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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 28 March

by ceebs Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:14:12 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1910 - Henri Fabre, Becomes first person to fly a seaplane

More here and here

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


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

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  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
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Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:15:20 PM EST
BBC News - Ireland referendum on EU pact to be held on 31 May

The Republic of Ireland will hold a referendum on the European fiscal treaty on 31 May, Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore has said.

Mr Gilmore told the Irish parliament he was confident that a majority of the public would back the government in supporting the treaty.

The pact introduces tough new deficit rules and spending restrictions for governments.

Only the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom refused to sign up to the pact.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:42:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European summit proposes bailout and austerity plan for Greece

A two-day European Union (EU) summit in Brussels concluded yesterday, announcing plans for an as-needed bailout package for Greece and tougher sanctions against eurozone countries whose deficits exceed European guidelines. The meeting caps weeks of rising tensions between the major European powers over how to deal with the Greek debt crisis.

The plan was adopted late Thursday night, incorporating word-for-word a statement written by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy a few hours earlier. It specifies that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the eurozone countries could jointly bail out Greece, if Greece adopted devastating austerity measures.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:45:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Toulouse shootings: Mohamed Merah sent video of killings to al-Jazeera | World news | The Guardian

Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah, who killed seven people including three children, sent a video of the killings to the television station al-Jazeera, it has emerged.

The Paris office of the Qatar-based broadcasters confirmed they received a letter containing a USB memory stick and a letter claiming responsibility for the murders. The memory stick was found to contain 25 minutes of video recordings of his nine-day killing spree, interspersed with what police said were "war chants".

The film was authenticated by investigators. The postal stamp on the parcel was dated last Wednesday. At the time, Merah, who expressed support for al-Qaeda, was already holed up in his flat in the south eastern city of Toulouse surrounded by police, who had swooped at 3am.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:51:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera not to air French killings video - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Al Jazeera has said it will not air a video that it received showing three shooting attacks in Toulouse and Montauban in southern France this month.

The network on Tuesday said the video did not add any information that was not already in public domain. It also did not meet the television station's code of ethics for broadcast.

The video shows the attacks in chronological order, with audible gunshots and voices of the killer and the victims. But it does not show the face of the confessed murderer, Mohammed Merah, and it does not contain a statement from him.

Merah appeared to be acting alone in the video, entitled "Al Qaeda attaque la France" - meaning "Al-Qaeda attacks France".

French public radio this morning claims considerable political pressure was brought to bear on Al Jazeera to obtain this result.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 01:30:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it highly unlikely that they would have aired it, political pressure or no.

I think the question of ethical standards was clear-cut, and showing the videos would have been uncharacteristic.

If they took their time over the decision, it was likely because of the considerable political pressure brought to bear (both Sarkozy and Hollande made threats).

The fact that Merah sent the videos to Al Jaz, rather than concentrating on getting them out on the internet, is a sign of his naiveté.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 04:03:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia concerned about U.S. arms shipment to Georgia - Xinhua | English.news.cn

Russia on Tuesday expressed concern over the United States' weapon supply to Georgian troops in Afghanistan.

"We believe it is important that the weapons used by Georgian troops in Afghanistan should not be supplied to Georgia," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Tuesday.

According to the spokesman, the Georgian authorities might use these arms against Russian citizens as it happened in August 2008.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:40:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Commentary: EU needs to rectify anti-dumping measures against China - Xinhua | English.news.cn

After around nine months of deliberations, the European Commission recently announced that it would review 52 anti-dumping measures against fasteners, aluminum foil, bikes and ceramic tiles imported from China.

The EC even decided to invite relevant Chinese enterprises to discuss possible solutions.

The moves by the European Union are a vital step to rectify its discriminatory measures and legislation inconsistent with the rules of the World Trade Organization. China welcomes them.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:41:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dominique Strauss-Kahn unfairly targeted, says lawyer | World news | The Guardian

Lawyers defending Dominique Strauss-Kahn against allegations he was involved in a French prostitution ring say he is being unfairly targeted for his active extramarital sex life and has committed no crime.

They are also protesting against a judge's order barring the former International Monetary Fund chief from talking to the media pending further investigation.

