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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 14 December

by In Wales Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 04:05:35 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1287 - St. Lucia's flood, The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses, killing over 50,000 people.

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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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:04:49 PM EST
German court fines policeman in death of asylum seeker | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

A German court has handed down a fine to a policeman found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of an asylum seeker. Oury Jalloh died of smoke inhalation in a prison cell after setting fire to his mattress.

Nearly eight years after the death of Oury Jalloh, the local policeman linked to his death received a verdict from a regional court in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt on Thursday. The judges fined the policeman, Andreas S., 10,800 euros ($14,114) for involuntary manslaughter of the asylum seeker from Sierra Leone.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:08:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After being relieved of his personal possessions and restrained on his bunk.

And the videos would certainly have shown that he lit the fire himself. If anyone had ever found them.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:50:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine re-elects Mykola Azarov as prime minister | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has won another term in office hours after lawmakers brawled in the parliament chamber. The fight broke out while choosing a new speaker from President Yanukovich's ruling party.

Ukraine's parliament on Thursday approved Mykola Azarov as prime minister, after the ruling Party of the Regions and its allies mustered a solid majority despite protests from the opposition.

Azarov, 64, who has served as prime minister since Viktor Yanukovich became president in February 2010, was voted in for a second term in office by 252 votes from the 450-seat chamber.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European human rights court rules on El-Masri rendition case | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Europe's top human rights court has ruled in favor of Khaled El-Masri, a German man who was kidnapped and taken to a CIA prison in Afghanistan. The court said the man was tortured and repeatedly had his rights violated.

The European Court of Human Rights Thursday ruled in favor of Khaled El-Masri, a German man of Lebanese origin, saying Macedonia was "responsible for his torture and ill-treatment" both in the country and after turning him over to US authorities.

"The Court found Mr. El-Masri's account to be established beyond a reasonable doubt," it said in its decision, adding that Macedonia was responsible for a process in which "he had been a victim of a secret 'rendition' operation."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:11:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'The idea of Europe was a saving grace' | Transatlantic Voices | DW.DE | 13.12.2012
As someone who first saw Europe as a soldier in World War II, Canadian historian Robert Spencer is deeply disturbed by the current crisis. He says Europe needs leadership to avoid a comeback of national politics.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:17:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly national politics were never disturbed by the EU, which was somewhat more akin to an ambassador's council than a sovereign body capable of intervening.

And it is now being destroyed by the financial incompetence of the euro management

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:25:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Romania facing a new political order | Europe | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Prime Minister Victor Ponta was reelected with a convincing two-thirds majority in Romania's parliamentary election, enough to push through changes to the constitution. Observers fear a repeat of the "Hungarian model."

Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta has never kept secret his admiration for his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban. He is most fascinated by the way the short, burly Magyar defies the mighty European Union.               &nbs p;            

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:19:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / EU leaders back Monti against Berlusconi

BRUSSELS - Germany's Angela Merkel and other centre-right leaders have indicated they would like to see Mario Monti to keep on running Italy instead of Silvio Berlusconi.

The centre-right leaders - as well as the two Italian political adversaries - met in Brussels ahead of an EU summit on Thursday (13 December) in an event designed to prevent Italy's political turmoil from stirring up the euro-crisis once again.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:24:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a different spin on the same situation: Centre-right leaders back Monti to stand in national elections (EurActiv, 13/12/12)
The Italian political saga took another turn after both outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti and former premier Silvio Berlusconi appared at the European People's Party meeting on the margins of the EU summit today (13 December) in Brussels.

The presence of the two Italians at the EPP gathering seemed to confirm Berlusconi's intention to drop his candidacy to lead Italy's centre-right coalition if Monti agreed to head the coalition in the country's upcoming elections.

Monti, speaking in Brussels, refused to comment on his predecessor's offer. In October, the billionaire entrepreneur proposed the prime minister to lead a coalition of moderates to campaign in the next elections, but Monti refused.

