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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5 December

by ceebs Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 03:22:18 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1820 - birth of Afanasy Fet, Poet (d. 1892)

More here and here

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:21:35 AM EST
BBC News - Three to be charged over Dutch football linesman death

Prosecutors in the Netherlands say they will charge three players in connection with the death of a linesman in a Sunday league football match.

The two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old will face broad charges in connection with the death of Richard Nieuwenhuizen.

The three remain in custody ahead of their court appearance on Thursday.

The prosecutor's office said the investigation was continuing and witnesses were still being questioned.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government's own statistics watchdog rebukes Cameron and Hunt over spending claims - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

David Cameron and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt have been publicly rebuked by the Government's own statistics watchdog for claiming that spending on the NHS has risen under the Conservatives.

In a deeply embarrassing and damaging intervention ahead of George Osborne's autumn statement tomorrow Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, concluded that spending on the NHS is actually lower in real terms now than it was in 2010.

Mr Cameron's pledge to protect health spending from public sector cuts has been central to the Government's strategy of proving it can be trusted on the NHS. In the election the Tories spent thousands of pounds on advertising promising to "cut the deficit not the NHS".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:26:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Green Benches: This is 1 tweet David Cameron will now have to delete.
Today, the head of the UK Statistics Authority sent this letter to Jeremy Hunt. You can read it by clicking the writing in the brackets (read it here)The letter in a nutshell tells Jeremy Hunt to stop telling porky pies about NHS Spending. Recently. Tories including David Cameron have claimed that NHS Spending is climbing year on year.  The tweet below is one where David Cameron recently claimed that NHS Spending was "rising". You may also remeber that the Tory Manifesto promised NHS spending would rise.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 03:21:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberal Amsterdam plans to create 'scum villages' | World news | The Guardian

Amsterdam still looks liberal to tourists, who were recently assured by the Labour mayor that the city's marijuana-selling coffee shops would stay open despite a new national law tackling drug tourism. But the Dutch capital may lose its reputation for tolerance over plans to dispatch nuisance neighbours to "scum villages" made from shipping containers.

The mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, insists his controversial new £810,000 policy to tackle antisocial behaviour is to protect victims of abuse and homophobia from harassment.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / EU summit to consider 'reform contracts' for all euro states

BRUSSELS - Draft ideas ahead of next week's EU leaders summit foresee reform contracts for all euro states, political agreement on a full banking union and, post-2014, a budget for the eurozone.

The still-to-be finalised conclusions, seen by EUobserver, envisage progress towards profound economic and monetary union - the lack of which is considered to have led to the eurozone's current crisis - in three phases.

By March next year, EU leaders are supposed to agree the "operational framework" for a single European banking supervisor, the first of three planks necessary for full banking union.

The proposed second phase (2013-2014) is where the EU leaders are likely to start haggling over language. It suggests that legislative proposals for a bank resolution directive and an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme are made.

(...) Another controversial part of the second phase concerns the idea that all eurozone states - regardless of whether they are breaking euro budget deficit rules or not - should be obliged to "enter into individual arrangements of a contractual nature with EU institutions" on reforms they need to make and how they need to make them.

Making all 17 euro countries enter these programmes would remove the otherwise potentially "stigmatising" nature of the programme. The idea is strongly promoted by Germany, the biggest contributor to the EU budget and the eurozone bailout funds, as it seeks more binding rules in exchange for its show of "solidarity."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 04:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea is strongly promoted by Germany, the biggest contributor to the EU budget and the eurozone bailout funds, as it seeks more binding rules in exchange for its show of "solidarity."

Germany's government wouldn't know solidarity if it hit them in the face.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 04:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does earn the right to scare quotes in EU Observer, though.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 04:24:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, when German government representatives speak of "solidarity" it's scary, all right.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 05:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jack Straw | Great Britain and the European Union - It Would Have Been A Disaster For Britain to Join the Euro | The European Magazine - The Debate Magazine
Do Great Britain and the EU have a common future? Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw thinks so. His take: the UK was wise to stay out of the Eurozone. And it will be wise enough to stay inside the EU.

(...) The European: Are you happy that Great Britain did not join the Euro?
Straw: Yes. I'm very happy about it. I think it would have been a disaster for our country to join the Euro. The Euro turned out to be highly beneficial for Germany, it came at the right time for Germany. It has given you an exchange rate, which led you to be very competitive.

