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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 10-11 November

by DoDo Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 03:37:06 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on these dates in history:

1202 - the army of the Fourth Crusade starts the two-week Siege of Zara, an Adriatic city that rebelled against Venetian authority, as payment for their Venetian ships

More here

1572 - Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) first observes the supernova later named for him, SN 1572,the remant of which would be discovered in 1952

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!


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Display:
 EUROPE 



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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:50:18 PM EST
European Liberals explore response to rising populism | EurActiv

The annual congress of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform party (ELDR) began yesterday (8 November) in Dublin with a seminar dedicated to the rise of populism in Europe, and the response which should be given to the challenge. EurActiv reports from Dublin.

Politicians argued that the liberal forces across Europe should not imitate the populists, even though their simple messages reach out to a growing number of disenchanted voters across the continent.

MEP Cecilia Wikström of the Swedish Liberal People's Party said that instead of copying the populists, the European liberals should address the economy.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:50:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cos god forbid liberals do anything that's popular

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, if she were kind enough to propose a method to do so.
by oliver on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 11:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
British Government clashes with Eurpean Commission over 'breathtaking' 11 per cent hike in EU financial programme - Europe - World - The Independent

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Greg Clark rounded on the European Commission at the start of acrimonious talks to agree EU spending levels for next year.

The Prime Minister is already on the warpath over pressure for an inflation-busting 11 per cent increase in the EU's 2014-2020 financial programme - threatening a veto at a summit in a fortnight unless there is at least a spending freeze, if not cuts.

Today, the target was the 2013 budget, with the Commission demanding a 6.8 per cent increase on this year's 129 billion euro (£103 billion) total.

Eurocrats also want an extra 9 billion (£7.2 billion) on the 2012 budget because of insufficient funds to cover all policy commitments.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:50:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek bailout cash 'unlikely to be unlocked on Monday' | World news | The Guardian
Athens is due to repay €5bn-worth of debts next week, and had hoped to unlock the latest tranche of rescue funds at Monday's meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

But privately senior officials in Brussels say that the Europeans and the IMF are in deep dispute about Greece.

Monday's meeting, postponed from this week, had been expected to sign off on the payout delayed since the summer, after the Greek parliament's adoption of a controversial new austerity package at the behest of its creditors. The parliament is also expected to pass a new budget on Sunday.

But the Brussels official said: "One round of discussions may not suffice to come to a final decision on the whole package. I am not pretending we'll come to a result and a solution on this."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:50:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany's 2013 budget slimmer than expected | News | DW.DE | 09.11.2012
After 13 hours of negotiations that didn't finish until the early hours of Friday morning in Berlin, the parliamentary budget commission approved Germany's 2013 federal budget.

The plan, passed with the votes from Germany's two coalition parties, the Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Free Democrats (FDP), would create 17.1 billion euros ($21.8 billion) of new debt next year for a total of 302 billion euros in spending. The amount of new debt is 1.7 billion euros less than what had been proposed by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. The total budget is 200 million euros less.

... "The new overspending in this election-year budget can only be accomplished with the help of bookkeeping tricks," said the opposition Social Democrats' Carsten Schneider, referring to revenue from 2012 privatization sales that were put into the 2013 budget. "Finance Minister Schäuble would never accept such [tricks] in Greece."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:51:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Security guard 'shoots himself' dead at Swedish prime minister's home - Europe - World - The Independent
A security guard at the Swedish prime minister's residence was killed today in what appeared to be a self-inflicted shooting, police and Swedish media said. The prime minister was not in the building.

Police wouldn't immediately reveal how the man was killed, saying they wanted to inform his next of kin first. Tabloid Expressen said the victim died after shooting himself, but didn't cite any sources.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:50:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
November 9 edition.

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 9th, 2012 at 03:52:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-greece-bookbre8a90a8-20121110,0,4026411.story

Simitis also accused the European Commission of turning a blind eye to overspending by his conservative successor, Costas Karamanlis.

