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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 29 March

by afew Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 04:03:27 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1831 - Great Bosnian Uprising: Bosniaks rebel against Turkey.

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!


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:43:43 AM EST
Russian government minister clashes with MEPs over energy 'dependency': theparliament.com
Russia's deputy energy minister Anatoly Yanovsky has clashed with MEPs over the EU's "overdependence" on Russian gas.

Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, UKIP deputy Roger Helmer called on the EU to cut its "overdependence" on energy from Russia.

He said that instead of relying on Russia to meet its energy needs, the EU "would be better" exploiting the "rich" potential of shale gas in Europe.

Helmer, who is responsible for energy issues for UKIP, said, "Europe needs to become less dependent on its energy, particularly from Russia.

"We have learned the consequences of an overreliance on energy from unstable parts of the world. The Russians can turn off the taps whenever they want, as they did, of course, a few years ago.

"Russia can also use this European dependence on their energy for gaining extra leverage over us."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:10:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
We have learned the consequences of an overreliance on energy from unstable parts of the world.

Scotland?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:27:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dangerous secessionists.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 04:32:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you expect when the English do things like this?
An influential House of Commons committee is considering a measure that could see some of Scotland's most famous whisky labels removed from bottles as part of a clampdown on excessive drinking.

The Health Select Committee, which is to hold an inquiry into the UK Government's recently published alcohol strategy, will look into a series of proposals including plain packaging for alcohol sold in shops, similar to a plan being considered for cigarette packets.

Yesterday MPs were warned that removing well-known trademark images such as Johnnie Walker's striding man and the Famous Grouse on bottles, could damage the Scotch whisky industry, which is worth £4 billion in exports alone.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 04:41:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU reaches deal to 'end mobile phone roaming rip-offs' | European Voice

The European Parliament and member states have reached an agreement on new rules that will further reduce the cost of using a mobile telephone abroad within the European Union.

The legislation replaces price caps for mobile roaming that were first introduced in the EU in 2007 but which expire at the end of June this year.

The price caps are significantly lower than those proposed by the Commission in July 2011, although they are not as low as those put forward by MEPs.

Angelika Niebler, a German centre-right MEP who led the Parliament's negotiations on the issue which concluded late on Tuesday (27 March), said that the new law would bring about "more competition in the market to put an end to the ripping-off of consumers".

Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for the digital agenda, said: "Consumers are fed up with being ripped off by high roaming charges. The new roaming deal gives us a long--term structural solution, with lower prices, more choice and a new smart approach for data and internet browsing."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:11:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the one hand, this is good for me: occasional business trips, a holiday sometimes and an ET meet... roaming charges can add up even when you try to be careful.

On the other, I have to give voice to my cynical feeling that the only reason this is getting pushed through is that it actually bites on MEPs and Commission workers who are in Brussels and away from their home country...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:14:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - EU offices around the world 'left empty for months'

EU diplomats around the world are facing calls to have their annual leave cut amid a claim that offices are left "empty for many months of the year".

MEP Ingeborg Graessle says in a working document that some officials can take 17-18 weeks off including overtime.

The EU's External Action Service (EEAS) says it is trying to change a system inherited before its creation in 2010.

But EU officials have described as "ridiculous" the idea that offices abroad are being left untended.

One source said that most of the people sent to work in EU delegations and embassies around the world were "thoroughly committed to their job"

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:16:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Bulgaria abandons Belene nuclear plant proposal

Bulgaria has abandoned plans to build a new nuclear power station at Belene, close to the Romanian border.

The country's deputy finance minister says the cabinet wants to build a gas-powered plant on the site instead.

A Russian-built reactor, which had been ordered for the facility, could now be installed at an existing nuclear plant at Kozloduy.

Environmentalists had opposed the plant, which had first been proposed when Bulgaria was under communist rule.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Germany's new breed of neo-Nazis pose a threat

The story of the killers has dominated headlines in Germany for months now and given rise to one of the biggest scandals in post-war Germany.

It turns out intelligence agencies had had the group under surveillance for years, and even found a bomb-making factory in their garage back in 1998.

So why were the trio not stopped earlier? Why were they allowed to disappear and then stay underground? And why was it that security services blamed the murders on the Turkish mafia at the time? A right-wing motive was never investigated.

The failures have prompted some to ask whether there is more than incompetence to blame, whether Germany's police and security services contain elements sympathetic to the far right - an accusation the institutions vehemently deny.

A parliamentary inquiry is currently under way into their activities, and Newsnight has seen a secret internal report revealing serious blunders by law enforcement agencies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:19:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch MPs vote to condemn PVV website | EurActiv

The lower house of the Netherlands parliament has condemned a website set up by the right-wing Freedom Party (PVV), which invites Dutch citizens to denounce "nuisance" caused by Europeans from Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

The motion approved yesterday (27 March) says the PVV website (see background) characterises an entire category of people - those from Central and Eastern Europe - as undesirable.

"The Lower House, after having heard arguments, states that the PVV website ... unnecessarily puts a group of people in the cross-hairs," said the motion, approved by a 94-56 vote. PVV has 23 MPs.

The European Parliament has called the website "deplorable" and pressed Prime Minister Mark Rutte to distance himself from it.

The motion was tabled by the central-left D66 party.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...the coalition is at a breaking point. As the government has put the Netherlands in the same financial snare of the other EU-nations, the past three weeks the coalition partners and Wilders have locked themselves up to cook up their austerity plans. One problem: Wilders is not playing ball and the negotiations broke up yesterday.

Crunch day today. It could be an act of Wilders though, as his political position weakened last week. One of his MPs has broken rank and gone independent, which means that the Rutte-government no longer has a factual majority.

by Nomad on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 05:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / New banking rules may hit eastern Europe, banker warns

BRUSSELS - New EU rules currently being worked on to make banks take less risks and hold more capital may have "unintended consequences" on the eastern European economies where companies are more reliant on bank loans than in the West.

"I'm only advocating for central and eastern Europe because it is the most dynamic region of the EU," Gernot Mittendorfer, chief risk officer at Erste Group Bank - an Austrian bank active in countries like Hungary, Romania, Serbia.

