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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 19 February

by afew Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:07:42 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1674 - the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War, ceded New Amsterdam to England. It was renamed New York.

More here and here

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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:09:07 AM EST
BBC News - Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces 'prostitution ring' questioning

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to be questioned next week by police investigating an alleged prostitution ring in northern France, officials say.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has been summoned for questioning on Tuesday and can be held for up to 48 hours without charge.

He resigned from the International Monetary Fund last May when charged with raping a New York hotel maid.

Although the case was later dropped, it ended his ambitions to run for the French presidency.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:02:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek cabinet backs extra austerity measures | Reuters

(Reuters) - Greece's cabinet approved Saturday a final set of austerity measures sought by the EU and IMF as a condition for a 130 billion euro ($171 billion) rescue package, raising the chances of a deal next week to avert a chaotic default on its debt.

The approval was largely a formality after Athens last week unveiled details of the extra budget and public sector wage cuts worth 325 million euros to euro zone partners.

Lingering doubts over whether Greece can bring its mountain of debt down to more manageable levels in coming years could still hold up the rescue package. Some officials in the 17-nation currency union warn chances of a deal at a euro zone meeting Monday are little higher than 50-50.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:23:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turning the screw on Greece | European Voice
ANALYSIS Greece might finally get its bail-out money next week, but the price it is having to pay is very high.

Monday evening is set to be another dramatic chapter in the eurozone's two-year battle to solve the sovereign-debt crisis.

Greece's €130 billion bail-out, its second international rescue in 21 months, is likely to be approved by the eurozone's finance ministers, bringing the latest sorry episode to another messy conclusion.

But it still might not happen. Disagreement over how hard to kick Greece while it is down could delay, or even derail, the whole process.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:40:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that they'll vote in a few months and the governing parties are likely to be wiped out, what's the point of this now?
by oliver on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:54:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there are already suggestions from Core Europe that the Greek elections should be postponed. In the interest of democracy, surely.

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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The governing majority is rapidly expelling members. They won't survive much longer.
by oliver on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 05:19:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you referring to the Greek government or the Eurozone's 'AAA club'?

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 Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 05:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 05:42:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New president 'could be found by Wednesday' - The Local
Germany's political parties said on Saturday they expected to find a candidate for President within the next few days, following Christian Wulff's resignation on Friday. Former East German pastor Joachim Gauck is said to be a favourite.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:29:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Local - Carla on Sarkozy: 'his ideas are fabulous'

Loyal first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy paid glowing tributes to her husband on Thursday as she pledged her "100 percent" support for him.

The musician, actress and former model told daily newspaper 20 Minutes that she would be at her husband's side "when he needs me."

Bruni-Sarkozy, who has previously supported left wing candidates, left no doubt that she believed her right-wing husband was the right man to be president for the next five years.

"He is very good and has experience and courage," she said. "When I see what is happening in Greece I'm afraid but I'm less afraid when I know that he is the president."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Sarkozy's campaign slogan) has been mocked. Here's a sample

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 11:24:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:09:32 AM EST
Chrystia Freeland | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.com

"People don't realize how wealthy people self-tax," Friess told me when I asked whether, given the country's economic troubles, it was fair to ask the rich to pay a bigger share. "You know, there's a fellow who was the CEO of Target. In Phoenix, he's created a museum of music. He put in around $200 million of his own money. I have another friend who gave $400 million to a health facility in Nebraska or South Dakota, or someplace like that. You look at Bill Gates, just gave $750 million, I think, to fight AIDS."

Friess's point is that the common good is better served when the wealthy "self-tax" by supporting charities of their own selection, rather than paying taxes to finance government spending.

"I think we should get rid of taxes as much as we can," Friess told me. "Because you get to decide how you spend your money, rather than the government. I mean, if you have a certain cause, an art museum or a symphony, and you want to support it, it would be nice if you had the choice to support it. Where we're headed, you'll be taxed, your money taken away, and the government will support it.

