Deutsche Mark, as no emitting authority existed yet--wiped out domestic public debt, the largest part of the 300% of 1938 GDP mentioned above.

But given that Germany's debt was blocked, the countries of Europe would not trade with post-war Germany except on a barter basis. Also to mitigate this, Europe was temporarily taken out of the Bretton Woods currency system and put together in a multilateral trade and clearing agreement dubbed the European Payments Union. Trade credit within this clearing system was underwritten by, again, the Marshall Plan.

In 1953, the London Agreement on German Debt perpetuated these arrangements, and thus waterproofed them for the days when Marshall Aid would be repaid and the European Payments Union would be dissolved. German pre-1933 debt was to be repaid at much reduced interest rates, while settlement of post-1933 debts was postponed to a reparations conference to be held after a future German unification. No such conference has been held after the reunification of 1990. The German position is that these debts have ceased to exist.

Let's recap. The Marshall Plan had an outer shell, the European Recovery Programme, and an inner core, the economic reconstruction of Europe on the basis of debt forgiveness to and trade integration with Germany. The effects of its implementation were huge. While Western Europe in the 1950s struggled with debt/GDP ratios close to 200%, the new West German state enjoyed debt/ GDP ratios of less than 20%. This and its forced re-entry into Europe's markets was Germany's true benefit from the Marshall Plan, not just the 2-4% pump priming effect of Marshall Aid. As a long term effect, Germany effortlessly embarked on a policy of macroeconomic orthodoxy that it has seen no reason to deviate from ever since.

But why did the Americans do all this, and why did anyone in Europe consent to it?



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 06:53:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Must-read.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:10:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Re: 1953 London Agreement on German Debt, see also: LQD: 'Germany Was Biggest Debt Transgressor of 20th Century'
by Bernard on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 11:26:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:43:24 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / UN vote marks EU defeat for Israel

BRUSSELS - Just one EU country - the Czech Republic - voted against Palestine's bid to become a UN "observer state" on Thursday (29 November).

Fourteen others - Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sweden - voted in favour. The rest, including Germany, until now a firm ally of Israel, abstained.

The result highlighted the EU's lack of unity on the conflict.

But it also marked a drain in sympathy for Israel in Europe, with German officials saying earlier this week that their decision is a protest against Israeli settlement expansion.

Compared to a similar vote on Palestine's bid to join the UN's cultural agency, Unesco, 12 months ago, nine EU countries which abstained or voted No on Unesco changed their votes to Yes or abstained on the UN observer state decision.


A few weeks weeks ago, expectations were for just one less Against vote.

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel to build new Jewish settlement homes after UN Palestine vote | World news | The Guardian

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has ordered the construction of thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied territories in what will be widely interpreted as retaliation for the United Nations vote to recognise a Palestinian state on Thursday.

Israeli officials said the new construction would centre on expanding existing West Bank settlements and more home for Jews in occupied East Jerusalem where the government is imposing demographic changes in order to diminish the proportion of Arab residents. Netanyahu also ordered the advancing of plans for construction to link up Jerusalem with a Jewish settlement, Ma'aleh Adumim, which would have a profound effect on any future Palestinian state based on 1967 borders by cutting deep into the centre of it. The US and Europe have long pressured the Israeli government not to build there.

But the USA (and some of the hypocritical UN vote abstainers of the EU) have to bemoan the Palestinian move...

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:44:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US denounces Israeli settlement plans - Americas - Al Jazeera English

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has criticised Israel's decision to build 3,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

"In light of today's announcement, let me reiterate that this administration - like previous administrations - has been very clear with Israel that these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace," Clinton said on Friday.

Clinton was speaking at a forum in Washington hosted by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, and Ehud Barak, defence minister, were in the audience when she made her remarks.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 02:38:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this administration - like previous administrations - has been very clear with Israel that these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace

Ooooooooh, suuuuuuure, you have been veeeeery clear...