During his government, Simitis reduced the budget deficit and public debt to make Athens qualify for euro zone membership.

But the Karamanlis government and German media accused him of faking the country's fiscal figures to adopt the single currency, with the connivance of other European leaders at the time such as German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Simitis rejected that charge. "This accusation ignores the facts," he wrote in the book. A debt swap he conducted with Goldman Sachs in 2001 was also common practice among European governments at the time, he said.

Sounds like revisionist history, but I buy it. Papaconstantinou was indeed a bank guy, ECB minor player, and he refused the sort of debt restructure immediately available to Greece because he thought the economy could deal with its debt. This is why the Greek response, and not only the troika plans, are much to blame for Greece's current predicament.

And indeed, Greece did not cheat to enter the eurozone. The numbers were well below the thresholds, and they had improved their budget considerably under Simitis. The storm against fuzzy Greek numbers should have only been applied to the Karamanlis lies of 2008, and not prior.

I have been arguing this since at least late 2009. The reason the Goldman Sachs story came out and was spread was because it was convenient for many in the EU to protect their banks, which always argued, "We had no idea Greece was lying, they lied to get in!"

That is bullshit, since even a cursory look at the media from 2002 shows that not only did everyone know about deals such as GS, it was much discussed inside the EU since many countries were doing it, and furthermore, the finance ministers at the time--under pressure from breaking Maastricht thresholds--pushed back against Eurostat which was arguing that currency swaps should be logged as debt.

I think Simitis is very very credible here.

by Upstate NY on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 10:07:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About 1.50 metres of water for the second time in a few weeks. Unlike New York,
Secchi complained that a running event around the city had not been cancelled on Sunday. "As Venetians were trying to fix their homes and shops, people were running down the flooded streets splashing everyone with water," he said.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 03:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My parents were there about two weeks ago; their footwear hasn't entirely dried just yet :)
by Bernard on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 04:41:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:51:27 PM EST
HSBC investigated by Jersey regulators | Business | guardian.co.uk

Financial regulators in Jersey have launched an inquiry into HSBC, one of the biggest banks on the island, following a leak of the names of thousands of bank account holders said to include individuals with a history of links to drug and gun crime.

The move follows confirmation that UK tax authorities had also begun eagerly working through the list looking for possible evidence of discrepancies in British offshore depositors' tax affairs.

The leak is highly embarrassing for Jersey, which claims to have comparatively tough regulations for its licensed banks, requiring them to know who their customers are and where their funds come from.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:51:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jersey has financial regulators ?? Who knew ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:42:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
527 Français sur une liste de comptes offshore à Jersey | Rue89 Eco 527 French on a list of offshore accounts in Jersey | Rue89 Eco
Il y a 527 Français qui ont peut-être des soucis à se faire. 527 résidents français qui disposent d'un compte bancaire dans l'île Jersey, célèbre paradis fiscal, et qui figurent sur une liste de plus de 8 000 comptes tombée entre les mains d'un « whistle blower »There are 527 French who may have worries ahead. 527 French residents who have a bank account in Jersey, well-known tax haven, and who appear on a list of over 8000 accounts that fell into the hands of a "whistle blower"
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 01:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maverick mayor seeks socialist utopia in Andalusia | Europe | DW.DE | 09.11.2012

The leftist mayor of the small town of Marinaleda has sidestepped capitalism with his unusual economic model. Spain's crisis may be biting, but in this town the jobless have an alternative.

The El Humoso estate doesn't look particularly impressive to the outsider. After a day of heavy rainfall, the ground is muddy and uneven. Due to a harvesting lull a small band of chickens pecking at the ground is virtually the only sign of life. But the words daubed on a wall near the entrance to the estate hint at its importance for the local people: "This land is for the unemployed workers of Marinaleda."