Berlusconi is quoted as saying "I have no personal ambitions". ROFL

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 07:34:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / 'Historic day' as EU patent deal ends 40-year wait
BRUSSELS - The 40-year-long quest to create a single European patent ended on Tuesday (11 December) when the European Parliament ratified a deal which will come into force in 2014.

Speaking in the assembly in Strasbourg, EU single market commissioner Michel Barnier said that the achievement marked a "historic day."

Under the regime, inventors will be able to apply to the European Patent Office for a patent valid in 25 of the bloc's 27 member states.

Spain and Italy will remain outside the scope of the patent regime in protest that patents will only be available in English, French or German-language versions.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 03:51:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Budget deal 'averts funding crisis for Erasmus' | EurActiv

A deal on the 2013 budget, voted by the European Parliament yesterday (12 December), plugs a hole in the EU's finances for 2012 and removes uncertainty about funding for the Erasmus student exchange programme next year, the European Commission said.

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said the deal was "a big boost for Erasmus students" and sends "a positive signal that Europe is committed to investing in education and skills."

The agreement, formally rubber-stamped by the European Parliament after member states approved it last week, wipes out a €180 million shortfall in the 2012 budget for the Lifelong Learning Programme, the Commission said in a statement.

Out of this total, the shortage affecting Erasmus amounted to around €90 million.

"The agreement means that the Commission can now transfer necessary funds to the national agencies which are responsible for running Erasmus in the member states. The agencies will then release funds to beneficiaries of the programme, including the home universities and colleges which pay the monthly grants to students," the Commission explained.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 03:53:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My daughter already has her ticket for Finland

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 07:37:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel: Why Germany Can't Shed Its Troubling Past (12/13/2012)
Now we seem ugly again. When the Greeks or the Spaniards protest against the supposed dictate of the Germans in euro policy, some of their posters depict Nazi motifs. When America author Tuvia Tenenbom recently traveled through Germany, he discovered plenty of anti-Semitism. His book, recently published in German, has triggered an intense discussion. We're back where we didn't want to be, caught in the spell of a Nazi past, one that also dominates the present.

But we don't even need the opinions of others to bring us to this conclusion. What were our big issues in 2012?

In April, author Günter Grass wrote a poem that was so sharply critical of Israel that the Nobel laureate came under the suspicion of being anti-Semitic. A few members of the Pirate Party sounded so naïve when they talked about the Nazis as to create the impression that they had understood nothing about Germany's past. Germans spent half the summer debating whether Nadja Drygalla, whose boyfriend was a member of a neo-Nazi group, should be allowed to compete in the London Olympics as part of the German women's rowing eight team. The other half of the summer was dominated by the debate over whether a Russian opera singer with a swastika tattoo should be allowed to sing at the Bayreuth Festival. In late August, several media organizations, including SPIEGEL, reported that neo-Nazis had infiltrated a neighborhood in the western German city of Dortmund, and that they had even established a presence in the fan section of the city's football club, Borussia Dortmund.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 06:49:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@MigeruBlogger
Migeru Shimbun is out! http://paper.li/MigeruBlogger/1351816577 ... ▸ Top stories today via @WhelanKarl @julianrojaso @MigeruBlogger