"It's a question: Do you believe that the government should be taking your money and spending it for you, or do you want to spend it for you?" Friess explained.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:19:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's that top 1 percent that probably contributes more to making the world a better place than the 99 percent.
Amazing...
by Andhakari on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'cuz when you're hungry and jobless and flying is unsafe and thousands die from uninspected meat products and the failure of levees leaves you drowned in your attic or floating on an ice chest -- etc. etc. etc. -- what you really wish someone would do is build a music museum in a state you'll never be able to afford to visit if the current privations haven't actually killed you anyway.

'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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:58:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's either rich philanthropists or the state that build the music museum.

Neither of them gives a damn about you drowning in your attic anyway.

Got it?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 08:06:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
London Metal Exchange gets good number of first-round bids | Reuters

(Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) has received a good number of first-round bids for the 130-year-old bourse, the world's largest metals market place, an LME spokesman said on Friday.

Separate sources familiar with the situation said the list includes NYSE/Euronext. Around half of the 15 or so parties that had shown interest in the LME had made initial offers.

"Everything is on track with a good number of bids for the board to consider next week," an LME spokesman said.

The LME board meets on February 23.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Local - $6 trillion in fake bonds seized in Switzerland

Italian anti-mafia prosecutors Friday ordered the seizure in Switzerland of fake US Treasury bonds with a face value of $6.0 trillion -- or over a third of US national debt.

The bonds were found hidden in false compartments in three safety deposit boxes transferred in 2007 from Hong Kong to Zurich and eight arrests have also been made in Italy as part of the investigation, prosecutors said.

Investigators said that members of a criminal network had tried to use the bonds in emerging markets or give them to banks in exchange for money.

The bonds were dated 1934 and one of the deposit boxes also contained a forgery of the Treaty of Versailles, which investigators said could have been used to justify the sums involved as payments between states following World War I.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Nazi forged bank notes hit sterling confidence, MI5 files show

Nazi counterfeiting "destroyed" confidence in the British currency in Europe by the end of World War II, according to newly released MI5 files.

A 1945 report in the National Archives suggests Germany began production of the fake notes five years earlier in a bid to undermine sterling.

Notes began to enter neutral countries by D-Day and the Bank of England issued the first of two recalls.

The Nazis produced counterfeit sterling with a face value of £134m in total.

That was the equivalent of 10% of all sterling in circulation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:35:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, obviously it was the Germans who destroyed confidence in the Sterling. Not the fact that the Sterling was grossly overvalued even before the war, let alone the wartime inflation.

(Note also that the volume of Sterlings in circulation is much less than the British M1 monetary mass at the time, though how much less is not totally clear to me.)

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:58:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did John LeCarré write that article? It's chilling.

'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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:01:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But who would think they can get away with a forgery worth 6 trillion? The whole affair is fishy.
by Katrin on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman blog: Austerity and Growth (February 18, 2012)
Watching Europe sink into recession - and Greece plunge into the abyss - I found myself wondering what it would take to convince the chattering classes that austerity in the face of an already depressed economy is a terrible idea.

...

OK, I'm aware of all internet traditions the problems here. To some extent we may be looking at reverse causation, with troubled economies forced into harsh austerity while those doing well (e.g., Poland) can keep expanding spending. Also, austerity programs generally involve sharp cuts in transfer payments and tax hikes as well as declines in real purchases, so you don't want to interpret the slope of a line through the scatter - around 3 - as a measure of the multiplier.

But it is pretty striking, isn't it? The truth is that we've just had a powerful test of the Keynesian proposition that when monetary policy isn't available, changes in government spending move the economy in the same direction - and the results of that test say that what has lately passed for policy wisdom is instead almost criminal folly.



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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 06:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
chattering classes
See quotes from Foster Friess above.
by Andhakari on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Angry Bear Blog: Keynes vs Modern Macroeconomics (2/18/2012)
I have a challenge. Can anyone think of a useful insight in macroeconomic theory which isn't clearly stated in "The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money" ?