"If you're a businessman, this place wouldn't interest you, because you wouldn't make any money out of it," said Juan Prieto, who has worked at El Humoso for many years. "But those of us who work here do so simply to be able to survive."

..."We shouldn't be chasing utopia, we should be trying to achieve concrete goals and Marinaleda hasn't managed to do that in over 30 years," said Hipolito Aires Navarro, a local member of the PSOE.

He says the town needs more industry and should rely less on agriculture. He also queries the town hall's claims of low unemployment, especially when there is a lull in farming activity.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:51:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain seems good at economic experimentation, I'm fond of mondragon co-operatives

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:43:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Big thinkers unite to defend 'one of UK's greatest assets' - Education News - Education - The Independent
Britain's leading thinkers are launching a new campaigning body to protect the independence of universities as they face growing pressures from government attempts to move towards a more free market higher education system.

An array of academics and celebrated personalities have joined up to form the Council for the Defence of British Universities including Sir David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins, former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Lord Bragg and Alan Bennett.

They are anxious to protect the independence of research, arguing that academics should be free to work in fields regardless of whether they brings their institution economic benefits.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:51:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain's Iberia announces massive job cuts | Business | DW.DE | 09.11.2012

Spanish airline Iberia is bracing for layoffs affecting thousands of workers. The carrier, which is part of the International Airlines Group (IAG), has been logging heavy losses over the past nine months.

Spanish carrier Iberia will cut 4,500 jobs over the next three years. The measure is part of a restructuring plan following the airline's merger with British Airways, joint owner International Airlines Group (IAG) announced on Friday.

The group said the job cull would reduce Iberia's current workforce by 25 percent, but would be required to safeguard at least 15,500 posts at the Spanish airline.

I wonder if Iberia's losses have anything to do with... domestic competition from high-speed rail.

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:52:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if Iberia's losses have anything to do with... domestic competition from high-speed rail.
------------
I don't think so. The whole industry is in trouble. Qantas is cutting jobs as we speak....
by vbo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 08:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is more to do with reduced business travel which is a result of the economy and improved virtual communication.
by njh on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 11:53:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China's elite has a finger in every pie | Asia | DW.DE | 08.11.2012

It's an open secret in China that those in power live in luxury. A taxi driver tells me as he drives past a big coal mine in Shijiazhuang outside of Beijing that it belongs to the relatives of Li Peng, who was prime minister until 1998.

"Who are the rich in China?" asks Li Weisen, a Shanghai-based economist. "Not the small private companies in the country but those in power and those close to them. Power provides the path to money. And that's because the power structures are not balanced."

Nobody has profited more from three decades of economic boom in China than the power elite and its clans. In the 1990s, many public assets were transferred to private hands.

"About 10 or 15 years ago, those in power sold many state-owned companies to people who were close to them. At a very low price," explains Gu Xuewu from Bonn University.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like everywhere else...unfortunately.It does not matter if they are rich politicians and their families and clan or if they are politicians working for rich and making fortune in the process.
And we know where it is leading...They claim they pulled 400 million Chinese people out of the poverty which may be truth but huge difference between rich and poor like everywhere else is not going to do good job for country as such. Rich will enjoy it while it lasts tho.
by vbo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 08:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:53:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Naked Capitalism: Bill Black: Jobs Now - Make Obama's Priority Reality and Expose the Lie of Lazy Laborers (10 November, 2012)
The Republican and Democrats are incoherent about austerity. The immediate context for the budgetary discussion is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the "fiscal cliff." The fiscal cliff is a misnomer because it is not a cliff. It is a product of the deal made on the debt limit. It would produce (gradual) decreases in spending and tax increases that would begin to take effect in January 2013. The gradual nature of the decreases in spending and the near certainty that any tax reductions Congress make in 2013 will be made retroactive to the beginning of the year combine to mean that the fiscal cliff is a gradual decline into a self-destructive policy of austerity. We have months to prevent the self-destruction.

...