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

by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 11:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The glacially slow vote count in the US is progressing. Dave Wasserman is keeping count.
  • Since most mail ballots and provisional ballots are votes for incumbent President Barack Obama, Republican candidate Mitt Romney's share of the vote keeps sinking. The rounded figure is already the poetic justice 47%, but the precise figure is getting closer, too: now 47.36%.
  • Obama's lead grew to 3.55 points resp. more than 4.5 million votes – much more than what Rovian propaganda described as Bush's "mandate" in 2004.
  • Obama is now only 4.34 million votes behind his 2008 performance (half what it seemed days after the election).
  • The total number of valid votes (which even Dave Wasserman confuses with total turnout) is now only 3.32 million behind 2008.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:56:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Colombia Reports: Colombia will use the "iron fist and velvet glove" of diplomacy to defend the rights of San Andres residents, stated the Colombian government Friday. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is expected to meet with his Nicaraguan counterpart, Daniel Ortega, in Mexico. The two will discuss a controversial ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that granted Colombia sovereignty over the islands of San Andres and Providencia while handing a large chunk of the surrounding waters to Nicaragua.
More HERE.

Setty's Notebook: The United States of America sold the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela 5,882,000 barrels of refined products in the month of September, dwarfing the worst period of the 2002-03 oil sabotage.

The Cuban Triangle: After the lawyer for jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross alleged that he has a cancerous growth on his back that Cuban medical staff are leaving untreated - "misdiagnosed" by Cuban doctors, his wife alleged - the Cuban government has responded with a statement (English here) saying that he does not have cancer.

Miami Herald, NEW YORK -- Argentina got some breathing room Wednesday in its billion-dollar debt showdown as an appeals court indefinitely suspended a federal judge's ruling that threatened to push the country into default.

Mexico, Aguachile: Let the graphic below from Reforma ... pronounce the verdict on 12 years of PAN rule.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 06:56:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Follow-up on this story:

Fake AP Graph Exposes Israeli Fraud and IAEA Credulity | IPS Writers in the Blogosphere

That Associated Press story displaying a graph alleged to be part of an Iranian computer simulation of a nuclear explosion -- likely leaked by Israel with the intention of reinforcing the media narrative of covert Iranian work on nuclear weapons - raises serious questions about the International Atomic Energy Association's (IAEA) claim that it has credible evidence of such modeling work by Iran.

The graph of the relationship between energy and power shown in the AP story has now been revealed to contain absurdly large errors indicating its fraudulence.

Those revelations indicate, in turn, that the IAEA based its publication of detailed allegations of nuclear weapons-related Iranian computer modeling on evidence that should have been rejected as having no credibility.

Former senior IAEA inspector Robert Kelley, who has challenged the accuracy of IAEA reporting on Iran, told Lobe Log in an e-mail that "It's clear the graph has nothing to do with a nuclear bomb."

by Bernard on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 05:23:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:00:37 PM EST
Fears of child thyroid cancer after Fukushima nuclear disaster - FRANCE 24
Alerted by the precedent set after Chernobyl, Japanese doctors have set about testing all children who might have been exposed to radiation after last year's nuclear disaster at Fukushima. They're looking for signs of thyroid cancer, and out of the 100,000 children tested so far, 40% have shown some sign of abnormality...


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:00:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
David Cameron forced into U-turn on flood defence spending cuts | Environment | The Guardian

The devastating flooding across Britain has forced David Cameron into a partial U-turn on deep cuts in flood defence spending, with the provision of an extra £120m.

The funding will allow 50 delayed schemes to go ahead, ministers said, but hundreds of projects remain without financial support. The Guardian has also learned that cuts are forcing the Environment Agency to stop or reduce the maintenance of some schemes.

In the recent spate of flooding, nearly 1,000 homes were inundated in the south-west of England, the Midlands and Wales. Many people have only been able to return to their homes in the last couple of days to begin the clean up. More than 5,200 properties have been flooded in 2012.

Every year I see the TV reports of floods in Britain. Every year I wonder why there is no public outrage at the lack of preparation.

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a had 30 years of govts who believe in de-regulation and limited govt. It's not so much that we are flooding more, although we are as our rivers aren't being dredged anymore. So the rivers are more readily filled

Also the lack of building regulation means that flood plains are being built upon. You don't see old housing being flooded so much, it's almost all new build. So the TV pictures are less about the weather and more about the stupidity of developers.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:36:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Increasing Drought Stress Predicted to Challenge Vulnerable Hydraulic System of Plants

The hydraulic system of trees is so finely-tuned that predicted increases in drought due to climate change may lead to catastrophic failure in many species. A recent paper co-authored by George Washington University Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Amy Zanne finds that those systems in plants around the globe are operating at the top of their safety threshold, making forest ecosystems vulnerable to increasing environmental stress.

In the current issue of the journal Nature, Dr. Zanne and lead authors from the University of Western Sydney in Australia and Ulm University in Germany, report that the hydraulic system trees depend on is a unique but unstable mechanism that is constantly challenged.

