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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 8 February

by ceebs Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 02:55:16 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

412 - birth of Proclus, Greek Philosopher (d. 485)

More here and here

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 02:58:17 PM EST
Blind man's care funding case raises profound issues, supreme court told | Society | The Guardian

A blind man's care funding battle with a local authority raises "important and profound" issues for disabled people, the supreme court has been told.

Charities said judges were being asked to clarify whether local authorities should base funding decisions on patient need or budget limitation.

The 26-year-old man, who can be referred to only as KM, went to the supreme court after losing cases against Cambridgeshire county council in the high court and court of appeal.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:03:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Young carers wiped off the map of financial support « CarersBlog
If you were anything like me when I was a teenager, then you'll have thought it was pretty tough. Pressure all round- to Young carer helping his brotherbe the same as your friends and fit in, to try to look good despite the spots, to succeed in exams, and all the hormones and other challenges that go with growing up and finding your place in the world.

To be honest I had it pretty easy. Young carers have got all this plus their caring responsibilities - perhaps looking after a mum or dad with a mental health problem, or a health condition like MS or cancer or a sibling with a disability, or looking after the other kids and the house because mum or dad aren't able to. We know that one of the main caring roles young carers take on is emotional support - extremely demanding on a young person not yet sure of their emotions themselves . Although many young carers can and do succeed despite the difficulties, many others lose out on school, miss opportunities to develop friendships, miss chances to take part in activities which others take for granted.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Phone hacking: Met police failed to warn victims

The Met Police failed to warn people they were the victims of phone hacking by the News of the World, a judicial review has ruled.

The Met Commissioner accepted that the failure to warn victims was unlawful.

Ex-Deputy PM Lord Prescott, Labour MP Chris Bryant, ex-Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick and two others had pushed for a review.

The men, some of whom received payouts from the newspaper's owner, argued their human rights had been breached.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:04:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - 'Unacceptable' UK can't deport Abu Qatada - Theresa May

It "isn't acceptable" that the UK cannot deport radical cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan, the home secretary has said.

Theresa May told MPs the government was "considering all legal options" open to it - including referring the case to the European Court's grand chamber.

Abu Qatada is due to be released on bail, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled he could not be deported.

The UK is still negotiating with Jordan to get assurances that will satisfy the court he can be deported.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:04:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Abu Qatada 'has not committed any crime' and it is not Europe's fault he was released, Ken Clarke says - Telegraph

The Justice Secretary told The Daily Telegraph it was a British judge who ordered his release, and that the decision did not have "anything to do with the European Court".

Mr Clarke's comments were apparently at odds with Theresa May, the Home Secretary, who later told MPs that "the Government disagrees vehemently with Strasbourg's ruling".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 08:35:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Greek leaders postpone meeting as euro exit discussed

Pressure is rising on Greece's national unity government to agree tough reforms demanded by the country's lenders.

Greek party leaders once more postponed plans to meet on Tuesday and approve terms of a new bailout.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and coalition leaders will now meet on Wednesday.

This comes as the European Commission's Neelie Kroes told a Dutch newspaper that there would be "absolutely no man overboard" if Greece left the euro.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece misses bail-out deadline - FT.com
Greece missed another deadline to approve conditions for a second €130bn bail-out on Tuesday night, after a meeting with political leaders was postponed until Wednesday because of last-minute haggling with international lenders over emergency spending cuts.

A government official said Lucas Papademos, the technocrat prime minister, would hold the talks on Wednesday morning and expected a deal to be presented for approval at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers later in the week.

But the delay over agreeing €3bn of extra spending cuts fuelled anxieties that Athens may be forced into a messy default next month. It also triggered concern over whether Greece remains committed to fiscal and structural reform after two years of failing to implement measures agreed in return for billions of euros in financial support.

Greece has already missed two deadlines this week because of the politicians' brinkmanship, further exasperating its European paymasters and jeopardising its second bail-out along with a voluntary restructuring of €200bn of government debt.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 03:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radio said ECB is planning to give Greece debt relief.

This - if true - would fit into the power-grabbing neoliberal theory of ECB rather then the ideologically blinded theory of ECB. Having killed as much as they can of the state and services, having pushed salaries down and unemployment up, they would now turn around and act as lender of last resort to avoid Greece from leaving the euro, which would move it away from ECB's power.

Still think the central banksters needs to be investigated for treason.

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 07:30:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it consistent with yesterday's rumours that ECB Will Transfer Greek Bonds To EFSF? That is, the ECB will not actually take any losses: it will sell the bonds to the EFSF, which will take the losses.

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 08:56:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wall Street Journal: ECB to Make Concessions on Greek Debt (FEBRUARY 7, 2012)
The idea is for the ECB, in effect, to exchange the Greek bonds it holds for bonds of the European Financial Stability Facility, the euro zone's temporary bailout fund. The ECB will hold the highly rated EFSF bonds on its balance sheet in place of the Greek bonds it bought as part of its Securities Market Program.

The EFSF will not hold the Greek bonds on its balance sheet, but will return the bonds to Greece and Greece will then agree to repay the EFSF for the purchase price of the bonds.

The arrangement could reduce Greece's debt by as much as €11 billion, euro-zone officials estimate--the difference between the ECB purchase price of the bonds and their face value--though the actual reduction could be smaller. An expected accord that now appears close to conclusion would reduce debt to private bondholders by an estimated €100 billion, provided there is a large take-up of the offer by private creditors.



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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 09:11:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still think the central banksters needs to be investigated for treason.

Perhaps extortion under color of authority?

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 09:24:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek workers strike over public job cuts - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Workers in Greece are staging a 24-hour general strike in protest over new government austerity measures which would see 15,000 civil service employees lose their jobs this year.

Tuesday's strike comes with Greece under mounting pressure to agree to a package of tough economic reforms that would give it access to a $170bn bailout payment to avoid a March default on its bond repayments.

