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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 10 February

by In Wales Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 04:02:11 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1891 - death of Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya who was responsible for important original contributions to analysis, differential equations and mechanics, and the first woman appointed to a full professorship in Northern Europe.

More here and here

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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:18:37 PM EST
Germany takes strong stance on gay rights | Germany | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

The German foreign ministry has announced strong support of gay rights around the world.

"In foreign affairs, the German government strongly objects to any discrimination based on sexual orientation," the Foreign Ministry said on its website. "It will do everything it can to fight discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals."

The goal is not always easy to implement. Nevertheless, German human rights commissioner Markus Löning sees it as an important part of his work.

"Homosexuals are discriminated against in many countries," he said, "whether in Africa, Asia or Europe. In many nations, there is societal discrimination against homosexuals."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:34:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really, well they can start with this rotten story..

PinkNews - German trans girl `to be institutionalised'

News that an 11 year old trans girl in Berlin, Germany, is about to be committed to a mental institution by local authorities - following intervention by her absent father - has prompted grave concern by the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO).

A petition has also been started on change.org.

According to a statement released by IGLYO yesterday, the girl, elsewhere identified only as "Alex" (Alexandra) lives with her mother, who supports her gender expression. However, the girl's father, divorced and separated from her mother, strongly rejects this view of his daughter's gender identity and wants to force her to grow up as a boy.

given how brilliant Germany was with regard to Kim Petras, this looks like a move in entirely the wrong direction

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 02:31:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for shining the light. Wouldn't have known had you not pointed it out. How truly unfortunate for Alex. I'm sure her life will be difficult until she reaches majority and can do as she pleases. I'm amazed that an absentee father could have such power to have a child "committed to a mental institution" because of gender issues. People should just plain be allowed to be who they want to be.
by sgr2 on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 12:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Hollande on potential collision course with Merkel
BRUSSELS - Francois Hollande, socialist challenger for the French presidency, has honed his general opposition to the German-led fiscal discipline treaty by outlining the concrete changes he would like to see made to the document.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:49:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Dutch far right opens anti-Polish hotline
BRUSSELS - The Dutch far-right Freedom Party (PVV), a key ally of the centre-right coalition government, on Wednesday (8 February) opened up a website to collect complaints about people from Central and Eastern Europe residing in The Netherlands.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy promises populist unemployment referendum - France - FRANCE 24

AFP - French President Nicolas Sarkozy took another big step towards confirming he will stand for re-election on Thursday, taking a populist turn with promises of referendums on jobs and immigration.

Le Monde reported he might declare his candidacy as early as next Thursday, but there was no official confirmation from the office of the right-wing leader, who polls say would lose the vote to a Socialist rival.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:52:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish Judge Garzon convicted of wiretapping - SPAIN - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Spain's Supreme Court disbarred Judge Baltasar Garzon for 11 years on Thursday for illegally tapping defence lawyers' conversations, which may effectively end his career of international human rights trials.

Although less severe than a 20-year-ban the prosecution had originally demanded, the ruling is not subject to appeal. Garzon, 56, is also liable to a fine of some 2,500 euros($3,300).

"We shall carry on fighting, carry on appealing. We have a long road ahead, but I believe both he and I are more than strong enough," Garzon's lawyer Javier Baena said after the sentence.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:53:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Further cancellations as French airline strike enters last day - France - FRANCE 24

AFP - French flag-carrier Air France cancelled more than a third of its long-haul flights and a quarter of shorter journeys Thursday as a four-day strike by aviation workers entered its final day.

The strike by pilots, flight attendants and ground staff was costing Air France eight to 10 million euros ($11-$13 million) per day, the company said.

Air France said it was operating 65 percent of its long-haul flights and 75 percent of medium- and short-haul flights, including by regional subsidiaries.

About the same proportion of flights had been cancelled on the third day of the strike on Wednesday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:05:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy ally charged with influence peddling - France - FRANCE 24
AP - Three investigating judges have filed preliminary charges against former Labor Minister Eric Woerth for "passive influence peddling" after becoming ensnared in a scandal involving the fortunes of the L'Oreal heiress.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:06:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gorbachev: Putin has exhausted himself as Russian leader | World news | The Guardian

The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said Vladimir Putin has exhausted himself as Russia's leader.