(...) The European: If that [in or out referendum] was put to the electorate it could be that you Britons vote to leave the EU. Wouldn't that mean isolation for Great Britain?
Straw: It would be challenging and potentially disruptive, but the realities of trade would continue. Germany, for example, runs a huge balance of trade surplus with the UK. You are unlikely to see German firms in the vanguard calling for punishing the Brits, because that would simply stop them from importing German goods.

(...) The European: In 1997, Tony Blair said that Great Britain has to be at the heart of Europe. Where do you think the country should be today?
Straw: We are not in the heart of Europe, for sure. The Eurozone crisis makes this inherently more difficult. But I certainly think we should be much more in the heart of Europe and by that I mean cooperating actively with European partners, treating them as partners. What was obvious to me when I was doing both my jobs as interior and justice minister, but also as foreign minister, is that if you show proper respect to European partners and talk to people without using the megaphone, you can make a lot of progress. That was famously Tony's approach, but it was also mine, too.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 04:20:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@MigeruBlogger
Migeru Shimbun is out! http://paper.li/MigeruBlogger/1351816577 ...


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 05:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Franco-German rift threatens EU banking union | EurActiv

Germany and France clashed publicly on Tuesday (4 December) over plans to put the European Central Bank in charge of supervising banks, deepening a dispute over the scope of ECB powers that threatens to derail one of Europe's boldest reforms.

With time running out to meet a pledge to complete the legal framework for an EU-wide banking union by the end of the year, Germany's Wolfgang Schäuble told a meeting of finance ministers he could not support a plan that would give the ECB's Governing Council the final say on supervision.

France's Pierre Moscovici and the ECB protested against any watering down of a plan central to Europe's response to a five-year banking crisis and which promises to unify the way it deals with problem banks, ending a previously haphazard approach.

"The right of the last decision cannot be left to the ECB Governing Council," Schäuble said in comments broadcast to reporters, going on to say that allowing it to happen could obscure the ECB's primary monetary policy mandate.

There could be no deal unless national supervisors had responsibility for most banks, he added, dampening expectations of a quick agreement on what will be a cornerstone of the closer integration needed to secure the euro's future.

"A Chinese wall between banking supervision and monetary policy is an absolute necessity," he said, also voicing scepticism that an independent central bank such as the ECB could even take on the tasks of supervision.

Moscovici countered that EU leaders, who had given finance ministers responsibility for drawing up a supervisory framework, had placed the ECB at the centre of their vision.

"We have no mandate for a dual system of supervision, which would call into question the existence of a single system for some banks," said Moscovici, conceding after the meeting that their differences were difficult to hide.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 03:39:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
News briefing (e-mail):

There were quite different emphases among European newspapers on yesterday's failure by finance ministers to agree on a banking union. Frankfurter Allgemeine and Suddeutsche both produced a relative upbeat assessments, suggesting that an agreement may well be in reach next week. FAZ reports that they are edging closer to an agreement on the remit of the banking union - that would include only the systemtically relevant banks, but with yet to be defined access rights to the whole banking sector. (...) Germany's position is that the ECB's governing council cannot have final decision rights, because bank supervision must ultimately be subject to political control.

(...) Reuters added that Sweden's Finance Minister Anders Borg appeared to soften his stance, saying compromise was possible if non-euro countries were treated fairly and national regulators retained autonomy.

The Financial Times, by contrast, seemed more sceptical, and spoke of a brick wall in the negotiations. (...)

Eurointelligence comment:

