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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 3 March

by DoDo Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 03:32:43 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1922 - a fascist coup hunts away the last legal government of the Free State of Fiume. Italian troops would take de-facto control days later, until a treaty on annexation in 1924. Today Fiume is the Croatian city of Rijeka.

More here

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

by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:38:53 PM EST
EU states sign fiscal treaty without UK and Czechs - EUROPE - FRANCE 24
The leaders of 25 EU countries have signed a new treaty they hope will prevent the 17 eurozone nations balance their books and alleviate the currency bloc's crippling debt crisis. The treaty was not signed by the UK or the Czech Republic.

...The Netherlands announced that its "provisional" public 2012 deficit would rise to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product from 4.1 percent forecast before, sparking a pointed rebuke from the European Commission.

"We think that the Netherlands is one country that has been very vocal when supporting the reinforcement of our fiscal surveillance rules," said European Commission economy spokesman Amadeu Altafaj.

And Spain, at the centre of the debt crisis with soaring borrowing costs that have since receded, had to explain why the country's 2011 public deficit estimate grew to 8.5 percent of GDP from a previous forecast of 6.0 percent.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:39:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Backdoor deals give Serbia EU candidate status | EurActiv
Serbia clinched its coveted status of EU candidate country at a summit in Brussels last night (1 March), after Bucharest dropped its opposition following an agreement on a roadmap that should see Romania enter the Schengen passport-free area in September.

...During a dramatic meeting at the ministerial level on 28 February, Romania took its EU partners by surprise when it announced it had concerns over the rights of ethnic Romanians living in Serbia...

The move raised eyebrows among EU ministers, while in Serbia anti-Romanian sentiments started spreading like a forest fire.

This led to frantic behind-the-scenes talks ahead of the EU summit. In what appeared like a face-saving effort, Bucharest and Belgrade signed a bilateral agreement at the ambassadorial level yesterday morning, providing for the better protection for the Romanian minority in Serbia.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A different take:

EUobserver.com / Enlargement / Serbia gets EU candidate status, Romania gets nothing

EU Council chairman Herman Van Rompuy, after chairing a special Dutch-Romanian meeting on Thursday, said there is "strong political will" to make a "positive decision" on Schengen in September.

But in the end Romanian President Traian Basescu backed down without any real concessions.

Dutch leader Mark Rutte said he will only lift the veto if the European Commission in July says Bulgaria and Romania have done enough to fight corruption. "We need two [commission] reports that point in the right direction," he noted.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:39:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahhh...Ohhh...I have never heard about Romanians in Serbia being mistreated or discriminated or even hated in any way (excluding some isolated more personal cases). My maternal grandmother was Romanian from Vojvodina and I used to visit Romanian relatives in those areas of Vojvodina that have a lot of Romanians. So this is really news for me and frankly I do not believe it. Someone (probably Germans) pushed and pressed Romanian politicians to raise this "issue" because they want to force Serbia to recognize Kosovo and are not successful by now. So let's press Serbia more by opening new conflicts between minorities and Serbs... Don't they have enough trouble with Hungary's new aspirations about other state's territory and human rights issue? Don't they have enough trouble in Europe anyway? Unbelievable...And poor Romania has to do everything they ask to get Schengen that it should get anyway...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 03:30:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So this is really news for me and frankly I do not believe it.

Why? Whipping up ethnic hatred is easy and quick, it doesn't need much precedent, and specifically in Vojvodina, there have been conflicts pushed by nationalists recently.

Someone (probably Germans) pushed and pressed Romanian politicians to raise this "issue"

Nope, the motivation mentioned in the article, Romania's blocked entry into the Schengen zone, is very much a sore issue for Romania to do stuff on their own.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:27:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and specifically in Vojvodina, there have been conflicts pushed by nationalists recently.

