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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 17 February

by In Wales Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 04:43:50 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1740 - birth of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, a physicist and Alpine traveller, often considered the founder of alpinism, and considered to be the first person to build a successful solar oven. (d. 1799)

More here and here

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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:50:43 PM EST
French court upholds Le Pen conviction for Nazi remarks | News | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

A French court has upheld a conviction against National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Penn for downplaying Nazi crimes in France committed during World War II. Le Penn said the occupation "wasn't especially inhumane."

The Court of Appeal in Paris confirmed Jean-Marie Le Penn's 2008 conviction for "disputing crimes against humanity" in an interview with a far-right magazine. The court also upheld the National Front party founder's original sentence of a three-month jail term and a fine of 10,000 euros ($13,000).

The 83-year-old Le Penn said he would appeal to the Court of Cassation, France's court of last resort.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:54:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More Germans dying due to doctor error, report finds | Germany | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

Germany has seen a sharp rise in the number of patients dying while in medical care in recent years. The government figure is still well below estimates published by patient advocacy groups.

The number of patients dying as a result of mistakes made on the operating table has risen dramatically, according to figures from both government and private sector sources.

More than 1,700 patients died in Germany in 2010 due to either doctor error or defective medical products, according to a report published in the Thursday edition of the mass-circulation Bild newspaper. This represents an increase of almost 35 percent compared to one year earlier.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:56:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pay dispute strike hits Frankfurt airport | Germany | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

A wage dispute involving staff at Frankfurt airport has escalated as preliminary warning strikes begin. Air-traffic controllers have walked off the job for two days. Lufthansa has announced it has cancelled 100 flights.

Tarmac workers at Frankfurt airport have walked off the job over a pay dispute. They said the strike could lead to disruptions to around 50 percent of operations at Germany's largest airport.

German airline Lufthansa has already announced it has cancelled 100 flights and may be forced to suspend more if the strike entered a second day, which it is likely to do after the trade union representing air-traffic controllers and ground staff announced a one-day extension of the strike action earlier Thursday..

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:01:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / News In Brief / MEPs ask Dutch PM to debate anti-immigrant website
The European Parliament will hold a debate on 13 March on the anti-immigrant website created by the Dutch PVV Party. "We especially call on the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to come before the European Parliament to explain his deafening silence on this issue," centre-right leader Joseph Daul said.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Opinion / Northern Cyprus: the other side of the Green Line
BRUSSELS - Eight years after Cyprus' EU accession and shortly before it does its first-ever EU presidency, Turkish-Cypriots are a neglected but interesting subplot in EU history.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / MEPs voice 'serious concern' on Hungary's democracy

BRUSSELS - The European Parliament has passed a resolution tabled by left-wing and liberal deputies urging Hungary to respect EU laws and values or risk having the EU assembly start a formal investigation into serious breaches of EU values, a never-before-used instrument in the EU treaty.

The resolution, passed on Thursday (16 February) with 315 votes in favour, 263 against and 49 abstentions, spoke of the "serious concern" over democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights in Hungary.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pledging a 'strong France', Sarkozy vies for re-election - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Putting an end to French politics' worst-kept secret, President Nicolas Sarkozy burst into France's presidential campaign this week with a new slogan, a brand new website and Twitter account, and a busy schedule of rallies across France.

The incumbent was due to hold his first campaign meeting in the Alpine city of Annecy on Thursday, a day after he officially announced on French television that he was a candidate in the country's April 22 poll.

After lunch with local officials, and an afternoon stop at a cheese factory that makes the pungent Reblochon cheese, Sarkozy was scheduled to address supporters and members of his ruling UMP party. He was expected to unveil his new election manifesto at a major party rally in the city of Marseille on Sunday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kosovo Serbs defy EU and Serbia in referendum - KOSOVO - FRANCE 24
AFP - Serbs in north Kosovo rejected ethnic Albanian rule Wednesday in a controversial referendum seen as a slap in the face to efforts by Serbia and the EU to resolve differences over the territory.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:22:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Disabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit | Society | The Guardian

Some long-term sick and disabled people face being forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time or have their benefits cut under plans being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mental health professionals and charities have said they fear those deemed fit to undertake limited amounts of work under a controversial assessment process could suffer further harm to their health if the plans go ahead.