"Drought is a major force shaping our forests," said Dr. Zanne, a faculty member within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

"Over the last century, drought has been responsible globally for numerous large-scale forest diebacks. To make effective predictions of how forest landscapes may change in the future, we need to first understand how plants work."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you a farmer worried about GMO contamination? USDA says `get insurance' | Grist

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, a USDA advisory board released a report [PDF] recommending that the government offer a special form of crop insurance for farmers concerned about GMO contamination.

The USDA advisory group, called AC21 (short for the Advisory Committee on 21st Century Agriculture), is meant to represent the industry as a whole. The group included participants from all sectors of agriculture: large, small, conventional, and organic, including executives, farmers, and researchers. In reality, however, around three-quarters of the participants represent groups or organizations affiliated with big agribusiness, such as the American Farm Bureau, the National Corn Growers Association, and the American Soybean Association. And while USDA Chief Tom Vilsack had the good sense not to put a Monsanto representative on the board, DuPont, another major biotech firm, managed to get its top lawyer appointed.

So it should come as no surprise that organic trade groups attacked the board's conclusion as far too generous to the interests of the biotech industry and the farmers who use its seeds. According to Reuters, the National Organic Coalition lashed out in a press release:

"This proposal allows USDA and the agricultural biotechnology industry to abdicate responsibility for preventing [GMO] contamination while making the victims of [GMO] pollution pay for damages resulting from transgenic contamination," it said.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And while they are getting that insurance, better through on it to insure against being sued by the GMO companies for using their imaginary property.

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 Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 10:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 08:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great looking water delivery system for California. Just wish I could get a break to walk.

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 Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 08:39:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:38:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't get the Pineapple Express reference here, until I googled:

A "pineapple express" is a weather pattern when we get to say "aloha" to some driving rains. There are times in the winter when the jet stream --which acts like a steering force in controlling where weather goes -- will dip down into the tropics, and then carry a large batch of tropical moisture northeast into the Pacific Northwest. Since many times the moisture has its origins in the area near Hawaii, the pattern got the name of "pineapple express."

I thought it was an exotic weed that played a role in the movie of the same name. But maybe there is an etymological resonance with good weed from Hawaii.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 11:20:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whether it's love, branding, tagging or product differentiation, young Finnish growers - apparently - have individual names for their growths, even if they only have a handful of plants.

I would imagine that the density of population in the 18-25 demographic  range with a knowledge of hydroponics has grown 5 fold in the last few years.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 05:30:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:01:12 PM EST
'Hi, deliver me from evil': Church sets up an exorcist hotline to deal with demand - Europe - World - The Independent
The Catholic Church has established an exorcist hotline in Milan, its biggest diocese, to cope with demand. Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, the diocese's chief exorcist since 1995, said the curia had also appointed twice as many exorcists to cope with a doubling in the number of requests for help over 15 years.

...The Monsignor said he knew of one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day. "But with so little time per client he was only able to offer a quick blessing. That's not enough," he said. "There should be two to four appointments a day, no more, otherwise it's too much."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:01:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Monsignor:
one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day.

</demonic giggle>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 01:46:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a scientology 'auditor'.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 02:55:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, that's good business. Hope he charges well for consultations

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:39:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Monsignor:
per client

A lapsus linguae, or is the Catholic Church now upfront about being a sacred services industry?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 01:49:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I checked the Italian press - it's a regular Milan number. I was sure it would be one of those where you pay by the minute while they put you on hold.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 07:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A New Pamphlet Has Triggered a Sexual Education Debate in Austria - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Last week, China Central Television performed a provocative experiment. Reporters took cameras into the streets and stopped passers-by to ask them such intimate questions as: "How did you come into this world?"

For those who believe in the value of sex education, the responses were not particularly encouraging. One woman said her mother told her she was found on a pile of stones. A man said he had been told that he jumped from beneath a rock while his mother was herding goats. A university student told CCTV that she had long believed she had sprung from her mother's armpit. Unsurprisingly, the show elicited widespread demands for more sex ed in public schools.

Still, on the other end of the intimacy-instruction spectrum is the question: How much do children really need to know? It is a question that has gripped Austria in recent weeks. There, a brochure for educators on the topic of sex education has triggered heated protest from those who say that it goes way too far.