Honestly, there were tensions in Vojvodina (probably "always" but mostly during Milosevic) between Hungarians and Serbs, because of the history and because Hungarians were loud about how they would like separation. But I really can't remember any serious conflict with Romanians. I am not there and I can't guaranty that now may be some tensions but I haven't heard or read about them anywhere...so I am skeptical about this sudden "news".
On the other hand Romanian situation in Serbia has NOTHING to do with Romania not having Schengen...I do not see connection at all so it's pretty much looks to me like "you stir things in Serbia so we can show them for not being obedient about Kosovo and we'll give you Schengen"...or actually not...but well we can promise to do it anyway...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 08:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its the way politics happen in EU all the time. A government treathens veto in one question to gain an advantage in a unrelated question. Crappy system, but there it is.

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 Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:10:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I repeat, whipping up ethnic hatred is easy and quick, it doesn't need much precedent. By assuming that it needs long-running precedent, you are also implicitly excusing those who whip up hatred.

On the other hand Romanian situation in Serbia has NOTHING to do with Romania not having Schengen...

Why would it have to? This is politics, where horse-trading and blackmail are the norm. You use the influences you have to get what you want. (And Romanian President Băsescu is a populist who found nothing beneath him in his domestic power struggles, so it entirely fits his style.)

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:32:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would it have to? This is politics, where horse-trading and blackmail are the norm.
---------------
Yes but I am just saying that I am sceptical about this "issue" with Romanians as nowadays I am sceptical about ANYTHING they present us as truth. It is so obvious after all we have witnessed in last few decades that they will stir and lie and go to war and do practically ANYTHING just to preserve their interest. Probably this was a case always but is now more obvious because we have this information revolution and people can find out more...if they want and if they are capable.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:00:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / Sarkozy: I'm not cut out to lead an EU institution

BRUSSELS - Forced to reflect that this week's EU summit might be his last as he trails in polls ahead of April elections, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he does not have the temperament to lead an EU institution.

"I don't think I have the qualities to be a good European Commission or European Council President," he said in Brussels on Friday (2 March) in response to a press question on his potential future career.

With the first round of elections taking place on 22 April, Sarkozy is polling 3.5 points behind Socialist contender Francois Hollande.

A second round vote, on 6 May, sees Hollande on about 56.6 percent, according to an Ifop poll published Thursday, compared with 43.5 percent for Sarkozy.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:39:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin holds comfortable lead ahead of Sunday's vote - RUSSIA - FRANCE 24
Russian President Vladimir Putin seems all but certain to win re-election in Sunday's vote, with current opinion polls putting him at 60%. The runner up, Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, trails with only around 15%.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:39:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ElPaiscom in English: Barcelona hospital closes its surgery ward because of regional health cuts
Bellvitge Hospital, which has been one of Spain's most important health facilities for complex surgeries, canceled all of the day's procedures. Among the patients affected by this sudden closure was Silvia López, a 33-year-old woman who was meant to have seven cancerous tumors removed from her rectal area. The cancer has spread to her liver.

"All of these months of chemotherapy and weeks of diet so they can leave us out in the cold at the last minute," she said.

Additionally, a hospital official said there wasn't any money to treat the hundreds of patients -- many of them elderly -- who have come down with seasonal flu. "We have been hit right in the middle of the flu epidemic and there are not enough beds for patients," the spokesman said. The Catalan government of Artur Mas has made some $1.2 billion euros in cuts, or 12 percent of the region's health budget.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 04:04:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait until the stories about ambulances running around with a patient but being rejected by multiple hospitals come, then you'll get a real austerity feel...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Front Page - Revealed: government plans for police privatisation

Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country.

West Midlands and Surrey have invited bids from G4S and other major security companies on behalf of all forces across England and Wales to take over the delivery of a wide range of services previously carried out by the police.

The contract is the largest on police privatisation so far, with a potential value of £1.5bn over seven years, rising to a possible £3.5bn depending on how many other forces get involved.

