Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 24 February

by In Wales Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 04:04:51 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1918 - The Estonian Declaration of Independence, also known as the Manifesto to the Peoples of Estonia, is the founding act of the Republic of Estonia from 1918. It is celebrated on 24 February, the National Day or Estonian Independence Day.

More here and here

 The European Salon is a daily selection of news items to which you are invited to contribute. Post links to news stories that interest you, or just your comments. Come in and join us!


The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - is about humanity, society, culture, history, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - this is the place for stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

    There is just one favor I would like to ask you - please do NOT click on "Post a Comment", as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

    Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you - please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

Display:
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:38:52 PM EST
Court fines Italy for deporting migrants to Libya | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Europe's human rights court has ordered Italy to pay damages to 24 Somali and Eritrean migrants for deporting them to Libya in 2009, saying the government in Rome put the migrants at risk of torture and persecution.

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ordered Italy to pay thousands of euros to two dozen immigrants it deported to Libya in 2009, saying it exposed them to the risk of ill treatment, including torture.

Italian authorities intercepted 11 Somalis and 13 Eritreans in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2009 when the migrants were trying to get to the Italian island of Lampedusa from Libya.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Italy slammed by court over forced return of migrants to Libya

BRUSSELS - The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday (23 February) ruled that Italy's decision to send fleeing refugees and African migrants crossing the Mediterranean back to Libya was a violation of fundamental human rights.

"Returning migrants to Libya without examining their case exposed them to a risk of ill-treatment and amounted to collective expulsion," said the Strasbourg court.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:39:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See, that is why preventing them from arriving at all by means of deals with dictators is so much better.

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 24th, 2012 at 03:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany pays tribute to neo-Nazi victims | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Three months after investigators uncovered a neo-Nazi cell that murdered 10 people, Germany is commemorating the victims of far-right extremists with a memorial service in Berlin and a nationwide moment of silence.

Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Berlin memorial service attended by around 1,200 people, including relatives of the 10 thought to have been killed by a neo-Nazi cell that targeted immigrants.

Merkel said the murders were a scandal for Germany. "We will do everything to solve the murders and to bring the perpetrators to justice," she promised. She also asked for forgiveness from the families of the victims.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:48:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Candles of hope' | Germany | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Families of the victims of neo-Nazi terror spoke of their grief in front of the German people on Thursday. Chancellor Merkel asked them for forgiveness, symbolized by a candle lit in "hope for a better future."

Gamze Kubasik and Semiya Simsek carried the candle of hope outside at the end of the memorial service at the Concert House in Berlin. As the two young Turkish women, whose father was killed by neo-Nazis, left the building, the 1,200 guests in attendance rose. It was the final gesture of a moving ceremony for the 10 victims of the "National Socialist Underground," a right-wing group active in Germany over the past decade.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:50:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Meerkel can promise, but as there is a very strong suspicion that these murders were aided and abetted by the security forces, it's also very likely that tracks will be covered and promising lines of inquiry will be officially thwarted.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 02:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without ignoring the failures of German state and federal agencies in oversight, would you care to source your "aided and abetted" statement?

Who here has a strong suspicion that the bundesverfassungsschutz has it out for Turkish and Greek grocers?

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 07:14:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Germany shocked by secret service link to rightwing terror cell

now, yes, there's a certain level of innuendo in there, but you should expect nothing more concrete when dealing with such shadowy forces. however, what this implies is that the secret services will no doubt cover their tracks first, and enable the investigation only as much as it doesn't conflict with that requirement.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 07:57:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"certain level of innuendo"

That a not insignificant sector of the agency might have turned a blind eye to certain events is not in doubt. or even worked to cover the tracks of investigative failure. (much more has come out since that guardian article.)

but your original post implied the agency was covering up involvement in murders. believe me that there must be huge pressure on the agency to not miss anything about the rogue agent (or agents).

if they were involved in assassinations, they wouldn't be targeting Döner Imbiss.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:48:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tens of thousands rally to bring Putin back as Kremlin chief | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Tens of thousands of Russians have rallied in Moscow to show their support for Vladimir Putin's bid to win a third term as president in elections on March 4.

Under the slogan "Let's protect Russia," up to 100,000 people squeezed into a sports stadium and its grounds for a rally supporting two-time president Putin.

"Victory will be ours," Putin called out to the audience as he warned the West against becoming involved in Russian internal affairs.

"We will not allow anyone to impose their will on us. We have our own will and this has always helped us be victorious," he said. "We are a victorious nation. This is in our genes. This is in our genetic code."

State television broadcast Putin's surprise appearance at the rally on Defender of the Fatherland Day, a holiday which honors the armed forces.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkish pre-trial detention a form of punishment? | Globalization | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

There are growing concerns that pre-trial detention in Turkey is being used a punishment without trial against journalists, political activists, students, and academics. Thousands are being held, sometimes for years.

In Turkey, thousands of people charged under the country's sweeping anti-terror laws have now been languishing in jail for years awaiting trial. Such is the scale of the problem that the government is being accused of systematically punishing its opponents by long periods of pre-trial detention.

Last week, leading Turkish academics came together to launch a campaign against the increasingly frequent jailing of fellow academics and students under Turkey's anti-terror laws.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As opposed to detention for hours without access to toilets or days in jail for some without even having charges filed in the US.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 07:55:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany considers two strike online piracy law | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

A study proposing a two strikes model against Internet piracy in Germany is being welcomed by the Ministry of Economics. The study arrives as others in Europe hesitate to ratify the controversial ACTA treaty.

Germany may be on the road to implementing new anti-piracy measures, despite widespread recent opposition to related measures like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) across many European nations.

According to a new report published earlier this month by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) is looking into the various anti-piracy measures of other EU nations, and has recommended a "two strike warning." This pre-litigation model outlined in the report is being seriously considered by the German government.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:54:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fact-checking blogs turn up heat on French candidates - FRANCE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE - FRANCE 24

The day after French President Nicolas Sarkozy set the tone for his re-election bid with a fiery speech in the southern city of Marseille, newspaper editorialists weighed in on the themes and tone of the incumbent's address in predictable fashion. In contrast, Les Décodeurs, a popular blog run by Lemonde.fr, took a very different approach: check the truth in Sarkozy's claims.

The blog focused on two precise attacks Sarkozy unleashed on his election rival, Socialist Party candidate François Hollande. The first charge was that Hollande was ready to eliminate nuclear industry jobs in exchange for electoral gains, while the second maintained that if Hollande backtracked on Sarkozy's 2010 retirement reforms, France's pension system would collapse within a decade.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is all very well but, as with the increasingly biased Politifact in the USA, the usefulness depends on the integrity and agenda of the fact checker

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 02:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, yeah. So?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:28:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which is to say, it's a nice idea so long as it's not biased. But the more succesful and respected a fact checking organisation, the more the right will try to buy it off.

which is what Sarko did at the last election when I believe all of his now-blatantly obvious negative traits were simply ignored by a gushing press

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:54:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also Désintox blog at Libération. Does the same job, and does it well as far as I can see, on all the "major" candidates.