The brochure, called "Ganz schön intim" ("Really Quite Intimate"), is a 152-page, rather tamely illustrated publication designed to prepare teachers to instruct school children on sexuality. But it also includes detailed written information on masturbation, homosexuality and intersexuality, the term denoting those born with biological characteristics of both genders.

It's not clear why the number of suspected possessions has risen so sharply. But Monsignor Mascheroni said that part of the increase might be explained by the rising numbers of parents having difficulty controlling disobedient teenagers.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:01:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wunderbar. It's an "intimate" question to ask an adult how s/he came into the world?

OK, reading through the Spiegel bad copy, it seems the point was to ask people what they were told when they were children, an interesting question.

Spiegel:

A man said he had been told that he jumped from beneath a rock while his mother was herding goats

Was his mother romanticising the story of how he was conceived? Or am I alone in finding a reverse-Oedipal subtext in this? Oh, Austria. Freud's country.

Spiegel:

heated protest from those who say that it goes way too far.

Of course. There's nothing better for children than ignorance. I thought Austria was going through soul-searching after major horrifying incest cases. No doubt many would like to keep the lid on.

DoDo:

It's not clear why the number of suspected possessions has risen so sharply. But Monsignor Mascheroni said that part of the increase might be explained by the rising numbers of parents having difficulty controlling disobedient teenagers.

Vade retro, Satanas! DoDo's blockquote is possessed!

(Mind you, it fits. All those disobedient teenagers were probably deprived of the normal, healthy ignorance in which the Catholic Church would have kept them. The result is an epidemic of demonic possession. This didn't happen when priests were free to bugger altarboys.)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 02:20:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, Austria.

No, that part of the story was in China :-)

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

by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 11:18:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, right. What about the Monsignor and the demonic teenagers?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fits perfectly :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:29:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nutcracker Birthplace Seiffen Prepares for Christmas - SPIEGEL ONLINE
The proud artisans of Seiffen gave the world the nutcracker and are determined to keep their centuries-old craft alive. The Christmas industry in the Ore Mountains of Germany has survived economic crises, wars, communism and a wave of Chinese replicas -- but is now at risk from a lack of young apprentices.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:01:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Long-held memory tenet challenged

An Australian researcher has challenged a long-held view on how many information nuggets the mind can cope with before confusion sets in.

In 1956, American psychologist George Miller published a paper arguing the mind could cope with a maximum of only seven chunks of information.

The paper, "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two. Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information," has since become one of the most influential and highly cited articles in the field of psychology.

But Gordon Parker, a psychiatry professor at the University of New South Wales, says a re-analysis of the experiments used by Miller suggest the findings were wide of the mark.

A closer examination of the evidence shows the human mind copes with a maximum of four "pieces" of information, not seven, Parker said

"So to remember a seven numeral phone number, say 6458937, we need to break it into four chunks: 64, 58, 93, 7," he said in a university release. "Basically four is the limit to our perception."

The success of Miller's original paper lies "more in its multilayered title and Miller's evocative use of the word 'magic,'" than in the science, Parker said.

"There may be no limit in storage capacity per se but only a limit to the duration in which items can remain active in short-term memory," he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently Prof. Gordon's findings are pre-publication.  (A nice way of saying he needs to stop driveling to journalists and provide a bit of proof.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 11:53:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looked like drivel to me too, but what do I know about it so I refrained for once.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I snark because I care.  Whether a human can simultaneously process 7 or 4 "nuggets of information" has ramifications in a large number of fields; communication (of all kinds) being the most obvious; how one goes about thinking about how to think about something (aka abductive Critical Thinking) being not so obvious.

Prof. Parker's finding - IF True and Accurate - is very important.  It's ... annoying ... I have no basis to judge his statements.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:40:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going lazy in not reading up on it, but I wonder if the research was properly founded at the level of definitions. That is: what is "a chunk of information", and what exactly does "coping with information" mean?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 02:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have found the 7 chunks version pretty accurate in a little game I like to call "find the missing person". In a group someone is late or missing, who is it? If there is around seven or fewer persons in the group it is usuallly obvious. If around 14, it is not always obvoius, but mentally dividing in two equal groups (men and women for example if gender ratio is roughly 50/50) works well to find out if anyone is missing in either group. And so on.

This anecdotal observation makes me suspicious agaisnt the claim of 4 chunks. Then again it might depend on type of data and also individual variation.

Hm, now I got curios - why is it when phone numbers are broken down they come in sets of two or three digits? Most people I know would read 6458937 as 64, 58, 937 not 645 8937. So is the real limit three?