The new policy, outlined by DWP officials in meetings with disabilities groups, is due to be announced after legal changes contained in clause 54 of the welfare reform bill have made their way through parliament.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Work for free and 'be of benefit' to a multinational like Tesco | John Harris | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
At which point, it's worth pausing to reflect on what all this actually entails. Thanks to referrals by both jobcentres and private-sector Work Programme providers, it's about people effectively working for nothing, not only in charities and the public sector, but in huge retail chains. Thanks to the legal action launched by Cait Reilly, we all know about Poundland. Asda, Boots, Argos and TK Maxx, and the Arcadia group (including Topshop and Burton) are also involved. Hats off, perhaps, to Sainsbury's and Waterstones for announcing that they have ended their involvement with this kind of work experience, but if you want an indication that workfare may be turning into an immovable part of the private-sector economy, consider last night and today's blizzard of outrage about a Tesco ad placed on the Jobcentre Plus website. It's for nightshift workers in East Anglia, who will be paid "JSA plus expenses".
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you hear me complaining about government schemes.  This is what I'm complaining about.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 08:56:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised that Tesco's small and medium sized competitors aren't complaining about the government subsidizing tesco's profits

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:41:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron offers Scotland more powers if it votes no to independence | Politics | The Guardian

David Cameron made his boldest move yet in the campaign to stop Scotland voting for independence by offering the country more freedom from Westminster if it votes no in the coming referendum.

Speaking to business leaders in the capital, Edinburgh, the prime minister said the referendum did not have to be "the end of the road" for devolution. After that "I am open to looking at how the devolved settlement can be improved further", he said. "And, yes, that means considering what further powers could be devolved."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:25:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alex Salmond is running rings around Cameron politically. Unless Cameron develops political intelligence, the referendum is Salmond's to lose

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:43:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Boldest"? Salmond was pushing for a 3-way vote on independence, keeping the current system, and "devo-max", a stronger form of devolution. Cameron stopped this because he was afraid the Scots would vote for this option. Now he's saying that if they vote against independence they will get devo-max anyway? Brilliant.....

Note that if Cameron is in favour if devo-max as the weakest option, there  is nothing to stop him implementing it now, without even waiting for the vote.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:40:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: A deal that would turn Greece in a eurozone colony
An outline plan for a Greek package has now been drawn up, but political agreement will not be reached until Monday; the new loan package will be dependent on 24 prior actions Greece has to fulfill before the end of the month; agreement is likely to include an escrow account to protect bondholders; a permanent representation of the troika is also likely; no agreement yet on additional measures needed to hit the 120% target, but various options remain under consideration; Wolfgang Schäuble and Angela Merkel disagree on whether to force Greece into default, with the finance minister taking a harder line; the Netherlands, Finland and Austria support Schäuble's position; through a procedural trick, the ECB and the NCBs have protected their holding against the effects of collective action clauses; the Bundesbank has opposed this move; ECB is ready to offer the foregoing of profits as a contribution to the Greek programme; Germany's Bild wants the Greeks to be thrown out of the euro; Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi argues that only the IMF can help now, and might consider using its poverty reduction programme to help Greece; one out of ten young people have lost their jobs in Q4, as recession gets much worse in Portugal; Angela Merkel is to meet an increasingly assertive Mario Monti today; Francois Hollande, meanwhile, has signalled that he will cooperate with Angela Merkel []if elected.


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:36:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Germany's Bild wants the Greeks to be thrown out of the euro

Would this be newsworthy if it were the Sun?

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 Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:13:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To what extent is Bild wagging the dog of German public opinion?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:16:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: German President Wulff quits in home loan scandal
German President Christian Wulff has announced his resignation, after prosecutors called for his immunity to be lifted.

An ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Wulff is embroiled in a scandal over a home loan that he accepted when he was premier of Lower Saxony.

Mrs Merkel cancelled a visit to Italy on Friday to deal with the crisis, and she will give a statement shortly.



tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 05:11:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See Last night's thread.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 05:14:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And DoDo's diary.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:20:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wulff will also find his actions on the Porsche board to be very serious, and there are billions at stake in the current stockholder suits.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 05:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
@ronpatz
:) RT @kosmopolit RT @politixs #Wullf resignation: EU COM to announce Wulff will chair new EU anticorruption campaign & become head of #OLAF


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:50:57 PM EST
Moody's reviews top banks for rating downgrades | Business | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

US ratings agency Moody's says ten major banks, including Germany's Deutsche Bank, may be poised for a two-notch downgrade, as it reviews 114 financial institutions with global operations.

Moody's Investors Service announced that it was reviewing 24 financial groups in Italy, followed by 21 in Spain, 10 in France, nine in Britain, eight in Austria and Denmark, as well as seven in Germany, and six each in Portugal and the Netherlands.

On a lesser scale banks in Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Belgium and Luxembourg were also under scrutiny, Moody's said Thursday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:56:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
General Motors announces huge Europe losses | Business | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

General Motors has reported unsatisfactory earnings for the final quarter of last year. Once again, the automaker's European division dragged down the whole company, which otherwise did very well.

General Motors on Thursday reported flat earnings for the fourth quarter of last year, missing higher market expectations. The company posted net income of $500 million (384.4 million euros), the same as a year ago.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:00:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Commission chief acts to ease Greece war of words | Europe | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

The head of the EU Commission has tried to calm nerves after a vitriolic exchange between Greece and Germany over Athens' debt woes this week. Comments by Germany's finance minister have come under heavy fire in Greece.

Jose Manuel Barroso struck a rather conciliatory tone at an EU meeting in Brussels on Thursday, saying he hoped "that the members of the European Union will accept the commitments given by Greece."

He also praised "the courage of the Greek government and the Greek people in these very challenging times."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:05:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Bail-out delay prompts fear of Greek euro exit

BRUSSELS - Greece fears it is being pushed out of the euro after eurozone ministers delayed a decision on its second bail-out for another five days.

"We are continually faced with new terms ... In the euro area, there are plenty who don't want us anymore. There are some playing with fire, domestically and abroad. Some are playing with torches and some are playing with matches. But the risk is equally great," Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters in Athens on Wednesday (15 February) after a three-hour conference call with his 16 counterparts from the eurozone.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Athens recovers from riots, but anger and anxiety remain - GREECE - FRANCE 24

In downtown Athens, there's a mild burning smell, some graffiti splashed across building walls, and bits of stone and concrete on the street.

These are the immediately noticeable remains of the violent demonstrations that broke out four days ago in protest at the Greek parliament's vote to pass the austerity bill needed for the bailout by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / Auditor: EU agencies mismanaging their budgets

BRUSSELS - A report by the European Court of Auditors has found problems in the way the EU's 31 agencies manage their budgets. The findings are likely to fuel the debate about the usefulness of the bodies in a time of austerity.

The report - sent on Wednesday (15 February) to the European Parliament and seen by EUobserver - analyses the costs, financial management and "operational efficiency" of 22 out of the EU's 31 autonomous agencies.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:12:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US says no plans to give IMF more money - FRANCE 24

AFP - The US Treasury reiterated Thursday that Washington has no plans to provide more money to the International Monetary Fund as the eurozone crisis drives the Fund to raise more emergency resources.

Treasury undersecretary for international affairs Lael Brainard told a congressional hearing that the US economy could be damaged by a further deterioration of conditions in Europe.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:19:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hillary Clinton Is Said to Rival Summers as Contender to Lead World Bank - Bloomberg

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers are two leading candidates to succeed World Bank President Robert Zoellick when he leaves at the end of June, according to two people familiar with Obama administration discussions.