Guess who insisted on creating the fiscal cliff and ensuring that it had a "trigger" that made it automatic absent a Great Betrayal? That would be Obama - with the full support of the Republicans. Obama insisted on mandating austerity, particularly cuts in Medicaid and Medicare, if austerity failed. That was significantly insane economically and politically. The people who caused the insanity now tell us we must end their insane austerity - by adopting the Great Betrayal and its austerity. "Incoherent" does not begin to capture the incoherence of both parties on austerity. The same Washington Post story cited above explains the setting of the 2011 decision to create the fiscal cliff.

"Another major concession: [Boehner's] offer had proposed boosting the debt ceiling just high enough to see the Treasury through March [2012], which would become the new deadline for Congress to approve the more difficult cuts to entitlement programs and to overhaul the tax code. The White House vehemently opposed that approach. Obama did not want to have this debate again in an election year. The White House wanted a "trigger" that would automatically raise taxes on the wealthy and cut health spending, an idea the Republicans opposed. For now, Boehner and Cantor agreed to give up their demand for a short-term debt-limit increase. But talks on the trigger would have to continue."

...

The administration and Boehner are claiming that (a) austerity via the fiscal cliff (which they deliberately created) would cause a national disaster and that, therefore, (b) we need to reach an agreement (the Great Betrayal) with Boehner imposing austerity and beginning to unravel the safety net because austerity is the only way to avoid causing a national disaster. If that seems crazy to you, it's the Beltway herd that's crazy, not you.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 06:20:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman blog: Deficit Hawks Down -- Please (November 8, 2012)
or one thing, the election offered confirmation of something that was actually pretty obvious: some of the most self-righteous deficit hawks are actually much more concerned with using deficits as an excuse to dismantle the social safety net than with, you know, reducing deficits. Notably, David Walker decided, a week before the election, to endorse Mitt Romney -- even though Romney had proposed a $5 trillion tax cut to be offset by loophole closing he declined to specify, not to mention an increase in defense spending the Pentagon said it didn't need.
(The same applies to Europe)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 06:12:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:53:13 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / Twelve EU countries likely to back Palestine's UN bid

BRUSSELS - Palestine can count on about 12 Yes votes by EU countries when it seeks to upgrade its UN status, in a move expected later this month.

EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told EUobserver on Thursday (8 November) that foreign ministers will debate the subject at a regular meeting in Brussels on 19 November.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daughters of Pakistan take to the streets for an education - Asia - World - The Independent

A week ago, a mob besieged Lahore's Farooqi Girls' School and set the classrooms ablaze after a young female teacher was accused of blasphemy. The teacher, who is Muslim, has gone into hiding - and the school's 77-year-old principal and founder has been arrested by police and charged with the same offence, a crime that in Pakistan carries the death penalty.

But the school, which offers an affordable, modern education to the daughters of ordinary families, is fighting back. And its female pupils, supported by their parents, have been at the forefront of the battle.

This week hundreds of youngsters have been arriving every morning and taking lessons in a makeshift classroom on carpets laid down in the street. "Education is to help us get a better life," said one 11-year-old.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:53:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands call for Nobel Peace Prize for Malala Yousafzai - Asia - World - The Independent

Thousands of people have called for a Nobel Peace Prize for Malala Yousafzai, who was shot fighting for education in Pakistan.

Malala, 15, has the support of more than 60,000 people backing a petition to nominate her for the prestigious award.

The call comes ahead of this Saturday's global day of action marking one month since Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:53:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Navy Seals punished for secrecy breach over video game - UNITED STATES - FRANCE 24
Seven Navy SEALs, part of an elite team of US soldiers, have been reprimanded for divulging secret information for a video game, officials told AFP.

The seven were sanctioned for dereliction of duty, disclosure of classified material, use of command gear and violating orders while serving as consultants for the development of the "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" video game.

"They received a punitive letter of reprimand and forfeiture of a half month's pay for two months," a US Navy official told AFP late Thursday on condition of anonymity.