Party leaders within Greece's coalition government are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the proposed measures, demanded by its financial backers - the so-called 'troika' of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank - after talks continued into the early hours.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:43:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy plans emergency talks as cold snap hits - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Italy is set to hold emergency talks aimed at maximising gas supplies to vulnerable households as a cold snap tightened its grip on the country and the death toll rose to 26.

The scheduled talks on Tuesday come a day after the economic development ministry activated a plan to reduce gas supplies to industrial clients and switch from gas to oil-fired power stations amid fears of another cold wave in Russia, which could limit supplies to Italy.

"The situation is certainly critical because the flows from Russia and France have diminished but the situation is being monitored," Corrado Passera, economic development minister, told reporters.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:43:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egemen Bagis: 'Europe needs Turkey' - Talk to Al Jazeera - Al Jazeera English

There is a change going on in the European political landscape. Although their agendas vary from country to country, political parties appealing to some form of traditional or nationalistic values have recently garnered significant footholds in the parliaments of Finland, Norway, Holland, Hungary, Sweden and Italy.

There is often one common concern that unites these parties: Can Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, join the European Union?

Turkey is at the doorstep of Europe and it wants to come in. Despite growing anti-Muslim sentiments and a deepening economic downturn in Europe, Turkey is still negotiating to become a full member of the European Union.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On Monday we discussed Wolfgang Münchau's concept of "Germany as a BRIC" which he reportedly got from Ulrike Guérot, but it must have been a "private communication" because it wasn't exactly easy to find anything written by Guérot on the topic. This has now changed.

World Politics Review: German Foreign Policy: The Temptation of Going Alone BY ULRIKE GUÉROT | 07 FEB 2012

European integration is thus, if not yet imploding, then hitting a wall due to a lack of public support, in Germany and beyond, and the lack of historical urgency that once drove Europe's federators. Today, foreign policy is no longer driving Germany's political discourse, as it once did during the nation's watershed decisions on rearmament in 1955 and the deployment of Pershing nuclear-armed ICBMs in 1983. Instead, domestic politics and electoral constraints are driving Germany's foreign policy positions, whether on the EU's bailout package for Greece in 2010 or NATO's Libya campaign in 2011. Some 70 percent of Germans don't see their future in the EU, and more than 50 percent don't put their trust or confidence in European integration. Any decision on German foreign policy today must take this into consideration.

...

In economic terms, Germany's first steps toward growing out of the constraints of the EU and Europe were already apparent around 2005-2006. It is at this point that most of the basic economic data, from labor productivity to current account surpluses, from export booms to fiscal policies and interest rates, show Germany distinguishing itself from most of the other EU countries. By the middle of the past decade, Germany had successfully restructured its economy, and by the beginning of the present one, it was starting to harvest the fruits of these painful policies.

...

Here, the experience with Russia offers the outlines of an answer, whereby German economic weight is combined with the political leverage of Europe -- or even put at its service. Putting such an approach into action would not be easy, however. In fact, it would seem to be very difficult, especially given the circumstances of the current euro-crisis and the lack of public support for European integration. But if it were to be adopted as an objective, Germany would no longer have to choose between Europe and the world. Instead, it would have to choose between leading a much more united European Union toward assuming a role as a global actor; or opting for stabilizing the eurozone and the EU in its current form, while adding a tangle of bilateral relations on a global scale to this European equilibrium.



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 Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 05:48:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German economic weight is combined with the political leverage of Europe -- or even put at its service.

And the 'its' is supposed to refer to Europe? Such a service!

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 09:35:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: High Noon III
Greek political leaders fail once again to reach a deal, with the deadline now postponed until today; one of the stumbling blocks had been the troika's new demands for a cut in the basic pension; Pasok rejects all other demands, but rejects the pension proposal; there are also demands to restrict the minimum wage cuts only to new labour contracts; troika will hold talks with each party leader separately; Athens was hit by a general strike, and angry anti-German demonstrations; Angela Merkel said Germany was not going to force a Greek exit; Mark Rutte said a Greek exit would be no big deal; so did Neelie Kroes, but the rest of the European Commission disagrees; Wolfgang Schauble plans to play another legislative trick on the Bundestag, by forcing a vote only a small tranche of the new Greek programme; New Democracy has consolidated its lead in the latest Greek polls, while Pasok is virtually wiped out; seven eurozone countries support the Franco-German financial transactions tax; IG Metall presses for a 6.5% pay rise; the Commission warns of a budget shortfall due to excess demand for structural funds; Benoit Coeure says China should "mobilise" its unused reserves and help the eurozone; the German press gives a positive assessment of Mario Draghi's first 100 days as ECB president, but warns of tensions ahead;commentators in the FT and Reuters Breakingviews, meanwhile, say Spain should go easy on fiscal deficit reduction.


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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 04:23:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian: Hacked emails allege Russian youth group Nashi paying bloggers
The mass of data appears to show evidence of the sinister tactics used by Nashi, and includes:

  • Price lists for pro-Putin bloggers and commenters which indicate that some are paid as much as 600,000 roubles (£12,694) for leaving hundreds of comments on negative stories about Putin.
  • Plans to pay more than 10m roubles (£211,557) to buy a series of articles about Nashi's annual Seliger summer camp in two popular Russian tabloids.
  • Calls for paid Nashi activists to "dislike" anti-regime videos posted on YouTube.
  • Ideas for smear campaigns against what one activist calls the "fascist" Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, such as a cartoon video likening him to Hitler and a suggestion someone dress up like the blogger to beg for alms in front of the US embassy.
See this recent discussion.