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 Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 02:41:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's local habit. In the UK numbers are never split into groups of 4, 5 or 6.

Pairs are never used, and most UK people - including me - find non-UK phone numbers in pairs very hard to read and remember.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 03:00:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the phone number that struck me as a dubious example. Unless he has hard science to go on, my impression is that culture plays a part in how you remember a phone number. For Brits, 645 8937 (six-four-five eight-nine-three-seven) would seem right. But the French would break it into sixty-four fifty-eight ninety-three seventy-(something if there's an eighth digit). French numbers are in fact ten-digit, so are usually broken up into five chunks with no one having any difficulty remembering them. Personally I either commit a number to short or long-term memory in the French way (in the French language), or in English as a straight series of digits 6-4-5-8-9-3-7. So I have a job seeing where the four chunks come in.

But maybe he has hard science to show for what goes on behind our conscious perception...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 03:06:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, you can use memory in ways that doesn't require the simultaneous recalling of all the numbers (resp. all seven of whatever chunks of information). One can remember the pattern of a series in time: think of a music score, for example. I found that I remember some telephone numbers by the regularity in the path my finger takes when typing it, and I have difficulties when faced with a different dial or a paper form on which I have to write it down.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 03:52:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aha. So the two-three division in Sweden is likely from way back before cell phones, when most numbers were area code + five digits. Spelled out as for example sixty-four fifty-eight ninehundred-thirty-seven.

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 Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 04:03:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In your example, the "chunk of information" corresponds to a standard 'module' used by the human brain when progressing sensory input: the "[human] person". Because we are geared for that, we find it easier to represent even unrelated observables with it (that's what we call anthropomorphism). I'm not sure that ability to use this module is transferable to other kinds of "chunks of information", like telephone numbers or cards or puzzle pieces.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 03:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when progressing sensory input

...processing...

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

by DoDo on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 03:54:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew's quote gives as much "details" as are known.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 03:25:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Kalashnikov Initial Testing `Complete' | Defense | RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - The latest version of Russia's world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifle, the AK-12, has completed a set of preliminary tests, the weapons-making agency responsible for trials of the new gun said on Friday.

Last week, Dmitry Semizorov, head of the Tochmash state arms firm based near Moscow, said the AK-12 "has shown up a range of problems" and "a series of flaws." He declined to elaborate on what the defects were, saying this was "the developer's confidential information."

The weapon was developed by Izhmash, the Izhevsk-based gun maker which has built Kalashnikov rifles since the 1950s.

Izhmash director Vladimir Zlobin said the initial testing was in fact designed to identify the AK-12's faults and weak spots and fix them.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:47:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists baffled by gargantuan black hole - latimes.com

Astronomers on the hunt for supermassive black holes have discovered one so monstrous that its mass dominates the central hub of its galaxy in a way that defies scientists' expectations about how typical black holes behave.

Described in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, the black hole may push theorists to revamp their ideas of how these mysterious structures grow and evolve.

Astrophysicists said they were scratching their heads at how thoroughly this gargantuan black hole -- seated in the galaxy NGC 1277, about 220 million light-years away -- hogs its galactic bed.

Supermassive black holes typically account for just 0.1% of the mass in a galaxy's stellar bulge, the cluster of older stars huddled around the center. This particular black hole, by contrast, takes up 59% of that central mass, shattering the previous record of 11%.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 09:54:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First the meta-comment: it's rather annoying when journos try to emphasize the interesting part in a science discovery by painting the picture of non-plussed scientists and the impression that old theories have to be thrown out in their entirety. That's not how it works and that only serves to reinforce the preconceptions of science-haters. (In this instance, I'm pretty sure that most of those involved was neither baffled or was scratching his/her head, but was joyous for finding something out of the ordinary.)

Then the comment: the 0.1% ratio is not some iron-clad rule resulting from theories, but an observed average to which most galaxies of any size fall amazingly close and thus calls for an explanation (that is, models on central black hole formation should be scale-free). There are some galaxies without a central black hole and with only a central star cluster, but the 0.1% ratio applies even for those clusters. A very high black hole mass to galaxy mass ratio is interesting in that it is unlikely to have been the result of an isolated galaxy formation 11% or 59% of the mass of a cloud slowly concentrating in the black hole) – which makes a strong interaction with another galaxy likely. When two galaxies merge, the central black holes, together with the cores of their former galaxies, normally spiral towards each other until a merger. However, a sling effect is also possible, especially if there are three rather than two cores interacting, in which case one black hole with the remains of the core of its former independent galaxy can become independent again.