"We have to be careful what impact all these regulations will have in the region, because I think Europe will be better off having this area well-funded," he told this website on Tuesday (27 March).

The Austrian banker explained that because financial markets are relatively new to the region, bank loans remain the main source of funding for small and medium enterprises in the area.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:23:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there's a real issue here - but this bit made my head spin:

The Austrian banker explained that because financial markets are relatively new to the region, bank loans remain the main source of funding for small and medium enterprises in the area.

As far as I'm aware this is true not only in the East, but across the entire Eurozone. Which medium enterprises make it into other forms of financial fund raising on a large scale?

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose that the more economically dynamic regions have more small businesses being created and growing, and these are the ones who need a good line of credit from a friendly bank. In the stable (or shrinking) economies of western Europe, established companies sort out their long-term financing needs in less costly ways, and so are overall less vulnerable to a decrease in discretionary lending by banks.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and what's the reason for their superior dynamism? i guess it's that the kornsumer economy hasn't fully taken root there yet, so more development is worth risking investment, whereas western europe has pretty much maxed out.

there are more cars in italy than there are current licenses, etc...

of course this is probably all predicated on cheap oil, so there may be a lot more risk than people imagine.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:02:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New EU rules currently being worked on to make banks take less risks and hold more capitaleschew credit risk and focus on price risk may have "unintended consequences" on the eastern European economies where companies are more reliant on bank loans than in the West.

...

"I'm only advocating for central and eastern Europe because it is the most dynamic region of the EU,"

And not because Erste is hugely exposed to credit risk from its expansion into Central and Eastern Europe and so could be massively undercapitalised under the new rules.
The Austrian banker explained that because financial markets are relatively new to the region, bank loans remain the main source of funding for small and medium enterprises in the area.
I'd like to know in which Eurozone country SMEs fund themselves in the capital markets. Under European Commission definitions, an SME is a firm with a turnover of less than €50 million and a balance sheet of less than €43 million.

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 09:12:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis: Europe's reform drive risks running out of steam | Reuters

(Reuters) - European leaders are caught between former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's injunction "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste" and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker's admission that "We all know what to do. We just don't know how to get re-elected after we've done it."

Signs of reform fatigue are growing in euro zone countries as bond market pressure for a radical budget and economic overhaul has eased slightly. While several governments have pushed through changes in pension, employment and welfare systems that would have been unthinkable before the currency area's debt crisis, the reform push is losing momentum in the face of political resistance.

Italy's unelected prime minister, Mario Monti, made a veiled threat to quit this week for the first time in an attempt to force through a shake-up of labour laws intended to make it easier for companies to fire workers. Monti warned Italians that his team of reforming technocrats might not stay in office until a 2013 election if trade unions and politicians picked his plan apart.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:52:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britons See Disposable Incomes Plunge Most Since 1977: Economy - Bloomberg

Britons suffered the biggest drop in disposable income in more than three decades last year in a squeeze that may continue this year as energy prices increase.

Real household disposable income fell 1.2 percent, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. That's the biggest drop since 1977 when the then Labour government sought to cap incomes growth in an attempt to bring down inflation. The report also showed that the economy shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter, more than the 0.2 percent contraction previously estimated.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:58:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germans in more danger of poverty than Czechs - The Local
As many as 13 million Germans, 15.6 percent of the population, are in danger of falling into poverty, the latest statistics, from 2009, show. That is a significantly higher proportion than in Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

Overall, though, Germans are relatively well-off, since the overall average of the European Union is 16.4 percent.

The official definition of being "in danger of poverty" is anyone whose income - including state benefits - is less than 60 percent of the national average. In Germany that means anyone living on less than €940 a month is officially vulnerable to poverty.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:06:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was an economic study published in mid-March on inequality in Germany that I'll have to dig up.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 09:34:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See, Germany is doing better!

European Commission: Social cohesion in the Czech Republic: a blessing or a trap? (10. September 2006)

When using indicators of inequality of income distribution and the at-risk-of-poverty rate, the Czech Republic has one of the highest levels of social cohesion in the EU, comparable to that of the Nordic countries. Though social transfers play a significant role in reducing the Czech poverty rate, it is the country's relatively equal distribution of primary income that contributes most to the level of social cohesion overall. This can be explained by several factors, in particular by the quality of education, the homogeneity of society, regulation of rental housing, the gradual nature of the transition process and other historical reasons. Economic theory and empirical evidence are not clear-cut on what the impact of social cohesion is on economic efficiency and growth. Though social cohesion can have a positive economic impact on growth, the tax-transfer system, if badly designed, may have harmful consequences for labour supply and for the sustainability of public finances as seems to be the Czech case.


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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 09:36:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Nears One-Year Boost in Rescue Fund to $1.3 Trillion - Bloomberg

European governments are preparing for a one-year increase in the ceiling on rescue aid to 940 billion euros ($1.3 trillion) to keep the debt crisis at bay, according to a draft statement written for finance ministers.

The euro-area finance chiefs will probably decide at a meeting in Copenhagen tomorrow to run the 500 billion-euro permanent European Stability Mechanism alongside the 200 billion euros committed by the temporary fund, a European official told reporters in Brussels yesterday.

Beyond that, they are also set to allow the temporary fund's unused 240 billion euros to be tapped until mid-2013 "in exceptional circumstances following a unanimous decision of euro-area heads of state or government notably in case the ESM capacity would prove insufficient," according to the draft dated March 23 and obtained by Bloomberg News.

h/t Eurointelligence

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:02:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Draft declaration foresees a €940bn ESM
A draft declaration for the Copenhagen Ecofin suggests an increase in the ESM to €940bn through a temporary merger of EFSF and ESM; this is not a done deal yet as there remain conflicting reports about the likely agreement; high level sources are still talking about a range of €700bn to €940bn, which means it is not clear whether the unused funds of the EFSF will be carried forward; Weidmann compares the ECB's liquidity policies to the Tower of Babel; Marek Belka said Greece should talk about a parallel currency to address the competitiveness issue; says Thomas Mirow was doing a good job at the EBRD, and warns the eurozone not to include the EBRD in the eurozone jobs carousel; Nicolas Sarkozy does not want to nominate Wolfgang Schäuble as head of the Ecofin before the presidential election, as it would cement the impression that Germany is running the show; the European Commission's troika representative says Greece is not out of the woods yet; bank lending to the private sector is still falling in the eurozone, with wide intra-regional variations; data suggest that LTRO did not yet have an effect on the real economy; the crisis has raised the French household savings rate to 16.8%; investors reject the enforcement of CACs in 10 out of 12 Greek foreign-law bonds; Belgium needs to make a further €5bn in savings next year to meet the 2013 deficit target; Edward Hugh, meanwhile, does the math on the Spanish debt, and it
looks much worse than the official statistics suggest.


