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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 7 November

by ceebs Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 05:51:38 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1878 - birth of Lise Meitner, Physicist (d. 1968)

More here and here

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 EUROPE 



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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:06:34 PM EST
China files WTO complaint against EU over green energy: source

China has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the European Union over renewable energy subsidies, a source close to the world trade body said Monday.

"I can confirm we have received a complaint from China against ... the EU, Italy, and Greece on certain measures affecting the renewable energy generation sector," the source told AFP in an email.

"China is claiming that certain measures affecting the renewable energy generation sector relating to the feed-in tariff programmes of EU member states, including but not limited to Italy and Greece, include domestic content restrictions and are inconsistent with the WTO rules," he said, without offering more details.

The complaint comes after China last Thursday announced a trade investigation into EU exports of solar-grade polysilicon, and can be seen as an escalation of a bitter trade row with the bloc, which in September unveiled a similar probe into Chinese products.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China accuses EU of breaching world trade rules over solar panels | EurActiv

An escalating row between solar panel makers stepped up a gear on Monday ( 5 November) when China complained to the World Trade Organisation that Italy and Greece had unfairly favoured domestic suppliers.

China, the world's largest solar panel maker, accused the European Union of breaching world trade rules only days after saying it would consider blocking imports of solar technology from Europe.

It said the crux of its complaint centred on offers by Rome and Athens of higher electricity prices to solar power producers that use mainly locally sourced components.

Concerns that the financial crisis would bring simmering protectionist disputes to the surface proved misplaced until this year. During 2012 the WTO received 25 complaints compared to eight in 2011. Analysts blame the downturn in global growth this year for sparking a series of disputes that range from the US and Mexico complaining about Argentinian import restrictions on meat and fruit to objections from Brazil over South African anti-dumping duties on Brazilian frozen meat.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stronger Asia-Europe economic cooperation takes center stage at ASEM - Xinhua | English.news.cn

Pledges for stronger trade promotion as well as reducing protectionism to put the world's economy on a sustainable path was the main focus of the 9th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) that concluded here on Tuesday.

Leaders of 51 members, including new entrants Norway, Bangladesh and Switzerland, gathered in the Laos capital for two days to deliberate of issues of mutual interest in a summit that was largely dominated by global economic issues over regional security concerns.

Ahead of ASEM, analysts opined that Europe's leaders will seek financial assistance from Asia to assist in Europe's bailout plan, particularly in attempting to convince China to use its estimated 3 trillion U.S. dollars in foreign reserves.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Wales child abuse: Theresa May launches inquiry

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a new police inquiry into allegations of child abuse in north Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

She said the head of the National Crime Agency would investigate any fresh allegations, and examine the way the police handled the original complaints.

Separately, Mrs Justice Macur will investigate the terms of the Waterhouse abuse inquiry, which began in 1996.

Some victims say that inquiry did not examine all of their claims of abuse.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:42:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EXCLUSIVE: Savile questioned over Yorkshire Ripper murders | Calendar - ITV News
Jimmy Savile was questioned by detectives investigating the Yorkshire Ripper murders more than 30 years ago. A senior officer who worked on the inquiry has been speaking


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:58:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How High Does It Go? - The Daily Beast

What stopped this coming out a decade ago?

Hot on the heels of the Jimmy Savile Scandal, in which one of Britain's most high-profile pop celebrities was alleged to have been a prolific perpetrator of sexual abuse, allegations of an even more disturbing pedophile ring with connections to the highest ranks of government have come to light.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 05:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh, there have been rumours about this since the mid-70s. Everybody knew about Kincora in N Ireland, but we also knew that successive govts had a vested interest in not asking the questions.

If there was a vested interest, that meant somebody high up was involved. The scandal in N Wales was swept under the carpet, just like all the others. But it came at the wrong moment as Savile was supposed to have been all about the BBC. Now it's broken out, which for all those very rich, very powerful men is just a bit inconvenient.