This scale dwarfs the recent £200m contract between Lincolnshire police and G4S, under which half the force's civilian staff are to join the private security company, which will also build and run a police station for the first time.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:22:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
seeing as the Met are already a wholly outsourced arm of News International, while the undercover police are more concerned with protecting polluting corporates than preventing terrorism, this is merely public admission of a long standing policy.

Of course, I'm sure there will never be any conflicts of interest between investigating corporate crime and the corporate ownership of the investigation. As we've already see n in the case of Murdoch, merely providing expensive meals and a crate of best scotch would never influence the course of an investigation ..(cont p94)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áECONOMY & FINANCEá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:40:01 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / EU agencies rebuked over spending
BRUSSELS - An MEP tasked with looking at how EU money is spent in the bloc's 24 independent agencies has caused a stir with her preliminary findings on conflicts of interest and questions about whether the agencies are useful.

...They were all established because member states decided so - most of them in the past ten years. Apart from checking how they manage their accounts, Romanian MEP Monica Macovei - a former justice minister and anti-corruption campaigner - says the very existence of some of these agencies should be questioned when they only produce reports.

...Four of the agencies - dealing with food safety, aviation safety, chemicals registration and medicines registration - are also on her radar due as they have staff recruited directly from industry.

With agencies claiming that experts outside the industry are hard to find, Macovei during a heated debate earlier on Wednesday insisted that this is no excuse for potentially endangering public health. If someone has worked for a company, they should not be allowed to certify the products of that company, says the deputy.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Creative Industries / EU parliament joins commission on Acta court probe
BRUSSELS - The debate on the controversial anti-counterfeit treaty, Acta has moved to the European Parliament, with MEPs set to pose their own questions to the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice.

At the first meeting of the assembly's International Trade committee on Thursday (1 March) - responsible for drafting the parliament's report - MEPs were presented with a petition organised by Internet campaign group Avaaz and signed by 2.4 million people who want to see ratification of Acta halted. Under the terms of the EU treaties, the parliament must give its approval before the treaty can enter into life.

...Last week the European Commission itself bowed to public pressure when trade commissioner Karel De Gucht - who led the EU's negotiating team on Acta - called on the EU court to clarify if existing EU laws on data protection and freedom of expression on the Internet would be compromised by the new regime.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:40:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vince Cable begs US bosses not to shut UK car plant - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
The Government has made a last-minute appeal to the car-maker GM not to close its Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, in an attempt to prevent the loss of the 2,100 jobs there.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, returned yesterday from a flying visit to New York, where he pleaded with GM bosses to spare Ellesmere Port when the global car giant slims down its European operations shortly. His decision to travel to the US reflects his serious concern that the plant could be at risk.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:40:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áWORLDá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:40:45 PM EST
France to close embassy in Syria, says Sarkozy - SYRIA - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday that France would shut its Syrian embassy due to the repression of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad and was ready to step up its support of rebels if the United Nations can give a green light.

"We will do nothing without a U.N. Security Council resolution," Sarkozy told a news conference at a European summit in Brussels, noting France supported the creation of a humanitarian zone close to one of Syria's borders.

"There's no question of acting directly or indirectly unless the Council has established legal conditions for a humanitarian zone, for arms delivery for the opposition or for corridors."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:40:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Baghdad is funnelling pro-Assad militias into Syria' | World | DW.DE | 02.03.2012

As the rebellion in Syrian threatens to spiral into an allout civil war, an Iraqi Sunni MP talked to DW about Baghdad's alleged role in neighboring Syria as well as Iraq's political crisis.

Ahmed Al-Alwani is a member of the secular, Sunni-dominated Iraqiya opposition party.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:41:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Power struggle dominates Iran's legislative elections - IRAN - FRANCE 24
Voting began Friday in Iran's parliamentary elections as loyalists of Iran's most powerful figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seek to prevent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's supporters from winning a majority.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:41:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Reuters) - For two weeks, an armed band of former Haitian soldiers has occupied an old military camp in the capital where they carry out military training in defiance of the government.  "We took control of something that is ours. No one can force us to leave this place," said David Dorme, the leader of the group and a former army sergeant, even though Haiti's army was disbanded in disgrace almost two decades ago.