...

Uh oh. I've been planning this for days, but I now wonder about an example. I think Keynes assumed prices were flexible and that Joan Robinson and Gardiner Means* had something useful to add.

A final warning: I asked about "The General Theory ..." It is very unwise to assume that all ideas in that book were copied or effectively summarized in old introductory Macroeconomics textbooks.



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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:06:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:09:48 AM EST
BBC News - Hague fears Iran could start 'new Cold War'

Iran's nuclear ambitions could plunge the Middle East into "a new Cold War", the UK foreign secretary has warned.

William Hague told the Daily Telegraph other nations in the region would want to develop nuclear weapons if Iran did.

Without "the safety mechanisms" of the US-USSR rivalry, Mr Hague said it would be "a disaster in world affairs".

But ex-UK diplomat Sir Richard Dalton said Iran was not "rushing towards a nuclear weapon". Tehran insists its programme is for energy purposes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S.: Amid Escalating Israel-Iran Tensions, a Glimmer of Hope? - IPS ipsnews.net
WASHINGTON, Feb 17, 2012 (IPS) - After weeks of rapidly escalating tensions, particularly between Israel and Iran, signs emerged this week both here and in Tehran that serious negotiations over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme may soon get underway.

The most concrete step was a long-awaited positive RSVP from Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalali, to an invitation extended last October by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to meet with the P5+1 (the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany) for a new round of talks.

"We voice our readiness for dialogue on a spectrum of various issues, which can provide grounds for constructive and forward-looking co- operation," Jalali wrote in his letter.

In response, both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ashton herself emerged from a meeting here Friday expressing cautious optimism about prospects for a resumption of negotiations, which have been effectively suspended for more than a year.

"...(W)e think this is an important step and we welcome the letter," Clinton told reporters, adding that Jalili's letter "appeared to acknowledge and accept" a Western condition that Iran has previously resisted: that any talks "begin with a discussion of (Iran's) nuclear programme".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:07:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iranian warships enter Mediterranean - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Iranian warships have entered the Mediterranean Sea after crossing through the Suez Canal to show Tehran's "might" to regional states, the country's navy commander has said.

Reacting to the news on Saturday, Israeli foreign ministry denounced the deployment as a "provocation" and a "power play." Israel said it will be watching the ship's movements closely to ensure they do not approach its coast.

"The strategic navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has passed through the Suez Canal for the second time since the [1979] Islamic Revolution," Admiral  Habibollah Sayari said in remarks quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

Sayari did not say how many vessels had crossed the canal or what missions they were planning to carry out in the Mediterranean, but said the flotilla had previously docked in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

Two Iranian ships, the destroyer Shahid Qandi and supply vessel Kharg, had docked in the Red Sea port on February 4, according to Iranian media.

Sayari said the naval deployment to the Mediterranean would carry a "message of peace" and but also put on display "the might" of Iran's military.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:12:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rights Groups Warn Against Diluted Arms Trade Treaty - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 18, 2012 (IPS) - After a week of tense negotiations, a United Nations preparatory committee concluded a final round of talks on Friday to define the rules of procedure for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected to be finalised in July this year.

The ratification of the report by committee chair Ambassador Roberto Moritan of Argentina closed the last of four prepcoms held since 2010 to lay the groundwork for the ATT negotiations.

The report includes a "non-paper" by Moritan that will be the basis of this summer's talks.

Human rights groups expressed cautious optimism about the outcome.

"This document fits 70 percent of our recommendations," Aymeric Elluin of Amnesty International told IPS.

But the agreement on a vote by consensus, meaning that every state has veto power, may deeply compromise the adoption of a comprehensive treaty, he warned.