So we will have wall to wall paedophiles in the papers for a while (just long enough to bury Leveson I imagine) and then it will all go quiet again. Because that's how the ptb like it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:53:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov fired by Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the defence minister after his ministry was caught up in a corruption scandal.

Anatoly Serdyukov has been replaced with a former emergencies minister and loyal ally of Mr Putin, Sergei Shoigu.

Russia's top investigative agency is investigating the sale of ministry assets at prices below market value.

Mr Putin said he had removed Mr Serdyukov to create "conditions for an objective investigation".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:43:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Greeks strike against austerity

Workers in Greece are staging a 48-hour general strike across the public and private sectors in protest at a proposed new wave of austerity.

Public transport has been shut down, but fewer people have demonstrated than during previous stoppages.

MPs are due to vote on the package of salary and pension cuts, and labour market reforms, on Wednesday.

Greece must back the measures, and the 2013 budget, to receive the next part of a bailout and avoid bankruptcy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:43:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France under fire over rail merger proposal | EurActiv

France's plan to merge its railway and infrastructure operations has drawn criticism and a call for the European Commission to block the move.

Efforts to merge the state-run SNCF railway and the RFF infrastructure company comes as the Commission finalises its Fourth Railway Package that is expected to focus on further "unbundling" the management of infrastructure from passenger and cargo operations.

But Tony Berkeley, a member of the British House of Lords who is director of the European Rail Freight Association, said the Paris proposal defied EU laws on creating an integrated, competitive market for passenger and cargo rail.

Competitors "are never going to get fair treatment as long as the infrastructure operator has a corporate relationship with the rail service operator," Lord Berkeley told EurActiv in a telephone interview.

Fortunately, after many years of success, Britain can show the way on creating "an integrated, competitive market for passenger and cargo rail".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. surely there is a group arising who can see that the ideological bs about unfettered markets in every sphere of interest is counter-productive nonsense and can push back. The evidence is undeniable.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:56:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish energy firms intensify coal lobbying in Brussels | EurActiv

EXCLUSIVE: This year's annual European coal industry conference in Brussels is being co-organised by the Central European Energy Partners (CEEP), which was founded by, and is mostly made up of, state-owned Polish energy firms.

Controversy broke out last year, when EurActiv revealed that the then-Polish EU presidency's logo appeared on posters advertising the Second Coal Days conference.

But the third European Coal Days conference, which includes high-level MEPs and European Commission speakers, will also indirectly receive state funds from Warsaw.

As well as CEEP, the meeting is being sponsored by the World Coal Association and the centre-right European People's Party in the European Parliament.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:51:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exclusive - Amazon to win e-book tussle with Apple | Reuters

(Reuters) - European Union regulators are to end an antitrust probe into e-book prices by accepting an offer by Apple and four publishers to ease price restrictions on Amazon, two sources said on Tuesday.

The decision hands online retailer Amazon victory in its attempt to sell e-books cheaper than its rivals in the fast-growing market that publishers hope will boost revenue and increase customer numbers.

Apple and the publishers offered in September to let retailers set their own prices or discounts for a period of two years, and also to suspend "most-favored nation" contracts for five years.

Such clauses bar Simon & Schuster, News Corp. unit HarperCollins, Lagardere SCA's Hachette Livre and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, the owner of German company Macmillan, from making deals with rival retailers to sell e-books more cheaply than Apple.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:00:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish PM slams Catalan separatist bid - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has dismissed Catalan's drive for independence while signaling a bailout plan for the country was all but ruled out for 2012.

Rajoy, speaking to Cope radio on Tuesday, said that the pro-independence drive in Catalonia defied common sense and the sweep of history.