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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 05:19:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EconoMonitor: Homeric Similes and Spanish Debt
Now Victor quotes me on two counts: the real size of Spain's debt, and the effectiveness of Spain's institutions.
"Spanish sovereign debt is already over 80 per cent of GDP," said Edward Hugh, a Barcelona-based economist. "I think it's getting nearer 90 per cent"......Mr Hugh also said the situation in Spain could not be compared to the confusion in the public accounts of Greece because much of the Spanish data are public and made available by the Bank of Spain, or can be deduced from official sources. But he added that the centre-right government's transparency risked curbing Spain's room for manoeuvre should the crisis deepen further.
Well, while it's the first claim that is controversial and in need of justification (and believe me Victor Mallet demanded to see the justification for the numbers before putting up the quote) let's start with the second one first as it forms an important part of the background. I think it is very important to understand that Spain is not Greece, in the important sense that the people in charge do in fact normally know what is going on. They have auditors and inspectors whose job it is to know, and they do do their job. So the Bank of Spain knows virtually everything there is to know about each and every one of Spain's many banks and savings banks, about the state of their balance sheets, about the level of bad loans, etc etc. Naturally, knowing what they do is one thing and what they tell you is another matter.


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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:38:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
Her mind in torment, wheeling like some lion at bay, dreading the gangs of investors and bond traders closing their cunning ring around her ready for the finish, Angela thrashed around looking for the rules and pacts that would save her embattled army. To no avail, her chariot struck a rock which, like the one to the west of Grosseto which saw-off the unfortunate Costa Concordia along with her Captain, was on no known map, having not previously been measured, and she went hurtling down that crazed path which leads only towards a preappointed destiny with both history and oblivion.


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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the comments
On the other hand, I'm not suggesting that Spain is a special case for the quantity of accounts pending for receiveables. What separates Spain from France, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, and Finland is that the Spanish economy is broken, and we don't have measures available at the moment which are able to fix it - this is an unavoidable cost of maintaining the Euro, without which we would surely face disaster. Spain's citizens are just going to have to learn to live with this situation, regretable as it is.
(this is Edward Hugh himself replying to a reader, with my emphasis)

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From Reuters
An unemployed Austrian man sawed his foot off, apparently to avoid being found fit to go back to work.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 12:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Delors is peeved:

http://www.euractiv.com/future-eu/delors-points-finger-europes-killers-news-511850#.T3R3CBfsTjw.twit ter

Addressing directly Van Rompuy, who is discretely steering EU summits since he took office two and a half years ago, he said:

"No, Mr. Van Rompuy, you are not defending the community method ... The community method is the constant primacy of the European interest. It should be the fight of each Commissioner to be there not because it's nice to be there and because the job is well paid, but to be there for the sake of the European interest."

by Upstate NY on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 01:09:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is unusually strong.

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 01:25:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately poorly translated, and only available in English on the French (!) version of the site.

But how I wish Hollande would come out with all this!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:08:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I"m very impressed by his stand, think it required reading, and am once again thankful that elders don't have careers to lose, so can tell the truth as they see it.

(That's me passing kudos to a politician. wow.)

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:17:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't find a transcript in French. Interestingly, neither Le Monde nor Libé even report the event...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:29:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:53:30 AM EST
Democratic inequality | European Voice

This is one of the first detailed studies of the adverse effects of income inequality that I have seen. It goes beyond the headline-grabbing `1%' debate to show that even the everyday inequality that most Americans face has deep, pernicious effects.

Equally interesting is the link that the study finds between income inequality and pre-crisis economic policy. Republican Congressmen from districts with higher levels of income inequality were more likely to vote for legislation to expand housing credit to the poor in the years before the crisis (almost all Democrats voted for such legislation, making it hard to distinguish their motives). And the effect of spending by the rich on non-rich households' spending was higher in areas where house prices could move more, suggesting that housing credit and the ability to borrow against rising home equity may have supported over-consumption by the non-rich.

I was most fascinated, though, by the difference in legislators' response to inequality now and in the past. In a study of the congressional vote on the McFadden Act of 1927, which sought to boost competition in lending, Rodney Ramcharan of the US Federal Reserve and I found that legislators from districts with a highly unequal distribution of land holdings - farming was the primary source of income in many districts then - tended to vote against the act. More inequality led legislators, at least in that case, to prefer less competition and less expansion in lending. And we found that counties with less bank competition experienced a milder farmland boom, and therefore a smaller bust in the years before the Great Depression.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BRICS summit to explore creation of bank - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

The proposal of a development bank is high on the agenda at the summit of the five BRICS bloc nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - starting on Thursday in New Delhi.

The proposal for a "South-South" development bank in the mould of the World Bank is one of the main points to be discussed by the group of five rising powers at the fourth BRICS summit.

The initiative would allow the countries to pool resources for infrastructure improvements, and could also be used in the longer term as a vehicle for lending during global financial crises such as the one in Europe, officials said.

"What will be discussed (in New Delhi) is the possibility of setting up a BRICS development bank for infrastructure projects, development, not only in member countries but also in developing countries," Maria Edileuza Fonteneles Reis, a senior Brazilian foreign ministry official, said.

Fernando Pimentel, the Brazilian industry and trade minister, told reporters in Brasilia last week, "the proposal to set up a BRICS bank, an international, investment bank of these five countries," is the main item on the agenda.

He said that the countries would sign a deal at the summit to study the creation of the bank.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:32:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True economic measure includes natural assets: scientists | Reuters

(Reuters) - Traditional measures showing strong economic growth in Brazil and India over nearly two decades fail to take account of the depletion of their natural resources, scientists and economists at a climate conference said on Wednesday.