The latest is Sarkozy's criticism of the Socialists for not voting for the ESM legislation in the French parliament, (obviously "putting their electoral interests ahead of the national interest"), where he said he had never behaved like that, he had voted for Mitterand's European legislation on the Single European Act, and on the single currency, because it was in the higher interest of the nation and of Europe.

Désintox blog checked the record: he wasn't even a deputy in 1986 for the Single European Act, and so couldn't have voted for it. And on all the legislation around Maastricht and the single currency, when he was in fact in parliament, he abstained or simply did not register a vote.

The problem with these things is not that they're useless but that MSM journalists are such fawning creeps (when Sarko said this, he was being "interviewed" on France 2 TV news by David Pujadas) that they carefully avoid knowing anything that might be embarrassing, let alone stating it. So the masses who follow the MSM don't hear of it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 04:01:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Journalist" Pujadas, the day before the "interview", leaving Sarko's campaign HQ where he had uncompromisingly gone to take orders tell security at the door to tell Sarko he would be asking real hard kweschuns.

After the "interview", mission accomplished!

(h/t Arrêt sur images.)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 04:42:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A4e boss Emma Harrison to step down from government role | Politics | The Guardian

Emma Harrison, David Cameron's "families tsar", is to stand aside from the role in the wake of revelations that former employees of her firm A4e are subject to police investigations over alleged frauds.

She has written to the prime minister saying she believes she should stand aside. Number 10 had been signalling for more than 48 hours that it was extremely concerned by the allegations and would ask her to stand aside from the role.

"I have asked to step aside from my voluntary role as Family Champion as I do not want the current media environment to distract from the very important work with troubled families," she said.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:09:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, she seems to have personally extracted about £10 million before being found out, so as far as she's concerned, job done.

Cameron can now find another "deserving" candidate amongst his supporters to spray some government largesse onto.

There's two ways to make money in the UK these days. You either become a bankster and are given the legal right to defraud the UK public or you befriend a politician in power who selects you to be the overseer of some boondoggle scam.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:06:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eric Joyce stripped of Labour whip after allegations of Commons assault | Politics | The Guardian

Labour MP and former army major Eric Joyce has been stripped of the party whip after he was detained by police following allegations of an assault in a House of Commons bar.

Joyce, the MP for Falkirk, spent the night in Belgravia police station after he was arrested and removed from the Strangers' Bar.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
typical. The only Labour MP to do something effective about the smirking scum sitting opposite and their ghastly plots and he gets arrested.

I'd vote for him and anyone who does likewise. Far better than watching Miliband pretending to oppose while actually agreeing with everything Cameron and Osborne do.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:10:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Typical of what? Joyce appears to have attacked a Tory MP and hit those who tried to get in the way, including a Labour whip. Labour should support that behaviour?

Eric Joyce - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joyce was the first MP to claim more than £1 million cumulatively in expenses.

The Wikipedia section on Joyce's expenses claims is interesting. Are MPs public-money-sucking leeches... or is this one OK because he's more pugnacious than Miliband?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 04:18:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just an expression of exasperation with Labour's persistence with the Thatcherite economic argument.

Remember "it's the economy, stupid" ? Everything else you do in government is just fiddling with the consequences of your economic policies.  So how can you oppose what the tories are doing when you bloody well agree with them on the only thing that matters ?

Thatcherite/Reaganism doesn't work; the Labour party needs to admit that Blair and Brown were simply wrong and that the policies the Labour party followed for 13 years in govt damaged the country. And then stuff Balls in a box to keep him quiet while Krugman or whoever come up with (preferably draconian) City regulations and tax policies that won't destroy the economy to enrich a vanishing few

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:51:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fine, but I can't see how this morphs into support for Joyce.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 07:38:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at least somebody is registering disgust with them.

I don't remember Prescot's reputation, such as it was, suffering after he had a punch up in public. People rather respected the honesty of his reaction

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 07:53:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I notice you're steering well away from the expenses angle.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 08:13:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see you're quoting the Daily Express to make your point.

I don't doubt the expenses were padded, but considering some of the more naked self-interest that goes on in Westminster, Joyce is hardly on the cutting edge of piratical profiteering among MPs.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 08:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I quoted Wikipedia, though it's true that particular claim goes with a Daily Express citation. The two paragraphs in Wikipedia also cite other media. The Guardian, The Scotsman, and even the Daily Mail (horror).

So, "padded". That sounds better.

My point originally (in response to Helen's "typical"), was that you can't expect his party to back him up.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 08:49:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, indeed you can't.

Punching an MP in the face directly is a far more serious offence than punching disabled benefit claimants in the face indirectly, after all.

To be fair we don't know what the brawl was about. It may have involved accusations of indeterminate parentage or a disagreement about whether David Tennant was a better Dr Who than Matt Smith.

Then again, it may have been something to do with punching benefit claimants in the face.

Likely, we'll never know.

But it's worth noting that 'The first MP to claim a million' is a neat little pre-digested package of rhetoric.

It's hardly unrealistic to make the point that some MPs - or friends, near relatives and business associates of MPs - will have made considerably more than that from their 'public service' in less direct ways. So singling out Joyce as if he's a proverbial sore thumb isn't particularly realistic or useful.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 09:22:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Joyce singled himself out.

And the connection with disabled benefit claimants is pure rhetoric on your part. The incident may have been about a lot of things, as you say. Nutting and punching an MP isn't a particularly grave offence in my view, but, given what the media will make of it, it's unlikely to further Joyce's capacity to influence either his party or broader public opinion. Same for his high expenses claims, whether others may make more or not.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:11:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's true - punching people in the face is terribly unserious.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where does "serious" or "unserious" emerge as a criterion?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 07:36:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/world/europe/euro-zone-leaders-agree-on-new-greek-bailout.html?_r= 1

Ms. Katseli, an economist who was labor minister in the government of George Papandreou until she left in a cabinet reshuffle last June, was also upset that Greece's lenders will have the right to seize the gold reserves in the Bank of Greece under the terms of the new deal.
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 05:13:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How will they seize them?

That's the first question.

Second question is, will the gold reserves stolen from Greece be returned from Germany?

by Upstate NY on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 08:32:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the gold stored in NY? Maybe Greece should send a battleship to NY to pick it up, before it's too late.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 02:07:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or a submarine.