Gorbachev, who called on Putin to step down as protests against his rule grew in December, said the powerful prime minister could face a sustained popular uprising against his rule similar to those seen in Arab capitals.

"He has exhausted himself," Gorbachev said during a lecture at a Moscow university on Thursday. "If he does not overcome himself, change the way things are - and I think it will be difficult for him to do that - then everything will end up on city squares."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:12:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unions threaten fresh strikes over pension reforms | Society | The Guardian

The government is facing the threat of renewed industrial action over its controversial pension reforms after unions representing hundreds of thousands of NHS workers, civil servants, firefighters and teachers raised the prospect of widespread strikes.

Leaders of more than 700,000 public sector workers warned of co-ordinated strikes on 28 March over proposals to raise pension contributions, lower pensions and raise retirement ages.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:14:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Eurogroup is sceptical about the agreement - another High Noon next week
Greek parties agree a deal with a hole to be plugged later; the eurogroup dismisses the deal, and says it wants the hole to be plugged, a parliamentary agreement, and a written statement by all leaders that they would honour it after the elections; the gap of €325m is likely to come from cuts in military expenditures and of moving forward agree wage cuts; parliament likely to accept, but some MPs said they will vote against, the Pasok deputy labour minister resigned in protest, and unions to call a 48-hour strike; Mario Draghi says he is willing to forgo profits on the ECB's stake; the WSJ story of a ESB/EFSF debt swap is also confirmed as correct; Stephen Fidler argues that such a swap would increase bondholder incentives to accept PSI; Mohamed El-Erian explains that this agreement will collapse sooner or later; a camera catches Wolfgang Schauble promising more aid to Vitor Gaspar of Portugal; the German government considers scrapping of solidarity tax to win over the SPD in the Bundesrat in support of its proposed tax cuts; Sarkozy proposes a referendum on changes in the unemployment benefits and the legal situation of foreigners in France; German banks regret not having participated more massively in the LTRO, as Draghi criticises Josef Ackermann; ECB will balance increased risks in their loosened collateral framework with steep haircuts; Boersenzeitung, meanwhile, declares the end of the eurosystem.


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 10th, 2012 at 05:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Godlike Productions: Greek Police threatening the arrest of ECB, EU and IMF representatives!!! - with link to Greek original.

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 10th, 2012 at 07:09:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hose streets? Our streets! Belgian firefighters soak police in protest | The Guardian
Several hundred Belgian firefighters have broken through police lines in Brussels and hosed down the prime minister's office in protest at the government's tougher retirement plans.

The firefighters want to keep their early retirement age at 58, arguing their arduous job does not allow them to work into their 60s.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 12:22:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:18:51 PM EST
Greece plays waiting game during eurozone meeting | Europe | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

Despite Greek political leaders finally agreeing on austerity measures to secure a second bailout, eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels are wavering on whether to green light the loans.

Despite reaching a deal Thursday on austerity measures demanded by Greece's international lenders as a condition for further aid, Greece does not have its next bailout completely locked up.

Final word still needs to be given by European finance ministers, who are meeting in Brussels. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, arriving for the meeting, said Greece "now needed the political endorsement of the eurogroup for the final step."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Greece announces breakthrough in bail-out talks

BRUSSELS - The new Greek bail-out began to take shape on Thursday (9 February) afternoon, when Prime Minister Lucas Papademos got political backing for his austerity plan and the European Central Bank signalled it might help.

"The government's discussions with the troika were concluded successfully this morning on the issue which had remained open for further elaboration. The political leaders have agreed on the result of these discussions ... Thus there is general agreement on the content of the new program," he said in a press statement.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:46:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek coalition leaders agree on bailout reforms - GREECE - FRANCE 24

AFP - Greece's coalition leaders on Thursday reached a "general agreement" on additional austerity measures demanded by EU-IMF creditors in return for a debt bailout, the government said ahead of crunch eurozone talks.