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:35:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Edoardo Campanella: The social consequences of the euro crisis (Eurointelligence, 06.02.2012)
In Europe, a deteriorating youth marginalization is creating the preconditions for a social earthquake capable of shaking the old continent and impairing the survival of the Euro. Until now, safety nets and intra-family transfers have prevented peaceful Indignados-style protests from turning into violent Arab-ones. However, the shortfall of resources due to a new imminent recession, along with fiscal austerity measures, will impair this channel, whereas frustration and social resentment will keep growing  

The figures are already alarming. According to a report recently released by the European Commission, one in five young people is at risk of falling into poverty or social exclusion, only one third of young people are employed, and one in three has been out of work for over one year. Moreover, 40 per cent of the unemployed are under 30, to the amount of 9 million people. On the other extreme of the age scale, the trend is reversed. The employment rate for people aged 60-64 increased from 23% in 2000 to 34% in 2010.

In peripheral countries the situation is extremely acute. The Portuguese government urged its young unemployed to leave Europe for better opportunities elsewhere, in Italy almost 120.000 young talents left the country last year, and in Spain thousands of people are pouring into former colonies in South America.



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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 09:35:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
one of the criticisms, the likes of Krugman et al. would make, about the reasons a common currency project would not work in a sub-optimal common currency zone which is the EU (and the Eurozone parts of it), was that there was, no matter how much progress had been made in the past generation or two, simply not enough labor mobility between the member states comprising the currency zone to make it work (just one of many reasons the zone is "sub-optimal," of course).

Well, it turns out that there is indeed a fair amount of labor mobility one observes among the EU's youngest members of the workforce. Outside of the Eurozone. The Irish, Italians and Greeks to Australia and Canada. The Portuguese to Brazil and, of all places, Angola. And the Spanish pretty much anywhere in the vast Spanish-speaking world. We're a long ways from the 1960's and '70's when waves of Iberian workers came to France, or the Italians to Belgium and so forth. People go where there is opportunity relative to their education, and by and large they're well educated, and these days, if they want opportunity at par with their dreams, Germany or France are pretty much the last place they'd want to go, the barriers to entry into the respesctive job markets are simply too high and no one in Germany is making any effort to attract them by, say, large-scale subsidized language sejours/training schemes.

Full disclosure: I myself went the same route of emigration, in my case temporary (14 years), the last time the Germans, with French complicity, caused a recession in Europe (the early 1990's).

by redstar on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 12:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@CFR_org
Quote of the Day: "Europe won't be a nice place to live in 5 years if we haven't solved the problem of how to grow." Italian PM Mario Monti


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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 11:05:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
like he has a clue how to do it.

soapy speeches... the ideas are out there, but types like monti are what's standing in the middle of the road blocking real growth, (except for his goodbuds at GS).

as berlu was out for his own empire, monti is out for the international banks.

the only thing missing is the bunga bunga.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 12:25:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 02:58:49 PM EST
BBC News - Glencore and Xstrata announce $90bn merger deal

Mining firm Xstrata has formally announced plans to merge with Glencore, the world's biggest commodity trader.

The deal would value the combined new business at $90bn (£56bn), of which Xstrata would comprise $39bn.

The announcement came as Xstrata revealed a 20% increase in profits for 2011, to $5.9bn (£3.8bn).

But two major Xstrata shareholders say they will vote against the deal as it undervalues their shares.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:21:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zero Hedge: Rumors That ECB Will Transfer Greek Bonds To EFSF
There are also some definitive negatives.   Let's say they transfer bonds at a price of 80% of par.  Then the EFSF would lose about 50% of par immediately (assuming a post restructuring price of 60% for the new bonds).  That would be a loss of over €25 billion.  It is just taking money from the EFSF.  That is bad on a couple of fronts.  The obvious thing is that the ability to leverage EFSF at all (and yes, some politicians continue to talk about that) is basically gone.  If the Troika will just use the EFSF as a way to bury losses they don't want to take directly, no one will lend to EFSF on a leveraged basis.  Since most people doubt EFSF would be leveraged, it doesn't have a huge impact, but is important.

The other negatives are slightly more subtle, though they could come out loud and clear.  The ECB could have taken the loss directly and just printed money for that loss.  So this demonstrates an unwillingness to print money.  The ECB could take the loss and get capital from the member states.  By using the EFSF rather than new capital calls, it is a sign that countries are at the limit of what they will contribute.  Hoping for new money is unrealistic - since this was the perfect opportunity to put up new money and tell the world that Europe is truly united and willing to contribute.  This just uses up money that was already allocated.

It will get very interesting if some countries actually come out against this.  If the EFSF was going to use guarantees to issue debt and then buy bonds of the PIIGS, that was one thing.  Now they are going to borrow money so they can hand it to the ECB.  That is different and may annoy some of the more prudent countries.  They may remain silent, but this can be a source of disagreement, and frankly, should be.



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 Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 05:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zero Hedge:
The ECB could take the loss and get capital from the member states.  By using the EFSF rather than new capital calls, it is a sign that countries are at the limit of what they will contribute.
Well, actually
You may remember how the ECB raised its capital at the end of 2010 from 5.76bn to 10.76bn. So, under what authority did they do that? (Yes, they needed authority) And why would a Central Bank need authority to raise its capital? The fact is that, in 2000, the European Council passed a regulation saying that the ECB's subscribed capital was 5.76bn with an option to be extended by an extre 5 bn. So, the ECB has already recapitalised itself to the full extent allowed by the now evidently dysfunctional Council. Now, assuming there's no way in hell the Council is going to be able to agree to expand the ECB's capital again, and these people being gold bugs, they believe the ECB needs capital so it's all seigniorage from now on. Or maybe not, since seigniorage is sinful.
Get your insight weeks early on European Tribune.

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 Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 05:11:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN calls for overhaul of global financial system to benefit the poor
The UN has called for fundamental reform of the global financial system as a part of a new deal that can "lift all boats" in rich and poor countries alike.

Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of the UN conference on trade and development (UNCTAD), said in a report published on Tuesday, that the idea of a "global new deal" alludes to the measures taken in response to the Great Depression in the 1930s. In the US, public investments in energy, agriculture and social infrastructure, along with strong regulation of financial and labour markets, and with expansionary economic policy laid the foundations for a return to full employment.