(AP), PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Several thousand supporters of two-time President Jean-Bertrand Aristide filled the streets of Haiti's capital Wednesday on the eighth anniversary of his ouster, accusing the country's current leader of not doing enough to improve their lives.  It was the largest demonstration against President Michel Martelly since he took office in May, and pointed to mounting political strife between the president and his critics as the country struggles to rebuild from the 2010 earthquake.

MercoPress: Surgeons "completely" removed a lesion from Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's pelvis and the populist leader is in good physical condition after the operation in Cuba, Venezuela's vice president said on Tuesday.

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- People identifying themselves as activists in the Anonymous hacker movement said Wednesday it wasn't technical prowess but police infiltration that yielded 25 arrests in a sweep in Europe and South America. (...) Interpol, which announced the arrests Tuesday, did not say how it encountered the 25 suspects, who it says were involved in cyberattacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain that targeted sites including Colombia's defense ministry and presidency and Chile's Endesa electricity company and national library.

(Colombia Reports): Reports have emerged of two further alleged FARC offensives in the southwest department of Cauca, following Thursday's attack on a power station, reported Colombian media Friday.

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- Bolivian authorities say at least 30 people have been injured in a fight between two communities over land for growing quinoa, the Andean "supergrain" whose popularity with worldwide foodies has caused its price to soar. Oruro state police chief Ramon Sepulveda says combatants used rocks and dynamite against each other Wednesday and Thursday. A government commission was dispatched to the two high plains communities south of La Paz.

ILOCA, Chile, Feb 29, 2012 (Tierramérica) - Two years after the earthquake and tsunami in south-central Chile, the worst natural disaster to hit the country in half a century, thousands of families who saw their homes destroyed are still waiting for a solution.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 06:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any chance that those two Haitian reports are related ? They've got troubles enough without a coup

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 03:02:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC, Aristide was the one who disbanded the army after it couped him the first time, and then was couped by former army the second time.

Fanmi Lavalas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fanmi Lavalas party has been excluded from most Haitian elections since the 2004 coup d'état that toppled it from power.[2] It was again excluded from participation in the 2010-2011 Haitian general election by the electoral council.[3]

So if there is a connection it is the regime showing that they can put up irregulars to once more kill people if they don't sit down and shut up.

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 Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 04:08:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is from last year:
NYT: ...now President Michel Martelly is pledging to revive it, pressing forward with a plan to reconstitute the Haitian military as a kind of national guard or civil defense force to supplement the weak national police.  His $95 million proposal calls for an initial force of 3,500 personnel to patrol the border, help put down civil unrest and provide badly needed employment to legions of young people. It sets aside $15 million to compensate former soldiers who have long complained they are owed a pension.

...and from the Washington Post:

Mr. Martelly has extensive ties with right-wing groups, including allies of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, whose regime carried out atrocious abuses. With little support in parliament or from any organized political party, he finds himself perched perilously atop a political system that he has been unable to bend to his will.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:24:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áLIVING OFF THE PLANETá
áEnvironment, Energy, Agriculture, Foodá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:41:30 PM EST
Green is the new black at London eco-extravaganza | EurActiv

While the fashion pack are hitting the catwalks at Paris Fashion Week, students at London's Kingston University are trying to lower the industry's carbon footprint by using biodegradable materials to produce luxury clothes, shoes and accessories.

The fashion industry has a high environmental footprint.

The manufacture of synthetic fibers like polyester alone produces nearly five times as much carbon dioxide per kilogramme as some organic cotton and more than twice as much as hemp, according to a Stockholm Environment Institute study.

Waste industry reports say that more than one million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year, with most going to landfill and only 25% recycled.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:41:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prague feels the heat over €1.9bn carbon credit application | EurActiv

A Czech bid for almost €2 billion of free allowances under the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) - equal to almost half Prague's 2012 budget deficit - has drawn heavy fire from Brussels and European environmentalists, who say it will do little to combat CO2 emissions.

