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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 21 December

by In Wales Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:25:30 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1795 - birth of John "Jack" Russell , known as "The Sporting Parson", was an enthusiastic hunter and dog breeder as well as an ordained cleric. (d. 1883)

More here and here

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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:10:30 PM EST
Hollande recognizes France's 'brutal' colonization of Algeria | News | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

French President Hollande has made a speech to the Algerian parliament during a trip aimed at improving relations between France and its former colony. Their shared history has been a long-standing source of tension.

Francois Hollande's speech in front of the Algerian parliament in Algiers on Thursday was a highly anticipated event that came on the second and final day of his visit.

Ahead of the trip, there was some speculation that Hollande might offer an apology for France's treatment of Algeria in the past. After Algeria's fight for independence began in 1954, hundreds of thousands of lives were lost before France finally gave up its colony. But while he stopped short of apologizing, he did recognize France's role in Algerian history.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Bahn sues rail cartel for damages | Business News | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn has filed a lawsuit against a number of European steelmakers convicted of fixing the prices of rail equipment. The lawsuit comes after settlement talks have failed.

The claim for damages had been brought against Germany's largest steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and Czech steel group Moravia Steel, as well as against Vossloh and the German firm's former owner Stahlberg Roensch, Deutsche Bahn announced Thursday.

In the indictment, the German state-owned railway operator hasn't fixed a precise sum for which it is suing, but German media reports citing sources within Deutsche Bahn speak of damages to the tune of about 750 million euros ($991 million).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German federal court bans mass genetic testing | News | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

A German court has ruled that evidence from mass genetic testing cannot be used when searching for or prosecuting an offender. DNA results can only be used against the participants of the testing and not their relatives.

Germany's Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe decided on Thursday that when investigators encounter DNA evidence from mass genetic testing that suggests a relationship with the perpetrator, they must look the other way.

The ruling came in response to a rape case from 2010.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And how realistic is it that they do? This "voluntary" testing, that is having to prove one's innocence, must be banned.
by Katrin on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:59:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / Terrorist data oversight tainted by potential conflict of interest

BRUSSELS - A high-ranking European commission official says there is a conflict of interest in a review board tasked to ensure personal data on suspected terrorists shared with the Americans is secured and properly handled.

Account numbers, names, addresses, transaction amounts, dates, branch locations are exchanged between law enforcement authorities in Europe and the US under the so-called terrorist financing tracking programme (TFTP).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:29:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU commission accused of 'shabby implementation' of UN rules for tobacco lobbying: theparliament.com
Transparency campaigners say that the resignation of ex-EU health commissioner John Dalli is still shrouded in "uncertainty".

The Maltese official stepped down for his alleged involvement in an attempt to alter the EU tobacco products directive in return for cash payment.

Dalli strongly denied any involvement and said he was effectively forced to quit by commission president José Manuel Barroso.

The campaign group, Corporate Europe observatory, has now issued a new report saying "it is still not clear what exactly happened in this tobacco lobby scandal".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:41:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three EU states condemn UK's energy savings 'accounting trick' | EurActiv

Germany, Austria and Finland have called for the withdrawal of an "absurd and unjustified" gentleman's agreement that allowed the United Kingdom to sign up to the Energy Efficiency Directive. The plea was made in a letter, seen by EurActiv, to Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger.

The three countries' economic ministers said that if the agreement was allowed to stand, "the level of ambition of the Directive would be substantially reduced and the fulfilment of the EU's 20% energy efficiency target jeapordised."

At issue is an unpublished EU interpretation note explaining a paragraph in the directive's Article 7, which allows countries exemptions so long as they do not lower by more than one-quarter a 1.5% savings target set for energy companies.

This would allow countries with energy efficiency obligations, such as Britain, to count energy savings from four years before - and three years after - the directive's nominal 2014-2020 period towards their achievements.

Such `banking and borrowing' allowed the UK to sign up to the deal by offering it a "massive discount" of up to 60% in its level of annual energy savings, the ministers say, enabling London to meet a far lower target of around 0.5% in practice.  