US broadcaster CBS said the SEALs are part of the famous SEAL Team Six, famed for carrying out the raid that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. The official, however, refused to confirm this.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile Gen Petraus, the head of the CIA, gives his biographer access to his email account.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:47:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Embedded biographer, you mean. ;)

Whose okay does the FBI need when they want to spy on the head of the CIA?

by Katrin on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 05:12:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands protest against government in Argentina - ARGENTINA - FRANCE 24

Angry over inflation, crime and corruption, people of all ages jammed the capital's streets for nearly four hours to protest against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Argentina's biggest anti-government demonstration in years.

In a Thursday night march organized on social media, demonstrators filled the Plaza de Mayo in front of the pink presidential palace and also crowded into the square around the city's iconic obelisk chanting: "We're not afraid."

Protesters kept it peaceful, and the outpouring had the air of a family affair. Toddlers in strollers and grandparents in wheelchairs joined in the masses that marched through downtown Buenos Aires until nearly midnight.

...Polls suggest neither side has a firm grip on Argentines' sympathies. Fernandez easily won re-election just a year ago with 54 percent of the vote but saw her approval rating fall to 31 percent in a nationwide survey in September by the firm Management & Fit.

The poll of 2,259 people, which had an error margin of about two percentage points, also said 65 percent of respondents disapproved of her opponents' performance.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
COHA: While it is unlikely that the 8-N movement will lead to an ousting of President Kirchner, the ruling FPV party recognizes the greater consequence of the upcoming November manifestations: the potential unification of the opposition into a legitimate political threat to Kirchner's power. In fact, the highly divided opposition was one of the main reasons for Kirchner's resounding victory in the 2011 presidential elections. Although not all of the cacerolazo participants come from a homogenous political background, a significant segment find themselves standing together against a common adversary with the hope that, collectively, they can affect political change in Argentina. This could be the opposition's first significant step toward finding a stable platform and common ground from which to challenge the Kirchneristas' hold on the presidency, which, up to now, has been relatively secure.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 07:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CubanTriangle: The Republican Party is embarking on a big after-action report on Tuesday's election results, including examination of the Romney debacle with Latino voters, the Washington Post reports.  There will be separate focus groups of Cuban American voters, which would be lots of fun to watch.

MERCOPRESS - Powerful 7.4-magnitude quake hits Guatemala kills dozens; tremors reach Mexico City: A powerful earthquake off the Pacific coast of Guatemala on Wednesday sent debris crashing down onto cars, collapsed roads and killed dozens in the Central American nation, officials said.
More HERE.

SANTA ROSA DE OSOS, Colombia (AP)-- A drug-trafficking paramilitary group killed 10 peasants on a farm in northern Colombia in the country's worst massacre in more than three years, authorities said Thursday.

Upside Down World, Honduras: The Dinant Corporation and subsidiaries of the Jaremar Corporation, both Honduran African palm oil corporations blamed by campesino movements for the murder of approximately 80 campesinos in the Aguan river valley region since the June 2009 military coup, have received millions of dollars from the World Bank since the coup.  


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 07:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be pretty interesting to see how this "Puerto Rico as a U.S. state" idea plays out. I can't see how either party in the U.S. can go against it, given their sudden concern about the "Hispanic" vote...

What do you think? State #51 coming soon? By 2016?

by asdf on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 02:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't bother to report on it because it is going nowhere.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 05:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An Unfair Fight
However, this confusing and unfair process will likely fail to produce a clear result. Statehood could theoretically arise even if a plurality of voters favor Commonwealth, and "Sovereign Commonwealth" could win amidst great confusion. Rather, the vote should be simple: choose explicitly between statehood, independence, free association, and Commonwealth, and have a run-off between the two most popular choices.