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 07:56:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Fiscal shock absorber has been dropped, not just postponed (14.12.2012)
Angela Merkel puts her foot down, as the idea of a fiscal shock absorber fund is now completely off the table; what remains is a tiny common budget - order of magnitude some €10-15bn - to act as a reward mechanism for countries that implement economic reforms; Suddeutsche Zeitung writes that never before has a European balloon deflated so fast and so massively; paper says there will be no discussions on further fiscal union until crisis is well and truly resolved; leaders have asked the European Commission to come up with a proposal for banking resolution 2013; Holger Stelzner goes ballistic over banking, and says the ECB may have a conflict of interest in preventing the resolution of a bank; Mario Draghi said he hopes that resolution would be in pact in early 2014, but says the system would function without resolution; also said that he did not coordinate with anyone when he made his "whatever it takes" pledge; Silvio Berlusconi said the euro will break up within three years; an Italian news agency says Angela Merkel had put pressure on Mario Monti to stand at the next Italian elections; the latest polls put a hypothetical Monti party at 18%; Il Foglio says Monti is Italy's only hope; Anatole Kaletsky says Italy needs more reforms, less austerity, and Monti is the best politician to deliver this; Italy is about to introduce a tax on high frequency trades; the latest Bank of Italy data show an alarming rise of inequality in Italy; a report by Intermon-Oxfam says austerity will drive 40% of the Spanish population below the poverty line in a decade, a situation from which it will take 25 years to recover; eurozone finance ministers formally agreed the loan disbursement to Greece; Antonis Samaras says that Grexit is no longer an issue;  but ministers have to reconvene to discuss measures to reduce Greek debt levels to reach agreed targets; eurogroup fails to reach agreement on a loan to Cyprus; Karl Whelan applauds the Fed for announcing an explicit unemployment target; so does Brad DeLong, who says that, while it is too little too late, it will reduce the lost decade to seven years; an Italian shopkeeper, meanwhile, summarises Italy's disappointment with Monti: "We were awaiting a miracle. And the miracle did not come."



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:11:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After the agreement by finance minister to create a banking union for between 1 and 2% of eurozone banks, the European Council yesterday formally dropped the most important element of a fiscal union - the idea of a common budget to act as an economic shock absorber. Other decisions relating to further fiscal integration have been put on ice until June, The FT writes. Herman van Rompuy said at the post-summit press conference that he would develop a proposal by June for an embryonic eurozone budget that could be used to reward governments that had adhered to pre-agreed reform programmes. But what is complete off that table is the idea of a shock-absorber mechanism. "We are not tasked to work on it," the FT quotes Mr Van Rompuy as saying.

Suddeutsche Zeitung writes this morning that rarely before has a European balloon deflated as fast as van Rompuy designs for a fiscal union. Merkel said bluntly there was no point in dealing with issue in the "distant future", saying she rejected outright any form of debt mutualisation, or a hidden permanent transfer. The article says there is unlikely to be another push in this direction until the crisis is well resolved. Also, the FT article quoted Merkel as saying that the solidarity mechanism van Rompuy is tasked upon to work on until June would be small: "It wouldn't be in three-figure billions, but maybe €10bn or €15bn."

(So the bottom line that the fiscal union will have no macroeconomic function whatsoever. In other words, there won't be a fiscal union. The issue is now formally off the table.)

Merkel is killing Europe as the German public cheers her on.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 05:22:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:05:06 PM EST
EU clinches deal ahead of banking union showdown | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Thursday has brought an early morning deal between EU finance ministers on a new banking supervisor. It is a single but important step towards a full banking union.

European finance ministers struck a deal in the early hours on Thursday to give the European Central Bank (ECB) new supervisory powers over eurozone banks.

"We have a deal," confirmed an EU official. The news immediately impacted on the markets, sending the euro to a high of 1.3080 against the U.S. dollar.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:07:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Low expectations ahead of EU summit | Europe | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

EU leaders have agreed to stabilize Europe's financial system with a banking union. But as the ideas become more concrete, disagreements among the decision makers have been growing ahead of this week's summit.

This week's summit is likely to combine the worst of two worlds: meager results with a lot of quarreling.

When EU leaders meet on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, they have to reach agreement on at least one thing, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday (12.12.2012): what an agreed common body to supervise Europe's banks will look like in detail. This, Barroso said, was the "most important step" toward strengthening the common economic and monetary union.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / 'Disappointment' for those expecting ambitious EU summit

BRUSSELS - EU leaders will gather in Brussels on Thursday and Friday (13-14 December), but market pressure has waned recently, taking member states' ambitions for further steps to economic and monetary union with it.

The scaling back of ambition forced EU council President Herman Van Rompuy to re-write a timetable on further economic integration to make it less prescriptive.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:25:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't expect `big bang summit', EU diplomats say | EurActiv

European leaders will seek to agree on a "deep and genuine European monetary union" during a two-day summit that begins today (13 December), but diplomats say it should not be seen as a "big bang" event.