The application for 107 million free allowances (worth €1.88 billion) was made under the little known `10c derogation' which exempts 10 of the newer member states from the ETS's full auctioning rules until 2019, if the resulting funds are used to modernise, diversify, and clean up electricity generation.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:41:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Petrol price reaches record high - Home News - UK - The Independent

The average cost of a litre of petrol has risen to 137.44p, topping the previous all-time high of 137.43p a litre in May 2011, the AA said.

...Diesel is up to 144.67p a litre which is another new record.

AA president Edmund King said: "This new record for petrol and diesel just confirms what every family and business knows - fuel prices are hurting them badly and there seems no stopping them.

"We have asked the Chancellor to do what he can to protect the UK economy from fuel market volatility and record high prices which are stemming growth."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:42:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, what really hurts is that, where it is available, "public" transport is very expensive. Thanks to decades of neglect, Britain is in a lousy place to face any problem with fuel prices.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 03:05:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish report says shale gas extraction is not harmful - Europe - World - The Independent

A scientific study in Poland has found that shale gas extraction at one site produced some toxic refuse but that the waste was reused and didn't harm the environment.

The report was presented today by the Polish Geological Institute, which carried out its study last year when a company, Canadian Lane Energy, began test drilling near Lebien, in northern Poland.

Poland has some deposits of shale gas and is hoping to exploit them to cut its dependence on Russian natural gas. It hopes to repeat what has happened in the United States, where large shale gas discoveries in the past 10 years have given the country independence in the gas sector.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:42:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German solar incentive cut delayed to April: sources | Reuters

Resistance to the March 9 cuts has especially strong in the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), as well as in the CDU itself.

Members of parliament in the ruling coalition had complained that the March 9 date for the incentive cuts would damage confidence among suppliers and dealers in the photovoltaic industry, which has more than 100,000 jobs in Germany.

...The CSU is also opposed to the plans that would cut incentives by 30 percent for large solar power plants of more than 1,000 kilowatts. The CSU will only agree to cuts of 15 percent, sources said.

Some related news (links in German):

  • In the first two months of 2012, power generation in Germany from wind and solar rose 42% year-on-year (to 13.2&nsbp;TWh). The total is more than what the eight nuclear reactors shut down last year after Fukushima would be able to produce [that would be 8.422&nsbp;GW net power producing 12.1&nsbp;TWh; albeit that's unreal as at least two of the eight were already down pre-Fukushima with little hope of a re-start any time soon].
  • In prices at electricity exchanges, electricity in France was more expensive than in Germany every month from October 2011. Last month it was 8.25&nsbp;c/kWh vs. 5.49&nsbp;c/kWh.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for the copy-and-paste typos in the HTML... should be:

  • In the first two months of 2012, power generation in Germany from wind and solar rose 42% year-on-year (to 13.2 TWh). The total is more than what the eight nuclear reactors shut down last year after Fukushima would be able to produce [that would be 8.422 GW net power producing 12.1 TWh; albeit that's unreal as at least two of the eight were already down pre-Fukushima with little hope of a re-start any time soon].
  • In prices at electricity exchanges, electricity in France was more expensive than in Germany every month from October 2011. Last month it was 8.25 c/kWh vs. 5.49 c/kWh.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 04:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, the black yellow government is using the ostensible cuts in PV prices to mount a frontal assault on the EEG. Economics minister Rösler is leading the charge, despite the FDP hovering below 3%. The recent attacks completely undermine the security of renewable funding that 'Schland built up over 20 years.

Renewables are now strong enough to be attacked with all the weapons available to fossil dinosaur conventional energy. And not just in 'Schland, of course.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:45:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are two key changes in the government's planned reform of the feed-in law that eliminate one of the basic intended benefits of the feed-in law, investment security:
  • the rapid strong cut for photovoltaics (even if delayed until April, it will ruin the business plans of most projects currently in the state of implementation),
  • the authorisation of the ministries to decide on rate changes on their own at decree level.