If they can find one they bought from Germany that actually works.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:57:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Watch out if a fleet of minis arrive for a football match

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:12:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

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 24th, 2012 at 03:41:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: The Greek torture list in full
The FT has obtained the detailed list of how the EU plans to micromanage Greece; measures include 38 specific changes in Greek tax, spending and wages policies by end of the month; reforms spelt out in three separate memoranda of a combined 90 pages; there is also a ten-page list of prior actions, to be completed by Wednesday; many of those measures had already been agreed, but stalled subsequently in the implementation phase; opposition within Angela Merkel's party to the Greek deal is growing, as a result of which she may have to rely on the opposition at the vote scheduled for Monday; MPs also make their assent dependent on final agreement on IMF participation; Greek parliament approves bond swap, to be launched today; Jan Kees de Jager warns that Greece will need more public support in the future; Paul Krugman says Greek politicians are trapped between two catastrophic options; Mario Draghi hints at a tighter monetary policy stance, as recovery takes hold; says net liquidity effect of LTRO was €200bn; also says there will be no further relaxation in collateral requirements; he said that a selective default rating for Greece would trigger the provision of EFSF collateral in the order €35bn; European Commission forecasts a 0.3% contraction of GDP this year; Italy to contract by 1.3%, Spain by 1% and Greece by 4.3% with substantial downward risks; Germany's Ifo index defies expectations, rising for the fourth month in succession; James Saft, meanwhile, argues that sovereign bondholders have effectively been subordinated as a result of the eurozone rescue policies.


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 24th, 2012 at 03:36:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Draghi hints at a tighter monetary policy stance

In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Mario Draghi hinted that the ECB would rather tighten its monetary policy stance than loosen it further. Draghi ruled out that that the ECB would relax the quality requirements for collateral further and said: ,,With the outlook of today in mind, the topic for the future will be rather to raise the requirements." Also he minimized the impact of last December's 3y LTRO by emphasizing that the net added liquidity was not close to €500bn but only €200bn. The ECB president went on to say that in the past two weeks there had been continued positive signs in the eurozone although uncertainty remained. That remark could be interpreted as a signal to markets that at the moment they should not expect further cuts in the ECB's policy rate of 1.0%. Draghi also said that for the time being he would not announce a definite closure of the SMP despite the fact that bond purchases of the ECB have gone down to zero last week. ,,Markets are still vulnerable. Therefore we have to very careful with announcements that such an instrument would be abandoned."

Draghi also talked about the situation in Greece after the second rescue package, PSI and the possible introduction of collective action clauses. Should the rating agencies downgrade Greece to ,,selective default", the EFSF would temporarily provide for additional collateral in the magnitude of €35bn, he said, a reference to the value of Greek bonds that the ECB could not accept as collateral for a certain time once the downgrade happens.

Draghi also said that since the Deauville, government bonds no longer were a risk free asset class with the consequence that spreads had reverted to their pre-EMU levels in some countries. Draghi applauded that development because market prices exercised a corrective function on governments and, according to his view, ,,that is good".



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 24th, 2012 at 03:38:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tighter monetary policy?

Is he determined that Portugal must fall into a Greek-style crisis?

Or is it the whole periphery?

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:56:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, can you write a diary explaining how LTRO actually works? I can't wrap my head around it. Is it actually lending? Should it inflate assets prices? And so on. I feel I'm not the only person who is confused. I've seen economic commenters complaing that Swedish banks aren't using LTRO for fear of  being "contaminated", seen as crisis banks, and that this refusal is pushing up borrowing rates for Swedish bank customers. And quite frankly, I can't say if they're right or not.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 10:31:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jesus, it's just like the weekly repos.

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 24th, 2012 at 10:54:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what's new? The scale? The PR effort?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Observer: Draghi says European social model is gone
"The European social model has already gone when we see the youth unemployment rates prevailing in some countries", he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.


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 24th, 2012 at 04:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So naturally, we must tighten the money supply...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:55:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The European social model was invented 80 years ago to deal with these kinds of slumps and levels of unemployment.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 10:32:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That heresy was buried in the 1970's.

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 24th, 2012 at 10:53:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence: To make or break the euro: Germany's euro trilemma by: Jörg Bibow (24.02.2012)
Creditors are calling the tune for as long as debtors' problems are somehow seen as not to be their own. Germany is even being rewarded by super-low interest rates. And German policy beliefs about how to overcome the euro balance of payments crisis are now suffocating Europe. Continent-wide unconditional austerity can only mean general income compression - except for extra-area help.

The situation would not be nearly as bad if all partners were to converge to the two-percent stability path that the union originally committed to. France would be right there, Italy and Spain face limited disinflation, and Germany reflation. Instead, as Germany is forcing Europe to converge to its own new lower standard, even France is now facing a debt deflation; not to mention others. Greece is only a sideshow in all this.

Replacing lending by transfers, fiscal union proper could save and make the euro overnight. By contrast, ECB liquidity cannot make competitiveness imbalances and the corresponding debt flows go away, even as the foul debts now accumulate on the Eurosystem's balance sheet. So here is the euro trilemma: Germany cannot have all three, perpetual export surpluses, a no-transfer/no-bailout monetary union, and a "clean" independent central bank. Germany's call.



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 24th, 2012 at 09:07:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crooked Timber: So, what would your plan for Greece be? (February 16, 2012)
I don't have a solution myself - the more I end up discussing this with people, the more I am reminded of the London Business School proverb taught on some of the gnarlier case studies, which is "Not All Business Problems Have Solutions". So, CT hivemind, what do you think the best outcome is? Below the fold, I note some talking points, aimed at preventing our commentariat from falling into some of the pitfalls and mistakes which appear to be dominating debate at present. Because the whole issue is a twisty turny maze which at times seems to consist of nothing but false moves, I am presenting it in the form of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. I would note at this stage that I could probably have presented it in a funky HTML way rather than making you scroll up and down, but I have convinced myself that this is a feature rather than a bug - the medium matches the message here, because international debt negotiations are cumbersome, inconvenient and irritating too. Also, it is probably easier than it needs to be for readers to end up at the wrong paragraph and get a confusing jumbled narrative which bears little resemblance to the decisions they thought they'd made. Again, this is a crucial part of giving you the authentic international financial diplomacy experience.


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 24th, 2012 at 09:48:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, what would your plan for Greece be? -- Crooked Timber
You have been asked to come up with a workable solution for the troika and for Greece, which needs to be politically and economically acceptable to both parties.

Since the troikas goal is to facilitate the looting of Greece, the correct answer must be a plan that loots Greece while paying big bribes (promises of future bribes works too) to ministers in the Greek government, and smaller ones to parliamentarians. If you try bribing the troika the representatives will be replaced as soon as they act out of characther, but since the politicians can not be recalled, they can safely be bribed.