Strauss-Kahn, a former French presidential hopeful, was handed preliminary charges on Monday alleging he was involved in a hotel prostitution ring in France.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain's general strike is also a day of action for the 99% | Katharine Ainger | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Spain is about to experience huge austerity cuts that may prove explosive. On Friday Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, is set to announce what even he describes as a "very, very austere budget" to reduce the deficit. According to El País, the EU is demanding cuts larger than those of Greece, Ireland or Portugal: "There is no comparable adjustment in [our] economic history," says the paper.

As a result of this and recent changes to labour laws, only four months after the new conservative government took power, Spain's two largest unions have called for a general strike on the day before the budget announcement.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Mail....
Spain's high-class escorts are refusing to have sex with the nation's bankers - until they open up credit lines to cash-strapped families and firms.

Madrid's top-end prostitutes say their indefinite strike will continue until bank employees 'fulfil their responsibility to society' and start offering bigger loans for struggling Spaniards, it has been claimed.

Sneaky bankers were trying to circumvent the protest by claiming to be architects or engineers, the sex-workers said.

[picture omitted]

But this was 'not fooling anyone' because, as one escort revealed: 'It has been many years since these professionals could afford rates that start from €300 per hour.'

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:33:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Go Ladies!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 07:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Spain on the verge of an ESM programme
A senior EU official said Spain may have to consider applying for an ESM programme; both El Pais and El Mundo independently corroborate the story; Reuters names the anonymous official as Joaquin Almunia; Olli Rehn and Spanish government deny the reports; the official said Spain had three options to fund the banking capital gap: through the private sector, the Spanish government, and through the ESM; capital shortfall likely to exceed €100bn (and might get considerably worse in the recession); Luis Garicano says the Spanish deficit reduction targets are illusory: they would require a fiscal adjustment of €53bn to €64bn this year, much higher than what the government admits; the Bundestag gets more powers over European rescue efforts; Ireland said a referendum date of May 31; Claus Hulverscheid applauds Angela Merkel's piecemeal rescue strategy; a judicial inquiry hears that Nicolas Sarkozy did take money from Ingrid Bettencourt; a poll says the French want the campaign to focus on unemployment and purchasing power, not internal security; Francois Hollande maintains his strong lead over Sarkozy in the second round; the Financial Times, meanwhile, says there is a dark side to the LTRO.


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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:10:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloomberg: Europeans See Crisis Near End, Bernanke Warns on Recovery
The euro area's woes are "almost over" after a slow initial response by policy makers, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said in Tokyo today. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that the crisis is ebbing and her country's borrowing costs will probably rise as its status as a haven wanes.

...

Bernanke's comments contrasted with a series of declarations by Monti during a visit to Japan, with the Italian leader saying a solution to Greece's challenges is almost accomplished, Spain is employing discipline and Italian actions have helped stop deterioration in Europe's woes.

...

"The euro zone has gone through a huge crisis," Monti said in a speech today. "I believe that this crisis is now almost over."

...

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said yesterday that he sees no scenario under which the current euro-area rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, will have to issue new bailouts in the next three months. Schaeuble and Merkel spoke to lawmakers from their Christian Democratic Union, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the briefing was private.

Now tell me why we should put Schäuble in charge of the EcoFin?

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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence:
El Pais has a report from Brussels quoting a senior official as saying that the Spanish adjustment would proceed faster if Spain were to apply for an ESM programme to recapitalise the banking sector.

El Mundo also quote what it called a high-level source who listed an ESM programme as one among three options for Spain to clean up its banking system.

The papers did not name the official. But Reuters did. It said in an article:

"El Mundo did not name the official. However, Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia laid out these options to Spanish journalists, people who attended the briefing told Reuters... They quoted Almunia, a former socialist Spanish minister, as saying that the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would have to decide in the next weeks on how it would push through the restructuring of the financial sector."
The reports triggered all sorts of official denials, including by the Spanish government and by Olli Rehn.