"There is a real risk for the final text of ATT not to be adopted in July," he added. "Negotiations on the content will be extremely difficult."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:09:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has the U.N. Reached a Dead End in Syrian Crisis? - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 17, 2012 (IPS) - When the 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution against Syria by an overwhelming majority Thursday, the U.N.'s highest policy making body was conscious of the fact that its rulings - unlike the dictates of the 15-member Security Council - are politically impotent because they have no enforcement power.

The vote was 137 in favour to 12 against (including China and Russia, the two big powers who are allies of Syrian President Basher al- Assad), with 17 abstentions.

With Russia and China using their vetoes to block punitive action against Syria in the Security Council last week, the United Nations may have hit a virtual dead end in trying to help resolve the 11- month-old crisis.

The uprising has claimed the lives of more than 5,400 people, mostly civilians and members of the security forces.

But Jose Luis Diaz, head of the Amnesty International office at the United Nations, does not think the United Nations is in a no-win situation.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:10:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian troops 'open fire' on Damascus funeral - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syrian security forces have fired live ammunition and tear gas to break up a protest against President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, injuring several people, activists have said.

The shooting in the Mazzeh neighbourhood on Saturday broke out at the funerals of three youths killed in a protest a day earlier.

Saturday's demonstration, which activists said had thousands of participants as snow fell, was one of the biggest seen in and around the capital in months.

The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) said two people had been killed, but the report could not be verified. The activist network said 12 others were killed elsewhere in the country.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Times: The End of American Intervention
For proof, you need look no further than the Pentagon's new "strategic guidance" document, issued last month in the wake of Mr. Obama's pledge to cut $485 billion from the defense budget over the coming decade. It repeats many of the core objectives of recent American national security strategy: defeat Al Qaeda, deter traditional aggressors, counter the threat from unconventional weapons.

But it also states, "In the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States will emphasize nonmilitary means and military-to-military cooperation to address instability and reduce the demand for significant U.S. force commitments to stability operations." It goes on to note that "U.S. forces will no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, prolonged stability operations."

With this paragraph military planners signaled an abrupt end to the post-9/11 era of intervention. Only a few years ago the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- wars of occupation, nation-building and counterinsurgency -- looked like the face of modern conflict. Now they don't. Americans don't believe in them and can't afford them anymore.



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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:09:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I want to see what the sizes of the "private" forces will be, since they've grown so much in the last few decades.

'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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember seeing a couple of days ago that US Contractor casualties are outpacing Army casualties in Afghanistan

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:47:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure there will also be increased reliance on remote (drone-based) warfare.

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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 01:36:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:10:13 AM EST
Low-carbon technologies 'no quick-fix', say researchers

A drastic switch to low carbon-emitting technologies, such as wind and hydroelectric power, may not yield a reduction in global warming until the latter part of this century, new research suggests.

Furthermore, it states that technologies that offer only modest reductions in greenhouse gases, such as the use of natural gas and perhaps carbon capture and storage, cannot substantially reduce climate risk in the next 100 years.

The study, published today, Thursday 16 February, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, claims that the rapid deployment of low-greenhouse-gas-emitting technologies (LGEs) will initially increase emissions as they will require a large amount of energy to construct and install.

These cumulative emissions will remain in the atmosphere for extended periods due to the long lifetime of CO2, meaning that global mean surface temperatures will increase to a level greater than if we continued to use conventional coal-fired plants.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US launches coalition to fight climate change

Faulting the world for not doing enough to curb climate change, the United States on Thursday announced the formation of a coalition to cut short-lived pollutants that speed up warming and harm health.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the coalition of the United States, Bangladesh, Canada, Mexico, Sweden and Ghana will launch a global drive to curb black carbon (soot), methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The chief US diplomat said such pollutants survive only a short time in the atmosphere -- unlike long-lasting carbon dioxide, the main climate change culprit -- but account for more than a third of global warming.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

the rapid deployment of low-greenhouse-gas-emitting technologies (LGEs) will initially increase emissions as they will require a large amount of energy to construct and install.