The draft summit conclusions, obtained by EurActiv France, say that the preparatory work conducted by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy together with the presidents of the Commission, European Central Bank and the Eurogroup was "useful".

But the draft adds that these issues "will take more time and will require in-depth consultations with the member states".

EU leaders"will discuss these questions after the election of a new European Parliament and the appointment of a new Commission," the text continues.

The European elections are scheduled for May 2014 and "some of these issues may imply a change to the Treaties," the document says, reflecting the reluctance of EU countries to re-open big institutional debates.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 03:54:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel lays out EU vision in Bundestag before summit | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Chancellor Angela Merkel has told German politicians that European partners' efforts to right the bloc's wavering economy "could not possibly be overestimated." Though she said there was "still much to do."

Chancellor Merkel used her parliamentary address before the European Union leaders' summit in Brussels both to praise the progress made within the bloc and to tell politicians that the process was only just beginning.

Speaking in the lower house of German parliament, the Bundestag, on Thursday, Merkel said she hoped that more measures would be set in motion in the Belgian capital before the summit's close on Friday - focusing on the bloc's ability to compete in the world economy.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurogroup releases Greek aid tranche | Business News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

The eurozone finance ministers have given the green light to disbursing the next installment in the Greek aid package, ending weeks of discussions. The money will help Greece stay afloat into next year.

Debt-laden Greece would receive 34 billion euros ($45 billion) this month, followed by additional aid to the tune of 15 billion euros during the first quarter of 2013, the so-called Eurogroup, comprising the 17 eurozone finance ministers, announced Thursday.

The disbursement will come from the EU rescue fund, ESM, and will help Greece reduce its huge debt to 124 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over the next decade.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Greece jubilant after finance ministers approve €49 billion bailout payment
BRUSSELS - Greece is to get €49.1 billion worth of bailout funds after eurozone finance ministers in Brussels agreed the latest tranche of emergency funding on Thursday (13 December).
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:25:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German Ifo think tank sees economy picking up in 2013 | Business | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Germany's renowned Ifo institute has insisted the country's economy would expand again as early as next spring, following a brief contraction period. It says domestic and extra-European demand will prevent a recession.

In its latest business outlook, Germany's Ifo institute on Thursday said Europe's biggest economy must not fear getting mired in a recession. It admitted developments pointed to a contraction in the final months of the current year, but added that output would grow again in spring of 2013.

"We expect the German economy to contract in the final quarter, but we're bound to see a slight recovery early next year," the Munich-based think tank said in a statement.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:15:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Bank fails to change its culture | Germany | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Already struggling with a bad reputation for past banking practices, Deutsche Bank has suffered another blow in the effort to polish its image. Top brass at Germany's largest bank are under investigation for tax evasion.

Authorities in Frankfurt are investigating whether leading members of Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Officer Jürgen Fitschen and Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause were privy to a scheme to avoid paying sales tax in the trading of carbon emissions certificates.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who Could Have Predicted?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greeks look for scapegoats | Europe | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

A rumor circulating around Greece is causing quite a stir: Margarita Papandreou, the mother of former Prime Minister George Papandreou, has allegedly deposited money in Switzerland to evade taxes.

The rumor mill has been roaring in Greece ever since the weekly newspapers To Vima and Proto Thema ran reports claiming that 89-year-old Margarita Papandreou, mother of former Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou, deposited $500 million in Swiss accounts under an assumed name.

The reports by both papers are based on alleged statements from senior tax officials who were involved in a tax investigation headed by the country's Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:18:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Steel tycoon Mittal hits out at `irrational' French minister - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Global steel giant Lakshmi Mittal expressed his surprise on Thursday at his treatment at the hands of an "irrational" French government minister who had told him his company was no longer welcome in France.  Last month France's outspoken minister for industrial recovery, Arnaud Montebourg, attacked Mittal over his company's controversial decision to close two blast furnaces in Florange, eastern France, with the loss of around 630 jobs.   Montebourg, known for being a loose cannon, slammed ArcelorMittal for not respecting France and said it was "no longer welcome" in the country.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mittal swallowed competitor Arcelor in a hostile takeover.