The second change is disempowering parliament, so there is a faint chance of the CDU/CSU factions rebelling against the government in the lower house already. If the law passes there, then the upper house is next. Since the states with lots of solar power and/or lots of solar power companies would be less than happy about a collapse of the industry, and some key solar states (Bavaria, Saxony, Thuringia) are CDU/CSU.controlled, there surely will be serious resistance. The question is, will the states be content with changes in details like delaying and reducing the immediate big cut (as they did during the previous attempt to kill the solar industry), or will they think in the longer term and either kill the reform altogether or remove its key parts.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 07:15:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ganz Genau.

The attack on investment security, and the attempt to put decisions in the hands of the Bundeskabinett, have seriously affected the wind branch as well. Coming on the heels of the growing fight over grid interconnection, and who pays what, when, this FDP led attack is a double hit.

Allerdings, the wind industry is mobilizing at an astounding level. On grid interconnection, there is a high level working group established with all sectors including finance represented. They will report findings directly to the ministers.

But the attack on the EEG is not so easy to turn, coming from the government itself. As i've been writing the last days, this is where the opposition must go on the attack. SPD sleeps with too much shit in their bed, courtesy of the coal lobby. Greens have forgotten how to fight, so drunk on finding the path to the government.

If i could clone myself, i would make sure the Pirates understand that renewables are similar to net freedom in their place on the path to a sustainable future.

Actually, i'm very angry that so much positive from the past two decades is being undermined. No, i'm really pissed off.

That usually is when i fight best. I've already made a new argument to the PTB, (in addition to the conventional arguments we're buttressing), that Obama's attempt to get a permanent tax credit for renewables in amurka shows that they wish to retake the lead in technology and export. (well-received.)

If i ever meet Rösler, no matter where or when, i will take off my shoe and hold it to his face. (no, i won't throw it, but it will keep my hands busy, so i don't punch the weaselly little ... ( here i can only say that my attorney has advised me that it is illegal in germany to call someone an asshole, but he did say i was allowed to think it.)

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 08:23:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greens have forgotten how to fight, so drunk on finding the path to the government.
Here you answer your own question
why there is no opposition whatever Die Linke excepted.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 08:37:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not if it comes to energy, where the Left Party endorses renewables as an idea without details but in practice fully supports brown coal (owed to the same union-support-turned-company-support as in the case of the SPD).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:24:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, for the record, their homepage is currently headlined by an article on the anti-solar-cuts protest, too. (As for the SPD, they don't even mention it on a sub-page.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:42:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the solar industry, however, the SPD will participate from the top. Speakers for the parties will be:
  • SPD: federal chairman Sigmar Gabriel (he was a pro-renewables but also pro-coal federal environment minister in Merkel's first, Grand Coalition cabinet)
  • Greens: federal parliamentary faction co-leader Jürgen Trittin (he was the federal environment minister in Schröder's cabinets who got the "EEG" feed-in law rolling)
  • Left Party: federal federal parliamentary faction leader Gregor Gysi

No Pirate listed; but the Pirates don't have the issue on their homepage either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
No Pirate listed; but the Pirates don't have the issue on their homepage either.

Neither does there appear to be any discussion in the liquid feedback on the topic. Or at least I think so, assuming that such a topic would show up here: Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie - Themenbereich - LiquidFeedback (Piratenpartei Deutschland)

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 Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 10:12:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The link goes to a limited list of initiatives with maximum potential supporters. The full list of 76 initiatives contains several on energy, but none on the planned solar cuts. (BTW, I find an intitiative for more competition on rail, with a call for total grid separation, found support... sigh.)

Searching the news, I found a single Pirate party communique on the solar cuts: back on 24 February, Thuringia's pirates voiced their opposition.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 11:00:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...this is where the opposition must go on the attack. SPD sleeps with too much shit in their bed, courtesy of the coal lobby. Greens have forgotten how to fight, so drunk on finding the path to the government.