Scientists and environment groups have been pressuring governments to include the value of their countries' natural resources - and use or loss of them - into future measurements of economic activity, rather than relying solely on the gross domestic product calculation.

Between 1990 and 2008, the wealth of Brazil and India measured by GDP rose 34 percent and 120 percent respectively, but this measurement is flawed, economists at the "Planet Under Pressure" conference in London argued.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We keep coming back to externalities. They are very prominent in energy, but even greater within the system itself.

so there's two games, one to get externalities included, and the harder one, how to quantify them.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 05:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, it is the 800lb gorilla.

how do you 'quantify' the amazon basin, all they know is how to commodify it, and not even that really, because what market values can they ascribe when the market itself is so fickle and skewed by speculation?

when externalities are included, all of a sudden you get why the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts, the difference between seed corn and eating corn, between the goose and its eggs, between furniture and firewood...

and why humpty dumpty is so hard to put together again.

they don't talk about 'internalities', do they?

"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 08:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apologize for not getting english links, but methinks it funny that the German states are calling for Germany Bonds so everyone pays the same interest rates.

Yes, Frau Merkel, they wish a Transfer Union.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:01:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:53:49 AM EST
Mali coup leaders unveil new constitution - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Mali's coup leaders have unveiled a new constitution and pledged to hold elections even as the West African nation's neighbours sent a high-level delegation to lobby for the restoration of democracy.

The charter, which did not specify when the elections would be held, came hours after the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, threatened sanctions and the use of military force to reverse last week's coup that ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure.

A statement read out on behalf of the coup leaders on state television said none of them would stand in the upcoming elections.

It added that civilians would be offered 15 out of 41 posts in a new transitional authority intended to prepare the path for elections. Captain Amadou Sanogo, a US-trained soldier who led the coup, will appoint an interim prime minister and government. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:26:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arab League backs Annan Syria plan - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Arab League foreign ministers meeting in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have reached a draft resolution on Syria, which calls for action on a UN-backed peace plan formulated by former UN chief Kofi Annan.

Speaking at the summit on Wednesday, Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi foreign minister, said "the Syrian crisis is not exclusively an Arab one, it affects the entire international community".

Speaking after the first day of the meeting, Zebari said the Syrian crisis figured high on the envoys' agenda.

He called for a "unified vision" when it came to resolving regional issues.

On Tuesday, Annan, the joint UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, said President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to the six-point peace proposal that urges an end to violence in that country.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pope Strikes Moderate Tone in Cuba - IPS ipsnews.net
On his three-day visit to Cuba, Pope Benedict XVI has so far struck a moderate tone, although he called on Catholics in this country to fight with the "weapons" of peace and understanding for an "open, renewed society."

"I was expecting stronger words, since before he came he commented that the Marxist ideology no longer corresponds to reality," an analyst who preferred to remain anonymous told IPS. "Maybe he's saving it for his private meeting Tuesday with (President) Raúl Castro."

Early Tuesday, he visited the sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity, where he prayed for Cuba's patron saint "to guide the future of this beloved nation in the ways of justice, peace, freedom and reconciliation."

At around noon, he flew from Santiago de Cuba, 860 km east of Havana, to the capital, to meet a few hours later with Castro and his family. One of the president's daughters is sexologist Mariela Castro, a tenacious defender of sexual rights as human rights.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ideology no longer corresponds to reality
So when did this become a problem for the universal church?
by Andhakari on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:49:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find more interesting the implication that it did once correspond to reality. Why didn't they say so at the time?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:59:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pro-Peace Jewish Lobby Stresses Return to Stalled Talks - IPS ipsnews.net
WASHINGTON, Mar 27, 2012 (IPS) - At the third annual conference of J Street, the "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobby group that is widely seen as a counterweight to the more right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Israel-Palestine conflict took the focus back from the ongoing tension with Iran.

There was much talk of Iran at the Washington conference, but J Street intended to shift attention back to the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has successfully focused international attention on Iran, pushing the Palestinian issue off the agenda.

Controversy swirled even before the conference began. Peter Beinart, whom J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami dubbed the "troubadour of our movement", had published an op-ed calling for boycotting products from Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

J Street does not agree with this proposal, and Ben-Ami criticised Beinart's proposal heavily. With Beinart using the J Street conference to launch his new book, this made for some awkward moments, and when the issue came up at one of the plenary sessions, the crowd was evenly split among supporters and opponents of Beinart's idea.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:38:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could bombing Iran push it to build the Bomb? | Reuters

(Reuters) - Pre-emptive military strikes aimed at forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear activities may end up having the opposite effect: convincing the Islamic Republic's leaders they need an atomic arsenal to secure their hold on power.

That is the argument from those in the West and elsewhere who say the negative impact of an Israeli or U.S. attack would eventually outweigh any gains - pushing Iran towards a decision that Western intelligence services believe it has not yet taken.

"It is difficult to see a single action more likely to drive Iran into taking the final decision to acquire nuclear weapons than an attack on the country," the foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland said in an opinion piece in the New York Times.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:46:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sheldon Adelson: Newt 'at the end of his line' [video] - latimes.com
Casino titan Sheldon Adelson, who has almost single-handedly bankrolled a "super PAC" backing Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, now believes Gingrich is "at the end of his line."


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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 05:17:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By taking crucial wins and delegate counts away from Santorum, Gingirch has effectively guaranteed Romney's ascendancy without him having to worry about a brokered convention

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:09:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe that was Adelson's plan all along?
After all, if you were going to put all that money behind someone, why would you choose Gingrich?

Not only was he not likely to win (fair enough, some say Adelson only sought enough votes to be a kingmaker) but Gingrich always had high self-combustion likelihood - you could spend all that money for nothing after it came out that he left his latest wife for someone else, or something similar... he's just accident prone...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funding "When Mitt Romney Came to Town" hardly fits in some plan to help Romney win....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:28:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Metatone:
he left his latest wife for someone else, or something similar

... he left his wife for something similar? A chimpanzee? An android?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:32:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the strange perfection of his wife's hair, I'm betting android

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lizard.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:53:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Democrat?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:54:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Borg?  A Stepford Wife?  A vampire?  A serial killer?