"There is a general agreement on the contents of the new programme," the government said in a statement, referring to a eurozone bailout worth 130 billion euros ($171 billion) that officials have laboured on since October.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Central Bank battles credit crunch | Europe | DW.DE | 09.02.2012
For many financial market experts, the European Central Bank (ECB) is the last hope for containing the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. The highly indebted states within the 17-member euro currency zone as well as Great Britain and the US continue to demand that the ECB fire up the presses and flood the market with cheap money.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:34:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB holds interest rate steady, sees signs of eurozone stabilization | Business | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

The European Central Bank has kept eurozone borrowing costs at an historic low of 1 percent, after cutting rates twice in recent months. Uncertainty about the eurozone economy is still high, the bank says.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi explained the ECB's rate decision to keep the lending rate at 1 percent with improvements in the eurozone economy in the past month, although he said uncertainty would remain high.

"Available survey indicators confirm some tentative signs of stabilization of economic activity at low level around the turn of the year," Draghi told a news conference after the bank's monthly policy meeting in Frankfurt.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:40:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
"Available survey indicators confirm some tentative signs of stabilization of economic activity at low level around the turn of the year,"

sounds like more green shoots bout to pop up!

i was getting worried there for a minute...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German hotels attracted record number of guests in 2011 | Business | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

Hotels across Germany boasted a record number of overnight stays last year. The considerable increase was due to more guests from both home and farther afield, with end-of-year tourism particularly brisk.

German hotels posted a record number of 394.1 million overnight stays in 2011, the Federal Statistics Office reported on Thursday. It meant a four-percent year-on-year increase.

The number of hotel guests from home soared to 330.3 million people, up three percent on 2010 levels. 68.8 million people came from abroad - a six percent rise compared to 2010 figures.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:41:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Opinion / Financial transactions tax: No surrogates, please

BRUSSELS - Since economist James Tobin launched the idea in 1972, we have never been closer to the implementation of a financial transaction tax (FTT). However, we risk getting a tax with its name, but only few of the characteristics which make it a tool for equity and sustainable development. Only the original can help to cure an ailing financial system, not a stripped down surrogate.

The FTT debate is rather technical and complex. Instead of one tax, we are actually talking about a variety of possible taxes depending on variables like tax rate, introduction on primary and/or secondary markets, measures to counter tax evasion, and the number of countries participating.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:46:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oracle buys "human capital" firm in $1.9 billion deal - FRANCE 24

AFP - Oracle on Thursday announced a $1.9-billion deal to buy Internet-based "human capital" management firm Taleo Corporation.

"Human capital management has become a strategic initiative for organizations," Oracle development executive vice president Thomas Kurian said in a release.

"Taleo's industry leading talent management cloud is an important addition to the Oracle Public Cloud."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:02:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:19:06 PM EST
US has limited options against Syria | World | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

As the Syrian government cracks down brutally on the opposition, calls to protect civilians are growing louder. But many defense experts warn against military intervention.

The messages coming out of Washington these days are loud and clear. "(Bashar al-Assad) must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately," Obama said over the weekend. "Your days are numbered," said Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations, delivering a message to the Syrian president in an interview with CNN.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Six-day death toll in Homs blitz 'exceeds 400' - SYRIA - FRANCE 24

AFP - Regime forces launched a new blitz on the Syrian city of Homs on Thursday, killing more than 50 people, activists said, as the UN weighed a joint mission with the Arab League to end the violence.

Shelling erupted at daybreak, killing 53 civilians in the besieged central city and burning several bodies beyond recognition, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Government troops trying to crush opponents of President Bashar al-Assad have killed at least 400 people in a relentless six-day onslaught on Homs, activists say.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:02:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Skills for today's Africa | Learning by Ear | DW.DE |
Life is quickly changing in Africa: Internet and mobile phone usage continues to grow, yet thousands of people are still cut off from the digital world. Young Africans search for their perspective in a globalized, knowledge-based society and wonder which path will lead them to a successful career or education. For instance, many ask what opportunities for learning and studying are available online and what opportunities globalization has to offer. Thousands more want to study in Europe, but don't know what awaits them there.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Palestinian leadership backs Fatah-Hamas Doha deal - FRANCE 24

AFP - The Palestinian leadership on Thursday endorsed the latest agreement between the heads of Fatah and Hamas and called for preparations for elections to be speeded up.