"The approach that is being taken here goes against history, goes against the sign of the times, and goes against simple common sense," the prime minister said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: The latest draft strengthens the role of national supervisors against ECB (07.11.2012)
A German newspaper reports on the latest EU presidency draft on banking union, which severely curtails the role of the ECB in banking supervision; the aim is to get rid of the concept of a Single Supervisory Mechanism and replace it with a "European System of Banking Supervision"; banks with assets of less than half of the country's total banking assets (i.e. all banks, or all but one banks per country) shall remain under national control; the eurozone's recession has gotten a lot worse in September, with German industrial orders down 3.3% on the month; the German Council of Economic Advisers has revised downwards its 2013 growth projection to 0.8%; one of the main drivers in the collapse of German - and other eurozone - growth is the car industry; Antonis Samaras and his aides optimistic that vote on austerity will pass tonight; but there may be a delay in the payout of the next Greek debt tranche until December; FT Deutschland has quotes from various German and eurozone officials saying that France is heading for a liquidity crunch and higher spreads; they are calling Francois Hollande's government amateurish, and say the proposed reforms amount to far too little; Le Monde applaudes Hollande's political courage to break with Socialists' taboos but says more needs to be done; S&P threatens a downgrade of Slovenia over a proposed referendum;  Spain to extend regional liquidity fund as pharmacies go on strike over region's arrears; European Commission about to release a dire forecast for Spain; Constitutional challenge of Spain's labour reform gets underway; Italy's Senate is expected to approve a new electoral law next week; the eurozone crisis throws one third of Italian company into a loss; Marco Onado says Italy's savings are falling with unprecedented velocity, as more and more Italian are using the savings of their parents;  the German Council of Economic Advisors, meanwhile, wants an end to the OMT before it has even started.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 03:44:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The eurozone is clearly not the main story this morning. Nevertheless. Here we go...


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 03:45:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So moving away from a banking union? Am I understanding that correctly?

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 04:58:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One "systemically important" bank per country, and only "systemically important" banks to come under supervision.

An "institutional fudge" as Eurointelligence has it, is on its way.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:40:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The sparkassen once again have shown their power.

Deutsche Bank will  regulated on the european level . And nothing will change for saving banks and their brother in arms the mutuals.

by IM on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:07:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The biggest story in our area is the continued attempt to dilute the role of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) at the expense of national bank supervisors. Borsenzeitung has seen the latest draft of the Cypriot EU presidency paper on banking union. The main point is that they want to leave all banks under national supervision if their assets account for less than half the country's total banking assets - which basically means that there cannot be more than one systemically relevant bank per country. The paper has obtained a copy of the draft, which includes some specific details about the relationship between the ECB and national supervisors. As we reported already, the ECB will directly supervise a small number of large banks and those that have received funding from the ESM. The article notes that EU lawyers had questioned the lack of a definition of systemically relevant, and have now come up with this "less than half the total banking assets" definition (which is, of course, economically illiterate). The article also notes an additional difference between the European Commission's proposals and the presidency paper. The former defined the national supervisors as junior to the ECB. The latter defines them as equal partners. A footnote considers the idea to replace the expression "Single Supervisory Mechanism" with "European System of Banking Supervision", presumably analogous to the ECB itself.

(The Cypriot presidency is essentially killing off the entire idea of an SSM. It confirms our original prognosis that eurozone member states are not willing to accept a proper banking union. This is going to be another institutional fudge. Back to business as usual in Brussels.)



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:56:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"FT Deutschland has quotes from various German and eurozone officials saying that France is heading for a liquidity crunch and higher spreads; they are calling Francois Hollande's government amateurish, and say the proposed reforms amount to far too little; Le Monde applaudes Hollande's political courage to break with Socialists' taboos but says more needs to be done;"

Alas, it seems that five years of crisis have not made a dent in the Friedman doctrine that the only possible cause for neoliberalism failing was that you did not pursue pure enough neoliberalism.

And arithmetics should feel free to leave.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:37:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France plans €20bn in tax credits for companies financed by expenditure cuts and VAT rise

We reported on a leaked version of the response of the French government to the Galois report yesterday morning. Here are more details of this "National pact for growth, competitiveness and employment" as reported by Reuters: There will be €20bn in annual tax credits to companies as a way of lowering labour costs: €10bn in rebates next year, increasing that amount by €5bn in 2014 and 2015 to a permanent annual level of €20bn, equivalent to a 6% cut in labour costs. To finance that, the main VAT rate will be raised to 20% in 2014 from 19.6% today, and a reduced rate that applies to restaurant bills and property repairs will rise to 10% from 7%, raising a total of €6bn. The government also aims to save €12.5bn from cuts to public spending and health insurance from next year.  In an interview with Les Echos, Jean-Marc Ayrault said the measures would help to create more than 300,000 jobs by 2017 and would boost the economy by 0.5% over the same period.