The report, Development-led globalisation: Towards sustainable and inclusive development paths (pdf), sets out the theme for the UNCTAD XIII conference in Doha, Qatar, in April, the first major UN ministerial conference on trade and development since the fallout from the economic crisis.

The first priority under the global new deal, said Supachai, is "taming finance" amid alarming signs of a reversion to business as usual.

"Financial sectors have already returned to many of the old practices, even as public finances deteriorate and the recovery stalls," he said. "Austerity measures are back on the agenda and resistance to financial regulation has begun in earnest."

In terms of financial reform, Supachai calls for an urgent alignment and stabilisation of exchange rates, particularly among the G3 currencies - dollar, euro and yen.

...

In other proposed reforms, Supachai called for a more balanced approach to sovereign debt restructuring, including a fairer burden of adjustment between borrowers and private sector creditors, even as talks grind on over Greece's sovereign debt.

...

Other proposals include an expansion of multilateral financial resources, including the use of IMF special drawing rights (SDRs), which are allocated to member countries in proportion to their IMF quotas. For years, UNCTAD has argued for the use of SDRs as a global reserve currency as an alternative to the dollar, which would allow developing countries greater access to funds, without requiring the US to run ever-growing deficits.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 07:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Economic Perspectives: The Elephant in the Room is Spain, Not Italy
Let's be clear about one thing:  this is not a tale of Mediterranean "profligacy", as least as far as public spending was concerned.  Anybody looking at Spain through a sensible financial balances framework in the mid-2000s would have observed that the private sector was being squeezed badly by the fiscal drag. The external position was in deficit (current account) which means the public and external balances were draining growth from the economy. Yet it still boomed up into the onset of the crisis. How did that happen?

The profligates were all in the private sector, although you could readily argue that the government's "responsible" fiscal policy created the conditions for a private sector debt binge.  Prior to 2008, the Spanish economy was held out as the darling of Europe however the reality was quite different. The country was running budget surpluses by 2005 and foreign investment was booming. Most of this investment went into construction which was stimulated by a massive real estate boom.

...

Even the Rajoy Administration implicitly appears to recognize this danger, as it is already moving the goalposts in regard to its spending cuts targets as a percentage of GDP.  Unfortunately, they blame this on external circumstances beyond their control. To the extent that they agree to submit themselves to rules which were routinely disobeyed by the Germans and French during the EMU's inception, that is true, although the Spanish government refuses to acknowledge that their resolute tightening fiscal policy ex ante might well have something to do with the fact that Spain's economy continues to deflate into the ground ex post.  Remember, the history of the Stability and Growth Pact has long demonstrated that these nonsensical rules are already impossible to keep within during a significant downturn. And now the new Spanish government wants to tighten them even further and invoke pro-cyclical fiscal reactions earlier.
This, at a time when the national unemployment rate is approaching 23%, and the youth unemployment rate (25 years or younger) is at 49%, according to the latest Eurostat data.

(h/t kcurie)

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 11:14:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 02:59:27 PM EST
BBC News - Syria crisis: Gulf Arab states expel Syrian ambassadors

Gulf Arab states say they are expelling Syrian ambassadors in their countries and recalling their envoys from Syria.

The Gulf Cooperation Council said Syria had rejected Arab attempts to solve the crisis and end 11 months of bloodshed.

The US closed its embassy in Syria on Monday, and several European countries have recalled their ambassadors.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:35:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assad 'committed' to ending violence, Russian envoy says - SYRIA - FRANCE 24
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (pictured) said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "fully committed" to ending a violent crackdown on protests after talks Tuesday in Damascus. Homs residents say the city continues to be hit by artillery.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:00:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assad is "fully committed" to ending a violent crackdown
... just as soon as the opposition is dead.
by Andhakari on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Iran parliament summons President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran's parliament has summoned the president for questioning for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces a long list of questions about the state of the economy, as well as his foreign and domestic policy decisions.

MPs have threatened similar action before, but failed to follow through.

The summons will be sent to Mr Ahmadinejad in the next two days. He must appear in parliament within a month according to Iran's constitution.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:35:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Los Angeles school removes staff amid sex abuse scandal

The entire staff of a Los Angeles elementary school will be replaced after two teachers were arrested for sexual abuse, authorities say.

More than 120 staff at Miramonte Elementary School will be removed and interviewed. No other staff are currently under suspicion.

Mark Berndt and Martin Springer were arrested last week on separate allegations of child sexual abuse.

More than one-quarter of the school's students stayed at home on Monday.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jewish support for Republicans jumped drastically since 2008, survey shows - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Jewish support for the Republican Party has grown dramatically since 2008 nationwide, a new analysis of survey data out from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press suggests.

The data found that the shift in the GOP direction has been more significant than among the general public.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:46:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If one follows the links until one reaches the numbers, the picture is somewhat different.

Democrats down, Independents up:
Trends in Party Identification of Religious Groups - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

34% of registered voters described themselves as Democrats, down four points compared with 2008 (38%). Over the same period, the percentage of voters describing themselves as Republicans has held steady at 28%, while the total saying they are politically independent or have no partisan preference has risen four points (from 34% in 2008 to 38% in 2011).

Which benefits GOP, but Democrats still in the lead:
Trends in Party Identification of Religious Groups - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

The Democrats' decline is especially apparent when the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account. Though there has been no change in the share of the electorate identifying with the GOP, there has been a significant increase in the number of Republican-leaning independents (from 11% in 2008 to 16% in 2011). Taken together, the share of voters who say they are Republican or that they lean toward the GOP has grown from 39% in 2008 to 43% in 2011, while the number saying they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party has declined from 51% to 48%. A 12-point Democratic advantage in 2008 has shrunk to just five points heading into the 2012 presidential election year.