Palestinian president and Fatah head Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal inked an accord in Doha on Monday placing Abbas at the head of an interim government to supervise the run-up to elections later this year.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Record' Palestinian hunger striker appeals detention - FRANCE 24

AFP - A Palestinian on hunger strike since December 18 appealed his detention without charge on Thursday in a special court session held in an Israeli hospital, his lawyer told AFP.

Khader Adnan has been on hunger strike for 54 days, longer than any Palestinian prisoner before him according to Palestinian officials, protesting what he calls his unjust detention and mistreatment by Israeli authorities.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:04:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Striking Brazil police end standoff with army - BRAZIL - FRANCE 24
Striking police officers in Brazil's northeast state of Bahia ended their occupation of a government building on Thursday, but their strike threatened to grow to six other states and disrupt this year's Carnival celebrations, local press reported.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:05:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Washington state lawmakers pass gay marriage bill - UNITED STATES - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - A bill to legalize gay marriage in Washington state won final legislative approval on Wednesday in a vote that moved the state one step closer to becoming the seventh to recognize same-sex nuptials.

Washington's Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire said she looked forward to signing the measure and "putting into law an end to an era of discrimination" even as opponents, led by religious conservatives, vowed to seek its repeal at the polls in November.

The approval in the state House of Representatives came a day after gay marriage advocates won a key legal victory in California when a federal appeals court declared a voter-approved gay marriage ban in that state unconstitutional.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN calls on Mali's Tuareg rebels to halt advance - Mali - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - The United Nations called on rebels in northern Mali on Wednesday to halt their offensive, shortly after they seized the strategic border town of Tinzawatene and forced government troops to withdraw into Algeria.

The fighting in the remote northeastern town followed a three-week desert advance by a Tuareg-led rebel force, helped by Malians returning from the Libyan conflict, which has forced nearly 60,000 civilians to flee their homes.

"The Secretary-General condemns the use of violence as a means to achieve political objectives," a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Madonna fans beg Netanyahu to put off Iran strike until after concert
http://www.haaretz.com/culture/arts-leisure/israeli-fans-beg-pm-to-hold-off-iran-attack-over-madonna -show-1.412014
by stevesim on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 04:05:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After having seen a few minutes of M's lip syncing and arthritic dancing for the super bowl half-time, I might be inclined to support a war if it would put her into permanent retirement.
by Andhakari on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 03:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nancy Pelosi: Because Americans deserve a better tomorrow today.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 03:09:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:19:40 PM EST
Thousands stranded by Europe's deep freeze - WEATHER - FRANCE 24

AFP - Helicopters ferried food and medicine to iced-in villagers Wednesday as Europe's 12-day-old cold snap tightened its frigid grip on the continent, where more than 400 have died as a result.

Eastern countries such as Poland and Ukraine account for more than half of the death toll, and dozens more have succumbed to the weather's secondary effects, such as asphyxiation due to shoddy heating.

Heavy snows eased in Bosnia but the bitter cold continued, especially in the south and southeast where temperatures dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit.)

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:09:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greg Barker: 4m homes will be solar-powered by 2020 | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Nearly 4m homes across the UK will be powered by the sun within eight years, the government said on Thursday, in a dramatic increase of ambition for the fledgling solar power industry.