Le Monde editorial attests Hollande political courage but says it is not enough

Le Monde editorial writes that with this new competitiveness pact Francois Hollande breaks three taboos for the Socialists: the acceptance that labour costs are one cause for the industrial decline in France (though not the main reason); second , the cut in public expenditure to finance the €10bn of the cost reduction for businesses, earlier considered impossible; and third the rise of VAT, always denied during the election campaign. By breaking these taboos Hollande showed political courage, so the article. But the risk is that cherry picking the Galois report will miss the coherence of it and thus is efficiency. It will need to be followed up by more measures.  

Eurozone official says France headed for a liquidity crunch, unless governments starts reforms

FT Deutschland has an article quoting unnamed eurozone officials criticising Francois Hollande's governement as amateurish. They say the reform proposal presented this week were insufficient, and could be at best a first step. A German official, again unnamed, is quoted as saying that the French do not have a problem of implementation, but a problem of recognition as France has lost competitiveness in global markets that needs to be urgently address. The official express concern that the low refinance rates may not last, and that country may head in the same direction of Spain or Italy.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv: Slovak MEP: `Acceleration of history' may redraw borders (07 November 2012)
"Czechoslovakia is not a typical case because if we look back at history, there were no big problems between the two nations. Once each of them are on the same ground, on the same basis, once they have been masters in their own house, there is no reason for them looking at the development of the two nations historically to cultivate negative feelings about the other," he said.

...

"The most important factor why not to recognise Kosovo was that we thought that it was possible to reach a solution that would be acceptable to both parties. We thought that with the efforts of the international community, if there was a heavy weight negotiator, that it was possible to resolve those 5% of the issues, because they were telling at the time that 95% of the issues were already resolved... So the most important reason is that we are against the solution which was forced on one of the participants in the negotiations," he said.

...

"Separatism cannot lead to creation of state. The right to self-determination can, but not separatism. And I don't think that the Hungarian national minority living in Slovakia is wishing to secede or to join Hungary. I simply do not believe it. Sometimes their positions are ambivalent, and that's why many politicians are suspicious about them," he said.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 03:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:07:08 PM EST
BBC News - EU criticised for wasting funds

Auditors have said the European Union has failed to keep tight enough control over its own spending.

The European Court of Auditors said there were errors in allocating about 5bn euros (£4bn) from the 2011 budget.

Critics said it showed the EU's wastefulness, at a time when it was arguing for a budget increase.

Court President Vitor Caldeira said: "With Europe's public finances under severe pressure, there remains scope to spend EU money more efficiently."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:44:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Housing-Market Recovery in U.S. Not `Resounding,' Shiller Says - Bloomberg

The U.S. housing recovery is a fragile one and should be spurred by reducing the role of government in the mortgage-finance system, said Robert Shiller, a professor at Yale University and co-creator of the S&P/Case- Shiller index of property values.

"There are positive signs, the problem is that it's not a really strong positive sign yet," Shiller said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop" with Betty Liu today. It is "not a resounding recovery," he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:56:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bank of England to put stimulus on hold in close vote | Reuters

(Reuters) - The Bank of England is likely on Thursday to opt for a pause in bond purchases aimed at boosting the economy after Britain exited recession and some rate-setters voiced doubts about the policy's bite.

The central bank has bought a total of 375 billion pounds- worth of British government bonds since the 2007-08 financial crisis, completing the latest round of purchases last week.

Economists have been paring back expectations of more buying, or quantitative easing, in November since data showed late last month surprisingly strong GDP growth between July and September.