While Summers has expressed interest in the position and has supporters inside the administration, the position would be Clinton's if she sought it, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the private conversations.

Clinton, who said previously she doesn't plan to remain in her post if President Barack Obama wins a second term, repeatedly has denied having an interest in the World Bank job. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland repeated those denials today.

Just what the world needs. :-(

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:48:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:51:15 PM EST
UN chief points finger at regime ahead of Syria assembly vote | Middle East | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused the Syrian regime of "almost certain" crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, forces loyal to the government launched fresh attacks on the cities that cradled the revolt.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for an urgent end to the "indiscriminate" shelling of civilians in Syria, highlighting the likelihood that the regime had committed crimes against humanity.

The comments, echoing a statement on Monday from UN human right chief Navi Pillay, came ahead of a General Assembly vote on an Arab-sponsored resolution condemning rights violations.

"We see neighborhoods shelled indiscriminately, hospitals used as torture centers, children as young as 10 years old killed and abused. We see almost certain crimes against humanity," Ban told reporters in Vienna.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:55:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libyan armed militias guilty of 'human rights abuses' | World | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

Amnesty International has accused 'out of control' armed militias in Libya of committing widespread human rights abuses in a report released a year after the start of the revolt that toppled Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

Out of control armed militias now rule much of Libya, Amnesty International warned in a report on Thursday, committing widespread human rights abuses and obstructing efforts to rebuild the country.

The report, released a year after the revolt against former leader Moammar Gadhafi began, documents serious abuses committed by militias across the country. They include "war crimes against suspected Gadhafi loyalists, with cases of people being unlawfully detained and tortured - sometimes to death," it says.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:59:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amnesty report says Libyan militias are 'out of control' - LIBYA - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Libya's aspirations to replace Muammar Gaddafi's repressive rule with a just, democratic state are being undermined by armed militias who trample on human rights and are outside the government's control, Amnesty International said on Thursday.

The militias spearheaded the rebellion that ended Gaddafi's 42-year rule but they have so far refused to disband. With their heavily armed units patrolling the streets, they have more power on the ground than Libya's official rulers.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:17:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
North Korea marks Kim Jong Il's 70th birthday | World | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

North Koreans are marking what would have been the 70th birthday of the country's recently deceased leader. The anniversary is being met by open displays of sadness by the country's population.

North Koreans gathered in the capital, Pyongyang, to mark the 70th birthday of the country's late leader, Kim Jong Il on Thursday.

Two months after his death, North Korean mourners laid red begonia flowers at a portrait of the former leader in the Grand People's Study House at Pyongyang's main square.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:55:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Generation Change - DW.DE

Being a community leader in one of the poorest shantytowns in the city of Sao Paulo is not a simples task - and it's even harder when this community has just suffered from a huge fire, leaving a third of its population homeless.

Having had a rough childhood herself, Alessandra Cunha learned that life should be about helping one another, and that is what this 27 years old has been doing for her community in the past six years.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:59:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iranian bombers targeted Israelis, Thai police say | Asia | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

Thai police say that three Iranians suspected of unleashing a series of blasts rocking downtown Bangkok earlier this week intended to attack Israeli diplomats.

Three Iranians linked to explosions in the Thai capitol on Tuesday were targeting Israeli diplomats, Thailand's police chief said Thursday.

"They were aiming at individuals, specifically Israeli diplomats," National Police Chief Prewpan Dhamapong said, having interviewed Mohammad Kharzei, 42, who was arrested trying to leave the country Tuesday night.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:06:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gunmen storm Nigerian prison, freeing more than 100 - NIGERIA - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Gunmen stormed a prison in Kogi state in central Nigeria, killing one warden and freeing 119 prisoners, the prison authorities said on Thursday.

"The invaders came at about 7.15 pm (1815 GMT) yesterday and we suspected they used explosives to bring down the gate of the prison and the roof of the gate and thereafter set free 119 inmates," said prison authorities spokesman Hadiza Aminu.

Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks this year, was behind a prison break in northern Bauchi state in 2010 when about 700 prisoners were freed.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MEXICO CITY--Throughout Mexico's drug war, the country's military has shrugged off allegations that soldiers have occasionally tortured or even executed suspected members of drug cartels, saying that the majority of the charges were made up by zealous activists or the cartels themselves.  But three high-profile cases this month that are being investigated outside the military's own secret courts have prompted the army's top commander to say the military may have committed serious human-rights abuses.

Colombia Reports: An organization representing more than 30 European NGOs has asked the European Union to call for a "frontal assault" on Colombian forced disappearances, reported newspaper La Vanguardia Thursday. The International Office for Human Rights-Action on Colombia (OIDHACO) says the EU must demand the Colombian government do something about this abuse, highlighting that in May 2011 the total number of missing people reached 57,200, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. This represents a 40% increase in forced disappearances from 2009.

Colombia Reports: Neo-paramilitary groups are causing Colombian students to be displaced on a 'massive' scale, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), reported Colombian news provider Noticiero del Llano Wednesday.

Colombia Reports: Three protesters were injured Tuesday when police broke up a demonstration against a multi-national company plans to destroy five villages to build a dam. One man was reported to have lost an eye in the clash, sparked by plans by energy company Quimbo Emgesa, backed by the Colombian government, to flood five villages in order to build a hydroelectric plant.

MercoPress: Nicaragua's Central Bank President Antenor Rosales quit following a disagreement with President Daniel Ortega over the use of foreign currency reserves to fund a regional bank for the Venezuelan-led bloc of eight nations known as Alba, (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas).

Honduras Prison Fire:
Bloomberg: Honduras's crackdown on violent gangs has led to a surge of inmates in poorly controlled and dilapidated jails, a policy that may have caused the world's worst prison fire in a century, human rights groups said.
Photo Essay in the The New York Times.
Democracy Now! interviews Dana Frank.
Adrienne Pine discusses fire.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 08:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:53:05 PM EST
Imports help Germany still its hunger for organic foods | Business | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

Demand for organic products continues to rise in Germany. At a trade show in Nuremberg, international suppliers are touting their products to retailers in the German market, the world's second largest for organic foods.

Tomatoes from the Netherlands, cucumbers from Spain, bananas from Columbia and lentils from Canada - a stroll through the offering of organic foods in German supermarkets turns quickly into a culinary voyage around the world.

More than 18,000 tons of organic tomatoes alone were imported to Germany last year. Sales of organic products in 2011 rose nearly 10 percent. Local producers can't supply enough, and some don't even want to try: They've found another profitable area - supplying corn to biogas producers.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / EU and US roll out gold standard for 'organic' food

BRUSSELS - Organic goods produced in the United States and in Europe will be sold and certified under the same "organic" label in both markets after a trade deal signed on Wednesday (15 February).

Previously, both European and US farmers had to obtain separate certifications. A European farmer, for instance, wishing to sell organic food in the US would have had to obtain a US "organic" label and vice-versa.

Under the new deal, which is to be launched in June, producers on both sides of the Atlantic will have one standard and one certificate issued by existing US or EU national authorities.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / EU and US roll out gold standard for 'organic' food

The two sides agreed that each other's standards were almost identical after two years of inspections.

But slight variations mean not all organic produce can be freely exported.

US organic pears and apples, for instance, do not qualify. Nor do some EU organic meats and fish, which are sometimes exposed to antibiotics - strictly prohibited under the new agreement.

I find this somewhat reassuring : it's not a lowest-common-denominator approach, but a homologation of each other's standards.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:22:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Revealed: How fossil fuel reserves match UN climate negotiating positions | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Want to understand why we're not solving climate change? Then follow the money - which in this case means following the carbon. I've spent much of the past 24 hours crunching data and it turns out there's a very striking - and oddly overlooked - correlation between fossil fuel reserves and national negotiating position on climate change.