But the estimate comes on the back of a cut in the subsidies available for solar energy generation, to take effect from April, which will greatly reduce the amount of money households with solar panels will receive. Ministers said the cut was needed because the costs of solar panels have plummeted in recent months, and the new rules follow an unsuccessful attempt to impose cuts last year that was judged unlawful in the courts.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and there's no reason why it couldn't be 40 million, how much does trident cost?

panels getting cheaper should be an endorsement of intelligent use of government and a success on all levels.

panels getting cheaper should encourage more rollout, which will bring prices down more, and lower risks of foreign occupations and terrorism.

something administration does that does deserve praise and they can't cut it quick enough.

wtf?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but solar energy is associated with DFHs while nuclear, gas and oil are all about corporate profits. Guess which side the Conservatives favour

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 02:37:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Yes, but solar energy is associated with DFHs while nuclear, gas and oil are all about corporate profits."

Yet, somehow, the country with the highest nuclear penetration has its entire park state-owned.
Funny how that works.

As for the UK, solar energy benefitted from absolutely huge subsidies that were actually a direct transfer to big houses owners. Not a policy likely to displease the right of course.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 03:47:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but isn't Areva a privately owned company?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 06:17:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's 90% state-owned : mostly through the CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique), founded by De Gaulle in 1945.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 08:35:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure the plan was to put on a show of supporting the cute green but hopelessly noncompetitive technology and then explain to the voters that, although the government wanted to do the right thing, there just wasn't enough money for it. But then everything went willy-nilly and prices came down, and installations worked, etc etc. What a disaster.
How are they going to justify building nuclear reactors with the attendant blight on the landscape and environment with wind and solar doing so well?
by Andhakari on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 03:16:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Errr... because no single technology would allow you to have a functional grid. They serve different purposes.

Plus, you are a LOOONNNGGG way from having solar and wind producing anywhere near the required electricity in the UK -and solar remains a rather silly choice at those latitudes and with this cloud cover.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 03:44:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Renewable power advocates of necessity have had to focus on their industries, but have never claimed anything but a fully integrated sustainable grid. Addressing both generation and demand.

So these are just strong steps toward achieving that goal. Using PV in cloudy northern climes will prove to be a useful benefit, and certainly can't hurt during the transition period which is now decades overdue.

The integrated renewable grid is coming. Germany's 10 gigawatts of midday peak power the past weeks during the deep cold front had a strong positive effect, but of course only in a mature integrated grid is the long term security of supply served.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 04:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK is an ideal area for wind development, and it can be built much faster than nuclear, at comparable costs, without the pollution and waste baggage. And the waste issue for nuclear is always deferred. It's hard for me to take this persistent deus ex machina seriously.
I wouldn't suggest shutting down all UK nukes tomorrow, but I believe approximately half the capacity is due for retirement before long. Let it go. It's just an expensive dirty blighting method of boiling water.
by Andhakari on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 04:50:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me take this a step farther, incorporating Cyrille's comment that no single technology can make a reliable grid, and

Plus, you are a LOOONNNGGG way from having solar and wind producing anywhere near the required electricity in the UK

Repeat, no one on the renewable side wants anything less than the viable mix of technologies creating a smart, sustainable grid. Many of the necessary technologies commercially exist, remaining are in various stages of likely. Given that we are using what's already built until retirement time, there is a time window long enough to incorporate all which needs to be accomplished.

LOOOONNNGGG way? Sorry, not at all true. When Romania alone this year installed 2/3 of the UK onshore wind capacity, and when 5 European countries are ALREADY between 10% and 25% of electrical demand, then what you mean by long is a short.

The complete maturity of the onshore windpower supply chain in Europe has already proven how quickly modular wind can scale up. In the UK this hasn't happened because of anemic governmental policy and will, poor and unworkable neo-lib financing methods, and an organized anti-wind effort underwritten by the usual suspects.

Given that we're discussing the premier wind resource in Europe, with ONSHORE capacity factors reaching from the low 30's in the worst areas to the low 40's in the best, the UK program is a travesty.

With normal supply chain growth, the UK could go from 2 gigs/yr to 6 gigs a year by 2015 EASILY, the equivalent of several giant nukes a year, long before the first nuke is even permitted, much less financed and under a decade of construction.

The existing fossil plants can handle that for generation, and the grid itself can be modernized within the same time frame.