What action are you thinking of which isn't done? In the Bundestag, they can't do more than argue and vote against (which they do). In the Bundesrat, they have more clout. In particular the SPD via Grand Coalition governments like Thuringia's, where I'm reading that the SPD minister is using strong words. (Based on the same article, I must correct myself however; the feed-in law reform doesn't need to pass the Bundesrat, they can only blackmail by blocking another law.) There is a possibility of attacking the law before the constitutional court, but that comes only after it took effect. That leaves street protests, I guess? Currently the homepage of the Greens is headlined by a call to participate in the protest on 5 March, with a link to the solar industry association's page on it.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The German Solar Industry Association ordered a poll on the planned rate cuts. It found 65% oppose, 30% support cuts of "30 to 40 percent". The same percentage opposes a reduction of annual new installations by more than a half vs. last year.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 10:03:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima's Legacy: What Future Does Nuclear Power Have in Japan? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Almost a year after the Fukushima disaster, 52 of Japan's 54 nuclear power plants have been shut down. The reactor explosion destroyed the population's trust in nuclear energy. But the atomic lobby -- and the country's industrial needs -- could block a possible phase-out.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the wind, geothermal and hydro resource in Japan ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 03:07:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apart from hydro, which is 20% of the generating capacity and supplies 10% of generated electricity, neither is much exploited. At the end of 2011, total installed wind power stood at a measly 2,501 MW, of which an even less impressive 168 MW was installed anew that year. From the early nineties until the early 2000s, Japan was the leading solar power developer, when a one-million-roofs program created a big market that helped Japanese companies become the industry leaders. Growth in this sector picked up again only after the 2009 introduction of a feed-in law, in 2010, 991 MW was added to reach a total of 3618 MW. I didn't find data for 2011, however, after Fukushima, total installation targets were raised significantly.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 06:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mitsubishi has been making utility-scale wind turbines for two decades, but hardly been able to install in Japan, where the emphasis was on the sweet silent power of the splitting atom. There are other OEMs as well.

The resource on land is strong enough, but will involve wholesale changes to the way projects are sited and permitted. But Japan is already making a huge effort to go offshore, though stupidly.

They want to overtake Norway as the leader in floating wind, especially since they don't have any shallow waters like the North Sea. This will eventually become a very strong global technology, but one that will take some time to evolve to maturity, if not longer.

So they should accent onshore, but... (yuk, technology in nature).

1 Gigawatt floating offshore is the near term goal. Good for some of the firms working on the technology, but why not develop an industry where the risks are small and known? Rioght.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 08:51:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The resource on land is strong enough

Are suitable areas not more limited due to the high population density, though?

They want to overtake Norway as the leader in floating wind

Would present-day state-of-the-art off-shore turbines withstand hurricane-force winds?

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:36:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ocean acidification may be worst in 300 million years: study

High levels of pollution may be turning the planet's oceans acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the past 300 million years, with unknown consequences for future sea life, researchers said Thursday.

The acidification may be worse than during four major mass extinctions in history when natural pulses of carbon from asteroid impacts and volcanic eruptions caused global temperatures to soar, said the study in the journal Science.

An international team of researchers from the United States, Britain, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands examined hundreds of paleoceanographic studies, including fossils wedged in seafloor sediment from millions of years ago.

They found only one time in history that came close to what scientists are seeing today in terms of ocean life die-off -- a mysterious period known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum about 56 million years ago.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 02:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áLIVING ON THE PLANETá
áSociety, Culture, History, Informationá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:42:45 PM EST
Liquid Democracy: Web Platform Makes Professor Most Powerful Pirate - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
A linguistics professor in Bamberg is considered the most powerful member of Germany's burgeoning Pirate Party, even though he holds no office. Martin Haase engages in politics almost exclusively through the Internet using the party's Liquid Feedback software. The platform is flattening the political hierarchy and is unique among German political parties.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:42:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bamberg eh ? The power of Schlenkerla is revealed

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 03:08:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently Schenkerla (which comes from the Franken word denoting a certain wobbliness in ones walk, or Schwanken) is available nowhere in Bremen. So in my preparation to taste a Rauchbier, i've just had a Weiherher Rauch.