Given the the EROI or wind is around 20 or better, it takes 6 months or production to cover the energy spent to build a wind turbine.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 11:11:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes Jerome, good point. it is a 'last defence' lie.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:17:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Organic foods may be an unsuspected source of dietary arsenic

As people seek healthier dietary regimens they often turn to things labeled "organic." Lurking in the background, however, is an ingredient that may be a hidden source of arsenic-an element known to be both toxic and potentially carcinogenic.

Organic brown rice syrup has become a preferred alternative to using high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in food. High fructose corn syrup has been criticized as a highly processed substance that is more harmful than sugar and is a substantial contributor to epidemic obesity. Unfortunately, organic brown rice syrup is not without its faults.

Dartmouth researchers and others have previously called attention to the potential for consuming harmful levels of arsenic via rice, and organic brown rice syrup may be the latest culprit on the scene.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:48:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what a load of cobblers

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 08:45:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh noes! I posted a cobblers!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 08:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The amazing thing here is the title. "Organic foods", huh? And the accompanying photo shows people gathering carrots in a field. Carrots have absolutely nothing to do with the content of the article.

It actually doesn't have anything to do with organic, either. If you took non-organic brown rice, you'd have higher arsenic levels, too. Though, even in some cases, depending on the arsenic content of the soil, white rice could contain more arsenic.

The question is the search for sugar replacements in sweetened foods. I'm not sure what "infant formula" they are talking about in this article, but I wonder why it needs sweetening. The other products are cereal bars and energy "shots". Exactly what need there is for these to be sweetened with fructose, corn syrup, or brown rice syrup, I'm not sure, beyond the sweet tooth habit that has been developed in consumers by the agro-food industry.

But organic has nothing to do with all this, unless one accepts it may be being used as a "greenwasher" on the product label.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:08:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, that was the first thing I noticed, too -- not about "food" but about sweeteners.

'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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 01:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rice is grown in the ground.

Carrots are grown in the ground.

Therefore, carrots = rice.

;-)

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

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:26:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carrots contain sugar. Why don't they make carrot syrup?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dr bronner (of the famously manic labels!) used to make a carrot calcium powder. It was sweet

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:07:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any plant, or animal for that matter, can be processed to concentrate sugars.  Question of expense versus selling price of the final product.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:49:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, why organic rice syrup?

I mean, I can understand why people wouldn't want to get too much processed syrup. I can understand why people want to get organic syrup if they do get syrup.

What I completely and totally fail to grasp is why rice sugar is preferable to corn sugar. Except that high fructose corn syrup is evil, and therefore rice syrup is better?

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:52:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corn syrup has got very bad press, so try something else.

But why so much sweetener of any kind, and why insist here on "organic", which in fact is immaterial?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:58:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and wheat (the other grain grown in the US in industrial quantities) contains no sugar. So if not maize, rice.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:16:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting...wheat malt syrup is much sweeter than barley, corn, rice, or millet malt syrup.
More runny too, kinda like golden syrup of old.
I have made my own wheat malt at Home by powdering roasted sprouted wheat berries in a coffee grinder. It makes a great addition to muesli.
What i'd love to figure out us how make syrup out of that. I su speco you may need industrial kit behind my humble kitchen tho i'd love to be wrong!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:18:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn iPhone and its key board!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:20:40 PM EST
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Rainfed-dryland farming needs more investment

President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday called for more investment in agriculture, especially in rainfed and dryland farming, to achieve food security and inclusive growth.

Addressing a national workshop on policy initiatives in agriculture with particular reference to rainfed and dryland farming here, Patil said 60 percent of India's cultivated area were under rainfed and dryland farming, which provided 44 percent of country's production of foodgrains, including coarse cereals, pulses and oil seeds, and supported 40 percent of the country's 1.2 billion population.