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 24th, 2012 at 10:02:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I ended up in an IMF riot, and that's only after cheating.

There are a lot of unexamined hidden assumptions in that post.

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 24th, 2012 at 10:04:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, that thing's worth exploring.

Turn this into another story?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 10:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree it is worth exploring. But later in the weekend, or not by me.

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 24th, 2012 at 10:10:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Make it into a diary in fact. Let the comments do the exploring ...

Not enough of that around here these days.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 10:11:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you want me to do, exactly? Cross-post the Crooked Timber story here?

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 24th, 2012 at 10:14:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, just a thread to think about the assumptions.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 10:34:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My answer:
Seeing 47, it's apparent that in 1 you consider a "bailout" whereby Greece gets to pay interest for the privilege of being a conduit for cash to flow from Germany to Greece's creditors to be a "fiscal transfer" from Germany to Greece.

This allows me to go 1 -> 32 -> 48 -> 2 -> 34 -> 8

The reason I wind up in 8 is that I interpreted "Greece will need permanent fiscal transfers, like Wales" and "loss of sovereignty" as "there will be EU-directed investment into the Greek economy". This qualifies as permanent fiscal transfers outside the sovereign control of Greece. Instead what 8 proposes as loss of sovereignty is "the IMF riot".

Oh, and evidently I cheated and backtracked at least twice. I did feel bamboozled or, to be fairer, I found that there were some hidden assumptions about the meanings of words in choices that weren't readily apparent on a first reading.

I suppose you play this game with the Troika you have, not the one you wish you had...



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 24th, 2012 at 10:03:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, puzzlingly (for me), at 32 (and alter) you interpret "bringing the economy into balance through investment à la Varoufakis" to be "not permanent fiscal transfers". There's a lot of semantics buried in this little exercise.


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 24th, 2012 at 10:09:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ulrike Guérot: Building a common future without common memories? (24th February 2012)
Last week I blogged about how the euro-crisis poisoned the way we talk about each other in Europe and I argued that this starts getting dangerous. I am happy to see that this observation has found its way into the FAZ Feuilleton and that even the FAZ starts to get concerned about this, although the paper's take on the Greeks in the past months didn't really help to promote the "Causa Europea".

...

Does that mean that 60 years of European integration and European politics were a failure? Those who argue like this have no idea what enormous damage the euro crisis would have caused if we had no common institutions. The institutions helped to coordinate Europe's response. But now we need bolder action to embed the fiscal compact - and the collateral damage it has created - in a political union.

...

Perhaps the euro crisis is the first real collective memory in recent European history - which will be remembered as a huge trauma for large parts of European youngsters all across the Union. So we need to make sure that we quickly develop a common understanding of the crisis, its origins and the way out, and not one reading of the creditor and one of the debtor countries. Again, language matters.



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 24th, 2012 at 11:04:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm putting together a diary on her paper with Sebastian Dullien on Germany's economic approach.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:16:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:39:59 PM EST
Recession ends 2011 eurozone recovery | Business | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

The EU Commission says the eurozone is due to shrink this year as Europe's southern periphery continues to suffer from the debt crisis. But there should be "modest growth" later in the year.

The eurozone economy will continue to contract into mid-year, shrinking by an expected 0.3 percent in 2012, the EU Commission said Thursday. The new figures came in spite of previous forecasts that saw the economy growing by 0.5 percent.

"The unexpected stalling of the recovery in late 2011 is set to extend into the first two quarters of 2012," EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn told a news conference in Brussels.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek parliament approves debt write-down | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

The Greek Parliament has passed a massive bond swap that would effectively erase more than 100 billion euros of the country's debt. The deal with private sector creditors is part of the country's second rescue package.

Greek parliamentarians approved their bond swap deal by a show of hands on Thursday, clearing the way for the government in Athens to issue a formal offering to private holders of Greek debt.

The debt write-down will request that private investors exchange their existing holdings of Greek sovereign bonds for new ones with a 53.5 percent lower face value, longer maturities and lower interest rates.

The deal will effectively wipe out 107 billion euros ($142 billion) of Greek debt, connected to the second international emergency loans package designed to keep Greece afloat.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:49:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Greece could have had a referendum, says Danish minister

BRUSSELS - National parliaments remain the main decision-making body for structural reforms and the EU institutions should respect that, the Danish economy minister has said.

"No one else but the elected members of national parliaments can take the decisions when it comes to reducing the deficit, collecting more taxes or being more efficient in doing so," Margrethe Vestager told this website on Tuesday (21 February) after presiding over a meeting where finance ministers agreed two laws further strengthening Brussels' oversight on eurozone countries' national budgets.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany's business community looks to the future with confidence | Business | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Business confidence among managers in Germany jumped again in February. A key poll by the ifo Institute showed the fourth consecutive increase in expectations and a better perception of the current situation.

German business confidence hit a seven-month high in February, a key survey by the Munich-based ifo Institute showed on Thursday.

This month's poll among 7,000 managers revealed the fourth consecutive increase in optimism as domestic demand helped inoculate the continent's biggest economy against the specter of the eurozone debt crisis.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:56:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Southern euro-countries worst hit by recession

BRUSSELS - The EU economy is expected to grind to a halt in the 27 member states and to contract by an average of 0.3 percent of the eurozone's gross domestic product (GDP), with recession hitting Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain worst, fresh EU forecasts for this year show.

"Compared to November, the prospects have worsened. Risks to growth outlook remain, but there are signs of stabilisation," EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn said Thursday (23 February) when presenting the forecast of what he called a "mild recession."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:22:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Izabella Kaminska: Why MMT is Like an Autostereogram  naked capitalism

We've discussed MMT's recent foray into the mainstream, and the confusion it has consequently courted. But that's the funny thing about the theory. It is naturally divisive because most of the time it fails to communicate its message succinctly. Which is weird, since the premise is actually fairly simple to understand. We'd say it's akin to looking at an autostereogram. Once you get it, you never see things quite the same way again. But at the same time, try as they might, some people will never be able to see the image. Ever.

And it all rests on one key fact (at least as far as we can tell!) . Rather than treating money as an object of wealth or somebody else's debt, a means to trade ... MMT treats money as a claim on wealth, a product of trade.

This one view makes all the difference. Unlike the first viewpoint, which assumes that debt and money came out of trade, MMT believes debt, or more specifically monetary credit, pre-dates trade. Coinage and all forms of monetary token are thus just a physical representation of what is actually an innate credit system. In and of itself, money -- the token -- has no value. And this is largely why a fiat monetary system can work. The monetary unit doesn't need to be a `valuable' piece of metal. It's who guarantees the token that matters. In modern times, that means the state.