And he thinks he should be welcome as well?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 03:58:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's rich , therefore he should be allowed to do what he wants because...freedom

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No one's forced to welcome him because... freedom.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 05:25:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Karl Whelan: Fed's Brave Steps Contrast with ECB's Inertia (Forbes, 12/12/12)
The Federal Reserve announced today that it had
decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that this exceptionally low range for the federal funds rate will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored.
This decision to explicitly state the conditions under which it is going to keep rates at near zero is a triumph for Chicago Fed President Charlie Evans who has campaigned for this kind of approach for years.

...

Watching these developments from across the Atlantic, it's impossible not to feel an uneasy contrast between the Fed's new approach and the complacent and inertial approach of the European Central Bank.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 06:43:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:05:19 PM EST
Japan scrambles fighters, claiming airspace violation | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Japan has said for the first time that China violated its airspace as part of the countries' ongoing islet dispute in the East China Sea. Government officials have said they scrambled air force jets; no shots were fired.

Japanscrambled eight F-15 fighter jets on Thursday, saying a state-owned Chinese plane had flown within its airspace over a series of contested islands.

The defense ministry in Tokyo said it was the first such aerial incursion by a state plane since the military started monitoring the area in 1958.

Japanrefers to the small islets as the Senkakus, while China calls them the Diaoyus. The islands are situated in the East China Sea, closest to Taiwan, which also claims the territory. 

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:11:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sea spats prompt Indian thoughts on China | Asia | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

With China's growing power, India's political elite is under pressure to assert regional power, particularly at sea. Some analysts believe Chinese and Indian interests need not be mutually exclusive.

Relations with China are currently at the very top of Delhi's foreign policy agenda.

Indian Foreign Minister Salman Kurshid on Tuesday described growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean as a development that "India will have to accept."

In unusually clear terms, Kurshid, who has only been in office for six weeks, called on the political elite in Delhi to find an answer to the complex challenge. "China is aggressive. China is a partner for us. China is a neighbor for us," said the minister.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:23:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / News In Brief / North Korea rocket to prompt fresh EU sanctions
North Korea's rocket launch on Tuesday is likely to prompt a fresh round of EU sanctions against the Asian dictatorship. EU foreign ministers on Monday noted that: "It would merit a clear international response, in conjunction with UN Security Council deliberations, including possible restrictive measures."
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Dalai Lama works against peace and Buddhism' - FRANCE 24
a comment piece in The New York Times says "Tibet is burning", while another in the China Daily says the Dalai Lama is inciting some Tibetans to commit self-immolation.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian government 'losing control', Russian envoy says - RUSSIA - FRANCE 24

Syrian rebels are gaining ground and might win, Russia's deputy foreign minister said on Thursday, in the starkest such admission from a major ally of President Bashar al-Assad.

"One must look the facts in the face," Russia's state-run RIA quoted Mikhail Bogdanov as saying. "Unfortunately, the victory of the Syrian opposition cannot be ruled out."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns (14 December 2012)
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned after being charged with fraud and breach of trust following a long-running investigation.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 09:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that is really good news

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 11:06:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He hasn't resigned from Parliament, and he's still running for election. Since the more serious charges have already been dropped, he might manage to arrange a plea bargain quickly.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 11:10:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:05:58 PM EST
Germany still divided on the future of fracking | Environment | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would phase out its nuclear power by 2022, she wasn't clear about what would replace it. One possibility is fracking, but not everyone is onboard.

Germany is on the hunt for new sources of energy. In August, a new coal-fired power plant opened in Cologne.

The plant has touched off a firestorm of debate over German energy policy, particularly over a new - and potentially dangerous - method that carries both massive risk and massive reward: hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:19:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shale gas extraction could create 'thousands of jobs': theparliament.com
British MEP Roger Helmer says the emergence of exploration for shale oil and shale gas in some EU countries could lead to the creation of 'thousands of jobs'.

Speaking in Strasbourg, Helmer also added that he accepts no form of energy extraction can be 'entirely safe'.