'But it has very low investment as compared to irrigated areas. I think this needs urgent attention,' Patil said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:55:07 PM EST
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Violence and pollution stain Brazil's shrimp farming boom - Investigations - The Ecologist
Despite being an economic success, prawn farms built in Brazil's mangroves have displaced natural ecosystems and the coastal communities which rely on them, says Kennedy Warne in an exclusive extract from 'Let Them Eat Shrimp'

A flat-bottomed punt with an ancient outboard motor ferries me across the Rio Jaguaribe. Golden light gleams on fishing boats catching the afternoon breeze in their sails. Laughing children dive like sprites in the river while a man fishes for crabs from a rickety pier. A straggle of mangroves lines the river's edge. Their looping, spidery prop roots make the trees look as if they have strolled out of the sea, found the place to their liking, and settled in. Who could blame them? The name of this place is Porto do Céu, the gates of paradise.

Two residents lead the way along a dirt track to show me their new neighbor, a shrimp farm.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:58:51 PM EST
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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:10:31 AM EST
Rio faces dengue epidemic: Brazil health minister

Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilla on Thursday warned that Rio de Janeiro faced a major dengue epidemic, although he said the virus strain prevalent was not fatal.

"I believe that Rio could this year face one of the worst dengue epidemics in its history, in terms of number of cases," he said in a television interview.

Padilla said the dengue virus strain prevalent in Rio was not the most serious and was not fatal.

The official Agencia Brasil said since the start of the year, 3,499 dengue cases have been recorded in Rio, compared with 2,322 last year, but none were fatal.

The government said that nationally cases dropped 62 percent this year to 40,486.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:50:05 PM EST
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China blames foreign reporters for bad press abroad

Despite investing billions of dollars in "soft power" projects to improve its image abroad, China complains it is still getting a lot of bad press and is pointing the finger at foreign journalists.

Authorities routinely accuse China's 900 foreign reporters -- a record number, accredited to more than 400 media organisations -- of covering China in a negative way. The journalists, meanwhile, complain of regular hindrance to their work.

The issue came to the fore at a forum this week in Beijing, where media representatives from China -- which operates a vast censorship system over the press -- and France gathered to try and iron out their differing views.

"It is not that China is against critical reporting," said Wang Chen, minister in charge of the press office at the State Council, China's cabinet.

"What we don't accept are double standards based on a Cold War mentality," he told French ambassador Sylvie Bermann, who had just highlighted the importance of journalists being allowed to report stories on the ground.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:52:13 PM EST
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The Green Benches: We can now reveal what really happened at Newcastle RVI
For background you might want to refer to this article first.
On Tuesday past, Conservative Central Office announced that the PM was to make a high profile visit to an NHS Hospital, to a) bolster support for his NHS reform,and b) raise issue of binge drinking. But, as I outlined in my previous post, there was an incident at the hospital. I can now reveal the details of what is alleged to have happened.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:55:52 PM EST
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ha. We can only see our esteemed leader on telly if he's being fawned over by adoring lower orders. Not entirely like this;-

(youtube 5Xd_zkMEgkI))

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 08:55:06 AM EST
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damn, that's..



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:04:59 AM EST
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Yep, and an updated version

The Green Benches: The full story of Cameron's visit to NHS Hospital, with new confirmation from a visitor, patient & journalist.

As many of you reading this will know, I published various details of the Prime Minister's Wednesday visit to the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary on this site over the last couple of days. What I now intend to do is talk you through a chronology of what happened that day.
News of the Prime Minister's Wednesday visit emerged the night before, when Conservative Central Office announced that the PM would be making a high profile visit to a hospital in the NE to a) bolster support for his NHS reforms & b) raise the importance of the damage binge drinking is doing. It was heavily trailed by the Murdoch press (see here for example).


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:49:24 AM EST
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Updated version: The full story of Cameron's visit to NHS Hospital, with new confirmation from a visitor, patient & journalist.
As many of you reading this will know, I published various details of the Prime Minister's Wednesday visit to the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary on this site over the last couple of days. What I now intend to do is talk you through a chronology of what happened that day.