The Spanish government is pressing the banking system to make additional provisions of €52bn this year, but El Pais writes that the studies from independent sources suggest that the shortfall is at least twice as high (and getting bigger the worse the recession and decline in house prices turns out to be). The article said one solution would be for Spain to access the ESM with a specific request to fund the recapitalisation of the banking sector. The article quotes the senior official as saying that the crisis would be less costly if house prices were to adjust faster: this would require more capital, which could be obtained from the ESM. According to this source, ESM assistance could be used to raise bank capital and reopen the credit channel to the wider economy, and ultimately dissolve doubts about Spain's intention to clean up the banking system.

(We think the official is absolutely right. There is no way that the Spanish banks can raise the money in the private sector, and the Spanish state has no fiscal room for manoeuvre. A Spanish ESM is without alternative. We now consider it as a near certainty - in addition to a second ESM programme for Portugal. And Italian interest rates are also back to levels that are not sustainable.)



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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:41:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: Spain, EU deny Brussels pressing Madrid on bank aid
Spain and the European Commission denied media reports on Tuesday that Brussels had told the Madrid government to take an EU bailout to refinance the country's troubled banks.

...

Spain's banks have been ordered by the new conservative government to raise over 50 billion euros ($66.6 billion) to clean up their balance sheets battered by the collapse of the property sector after a decade-long boom.

EU aid is merely one option for solving the Spanish banks' problems, and Brussels is keen to stress that it is not trying to force Madrid to take a bailout.



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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:42:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In response to a request by the Left Party, the government worked out what the monthy pension for someone with one of these new low-paid jobs will be. SZ:
7,4 Millionen Menschen in Deutschland haben eine Stelle auf 400-Euro-Basis, für die sie keine Steuern und Sozialabgaben zahlen. Davon waren Mitte 2011 knapp 4,65 Millionen Frauen. Gut zwei Drittel von ihnen haben ausschließlich diesen Minijob. Für die Altersabsicherung dieser Menschen hat das enorme Konsequenzen, da nur geringe Beiträge für die gesetzliche Rentenversicherung anfallen. Diese Beiträge, die seit 1999 fällig sind, zahlt meist nur der Arbeitgeber.

Das Bundesarbeitsministerium hat nun ausgerechnet, was dies an Rente bringt. Danach erwirbt ein Minijobber, der ein Jahr lang tätig ist, eine monatliche Rente von 3,11 Euro. Nach 45 Versicherungsjahren beträgt der Anspruch auf Altersgeld auf Grundlage der heutigen Werte nur 139,95 Euro.

About 5 million people (assuming "zwei drittel" refers to all people, not just women) in Germany have jobs that will qualify them, after 45 years, for a pension of 139,95 Euro.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 06:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's all copy the German social model, then.

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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 06:39:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áECONOMY & FINANCEá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:20:34 PM EST
Budget tax break for non-doms | UK news | The Guardian

George Osborne "buried" plans in last week's budget to offer a tax break to non-doms, according to an analysis of the red book by Labour.

In a paragraph in the middle of the treasury explanation of the budget, the chancellor said that he would raise the inheritance tax exemption for non-doms.

At the moment, a taxpayer domiciled in the UK can transfer their entire £325,000 inheritance tax allowance to their spouse if theyare also based in Britain.

This figure is reduced to £55,000 if a UK taxpayer makes a transfer to a spouse who is not domiciled in the UK. Osborne said he would increase this figure, though he declined to set a figure



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:11:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Agonist | thoughtful, global, timely

William Engdahl punished an excellent analysis of the Greek debt crisis, oil and gas reserves emerging near the battered nation, and the leverage that the US and EU used to buy Greek government owned energy companies on the cheap, just before they strike it rich. The United States government is u to the hips in this. Hillary Clinton's ambassador for Eurasian energy, Richard Morningstar, is all for the privatization deal and husband Bill has even schmoozed for Noble Energy for Mediterranean oil deals (in Israel). Call me cynical (or realistic) but it sounds like a Money Party mega swindle: Goldman sells Greece paper it knows will tank; the crisis emerges; normal IMF garbage, er, doctrine is offered - privatize. Clinton and the Germans weigh in and Greece puts up its gas company for nothing when it's looking at at a $300 bil take for oil and gas revenues over time from the government owned companies.

There's just one problem if this or a variation of this scenario is true. Everything involving Greece has been fraudulent. The risk factor for the firms acquiring Greek government assets is an unraveling of the plot. But, hey, who cares. It's quarterly bonus time and if someone challenges them, they'll just bring those making the charges some democracy Libyan style.

"ATHENS - Greece Wednesday invited bids for state-owned gas company DEPA and natural gas grid operator DESFA, moving ahead with a long-awaited privatization program aimed at raising EUR19 billion by 2015 to aid in addressing its huge debt crisis." February 29

From the Engdahl article: "In December 2010, as it seemed the Greek crisis might still be resolved without the by-now huge bailouts or privatizations, Greece's Energy Ministry formed a special group of experts to research the prospects for oil and gas in Greek waters. Greece's Energean Oil & Gas began increased investment into drilling in the offshore waters after a successful smaller oil discovery in 2009. Major geological surveys were made. Preliminary estimates now are that total offshore oil in Greek waters exceeds 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and some 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea. [1] Link

shocking, not.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 09:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aha! William Engdahl once again points to the great conspiracy underlying (cont'd p 94)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 01:32:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yanis Varoufakis: Keynesian Legacies neither Europe nor Keynes deserved: A critique of New and ISLM Keynesians in the context of Europe's Crisis (28 March, 2012)
In a previous article, entitled On the Political Economy of Eurozone Bailouts - The curious case of Greece's neoliberals, I took great pleasure in lambasting the internal inconsistency of Europe's (and in particular Greece's) neoliberals. In today's article I cast a critical gaze at the `other camp'; that which consists of self declared Keynesians. The article comprises four sections. After a brief introduction, Section 2 sums up (what I think was) Keynes' central insight. Section 2 then looks at the so-called New Keynesians and their desperate attempt to ingratiate the anti-Keynesian powers-that-be within the economic profession while still retaining something of what Keynes was saying alive. Section 3 is dedicated to the school of thought best represented by Paul Krugman, Brad de Long, and other economists who have played an important role in returning some sanity to the debate initiated by the Crash of 2008. As the reader will discover, my respect for them does not suffice to desist from considering some of their underlying economics not only flawed but also profoundly inconsistent with Keynes. Lastly, Section 4 relates the above discussion to the European Crisis, making the point that the internal inconsistencies of the best and brightest Keynesians have, unwittingly, hampered the search for a rational solution.


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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 09:34:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver blogs: The importance of public goods (Georve Irvin)
These days, because the distinction between `public' and `private' has become blurred, and because amongst mainstream economists the consensus appears to be that the private sector is more efficient than the state, it is commonly thought we should limit the public role almost entirely to that of supervision. In Britain, for example, in the 1990s the railways were privatised and an `internal market' was created within the National Health Service on the grounds that this improved the efficiency of service delivery for `customers'. In the USA, it has become common for everything from mass transport to prison services run for private profit. Indeed, there are some politicians who--as followers of the economist Friedrich Hayek-- would abolish all forms of state supervision or control, and a few who would abolish all taxation.

...

It used to be argued that publically-owned industries are necessary in the case of `natural monopolies'; ie, where long-term economies of scale in production make for `monopoly profits'. It is only fair that government--through ownership or regulation--captures such revenues for the public benefit. Also, because natural monopolies (eg, water, energy, transport) typically require very large initial capital outlays, often the state alone is in a position to finance them. What has happened in recent decades to many public utilities is that, having been established and run by the state often with a strong element of public subsidy, they have been sold to private interests at knockdown prices on the grounds of fiscal rectitude (and with the blessing of the IMF).
...

In short, arguments favouring private over public provision are not just theoretically flawed, but typically favour the few at the expense of the many. We may choose commodities at the supermarket, but public goods require collective choices; ie, choices made as citizens at the ballot box. Abolish well-informed collective choice and one abolishes democracy--little wonder Margaret Thatcher argued there was `no such thing as society'.



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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áWORLDá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:21:22 PM EST
Pay TV piracy hits News

A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry.

The piracy cost the Australian pay TV companies up to $50 million a year and helped cripple the finances of Austar, which Foxtel is now in the process of acquiring.

A four-year investigation by The Australian Financial Review has revealed a global trail of corporate dirty tricks directed against competitors by a secretive group of former policemen and intelligence officers within News Corp known as Operational Security.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:23:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Argentina submarine claim 'baseless', says Nick Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said "insinuations" by Argentina that the UK sent a nuclear-armed submarine to the South Atlantic are "baseless".

Tensions have been rising in recent months between the two countries over the future of the Falkland Islands.

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman reportedly told a summit that an "extra-regional power" had sent the submarine to the area.

Mr Clegg said Argentina seemed "keen to rattle cages in any way they can".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria 'accepts' Annan plan to end crisis - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

The Syrian government has agreed to accept the six-point plan by joint United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan on ending the violence in Syria, the former UN chief's spokesman has said.

"The Syrian government has written to the joint special envoy Kofi Annan, accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council," Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Mr Annan views this as an important initial step that could bring an end to the violence and the bloodshed, provide aid to the suffering, and create an environment conducive to a political dialogue that would fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," he added



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - JetBlue flight makes emergency landing in Texas

A US domestic flight made an emergency landing after the captain began yelling about a bomb, passengers say.

The airline said a "medical situation" involving the flight captain prompted the landing in Amarillo, Texas, about three-and-a-half hours into the flight.

JetBlue flight 191 from New York to Las Vegas was carrying 135 passengers when a crew member had to be locked out of the cockpit and restrained.

Local police and the FBI are said to be investigating the incident.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama downplays Medvedev 'open mic' gaffe - Americas - Al Jazeera English

United States President Barack Obama has played down criticism of his candid, open-microphone chat with a Russian counterpart by assuring his critics he was not trying to "hide the ball" with his remarks.

Obama defended his actions on Tuesday, a day after having been caught on camera assuring Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, that he will have "more flexibility" in dealing with contentious issues after November's presidential election.

The comments, made at a global security summit in South Korea on Monday, came as the two leaders thought their microphones had been turned off before addressing reporters.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
watching obama's body language with medvedev was really interesting, as was m's in return.

pretty persuasive, in a likeable way. shame both are more symbolic than not, when it comes to being 'deciders'...  

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 07:06:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sudanese border region sees second day of fighting over oil fields | World news | The Guardian

South Sudan has accused its neighbour Sudan of waging war against it after a second day of fighting in the oil-rich border region - the worst confrontation since the countries split last year.

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, appealed for calm between the antagonists, which fought a long civil war before South Sudan gained independence in July last year. Oil is still the main source of hostility between the countries, which continue to spar over the border demarcation and other unresolved issues.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:22:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pentagon to seek additional Iron Dome funding, U.S. official says - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

The Pentagon will approach Congress to enlarge the amount aid the United States awards Israel toward the production of the Iron Dome anti-missile systems, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

Last week, Rep. Howard L. Berman introduced the Iron Dome Support Act (IDSA) authorizing U.S. President Barack Obama to provide assistance if requested by the Israeli government to procure additional Iron Dome systems.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:34:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Report: Suspected smugglers killed in shooting incident near border with Egypt - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Two suspected smugglers, including what reports say was an Israeli Arab, were killed following a shooting incident involving Israel Defense Forces soldiers near the border with Egypt on Tuesday, less than two weeks after a similar incident resulted in the death of an Egyptian smuggler.

The incident took place hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surveyed the progress of the new fence being erected along Israel's border with Egypt.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:37:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Special Place in Hell-Israel News - Haaretz Israeli News source.

A beleaguered Democratic president, beset by an unpopular war overseas and raging polarization at home, clamps heavy pressure on Israel to make a dramatic gesture over the future of the West Bank.

Israel's cabinet convenes to discuss the White House initiative. A minister-without-portfolio, less than three months in his first cabinet post, asks for the floor. He has a proposal regarding the Palestinians of the West Bank: Offer them citizenship and the right to vote.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
La Repubblica
Tre anni di processo per aver rubato un uovo di cioccolato. E poi l'assoluzione perché il fatto non sussiste.
After a trial lasting 3 years, an Italian teenager was declared innocent of having stolen.... an Easter egg.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 06:30:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The British And American Special Relationship: What Next? | Stop The Spirit of Zossen 2.0

The brutal truth? Pretending a special relationship exists is becoming difficult. American attention and power are leaving Europe. Re-deploying the military footprint merely the most obvious manifestation. Great Britain's claim to pretense lay in lingering memories of its European history. It's a regional power on the edge of a region of receding priorities. Military cutbacks will only reduce British reach.

It's not all bleak. British soft power, while not what it was in the 1960s and 70s, remains influential. British actors are much sought after to play Americans. Simon Cowell's peacock as American as Sony. Piers Morgan squats on CNN, etc. It's fair, perhaps, given that we've imposed David Brooks on them. For all that, Britain, for historical reasons, is likely to remain a far more cosmopolitan society than America.

Intelligence coordination will remain tight across the Anglo Community for some time. Even as more public manifestations of relationships dim or are replaced.

Americans we suspect will look back at the British experience with rue and wonder. Assuming British power really began to rely on the American with the Dawes Plan in 1923-24, the British maintained global relevance for almost a century. It's easy to be snarky. It's no small historical accomplishment.

We won't get that ride. Regardless of statesmanship. First, the British transition occurred within the same Western ecumenical family. British capital founded the economy that would supplant them. Future contending global powers -- even those fueled by American IP, capital and market access -- are outside that shared cultural and historical memory. Second, the Cold War's structural rigidities sustained and supported British efforts.

Our turn will be bumpier. Hang on.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 08:09:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Medvedev blasts Romney for 'number-one foe' remark | BBC
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has rebuked US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for saying Russia is the "number one geopolitical foe" of the US.

Mr Romney made the comments while criticising President Barack Obama for appearing to suggest a future deal with Russia on the issue of missile defence.

Mr Medvedev said Mr Romney's comments "smelled of Hollywood" and advised him to "use his head".

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 09:09:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áLIVING OFF THE PLANETá
áEnvironment, Energy, Agriculture, Foodá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:21:48 PM EST
Obama plan cuts emissions for future coal plants | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The Obama administration effectively blocked the construction of any new coal-fired power plants on Tuesday, introducing rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the next generation of plants.

The proposed new standards would cut carbon dioxide emissions on new power plants in half and will, over time, help move America away from the carbon-heavy plants that currently produce nearly half of the country's electricity, Lisa Jackson, the head of the environmental protection agency, told a conference call with reporters.

"Right now there are no limits to the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be able to put into our skies - and the health and economic threats of a changing climate continue to grow," she said. "Today we're taking a common-sense step to reduce pollution in our air, protect the planet for our children, and move us into a new era of American energy."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:08:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two more rigs evacuated after North Sea gas leak | UK news | The Guardian

Oil giant Total has confirmed that a major gas leak on one of its North Sea platforms could take several months to stop and admitted there was a risk of explosion.

All 238 staff were evacuated from the Elgin platform after the gas leak was discovered on Sunday afternoon. Shell is also removing workers from two offshore installations close to the Elgin platform.

Total, the French oil and gas group, was unable to say whether the airborne fuel cloud around its leaking Elgin offshore platform was growing or shrinking despite describing the situation as "currently stable" on Sunday.

"We continue to take all possible measures to try to identify the source and cause of the leak and to bring it under control," Total said.

A spokesman said the cloud, which is visible to workers on near by platforms, was made up of condensate - described as being "like a very light petrol" - which the company said would ultimately evaporate in the atmosphere.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is both oil and gas, though primarily gas, and it already has a sea footprint spreading, not merely evaporating into the air.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 06:08:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from Der Spiggle:

Two views of Elgin

Power is shut off to avoid this, which killed 167 at Piper Alpha in 1988

We would especially like to thank German Energy Transition Media for being on the case (at Fukushima as well)

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

by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 07:09:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Times: Gas Leak on Offshore Platform Forces Evacuation in North Sea
The company said that it was still investigating what had gone wrong at the platform, which stands in 305 feet of water and links several wells to a nearby production platform, from which gas and liquids are piped to the mainland. Total said an emergency relief well might have to be drilled to stop the well from leaking gas, a process that it said could take six months.