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: "We are going to lie, but not just yet" - Cyprus edition (21.12.2012)
Jorg Asmussen says there is no question of a haircut for Cy[pr]us now; the current issue at stake is only the preliminary financing for the banks; only once all the data are in, will there be any assessment of possible further measures; Jean-Claude Juncker said the promise not to extend the haircuts beyond Greece related to Greece-only, not Greek-speaking countries; Pier Luigi Bersani said he does not expect Monti to run for PM; both Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi said they are happy to face each other, and Monti, in a TV discussion; Berlusconi went back on attack against Monti, saying his only regret is not having pulled the plug on the Monti government much earlier; says Monti does not stand a chance because the people are suffering under austerity; Monti said Italy will take more time to exit from the crisis; Italian petrol consumption is back to the 1969 level; the Italian banking association predicts further increases in bad loans, and says this would constrain credit; the Greek government is now beginning to pay its arrears; Portugal has shelved the privatisation of TAP; having gone through hell to adjust under a fixed exchange rate, the Latvians are becoming more sceptical on euro membership, says Latvia's PM; Kemal Dervis says the ECB, too, should adopt an employment target (we know this would come, but not quite this fast); Rodrigo Rato appears in court over Bankia, and lashes out against the Spanish government and the Bank of Spain; after an increase in the formation of new Spanish companies during H1, 2012, the trend reversed in the second half; Artur Mas, meanwhile, says Catalonia could join the EU next year.



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 21st, 2012 at 04:15:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"We are going to lie, but not just yet" - Cyprus edition

Ok, the quotes are wrong. But this is essentially the message you can read into the combined comments from Jorg Asmussen and Jean-Claude Juncker on Cyprus yesterday. Reuters quotes Asmussen as saying that there was no question about "a haircut for Cyprus now" because they are only talking about the preliminary financing for banks. Only once all the data are in and if the financing need of Cyprus ends up higher, it is worthwhile looking at other measures, he said. Reuters quotes Juncker as saying that the EU had promised that there won't be any more haircuts outside Greece. "We didn't say all Greek-speaking countries, we said Greece. It is part of the credibility to stick to the signals you have sent."

(That would indeed be the case if you had any credibility left.)

Ouch

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 21st, 2012 at 04:18:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Latvia's enthusiasm to enter the Eurozone cooled down

They went through this masochistic fixed-exchange type adjustment, now they say they don't want the euro anymore. In an interview with the FT, Latvia's prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis warned that his citizens are turning against the single currency, and he faces a struggle to get the Baltic republic into the single currency by the 2014 target. "Five years ago before the eurozone crisis everyone wanted to enter the euro, but we weren't economically ready. Now that we are ready to enter, many have become sceptical". The article observed similar trends in Bulgaria and Poland.

Couldn't happen to a better-designed mock gold standard.

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 21st, 2012 at 04:19:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
White cliffs of Dover: locals repel buyout by the French | World news | The Guardian

Dame Vera Lynn can relax. The white cliffs of Dover, the most famous symbol of Britain's indomitable wartime spirit, have been saved from the prospect of falling under French control.

The Port of Dover, which has sat at the foot of the cliffs since 1606, will remain forever England after the government scrapped plans to sell it off to the highest bidder - rumoured to be the local authority of Calais.