His comments, on Wednesday, come after parliament adopted two resolutions saying that shale gas extraction should be backed up with "robust regulatory regimes".

On Thursday, UK government ministers were expected to give their approval for shale gas extraction in Lancashire to be resumed despite environmental concerns about fracking, the controversial process of extracting gas from deep below the ground. Operations were halted last year after extraction set off a series of earth tremors.

In its resolutions, parliament said member states should also be "cautious" about permitting exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels pending further analysis of whether EU-level regulation is appropriate.

Each member state has the right to decide on whether to exploit shale gas, said the resolution, drafted by EFD deputy Niki Tzavela, and adopted with 492 votes in favour, 129 against and 13 abstentions.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 03:55:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm quite sure the enthusiasm of conservatives for fracking will diminish rapidly should it ever start to happen in their backyard

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:38:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can't build a railway line through the fracking Chilterns, but we can destroy the Lake District with fracking...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 05:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't find it right now, Spiegel had an web site article yesterday that the Lower Saxony environmental agency has decided there will be no further fracking test well permits given...

until the causes of the earthquake centered on an existing pilot well are understood. You read that right. And not far from Bremen either.

I wish amurka, the UcK and Poland much success with their attempt to poison the aquifers for ever.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:20:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
In August, a new coal-fired power plant opened in Cologne.

Not to PN, but this is the Neurath Power Plant, which is not only way out of town (close to the gaping open-pit mines) but administratively belongs to Dusseldorf and not Fail City.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 06:06:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UK's food poverty revealed: nutrition falls as fruit and veg prices rise | Society | guardian.co.uk

The UK's poorest households are being disproportionately hit by the impact of soaring food prices, according to new government figures that also show the consumption of every major nutrient has fallen in the last four years.

In order to cut costs since 2007, UK households have bought less bread, lamb, beef, fish, fruit, vegetables, potatoes and alcoholic drinks - but more bacon.

The government's annual Family Food survey, which provides the most detailed annual snapshot of food and drink spending and consumption, found that weekly spending per person on all household food in 2011 was £27.99, an increase of 1.5% on the previous year. But because of price rises, that bought less food - 4.2% less in 2011 than in 2007.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:36:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fracking for shale gas gets green light in UK | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Fracking is set to be the next frontier for the UK's oil and gas industry, after the government lifted restrictions on the controversial practice on Thursday, giving a green light to drilling that could produce billions of pounds worth of gas.

The first new site is likely to be at Anna's Road in Lancashire, near three exploratory fracking wells that were closed after they caused two minor earthquakes last year. Dozens more sites across the country could be licensed as ministers signalled their hope that shale gas would help to make up for the decline in North Sea gas supplies.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully West Oxford and the Cheshire plain (Cameron and Osborne's constituencies) will be areas under investigation very soon

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:41:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If only I had the money I'd set up a company just to do it.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 05:13:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mississippi river faces shipping freeze as water levels drop | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The Mississippi as seen from Ed Drager's tug boat is a river in retreat: a giant beached barge is stranded where the water dropped, with sand bars springing into view. The floating barge office where the tug boat captain reports for duty is tilted like a funhouse. One side now rests on the exposed shore. "I've never seen the river this low," Drager said. "It's weird."

The worst drought in half a century has brought water levels in the Mississippi close to historic lows and could shut down all shipping in a matter of weeks - unless Barack Obama takes extraordinary measures.

It's the second extreme event on the river in 18 months, after flooding in the spring of 2011 forced thousands to flee their homes.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it takes  while to get to it, but rail is clearly the correct solution to the problem

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:43:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU dismisses Polish warnings over carbon market fix | EurActiv

The European Commission has moved swiftly to deny a Polish data analysis contending that plans to suspend - or `backload' - 900 million carbon allowances from auction on the Emissions Trading System (ETS) will blow a hole in the revenues of new EU member states.

According to the Polish document, obtained by EurActiv, Warsaw stands to lose over a billion euros and 16% of its allowance revenues, under the proposed backload plan, put forward by Brussels last month to shore up Europe's battered carbon market.