Pablo Hernandez is of course right here (you can also use instant run-off or some other system that deals with multiple choice), but what is fair is rarely the determining factor. Can be noted that the 1993 plebiscite does not meet Hernandez criteria of fair either. But I guess what happens comes down to one question: Does the pro-Statehood or the pro-Commonwealth party control the relevant seats of power right now?

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 Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 08:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Checked it myself. Pro-Commonwealth party won Governor, Senate and House. Sounds like there will be no application for statehood then.

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 Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 09:08:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Puerto Rico: Statehood & Status

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 05:19:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-10/cia-chief-petraeus-quits-admitting-affair/4364626

US president Barack Obama has accepted the resignation of the head of the CIA, after the intelligence chief admitted to having an affair.

What is this shit all about? An affair...so what? Clinton had blow job in oval office and he did not resign. Something else must be at stake...
by vbo on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 09:51:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahhhaaaa...

US officials insisted that the CIA's handling of the incident had nothing to do with Petraeus's decision to resign.

    [There have been] a lot of suspicions raised here in the United States about the timing of this resignation.

    Not long after the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice - and other officials - were saying that the attack was a result of a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islamic film.

    Now that was based on intelligence briefings including from the CIA but the Obama administration now says that it was a terrorist attack.

    In fact, David Petraeus was actually due to testify behind closed doors to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees next week on Capitol Hill about this incident in Benghazi, and that now of course won't be happening.

by vbo on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 09:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More to do with him giving his biographer complete access to his email account. A complete breach of national security.

He's lapse of judgement renders him unfit to continue

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 11:19:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so sure...If there was an affair soon we should actually see and hear from this women ( media frenzy) but we don't even know her name...let see how this is going to develop...
by vbo on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 08:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has he not said that it is biographer he had an affair with?

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 Nov 11th, 2012 at 01:33:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

Paula Broadwell's First Run With David Petraeus - Business Insider

Paula Broadwell, the biographer and reported mistress of David Petraeus, was being investigated by the FBI before news of the former CIA director's scandal became public.

The FBI cited concerns about potential leaks of classified information.

After all, Broadwell had unprecedented access to Petraeus -- access that, as it turns out, went way beyond professional interactions.

She apparently had access to his e-mails. For the head of the CIA, that is in big security leak territory.

But above all it's said he's getting the chop because of the Benghazi incident.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 02:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:54:20 PM EST
New York mayor orders fuel rationing to ease crisis - USA - FRANCE 24

New York City drivers will wake up on Friday to the first widespread gas rationing since the fuel crisis of the 1970s, as the U.S. Northeast struggles to recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy and a subsequent snowstorm.

After a difficult commute Thursday night that saw heavily armed police trying to quiet crowds at area bus and train stations, New Jersey authorities are adding free buses and ferries Friday to try and ease commutes that have been four and five times longer than normal all week.

The recovery from Sandy stalled Wednesday after a snowstorm that plunged 300,000 homes and businesses back into darkness. By Thursday night much of the snow melted, and temperatures were due to warm slightly Friday, welcome news for the thousands of people still without power.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a trial balloon.  Next ... food.

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 Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 06:37:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If food is short, then obviously.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:49:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not that I do not feel for people there but I can vividly remember how we in Serbia suffered under USA/EU suctions. No petrol ( we would suck the pipe in basements of petrol dealers just to feel 2 liter   bottles  of Coca Cola to feel our tanks and paying huge price for it), no electricity, empty supermarkets...
by vbo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 08:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to fill our tanks obviously...
by vbo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 08:37:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if someone has a subscription to Harper's magazine, I suggest reading and keeping a copy of the article "Cool War" from 2002.  It is a stark revelation of the impact of sanctions on Iraqis, and includes revelations about how the UK played the Americans' game by not nominating anyone to the UN board which oversaw the administration of sanctions,holding up vital food and medicine to millions of poor Iraqis.  It is something one should keep handy to remind oneself about Western "civilization".