The chance of historic revenge for centuries of English domination of Calais (1347-1558) has slipped from our grasp.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 05:17:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn one-sided referees, as usual.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 05:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Présidentielle 2012: les comptes de campagne de Sarkozy rejetés - L'EXPRESS Presidential 2012: Sarkozy's campaign accounts rejected - EXPRESS
La commission nationale des comptes de campagne et des financements politiques (CNCCFP) a décidé de rejeter les comptes de campagne de Nicolas Sarkozy pour l'élection présidentielle. Un incroyable coup de théâtre suscité par la réintégration de certaines dépenses antérieures au 15 février 2012, jour où le président sortant avait officiellement déclaré sa candidature, au journal télévisé de 20 heures de TF1National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Financing ( CNCCFP ) decided to reject the campaign accounts of Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidential election. An incredible turn of events generated by reinstatement of certain expenses prior to February 15, 2012 , day the outgoing president had officially declared his candidacy , on the news 20 hours TF1.
Nicolas Sarkozy (dont le mandataire était le député UMP d'Indre-et-Loire, Philippe Briand) avait déclaré un total de dépenses de 21 339 664 euros, alors que le plafond pour un candidat se qualifiant pour le second tour avait été fixé à 22 509 000 euros. Dès lors que des dépenses supplémentaires, liées notamment à des réunions publiques, sont réintégrées, le candidat UMP dépasse le plafond autorisé, ce qui entraîne le rejet de son compte. Nicolas Sarkozy (whose representative was the UMP Indre-et-Loire, Philippe Briand ) declared a total expenditure of 21,339,664 euros , while the ceiling for a candidate qualifying for the second round was fixed at 22.509 million euros. When additional costs, particularly related to public meetings are reinstated, the UMP candidate exceeds the maximum allowed, which leads to the rejection of his account.
La décision de la CNCCFP, présidée par un ancien président de la Cour des Comptes, François Logerot, va être notifiée à Nicolas Sarkozy et transmise au Conseil constitutionnel. Elle peut faire "l'objet d'un recours de pleine juridiction formé par le candidat devant le Conseil constitutionnel dans le délai d'un mois suivant sa notification". The decision of the CNCCFP, chaired by a former president of the Court of Auditors , François Logerot will be notified to Nicolas Sarkozy and forwarded Constitutional Council. It can be "appealed to a full jurisdiction formed by the candidate before the Constitutional Council within one month of notification."
Si le rejet des comptes de Nicolas Sarkozy est confirmé, son parti, l'UMP, se verra privé des quelque 11 millions d'euros d'aide publique. Et Nicolas Sarkozy rejoindra... Jacques Cheminade et Bruno Mégret, seuls autres candidats à l'élection présidentielle dont les compte furent invalidés. C'était en 1995 et en 2002. If the rejection of accounts is confirmed Nicolas Sarkozy, his party, the UMP, will be deprived of some 11 million euros in public financing. Nicolas Sarkozy will join ... Jacques Cheminade and Bruno Megret the only other candidates in presidential elections whose accounts were invalidated. That was in 1995 and 2002.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 06:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:10:45 PM EST
IntercontinentalExchange set to purchase NYSE Euronext | Business News | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

Wall Street is set to see the emergence of the world's biggest stock-market company after IntercontinentalExchange announced a deal to purchase New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Regulators still need to approve the deal.

The takeover of Wall Street stock trading flagship NYSE Euronext would cost IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) $8.2 billion (6.2 billion euros), the derivatives and commodities exchange announced Thursday.

NYSE shareholders would be offered $33.12 per share and would own approximately 36 percent of ICE shares, ICE said, under a deal approved by the supervisory boards of the two financial companies.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:16:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talk about talks highlights Washington's woes | Americas | DW.DE | 19.12.2012

Whether or not the US will avert the fiscal cliff or jump over it at the end of the year, one thing is already clear. In Washington's deeply dysfunctional governing process compromise is a four-letter word.

The media hype, incredulously headlining that there is "hope" after all, and the bounce by Asian stock markets after the news that the US government hasn't given up yet on trying to prevent the country from spiraling into a self-made recession, just goes to show how low expectations have become for Washington to accomplish even the most urgent tasks.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IOW, the national govt. no longer functions and should be abolished. Duuuuuh!

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 Dec 21st, 2012 at 07:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Cyprus bailout delayed amid debt restructuring reports

Cyprus bonds plunged to a three-month low on Thursday (20 December) after the International Monetary Fund reportedly demanded a Greek-style debt restructuring before agreeing to a bailout.

Earlier that day, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that the IMF would only agree to participate in a bailout programme for the island nation if part of its debt is written off first.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Commission backs latest tranche of €39 billion Spanish bank rescue

BRUSSELS - The taxpayer-backed rescue plans for four more Spanish banks have been approved by the European Commission.

In a report released on Thursday (19 December), the EU executive said that plans for BMN, Caja3, Banco CEISS and Liberbank complied with EU state-aid rules.

The Spanish government has pumped in over €1.8 billion into the four banks representing less than 30 percent of the €6.2 billion capital shortfall identified in the stress tests carried out in September by the management consultancy Oliver Wyman.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:30:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Deutsche Bank convicted in Italy in widening scandal

BERLIN - An Italian judge has convicted Deutsche Bank of fraud, as the bank struggles to save its reputation amid widening probes over tax evasion and rate-fixing after the departure of its former CEO Josef Ackermann.