...

So we can confirm that the PM's walkabout was limited. We can reveal that nurses did indeed give him a hostile reception. We can confirm that he was reduced to giving a rather bland interview detached from staff and patients because his reception was so hostile. If you are in any doubt about how untoward all of this is, then I simply ask you to examine previous visits by other PMs to hospitals such as the one I have linked above.

The questions that remain outstanding are this, what was the extent of the verbal abuse directed at the PM? Why in a democracy are our press denied reporting the interaction of a PM with health staff a week before one of the most crucial votes in the NHS's history? If the PM choreographs all visits in this way, how are we, the public, ever supposed to make a judgement of him as a person, interacting with real people? Doesn't it seem wrong that patients be confined to their beds for the Prime Minister's security? Why does Cameron's team not see it fit to clear his visits through the normal procedures? Has the PM lost the entire faith of the medical profession that he is reduced to locking journalists in rooms and being shielded from contact with patients? What worries me the most is that we would know none of this if I was not prepared to dig. I am now in the sad situation of being contacted by journalists who were actually locked in the RVI waiting room that day, as they seek to determine what happened in the hospital they were in the day the PM visited. Is this the openness and transparency the Prime Minister promised? In light of this is anyone surprised that he won't publish the NHS Risk Register?



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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:34:35 AM EST
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MIDEAST: After 25 Years, Cinema Comes to Divided Town - IPS ipsnews.net
OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM, Feb 18, 2012 (IPS) - Palestinians in East Jerusalem can once again go to the movies, after Al Quds Cinema reopened its doors this week after being closed for 25 years. Organisers say this signals the rebirth for Palestinian arts and culture in the city.

"We have been cut off for a while from the rest of the world, so I think that this is the perfect place for Palestinians to come," Rima Essa, the cinema coordinator tells IPS. "I'm trying to bring a lot of films from areas that we never thought of bringing films from; from Iran, Syria, Lebanon. We hope that this centre will give the Palestinians a different cultural experience."

Housed in the Yabous Cultural Centre in East Jerusalem, Al Quds Cinema celebrated its relaunch with an inaugural film festival called `Freedom Films Week'. Nearly a dozen films were shown, on issues ranging from revolutions in Tunisia to sexual harassment in Egypt and daily life for Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

"You see that people are really hungry for these kinds of films. People come at the end and speak with you and a lot of people you start to see day after day," says Essa, who curated the Freedom Films Week festival.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:08:32 PM EST
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Scientists teach computers to assess psychiatric risk | Reuters

(Reuters) - Computer programs can be taught to select between brain scans of healthy young people and scans showing adolescents who are at higher risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, scientists said Thursday.

In a study in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE journal, British researchers said their findings suggest it may be possible to design programs to predict which at-risk adolescents will go on to have psychiatric problems, giving doctors more time to intervene before illnesses set in.

"Combining machine learning and neuroimaging, we have a technique which shows enormous potential to help us identify which adolescents are at true risk of developing anxiety and mood disorders, especially where there is limited clinical or genetic information," said Janaina Mourao-Miranda of University College London, who led the study.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:20:28 PM EST
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The Local - 'Too much information in Swiss sex ed'

Olivier Fleury, an evangelical Christian, has sparked debate in Switzerland after he objected to the level of detail provided to his 14-year-old son during a recent sex education class at a school in Vaud.

In addition to information about how to put condoms on properly, the class was also advised that the anus is the next most sensitive part of a man's body after the penis, online news website Le Matin reported.

Such information, according to Fleury, can push kids to engage in impure practices.

"If you tell them the anus is an erogenous zone, don't you think they're going to try it?" he asked. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:26:56 PM EST
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DutchNews.nl - All schools must teach about homosexuality, cabinet decides

All primary and secondary schools are to be required to provide pupils with information about homosexuality, ministers agreed at their Friday cabinet meeting.