I am really not exaggerating about the impact this article can have on you.

by stevesim on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 07:30:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can write book about it just from personal experience...It was total collapse of social structure and while it did not hurt Milosevic much ( it was used to extract as little foreign money people had "under the mattresses" after the collapse of the banks) it did hurt tremendously almost entire population. What did they (USA/EU) expected to happen? Rebellion? Oh yes we tried but he was too strong. It took years of suffering for population. In the end Milosevic only fell down when they managed to persuade DB (Serbian CIA) to turn their back to him.  
by vbo on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 08:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sea level rise overflowing estimates | Environment | Science News

Sea levels may swell much higher than previously predicted, thanks to feedback mechanisms that are speeding up ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica.

Climate simulations need to take such feedbacks into account, William Hay, a geologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, told the Geological Society of America meeting in Charlotte, N.C., on November 4. So far the models haven't incorporated such information because "it just makes them much more complicated," he says.

Many scientists share Hay's concerns, says geologist Harold Wanless of the University of Miami. "The rate at which ice melt and sea level rise is happening is far faster than anything predicted," he says.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:54:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole IPCC thing is misleading because it's a consensus report. The real situation is not acceptable for discussion in polite society.

The next United Nations climate report will ''scare the wits out of everyone'' and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.

Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/former-un-official-says-climate-report-will-shock-n ations-into-action-20121106-28w5c.html

by asdf on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 02:59:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kyoto protocol: Australia signs up to second phase | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Negotiations towards a new global treaty on climate change took a small step forward on Friday as the Australian government announced it would join up to a continuation of the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012.

At the end of this month, governments will meet in Doha, Qatar, to discuss a new treaty that would be signed in 2015 and come into force from 2020. But the mood ahead of the UN conference is tense, as few countries are willing to make the concessions needed for a compromise deal.

Greg Combet, Australia's climate change and energy efficiency minister, said the country would "commit to limiting its greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 to 2020 with a Kyoto target consistent with the bipartisan target of reducing emissions to 5% below 2000 levels by 2020".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:54:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US elections: five climate hawks who will take office in 2013 | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Climate-minded voters were pleased to hear President Obama call out "the destructive power of a warming planet" in his victory speech. But they also scored some notable wins in state houses and Congress this year


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:54:58 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 9th, 2012 at 02:55:12 PM EST
French mayor backs down from gay wedding after threats - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

The mayor of a small town in northern France has cancelled a same-sex marriage ceremony, which she had agreed to preside over on November 10, after receiving a torrent of "violent" threats.

"Given the numerous violent and threatening reactions, I currently cannot take the risk of darkening this day," Desirée Duhem, the mayor of Hantay, said in a press release sent to FRANCE 24.

A week earlier, Duhem, a member of France's Socialist Party, caught the attention of the French media by announcing she would perform a civil marriage between two women that would have likely been invalidated by authorities.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:55:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell us more about how the reactionary U.S. of A. is left in the dust by the advanced European socialists???
by asdf on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:04:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised, I thought same sex partnerships was a long settled done deal in France

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:50:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not a partnership but a full wedding that was planned to be celebrated by the mayor, despite it not being the law of the land just yet:

The draft has been adopted by the government last Wednesday (French cabinet meets every Wednesday). But the proposal is not due before parliament until January.

Until then, same sex marriages are not legal.

French government approves introduction of same-sex marriage | Society | guardian.co.uk

Plans to introduce gay marriage and adoption rights have been approved by France amid growing protest from the French right and religious leaders.

François Hollande, the Socialist president, had made same-sex marriage and adoption a cornerstone of his election campaign, promising a law before mid-2013.

The draft legislation goes before parliament in January

Other mayors -- Noël Mamère (EELV) in Bègles (Bordeaux) -- also celebrated illegal marriages over the past couple of years, even though they have been later struck down by the courts, as a way to push the issue on the forefront.

by Bernard on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 06:59:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A mammoth find in France provides evidence of a savage demise - News - Archaeology - The Independent

The first complete mammoth skeleton to be found in France for more than a century has been uncovered in a gravel pit on the banks of the Marne 30 miles north-east of Paris.