The UK would supplant Denmark's percentage before 2020, while creating an actual industry for itself. Scotland will could equal that sooner.

The only LOOONNNGGG in the equation are the noses of the lying opposition.


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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 07:33:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SHORTER VERSION:

The UK is a very sick puppy.

Portugal already has 2/3 the wind capacity as the entire UK, including UK offshore. France (not wind friendly) and Italy already surpass the UK totals.

REminder: we're discussing the most powerful onshore resource in Yurp.

Googlize Renewable Obligation Certificates if you want to learn the madness. Or Fox hunting.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 07:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
don't we know it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 09:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Sorry, not at all true. When Romania alone this year installed 2/3 of the UK onshore wind capacity"

Absolutely irrelevant. What matters is not how high the ratio of too weak an existing capacity in a different country. It's how long would be a realistic schedule for having a grid with only wind and PV in the UK.

That would take a long while. Yes, I do include the fact that British law makes it harder to deliver quick large scale projects. And remember that to have 100% from wind and PV would need other adjustments than just having the new plants online.

Of course, a new nuclear plant would have major issues too, I'm not saying it should be built, just that PV costs falling does not make it obvious that any other energy source should be scrapped immediately. And I dispute "Given that we are using what's already built until retirement time". If it's coal, it's got to go. If it's oil or gas, to be reduced if possible.

Nobody here disputes that the UK has a lot of wind potential and could do a lot more. Pointing that out does not refute that the country is a very long way from having a grid that uses no other energy source than wind and PV. I find it quite insulting that you gave the impression that it did.

Now the point about nuclear waste actually is an incentive to build a plant -provided it is a fast reactor, using the waste as fuel. Hitachi offered to do it for free if they did not manage to build it within 5 years. How about letting them prove their point while building all the wind turbines that we can in the meantime?

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 10:20:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did not mean to be insulting, in fact, wasn't. First I am not arguing for an all wind and PV grid, as i've stated over and over.

But to have wind a very high penetration in the grid, i also stated is now  EASY to do FAST in a mature industry, which wind has already proven. I stated the UK could ramp up to 6 gigs a year within 3 years, that's huge. Wind's current capacity total in the UK is 6.5 gigs, equal to 4.5% of annual demand. So i claim 4.5% of new demand met each year by 2015.

Further, it could be even higher, AND it all begins with using already existing under capacity "shovel-ready."

Yes coal must go away fast, and fossils as well. But it's a huge step forward to just use them as old-style base load, and some others for spinning reserve or cold start reserve.

As for Hitachi saving us from coal, that's another discussion. Of course i understand that introducing new technology in our civilization is problem free, with the very first plants working flawlessly over their lifetime, but i can't seem to name another technology of such a scale which hasn't had any number of whoops.

including wind, with regular whoops.... though our whoops ain't all that bad.

Airbus wing cracks anyone?

Fazit: a renewable powered grid is completely feasible, and the 15 year aggressive time frame is more than long enough to make the proper changes.

Yes, and doing it actually comes with real jobs. And the power comes from the energy source that gave us life, which could have some additional benefits for a sick civilization. Without the Hubris of thinking your civilization is capable of building miniature suns yet.

And i mentioned Romania to show that a far less industrialized area has already done it, so perhaps the UK might also be capable of following Romania's lead.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:11:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Did not mean to be insulting, in fact, wasn't."

Maybe it was the wrong word -I meant to say that I felt insulted at the idea that I would have said something so dumb.

Anyway, I take your word that you did not imply that.

"First I am not arguing for an all wind and PV grid, as i've stated over and over."

Well, then we're agreed -I must admit that I had read some (not all) of your posts as arguing for that. I must have misunderstood them.

"But to have wind a very high penetration in the grid, i also stated is now  EASY to do FAST in a mature industry, which wind has already proven. I stated the UK could ramp up to 6 gigs a year within 3 years, that's huge. Wind's current capacity total in the UK is 6.5 gigs, equal to 4.5% of annual demand. So i claim 4.5% of new demand met each year by 2015."