Poland obviously doesn't want any carbon-price brake on its coal-fuelled economic growth. But it would surely be better to buy them off with subsidies, because by blocking a return to rational carbon pricing, they are damaging the whole European electricity sector :

EU dismisses Polish warnings over carbon market fix | EurActiv

On 9 December, Hans ten Berge, secretary-general of Eurelectric, Europe's electricity industry association, said the electricity market was currently "uninvestable" because of market fragmentation and a poorly functioning ETS.

"I'm not green," he continued, "I'm just rational. I'm thinking that we have got a serious problem with CO2 in the world. I want to make as much money as possible," he told Reuters.

"The carbon price should rise over time from the current level to a magnitude around €100," ten Berge added.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:06:13 PM EST
Report: Graphic cigarette pack warnings headed for Europe | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Germans are already warned in words that smoking is dangerous to their health and to those around them. A major daily has reported that soon, photos of smokers' damaged anatomies will seek to paint thousands of words.

German mass-circulation paper "Bild" reported on Thursday that the European Commission had agreed on a common policy for tobacco products, after months of delay.

Saying it has obtained a draft document from the EU's executive, Bild reported that more explicit, pictorial health warnings would be placed on packets - along with a ban on taste-enhancing additives such as those commonly found in menthol cigarettes. Terms like "Light" would also be outlawed, along with slim cigarettes, the paper said.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:14:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France told to hike prices to stub out smoking - FRANCE 24

AFP - France's efforts to stub out smoking have been a complete failure, a spending watchdog said Thursday in a damning report that warned only sustained price hikes will curb the country's love affair with Gauloises and Gitanes.

"The risks of smoking are still gravely underestimated by the public," said Didier Migaud, the first president of the Cour de Comptes, the body that audits government spending.

"With 73,000 deaths a year, the equivalent of 200 a day, it is by far the biggest cause of avoidable death in France."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:29:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hardly anyone smokes Gauloises or Gitanes nowadays: smokers are all on Camel, Benson, Malboro and the likes. But let's not facts get in the way of a good cliché.

FRANCE 24 is SUCH rubbish

by Bernard on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:18:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Out here in the provinces, Gauloises, a béret Basque and a string of onions are de rigueur, darling.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:28:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know where the beret goes, but where do they put the onions and the Gauloises?

(Personally, I haven't seen anyone smoke Gauloises in eons).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:30:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My little brother smokes Gauloises.

Mostly, I think, because they're cheap.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 10:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to smoke them in the '60s because they looked kinda hip. Then I smoked them because I was hooked. Then I stopped.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 11:52:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:02:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note, however, that it's written by AFP.

I doubt that either AFP or FRANCE 24 have any English-language copy-writers that know anything about France.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:31:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not knowing anything must be a job requirement.
by Bernard on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:42:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German team makes 3D map of Earth's surface | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

From a distance of 500 kilometers out in space, two German satellites equipped with special scanners are making a 3D map of the Earth's surface within an astounding accuracy of just two meters.

They are the perfect pair - the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites orbiting Earth in a tight formation 15 times a day.

The satellites, each slightly larger than a Volkswagen Golf, are circling 500 kilometers above the planet only a few hundred meters apart.

In tandem, they are examining the Earth's surface with radar pulses, each generating separate data that is later combined, explains Alberto Moreira, director at the Institute of Technology and Radar Systems at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin's refuge from arranged marriages | Germany | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

A shelter in Berlin caters to young women who want to escape arranged marriage and family abuse. With such families unlikely to change their attitudes, the best option is for the girls to leave, says the shelter.

Eva, a blond woman in her 50s, insists that her last name not be used - for her personal safety. She is the director of the Berlin chapter of Papatya, an international organization which offers shelter for young women and girls from migrant backgrounds.

In Germany, Papatya predominantly caters to women from Turkish, Kurdish and Arab backgrounds who face honor-related violence from their families. In France, Papatya helps mainly girls with North African roots, while in Great Britain they help women from predominantly Pakistani backgrounds.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:22:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists' budget zombie movie becomes internet hit - SCIENCE - FRANCE 24

A team of young physicists at the research centre where the "God particle" was recently discovered are being hunted down by blood thirsty zombies following a disaster in the world-famous Large Hadron Collider.