...

The Elgin platform produces about 3 percent of Britain's total gas output, Reuters reported. It has a reputation for being troublesome because of the unusually high pressure in the undersea gas reservoir that it taps.

...

The leaking well on the Elgin platform was no longer producing gas, according to a statement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and workers carried out an operation on Sunday to plug and abandon it. Such work usually involves injecting cement into a well at several locations, including the top, to prevent any gas remaining in the reservoir from leaking.

After the work was done, remote monitoring of the well then revealed that gas continued to be released, according to the statement.



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 Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 06:08:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the level of water TEPCO found in reactor 2 through a boroscope view. (Why do Yurpeens continue to call it endoscope, like in ass-camera?)

60 centimeters does not compare favorably to the 10 meters TEPCO reported covering the place where the already melted down fuel was supposed to be just last December.

Leaks were discovered which go to the surface and the sea. (Oh, and a 6.4 quake Sunday.)

Tell me again why we should be debating a half-cent Feed-In Tariff change, or who pays for offshore grid access, or the end of wind in Spain?

I am such a fan of the wisdom exhaled by this civilization.

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

by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 06:51:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because its used to look in both ends of a person?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 09:27:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The No. 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.

Prediction: This site will not be cleaned up within the lifetime of anyone now alive.

by asdf on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 11:16:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AND

There will be other sites added to the list.
Costs will be socialized.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:32:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Yurp boroscope means a long and tedious motion picture.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 01:35:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Borescopes were used a lot in Finland during the 80s Middle East building boom. Arab and Persian clients didn't like architectural plans and elevations, nor perspective sketches, nor even scale models. They wanted to see a movie of what their project would look like to walk around.

So VTT set up a unit that built very large accurate scale models with a mechanically controlled camera rig suspended overhead, and a borescope going down into the model, with the lens at 'eye level'. The system required so much light to achieve depth of field that the operators wore swimming trunks.

And then came CAD.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 01:56:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds costly.
by sgr2 on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:11:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Compared to the value of the building projects it was a few grains of sand. Those desert potentates wanted the best and were prepared to pay. An architect (long retired), father of my very close friend, spent so much time with those potentate clients that he caught the ostentation bug and had gold taps, and gold fittings throughout. Most unpleasant.

But the reason why the potentates wanted the movie is most interesting. Traditionally, the arab visual culture is based on a spatial representation of importance, rather than perspective. I have an old hand-painted Quran page from Iran that shows this. This can be compared to the axonometric visual space of Japanese art before the Portuguese arrived and brought perspective with them. There is a series of prints by Hokusai made after he was first introduced to Western perspective that show he didn't quite get it at first.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:01:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well that's mighty interesting. Especially the second paragraph.

But the 'endless bottom' approach to architecture/design/commercial development is something I never came across while working for an architect in the Bay Area. All of the developers I knew were totally obsessed with the bottom line. Be it Tom Ford at Sand Hill Road, Alex Mehran at Bishop Ranch, Tom Wheatley at Crossroads, or the McCandless Group down the Peninsula. No matter, they all griped about the costs constantly and wanted their projects to be built as inexpensively as possible. It would have been quite a treat to design a project where money wasn't an issue and you could go for the very best. The closest to that situation I suppose was the bid on the Packard Foundation Building in Los Altos . As I recall, besides being genuinely nice people, David and Lucile Packard didn't come in with any strict parameters concerning costs. They just wanted a building that worked.

by sgr2 on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 04:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a budget man myself ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 05:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it's the "on time" part of the equation that's always given me problems. ;-)
by sgr2 on Fri Mar 30th, 2012 at 06:30:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whoops. Meant to say Jack Wheatley, not Tom.
by sgr2 on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 10:22:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Got a link?
by Andhakari on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:49:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Der Spiegel ( auf Deutsch)

But it should be all over the Japanese english media, TEPCO's given a press release, linked in the German.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 04:05:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found a Bloomberg article, although the shut down of TEPCO's last reactor seems to be bigger news. I just wondered what your source might be.
If TEPCO thinks 60 centimeters of water is enough to cool the fuel I guess that's pretty much an admission that all the fuel is melted and at the bottom of the reactor -- and perhaps that some portion may have 'left the building' - so to speak.
by Andhakari on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 04:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK World covered it here
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has found that the cooling water in one of the damaged reactors at Fukushima is only 60 centimeters deep ... TEPCO had thought that the water level was about 3 meters . It has been injecting nearly 9 tons of water per hour into the reactor to cool the melted fuel that has fallen to the bottom of the containment vessel ... The utility argues that the fuel is still being cooled, as the water temperature remains at around 48 degrees Celsius.
by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 01:36:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US, France and UK consider oil release - FT.com

The US, France and the UK are considering a co-ordinated emergency release of oil stocks, the French energy minister signalled on Wednesday, as concerns mount that high crude prices risk derailing economic recovery.

You need JavaScript active on your browser in order to see this video.More video

Asked by reporters after the weekly ministers' meeting in Paris whether France would join a US-UK move to release strategic stocks, Eric Besson replied: "It is the US that has asked for it. France is favourable to the suggestion."

Hilarious. It's now well understood that Obama needs to get gas prices down in time for the elections. But now it looks as if Sarkozy thinks he can get a boost by me-tooing.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 07:53:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áLIVING ON THE PLANETá
áSociety, Culture, History, Informationá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:22:28 PM EST
BBC News - Phone-hacking inquiry: News of the World ex-editor released

A former US editor of the now-defunct News of the World will not face charges, police investigating newspaper phone hacking have said.

James Desborough had been questioned last summer in relation to Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the practice.

A force statement said a 39-year-old man had been released from police bail and no further action would be taken.

He had been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nelson Mandela archive launches digital treasure trove | World news | The Guardian

"My Darlings," begins the neat blue script. "Once again our beloved Mummy has been arrested and now she and Daddy are away in jail. My heart bleeds as I think of her sitting in some police cell far away from home, perhaps alone and without anybody to talk to, and with nothing to read. Twenty four hours of the day longing for her little ones."

The letter was written from prison on 23 June 1969 by Nelson Mandela to his daughters, Zeni and Zindzi, after their mother, Winnie, had been detained by apartheid-era police. Now, in Mandela's original handwriting, complete with crossings out and corrections, it can be read for free by anyone with internet access.

The poignant missive is among more than 1,900 documents, photographs and films of South Africa's first black president that were published online on Tuesday by Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Paralympian Baroness Grey-Thompson suffers online abuse over train trouble

Baroness Grey-Thompson says she has attracted a stream of anti-disability abuse after she spoke of having to crawl off a train in London.

The former Paralympian said she was often left without assistance at stations despite advance requests.

A newspaper website reporting the story prompted a large number of offensive comments about the peer's disability.

"There's a lot of disabled people who wouldn't be able to deal with it the way I'm able to," she said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Baroness Adams is let off £4,000 expenses repayment - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

A peer is being let off repaying more than £4,000 in expenses she was found to have misclaimed, it was revealed today.

The Commons Commission has signalled that Baroness Adams' disputed debt will be written off because it is too difficult to make her to hand the money back.

The review, carried out by Sir Thomas Legg in the wake of the expenses scandal, decided that the Labour politician had not provided adequate proof for £4,110 of spending on mortgage interest.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:50:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áPEOPLE AND KLATSCHá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 04:22:57 PM EST
James Cameron dives into the Mariana Trench - in pictures | Science | National Geographic
James Cameron gives two thumbs-up as he emerges from the Deepsea Challenger after his successful solo dive in the Mariana Trench


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:20:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Twin polar bears settle in Wuhan, central China - Xinhua | English.news.cn
The twin polar bears Lele (L), a male cub, and Jingjing, a female cub, play beside a pool during a show-up to the public at a sea world in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, March 27, 2012. Born in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, on Jan. 7, 2011, the twin polar bear cubs now settled in Wuhan and met the public on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Wang Zhenwu)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 05:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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