What's more, suppress the credit system (which in the case of the United States is represented by the government's debt) and inevitably you suppress an economy's ability to trade. And this, by the way, is why MMTers believe government debt can never really constrain an economy whose government controls the official currency. Furthermore, this is also why in a time of crisis they believe you need moregovernment guarantees, not less -- hence their support of higher debt limits.

If one chart sums up the theory best we think it's this one from Stephanie Kelton:

Notice the inversion of the role of the US private sector and foreign capital holdings in $US starting about 1998. The green is, I think, $US assets held by foreigners - from Saudis to China. Prior to that US business usually ran positive balances. After it is debt (mostly held by foreigners) almost all the way until 2008, when the US private sector balance turned strongly positive. Cashing in on the crash?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 08:16:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or TARP and QE money showing up as private sector savings?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 08:17:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More likely.

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 24th, 2012 at 01:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The private sector being defined as a very very private group of folk.
by Andhakari on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 02:51:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:40:16 PM EST
World leaders see fragile progress in Somalia | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Islamic militancy, pirates and poverty were all on the agenda on Thursday as world leaders and their representatives gathered in London for a summit focused on one of the world's worst failed states, Somalia.

World leaders gathering in London on Thursday struck an optimistic tone on the future of war-torn Somalia, while warning that the world will "pay the price" if it fails to aid the country in combating political turmoil, Islamic extremism and piracy.

Officials from around 50 nations attended the conference, including representatives from the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted progress in Somalia, which has been without effective government since 1991 and is fighting an Islamic insurgency against al-Shabaab militants.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:47:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two US troops killed amid Afghan Koran protests | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

A man in Afghan army uniform has shot dead two US soldiers at a base in Afghanistan, amid protests over the burning of copies of the Koran by US troops. NATO declined to comment on whether the events were connected.

Two foreign soldiers serving in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led ISAF force were shot dead Thursday by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform, as anti-NATO protests across the country raged on. A US official later confirmed that both the soldiers were American.

NATO would not say whether the killings were connected to widespread Afghan outrage over the burning of copies of the Koran at a NATO military base earlier in the week, but local officials said the killings coincided with a public protest.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:47:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US and North Korea resume nuclear talks | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

US and North Korean officials have met for their first major talks since the death of former leader Kim Jong Il. They agreed to extend their "substantive and serious" discussions in Beijing, and will reconvene Friday.

The US and North Korea resumed direct talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program in Beijing on Thursday after the discussions were delayed by the death of Korean leader Kim Jong Il in December.

"We are still in the middle of negotiations," US Special Envoy for North Korean policy Glyn Davies said after more than five hours of talks with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Kye Gwan on Thursday, also saying that the two sides would "try to wrap up tomorrow."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:48:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Secret UN report points to Syrian 'war criminals' | News | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

United Nations investigators have compiled a secret list of members of the Syrian regime it says may face prosecution for crimes against humanity. The list, they indicated, goes as high as President Bashar al-Assad.

The investigators said orders to shoot unarmed women and children, torture protesters in hospital and shell residential areas came from the "highest level" of army and government.

"The commission received credible and consistent evidence identifying high- and mid-ranking members of the armed forces who ordered their subordinates to shoot at unarmed protesters, kill soldiers who refused to obey such orders, arrest persons without cause, mistreat detained persons and attack civilian neighborhoods with indiscriminate tanks and machine-gun fire," the special team said in a report to the UN Security Council.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reel revolution | World | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

With foreign media barred from the country, the Syrian uprising provides the best example of how the concept of what was formerly called broadcasting has changed and of the transformative power of personal videos.

In his 1971 spoken word classic "The Revolution will not be televised," US singer/songwriter Gil Scott-Heron presciently captured the struggle of African-Americans to find their place in a white majority society.

He weaved his critique around the mass medium which manifested America's dominant culture: television. For Scott-Heron, by constantly broadcasting and thus reaffirming life from the perspective of the white majority and neglecting the very different reality experienced by African-Americans, television, was a key part of what was wrong in the US.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Syrian regime `targets journalists systematically' - SYRIA - FRANCE 24

The Syrian government on Thursday washed its hands of any responsibility for the deaths of two journalists, Marie Colvin of the UK's Sunday Times and French photographer Remi Ochlik.

Damascus said the pair had "entered the country at their own risk." But French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused the Syrian regime of "murder". 

The announcement came the day after the building in the city of Homs where the two journalists were sheltering, which had become an unofficial press centre, was shelled relentlessly by Syrian government forces. At least three other journalists were injured, including Paul Conroy, Colvin's photojournalist colleague from The Sunday Times, and Edith Bouvier from French daily Le Figaro.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:55:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / Middle East risks becoming a 'giant failed state'

BEIRUT - With EU countries crafting plans on how to shape events in Syria, David Hirst, a noted British writer on the Middle East, has warned that the Arab uprisings are a kind of "constructive chaos" completely out of Western control.

"What we're now witnessing is the greatest transformation of the region since the end of the first world war," he told EUobserver in an interview in his home in Beirut on Saturday (18 February).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:38:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Step one: Define "failed" as "doesn't work the way I wish it worked."
Step two: Apply definition to appropriate cases.
by asdf on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 08:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
:-))

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:23:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deadly series of attacks strikes targets across Iraq - IRAQ - FRANCE 24

AP - A rapid series of attacks spread over a wide swath of Iraqi territory killed at least 50 people on Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country.

The apparently coordinated bombings and shootings unfolded over four hours in the capital Baghdad -- where most of the deaths were -- and 11 other cities. They struck government offices, restaurants and one in the town of Musayyib hit close to a primary school. At least 225 people were wounded.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama apologises to Karzai over Koran burning - AFGHANISTAN - FRANCE 24

AFP - President Barack Obama was Thursday forced to apologise over the burning of Korans at a US airbase in Afghanistan, where three days of protests have killed 14 people, including two American soldiers.

Violent anti-US protests have seen furious Afghans attack French, Norwegian and US bases, shouting "death to America" after the Taliban exhorted their countrymen to kill foreign troops to avenge the incident at a US-run base.

Afghanistan is a deeply religious country where slights against Islam have frequently provoked violent protests, and many Afghans are incensed at the discovery of charred Korans at the US-run Bagram airbase north of Kabul.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:57:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which demonstrates primary how desperately Obama wants his Afghan war and attempts at nation building to be successful. Or at least not really obvious disasters until after the election.
by asdf on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 08:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and shows how useless Taliban/al-Qaeda are that they're not orchestrating such rumours more often

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:24:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Romney, Santorum clash at key Arizona debate - UNITED STATES - FRANCE 24

AFP - Struggling Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney clashed repeatedly with his surging rival Rick Santorum on Wednesday, in a crucial TV debate as the pair battle for frontrunner status.