The story is, of course, not one you can expect to see on the 24-hour breaking news channels, but on YouTube where it has become an online hit in the form of an 80-minute budget movie. UK and American student physicists from the centre both made and starred in the film that was put together without the knowledge of bosses at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva.   "They asked for CERN's endorsement once the whole thing was in the can," said spokesman James Gillies. "Clearly we can't endorse such a thing, but nor were we going to stop it. After all, it's just students doing the kind of thing students do."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:28:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sudan suspects Israel of using vultures as spy drones - SUDAN - FRANCE 24

Sudanese officials suspect Israel of using GPS-tagged vultures as spy drones, according to the Egyptian media.

Cairo daily El Balad reported on Monday, in a story followed up by Israeli news site Haaretz and UK daily The Telegraph, that Sudan's military had "captured" one such vulture at the beginning of December in the country's Darfur region.

The bird was equipped with a solar-powered GPS device that could reportedly transmit images by satellite.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:29:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Antibiotic-eating bug unearthed in soil

It's well known how bacteria exposed to antibiotics for long periods will find ways to resist the drugs-by quickly pumping them out of their cells, for instance, or modifying the compounds so they're no longer toxic. Now new research has uncovered another possible mechanism of antibiotic "resistance" in soil.

In a paper published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, a group of Canadian and French scientists report on a soil bacterium that breaks down the common veterinary antibiotic, sulfamethazine, and uses it for growth.

Certain soil bacteria are already known to live off, or "eat," agricultural pesticides and herbicides, says the study's leader, Ed Topp, a soil microbiologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in London, Ontario. In fact, the microbes' presence in farm fields can cause these agrichemicals to fail.

But to Topp's knowledge, this is the first report of a soil microorganism that degrades an antibiotic both to protect itself and get nutrition.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 04:03:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Every hour a new form of bacteria emerges.  (Bacteria are not sexual closed therefore they are not "species," per definition.)

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

by ATinNM on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 04:28:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it's like those household cleaners which kill 99% of all known germs. I'm worried about the 1% which feed on the stuff

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:06:31 PM EST
Norbert Haug and Mercedes part after 22 years of racing | News | DW.DE | 13.12.2012

Norbert Haug and Mercedes Benz have announced the end of a 22-year partnership. Haug, a former writer and racer, helped Mercedes win multiple titles and bring the fabled Silver Arrows back to Formula One.

German car giant Mercedes and its motorsports boss Norbert Haug announced on Thursday that they would part company at the end of the year, after over two decades together.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bondage club brings new discipline to Harvard - FRANCE 24

AFP - Expect some serious discipline at Harvard University's newest club -- the first bondage and sado-masochism hotspot to win official campus approval.

Harvard College Munch, as the group is named, promises to give the student body a chance to beat misconceptions about S&M by providing "accurate understandings of alternative sexualities and kink."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:28:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tax exile Depardieu puts Paris mansion up for sale - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

French actor Gérard Depardieu, amid fierce criticism for expatriating himself to Belgium for tax reasons, has put his palatial Paris residence up for sale, a top Paris estate agent confirmed on Thursday.

Depardieu wants 50 million euros for his "Hôtel Particulier" [a French term for a grand privately-owned town house] in Paris's posh 6th arrondissement, according to French daily Le Parisien.

The historic Hôtel de Chambon, at the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Près quarter on the left bank of the Seine, is listed exclusively by estate agent Daniel Féau as a "property of 1,800 square metres with adjoining gardens and terraces, with a secondary living area at the other side of the garden".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 01:31:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From a friend.

Robert Altman
‎"With the touch of an iPad, Pope Benedict XVI officially became the first pontiff in history to tweet.

Moments after his first tweet, another message was sent out by @Pontifex, to the tune of over 5,000 retweets-

"How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?" asked the Holy Father @Pontifex

"Hookers and blow," user Binnie replied.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:41:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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