Deutsche Bank was convicted together with US giant JP Morgan Chase, Switzerland's UBS and a German-Irish bank, Depfa, for their role in overseeing fraud by their bankers in the sale of interest rate bets to the city of Milan. About €90 million are to be seized from the four banks, who will also have to pay €1 million each in fines.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Articles here allege that it's one of the first times a judge has condemned banks over derivatives.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But is it the interest-rate-gamble deals themselves which have been characterised as fraud in this judgement, or was it the way they were negotiated?

If the former, it could be a crucial element of jurisprudence.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 04:37:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The latter would also be noteworthy in and of itself.

"You're not allowed to sell derivatives to suckers" is a long overdue rule.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 05:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Should Central Banks Target Employment? by Kemal Derviş - Project Syndicate
Is the failure to ensure that millions of young people acquire the skills required to participate in the economy not as great a liability for a society as a large stock of public debt?

(h/t Eurointelligence)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 05:40:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:10:57 PM EST
Egypt's chief prosecutor withdraws resignation | News | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

Egypt's chief public prosecutor, Talaat Abdullah, has withdrawn his resignation. The move comes just days after he resigned in the face of protests by prosecutors and judges demanding that he step down.

Abdullah, appointed by President Muhammad Morsi last month, made the reversal Thursday, saying the when he offered his resignation three days earlier, he had done so under duress, according a report published by the state newspaper Al-Ahram.

The justice minister was considering his request.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin addresses media, expresses concern about Syria | News | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held his first annual news conference since returning to the presidency. In his speech he said his main concern about Syria is the country itself, not President Bashar Assad.

President Putin addressed Russian and foreign journalists on Thursday in Moscow during his first annual news conference since returning to the presidency in May.

When asked by a reporter about the conflict in Syria, Putin said Russia recognizes a need for change. Putin said Russia's main concern is the fate of the country and not that of President Bashar Assad.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraqi President Talabani arrives in Germany for treatment | News | DW.DE | 19.12.2012

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has arrived in Germany for medical treatment after he suffered a stroke earlier this week. Talabani is seen as a mediator between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite populations.

President Talabani arrived in Germany on Thursday for medical treatment, his office said.

"I can confirm that the Iraqi President Talabani is in Germany for medical treatment," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement. "I wish him a rapid and full recovery."

A team of doctors from Britain, Germany and Iraq assessed the president before announcing the decision to relocate him on Wednesday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:15:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S. Korea's pres-elect pledges 'new era' on Korean peninsula | News | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

South Korea's President-elect Park Geun-Hye has promised a serious stance on security issues while pledging "trust based diplomacy" with North Korea. This comes a week after a successful North Korean rocket launch.

Park delivered her first policy speech on Thursday a day after she was elected as South Korea's first woman president. She promised to take a tough stance when it came to security issues, referring specifically to North Korea.

"The launch of North Korea's long-range missile symbolically showed how grave the security situation facing us is," she said in Seoul.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:16:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Malian militias prepare for war | Africa | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

More and more Malians are calling for a military intervention to liberate the north of their country from Islamist rule. They are also preparing to fight themselves.

Saturday morning in Sevare, a town in central Mali. On a dusty square, 50 young people are practising marching drill. Their steps are supposed to sound firm, resolute, disciplined, which is not very easy because most of the young recruits are wearing flip-flops. Equipment may be in short supply, but not the willingness to fight. Rokiatau Coulibaly said "I'm here to re-conquer the north. It's our country and the north belongs to it."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:17:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
John Kerry earmarked for Secretary of State post | World | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

There is currently just one name making the rounds as the likely successor to Hillary Clinton: John Kerry. The Democratic Senator and former presidential candidate has extensive foreign policy experience.

It is a Herculean task for US President Barack Obama: finding a new Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton. He or she has to feel at home on all continents, be just as well versed in the Middle East as in Asia and Europe and is constantly travelling.

In addition, the future Secretary has to be able to manage an army of diplomats posted all over the world for which he or she has to demand the necessary budget from Congress and keep pace with constantly changing technical challenges.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rape case triggers outrage in India | Asia | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

A brutal rape has shocked the Indian public. A young woman is in a critical condition in hospital after being assaulted by six men in a bus in the capital New Delhi.