In the last televised debate before two key polls next week -- and before so-called "Super Tuesday" on March 6 -- the two men locked horns notably on fiscal issues, religion and immigration.

"You're misrepresenting the facts. You don't know what you're talking about," Santorum told Romney bluntly during the two-hour debate in Arizona, one of two states holding Republican primaries next Tuesday.

Romney, who is battling to retain his frontrunner status against the Christian conservative, lambasted Santorum's voting record during his time as a US senator from Pennsylvania.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:06:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're misrepresenting the facts. You don't know what you're talking about

Now if there was one phrase that could encapsulate the entire GOP Primary, that's it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:26:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Australian PM calls for vote on Labor Party leadership - AUSTRALIA - FRANCE 24

AFP - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday called a ballot on the leadership of the ruling Labor party, bringing to a head an increasingly bitter and ugly row with her predecessor Kevin Rudd.

Gillard said a vote would be held on Monday when parliament resumes, after Rudd dramatically quit as foreign minister while in Washington on Wednesday amid reports she was planning to sack him for undermining the party.

"Australians are rightly sick of this and they want it brought to an end," Gillard said of a battle for power that has been variously described by ministers as a "farce", "soap opera" and a "comedy".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I hope she will lose but she'll probably win. Most of the Australians (especially Labour supporters)  would like Kevin for PM at this stage but Labour party do not care, they fight their own personal battles. Labour will lose next election and then we'll be stuck with Abbot. God help us...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 08:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Policy: The Ticking Clock (BY ROBERT HADDICK | FEBRUARY 10, 2012 )
Four reasons why -- this time -- you should believe the hype about Israel attacking Iran.

...

1. Time Pressure

...

But as a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center discusses, Iran's uranium enrichment effort continues to advance, even after the Stuxnet computer attack and the assassination of several of its nuclear scientists. According to the report, Iran seems to be successfully installing advanced, high-efficiency uranium-enrichment centrifuges, which foreshadows a significant increase in enrichment capacity and output in the near future. More ominously from Israel's perspective, Iran is now installing centrifuge cascades into the Fordow mountain site near Qom, a bunker that is too deep for Israeli bombs to penetrate.

...

2. Alternatives to military action now fall short

...

The international sanctions effort against Iran's banking system and oil industry are inflicting damage on the country's economy and seem to be delivering political punishment to the regime. But they have not slowed the nuclear program, nor are they likely to have any effect on the timeline described above. And as long as Russia, China, India, and others continue to support Iran economically and politically, the sanctions regime is unlikely to be harsh enough to change Israel's calculation of the risks, at least within a meaningful time frame.

...

3. The benefits of escalation

...

If so, why bother, especially when such a strike risks sparking a wider war? Israel's leaders may actually prefer a wider escalating conflict, especially before Iran becomes a nuclear weapons state. Under this theory, Israel would take the first shot with a narrowly tailored attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Paradoxically, Israel's leaders might then prefer Iranian retaliation, which would then give Israel the justification for broader strikes against Iran's oil industry, power grid, and communication systems. Even better if Iran were to block the Strait of Hormuz or attack U.S. forces in the region, which would bring U.S. Central Command into the war and result in even more punishment for Iran. Israel's leaders may believe that they enjoy "escalation dominance," meaning that the more the war escalates, the worse the consequences for Iran compared to Israel. Israel raided Iraq's nuclear program in 1981 and Syria's in 2007. Neither Saddam Hussein nor Bashar al-Assad opted to retaliate, very likely because both knew that Israel, with its air power, possessed escalation dominance. Israel's leaders have good reason to assume that Iran's leaders will reach the same conclusion.

...

4. Managing the endgame

...

So is there any favorable end-state for Israel? Israeli leaders may envision a long term war of attrition against Iran's program, hoping to slow its progress to a crawl while waiting for regime change in Tehran. Through sporadic follow-up strikes against nuclear targets, Israel would attempt to demoralize the industry's workforce, disrupt its operations, and greatly increase the costs of the program. Israeli leaders might hope that their attrition tactics, delivered through occasional air strikes, would bog down the nuclear program while international sanctions weaken the civilian economy and reduce political support for the regime. The stable and favorable outcome for Israel would be either Tehran's abandonment of its nuclear program or an internal rebellion against the regime. Israel would be counting more on hope rather than a convincing set of actions to achieve these outcomes. But the imperative now for Israel is to halt the program, especially since no one else is under the same time pressure they are.

...




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 24th, 2012 at 06:20:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading the wiki it does seem to feature a large number of bush-era Likudnik republicans.

So maybe they feel that presenting the attack as a done-deal will help israel Netenyahu somehow. Who knows ? Certainly the amount of will they/won't they speculation sounds to me like Israel is definitely trying to find an argument to persuade the US to jump in

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:42:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
damn, my brain's going wrong. That israel should actually have been Israel

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:43:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: White House: IAEA visit a 'failure' for Iran (22 February 2012)
IAEA inspectors had sought to clarify the "possible military dimensions" of Iran's nuclear programme.

...

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency had hoped to inspect a site at Parchin.

The IAEA said that after two days of talks, its team was returning from Iran without a deal on a document "facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues".



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 24th, 2012 at 07:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:40:34 PM EST
Rising costs of solar boom cause Germany to cut subsidies | Business | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

In view of a record 7.5 gigawatts of new solar installations in 2011, the government has decided to cut subsidies for solar power earlier than expected. Environmentalists say this will end a German "success story."

After months of wrangling, Germany's liberal economics minister Philipp Rösler and conservative environment minister Norbert Röttgen thrashed out a compromise Thursday, envisaging cuts to state subsidies for solar power generation of about 30 percent.

Starting March 9, prices for solar energy guaranteed by the state would be lowered by 20 percent initially, to be followed by further monthly cuts down to 30 percent by next January, Röttgen told a news conference in Berlin.

In addition, Röttgen said that the government would gradually "lower its target for new photovoltaic installations" by 400 megawatts per year, starting in 2014.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:46:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it be more effective to pay Mali and Libya to do the PV on your behalf ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:27:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. It's mostly homeowners and small business owners making the investment in Germany. And if you build capacity in Africa, you have to build a massive new grid to transport the energy to Europe – try to get local support all along the way for that.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 11:25:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I keep seeing this "Deserttech" idea of massive imports of solar power from Africa, last at a seminar yesterday in Stockholm with the Royal Academy of War Sciences (KKrVAHT), Folk och Försvar (People and Defence) and the Network Oil&Gas (NOG). Ironically the main focus was about security of supply of oil and gas.