First, though, some background. Last year I wrote about the emerging concept of a "carbon bubble" and the risks for investors of putting money into companies that hold fossil fuel reserves. After all, if the world is to meet its stated 2C target for limiting global warming, most of those fuels will need to be left in the ground.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Desmond Tutu tells David Cameron tar sands threaten health of the planet | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Eight Nobel laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu have written to the prime minister to argue that oil derived from Canadian tar sands "threatens the health of the planet" and that the UK should support European moves to classify the controversial energy source as highly polluting.

A similar letter has been sent this week to the transport minister, Norman Baker, by the shadow transport secretary, Maria Eagle, asking him "to vote in favour of labelling oil from tar sands as highly polluting immediately and in line with the European commission's proposals".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
David Cameron in France to sign nuclear power deal | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Britain and France are to sign a landmark agreement to co-operate on civil nuclear energy, paving the way for the construction of a new generation of power plants in the UK.

Deals between British and French companies - worth more than £500m - will allow work to start on new facilities, creating more than 1,500 jobs.

Nice timing. It will be a defining moment in Sarkozy's re-election campaign. He has given up on building new reactors in France; no problem, we'll build French reactors in the UK! (no other clients on the horizon...)

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:14:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is a master of the non sequitur :

David Cameron in France to sign nuclear power deal | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The energy secretary, Ed Davey, travelling to Paris with Cameron a fortnight after his promotion to the cabinet, said: "We need hundreds of billions of pounds of investment in clean energy projects in the UK. This will bring high-skilled job opportunities the length and breadth of the country.

"There are plans for new nuclear in Somerset, Suffolk, Cumbria, North Wales and Gloucestershire. Supply chains will spring up too, and extend the reach of economic benefit across the country."


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:52:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, conservatives think nuclear is green

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lawmakers back move to prop up EU carbon market | EurActiv

EU parliamentarians have agreed a compromise text ahead of a vote this month that should increase pressure on the European Commission to remove carbon allowances to prop up prices on the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which have plumbed record lows.

The news helped carbon prices, with the benchmark contract price rising nearly 4% to €8.68 per tonne within hours.

The compromise wording, as expected, does not specify how many carbon allowances might be withheld to tackle a huge surplus in the market.

Instead, it calls on the Commission to amend the regulation on auctioning carbon permits and to implement measures, which may include "withholding the necessary amount of allowances," a parliamentary source said.

"The good thing is it is giving the Commission a mandate to act before the third phase [of the carbon market, from 2013]. However, we lost the numbers. It was just not possible to get broad support," Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout said.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:31:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:53:23 PM EST
Berlin launches new anti-addiction strategy | Germany | DW.DE | 16.02.2012

Germany has launched a new national strategy to combat addiction. The biggest problem was and is alcohol - but new forms of addiction like online computer games or the Internet are also shifting center stage.

For years, Germany has been among the countries with the highest level of alcohol consumption. Every third crime is committed under the influence of drink, the costs of treating alcohol-related illnesses are a staggering 267 billion euros ($348 billion) per year.

Despite a slight decline in alcohol consumption, Berlin's new national strategy to combat addiction still lists alcohol as the major problem.

The focus is especially on binge drinking among teenagers. Authorities plan to launch special campaigns targeted at young people to warn them of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:10:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paris ranked world's best city for students - FRANCE - FRANCE 24
Paris has been ranked the best city in the world for students, according to a UK study, although some French undergraduates felt the results were wide of the mark.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:20:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paris ranked world's best city for students - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

But where Paris beats its nearest rivals hands down is in student fees, at an average of 1,700 euros. Undergraduates in Paris who are from France pay from nothing (if they are from low-income households) to just 500 euros a year.

Studying in London meanwhile costs an average of 15,800 euros (with international fees factored in), while in Boston a year's tuition will set students back an eye-watering 30,000 euros.

Lyon is ranked 14th... not bad!