Central bankers are pinning great hopes on a new scheme to get credit flowing through the ailing economy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
London finance firms to axe 13,000 jobs in 2013 - study | Reuters

(Reuters) - London's financial sector will lay off 13,000 staff in 2013, cutting employment in a key UK economic sector to a 20-year low, as job vacancies also drop in Europe and even Asia, studies showed.

Financial firms in Europe's biggest financial centre have laid off more than 100,000 employees since a market peak in 2007, driven by four years of crisis that have brought a wholesale reassessment of banks' role and business models.

Weak dealmaking will drag London job levels in 2014 to their lowest since the early 1990s, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicted on Tuesday

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:03:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:07:38 PM EST
British PM backs 'safe passage' for Assad - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
David Cameron, the British prime minister, has said he will support granting President Bashar al-Assad a safe passage out of Syria to help end the civil war.

Cameron made the comments on Tuesday in a television interview while visiting the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
 
He said "anything" should be done to help "get the man out of the country and to have a safe transition in Syria". 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:00:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel to counter Palestinian attempt at UN - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Israel is preparing to counter a Palestinian bid for enhanced United Nations status later this month, the AFP news agency has reported.

"Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman convened Israel's 27 ambassadors in Europe for an urgent meeting this week in Vienna," to discuss the Palestinian bid, foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP on Tuesday.

"The ambassadors will seek to define a diplomatic course with the Europeans intended to counter this initiative and to this end Lieberman will go to Vienna," he added.

Meanwhile, the Middle East monitor, citing Israeli sources, reported that Lieberman had also asked EU officials to fix a definite time for elections in the occupied territories in order to replace Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, who was described as "an obstacle to peace.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US soldier in court over Afghan massacre - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Military prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for a US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers when he ventured out of his camp drunk earlier this year.

Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 39, had allegedly been drinking whiskey and watching a violent action movie with comrades before heading out of his base twice to massacre victims including women and children in two nearby villages.

The shootings in Afghanistan's Kandahar province in March marked the worst case of civilian slaughter blamed on an individual US soldier since the Vietnam War and eroded already strained US-Afghan ties after more than a decade of conflict in the country.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what about the guys who are in charge of the drones ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:58:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can speculate about their drinking and drug habits.

Not holding my breath for capital charges.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 04:04:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least 8 people killed by 3 blasts in suburb of Syrian capital - Xinhua | English.news.cn

At least eight people were killed Tuesday evening when three blasts rattled a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, the pro-government SAMA TV said.

Reports said the blast were caused by three explosive devices that went off in a swift succession at a crowded bus stop in al- Worud square in Qudsaiah suburb.

Ambulances rushed to the site as the flames spiraled and lit up the sky over the area, which is dominated by the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Syrian President Bashar al- Assad and the ruling elites belong.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Pan-American Post: Three people have been killed and dozens injured in violence that followed a sweeping victory for Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista party in local elections marred by claims of widespread fraud. With over 90% of the vote counted, President Daniel Ortega's Sandanista Front (FSLN) laid claim to 76% of the vote and control of 134 out of 153 municipalities - up from 108.

Speaking of elections, Puerto Ricans just voted out of office (by a hair) the incumbent Republican-aligned Statehood-seeking and austerity-loving governor. The island also held a highly controversial consultation/plebiscite on the future of our relations with the United States ... which ... was ... .... a joke:

The upcoming plebiscite excludes the possibility of voting for either "enhancing" Commonwealth or "None of the above". Rather, the two-round plebiscite first asks voters whether they want to continue under the "present territorial relationship," a term designed to evoke what some consider a colonialist legacy. Subsequently, on the same ballot, voters must choose between "non-territorial options." These options include statehood, independence, and free association, a form of independence that has been termed by ballot drafters as "sovereign Commonwealth" to confuse Commonwealth supporters. This is tantamount to asking Americans during the 1992 Presidential election: "Womanizing Governor of Arkansas: Yes or No?" and then making them choose between the "non-womanizer options," George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:16:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See, I would naively have guessed that Progress Island USA was a guaranteed Democrat stronghold.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Caption:

"Phone call from Bibi, line three. Should I transfer over to you?" "Put him on hold with some nice music and ask him to wait a bit. Go for Stevie Wonder, he loves him."
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 07:59:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah we got "Signed sealed delivered"

and we got "The best is yet to come"

But I'd like to hear

Because we ain't.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:36:23 PM EST
Agriculture and food production contribute up to 29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions

Feeding the world releases up to 17,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, according to a new analysis released by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). But while the emissions "footprint" of food production needs to be reduced, a companion policy brief by CCAFS lays out how climate change will require a complete recalibration of where specific crops are grown and livestock are raised.