The find, first made in July but kept secret until this week, has yielded a second, even more exciting, discovery. Two tiny fragments of flint blade have been found embedded in the mammoth's skull close to one of its tusks.

...The mammoth could have been attacked by one of the bands of Neanderthal men and women who wandered over the European tundra in the cold, dry period between two ice ages more than a thousand centuries ago. The predecessors and distant cousins of Homo sapiens must, at the very least, have feasted on the mammoth's carcass, possibly some time after its death.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:55:44 PM EST
Russian MP: 'Let me knock down Hitler's home' - Europe - World - The Independent

A Russian MP has waded into a heated political dispute over the future of Adolf Hitler's birthplace by offering to buy up and demolish the Austrian town house in which the Nazi leader was born.

Frantz Klintsevich, a member of the ruling United Russia Party, said in an interview with Izvestia, a Moscow paper, that he planned to raise €2m (£1.6m) to buy and destroy the former public house, Gasthaus zum Pommer, in the town of Braunau am Inn. "If I were to receive financial help, I'd buy the house and destroy it demonstratively," he said.

He admitted he had so far failed to get financial backing from Russia's oligarchs although some members of the Communist Party had given verbal support. Vadim Solovyov, a Communist member of the Duma, told Izvestia: "Everything connected with fascism should be wiped off the face of the earth. No one should know that place existed."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Stalin's birthplace for sale?

by asdf on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh...It is not the same. Stalin is considered WWII hero and we all know about Hitler...What we now know about Stalin and what he did internally in USSR is kind of their internal business.
Not that I have any sympathy for Stalin but it simply is not the same.All tho I do not think anyone should destroy Hitlers birthplace too.Needs to stay to remind people...
But better not start this discussion...going back to history ( as we know it) will not take us anywhere.  
by vbo on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 09:46:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Over here we would probably just tear it down and put up an apartment building. That's what happened to Teddy Roosevelt's house...
by asdf on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 11:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's Mr Klintsevich's idea too, I guess.
by Katrin on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 03:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Problematic. The kind of people who would want to live there is the kind of people you do not want to let live there.

Erecting yet another monument is a bit out of place, too.

Probably the best course of action is to preserve the status quo ante as long as possible.

by oliver on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 05:57:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
disney could make a creepy horror museum out of it.

i remember the downstairs section of madame tussaud's as a kid being traumatically educational, when it came to the graphic realism of ancestral torture techniques recomposed in grisly multicolour detail in wax.

if they knock it down and build apartments there's till be a sinister, possibly bankable cachet to it still.

they could turn it into a re-education centre for fascists, with diary of anne franks movies and news footage of the discovery of the death camps..

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 06:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What we now know about Stalin and what he did internally in USSR is kind of their internal business.

Yeah, except that now the USSR broke up and Stalin was born in Georgia, ruled from Russia and among other places he caused a famine in Ukraine... So it could be construed as an international issue.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 06:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah...you are right. His birthplace is then in Georgia so let them decide what they want to do.
Tito's mausoleum is still there in Belgrade even if there were various groups that wanted to destroy it or move it to Croatia ( if they accept it) etc. He supposedly was Croat ( all tho I do not believe so) born in a poor Croatian family ( I also do not believe so) and his birth house is in Zagorje - Croatia ( I do not know how Croatians are maintain it or not). Serbs generally did not have much of the benefits from his rule ( our king was previously ruling Yugoslavia) and many Serbs ended up on Goli otok for supporting Stalin after "Informbiro" (1948) so we shouldn't keep that mausoleum in Belgrade...but...it is a monument to decades of our history. Why we need monuments at all...so less we forget about history. History tend to repeat it self if next generations forget about what happened...  
by vbo on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 08:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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