You make the call.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 11:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An owl?

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 12:02:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An injection-moulding?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 01:53:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all of the above and then some.

straight out of a hitchcock flick!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Mar 30th, 2012 at 02:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't want to get in her way at the supermarket checkout, would you?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 30th, 2012 at 02:19:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
why not?



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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Mar 30th, 2012 at 02:53:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty tasteless, if you ask me.

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 Fri Mar 30th, 2012 at 04:25:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aiello scarcerato: "Soffre di favismo" | Giornale di Sicilia
Pasta o riso con i piselli, seppie e piselli, minestrone e fave. Un menù a base di legumi «dannoso» per il manager della Sanità, Michele Aiello che soffre di favismo. Ed è per questo che nei giorni scorsi è stato scarcerato dalla prigione di Sulmona. Lo ha deciso, con questa motivazione, come riportano alcuni quotidiani, il tribunale di sorveglianza dell'Aquila che ha concesso, nei giorni scorsi, la detenzione domiciliare per un anno all'ingegnere, condannato a 15 anni e sei mesi per associazione mafiosa nel processo denominato Talpe alla Dda in cui fu coinvolto anche l'ex governatore siciliano Totò Cuffaro, attualmente detenuto a Rebibbia, dove sta scontando una condanna a sette anni di reclusione.
Mobster released from a 15-year sentence because he is allergic to beans. At least this is the official reason.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 08:33:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This belongs in Europe.

Anyway it's a dangerous precedent. Aiello is much more than what he was condemned for. It's a recent tactic among major mafia bosses to invoke health problems to help reduce their isolation in prison.

Logic would have it that the hilarious excuse of "favismo," an intollerance for a particular fresh bean, should allow all prisoners affected with the syndrome to be transferred to house arrest as Aiello. Unfortunately common prisoners don't hold major secrets on the tip of their tongues as Aiello does.

It would do wonders for investigations were he to talk.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 09:59:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's so blatantly off the wall. doesn't do supermario or the magistrature any credit. it reminds me of when provenzano was caught the day after berlu was voted out.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:17:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:54:12 AM EST
One mile on a bike is a $.42 economic gain to society, one mile driving is a $.20 loss | Grist

Copenhagen, the bicycle-friendliest place on the planet, publishes a bi-annual Bicycle Account, and buried in its pages is a rather astonishing fact, reports Andy Clarke, president of the league of American Bicyclists:

"When all these factors are added together the net social gain is DKK 1.22 per cycled kilometer. For purposes of comparison there is a net social loss of DKK 0.69 per kilometer driven by car." 1.22 Danish crowns is about 25 cents and a kilometer is 6/10 of a mile, so we are talking about a net economic gain to society of 42 cents for every bicycle mile traveled. That's a good number to have in your back pocket.

And what are all the "social gains" that bicycling grants the city of Copenhagen?

"A number of factors are included in the equation such as transport costs, security, comfort, branding/tourism, transport times and health."

Considering that both sitting and car exhaust kill you, it's a safe bet a lot of the net benefit to society is simply that cycling makes you less of a drag on health insurance and the safety net.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 12:08:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I took the train this morning... (numbers, anyone?) but I biked on Monday and Tuesday. And I haven't used the car yet this week.

Yes, I definitely feel richer.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sheep farmers poisoned by OP pesticides still fighting for justice - news - The Ecologist
David is one of an estimated several hundred farmers around the UK who have suffered the consequences of pesticide poisoning. You won't hear much, if anything, about them though. Many were poisoned long ago in the 1980s and early 90s. But for the ones still alive, the suffering goes on. It is a scandal largely forgotten by the government, medical profession and farming industry, each of whom would prefer the remaining victims to quietly pass away into history.

What makes it even more tragic, is that it is a scandal that could have ended before it even started. In 1951, the highly-influential Lord Zuckerman, later to be the government's chief scientist, warned of the dangers of allowing farmers to use the newly emerging organophosphate pesticides (OPs).

Developed as a nerve gas in the 2nd World War, OPs were then being championed as an insecticide for killing bugs and pests that damaged livestock and crops. Zuckerman said the chemicals could be absorbed through the skin or inhalation and, as such, farmers should receive detailed instructions on protecting themselves and that all containers should be clearly labelled as 'deadly poison'. It wouldn't be until the 1990s that this last recommendation was finally implemented.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 12:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Focus on technology overlooks human behavior when addressing climate change

Many nations, including the United States, are actively pursuing technological advances to reduce the use of fossil fuels to potentially mitigate human contributions to climate-change. The approach of the International Panel on Climate Change assumes alternative energy sources - nuclear, wind and hydro - will equally displace fossil fuel consumption. This approach, York argues, ignores "the complexity of human behavior."

Based on a four-model study of electricity used in some 130 countries in the past 50 years, York found that it took more that 10 units of electricity produced from non-fossil sources - nuclear, hydropower, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar - to displace a single unit of fossil fuel-generated electricity.

"When you see growth in nuclear power, for example, it doesn't seem to affect the rate of growth of fossil fuel-generated power very much," said York, a professor in the sociology department and environmental studies program. He also presented two models on total energy use.

"When we looked at total energy consumption, we found a little more displacement, but still, at best, it took four to five units of non-fossil fuel energy to displace one unit produced with fossil fuel."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 12:14:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Work on new Chernobyl sarcophogus to start next month

The construction of a new sarcophagus above the defunct Chernobyl Atomic Power Station will begin on April 26, the 26th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster, Ukraine said Tuesday.

Preliminary work on the 20,000-ton structure designed to contain threats from radioactivity began earlier this year.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko said in a statement that full construction "will begin on April 26".

The disaster contaminated large parts of Europe but especially the then-Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 12:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose you build a new sarcophagus over the old ones every couple of decades.

Like matryoshka dolls.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:45:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's still better than the Japanese 'What - us worry?' response to Fukushima.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 11:38:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oil from Deepwater Horizon disaster entered food chain in the Gulf of Mexico

Since the explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, scientists have been working to understand the impact that this disaster has had on the environment.