Jewish voters have the second strongest swing amongst religions towards GOP (Mormons has the strongest) but still favor Democrats by a 36-point margin:
Trends in Party Identification of Religious Groups - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Even Jewish voters, who have traditionally been and remain one of the strongest Democratic constituencies, have moved noticeably in the Republican direction; Jewish voters favored the Democrats by a 52-point margin in 2008 but now prefer the Democratic Party by a significantly smaller 36-point margin. There has been less change in the partisanship of black Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, two other strongly Democratic groups.

I would guess that the margins of error also is larger on small religions.

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 07:47:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This says far more about the failure of the Democratic party than it does anything good for the Republicans.
by paving on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerusalem monastery, Jewish-Arab school defaced in suspected 'price tag' attack - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

A Jewish-Arab bilingual school and a Christian monastery in Jerusalem were defaced with graffiti on Tuesday in suspected "price tag" attacks carried out by Jewish extremists.

"Death to Arabs" and "Kahane was right" was daubed in Hebrew on a wall outside the bilingual school.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:47:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All 29 Kidnapped Chinese workers in Sudan freed, arrive in Kenyan capital - Xinhua | English.news.cn

NAIROBI, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-nine Chinese nationals abducted by local rebels in Sudan last month arrived on Tuesday afternoon at the Wilson Airport in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

The Chinese who were working at a construction site in Sudan had earlier boarded a plane chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan shortly after being released by the rebels. They reached the Kenyan airport at around 5:35 p.m. local time after 11 days in captivity.

The freed Chinese, some frail-looking, bearded and in T-shirts, are expected to set off for China after a short stay in Nairobi.

"I feel good," one of them told Xinhua reporters at the airport.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:49:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Republican candidates vie for votes in three US states - USA - FRANCE 24

Republican White House hopefuls vying in three presidential votes were unlikely Tuesday to knock Mitt Romney off his front-runner perch, despite a surge from conservative rival Rick Santorum.

Caucuses were being held in Colorado and Minnesota, with a third contest in Missouri, as the candidates eye a long slog through February, in the battle to be crowned the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:11:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain had to plead with US to take part in Iran flotilla - Telegraph

Defence sources have revealed that the Americans only relented and allowed a Royal Navy frigate to join the mission following an intervention from Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president.

The revelation that US defence chiefs saw little military value in UK participation will raise new questions about Britain's international clout after Coalition defence cuts.

Amid rising tensions in the region, the Royal Navy last month deployed HMS Argyll, a Type 23 frigate, to the Gulf.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly a special relationship.

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 Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:24:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Must have been especially gutting to have to get in through appealing to Sarkozy

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:31:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain had to plead with US to take part in Iran flotilla - Telegraph
The source described the approach of France and Britain as "classic willy-waving", accusing the two countries of posturing to conceal their military irrelevance to the confrontation with Iran.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and the more irrelevent, the more we must display our "ability" so we can bee seen as worthy of sitting at the top table.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:48:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have to maintain rank, or maybe we won't be able to keep arms sales up there where we want them.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:57:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So they were permitted to sent HMS Pinafore, a light, amusing frigate.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 07:42:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, shades of Suez in this Hormuz flotilla.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:58:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading the article, it was Sarko who threw a tantrum about being left out :

Britain had to plead with US to take part in Iran flotilla - Telegraph

British ministers initially signalled they would accept the Washington's conclusion that did not need allies to take part.

But the British position changed after Mr Sazkozy insisted to the US that a French warship must be present in the flotilla.

Sources said that Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, concluded that if the French were sending a ship, Britain must do so too. His decision to was then endorsed by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.

... so Cameron's me-too-ism was more about one-upmanship with respect to the French. Or playing gooseberry, if you will. Plain jealousy : "What about our special relationship?"

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 07:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're being led by very, very serious children.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 08:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also...

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 08:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And also...

(My WTFometer is permanently broken now.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 10:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colombia Reports: Colombia's Conservative Party on Tuesday admitted that parts of the country are suffering what a leading newspaper has called a security crisis, caused by an increase in FARC attacks and the growing strength of right-wing neo-paramilitary and drug gangs.

PANAMA CITY (AP) -- Indigenous groups in Panama are demanding the release of anti-mining protesters detained when police used tear gas to clear blockades of the Pan-American highway.

MercoPress: Surinam and the Caribbean island of Santa Lucia are in the process of becoming full members of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of America, ALBA group, while Haiti has been nominated "standing invited member".

Tim's El Salvador Blog: The United Nations issued a report last week pointing to the serious problems in El Salvador's criminal justice system

MEXICO CITY - Josefina Vazquez Mota was selected as the presidential candidate of Mexico's governing National Action Party, or PAN, in a primary election held over the weekend.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 08:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rick Santorum back in the race after sweeping wins over Mitt Romney | World news | guardian.co.uk
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has revived his flagging campaign with a trio of victories to upset frontrunner Mitt Romney's seemingly inevitable progress towards the party nomination.

Santorum achieved a clean sweep of the states being contested - Colorado, Minnesota and the non-binding 'beauty contest' primary in Missouri. It was a disastrous night for Romney, not only because he lost states that only a few days ago he had expected to win but due to the scale of the defeat, coming in a humbling third in Minnesota.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 02:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good news for Obama. Will drag out the republican primary a bit longer. Less time for Romney to fake moderation.
by IM on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 05:14:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Full Minnesota details here. Does anyone have any details about Benton County? Ron Paul won it, with Romney coming fourth....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 07:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is right accross the Mississippi from Saint Cloud State University, and the caucus system in Minnesota is a very low turnout affair, my guess is you had a lot of off-campus students in the part of Saint Cloud which is in Benton County caucusing for Paul in a big way.

I lived in a precinct with a big university population, in Saint Paul MN, and was precinct chair for three election cycles, of course in the other party. Two of the three cycles we had maybe 25 people show up, but in 2004, with a presidential nomination up for grabs, it was ten times that, with lots of students showing up. Kerry took the state quite handily that year, but in my precinct, he was third, with Kucinich first, just beating Edwards, who if memory serves actually had dropped out of the race just hours before commencement of the caucuses that night. Kerry a distant third.