Kind of sweet smokey. Faint hint of whisky. Will continue the experiment at a later date, in preparation.

For now, Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0 gegen Karlsruhe, with still 12 minutes to play. Miss Specs wants to wear her cute little red shawl in Bremen's Weserstadion next year. Against my green-white, we'll look like christmas.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 08:38:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Should have said, in Bremen's PV Weserstadion.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 08:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
U.N. Meet Holds Governments to Account on Women's Equality - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 2, 2012 (IPS) - In 2008, delegates meeting for the annual U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) agreed that much greater investments in women and gender equality were a critical - and overlooked - aspect of sustainable development.

For example, according to UN Women, while the international community gave 7.5 billion dollars in official development assistance to rural development and the agricultural sector in 2008-2009, a mere three percent was spent on programmes in which gender equality was a principal objective, and only 32 percent to those in which gender equality was a secondary objective.

Four years later, there has been some forward movement in a number of countries, but in many others, progress remains slow and uneven, a situation that is exacerbated by the ongoing global financial crisis.

Rural women continue to face limited access to productive resources, such as agricultural inputs and technology; only five percent of agricultural extension services are provided for women farmers.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:55:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depression: An evolutionary byproduct of immune system?
ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2012) -- Depression is common enough -- afflicting one in ten adults in the United States -- that it seems the possibility of depression must be "hard-wired" into our brains. This has led biologists to propose several theories to account for how depression, or behaviors linked to it, can somehow offer an evolutionary advantage.

Some previous proposals for the role of depression in evolution have focused on how it affects behavior in a social context. A pair of psychiatrists addresses this puzzle in a different way, tying together depression and resistance to infection. They propose that genetic variations that promote depression arose during evolution because they helped our ancestors fight infection.

An outline of their proposal appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 02:06:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-shocked-to-find-antibiotics-alleviate-symptoms- of-schizophrenia-7469121.html

possible cure for schizophrenia?

wouldn't that be great?  inflammation of the brain seems to be the culprit here, although there could be some sort of infection as well.  

the article also mentions the possibility that depression could be affected by this antibiotic

by stevesim on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 03:12:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be great.

I would however suspect that both schizophrenia and depression has more then one possible brain dysfunction as cause. But hey, if some can be cured that is progress!

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 Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 04:21:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the results have been outstanding for schizophrenia and that is good news for society and so many families.
by stevesim on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 09:26:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áPEOPLE AND KLATSCHá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:43:12 PM EST
I did ride police horse, says David Cameron - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
David Cameron confirmed today that he did ride a horse which was lent by police to former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks.

The Prime Minister apologised for allowing a "confusing picture" to emerge over recent days about his direct connection with the animal.

He told reporters that the horse, Raisa, was among his mounts when he rode, before becoming Prime Minister, with Mrs Brooks's husband Charlie, a friend since they attended Eton school.

"I have not been riding with him since the election. Before the election, yes, I did go riding with him," he said at a press conference in Brussels.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
his direct connection with the animal

Warmer and warmer.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 04:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it's interesting that he talks about riding with Ms Brooks husband, but somehow  avoids mentioning riding with her. (and from Paul McMullens evidence we know that he was sat in a hedge to report on Cameron and Brooks riding together)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 05:41:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hotly awaited film puts Sarah Palin back in spotlight - CULTURE - FRANCE 24
"Game Change", a highly anticipated HBO film about Sarah Palin's vice presidential bid, hits small screens on March 10. Starring Julianne Moore, the movie has set tongues wagging among former McCain campaign workers.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 01:43:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's gonna be a good comedy.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 03:19:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strong roundup, DoDo and maracatu, muchas gracias.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 02:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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