For months, crude oil gushed into the water at a rate of approximately 53,000 barrels per day before the well was capped on July 15, 2010. A new study confirms that oil from the Macondo well made it into the ocean's food chain through the tiniest of organisms, zooplankton.

Tiny drifting animals in the ocean, zooplankton are useful to track oil-derived pollution. They serve as food for baby fish and shrimp and act as conduits for the movement of oil contamination and pollutants into the food chain. The study confirms that not only did oil affect the ecosystem in the Gulf during the blowout, but it was still entering the food web after the well was capped.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 12:19:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New report says global warming may be cause of 'climate-related disasters': theparliament.com
New evidence suggests that climate change has led to changes in climate extremes such as heat waves, record high temperatures and, in many regions, heavy 'precipitation' in the past half century.

This is according to a major new report by the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), which was issued on Wednesday.

It says that climate extremes, or even a series of 'non-extreme' events, in combination with 'social vulnerabilities' and exposure to risks can produce climate-related disasters.

The IPCC report says that while some extreme weather and climate events lead to disasters, others do not.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:09:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[No Shit, Sherlock!]

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's all this heavy precipitation going ? Cos it's not coming here

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:14:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN expert says EU farm policies `impossible to satisfy' | EurActiv

European efforts to make farming more environmentally friendly have done little to address its growing ecological footprint abroad, says a UN expert who calls for a shift to more sustainable consumption.

Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, criticised European Union farming policies for driving demand that is "literally impossible to satisfy" and requiring vast amounts of "virtual land" in other countries.

"The EU today uses 640 million hectares of land, which is about 1.5 times its own surface," De Schutter, a Belgian law professor who serves as an independent expert to the United Nations, said in a recent speech.

Demand for biofuels, livestock feed and flowers are driving plant and imports from emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and increasingly Africa.

"Globalisation places populations with very divergent purchasing power in direct competition," De Schutter said at a 20 March event in Brussels hosted by the Compassion in World Farming charity.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which takes place in Rio de Janeiro in June, offers the opportunity to move away from a "productivist paradigm" and commit to "sustainable production", De Schutter said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:20:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that just a re-statement of the underlying argument for trade? If one country has a comparative advantage in cheap land, then the use of that land will be rented to other countries where land is more expensive.

Whether that's a good idea or not is debatable, but the alternative, which is Japanese-style self-sufficiency in food, seems to lead to a nationalist attitude--with the associated problems...

by asdf on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:57:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you sure of a causal link self-sufficiency --> nationalism in the case of Japan?

In the European case, food self-sufficiency was at one time the avowed aim of the Common Agricultural Policy - without having produced a wave of European nationalism, not that anyone noticed, anyway.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:51:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely more to the point, self-sufficiency -> never ending battles at the WTO, which Japan has had the political will to fight, but Europe probably does not...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:25:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you mean that the CAP aim of self-sufficiency has long disappeared under the global free-trade wave, certainly.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:49:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only road to sustainability that I can see, requires "ecological dumping" tariffs to brake the blow-out in resource extraction in the "cheaper" countries.

A similar thing is happening in energy, of course : virtuously the Europeans decrease their energy consumption, largely by offshoring their manufacturing.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rio+ 20 Suffers Leadership Void Weeks Ahead of Summit - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 27, 2012 (IPS) - When a landmark U.N conference on sustainable development kicks off in Brazil mid-June, more than 120 world leaders are expected to participate in the much-ballyhooed talkfest on the future of the global environment.

"But yet we haven't had a single leader who has stood up and provided a vision and direction that these talks desperately need," complained Tim Gore of the London-based Oxfam International.

"What we need," he told reporters Tuesday, "is a vision for the future to reorient the global economy around the needs of the poorest - and to meet those needs within the environmental limits of this planet.

"It is not too late," he said, "to get onto that track but we need that vision to be forthcoming now."

Scheduled to take place Jun. 20-22, the three-day summit, also called Rio+20, is a follow-up to the historic June 1992 Earth Summit, also held in Rio de Janeiro, 20 years ago.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:37:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama could do it, if he were confident of re-election with dem majorities in both houses. Though he would probably need a supermajority in the senate for treaties ...

Hope springs eternal, etc.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:52:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Senegal's Investment in Rural Youth Bearing Fruit - IPS ipsnews.net
DAKAR, Mar 27, 2012 (IPS) - Darou Ndoye is the sort of village young people cannot wait to leave in search of better prospects in the city or across the seas in Europe. But 40 youth working on 10 hectares of a 20-heactre farm here in western Senegal show how a little support goes a long way in creating rewarding work in rural Senegal.

The farm, which was rehabilitated in 2008 as part of the government's Return to Agriculture programme (REVA), boasts a borehole with a diesel pump that feeds a sprinkler network covering 10 hectares; a mini pivot system extends irrigation to a further five hectares.

The Return to Agriculture programme was established in 2006, with the aim of fighting food insecurity and unemployment by promoting private enterprise in agriculture.

Reducing out-migration from rural to urban areas within Senegal, as well as clandestine emigration to Europe was an explicit part of the plan, which has received substantial funding from the Spanish and Moroccan governments as well as from Senegal's own budget.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:40:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Michael Hintze revealed as funder of Lord Lawson's climate thinktank | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Michael Hintze, a leading Conservative party donor who runs the £5bn hedge fund CQS, has emerged as a financial backer of the climate sceptic thinktank founded by former chancellor, Lord Nigel Lawson.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, launched by Lawson in 2009, regularly casts doubt on the science and cost of tackling climate change in the media and has called on climate scientists to show greater transparency, but has refused to reveal details of its donors. Leading Nasa climate scientist James Hansen calls it "one link in a devious manipulation of public opinion [regarding climate change]."

On Monday, Downing Street was forced to reveal that Hintze was among the leading Tory donors who were invited to privately dine with David Cameron at a "thank you" dinner following the general election in 2010. The revelation that Hintze, who has also donated £1.5m to the Tory party, is connected with climate change scepticism will be an embarassment for David Cameron, who has pledged to lead the "greenest government ever".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:17:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The revelation that Hintze,...., is connected with climate change scepticism will be an embarassment for David Cameron, who has pledged to lead the "greenest government ever".