Students can really bias the caucus numbers, especially in a mostly rural country like Benton with a marginal concentration of students at its western extremity.  

by redstar on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 07:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a delightful development in the non-stop trainwreck that has been the Republican Primary.  Obama will of course be re-elected, that's not even the story here.  
by paving on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the question is whether this is how a political party dies.

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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:32:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's a question of whether the political system dies. The only reason the Democrats aren't having this same sort of problem is that they aren't running primaries this year.

We need to get away from the primary system because it is what is driving the divisive political positioning. Right at the moment I favor a series of ranking elections--each one basically a non-partisan open primary using a ranking system. That way you can gradually move towards a single candidate...

by asdf on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 09:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like the Louisiana primaries, for instance?

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 Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 03:58:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
10-year sentence is stretched to `indefinite' | Jerusalem Post
The supreme rabbinical court of appeals upheld a life sentence handed down to a man who has refused for ten years to give his wife a bill of divorce.

Meir Gorodetzki was imprisoned by the Jerusalem rabbinical court in 2001 for refusing to allow his wife to divorce him and has spent the last ten years in jail for his ongoing refusal to give his wife a bill of divorce, or get.

[...]

Gorodetzki appealed the case to the rabbinical court of appeals, the Great Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem, claiming that the sentence infringed the country's Basic Law of human dignity and freedom.

In the hearing in November, details of which have only now been released, the panel of rabbinical judges - headed by rabbinical supreme court president Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger - ruled against Gorodetzki. In a creative interpretation of the law, the judges ruled that it is Gorodetzki himself who is restricting his own freedom, as well as that of his wife, and that he holds the keys to his personal liberty.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 05:49:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forced to take a holiday. Sounds like he was taking his job too seriously:

China's anti-gang police chief placed on 'stress leave' | World news | guardian.co.uk

Wang's career seems made for the movies: according to the South China Morning Post, he has 20 scars from knife and bullet wounds, and was once in a coma for 10 days because of his long-term battle with the Triads.

But on Wednesday, Chongqing's information office posted a microblog message announcing: "According to information, because of long-term overwork, vice mayor Wang Lijun is highly stressed and in poor health. He is now accepting vacation-style treatment."

The remark sounded as striking in Chinese as it did in English, and was forwarded tens of thousands of times, with several well-known figures joking that they too were receiving "vacation-style treatment".



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 08:33:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 02:59:51 PM EST
BBC News - Five workers missing after Japan refinery collapse

Five workers are missing after an undersea tunnel collapsed at one of Japan's biggest oil refineries, emergency services have said.

The workers were in the partially built tunnel at Kurashiki, 550km (345 miles) west of Tokyo, when it caved in.

A survivor "said that sea water came gushing in" and flooded the tunnel.

Police rescue divers have entered the vertical shaft of the tunnel, but are battling against poor visibility because of debris, mud and oil.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:37:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Securing public health forever with clean energy - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

I ask myself, why is it so difficult for nations to reach a consensus on solving the three major problems of our age: air pollution mortality, global warming and energy security. These problems are caused by the same thing - how we obtain our energy. The solution is simple: change our sources of energy. Why hasn't this been done? Because politicians and the public have been led to believe by industries with a financial interest in the current infrastructure that, given enough time and money, they can solve the problems themselves, or that their latest products are good enough.

Don't be fooled by the smoke and mirrors.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:42:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
three major problems of our age
Preceded by a forth: overpopulation. I might also suggest that air pollution mortality isn't as debilitating to civilization as pollution induced infirmity. Replacing those killed isn't as difficult as renewing the health of those who survive, or those who are born into a world already sick.
by Andhakari on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:34:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China to raise gasoline, diesel prices - Xinhua | English.news.cn

China will raise the retail prices for gasoline and diesel by 300 yuan (47.53 U.S. dollars) per tonne starting Feb. 8, the country's top economic planner said Tuesday.

The benchmark retail price of gasoline will be lifted by 0.22 yuan per liter and diesel by 0.26 yuan per liter, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The latest price change, which has been anticipated by the market, comes amid rising pressure for the country's refineries, as the increasing international crude oil futures prices keep driving up their operation costs.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaping UK carbon emissions deliver two red-hot lessons | Damian Carrington | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The big jump in the UK's carbon emissions has two searing lessons for energy and climate secretary Ed Davey, newly installed in the hot seat.

First, he must prevent his department's flagship "green deal" plan to boost the warmth of the nation's ageing and draughty homes from self-combusting in a blaze of apathy, as it is currently on course to do. Secondly, he must pour a little cold water on the UK establishment's burning love affair with nuclear power, to take better account of its unreliability.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaping UK carbon emissions deliver two red-hot lessons | Damian Carrington | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The biggest reactor in the country, Sizewell B, was offline for six months, meaning more coal and gas had to be burned to fill the electricity gap, pumping more climate-warming gases into the air. Other reactors had problems too in 2010 and more recently events as varied as a rogue school of jellyfish and winter tornadoes have closed atomic energy plants.

When a wind turbine explodes, as in a recent storm, a megwatt of power is lost. When a nuclear plant falls off the grid, 1000 megawatts is lost. The comparison puts the lie to the sceptics charge that wind power is "unreliable".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 05:50:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How the 'wind farms increase climate change' myth was born | Leo Hickman | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Such is the viral nature of information flow on the internet, we can sometimes see myths and memes developing before our very eyes. Just such an example has occurred over recent days with the rather irresistible news that wind farms can "increase climate change".

The article that really gave this idea a push online was published on Sunday evening on the Daily Mail's website. It was delivered with the headline: "Wind farms can actually INCREASE climate change by raising temperatures and causing downpours, warn academics."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:53:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a small example of the Daily Mail comments:

Wind farms can actually INCREASE climate change by raising temperatures, warn academics | Mail Online

Very pleased to see that this quasi-religious fanaticism masquerading as science is being further exposed. 'Global warming' suddenly became 'climate change' after it was discovered that the earth was inconveniently cooling, now wind farms are shown to be nothing but a symbol of green fascism. Continue the proper research!