Polite as I am, I didn't point out to the people arguing about it that if you consider relying on MENA for petroleum risky, it might not be very wise to extend that dependence to the supply of electric power as well. As some of you might know, unlike oil and gas, power is very hard to store, which means it's very hard to protect against sudden supply disruptions.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:16:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is also a hazy promise for the distant future instead of the here and now that is delivered by feed-in laws; and an opportunity for greenwashing for big companies (in promising big investment and delivering little).

In addition, solar power in Germany is locally consumed to a surprising degree. In a presentation which I should find again, there was a graph of electricity by voltage by production mode, and solar power crowded in the two lowest voltages (wind, like nuclear and coal, was mostly in the multi-kV range).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some comments:

  1. It's not subsidies but the feed-in rate.
  2. This amounts to Röttgen giving up to pro-big-business Rösler almost completely: earlier, he was inclined to accept the industry's arguments that single large rate cuts produce either bubbles or a collapse of the industry. Rösler of course wants to crash the PV industry.
  3. A big rate cut so soon would, on one hand, certainly prevent another bubble; on the other hand, it kills the business plan of practically all on-going investments.
  4. The most alarming part of the plan is not the single large cut in March, nor the rather low target of annual new additions on the long term, but a proposition that further changes in the feed-in rates can be made as government decrees, without a need for parliamentary approval.
  5. The big question is whether the Rösler-Röttgen plan will make it across the upper house of Germany's federal parliament (which consists of delegations of the state governments). The last time the coalition parties tried to kill solar power with a big rate cut, the upper house delayed and chopped up that rate cut. Presently state governments consisting only of the federal government coalition parties don't have a majority in the upper house, so the uncertainty factor I see are the CDU-SPD Grand Coalition governments.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 11:40:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On 5. As far as I understand the governments of the east are already complaining. The premier of Sachsen-Anhalt CDU and leading a great coalition seems to be leading the  resistance.
by IM on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 11:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the regional CDU opposition from the previous round isn't dead either, good. Anything on the positions of the new governments in Thuringia and Berlin?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 11:53:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thüringens Ministerpräsidentin Christine Lieberknecht (CDU) und Sachsen-Anhalts Ministerpräsident Reiner Haseloff (CDU) lehnten die Kürzungen ab und warnten vor Schaden für ihre Solarstandorte.

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/wirtschaft/energiewende-minister-wollen-solarfoerderung-kuerzen/6246616.h tml

The CDU premiers ofThuringia and Sachsen-Anhalt are both unhappy.

And here is reaction from Brandenburg:

http://www.rbb-online.de/nachrichten/wirtschaft/2012_02/Christoffers__Kuerzung_der_Solarfoerderung_k ontraproduktiv_.html

But then the minister belongs to the left, so surprise here.

haven't found anything from the rest of the east yet, but I don't think the reaction in state as focused on renewables as Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will be any different.

by IM on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:09:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tagesspiegel journalist spins at 12,000rpm...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:29:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean the link in the article? Did read it just now. I only looked for the state reactions.
by IM on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 12:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, he spins the Rösler-Röttgen plan as a compromise in favour of the solar industry, even has the gall to claim hat it would amount to a more moderate decrease than the current system (maybe on the long term, surely not in March) and suggests that all sides are protesting too much.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 01:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Spiegel will be worse. Or do they only hate wind?
by IM on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 01:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, not just wind. And while the rest of the world is talking about the Heartland leaks, they post a favourable "review" of Vahrenholt's global warming denialist book. There are articles which one doesn't read further than the title; but in the case of Spiegel articles on renewables, I usually don't even read to the end of the title...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 02:01:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Iran's leadership is nervous' | Middle East | DW.DE | 23.02.2012
A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency left Iran empty-handed on Wednesday. Security expert Oliver Thränert, of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, explains Tehran's hard line - and says the West should be patient.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oil tax funds climate projects in Brazil | Environment | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Brazil's government is fighting climate change with a special fund flush with cash from a tax on the country's oil industry. The money is to be distrubuted as loans to climate-friendly initiatives.

Brazilhas a new weapon in its battle with climate change. Last week the government launched a climate fund worth 80 million euros ($106 million) that will target projects that reduce greenhouse gases, fight climate change, and implement adaptation strategies for climate change.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:53:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Environment / Tar sands go political as key vote ends in deadlock

BRUSSELS - EU member states have failed to name tar sands a high polluting energy source following intense lobbying by oil companies and Canada but green groups and the European Commission hope the politicisation of the discussion will work in their favour.

A expert committee vote on Thursday (23 February) did not find the required majority in favour of a European Commission proposal to designate oil from tar sands as particularly damaging to the environment, with Poland and Spain among those that voted against the idea and France, the Netherlands and the UK - home to international oil companies - abstaining.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok Canada, just tell us where the water is coming from, and where it's going when you've finished with it. If it doesn't become obvious to Canada it's a dumb idea, then maybe somebody ought to tell them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 03:32:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU tar sands pollution vote ends in deadlock | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The European Union failed to label oil produced from tar sands as highly polluting on Thursday, with a key vote by member states ending in deadlock.

The issue is seen as a key test of the EU's ability to implement its climate change policies while under heavy pressure from the Canadian government and oil companies who want to prevent billions of barrels of tar sands oil from being designated as especially harmful to the environment. The lobbying has been intense, with Canada secretly threatening a trade war with Europe if the proposal is passed, while the Nasa climate scientist James Hansen has said full development of the tar sands would mean it was "game over" for the climate.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:12:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lego company is helping fund wind power in Germany.

'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 Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 09:03:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Independent blogs: Is catastrophic global warming, like the Millennium Bug, a mistake? (Simon Carr)
At a public meeting in the Commons, the climate scientist Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT made a number of declarations that unsettle the claim that global warming is backed by "settled science". They're not new, but some of them were new to me.

...

He showed a Boston newspaper weather graphic for a day - it had the actual temperature against a background of the highest and lowest recorded temperature for that day. The difference was as much as 60 degrees F.

...

He concluded with an exposition of science that, frankly, I didn't follow. However, the reliability and explanatory power of climate models was satirised convincingly. And I found myself believing - or accepting the possibility - that warming would reduce rather than increase tropical storms.



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 24th, 2012 at 04:55:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was the Millennium bug a "mistake" or a genuine problem that was fixed? The failure of many German credit cards on 1.1.10 suggests the latter.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 04:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with policy is that if you successfully prevent an accident from happening you'll be accused of wasting money on a non-problem. For instance, if Obama had proposed a large enough stimulus in 2009 people would say now that the stimulus was not necessary in the first place. As it is, people argue whether it didn't work because it was too small, or because it wasn't necessary in the first place.