I don't dispute that as far as the supply chain is concerned. I'm less sanguine about that happening in the UK because of British law. But even if it were on a slightly smaller scale, I'm a big supporter of ramping up thick and fast. Please read anything I ever write about energy with that in mind: I am fully convinced of the possibility and opportunity (from an energetic, environmental and economic perspective) of strongly ramping up renewables.

"Of course i understand that introducing new technology in our civilization is problem free"

Well, I did not say that. But we will have to do something about nuclear waste. Using it as fuel is not the dumbest idea a priori. It may be that we should not do it, but then we need to show how the alternatives are better.

"Without the Hubris of thinking your civilization is capable of building miniature suns yet."

Let's not go there though, please. This kind of arguments have been used against many a scientific progress, especially IVF, without which my first son would not have been born.
Let's discuss scientific endeavours on their merits, rather than introducing this kind of moral taboo. Renewables don't need that to sound good -I mean, the name alone is inspiring.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 03:45:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GM crops around the world in 2011 - map | Environment | guardian.co.uk
GM crops around the world in 2011 - map

New data from the annual report by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotic Applications shows where farmers are growing GM crops around the world

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:20:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I believe Brazil is expected to overtake the US before long.
by Andhakari on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 03:19:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:37:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:20:08 PM EST
Blind quantum computing points to the future | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

A Vienna team has shown how to send encrypted data to a quantum computer. But a stable and powerful quantum computer remains a long way off.

Imagine, for a moment, that the promise of powerful, super-fast quantum computers has materialized. In the beginning at least, there will only be a few of them, housed in special facilities.

Users who want to harness their quantum capabilities will need to send data to a remote location, allow the computer to do its magic and send back the results. Quantum physicists have now shown that there's a way to do this that's absolutely securely - meaning the remote quantum computer will never understand the true data even while it is manipulating it.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:35:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
the remote quantum computer will never understand the true data even while it is manipulating it.

sounds almost... human! :)

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:33:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Champagne study: flute, coupe glass undesired | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

When it comes to pouring champagne, long, skinny flutes and short, wide coupes have existed side by side for generations. But neither is really the ideal for enjoying a glass of top-shelf bubbly, new research shows.

While beers and wines generally have glasses designed to highlight their taste characteristics, when it comes to champagne the flute and coupe have happily co-existed. Glassmakers, however, may have to rethink their stemware recommendations after reading research published Wednesday in the online journal PLoS ONE.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:35:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While beers ...generally have glasses designed to highlight their taste characteristics

Really, most fancy shaped glasses are more about marketing than flavour. Belgium is the worst offender in this regard

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 02:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No way I'm giving up my flute collection. Besides, I like a noseful of CO2.

'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 Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 02:48:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 07:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"...drink my liquor from an old fruit jar..."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 09:20:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oooooh, me want. I'd pay good money for one of them

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 09:32:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Life on the less than sunny side of Spain | Destination Europe | DW.DE | 09.02.2012
The agricultural region around Spain's Almería is home to thousands of illegal immigrants living in slum-like conditions. Amid the economic crisis, many want to return to Africa, but lack the means to get home.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:37:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German court rejects Apple's sales ban bid | Business | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

A regional court in Düsseldorf ruled on Thursday that electronics giant Samsung may continue to sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 N tablet computer in Germany, rejecting a bid by arch-rival Apple to have sales banned.

US-based consumer electronics producer Apple on Thursday failed to stop the sale of rival Samsung's new tablet computer Galaxy Tab 10.1 N which was made especially for the German market.