MPs from across the political spectrum had urged education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt to incorporate lessons about homosexuality in their core tasks last year. The minister had originally wanted to leave the issue up to schools themselves.

The three Christian parties continue to oppose the measure, website nu.nl reports.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:34:18 PM EST
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New drugs 'often no better' than old ones - The Local
There is no law in Germany that says a new drug must be better than those already available - and comparison testing is not even required.

Leading doctors examined 39 clinical studies of new drugs published between 2009 and 2010 and found the tests often demonstrated no advantage over older alternatives, the medical publication Deutsche Ärzteblatt revealed on Friday.

In 2009, statutory health insurers paid out €874 million more for drugs than the previous year and pharmaceutical companies' turnover climbed dramatically.

Half of the drugs in the clinical trials examined were only tested against a placebo and "only in exceptional cases was a new medicine found to have a higher effectiveness than pre-existing ones," the report said.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:30:00 PM EST
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Without knowing anything about German pharmaceuticals, one reason for a new drug may be a change in side-effects.
by Andhakari on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:50:16 AM EST
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Michael Gove under pressure over anti-gay sex education | Education | The Observer

Michael Gove, the education secretary, is at the centre of an escalating row over how faith schools discuss homosexuality in sex education classes.

The TUC has accused Gove of failing in his legal duties by insisting that equality laws, which prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, do not extend to the school curriculum.

The TUC complains that the current situation sends mixed signals to the playground, because schools are legally obliged to condemn discrimination on sexual-orientation grounds but free to use religious materials that equality campaigners claim is homophobic.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:16:23 PM EST
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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:10:52 AM EST
BBC News - Witnesses reveal Lord Lucan's 'secret life in Africa'

Evidence that missing aristocrat Lord Lucan was smuggled out of the UK to a secret life abroad has come from two new witnesses.

An ex-detective said there was a credible sighting of Lucan in Africa.

And a woman who worked for Lucan's friend John Aspinall told the BBC she arranged for his children to fly to Africa where the peer could view them "from a distance".

Lucan disappeared in 1974 after the murder of his children's nanny.

Sandra Rivett was found dead at Lucan's home in Belgravia, London.

The peer's blood-soaked car was later found abandoned in Newhaven, East Sussex.

The Metropolitan Police said any "significant" new information about her death would "be fully considered".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:04:27 PM EST
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Can't say I'm surprised that all of the Aspinall mob knew what was going on.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:07:26 AM EST
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Hitler had son with French teen - Telegraph

Jean-Marie Loret, who died in 1985 aged 67, never met his father, but went on to fight Nazi forces during the Second World War.

His extraordinary story has now been backed up by a range of compelling evidence, both in France and in Germany, which is published in the latest edition of Paris's Le Point magazine.

Hitler is said to have had an affair with Mr Loret's mother, Charlotte Lobjoie, 16, as he took a break from the trenches in June 1917.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:51:01 PM EST
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Hitler also wrote "Mien Kampf", according to the Telegraph proofreaders.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:13:01 PM EST
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Such a great animation, with a decent ending.



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

by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:59:39 AM EST
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Excellent! Hey, sorry about last night, order became pandemonium and all electronic devices were forgotten in the rush.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 10:08:38 AM EST
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Shipfinder is a google map of (almost) everything commercial afloat. Nerdy fun. Icebreaker Urho, for instance, is at this very moment leading Crystal Diamond and Astoria out from the Porvoo refinery area into the Finnish Gulf. Crystal Diamond is registered in Luxembourg and on its way to Orrengrund. Speed 3.4 kts.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 10:40:46 AM EST
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the yacht of Stéphane Courbit, pal of Sarkozy and beneficiary of various friendly deals, sank in the Egean sea and was rescued by (what remains of) Greek naval safety services...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 11:23:07 AM EST
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