Together, Climate Change and Food Systems (published in the 2012 Annual Review of Environment and Resources) and Recalibrating Food Production in the Developing World: Global Warming Will Change More Than Just the Climate (published by CCAFS), shed new light on the intertwining evolutions of climate change and the world's food system and their potential impact on humanity's relationship with food.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:37:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How much of that is oil/petrol/fuel?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:02:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not that much (I haven't got a figure).

Land use patterns and deforestation are important. And methane and nitrous oxide are the big GHGs from agriculture.

The article's headline is misleading. It's more about the impacts of climate change on food production than agriculture's contribution to causing climate change.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Biofuel breakthrough: Quick cook method turns algae into oil

t looks like Mother Nature was wasting her time with a multimillion-year process to produce crude oil. Michigan Engineering researchers can "pressure-cook" algae for as little as a minute and transform an unprecedented 65 percent of the green slime into biocrude.

"We're trying to mimic the process in nature that forms crude oil with marine organisms," said Phil Savage, an Arthur F. Thurnau professor and a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Michigan.

The findings will be presented at the 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. Savage's ocean-going organism of choice is the green marine micro-alga of the genus Nannochloropsis.

To make their one-minute biocrude, Savage and Julia Faeth, a doctoral student in Savage's lab, filled a steel pipe connector with 1.5 milliliters of wet algae, capped it and plunged it into 1,100-degree Fahrenheit sand.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:09:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how much energy is needed to get 1,100°F sand and how much biocrude do you get with it?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:23:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's just a sort of flash-pasteurisation process it won't consume much energy.

I suspect the problem is more with the pre-refining : eliminating all the surplus non-hydrocarbons, nitrogen etc.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:32:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greater effort needed to move local, fresh foods beyond 'privileged' consumers

An Indiana University study that looked at consumers who buy locally grown and produced foods through farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture programs found the venues largely attract a "privileged" class of shoppers.

"Our findings present a need for broadening local food opportunities beyond the privileged, higher-income consumer, through alternative payment plans and strategic efforts that make fresh foods accessible to a diversity of people," said James Farmer, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Farmer is discussing his research at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in San Francisco. The study focused on farmer's markets and CSAs in Indiana, which has more than 130 farmer's markets and more than 50 CSAs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:38:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Might work for potatoes.

Poor people have been raised on frozen and deep-fried for decades. Opportunities don't matter as much as taste.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:05:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Number 6:
frozen and deep-fried

Which of course cost more than plain potatoes. All the more if they're only eaten at fast-food outlets because you can find those everywhere but you can't always find decent fresh food outlets (the poorer the neighbourhood, the truer that is).

Everything costs more, to the poor.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:14:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand your remark.

Farmer's markets don't sell frozen deep-fried potatoes.

Sadly, going to the farmer's market, and making decent fries from fresh potatoes, are likely to be too much trouble for poor people, unless their peers think it's a good idea.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:38:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Potatoes" was a kind of shorthand for the perception of "what poor people eat".

What I mean is that this feels like a middle-class solution to a perceived failing of the working class.

Opera for the masses, if you will.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:06:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Opera was once for the masses...

I don't see any "failing" judgement in realizing that efforts of the farmers' market and CSA kind only attract people of a certain level of income, and, no doubt, of a certain culture. I have heard it rather suggested that it is a "failing" of middle-class bobos that they just love this kind of thing while ignoring that it's not available to people of lower income and, no doubt, a different culture.