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 24th, 2012 at 05:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but in the case of Y2K the Germans provided proof that there really was a problem. I'll leave you to argue the same about the Germans and the stimulus.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 05:10:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was a Year 2010 bug, not a Y2K bug :P

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 24th, 2012 at 05:13:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're using logic, this is politics. The shorter soundbite wins.

"There was no Y2K problem" is shorter and sharper than "the Germans had a problem on 1.1.10 so there was likely a Y2K problem".

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 24th, 2012 at 05:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
bit like the maintenance on the I-35 bridge.

why waste money on that ? It was still standing right up till the moment it fell down

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:33:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Third-party characterizations of Lindzen
The New York Times article included the comments of several other experts. Jerry Mahlman, director of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, did not accept Lindzen's assessment of the science, and said that Lindzen had "sacrificed his luminosity by taking a stand that most of us feel is scientifically unsound." Mahlman did, however, admit that Lindzen was a "formidable opponent." William Gray of Colorado State University basically agreed with Lindzen, describing him as "courageous." He said, "A lot of my older colleagues are very skeptical on the global warming thing." He added that whilst he regarded some of Lindzen's views as flawed, he said that, "across the board he's generally very good." John Wallace of the University of Washington agreed with Lindzen that progress in climate change science had been exaggerated, but said there are "relatively few scientists who are as skeptical of the whole thing as Dick [Lindzen] is."

The November 10, 2004 online version of Reason magazine reported that Lindzen is "willing to take bets that global average temperatures in 20 years will in fact be lower than they are now." James Annan, a scientist involved in climate prediction, contacted Lindzen to arrange a bet. Annan and Lindzen exchanged proposals for bets, but were unable to agree. Lindzen's final proposal was a bet that if the temperature change were less than 0.2 °C (0.36 °F), he would win. If the temperature change were between 0.2 °C (0.36 °F) and 0.4 °C (0.72 °F) the bet would be off, and if the temperature change were 0.4 °C (0.72 °F) or greater, Annan would win. He would take 2 to 1 odds.

Lindzen has been characterized as a contrarian, in relation to climate change and other issues. Lindzen's graduate students describe him as "fiercely intelligent, with a deep contrarian streak."

This might be a generational thing: older climate scientists don't agree with younger climate scientists. There is nothing in the wikipedia page about his research in 1970-90.

Also, is it responsible to take a contrarian intellectual stance into a legislative committee?

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 24th, 2012 at 05:03:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Iris hypothesis
The iris hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed by Professor Richard Lindzen in 2001 that suggested increased sea surface temperature in the tropics would result in reduced cirrus clouds and thus more infrared radiation leakage from Earth's atmosphere. His study of observed changes in cloud coverage and modeled effects on infrared radiation released to space as a result supported the hypothesis. This suggested infrared radiation leakage was hypothesized to be a negative feedback in which an initial warming would result in an overall cooling of the surface. The consensus view is that increased sea surface temperature would result in increased cirrus clouds and reduced infrared radiation leakage and therefore a positive feedback.

Other scientists have since tested the hypothesis. Some concluded that there was simply no evidence supporting the hypothesis. Others found evidence suggesting that increased sea surface temperature in the tropics did indeed reduce cirrus clouds but found that the effect was nonetheless a positive feedback rather than the negative feedback that Lindzen had hypothesized. A later 2007 study conducted by Roy Spencer, et al. using updated satellite data supported the iris hypothesis.



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 24th, 2012 at 05:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the history of science, it is not rare that individuals cling to their interpretation long after the date that history will claim the issue was settled. From what I have read, it is actually common that people go on believing the same thing the rest of their careers and lifes. What makes the issue settled is that one belief fails to win new members.

This might be counter to the image of rational debates ending issues once and for all, but scientists are people too.

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 24th, 2012 at 05:22:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Max Planck:
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.


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 24th, 2012 at 05:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem I see with that bet is that if Anna loses, he is out of pocket, if annan wins, his grandchildren will probably not live to middle age.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 06:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:40:55 PM EST
Faraway world 'like no planet we know of,' scientists say | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 23.02.2012

Scientists in the United States and Europe announce new details about a large, hot, and possibly watery planet. GJ1214b is relatively close, about 40 light-years away from Earth.

This week, an international team of scientists announced the discovery of a new type of exoplanet, or planet outside our own solar system. The results were published earlier this month in The Astrophysical Journal.

The planet, which is formally known as GJ1214b, is believed to be a massive, steamy planet, with an estimated temperature of 232 degrees Celsius (450 degrees Fahrenheit). The possibly water-logged planet is located about 40 light-years away from Earth, and was discovered in 2009. Astronomers have calculated its diameter to be 2.7 times bigger than Earth's, and that its mass is nearly seven times Earth's.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Intercultural dialogue is 'in flux' says head of Beijing Goethe Institute | Asia | DW.DE | 23.02.2012
Peter Anders has run the Goethe Institute in Beijing since May 2011. He has also headed the German cultural institute in Cameroon, Brazil (Salvador da Bahia) and Bulgaria. Here, he tells Deutsche Welle about the challenges of intercultural dialogue in China.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bird flu cases more common than thought: study - FRANCE 24

AFP - Bird flu is believed to be a rare disease that kills more than half of the people it infects, but a US study out Thursday suggests it may be more common and less lethal than previously thought.

The research could help soothe concerns about the potential for a deadly pandemic that may kill many millions of people, sparked by the recent lab creation of a mutant bird flu that can pass between mammals.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:51:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mild drought killed off Mayan civilization: study - FRANCE 24

AFP - The collapse of the Mayan civilization was likely due to a relatively mild drought, much like the drier conditions expected in the coming years due to climate change, scientists said Thursday.

Scholars have long believed that a major drought brought on severe dry conditions killed off the ancient culture known for its mastery of language, math and astronomy.

But researchers from the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research in Mexico and the University of Southampton in Britain said their analysis shows the drought only caused reductions of 25 to 40 percent less annual rain.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:07:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
the drought only caused reductions of 25 to 40 percent less annual rain.

And that's "mild"?

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 24th, 2012 at 03:45:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:41:16 PM EST
Will 'The Artist' find glory at France's Césars? - CINEMA - FRANCE 24

Silent black-and-white French movie "The Artist" has charmed the international film world into submission: it snagged Best Picture at the Golden Globes, Britain's BAFTAs, and Spain's Goyas, and is expected to do the same at the Oscars on February 26th.

But France's annual César awards, to take place February 24, could be a different story. The French certainly like the film; it was selected for competition last year at Cannes, received glowing reviews from many of France's most finicky critics, and its director, Michel Hazanavicius, and star, Jean Dujardin, are well-regarded industry professionals.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 02:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:36:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Red grapes and cantaloupe --  In Wales, that looks just yummy!!!!
by sgr2 on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 11:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries