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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 21 April

by afew Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:27:29 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1934 – The "Surgeon's Photograph", the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, is published in the Daily Mail (in 1999, it is revealed to be a hoax).

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 Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:29:13 PM EST
BBC News - Nicolas Sarkozy: Why is the French president so disliked?

If President Nicolas Sarkozy fails to win a second term, as many polls are predicting ahead of Sunday's first round of voting, perhaps the biggest factor will be the personal loathing that he elicits in so many of the French. What's behind it?

From the moment he took office in 2007, no French president in modern times has been the object of such blatant dislike.

It is an animosity quite distinct from opposition to his actual policies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:39:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy's France Inc. Suffers Losses From Presidential Meddling - Bloomberg

France Inc. has lost 124.3 billion euros ($163 billion) under President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Companies in which the state holds stakes, from Electricite de France SA (EDF) and Air France-KLM Group (AF) to France Telecom SA (FTE) underperformed international peers on Sarkozy's watch as his government blocked their job cuts to curb unemployment, opposed tariff increases and taxed them to plug deficits.

The value of state holdings in publicly traded companies has slumped 66 percent since Sarkozy was sworn in on May 16, 2007, more than the benchmark CAC 40 Index (CAC)'s 48 percent drop in the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With French joblessness at a 12-year high and household purchasing power a key election subject, investors see more pain regardless of who is elected president after next month's ballot.

"The state will favor social peace over minority shareholders," said Alexandre Hezez, chief investment officer at Paris-based Convictions Asset Management, which oversees 681 million euros. "This isn't where you want to invest. I don't think the state is looking for value creation at these companies."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:51:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe holds its breath as France heads to the polls | EurActiv

On Sunday (22 April) French voters will cast ballots in the first round of the presidential election. As media in France are banned from announcing results until 20:00 local time, all eyes will turn to the French-language media in Belgium and Switzerland, which will unveil exit poll results as early as 18:00.

The French election is seen as a potential game-changer for the European Union.

If France turns left, as opinion polls indicate, the near-monopoly of the centre-right European People's Party in Europe would be broken.

In case of another mandate for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Europe could move faster towards a two-speed Union and a revamp of the bloc's Schengen area that could see Greece excluded from the passport-free travel zone and further EU enlargement frozen.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:53:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / Brussels to breathe sigh of relief after French vote

BRUSSELS - The first round of France's presidential elections on Sunday (22 April) will bring Brussels a step closer to resumption of normal business, with the EU capital on something of a political lock-down as the campaigning has gathered pace.

Nicolas Sarkozy and his main challenger Francois Hollande are, according to polls, set to make it through to the run-off on 6 May.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Norway mass killer says he was a nice person - Europe - Al Jazeera English

The man behind the massacre in Norway last year which left 77 people dead has told a court on Friday he was a "nice person" who had trained himself to stifle his emotions so he could carry out the shooting and bombing rampage.

Anders Behring Breivik, 33, admitted to killing eight people with a car bomb at the government's headquarters in Oslo, then gunning down 69 people, most of them teenagers, at a Labour Party summer camp on Utoeya island.

But he has pleaded not guilty, insisting he was defending the country against waves of Muslim immigration facilitated by the political left.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:41:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Anders Breivik describes Norway island massacre

Anders Behring Breivik has described how he shot people who were "begging for their lives" during his island rampage in which dozens died last July.

Testifying before an Oslo court, he described seeing people curled up and "completely paralysed" as he reloaded his weapon and shot them in the head.

Earlier the 33-year-old said he was normally a nice person but had shut off his emotions to carry out the attacks.

The main aim of the trial is to decide whether he is sane or insane.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt few monsters in history did it from a sense that they were evil people, I'm sure many were nice to their families and kind to animals.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 06:56:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of them enjoyed tying empty cans to cats' tails, I've heard.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 01:28:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliament shoots down Commission's energy tax plan | EurActiv

Conservatives in the European Parliament delivered a setback for European Commission plans to erase tax benefits for diesel fuel, saying that a period of austerity and high fuel costs is not the time for such moves.

MEPS voted 374-217, with 73 abstentions, for an overhaul of the EU executive's year-old draft energy taxation directive that would require members states to end their practice of taxing diesel fuel at lower rates than gasoline.

The vote also calls for changes to the Commission's proposed minimum carbon tax on emissions from households, farms and the transport industry not already covered under the EU's Emissions Trading System, the EU's main tool to reduce carbon dioxide pollution.

The Parliament's recommendations are non-binding. But they lay the groundwork for anticipated changes in the Council of Ministers, where Poland has already blocked moves to impose stronger emission-reductions obligations, and at a time when high fuel prices may tame the political appetite for higher taxes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:00:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:32:53 PM EST
Slump Taught Profligate Americans Value of Saving: Economy - Bloomberg

Americans are likely to keep rebuilding their savings for years to come as the specter of job losses and the meltdown in stocks triggered by the recession lingers, economists say.

Households are putting money away at a pace more than double that leading up to the economic slump. The saving rate has averaged 4.8 percent since June 2009, when the 18-month contraction ended, compared with 2.2 percent in the three years leading up the downturn.

"Households are going to be mired in this deleveraging environment for a few more years," Ellen Zentner, a senior U.S. economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview. "That's not atypical following a financial crisis."

The need to boost cash reserves and pay down debt may eclipse the urge to be the first on the block to drive the newest model car, stemming a recent decrease in the saving rate. Almost three years into the recovery, the economy has yet to regain even half the 8.8 million jobs lost or the $16.4 trillion in household net worth washed away as a result of the recession, indicating consumers will want to keep a bigger cash cushion.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:46:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe Urged to Fix Crisis as G-20 Warns of More Stress - Bloomberg

Europe's governments were told the onus for fixing their debt woes lies with them as the Group of 20 warned the two-year crisis still threatens global growth.

With finance chiefs from the G-20 meeting today in Washington, those from Canada and Australia joined the IMF and U.S. in pressing Europe to intensify efforts to quell the turmoil as it spreads to Spain. The G-20 cited "the situation in Europe" first in a list of drags on the world economy, according to a draft statement obtained by Bloomberg News.

As she closed in on her goal of bolstering the IMF's crisis-fighting coffers by more than $400 billion, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the lender serves as an emergency backstop and that Europe must protect itself, boost economic growth and cut debt. Italian and Spanish bonds fell today as the G-20 noted "stress has increased as of late."

"Countries have to take measures," Lagarde told Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness With Margaret Brennan" in Washington. "I am in charge of improving the stability and I need to have the umbrella in case the clouds break into a nasty rain."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:49:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's all very well urging countries to fix the crisis, but when the suggested solution is to effectively pour more petrol on the flames, they shouldn't be surprised when the conflagration spreads

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 06:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Business20 Makes Its Weight Felt at G20 Meeting - IPS ipsnews.net
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico, Apr 19, 2012 (IPS) - The concerns of the business community basically monopolised the first day of the meeting of trade and economy ministers of the G20 group of industrialised and emerging countries in this Mexican resort city Thursday.

The meeting of global chief executives and chairmen held on the occasion of G20 summits, known as Business 20 (B20), handed the ministers a series of recommendations on issues like trade liberalisation, green growth, food sovereignty and energy, at the meeting in Puerto Vallarta, in the western state of Jalisco, 900 km from Mexico City.

And not only that: The corporate delegates were present at the minister's deliberations on questions such as protectionism, fostering trade, and generating jobs.

"I have been at previous meetings, and this is the first time that I have seen the business representatives playing such an active role," Alejandro Ramírez, a Mexican executive who owns the Cinépolis chain of movie theatres and who presided over the B20, said during the opening ceremony Thursday.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 08:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 08:30:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:33:16 PM EST
BBC News - Pakistan plane crashes near Islamabad airport

A plane carrying up to 127 people has crashed in a residential area near Islamabad international airport.

Aviation officials said the Bhoja Air jet, flight BHO-213, was flying from Karachi to Islamabad when it crashed in bad weather minutes from landing.

Emergency teams are at the crash site, reported to be at Hussain Abad village.

There are no reports of survivors. Rescue teams have been working in darkness to try to assess if there are any casualties on the ground.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A few years ago, there were dire predictions that with the increase in air traffic, we'd get a crash or two a week, as per previous accident frequency, but it seems that safety has improved and accidents remain relatively rare.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 06:46:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Wikipedia's list of incidents involving commercial aircraft, there were 24 incidents in 2011 which comes to about one every two weeks...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 07:33:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - South Sudan 'to withdraw troops' from Heglig oil field

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has ordered the withdrawal of his troops from the Heglig oil field across the border in Sudan.

But Sudan's leader Omar al-Bashir later said his forces had retaken Heglig town.

South Sudanese forces captured the area last week, accusing Khartoum of using it as a base to launch attacks.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon had described the occupation as illegal and also called on Sudan to stop bombing the South.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:38:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands of Bahrain F1 protesters dispersed - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Thousands of anti-government protesters have been dispersed after flooding a major highway in Bahrain demanding a halt to the Formula One race on the first day of its practice runs ahead of Sunday's race.

The move cames as the Gulf kingdom's crown prince vowed that the country's premier sporting event would go ahead.

Bahraini authorities stepped up security around the Formula One circuit on Friday after clashes between protesters and security forces intensified ahead of the Grand Prix.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:42:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Bahain: 'Man shot dead' in protest ahead of Grand Prix

A man has been found dead with gunshot wounds in Bahrain after overnight clashes with police, activists say, a day before Sunday's F1 Grand Prix.

His body was found in the village of Shakoura, near the capital, Manama, an opposition group 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 Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 06:34:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Protest Time in Tunisia Again - IPS ipsnews.net
TUNIS, Apr 20, 2012 (IPS) - Thousands of centre-left demonstrators violently clashed with police in street battles that completely shut down central Tunis last week, left scores seriously injured and underlined the persistent divisions in Tunisian society.

The demonstrations were organised by several political parties, unions and human rights groups. Ostensibly meant to mark the national Martyrs Day celebration, their more immediate aim was to challenge the recent government ban on protests in central Tunis.

The police response was violent and seemingly disorganised, and called into question both the government's democratic credentials and its ability to maintain order even in the heart of Tunis.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Patriot Act Kept Somalia Starving - IPS ipsnews.net
HELSINKI, Apr 19, 2012 (IPS) - When war-torn Somalia was also ravaged by a drought-induced famine last year, which killed tens of thousands and displaced over a million people, international media was quick to blame the Islamist Al-Shabaab for blocking humanitarian assistance from reaching its zone of control in southern Somalia.

But according to Ken Menkhaus, professor of Political Science at Davidson College in North Carolina, the United States' counter-terrorism laws played an equally central role in obstructing assistance from reaching famine victims in desperate need of aid.

Speaking here in a seminar on Wednesday, organised by the Department of the Study of Religions at Helsinki University, Menkhaus said humanitarian organisations suspended food aid delivery to drought- struck areas controlled by Al-Shabaab for fear of violating the USA Patriot Act.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:13:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AP, TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Several thousand farmworkers occupied 30,000 acres (12,000 hectares) of land across Honduras as part of a dispute with large landowners and the government, activists and officials said Wednesday. (...) Activists say the seized territory is arable public land that small farmers have the legal right to grow crops under Honduran law.

Colombia Reports: Behind the headlines of the Secret Service prositution scandal lies a grim reality that is being ignored, Colombian women's rights organizations argued Friday. (...) "We reject the attitude of the Secret Service agents in using their power and refusing to pay what was agreed with the workers, after taking their bodies and using their sexual services," said the statement, written by the Human Life Corporation, the National Network of Women, Observatory of Gender Democracy and Human Rights, the League of Displaced Women and Women Who Believe. The agent's behavior "violated the labor rights of women working in prostitution," they said.

INFOLATAM: The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, intensified his campaign against a new march to La Paz organized by Amazon Indians and commencing next Wednesday against the government project to build a road that would split the Amazonian nature reserve Tipnis in two.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico -  Asia is rapidly displacing the United States as the Western hemisphere's top trading partner, pumping investments into Latin America and fueling the region's growing middle class.

MercoPress: In Buenos Aires, YPF stocks plummet by 28.7% while in Spain, Repsol YPF shares fell by 5.7%.
More commentary on the YPF Nationalization.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 07:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dotcom trial may not occur - Judge | New Zealand Herald
The criminal charges against Kim Dotcom in the United States may never get to trial, the judge overseeing the case has told the FBI.

United States district court judge Liam O'Grady said he didn't know if "we are ever going to have a trial in this matter" after being told Dotcom's file-sharing company had never been formally served with criminal papers by the US.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 09:18:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:33:35 PM EST
EU ombudsman opens investigation into bee mortality: theparliament.com
European ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros has opened an investigation into whether the European commission has taken 'appropriate' measures to combat increased bee mortality in the EU.

It follows a complaint from the Austrian Ombudsman Board, alleging that the commission has failed to take into account new scientific evidence arguing in favour of restricting the use of insecticides.

There is concern because it is claimed that increased bee mortality is potentially linked to certain insecticides.

The ombudsman has asked the executive to submit an opinion by 30 June.

MEP reaction to the decision by the Strasbourg-based ombudsman was swift.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:03:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Insight: U.S. barnyards help China super-size food production | Reuters

In a country where pork is a culinary staple, the demand for a protein-rich diet is growing faster than Chinese farmers can keep up. While Americans cut back on meat consumption to the lowest levels seen in two decades, the Chinese now eat nearly 10 percent more meat than they did five years ago.

China's solution: to super-size its supply by snapping up millions of live animals raised by U.S. farmers as breeding stock - capitalizing on decades of cutting edge agricultural research in America.

By taking this step, say breeders and exporters, China will move from small-scale backyard farms, to the Westernized tradition of large consolidated operations to keep up with demand.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Southeast Asia's billion dollar cassava industry at high risk due to climate change

Severe outbreaks of new, invasive pests triggered by rising temperatures could threaten Southeast Asia's multi-billion dollar cassava industry, as well as the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of small farmers that rely on the crop for income, according to research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

"Warmer conditions and longer dry seasons linked to climate change could prove to be the perfect catalyst for outbreaks of pests and diseases. They are already formidable enemies affecting food crops," said Pramod K. Aggarwal, regional program leader for Asia at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three Gorges Dam prompts more evacuations

Preparations have begun to relocate about 20,000 residents from the vicinity of China's massive Three Gorges Dam because their homes are at risk from "constant landslides," authorities in Central China's Hubei province said.

The residents account for one-fifth of the population in Dongba county in Hubei, said Zhao Wenxing from the county's relocation headquarters, state-run news agency Xinhua reports.

That follows an announcement this week that 100,000 people may have to be relocated over the next three to five years due to the threat of natural disasters near the dam on the Yangtze River.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:19:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poop dreams: A farmer on why we should care about manure | Grist

From time to time a book merits its title. Published in 2010, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind may just be the No. 1 book on the No. 2 business. In it, Gene Logsdon manages to be both funny and educational as he advocates for overcoming our aversion to excrement for the sake of healthy soil.

According to Logsdon, we need manure and lots of it. He contends we should follow our nose for practical and elegant solutions to improving soil fertility, and turn waste into compost fit for crops and gardens.

We spoke to Logsdon recently to get the straight poop.

Q. You've had a long career in journalism. What inspired you to write a book on manure?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Had to shift a pile of it myself this evening, which is why this Salon is late.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peruvians Mount 'Permanent' Protest of Conga Mine
CAJAMARCA, Peru, April 20, 2012 (ENS) - Thousands of Peruvians protesting in the streets of Cajamarca against a proposed gold and copper mine say they will contine their demonstrations every day until the government rejects the development. They fear the surface open pit mine would pollute their water supplies and destroy the region's environment.

The object of their anger is the Conga Project, located north of the Peruvian Andes 73 km (45 miles) northeast of the city of Cajamarca, at elevations ranging from 3,700 to 4,260 meters (12,140 to 13,980 feet). The mine would straddle two provinces, Cajamarca and Celendin.

The project is proposed by Minera Yanacocha, which already has a giant open pit mine in the area that has polluted water supplies with mercury, among other toxics.

Minera Yanacocha is a joint venture of three partners: Compañía de Minas Buenaventura of Peru, Newmont Mining Corp. of Denver, Colorado and the International Finance Corporation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bum Steer: How Big Pharma Dominates Meat Science | Mother Jones

It isn't just ourselves or our pets that have been getting bigger over the past couple of decades. Turns out, our beef cows have become gigantic too. How big? According to an excellent article by Melody Petersen in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "the average weight of a fattened steer sold to a packing plant is now roughly 1,300 pounds--up from 1,000 pounds in 1975."

That's a hefty 30 percent gain. What gives? According to Peterson, the main reason is pharmaceutical: heavy use of antibiotics, hormones, and other growth-enhancing drugs. Peterson untangles the web that connects pharmaceutical giants like Merck to professors at big public land-grant universities, who not only act as paid researchers to develop new products but also as shills who appeal directly to cattle feedlot operators.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lemme think here... if we are what we eat, what possible connection could there be between this appetising factoid and the current obesity epidemic, not to mention the public's mostly bovine reaction to being led, tazer-stunned, to an economic slaughterhouse?

</methane burp>

 

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 06:05:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:33:57 PM EST
Millennium Goals Mock Nepal's Slave Girls - IPS ipsnews.net
DANG, Nepal , Apr 20, 2012 (IPS) - Five years after Nepal abolished Kamalari, a system of girl slavery, thousands of young women are still awaiting promised rehabilitation and support from the new democratic republic.

Some 11,000 `liberated' Kamalari girls, many of them from this impoverished southwestern district, hope to see some of the money accumulating since 2006 when the Supreme Court ordered the setting up of a fund for the welfare of the girls and their families.

In 2011 alone, the government allocated close to 2.5 million dollars towards the rehabilitation of the girls, which covered scholarships, vocational training and residential support.

But, so far, not even 70,000 dollars have been spent on the welfare of the former slave girls, according to the Mukta Kamalari Bikash Manch (Free Kamalari Development Forum), a network the girls have formed to fight for their rights.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Genetic adaptation of fat metabolism key to development of human brain

About 300 000 years ago humans adapted genetically to be able to produce larger amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. This adaptation may have been crucial to the development of the unique brain capacity in modern humans. In today's life situation, this genetic adaptation contributes instead to a higher risk of developing disorders like cardiovascular disease.

The human nervous system and brain contain large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and these are essential for the development and function of the brain. These Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids occur in high quantities in just a few foods, such as fat fish. Our bodies can also produces these important fatty acids themselves from certain vegetable oils.

In a new study led by researchers at Uppsala University and now being published in The American Journal of Human Genetics scientists have investigated the genes for the two key enzymes that are needed to produce Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils. They have found that humans have a unique genetic variant that leads to increased production.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 04:17:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 03:34:23 PM EST
Independent: Robert Fisk: This is politics not sport. If drivers can't see that, they are the pits

The days have gone when sportsmen and sportswomen can dissociate themselves from the moral values in which we claim to believe in the 21st century. If they want to behave like the sporting clods of 50 years ago, they should be forced to drive round the Bahrain circuit in Alfa Romeo 6Cs, Triumph Roadsters and Crosley Hotshots. Cars of the past for men of the past.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Further to my earlier report on the sentences handed down at a political corruption trial last week, and a prediction there'd be a popular reaction, we now have: Finns Party takes aim at corruption

This is a smart move from Soini. A majority of Finns are already disturbed at signs of corruption in a system that was thought to be acceptably clean. The Ugly Party will get support if they drive this issue and suppress their racist element.

However the last thing the Finnish elite wants to see is a governing Ugly party, and neither do the powerful tradmed. It's hard to see how this will play out. The Uglies are going to increase their support in the provinces if they can drive this issue well, and this in turn will drive the elite to be more circumspect in awarding each other money legally or illegally. If it is playing well, the traditional media may become more investigative and accelerate the process. The traditionally conservative police may also feel that a few more prosecutions would put them in a good light and secure their budget.

In the long term the Uglies will fail because they will self destroy in the developing internal battle with their racists and the true uglies. And they have only a handful of MPs who could be anything other than back benchers.

But something must be done to root out corruption and to ridicule and declaw powerful members of the elite such as: Björn Wahlroos - a portrait of a capitalist. Finnish society has been successful because of its firm consensus on equality, justice, tolerance, respect etc. A loss of consensus on these could be a dangerous path.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 11:19:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
* Björn Wahlroos = Ayn Rand in a Bolton 'tache.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 11:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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