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

by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 11:39:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading the rest of the article, I find things are at least put to scale at the very end:

But if they find more, he said, it could mean there's a whole new class of galaxies that requires fresh explanation. There are already signs that NGC 1277 may have siblings -- the researchers have identified other galaxies with similar properties, and they're currently analyzing the mass of their black holes.

Even if it's a new class of galaxies, it's a pretty small one.

"In the observable universe, there's about 100 billion" galaxies, Gebhardt said. "So this isn't even the tip of the iceberg. This is a snowflake on top of the tip of the iceberg."

(At least the scientist can use evocative language, too.)

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

by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 11:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So galaxies/Black Holes may be arranged along a Power Law:

?

How totally unsurprising.

[Pet Peeve:  it would be nice if journalists covering the 'Science Beat' knew something.  ANYTHING about Science.]

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

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 11:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So galaxies/Black Holes may be arranged along a Power Law

I don't follow. What are on the axes?

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

by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:30:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since the discussion is of stellar bodies, I would suggest mass and frequency.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 03:40:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh. If that's the case, then there is a mis-understanding: the 0.1% ratios are measured for individual galaxies.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 04:29:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My comment should have been attached to melo's comment, not yours.  

Statement of the general nature of Power Law.  In this case it would be the size of the Black Hole versus the size of the central hub of the galactic core.

Assuming galactic hubs are scale invariant it tells us, or me (astrophysics not being my field,) something interesting (to me) and fundamental about How Things Is.  

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

by ATinNM on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Central black hole mass to bulge mass would be a log-normal distribution centered on 0.2%.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 02:33:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asperger's syndrome dropped from psychiatrists' handbook the DSM | Society | guardian.co.uk

Asperger's syndrome is to be dropped from the psychiatrists' Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, the American publication that is one of the most influential references for the profession around the world.

The term "Asperger's disorder" will not appear in the DSM-5, the latest revision of the manual, and instead its symptoms will come under the newly added "autism spectrum disorder", which is already used widely. That umbrella diagnosis will include children with severe autism, who often do not talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms.

The British hacker Gary McKinnon is diagnosed with Asperger's and it contributed to a government decision not to extradite him from Britain to the US on cybercrime charges.

by Bernard on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 05:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:01:59 PM EST
Depardieu arrested for drink driving after scooter fall - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Troubled French actor Gérard Depardieu was detained by Paris police on Thursday after falling off his scooter, drunk.

The burly 63-year-old Cyrano de Bergerac star, a lover of wine who owns hundreds of acres of vineyards in France, was found to have 1.8 grammes per litre of alcohol in his blood, far beyond the legal limit for driving in France, which is 0.5 grammes.

Police said that Depardieu did not cause the accident - but still faces a fine of up to 4,500 euros and stands to lose at least six points (out of a maximum of 12) from his driving licence.

Depardieu initially refused to take a breath test when police arrived at the scene of the accident, in which the actor slightly injured his elbow.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He should clear off to his new tax haven home and annoy the Belgians.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 02:22:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah he should make his wine in Belgium too.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Skeleton lover walks free as bone trial ends - The Local

A 37-year-old woman charged with "violating the peace of the dead" for allegedly using human bones as sex toys was released on Friday as the court began deliberations, with the prosecutor arguing she should be sent to prison.

The woman, whose collection of bones has made headlines around the world, was arrested in September when police arrived at her apartment and found human skeletons and knives after responding to a call about gunfire coming from the flat.

She was charged with violating the peace of the dead after confiscated images and witness statements suggested she used the bones for sexual purposes.

On Friday, the 37-year-old walked free following three days of hearings in the Gothenburg District Court, which will now begin deliberations ahead of a verdict expected to be delivered on December 17th.

While no longer being held on remand, the woman remains suspected of the crimes with which she has been charged.

(...) Investigators have confirmed that 397 bones, 15 skulls, and 13 teeth that were found in the woman's house are indeed human remains.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:45:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When the court not upholds remand when deliberations begin it is a strong indication that there will be no jail sentence. Which can either be because the accused will be found not guilty or because the likely sentence will not contain jail time.

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 Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 10:41:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 10:08:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My nose twitches in the presence of a scriptwriter...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 10:40:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While the context of this 1996 post isn't completely clear, they may actually come from a competition to come up with bad analogies.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 11:18:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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