A regional court in Düsseldorf argued that consumers were unlikely to confuse the redesigned tablet device with Apple's iPad.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:40:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
London taxi drivers offer window into brain | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 09.12.2011
UK researchers have shown that cab drivers who learn the layout of the capital city - 'the Knowledge' - exhibit growth in the brain, challenging the notion that children are the only ones with 'plastic' minds.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:42:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they make this sound a bit like it's peculiar to taxi drivers. like every other adult has their brain get stuck in aspic after childhood.

now london is a tricky town to get your head around spatially, but i would imagine any self-respecting academic or polymath would feed similar amounts of data into their brains, so why do we keep coming back to taxi-drivers?

are taxi drivers in rio di janeiro similar?

do different sections of their brains develop too?

this snippet of neurotrivia ha been making rounds for years, i just wonder why they don't take it further.

human tom toms proves only so much... kalahari bushmen probably have similar memory banking brain-mapping the nuances of their territories.

turn left at the pig wallow...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:42:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, I suspect this is reported because the knowledge is such a large block of specific information that the growth needed to accommodate it is actually detectable.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 02:45:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Privacy group sues to stop Google policy change - FRANCE 24

AFP - A consumer advocacy group on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to try to derail Google's plan to merge user data from YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and other services in individual comprehensive profiles.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center urged a federal court to block Google from implementing the change on March 1 as planned and to direct the Federal Trade Commission to intervene.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Closure of Hooters 'breastaurant' is a welcome step for women | Sian Norris | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

A woman went to the police this week after receiving violent threats from fans of online lad's mag "Unilad". Like many, I was shocked and disturbed by the vitriolic attacks on women by the website and its supporters. Little did I expect that a few days later I would also be on the phone to the police, reporting online threats and harassment.

Back in 2010, self-styled "breastaurant" Hooters applied for a licence to open in Bristol. The Bristol Feminist Network and Bristol Fawcett launched a campaign objecting to the licence. We believe that Hooters contributes to the normalisation of the sexual objectification of women - a normalisation that negatively impacts on women's self-esteem and leads to an increased tolerance of sexual harassment and violence. Our campaign was unsuccessful. We were told by the licensing committee that a business whose USP is scantily clad women serving hot wings offered "something really different to Bristol". However, just over a year later, Hooters announced that it had closed.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:14:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wasn't bristol named after a mammary appendage?

hope sven doesn't see this...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I look forward to the opening of Bristols restaurant in Hooterville, USA

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 01:38:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, having read the article...

I suggest that the "lads" in the article should open a restaurant. They could be the waiters. They could name it after a body part. I have several suggestions : male, female and unisex.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 10th, 2012 at 04:59:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it could be a private nursing mothers' getaway.

but who gives a hoot?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:20:35 PM EST
Serene art with a touch of controversy | Art & Architecture | DW.DE | 09.02.2012

One of Germany's most famous contemporary artists, Gerhard Richter, has turned 80. These days his works sell for massive sums of money at auction - and not just because of their unique photo-like quality.

Gerhard Richter was born on 9 February 1932 in Dresden, the son of a Nazi. He grew up in East Germany but fled communism and moved to the West in 1961.

Always an ardent observer, Richter's work reflects the world around him and his themes vary accordingly. From Red Army Faction terrorists to boarding a flight bound for New York on the morning of 11 September 2001, Richter's world finds its way into his work.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:36:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perfumier Guerlain on trial for racist slur - FRANCE - JUSTICE - FRANCE 24

AFP - French parfumier Jean-Paul Guerlain, for decades the "nose" behind the world-famous perfume brand, went on trial Thursday on racism charges after televised remarks caused widespread offence.

Asked in an October 2010 interview about how he created the Samsara scent, Guerlain replied using a racial slur -- the French term "negre" -- and implied that black people are lazy.

"For once, I set to work like a negro. I don't know if negroes have always worked like that, but anyway..." he said.

The incident sparked widespread condemnation, with anti-racism groups saying it highlighted deep prejudice in French society.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:07:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew Barrymore saves the whales and melts cold war ice in Big Miracle | Environment | guardian.co.uk
October 1988, Alaska: the end of the cold war. Ronald Reagan was US president, communism in eastern Europe was cracking and the ice had come in early. Cindy Lowry, a Greenpeace representative in Anchorage, read in a local paper that three young gray whales were stranded near America's northernmost city, Barrow. It was the start of a story that 24 years later has Lowry portrayed by Drew Barrymore in Big Miracle, a Hollywood film out on Friday.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 02:19:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nice roundup, IW, cheers!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:47:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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