The question is what credibility will a banking union have if Germany maintains control over the savings banks and mutual banks. With two thirds of the German banking system outside a banking union, people may soon question the meaning of a banking union.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 03:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Schauble and Moscovici explore "creative solutions" (aka a fudge) to secure deal on banking union (05.12.2012)
There was once again no deal on banking union at yesterday's Ecofin meeting, but Wolfgang Schauble and Pierre Moscovici both signalled readiness to compromise; the biggest stumbling blocks remains Germany's insistence on a separate decision-making board outside the ECB's governing council; on the remit, the negotiators are moving towards a compromise to give the ECB direct control over the systemically important institutions with a yet-to-be-defined procedure of access rights; Schauble says Bundestag may not approve an agreement to transfer power over all German banks to the SSM; Germany is also concerned with banks' legal redress against SSM decisions; Anders Borg also seemed to be more conciliatory than previously; finance ministers will meet again December 12 ahead of next week's summit; Angela Merkel warns about complacency in the eurozone (and manages to keep a straight while doing so); Olaf Storbeck explains why he will not miss Jean-Claude Juncker; Spain's budget minister implicitly acknowledges that Spain will miss the deficit target this year; Samaras and Stournaras meet to nail down new tax code; an Athens court stopped the collection of property taxes through the electricity bill; the Greek government plans a law to bypass mayors who are refusing to send their lists for the redundancy schemes; Portugal says we are not Greece, and do not seek the same conditions as Greece; to meet deficit targets, Slovakia ends the flat income tax system, which it had boasted about for many years; Pier Luigi Bersani insists on electoral reforms, while Berlusconi resists; a study shows that Italians will use their Christmas bonuses to repay debt, rather than go shopping; Marco Onado says EU banks are nowhere near ready for Basel III; the ILO predicts further increases in structural unemployment in the eurozone periphery; Spain cuts benefits for home carer; more and more Italian children are dropping out of middle school; in Greece, meanwhile, hospitals can no longer afford basic hygiene, like surgery gloves.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 04:03:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Spain, the government has stopped paying social security contributions to people who stay at home to care for dependents. The government argues that the relationship between the dependents and their carers is 'familial' and not 'labour', reports Europa Press.

The solution of course is to look after other peoples dependants and invoice the same amount. Hooray for visible additions to the GDP.

Actually you could pay others to have the responsibility for the job and then have them hire you as a subcontractor for the same amount.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 11:28:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point, of course, is that nobody can afford to pay for this, but at least Zapatero had the good sense of paying social security contributions on behalf of people who dropped off the labour force to care for their dependent family members, so that they might have a pension But between Austerity and the PP being bastards...

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 6th, 2012 at 10:40:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SZ
Diplomatischer Affront gegen die Bundesregierung: Israels Außenminister Lieberman sagt seine Teilnahme an den deutsch-israelischen Regierungskonsultationen in Berlin ab. Es gehe ihm nicht gut, heißt es.
Lieberman cancels his visit to Berlin, saying he doesn't feel well. Netanyahu will travel to Berlin without him.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 07:11:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's... uncharacteristically diplomatic of him.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 07:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder whether there will be anybody left for Merkel to meet? The meeting will also include a meeting with university professors from both countries. Prof. Rivka Feldhay from Tel-Aviv University had already arrived in Berlin, when she was informed that she was no longer invited. Apparently she had been too critical of the Israeli government.

The German government has refused to comment.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 08:09:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:22:09 AM EST
11 shocking, true facts about Simpson-Bowles
An important fact to keep in mind in the coming days: "The Bowles plan" that Speaker John Boehner endorsed is not the same as "the Simpson-Bowles plan." Indeed, it's not even the plan supported by its apparent namesake, Erskine Bowles, who insists that he was simply sketching out the evident middle ground between the members of the supercommittee.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 12:05:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BRICS group should strengthen cooperation: official - Xinhua | English.news.cn

he countries that form the BRICS group should deepen cooperation to cope with risks brought by global economic uncertainties, according to Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao Tuesday.

Despite dynamic economic growth, uncertainties in fiscal, monetary and financial regulation policies of developed countries have brought severe challenges to developing nations, especially the BRICS group, Zhu said at the First Forum on Economic Situations of BRICS Countries.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:32:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Roman Abramovich gains control of world's biggest nickel mine | World news | The Guardian

Roman Abramovich has gained control of the world's biggest nickel and palladium mine after he brokered a deal forcing two other Russian billionaires to end their four-year feud over the assets.

The Chelsea football club owner now has the biggest voting stake in Norilsk Nickel, a company valued at $30bn (£18.5bn). Norilsk was one of the biggest prizes handed to insiders in the post-Soviet carve-up of Russian industry, which created a generation of oligarchs.

Vladimir Putin, who returned to the presidency in May, had said he wanted an end to a feud between two of Russia's richest men, Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska, over board control and payments to shareholders in the firm. Their deal appears to bear the stamp of the Kremlin, with the well-connected Abramovich acting as enforcer to end the dispute



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:39:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No case for Gatwick airport expansion, says IAG's Willie Walsh | Business | The Guardian

Airlines will only pay for expansion at one UK airport and that is Heathrow, Britain's foremost airline executive told MPs, in a pointed rejoinder to Gatwick chiefs pushing for a second runway.

Willie Walsh, the boss of British Airways' parent company IAG, told the transport select committee that there was no business case to expand the UK's second biggest airport.

"I'm not aware of consultation with airlines for the significant capital expenditure and the additional operating charges to pay for that investment," he said, "or to see if the airlines actually want a second runway and how they propose to fund it.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:57:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, perhaps we should redistribute the Heathrow/Gatwick slots more evenly (IAG currently has an unfair advantage in Heathrow slots) and see if Mr Walsh's view changes.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 04:12:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:22:45 AM EST
Why did Israel kill Jabari? - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
The real story behind Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza has not yet been investigated, but now that the explosions have stopped, we are obligated to delve into the truth. The decision to kill Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari, which was the opening shot of the operation, was made even though he was involved in negotiations on signing a long-term cease-fire agreement.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:32:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The story is subscriber only. Anyone (gk?) got an idea what it says?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 03:28:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing new (except maybe for the mainstream press). Just that he was negotiating for a ceasefire when he was killed, and that the Israeli government knew about this.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 03:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Florida Tea Party Still Fighting Obamacare | Mother Jones

Ever since Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the state of Florida has done everything it can to fight the law. It filed suit to block the law's implementation, leading to the dramatic Supreme Court decision this summer in which the court upheld most of the law but allowed the states to decide whether to accept the expansion of Medicaid contained in the bill. The state legislature in 2011 passed a constitutional amendment trying to block the individual mandate, which was rejected by voters last month in a ballot initiative.

State leaders, among them Republican governor Rick Scott, seemed so sure that they'd prevail in their legal cases that they never took any steps to begin preparing for the law's implementation, namely the creation of an online "exchange," that will serve as a regulated marketplace for individual insurance policies that can be bought by people eligible for federal subsidies. The state has to tell the US Department of Health and Human Services by December 14 whether it will set up its own exchange or punt and let the feds do it for them. The decision is proving contentious.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:34:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As more stories like this one start leaking out, Florida's case will collapse with the public...

Health-care reform has given the state the power and resources to slap down the kind of insurance-premium hikes that infuriate consumers, with advocacy groups pointing to a failed 24 percent increase request by Cigna. Cigna's rejected hike for individual health policies in 2013 included a 31 percent jump for four mountain counties singled out in a way the state says isn't justified by geography.

http://www.denverpost.com/dontmiss/ci_22112803?source=googlenews#ixzz2E7JnCNPc

by asdf on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 03:30:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli settlement plans 'threaten two-state solution' - Middle East - World - The Independent

Britain and other Western states were locked in an escalating diplomatic confrontation with Israel tonight over plans by Benjamin Netanyahu's government to build thousands of homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Israeli envoys to Britain, France, Spain and Sweden were warned that going ahead with the project could jeopardise the peace process and erode Western support for the Jewish state. The UK is also said to be considering cancelling some trade deals and, while reports that the UK and France may withdraw their own ambassadors were played down, officials in London and Paris maintained that the option was on the table.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:28:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia says West has exaggerated chemical weapons threat from Syria - Middle East - World - The Independent

The West is aware that its' claims about the threat from the Syrian regime's chemical weapons does not stand up to scrutiny, the Russian government charged today.

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov declared that there had been an exaggeration of the threat faced by Turkey to justify Nato's deployment of Patriot missile batteries and the move will end up adding to the tension in the region; "any such deployment is creating the risk that these arms will be used" he maintained.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkey missile defence system approved - Europe - Al Jazeera English

The NATO military alliance has agreed to the deployment of Patriot missiles as requested by member Turkey to help defend its border against possible threats from Syria.

"NATO has agreed to augment Turkey's air defence capabilities in order to defend the population and territory of Turkey and to contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the alliance's border," a statement released on Tuesday said.

The statement, attributed to the foreign ministers of the alliance, cited "repeated violations of Turkey's territory" as the reason the deployment had been approved.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are not taking into consideration Obama's quote "after the election I will have more flexibility." Flexibility works both ways...
by asdf on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 03:32:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clashes outside Egypt's presidential palace - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Egyptian police have fired tear gas at opposition protesters demonstrating against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's drive to hold a snap referendum on a controversial draft charter, as the country plunges deeper into crisis.

Live television footage showed that some protesters broke through police lines and got too close to the presidential palace.

Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo said: "They broke through the barbed wire [and] the police reacted and fired tear gas straight away. This has been an issue for the protesters as they are not allowed near the palace.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fatal sectarian clashes in Lebanon's Tripoli - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Two men have been killed and three other wounded in sectarian clashes in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli between gunmen loyal to opposing sides in neighbouring Syria's civil war.

Lebanon's LBC channel confirmed the dead men as Mohammad Ibrahim, who was killed in the city's troubled Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood on Tuesday.

The other man, 26-year-old Abdel Rahman Nassouh, was fatally shot in Bab al-Tebbaneh, a Sunni neighbourhood, by sniper fire from Jabal Mohsen, the source added.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:36:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Colombia Reports: President Santos allegedly has not ruled out announcing a state of emergency for the San Andres region.  In order to do this, President Santos would need to meet the requirements listed in Article 215 of the Colombian constitution. Once issued, the state of emergency would give him the power to issue laws by decree without any further congressional consent.

Honduras Culture and Politics: No one, not even the Honduran Supreme Court, would argue that there isn't corruption in the police, and that it must be removed.  Instead of doing things the easy, unconstitutional way, the Lobo Sosa administration is being urged to do it in a legal, somewhat harder, fashion. After all, lie detector tests are fallible, drug tests can record false positives, and someone accused of corruption must be able to defend themselves against the charge, if it's false.  So says the Honduran constitution. That's the opinion of the Sala Constitucional of the Supreme Court. Which the President of Honduras says makes the Supreme Court the enemy of Honduras.
Related item.

MercoPress: Mexico's government oil and gas giant Pemex confirmed the discovery of a crude reserve which could hold over 500 million barrels, and described as the largest on land strike in the last decade.

...And last, but not least, a case of the pot bottom calling the kettle BLACK!

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 07:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, you watch out, Honduras, that rule of law and due process is just a nuisance ...

(Cannot resist:
Luke: Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive. )


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 11:40:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:23:07 AM EST
BBC News - Ghana solar energy plant set to be Africa's largest

A UK firm has announced plans to build what it claims is the biggest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Africa.

The Nzema project, based in Ghana, will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes.

Construction work on the $400m (£248m) plant is due to start within 12 months.

The developers say that they are optimistic that finance for the project will be confirmed within six months.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Airport expansion | Greater London Authority

Investigation into airport capacity will examine the arguments for and against changing existing capacity in London.

Have your say
We need your input to help us examine the issue of airport capacity. Whether you are an aviation expert, a resident living under the flight path or a business leader or just live in London, please email your written evidence or views to transportcommittee@london.gov.uk or via post to City Hall.

Public meetings on airport capacity will be held on 15 January 2013 and 6 February 2013. If you would like your evidence or views used to inform these please provide by Wednesday 9 January. Otherwise submissions will be accepted until 28 February 2013.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 12:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Investment in offshore wind better for economy than gas, report shows | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Large-scale investment in offshore wind would generate more wealth for the economy and create more jobs than relying on gas-fired power plants, a report suggested on Tuesday.

Substantial deployment of offshore wind by 2030 would have only a marginal impact on electricity prices but would boost growth, cut dependence on gas imports and reduce emissions, the report for WWF-UK and Greenpeace said.

The study by Cambridge Econometrics compared a scenario with steady growth in offshore wind capacity in the 2020s with a power system where there was no new offshore wind post-2020, with significantly more gas used to meet electricity needs.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gas strategy should be 'plan Z', government's climate adviser warns | Environment | guardian.co.uk

George Osborne's dash for gas is "completely incompatible" with the nation's legally binding carbon emissions targets and should be "plan Z", according to the government's official climate advisers.

The gas strategy, due to be published alongside the chancellor's autumn statement on Wednesday, envisages far more gas power stations than the limit recommended by the energy secretary, Ed Davey.

Osborne's strategy plans for as much as 37GW of new electricity capacity from gas-powered stations, equivalent to more than 40 new plants and half the UK's entire current electricity generating capacity.

This scenario "would not be economically sensible" and was "completely incompatible" with climate change targets, said David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, which is charged with charting the lowest cost, lowest risk path to a low carbon economy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv: EU countries still at odds over 2030 renewables policy (04 December 2012)
The Energy Council conclusions said that options presented by the European Commission "need to ensure that the strong impetus provided by the current legislative framework is not lost" and that the potential for renewable energy was fully harnessed.

...

The EU has a binding target to increase the share of renewable energy in the continent's energy mix to 20% by 2020, which has given a shot in the arm to Europe's budding wind and solar industries.

...

Stop-go policies and retroactive charging had undermined business confidence and needlessly increased capital costs in the clean technology sector, the [European Wind Energy] trade association said in a letter to the EU's energy commissioner, Günther Oettinger.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 05:17:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:23:30 AM EST
BBC News - Leveson report: Cameron tells editors to sort out regulator

David Cameron has met newspaper editors and told them to "urgently" draft plans for an independent press regulator in the wake of the Leveson report.

The prime minister is resisting pressure to adopt the findings in full and change law to underpin a new body.

But he said the "the clock is ticking" and their proposals "absolutely" had to meet the requirement of Lord Justice Leveson's findings.

The culture secretary said the plans had to have public "credibility".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:38:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
their proposals "absolutely" had to meet the requirement of Lord Justice Leveson's findings.

There's no point in asking newspaper editors to meet the requirements of Leveson's findings. Only Parliament can do that.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 04:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chinese are attracted to branded British universities - Xinhua | English.news.cn

What we perceive to be the best of British products for cars and clothes are the shiny labels - those that scream: "I am the best".

Yet, carrying a Cambridge University certificate into a Fortune 500 company interview in Beijing, screams that out loud, too, for Chinese nationals, doesn't it?

Chinese account for 22.6 percent of the total non-EU international population in Britain, according to statistics provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in Britain for the year 2010-11. Therefore, this is an imperative market to uphold for the Brits, who rely heavily on international funding to bolster their universities.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeremy Paxman: what empire did for Britain | Telegraph

[..] its idiosyncratic public-school system, designed to produce not intellectuals but "sound chaps" - capable, dependable, resourceful.
[...]
That such a key part of the British educational system was for generations geared not to mental achievement but to something else[...] seems at odds with the fact that Britain has nearly twice as many Nobel Laureates as France, five times the total of Italy, Russia or Japan. But these men and women of intellectual pre-eminence are a memorial not to the famous Victorian public schools, created expressly with the empire in mind, but to the country's grammar schools and to the huge intellectual contribution made by refugees and migrants.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 11:53:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"That such a key part of the British educational system was for generations geared not to mental achievement but to something else[...] seems at odds with the fact that Britain has nearly twice as many Nobel Laureates as France, five times the total of Italy, Russia or Japan. "

Yes, because speaking the dominant language of the times has never had any impact whatsoever.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 03:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Harvard, too. From the latest issue of The American Conservative, Ron Unz's proposal to eliminate tuition at Harvard (after explaining how Harvard has become a hedge fund with a university attached).
There is also the Internet gossip of an explicit "Harvard Price," a specific donation dollar amount which would get your son or daughter admitted. The figure is said to be $5 million these days for an applicant who is reasonably competitive and $10 million for one who is not. Daniel Golden's The Price of Admission provides a specific example which tends to generally confirm this disturbing belief.

But if such claims are true, then Harvard is following an absurd policy, selling off its good name and reputation for just pennies on the dollar, not least because the sums involved represent merely a day or two of its regular endowment income. Harvard surely ranks as the grandest academic name in the world, carrying a weight of prestige that could be leveraged to extract far greater revenue at far lower cost of academic dignity.

Suppose, for example, that instead of such surreptitious and penny-ante wheeling and dealing, Harvard simply auctioned off a single admissions slot each year to the highest blind bidder on the international markets. I suspect that the same sorts of individuals who currently pay $50 million or $100 million for a splotchy painting they can hang on their walls would surely be willing to spend a similar amount to have their son or daughter embossed with the Harvard stamp of approval. The key factor is that such prestige goods are almost entirely positional in value, with most of the benefit derived from the satisfaction of having outbid your rival Internet billionaires, oil sheikhs, or Russian oligarchs, so the higher the price goes, the more valuable the commodity becomes. And since the goal would be to extract as much money as possible from the wealthy bidders, a non-refundable bidding deposit of 2 percent or 5 percent, win or lose, might double or triple the total dollars raised.