Knew you'd like it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US Senate backs China on EU airlines carbon tax - AVIATION - FRANCE 24
The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has infuriated the Chinese, which has banned its airlines from contributing, while a bill has been approved by the US Senate calling on the government to use "all tools" to keep US operators exempt.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:11:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This just beggars belief. Are they disputing the right of the EU to tax any economic activity taking place on its own soil?

How is that discriminatory or protectionnist (the words appear in the article) when it applies to all airlines?

There are already airport taxes -this is simply an airport tax said to be linked to CO2 emissions. Yet it is branded unlawful?!?

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 03:43:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this is why the EU is being undermined, hell sabotaged!

between US and China, we matter, but only if united.

as individual nations we are just inconsequential, compared to the giant behemoths, who both hate anything that interferes with destructo-capitalism.

fuck the future, basically. the glitter of power is about now.

and the EU with its noble ideas... time to castrate it permanently.

or were the noble ideas just cover for bankster-as-usual behaviour, no longer necessary now we know who our lords and masters are, no more lipstick needed.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 12:48:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe should draw a hard line if they really believe in this tax.   Not paying the fee?  Well then fuck off.  It will be great for business as European airlines and others willing to follow the rules take-over all of those profitable international routes.
by paving on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:15:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How £50m in UN food aid for starving went to buy wheat from Glencore
More than £50m of World Food Programme aid to feed the starving has ended up in the hands of a London-listed commodities trader run by billionaires, despite a pledge by the United Nations agency to buy food from "very poor farmers".

Glencore International, which buys up supplies from farmers and sells them on at a profit, was the biggest single supplier of wheat to the WFP over the last eight months, the Guardian can reveal.

...

Details of the dealings with Glencore, which controls 8% of the global wheat market, emerged a year after the head of the WFP committed to buying food from local farmers.

...

Over the last eight months Glencore has sold wheat worth $78m (£50m) to the WFP, according to details of contracts published on the agency's website.

In the biggest single deal, the WFP bought $22.5m of Glencore wheat in July last year to feed Ethiopians in one the worst famines in recent memory. The WFP also bought Glencore wheat, sorghum and yellow split peas for Kenya, Djibouti, Bangladesh, Sudan, North Korea and Palestine. Last month the WFP spent $10.8m on wheat for drought-stricken Djibouti.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 07:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Glencore was the World Food Programme's most viable option
It is hard, in fact, to see what else WFP could have done. A big purchase of $22.5m was made from Glencore in July, which is when famine was declared in the Horn of Africa.

...

The problem is that humanitarian aid is typically hand to mouth and last minute, which forces agencies to buy on international markets at their peak, as Chatham House fellow Rob Bailey points out. What is needed is for donors to look further ahead and cough up money in time. At the moment, WFP has a $150m revolving fund with which it is allowed to buy ahead to anticipate crises, small stuff compared with the $1.23bn total it needed to feed the starving in 2011. It would be good, too, if its programme to buy from small farmers locally and improve storage capacity in poorer countries were bigger.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 07:32:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This just shows the absurdity of UN food aid. If the idea is to feed the poor, the UN should of course buy the cheapest wheat they can find. But if the task is to subsidise poor farmers, they might just as well just hand out checks to them.

To me it seems it's all been muddled in true aid-inudstrial complex style, where it's about being "nice" without thinking of the consequences. And indeed, the PR trick works, with the media catching on the "evil big corporation angle" so popular amoing fasionable leftists who have no idea what the role of corporations actually are, only that they are evil. Then they head out shopping "chic" goods from those very same corporations.

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

by Starvid on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 08:17:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The task is not to subsidise poor farmers, but to encourage local production by paying a decent price for produce - as opposed to the EU and the US subsidising their farmers and subsidising the export of grain that ends up undercutting local farmers in the countries it goes to. Feeding the hungry is not a matter of handing out the cheapest food available, but of local agriculture finding incentives to produce more and better food.

That should be the overall strategy - but, in the case of a famine like the Horn of Africa, buying up large stocks on the world market may be necessary to ensure survival rations for large numbers of people at a moment of crisis.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 10:06:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Gates backs climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering | Environment | The Guardian
Other wealthy individuals have also funded a series of reports into the future use of technologies to geoengineer the climate

A small group of leading climate scientists, financially supported by billionaires including Bill Gates, are lobbying governments and international bodies to back experiments into manipulating the climate on a global scale to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The scientists, who advocate geoengineering methods such as spraying millions of tonnes of reflective particles of sulphur dioxide 30 miles above earth, argue that a "plan B" for climate change will be needed if the UN and politicians cannot agree to making the necessary cuts in greenhouse gases, and say the US government and others should pay for a major programme of international research.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 03:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Gates will fix humanity's future like he fixed PCs.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 03:48:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately I think you are right and like with the PC's he will make lots of money from it. :-( And unfortunately he is not the only one working along this line.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 04:10:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair Gates does not seem that interested in making money any longer.  He's fully into the spending it phase.  While no philanthropy is beyond reproach the Gates Foundation is generally doing some very good work.
by paving on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:17:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:00:24 PM EST
m.guardian.co.uk
Sky News has told its journalists not to repost information from any Twitter users who are not an employee of the broadcaster.An email to staff on Tuesday laid out new social media guidelines for Sky News employees, including a contentious ban on retweeting rival "journalists or people on Twitter".The new guidelines also warn Sky News journalists to "stick to your own beat" and not to tweet about non-work subjects from their professional accounts.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:30:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Times Editor Apologizes for Misleading U.K. Court - Bloomberg

News Corp.'s Times newspaper in London misled a court and lawyers for a police officer who suspected his e-mail account had been hacked by a reporter, editor James Harding told a media inquiry.