The 23-year-old medical student was going home after going to the cinema in the south of the capital. She and her companion decided spontaneously to take a private bus instead of public transport. Such buses are often used as school buses during the day and take passengers illegally the rest of the time. What then happened has triggered outrage across India.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:23:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / EU struggling to keep up with Israeli settlement plans

BRUSSELS - EU countries in the UN Security Council have condemned Israel's plan to build in the E1 area, while the EU foreign service has criticised plans for a new settlement in Givat Hamatos.

The British ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, on Wednesday (19 December) in New York read out to press a joint statement by the four EU countries on the UN Security Council - Britain, France, Germany and Portugal.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:54:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghan officials hold rare talks with Taliban near Paris - AFGHANISTAN - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Afghan officials met with Taliban rebels and envoys from another Islamist militant group near Paris on Thursday to discuss ways to end the fighting in Afghanistan and prepare for a future without NATO troops.

French hosts say the secretive meeting among rival Afghans in Chantilly, a town famed for its castle and racecourse, is not expected to involve any horse-trading toward a possible peace and reconciliation deal.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:15:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French hosts say the secretive meeting among rival Afghans in Chantilly, a town famed for its castle and racecourse, is not expected to involve any horse-trading toward a possible peace and reconciliation deal.

In the same sense and to the same extent that the financial regulator does not expect exotic structured derivatives to be booby-trapped.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 05:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:11:25 PM EST
The comeback of coal? | Environment | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

Coal is set to become more popular as an energy source, according to a recent scientific report. The emerging markets, shale gas, and low commodity prices are driving that trend. Germany also has a role to play.

"Coal and gas are at war, and gas is losing the battle," Maria van der Hoeven said recently, when asked to describe the current situation on the international market for raw energy materials. The director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) was commenting after a study her agency published on the issue. The paper shows that coal is currently experiencing a worldwide renaissance and it exposes Germany as the world's largest user of brown coal.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:27:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
600 new wind turbines this year boost electricity production - Telegraph

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said that in the last quarter the amount of electricity generated by offshore wind increased by 54 per cent, while onshore wind went up by 38 per cent due to increased capacity.

There are currently just over 4,000 turbines in the UK.

Up to mid October this year 310 new turbines were built onshore and 309 offshore.

However renewables still make up just under 12 per cent of supply.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 07:10:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Telegraph's anti-wind correspondent, James Delingpole, must be going bonkers

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 08:34:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
surely "More bonkers"

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 07:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Estonians brace for Christmas blood-sausage binge - FRANCE 24

AFP - As Christmas looms, residents of the Baltic state of Estonia are bracing to wolf down tonnes of blood sausage, a staple of their holiday table.

Trade data in the European Union nation of 1.3 million show that at least 600 tonnes of the pork-based delicacy are consumed in the Christmas period, or around half a kilo per person.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:16:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We and the ancient Mayans share the same environmental concerns | Environment | guardian.co.uk

According to the ancient Mayan calendar, on 21 December, 2012, the 13th baktun - a calendrical measure equivalent to 144,000 days - will conclude as the next one commences. Many have interpreted this epochal transition from one era of human civilisation to another as a harbinger of apocalypse. Others believe that the turning of the Mayan calendar will mark a qualitative shift in the human relationship with the cosmos.

More than a millennium ago, the ancient Mayans suffered their own apocalypse in the tropical forests of present-day Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. The civilisation withered, its survivors forced to abandon their grand cities for small, isolated enclaves. Some scientists believe that the Mayan collapse was due to population increase, exhaustion of soils and forests, and drought. In reality, Mayan civilisation disintegrated because its leaders, while capable of empire building, failed to recognise and respond to societal challenges that included a damaged environment, shrinking natural resource base and changing climate.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:21:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU fishing quotas defy scientific advice, say conservationists | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Fishing fleets will be allowed to extract more fish from European waters than scientists advise is safe next year, after two days and nights of negotiations in Brussels on the EU's fishing quotas. But there may be fewer discards, if predictions by fisheries ministers are correct.

Nearly half of the quotas set were in excess of the best scientific advice, according to the sea conservation organisation Oceana. Greenpeace said the agreement allowed for more fish to be caught than was sustainable, pointing to scientific concerns about overfishing of stocks around Ireland, including in the Irish Sea, north-west of Scotland and in the wider Atlantic waters west of Ireland.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your future:

have fun.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:28:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:11:40 PM EST
Everyone's a winner in Sodeto ... almost | Europe | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

Some call him the unluckiest man in Spain. Others say he's the luckiest. Meet Costis Mitsotakis, the man who was left on the sidelines when everyone else in the tiny village of Sodeto won the world's richest lottery.

Costis Mitsotakis fiddles with his video camera, oblivious to the crowds of people pushing against him in this tiny bar. After a lifetime spent searching for the perfect project, the 43-year-old filmmaker has finally found it. But it didn't come easily. Rather, it took a bout of incredibly bad luck.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:20:53 PM EST
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The Commons: People power beyond the state | Transatlantic Voices | DW.DE | 20.12.2012
David Bollier: The Commons is a system for managing shared resources or a system of governance when a community decides they want to manage a shared resource for the collective benefit outside of the market or the state. So they devise their own rules and systems for doing it. And there's lots of Commons on the Internet, there's lots of subsistence Commons and there's lots of civic and social Commons. So it's a different conceptualization how we can manage shared resources.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:21:17 PM EST
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Art unites Europe and Nigeria | Africa | DW.DE | 20.12.2012
When is a kiss not a kiss? When Nigerian and European artists come together and try to bridge the cultural divide.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:24:04 PM EST
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Mayans hope for better world after December 21 | Globalization | DW.DE | 19.12.2012

December 21, 2012, has generated many stories regarding the end of the world, said to be linked to a Mayan prophecy. DW looks at what the date means for Mayans in Guatemala.

The ancient Mayans observed the constellations, the sun's movements, the planets and the stars. They read climatic cycles, the duration of day and night, the heat and cold, the rain and the drought. And they made a year, which was divided into 18 20-day months.

At the end of the year, Mayans contemplated the past, the present and the future during five holy days. So the Mayan calendar year was 365 days - the same length as our Gregorian calendar.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:26:19 PM EST
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The Brothers Grimm: Freaks or visionaries? | Culture | DW.DE | 20.12.2012

The Brothers Grimm not only collected fairytales but also researched the German language and laid the foundations for modern-day German literature studies. Their ambition alienated them from many contemporaries.

The Brothers Grimm, who published their first volume of fairytales on December 20, 1812, had a vision. They wanted to honor a piece of German cultural history that looked like it was going to be lost forever.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Germany was divided by political unrest, power struggles and military occupations. That troubled Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. They longed for a united nation.

So they began to research their native language and gather folk tales and myths. In doing so, they founded an entire field of research and wrote hundreds of works, including milestones such as "The German Dictionary," "German Mythology" and "German Grammar."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:26:47 PM EST
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Neither freaks nor visionaries. They were philologists and rather unscientific folklorists.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:50:44 PM EST
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So much for Britain. But elsewhere...

Russia and the World Prepare for Mayan Apocalypse

For more than a month, Russians around the country have bought up candles and matches, salt and torches to outsmart the apocalypse some believe will come when the Mayan calendar runs out on Friday.

"People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming," Kadyrov said in comments published on his official website last week. "Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won't help them?"

n the coalmining town of Novokuznetsk, shelves nearly emptied of salt stocks last month as the city's residents ready to ride through the end of the world. "60 tonnes were bought in one week," Yelena Zuyeva, a city official, said last week in comments carried on the local administration's website. "Today all trade companies are working and are ready for any level for consumer activity."

Online forums have been buzzing with people exchanging tips on what to eat after the entire human population is wiped out on Friday. "If I'm not mistaken, Russia makes all sorts of dehydrated products that are rich in all kinds of vitamins," a user named Yelena Portnenkova wrote on a forum called "How to live? What to eat?" on VKontakte, the Russian version of Facebook.

Searches for flights to places like Bugarach, France and Sirince, Turkey have significantly increased. According to The Telegraph, which cites Skyscanner, flights to the south of France are up by 41 percent for the week before Dec. 21, compared to the same week last year.

Flights to Sirince, Turkey are up by 30 percent. "We were surprised to see how big an increase there has been in searches for flights to the South of France and to Izmir in Turkey leading up to the 21st December: the date of the Mayan prophecy," Victoria Bailie said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:30:31 PM EST
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The Unequal State of America: The Undeserving Poor | Reuters.com
The 34-year-old Indiana native has learning disabilities and endured a childhood of abuse. Relatives say he was thrown through a plate-glass window by his grandmother when he was a teen, leaving him with a permanently numb left hand. Social workers consider him well enough to work, though, and he never qualified for disability benefits.

So, in the past decade Case has scraped by in temporary jobs, never making more than $10 an hour. Now, he's out of work again. He gets no unemployment benefits; he wasn't in his last gig long enough. He can't get Medicaid because he has no dependent children at home. Until October, his only help was $200 a month in food stamps. Because of a paperwork error, the government cut him off. With or without food stamps, he has to scrounge for cash, selling plasma at a blood center twice a week for $30 a pop.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:13:25 PM EST
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France loses Depardieu, but lures film productions - CINEMA - FRANCE 24

Belgium is not just a land of exile for French stars, like Gérard Depardieu, who say they pay too much in taxes at home. For several years, French movie studios and producers have been relocating their shoots to the neighbouring country, attracted by the considerable fiscal advantages it provides.

But that reality has been a bitter pill to swallow for certain French film industry professionals and insiders, as well as a handful of public officials -- especially since some of the French films shot in Belgium, and other European countries like Luxembourg, Germany, or Spain, deal with typically Gallic subject matter or cultural icons.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:18:34 PM EST
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MathBabe: Nate Silver confuses cause and effect, ends up defending corruption (December 20, 2012)
The good news

First off,  let me say this: I'm very happy that people are reading a book on modeling in such huge numbers - it's currently eighth on the New York Times best seller list and it's been on the list for nine weeks. This means people are starting to really care about modeling, both how it can help us remove biases to clarify reality and how it can institutionalize those same biases and go bad.

...

The bad news

Having said all that, I have major problems with this book and what it claims to explain. In fact, I'm angry.

...

What is not reasonable, however, is for Silver to claim to understand how the financial crisis was a result of a few inaccurate models, and how medical research need only switch from being frequentist to being Bayesian to become more accurate.

...

Why does he make this mistake?

Silver has an unswerving assumption, which he repeats several times, that the only goal of a modeler is to produce an accurate model. (Actually, he made an exception for stock analysts.)

...

Silver ignores politics and loves experts

...

To be fair, there have been moments in his past when Silver delves into politics directly, like this post from the beginning of Obama's first administration, where he starts with this (emphasis mine):

To suggest that Obama or Geithner are tools of Wall Street and are looking out for something other than the country's best interest is freaking asinine.
and he ends with:
This is neither the time nor the place for mass movements -- this is the time for expert opinion. Once the experts (and I'm not one of them) have reached some kind of a consensus about what the best course of action is (and they haven't yet), then figure out who is impeding that action for political or other disingenuous reasons and tackle them -- do whatever you can to remove them from the playing field. But we're not at that stage yet.
My conclusion: Nate Silver is a man who deeply believes in experts, even when the evidence is not good that they have aligned incentives with the public.


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 21st, 2012 at 05:22:06 AM EST
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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:12:02 PM EST
Europeans almost absent from list of global thinkers | EurActiv

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi and Thei Sein head Foreign Policy magazine's list of Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2012. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at number 12, is the highest-ranking European.

No European has made it into the top-10 on the American magazine's list.

If Merkel made it to N° 12, who cares about this stupid ranking?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 03:44:33 PM EST
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Different assumptions, constraints, interests and goals lead to different thought. There's no need to deny someone else's intellectual processes just because one doesn't like the results.
by oliver on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 05:03:16 PM EST
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You are seriously pretending that Angela Merkel is a major thinker?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 02:14:08 AM EST
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Compared to Paul Ryan (number 8) she certainly is....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 03:16:14 AM EST
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Compared to Paul Ryan, I am

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 06:14:19 AM EST
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As is the beer you're drinking.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 at 06:40:54 AM EST
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What the French want for Christmas: Consumer trends 2012 | Les blogs
After the rousing success of last year's consumer and box-office review, The Fuss has decided to once again catalog and break down some of the best-selling items in France over the past 12 months. Like in 2011, this is by no means a comprehensive list. And like in 2011, The Fuss has not accepted free gifts in exchange for mentioning a product, nor sold out a category to the highest bidder (although we're still hoping for offers).
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 at 04:16:50 PM EST
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