Why is that an embarrassment ? Nobody believed him when he said it so now we know it's untrue it's just ...meh

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear giants RWE and E.ON drop plans to build new UK reactors | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The government's nuclear energy policy is in disarray after German utilities RWE and E.ON dropped their plans to build two reactors in the UK.

RWE confirmed this morning that it is ending the Horizon joint venture and putting its stake on the market. According to industry sources, the Horizon consortium owned by RWE and E.ON is up for sale following a row over the technology that would be used in the power stations planned for Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

A senior nuclear industry figure told the Guardian that the German government's abandonment of nuclear power last year in the wake of the Fukushima disaster had played a significant role. The source said: "This is an obvious consequence of what happened in Germany last year. It's a total train wreck



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 07:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:54:34 AM EST
Plant DNA speaks English, identifies new species

The important changes to the way scientists name new plants that took effect on 1 January 2012 included the fall of the so-called Latin requirement - a stipulation that descriptions or diagnoses of new species had to be in Latin.

The new rules make it possible to take full advantage of an ongoing revolution in how botanists and mycologists verify that a particular species is indeed new to science: Many studies now routinely include the sequencing of short DNA regions that will amplify easily, even when the DNA comes from old specimens.

Such "barcoding" sequences can be used to confirm a suspected new species as long as related species that already have a scientific name are also being sequenced for the same DNA stretch.

There is no standard Latin vocabulary for describing DNA barcoding, yet in English, there is.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 12:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apple to refund Australians for iPad mistake - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

Apple will email all buyers of its new iPad in Australia to offer them a refund, a lawyer for the company has said, following an accusation from the nation's consumer watchdog that the electronics giant misled consumers over a key aspect of the product.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken legal action to ensure Apple makes consumers aware that its third-generation iPad cannot use an advertised 4G mobile data connection in Australia.

Apple agreed to post warnings that its new iPad "is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX
networks" over the next week, said Paul Anastassiou, a lawyer for the company, on Wednesday.

In federal court documents, the ACCC says Apple advertised that its iPad could, with a wireless internet connection and a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, though it cannot.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:31:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Face time with Facebook CEO stirs concerns on Wall Street | Reuters

(Reuters) - Mark Zuckerberg wants at least $5 billion from Wall Street investors, but those investors will not be getting much face time in return.

The Facebook co-founder and CEO made that clear when he skipped the social networking company's first major briefing for analysts and bankers last week. The meeting was the first of many that will take place in the run-up to an IPO that could value the company at close to $100 billion.

Zuckerberg's dismissive approach is hardly unique among elite Silicon Valley companies, but it could become an issue with investors because of the enormous control he exerts over Facebook via special shares.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:47:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
News Corp unit let piracy thrive at DirecTV -paper | Reuters

A News Corp subsidiary providing security for pay-TV smartcards let piracy to go unchecked at U.S. satellite broadcaster DirecTV less than a year before News Corp looked into buying the business, an Australian paper said.

The article in the Australian Financial Review, citing internal emails from NDS, added to questions over News Corp practices after reports that NDS promoted the piracy of rivals and after scandals at News Corp's British newspapers.

NDS said in a statement that it "completely rejects the allegations made by the Australian Financial Review."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli high-tech giant NDS caught in U.K. hacking scandal | Ha'aretz
NDS, one of Israel's most prominent high-tech success stories, has become embroiled this week in the ongoing hacking scandals that have been shaking Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire.

According to allegations made in a BBC Panorama investigation, NDS, which is partly owned by NewsCorp, leaked details on the internet that allowed viewers in Britain to access television channels for free. This is alleged to have lead to the financial collapse of ON Digital, the largest rival of NewsCorp's Sky television network in Britain.

NDS's executive chairman is Abe Peled, previously head of research in computer science at IBM. It's not the first time the company has has problems: here is another story from 2002, and I seem to recall (but can't trace the details and may be wrong) that Peled was once briefly arrested in Israel in some tax evasion case involving the same company.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 04:31:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:54:56 AM EST
Fuming fans show team where goal is - The Local
Fans of Magdeburg football club, languishing at the bottom of the fourth tier of Germany's league, came up with an innovative way to try and turn the team's fortunes - big, multi-coloured arrows to help misfiring strikers locate the goal.

...Beneath a banner emblazoned with the helpful notice "we will show you where the goal is," the Magdeburgers held aloft brightly-coloured arrows and pointed them at the opposition goal.

And it did the trick - Christopher Wright, Magdeburg's US attacker, proved he was well capable of following orange and yellow arrows, and slammed in a cracking header from a corner in the 78th minute.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:01:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've just finished reading an article about fraternity hazing in Rolling Stone.

A brutal read, even knowing that the date rape side was barely mentioned.

Why then, would i post it here? Well, there's the reputation of Dartmouth being the Ivy focused most on providing for top-level corporate amurka. ET does have regular mentions of Geithner and Paulson...


This did not go over well. At a college where two-thirds of the upperclassmen are members of Greek houses, fraternities essentially control the social life on campus. To criticize Dartmouth's frats, which date back more than 150 years, is tantamount to criticizing Dartmouth itself, the smallest and most insular school in the Ivy League. Nestled on a picturesque campus in tiny Hanover, New Hampshire, the college has produced a long list of celebrated alumni - among them two Treasury secretaries (Timothy Geithner, '83, and Henry Paulson Jr., '68), a Labor secretary (Robert Reich, '68) and a hefty sampling of the one percent (including the CEOs of GE, eBay and Freddie Mac, and the former chairman of the Carlyle Group). Many of these titans of industry are products of the fraternity culture: Billionaire hedge-fund manager Stephen Mandel, who chairs Dartmouth's board of trustees, was a brother in Psi Upsilon, the oldest fraternity on campus. Jeffery Immelt, the CEO of GE, was a Phi Delt, as were a number of other prominent trustees, among them Morgan Stanley senior adviser R. Bradford Evans, billionaire oilman Trevor Rees-Jones and venture capitalist William W. Helman IV. Hank Paulson belonged to Lohse's fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, or SAE.