"In the last couple of weeks, I've learned a great deal more about what happened in this incident," Harding told the inquiry that was set up in response to the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp.'s now defunct News of the World. "I sorely regret the intrusion."

Reporter Patrick Foster hacked into officer Richard Horton's e-mail in May 2009 to expose him as the writer of an unauthorized "Nightjack" blog about police work. Lawyers for Horton, to prevent the story from being published, raised the possibility that the e-mail had been illegally accessed.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Times editor apologises to NightJack blogger | THE FREE SPEECH BLOG

The editor of the Times has admitted to the Leveson Inquiry that a reporter at his paper used email hacking to reveal the identity of anonymous police blogger, NightJack, in a 2009 story.

James Harding was discussing an incident which former Times reporter Patrick Foster had identified the blogger as Richard Horton by gaining access to anonymous email account run by Horton.

Harding, recalled to give further evidence, said he had "learnt a great deal more" about the circumstances surrounding the event since his last appearance at the Inquiry a month ago.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:59:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Princess Caroline of Monaco loses press privacy fight

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a complaint by Princess Caroline of Monaco, in a ruling backing media rights on celebrity reporting.

The princess and her husband argued that a photo of the couple on holiday while her father, Prince Rainier, was ill violated their privacy.

They took the case to Strasbourg after German courts rejected their argument.

But the human rights court upheld the German decision, in a ruling that could affect privacy laws across Europe.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:13:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment is Free: London is increasingly policed by force not consent - thanks to its mayors (Brian Paddick)
While those on the right call for plastic bullets and water cannons and those on the left blame cuts by the coalition government, we are missing a crucial point: the authority of the police is no longer accepted by an increasingly large number of people. Unless this position is reversed, nearly two centuries of policing by consent - where the public agree to co-operate with the police and actively support them - will have to be abandoned. Unless drastic changes are made, routine policing, not just during riots, will have to be carried out by force, by a significantly larger number of police officers.

...

For decades, police chiefs and their political masters have failed to deal with a range of issues that are undermining public trust and confidence in the police. Their reaction to declining police performance has been to increase police powers and, particularly in London, the police have invested significant resources in reputation management. The result has been an erosion of individuals' rights and an unhealthy relationship between the police and the media, further undermining public support.

...

While the white majority in London may not feel over-policed, increasing abstractions from response teams - made worse by Boris Johnson allowing police numbers in the capital to fall by 1,700 - has blunted the Met's ability to respond to public calls for help. Increasingly the police attend too late or not at all, or claim the matter is too trivial. If the police don't respond when we call, we are going to give up calling.



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 Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:01:00 PM EST
BBC News - Ammanford police concern for 'Wolfman' Wayne Morgan's welfare

Police say there are concerns for the welfare of a man who has been living rough in woods in Carmarthenshire for several years.

They want anyone who has seen Wayne Morgan in woods at Pantyffynnon near Ammanford to contact them.

Police said Mr Morgan, aged 37, who is know locally as "Wolfman", lives an alternative lifestyle but has not been seen recently.

Sgt Teresa Ross said they were trying to trace his whereabouts.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 03:40:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jean Jülich - Telegraph

He was born on April 18 1929 in the working-class Cologne suburb of Sülz and was just seven years old when his father, a member of the Communist Party, was arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to 10 years' hard labour. Jean's grandmother and aunt were also imprisoned for six months and Jean was placed in an orphanage until they were released, when he went to live with his grandparents.

Later he was sent to a Nazi Reichsbahn (railway) training centre in the Nippes suburb of Cologne which, he recalled, "consisted of a factory, school, Hitler Youth - all in one". In 1942 he dropped out and joined the "Edelweiss Pirates".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CCTV police officer 'chased himself' after being mistaken for burglar - Telegraph

The junior officer, who has not been named, was monitoring an area hit by a series of burglaries in an unnamed market town in the country's south.

As the probationary officer from Sussex Police searched for suspects, the camera operator radioed that he had seen someone "acting suspiciously" in the area.

But he failed to realise that it was actually the plain-clothed officer he was watching on the screen, according to details leaked to an industry magazine.

The operator directed the officer, who was on foot patrol, as he followed the "suspect" on camera last month, telling his colleague on the ground that he was "hot on his heels".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:31:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ROFL

Good think there weren't two police officers involved. There might have been a death...

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 Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:40:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced he wasn't new and annoying, and it's the police equivalent of sending him to the stores for a long stand, or a can of striped paint. :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:46:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, he was
The anonymous officer, believed to be the PC's sergeant, told the monthly magazine: "An officer who joined a team in Sussex as a new probationary officer was soon very keen to do any plain-clothes operations and be as proactive as possible.

"He would be waiting at the end of his shift hoping to be unleashed for a further couple of hours of plain-clothes duties.

...

"With the sergeant's sides aching from laughter he pointed out to the PC that the operator had been watching him unaware that he was a pain-clothes officer - thus the PC had been chasing himself round the streets."



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 Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 04:58:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it had happened in America, the incident would have ended with the officer tazing himself.
by Andhakari on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 06:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Newsbeat - Rare Ferrari 250 GTO sells for 'more than £20m'

An extremely rare Ferrari 250 GTO, one of just 39 built, has been sold for more than £20m ($31m).

The car's seller is thought to be Jon Hunt, the founder of Foxtons estate agency, although the businessman has declined to comment on the matter.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 05:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Reality-Based Community: More on the Pursuit of Unhappiness
Last year I wrote about discovering that American Airlines had a better club hidden inside the airport club which I had previously thought was the only club there was. My excitement at entry to "the next level" faded when I began to wonder "Is there a better club inside the club that is inside the club, and why haven't they let me in?".


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 Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 05:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a frasier episode that covers that, they get into a health spar, sit around saying how great it is till they discover theres a gold level room,  badger and get access and all is fine till they discover the platinum room, then discover a door in the corner, become disatisfied, and conspire to break in, and find themselves locked out by the bins

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 08:41:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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