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:25:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a clear bias towards living in big cities in that list. For example, Stockholm (27) would by many in Sweden be ranked below the traditional students towns of Uppsala and Lund, but those two are not on the list.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:08:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that many would also prefer Cambridge and Oxford to Birmingham. Same for  San Francisco compared to Berkeley and Palo Alto....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:24:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
interesting website chock full of good writing on various subjects

n+1: Gut-level Legislation, or, Redistribution

The second step is our task in this century. It is an active redistribution to help dissolve the two portions of society whose existence is antithetical to democracy and civilization, and which harm the members of each of these classes: the obscenely poor and the absurdly rich. Each group must be helped. That means not only ending poverty, but ending absurd wealth. Obscene poverty doesn't motivate the poor or please the rest of us; it makes the poor desperate, criminal, and unhappy. Absurd wealth doesn't help the rich or motivate the rest of us, it makes the rich (for the most part good, decent, hardworking and talented people) into selfish guilty parties, responsible for social evil. It is cruel to rig our system to create these extremes, and cast fellow citizens into the two sewers that border the national road. For all of us, both superwealth and superpoverty make achievement trivial and unreal, and finally destroy the American principles of hard work and just deserts. Luckily, eradicating one (individual superwealth) might help eradicate the other (superpoverty).

True property is that which is proper to you: what you mix your hands into (Locke), what is characteristic of you and no one else, and would change state in anyone else's possession. It is your clothes, your domicile, the things you touch and use, the land you personally walk. Property is the proprium, a possession which becomes like a characteristic; it starts as if it could belong to anyone, and comes to be what differentiates you. If it wears the mark of your feet and the smudge of your fingertips, your scent and your private atmosphere, then there is indeed something special and inviolable about property, even where it has come into your hands inequitably, by inheritance or a surfeit of income. The diamond worn at the throat every evening must share a certain protection, under the law, with the torn cloak that keeps some shivering person warm.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 05:34:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Economics Foundation blog: What really happens when your local bank closes
But what is interesting about Tankerton is that the local economy was studied closely after the closures by the Campaign for Community Banking Services.

What they found was not just huge inconvenience, especially for business customers who needed an hour at the end of the day to drive their takings into Whitstable. But even more important was the local economic impact.

Most of the businesses they surveyed reported a 10-20 per cent loss of business because people were not coming into the high street to do banking business.



tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 05:39:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 01:53:48 PM EST
Germany | DW.DE
Tattoos are tough to get rid of. The dye is injected under the skin, and some experts warn that it may have negative health effects. Germany is looking to tighter regulations in the industry. But the tattoo trend is as strong as ever. One extreme example: Canadian Rick Genest, alias "Zombie Boy."
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:07:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amanda Knox book rights sold for $4 mn: report - FRANCE 24

AFP - Amanda Knox, who was acquitted last year of murdering her British roommate while studying in Italy, has sold the rights to her memoir for $4 million, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

The newspaper, citing people familiar with the negotiations, said that HarperCollins acquired the rights after a "heated auction among publishing houses that stretched for days."

The Times said several publishers had submitted bids for the book, including Crown, part of Random House; St. Martin's Press, a Macmillan unit; Simon & Schuster's Atria; and Penguin Group USA's Dutton.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:18:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice to know publishing just keeps going on in its usual squalid way.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 03:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you're right, but in this case there are 2 mitigating factors...

celebrity was thrust upon her, she has favoured discretion since being released, no talkshows etc (afaik)

snd since the hell visited upon her by a medieval attitude to justice was worse that most people ever experience, if she can turn that pain into profit without become a media whore then bully for her.

i guess it will ultimately depend on the quality of the book as to how squalid (or not) this is.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 05:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually I wasn't commenting on her or the subject matter, but the rights auction and the big money splashed around, when most authors earn little - publishers go weak at the knees before a "platform" from which to launch a product, and anyone who has become sufficiently famous has a "platform".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:53:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 02:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
great round up, thanks

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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