Another reason i read this horror to the end is because the president of Dartmouth during this period, Jim Yong Kim, has been nominated to be president of the World Bank.


Kim - who was recently nominated by the Obama administration to head the World Bank - was initially seen as a potential challenge to the status quo. But instead, he's proven to be just the opposite. Not long after he took office, Kim met with Dartmouth alums and reassured them he had no intention of overhauling the fraternities. "One of the things you learn as an anthropologist," he said, "you don't come in and change the culture."

This article details the appalling inhuman deconditioning which goes on prior to taking jobs at Wall Street. I suggest you don't read it.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 08:06:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sociopathic behavior, like schizophrenia, can be learned.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 12:14:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes
Grossman's theory, based on the World War II research of S.L.A. Marshall, is that most of the population deeply resists killing another human. While Marshall's work has been shown to be unsystematic[where?], his findings have been corroborated by many later studies[where?].

As a result of Marshall's work, modern military training was modified to attempt to override this instinct, by:

  • using man-shaped targets instead of bullseye targets in marksmanship practice
  • practicing and drilling how soldiers would actually fight
  • dispersing responsibility for the killing throughout the group
  • displacing responsibility for the killing onto an authority figure, i.e., the commanding officer and the military hierarchy (See the Milgram experiment)

By the time of the United States involvement in the Vietnam War, says Grossman, 90% of U.S. soldiers would fire their weapons at other people.
Also: Full Metal Jacket.

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 01:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found a critical review of Killology:
It would appear, then, that Lieutenant Colonel Grossman's appeals to biology and psychology are flawed, and that the bulwark of his historical evidence - S.L.A. Marshall's assertion that soldiers do not fire their weapons - can be verifiably disproven. The theory of an innate, biological resistance to killing has little support in either evolutionary biology or in what we know about psychology, and, discounting Marshall's claims, there is little basis in military history for such a theory either. This is not to say that all people can or will kill, or even that all soldiers can or will kill. Combat is staggeringly complex, an environment where human beings are pushed beyond all tolerable limits. There is much that we do not know, and plenty that we should be doing more to learn about. Grossman is clearly leading the way in posing these questions. Much of his work on the processes of killing and the relevance of physical distance to killing is extremely insightful. There is material in On Combat about fear, heart rate, and combat effectiveness that might be groundbreaking, and it should be studied carefully by historians trying to understand human behaviour in war. No disrespect to Lieutenant-Colonel Grossman is intended by this article, and it is not meant to devalue his work. I personally believe that some of the elements of his books, particularly the physiology of combat, would actually be strengthened if they were not shackled to the idea that humans cannot kill one another. But there are still questions that need to be asked, and the subject should not be considered closed. Grossman's overall picture of killing in war and society is heavily informed by a belief in an innate human resistance to killing that, as has been offered here, does not stand up well to scrutiny. More research on the processes of human killing is needed, and although On Killing and On Combat form an excellent starting point, there are too many problems with their interpretation for them to be considered the final word on the subject. I believe that, in the future, the Canadian Forces needs to take a more critical posture when it comes to incorporating Grossman's studies into its own doctrine. It is imperative that our nation's military culture remain one devoted to pursuing the best available evidence at all costs, rather than one merely following the most popular consensus.


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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 03:51:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having thought more on this article, and remembering the many discussions on ET regarding the sociopathy of modern finance and business executives, and that so many of our leaders come from the same executive fodder factories, and that the proposed next president of the World Bank presided over such brainwashing...

...that perhaps this should be required reading.

Vomelettes for all.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 02:15:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I have read it. Jucky, yes. Surprising, no. Perhaps juckiest: Pressing charges against the whisteblower based on his confession.

Now I know what a vomelette is. My life is not richer for it.

Gotta go scrub my brain now.

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 04:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A significant portion of finance and business leaders initiation into what brotherhood means is through shared feces, vomit and date rape.

These are the people who make the decisions regarding externalities: clean air gone, water of life gone, dangerous chemicals in all our bodies, the very nature of the surface of the planet on which we dwell treated as a short term commodity. These are the people who decide who gets what money, and at what rates.

These are the people who would be asked to leave tribal societies.

These are the people who will be asked to vote on "obamacare," and who decide which banks the people will bail, while turning Athens into a Favela.

These are the people who justify continuation of a society built upon poison.

And this hazing is the basis for the "cult of private equity," which i have seen firsthand.

i can't write another word.


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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:01:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And this hazing is the basis for the "cult of private equity," which i have seen firsthand.

Now we know where the Masters of the Universe come from...

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:27:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Much of that is reminiscent of Fight Club.

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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:28:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In particular
Ritualized vomiting was simply part of brotherly life. SAE has a "boot room," which is essentially a bathroom where brothers in the midst of a rigorous game of pong can stick their finger down their throat - the term is "pulling the trigger" - and then resume the game. At some houses, pledges are not allowed to pull their own triggers, but must get a friend to do it for them. "It's all about the challenge," says one of Lohse's SAE brothers. A game that is played at nearly every Dartmouth fraternity is called Thunderdome, or Dome. The entire goal of the two-man contest is to make the other person drink until he vomits - at which point the winner "claims his right" by throwing up on the loser.

"You don't learn about Doming until you become a brother," says Lohse. "When you realize you're going to have to do this, it's really shocking." SAE, he adds, was never as strict about the "boot on his head" thing as other houses, though it did take place sometimes - "I've been booted on and booted on others," he says. (Another SAE brother confirmed, "Everyone in the house was encouraged to vomit on each other, but the act of actually vomiting on another individual happened only rarely.")

So internalized did these rituals become that even long-graduated brothers reflect on Dome, and other games, with fondness. "Seeing two friends pulling each other's trigger was one of the most glorious things I've ever seen in my life," says Snowden Wright, an SAE brother who graduated in 2004. "It was like two kittens licking each other clean. Pure friendship." I assume Wright is kidding; he assures me he isn't.



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 Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 06:40:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Snowden Wright:
Seeing two friends pulling each other's trigger

At Oxford that would at least have been a directly homoerotic reference.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 30th, 2012 at 02:12:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was here today, doing a voiceover for this cause.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 at 12:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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