As for "solution to a problem", I think people eating food-industry shit is a problem. I don't think CSAs can easily address it. It's better that farmers' markets be part of general street markets wherever possible, as they are in France (farmers has the right to pitch their stalls in with the resellers).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:34:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's time, not so much quality. Peeling and chipping spuds requires disposable time.

Someone working 1-2 jobs plus a commute needs food that takes as little effort as possible. Hence pizza, fish fingers, chips, and frozen etc.

Markets in the UK aren't difficult to find - even food markets. But cooking from raw ingredients is a luxury, even if it's significantly cheaper/better than processed food.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:15:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Markets in the UK aren't difficult to find - even food markets."

That's a point of view.
As a Frenchman, I find this point of view WAY off base. Yes, it has now become possible to find them. It's a 30 minutes commute for us to get there and it's only open Thursday to Saturday, though. And I don't live in a particularly remote area -zone 2 in London, opposite Canary Wharf. And the prices are extremely high for a market.

"It's time, not so much quality. Peeling and chipping spuds requires disposable time. "

Well, as does everything, so it's a matter of choice. But clearly, to take a personal example, my wife and I have much longer hours than the vast majority of the working class (working 2 jobs has to be the exception, most full time jobs explicitely forbid it), yet we do cook.
There are ways around that. One is to cook far too much, and put the extra in the fridge or freezer for the next days. Another is to steam what you've got, add some herbs, and do something else while it's cooking. Also, you don't have to peel potatoes (and many others) -it's healthier not to, actually.

However, the costs are incredibly high (at least compared to France or Italy) if you want good quality ingredients. Or you need to be able to accomodate pretty much anything, making up recipes according to what's available.

"But cooking from raw ingredients is a luxury"

Mostly learning how to is. Classes are expensive, as is good equipment. But it's a tiny minority who wouldn't find the time to cook by, say, stopping watching TV.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:15:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I just mention as a side note how much I enjoy never being able to predict in advance what topics here will generate discussion? :)


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:40:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True of some working poor, but commuting your time away to be able to buy more expensive food doesn't make sense. And there are a lot of people out of work.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:45:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exporting to China may not save the U.S. coal industry after all | Grist

Last week, I wrote that the U.S. coal industry is in trouble and the only way it can hope to reverse its downward slide is through increased exports, mostly to China. This isn't a crazy notion: Coal consumption has been rising and will continue to rise in China, in absolute terms. But there's reason to think the rate of growth may be slower than expected, and consequently that exports may not be the sure thing U.S. coal companies need.

The same discussion is happening in Australia: Coal companies are eager to build giant new coal mines in Queensland and they're using projected Asian demand to justify them. Noted Australian economist Ross Garnaut, adviser to the Labor government and author of the famed (in some circles) Garnaut Climate Change Review, recently downplayed Chinese demand:

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:36:48 PM EST
Were Dinosaurs Destined to Be Big

n the evolutionary long run, small critters tend to evolve into bigger beasts-at least according to the idea attributed to paleontologist Edward Cope, now known as Cope's Rule. Using the latest advanced statistical modeling methods, a new test of this rule as it applies dinosaurs shows that Cope was right-sometimes.

"For a long time, dinosaurs were thought to be the example of Cope's Rule," says Gene Hunt, curator in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, D.C. Other groups, particularly mammals, also provide plenty of classic examples of the rule, Hunt says.

To see if Cope's rule really applies to dinosaurs, Hunt and colleagues Richard FitzJohn of the University of British Columbia and Matthew Carrano of the NMNH used dinosaur thigh bones (aka femurs) as proxies for animal size. They then used that femur data in their statistical model to look for two things: directional trends in size over time and whether there were any detectable upper limits for body size.

"What we did then was explore how constant a rule is this Cope's Rule trend within dinosaurs," said Hunt.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 03:05:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 02:37:13 PM EST
No mention of the glorious October Revolution? 95 years...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:24:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(Wikipedia)
"a shorter, eight-hour working day was introduced"

Radicals indeed.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 09:25:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eisner called for the same thing in Bavaria exactly one year later.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 09:46:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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