Thus, instead of extracting steep net tuition from thousands of undergraduates (and perhaps quietly selling a handful of spots each year for a few million dollars each), Harvard could probably raise just as much revenue by enrolling a single under-qualified student in a process which would publicly establish the gigantic financial value contained in a Harvard diploma. It's even quite likely that a useful side-benefit of the publicity would be a large rise in Harvard's total applicants, including those of highest quality, as families all across the country and the world sought to obtain at zero cost the exact same product which a billionaire had just bought for $70 million.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 12:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ruskin lecturer wins Turner Prize - University of Oxford

An Oxford University lecturer has won this year's Turner Prize.

Elizabeth Price, who was appointed as University Lecturer in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art earlier this year, received the prestigious award for her solo exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.

The exhibition featured a new piece of work called THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979. This was devised while Ms Price held the Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellowship at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, St John's College, Oxford and the British School at Rome in 2010-11.

THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979 samples music, photographs, video footage and text to portray a fire in a Woolworth's shop in Manchester in 1979, in which ten people died.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:41:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:23:58 AM EST
BBC News - Consent given for change to royal succession rules

All Commonwealth countries have agreed to press ahead with a bill ending discrimination against women in the succession to the British throne.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the government would now introduce the Succession to the Crown Bill in the House of Commons as soon as possible.

It means the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will become monarch whether it is a boy or girl.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:37:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should we pretend to be delighted by Kate's pregnancy?
When the occupation of the uterus of the Duchess of Cambridge was officially announced, the Prime Minister declared himself "delighted". I'll bet he was. The news couldn't have come at a better time. Coverage of the Glorious Impregnation of the Magical Vagina of Monarchial Succession has knocked our woeful economy conveniently off the front pages, and distracted attention from the omnishambles that was once the British fourth estate in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry. Now we're in for months of name speculation and bump-watching. It's as if the House of Windsor were just another soap opera, rather than an institution that continues to confiscate full democratic enfranchisement from seventy million other humans living on this rainy little island. Never mind, though. Babies are cute, and we have to wish the Royal Couple well. Or else. 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 02:46:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one nice thing about having a queen is that she can handle a lot of the mandatory governmental pageantry. Our president needs to go to parades and funerals and parties that, in theory at least, a prime minister doesn't need to do. Given that about half of the job of president is to raise funds for the party, that doesn't leave him a lot of time for governing...
by asdf on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 at 05:08:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully Kate's pregnacy will rise the awareness for HG or Hyperemesis Gravidarum and also increase research for women's health, which often still receives less founds then men's health.

Daily Kos: Kate a pampered princess? Not even.

In case you missed it, the big celeb/entertainment news yesterday was that Princess Kate Middleton was pregnant and, given her royal lot in life, had gone to the hospital to get treated for morning sickness. The poor dear.

It took awhile for reporters to get the news that it was, in Princess Kate's defense, a bit more than the normal morning sickness. So they, to be fair, began reporting that it was "severe," and then someone let them know she had a condition called HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) which they then began reporting as "an extreme form of morning sickness."

But calling HG "extreme morning sickness" is kind of like calling decapitation "extreme throat irritation." I know because my daughter had it. And you should know too, in case you or someone you love has the same misfortune.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 02:23:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had to go to the hospital several times with "severe morning sickness" and the shots they gave me to end it were delivered "posteriorly" and were so painful that my posterior clenched itself to the point that I couldn't walk upright. I hope they've come along with something better, as it not a very "royal" sight to see a gal shuffling along bent double.

Still, put me in the Hitchens camp where royalty are concerned. I thought a few days ago that Sky News had determined the princess's pregnancy to be all the news that mattered.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 06:00:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How ... strange:

Many sufferers of HG are extremely sensitive to odors in their environment; certain smells may exacerbate symptoms.

[Emphasis added.]

To me this strongly suggests a neurological factor - possibly from neurohormones? - since HG leads to metabolic imbalances, altered sense of taste, sensitivity of the brain to motion, and hallucinations when untreated.  

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

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 5th, 2012 at 11:19:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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